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Creighton: Associate professor apologizes for controversial tweet from deleted account

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:06 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Creighton University has released a statement following an incident where an associate professor’s tweet received a controversial response from the community, including from police.

Associate Professor Zachary Smith, Ph.D., tweeted in response to an article about the upcoming Back and Blue rally, in support of local police, set for this weekend.

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Caption: Creighton University issued a statement saying associate professor Dr. Zachary Smith had apologized for this tweet.

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He responded, saying: “Lemme fix this headline for you, @OWHnews: ‘White supremacist rally in Omaha to showcase Midwestern racism.”

Smith, who teaches the history of Christianity, has since deleted his Twitter account.

The university released a statement in response:

“Views expressed by a Creighton University faculty member on his personal social media account concerning the Back the Blue event are not those of the University. Additionally, the faculty member regrets his statement and sincerely apologizes for the offense it has caused.

“Creighton believes statements of this nature impede our goal of promoting unity within our community, including our effort to confront and eliminate systemic racism. Creighton is an institution guided by Jesuit, Catholic values and traditions, including inquiry and discourse that reflect ethical and critical thinking, and respect and care, for all persons.”

Capt. Wayne Hudson with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is one of the speakers at the Back the Blue event. He tells 6 News if Smith would have done his research he would have learned that the event’s 6 speakers come from different backgrounds and communities.

“Everyone that’s speaking tomorrow belongs to a minority group,” said Capt. Hudson.

He also says the apology on behalf of the university doesn’t go far enough.

“He disrespected the entire law enforcement community, so if he wants to apologize, have him show up tomorrow at the rally and apologize to all those law enforcement officers who put their life on the line each and every day and even him every day,” he said.

6 News also reached out to Smith for a comment but hadn’t heard back Friday night.

The Back the Blue event is set for 9:30 to 10:30 Saturday morning at Memorial Park. The public is welcome to come and is asked to bring lawn chairs and flags.

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