After tweets he had issued in 2016 and 2017 surfaced showing him saying the American flag “represents a systemic history of racism,” and adding, “Police are part of that system,” Jamie R. Riley, the University of Alabama’s assistant vice president and dean of students, resigned on Thursday.
The tweets were published by Breitbart News earlier this week, which reported, “Riley’s account, which was accessible to the public on Friday morning, has now been locked so only his approved followers can view his tweets.”
As The Crimson White reported, Jackson Fuentes, press secretary for the UA Student Government Association, said on Thursday, “For us right now, basically all I can tell you is that the University and Dr. Riley have mutually agreed to part ways. So yeah, that’s true, and we do wish him the best.”
Assistant Director of the Division of Strategic Communications Chris Bryant stated, “Dr. Jamie Riley has resigned his position at The University of Alabama by mutual agreement. Neither party will have any further comments.” Steven Hood, Associate Vice President of Student Life, echoed, “Dr. Jamie Riley has resigned his position at The University of Alabama by mutual agreement. Neither the university or Dr. Riley will have any further comments.”
Riley’s tweets included these statements: “The [American flag emoji] flag represents a systemic history of racism for my people. Police are a part of that system. Is it that hard to see the correlation?” “I’m baffled about the 1st thing white people say is ‘That’s not racist!’ when they can’t even experience racism. You have 0 opinion!” “Are movies about slavery truly about educating the unaware, or to remind Black people of our place in society?”
The Crimson White noted, “Riley was named to the position on Dec. 13, 2018 after a national search and he began serving on Feb. 25, 2019. Before gaining the position at the University of Alabama, Riley served as the executive director and chief operating officer of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He also served in student affairs and diversity and inclusion roles at institutions including Johns Hopkins University, The University of California-Berkeley and Morehouse College.”
The announcement from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 2017 that Riley would be the next executive director stated: “Brother Riley has focused his research and administrative practice on addressing the impact of culturally oppressive campus climates on the success of African-American and black male college students attending predominantly white institutions. Jamie’s doctoral dissertation, titled; Racism, Discrimination, and Prejudice: Through the Voices of Black Men on Predominately White College Campuses, investigated the impact of race and racism on African-American and black male students ability to thrive academically, socially, and developmentally.”
Riley voiced his own goals:
I think it is crucial that we streamline processes and procedures to align with the fraternal organizational structure and the needs of individual brothers. The General Office is the place where brothers should come to find solutions and answers in a timely fashion. Our staffing has to be adequate to meet the needs of brothers, chapters, districts, regions, and the general body all at the same time. I believe the better utilization of technology and personnel will help us to achieve that and much more.