A college professor is under fire for posting a Facebook comment in which he likened the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan.
Douglas Muir, an adjunct professor who teaches engineering and business at the University of Virginia, has since taken a leave of absence. He's been condemned by the local vice mayor, some people are boycotting a local restaurant he owns, and the university issued a statement distancing itself from Muir, The Washington Post reported.
The trouble started when Muir responded to a post by a local real estate agent who had attended a Black Lives Matter event on Oct. 4 at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia. She captioned the post by writing that the group is "working for dignity for everyone."
"Black lives matter is the biggest [racist organization] since the [Klan]," Muir wrote, according to a screenshot of the since-deleted post. "Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!"
Joe Starsia of Charlottesville spotted the post, captured a screenshot, and tweeted at the university with the image.
"It is unacceptable for one of your lecturers to be #BLM to the Klan," Starsia wrote, using the popular hashtag abbreviation for Black Lives Matter.
The school quickly reacted with a statement by Tom Katsouleas, University of Virginia’s executive vice president and provost.
“The University of Virginia stands firmly against racism and social injustice of any kind,” Katsouleas wrote. “But statements such as Mr. Muir’s do not foster intellectual exploration, nor do they encourage the voices of others,” he added.
Two other statements -- one from the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and the other from its Darden School of Business -- also condemned Muir's post.
Muir's biography on the school's website described him as "an authority in business strategy, having successfully built several multimillion-dollar enterprises from the ground up." Muir is a "start-up guru" who "speaks internationally on topics of entrepreneurship, innovation, and business growth," according to the profile, which also identifies him as the assistant director of the business minor program within the engineering school.
Muir, who teaches five classes, has been with the university since 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile. Muir also spent almost 19 years as a captain flying passenger planes for US Airways, his resume states.
Reporters at WCAV and The Washington Post reached out to Muir, but the embattled professor did not return calls.
Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy told WCAV that Muir's words were hurtful, and he's calling for a boycott because he believes "we need to show him economically just how powerful those words" are.
"I don't want us to throw the man to the wolves, or completely disregard the man, but I think he needs to be educated," Bellamy told the TV station. "We need to have a conversation about exactly what those words meant that he wrote."