A University of Virginia professor of commerce, Jeffrey Leopold, has apologized for saying to his class that “Africans didn’t know what food meant,” WVIR, an NBC station, has reported.
The university’s Organization of African Students released a statement saying that in light of the event, it urges the administration to hold professors accountable and increase standards for yearly diversity and bias awareness trainings for instructors.
“There have been multiple instances where faculty members and staff have made ignorant, and inherently racist statements, where the N-word was utilized and minority groups ridiculed and that’s unacceptable,” the group wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
Leopold released an apology statement to his class and the Organization of African Students.
“On Thursday, October 22th [sic] in my class, I made statements that were both insensitive and offensive. I sincerely regret doing so and I am deeply sorry for my actions and my words,” Leopold wrote in the statement. “I know that what I said was wrong and I appreciate even more so the great importance and impact of what I say in and out of the classroom. It is clear that I should have been more thoughtful with my comments and I apologize.”