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Professor Faces Backlash After Remark on MSNBC

Greer+tweeted+an+apology+for+her+comment+on+Aug.+22.+%E2%80%9CYesterday+I+said+something+flippant+that+was+unintended%2C%E2%80%9D+she+wrote.+%E2%80%9CMollie+Tibbets+%5Bsic%5D+was+a+promising+young+woman+who+lost+her+life.+My+hope+is+that+her+family+will+find+peace+%26+justice+and+that+her+murder+is+not+used+to+justify+a+discriminatory+immigration+policy.%E2%80%9D+%28KYLE+KOVACS%2FTHE+OBSERVER%0A
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Professor Faces Backlash After Remark on MSNBC

Greer tweeted an apology for her comment on Aug. 22. “Yesterday I said something flippant that was unintended,” she wrote. “Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murder is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.” (KYLE KOVACS/THE OBSERVER

Greer tweeted an apology for her comment on Aug. 22. “Yesterday I said something flippant that was unintended,” she wrote. “Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murder is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.” (KYLE KOVACS/THE OBSERVER

Greer tweeted an apology for her comment on Aug. 22. “Yesterday I said something flippant that was unintended,” she wrote. “Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murder is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.” (KYLE KOVACS/THE OBSERVER

Greer tweeted an apology for her comment on Aug. 22. “Yesterday I said something flippant that was unintended,” she wrote. “Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murder is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.” (KYLE KOVACS/THE OBSERVER

By RUBY GARA, News Editor

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On Aug. 21, a comment made on MSNBC’s live segment by Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) Associate Professor of Political Science, Christina Greer, Ph.D., sparked outrage across social media and the nation. The panel was in the midst of a discussion about Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and Paul Manafort’s verdict, when Greer, a frequent guest speaker, said that “Fox News is talking about a girl in Iowa and not this.”

The “girl in Iowa” Greer was referring to was 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, whose body was found dead in Brooklyn, Iowa, weeks after she was declared missing on July 18. Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, was charged with first-degree murder after confessing to killing Tibbetts.

Greer did not respond to requests for comment.

During the conversation on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Greer said that Fox News’ coverage of this story was a tool for distraction. According to Greer, the news outlet should have instead reported on how President Trump’s former attorney pleaded guilty to tax evasion, in addition to his former campaign chairman’s conviction, who was found guilty on eight counts, both on Aug. 21.

In relation to Mollie Tibbetts’ murder, Greer also stated on MSNBC that “I’m sure we’ll hear what [Trump] has to say about this at his rally.” As she predicted, President Trump politicized Tibbetts’ death during a rally held on Aug. 22 in West Virginia by using the incident to justify a push for stricter immigration laws.

On Sept. 2, in response to Trump’s rally, Rob Tibbetts, the victim’s father, asked that the President not “exploit my daughter’s death to promote a racist agenda,” in response to Trump’s rally.

Over the summer, FCLC student workers in the Office of Admissions placed on phone duty fielded multiple phone calls from those who were infuriated by Greer’s comment.

Kara Hogan, FCLC ’19, said she did not personally answer any calls about Greer, but stated that the “admissions office directed us that if we did answer a call about her, to not engage with the caller.” They were required to then transfer them immediately to Bob Howe, the assistant vice president of communications.

As Greer does not have her contact information available on the Fordham website, Hogan said that those calling about Greer had to call the general Fordham phone number, which routes to the phones in the admissions office at both campuses.

Another student worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid administrative retaliation, noted that the office received several calls from  “disgruntled folks.”

“I was only manning the phone for one of these calls,” the student said. “The caller basically yelled at me for about a minute, saying how appalled she was that Fordham would hire ‘such an evil woman’ and that she wouldn’t be sending any of her grandchildren to Fordham ever ‘again.’” The caller proceeded to hang up before the student could explain that their only duty as a student worker was to transfer the call.

Greer’s comment enraged thousands of Twitter users, as well as members of the far right for stating that the Republican party is “working on behalf of Donald Trump. And he’s been able to bully them into their silence. And I don’t think today changes much, unfortunately.”

Following the whirlwind, Greer tweeted an apology for her comment on Aug. 22. “Yesterday I said something flippant that was unintended,” she wrote. “Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murder is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.”

She concluded the tweet with the hashtag “#Apologiesaremyown,” posted shortly before deleting her Twitter account. Greer has since reactivated her Twitter.

 

Correction: Christina Greer confirmed that she did not receive the request for comment as her contact information has been modified on the university’s website. Her personal email is no longer listed on her page and the email used for the request remained unresponsive. 

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