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Professor suspended after students complain his ‘racist’ tweets about Barack Obama and Kamala Harris

A business school professor at the $48,600-a-year Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., has been suspended after students complained he made ‘racist’ tweets about Barack Obama and Kamala Harris. 

John Tieso, adjunct professor at the University’s Busch School of Business was suspended Monday after the school says it received complaints about the Twitter comments he made about Obama and Harris. 

Tieso has fired back that he did not recall the criticism of Obama, when he made a 2018 trip to Africa, and that his comments about Harris were based on history.

John Tieso, adjunct professor at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., was suspended after students complained he made ‘racist’ tweets about Barack Obama and Kamala Harris

Tieso has fired back that he did not recall the criticism of Obama (pictured), when he made a 2018 trip to Africa, and that his comments about Harris were based on history

Tieso has fired back that he did not recall the criticism of Obama (pictured), when he made a 2018 trip to Africa, and that his comments about Harris were based on history

He took his Twitter account down in the days leading up to this week’s suspension and insists it was never associated with the school, which is following up with an investigation, the College Fix reports.

The Twitter account was removed after a meeting with an administrator to discuss allegations of ‘racially-charged’ speech earlier this month, a spokesperson for the school said.

A copy of the letter obtained by WUSA revealed three tweets the student said were ‘racist.’ 

One of the tweets, posted July 8, 2018, was a retweeted photo of former Obama and criticism of the former president for complaining about his wealth while visiting ‘one of the poorest countries’ during a visit to Africa. The country is not named.

Tieso retweeted the photo and wrote in the caption ‘That’s the Obama we all came to know and hate. Incredibly incompetent and vain. Perhaps he might consider staying in Africa and giving all his money to his people.’ 

In a second, more recent tweet made on May 5, Tieso wrote about Harris. In the social media post, he described the US senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, whose parents are from Jamaica and India, as a ‘former escort’, the College Fix reports.

One of the tweets, posted July 8, 2018, was a retweeted photo of former Obama and criticism of the former president for complaining about his wealth while visiting 'one of the poorest countries' during a visit to Africa. The country is not named

One of the tweets, posted July 8, 2018, was a retweeted photo of former Obama and criticism of the former president for complaining about his wealth while visiting ‘one of the poorest countries’ during a visit to Africa. The country is not named

In a second, more recent tweet made on May 5, Tieso wrote about Harris. In the social media post, he described the US senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, whose parents are from Jamaica and India, as a 'former escort'

In a second, more recent tweet made on May 5, Tieso wrote about Harris. In the social media post, he described the US senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, whose parents are from Jamaica and India, as a ‘former escort’

It was a reference to an accusation Harris has faced for most of her political career: that she dated Willie Brown, the former speaker of the California Assembly, a married man twice her age to get an edge on her entry into politics. 

Details of the third tweet have not been made public. 

When WUSA approached Tieso about the tweets on May 5, he declined to be interviewed and said he was the victim of a ‘biased witch hunt.’ He later told the College Fix that he couldn’t remember the Obama tweet among thousands he had made and that his comments about Harris were based on history.

Karna Lozoya, executive director of strategic communications in the Office of the President at the university, confirmed Tieso’s dean, Andrew Abela, ‘received an anonymous letter on May 5 (at a little after 1 am).’

Tieso took his Twitter account (pictured) down in the days leading up to this week's suspension and insists it was never associated with the school, which is following up with an investigation

Tieso took his Twitter account (pictured) down in the days leading up to this week’s suspension and insists it was never associated with the school, which is following up with an investigation

‘He contacted John Tieso that afternoon to ask him about the concerns expressed in the letter. Mr. Tieso removed his Twitter account shortly after that phone call.’  

Tieso wrote in his final tweet, ‘Several people have claimed in my tweets that I am racist — which I certainly am not, and would not give such an impression.’ The professor had composed nearly 100,000 tweets.

By Monday, Tieso says he was informed that his summer class was being postponed to a later session. He says he was told by the school that additional complaints, including some from alumni, had been received about his Twitter comments, and that an investigation was underway to ‘determine the facts.’ 

Tieso says he was told additional complaints, including some from alumni, had been received about his Twitter comments by the school (pictured). An investigation is now underway

Tieso says he was told additional complaints, including some from alumni, had been received about his Twitter comments by the school (pictured). An investigation is now underway 

Tieso says he suspects he was suspended because the school was caving into media pressure as well as from others. A practicing Catholic, Tieso says being accuse of racism by unnamed persons was difficult to handle.

‘I love the school and students,’ he said. ‘I’ve had Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims in my classes, and I’ve treated each of them the same. They are my students.’

According to its website the average tuition fees per year are $48,600. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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