UBC Board of Governors chair resigns after 'liking' anti-protest tweets - InfoNews

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UBC Board of Governors chair resigns after 'liking' anti-protest tweets

A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
June 21, 2020 - 1:09 PM

VANCOUVER - The chair of the University of British Columbia's board of governors is stepping down after "liking" tweets deriding protests against anti-Black racism.

In a resignation letter Saturday, Michael Korenberg said he apologized "wholeheartedly" and would take care in the future to be more responsible and to maintain his full support of diversity.

"Some of my interactions with social media have thoughtlessly supported regressive voices that are attempting to discredit broad-based, legal and necessary protest," he said in the letter.

The move comes after UBC Students Against Bigotry posted a Twitter thread last week showing Korenberg had "liked" several tweets boosting U.S. President Donald Trump's calls for "law and order" and disparaging attacks on protesters.

Among the posts, Korenberg liked a tweet comparing Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists to the "paramilitary wings" of Hitler and Mussolini.

He also liked a tweet calling Trump's actions against anti-fascists "justified," and a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. saying he's thankful business owners have the right to bear arms so they can protect themselves from "violent looters."

"As a result, my interactions have been interpreted in a manner that creates questions about who I am and what I believe in," Korenberg said.

He maintained that he's committed to eradicating racism and discrimination, and said he hopes his departure will allow UBC to continue working towards those goals.

Sandra Cawley, vice-chair of the UBC Board of Governors, issued a statement reaffirming those values, and said the board would hold "internal conversations" about how to further them on campus.

Cawley said she'd step in as interim chair, and thanked her predecessor for his years of service.

Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark said the university has begun implementing an inclusion action plan and she believes it will continue providing students with a safe and supportive community environment.

"Our government and UBC are deeply committed to inclusion, justice and equity for all," Mark said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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