Today at the @UofSC I experienced racism from professor. After learning about welfare and social programs my phone goes off in class and he looks at me and says “that may be the welfare office calling you now” he claims that he didn’t mean it as derogatory but how? pic.twitter.com/IoSGwZRMxX
— Ang Snow (@AngelaNazirah) March 29, 2018
University of South Carolina professor Tobia Lanz issued an apology for a remark he made to a Black student.
Last Thursday during a lecture about welfare in his political science class, student Angela Bogni’s phone rang in class and Lanz commented “that may be the welfare office calling you now” according to the junior’s Twitter post.
Bogni then confronted the professor after class, where he claimed to only “made a joke” and that he’d “never do that.”
The junior was upset and wrote on Twitter, “Today was my first experience with head-on racism at this institution. … No one laughed … in a class of over 200 students.”
Lanz, who said the comment was not meant to be derogatory, issued an apology to his class and Bogni in an email.
“I made a joke last week that was never intended to offend anyone. … Unfortunately, it did and I am sorry,” the professor wrote. “I am truly saddened and shocked by this turn of events because I value the relationship I have with my students. In my 24 years at USC, it has never been my intention to offend. I look forward to speaking with Ms. Bogni personally as we move forward.”
South Carolina President Harris Pastides also issued an apology to the student and slammed Lanz for his utterance in the viral Twitter video.
“I’m sorry for what you experienced today and deeply troubled by comments that perpetuate racist stereotypes,” Pastides tweeted. “We stand with you.”
Further information came to light about the South Carolina professor defending the exhibitions of Confederate symbols.
“You know, being a Southerner is more than, you know, proudly waving your Confederate flag. And I’m all for it. You know, I have a picture of Robert E. Lee, a couple of them there, in my study,” Lanz said during a 2006 lecture in response to a group who wanted to “purge the Southern tradition and its symbols from the American landscape.”