University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod issued a statement Thursday afternoon condemning a retweet by Student Body President Niya McAdoo. The condemnation came days after McAdoo retweeted a message saying “Happy Friday everyone. Death to America.” on the KU Student Body President’s official account.
Girod made clear that the message shared was protected speech by the First Amendment and reiterated KU was a “marketplace of ideas.” However, he said he strongly disagreed.
“Recently our university’s student body president shared a social media post that many Jayhawks – myself included – found to be disappointing and concerning,” Girod said. “I strongly disagree with the sentiment of her retweet, and I want to make clear that she does not speak for the university on this or any other matter.”
Following controversy over the comments on Twitter, groups such as the Kansas Federation of College Republicans called on McAdoo to be removed from office. In response to the outrage, McAdoo clarified their comments to indicate they were addressing the racist foundation America is built on. Regardless, she stood by her original statement as well.
Please know that it is death to an America that was built on Indigenous genocide and the backs of Black slaves. If you’re worried about people in the service of the military, be mad at your government because my words shouldn’t make you this mad. https://t.co/EpUDQlgcup— KU Student Body President ✨ (@KUPresident) September 3, 2021
“Please know that it is death to an America that was built on Indigenous genocide and the backs of Black slaves,” McAdoo said in a later statement on Twitter.
The controversy surrounding the message began last Friday when conservative blogger Todd Starnes wrote a story about the retweet.
In addition to Girod, the Kansas Board of Regents Chair Cheryl Harrison-Lee echoed Girod’s statement, saying the message went against the Board’s beliefs.
“U.S. citizens strive daily to make a more perfect union,” Harrison-Lee said. “Oftentimes we fall short. Nonetheless, we are proud to be Americans and despite its imperfections we are proud to call America home.”