Some white students stormed out of their anthropology class Oct. 18 at Texas State University in San Marcos after their teacher told them that the human race came from Africa.
According to The Tab, other students began chanting, "Black lives matter," as the white students left. Some offended students reportedly stayed behind to argue with their classmates.
A black student with the Twitter handle AJ tweeted a picture from inside the class with the caption: "My Professor just said all living ppl are descendants from Africa and ppl got up and walked out and now their arguing."
Professor R. Jon McGee told The Tab that he didn't witness any dissent in his large class, but added, "[I]t is possible that someone didn’t like the topic and walked out."
Student Justine Lundy told the news site that McGee traced the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, and concluded by telling the class that humans originally descended from Africa.
"It was dead silent," Lundy recalled.
She said an unidentified student responded with a "sarcastic ‘sure.'"
"A lot of people left," Karene Taylor, another student, added. "It was embarrassing."
Lundy opined that the mention of Black Lives Matter upset some students.
"[McGee] wasn’t picking sides or anything — he kept reiterating that," Lundy stated.
She added that the Africa statement that was likely "the straw that broke the camel’s back."
The New York Times noted in September that three separate teams collected DNA from around the world and found that all non-Africans could likely trace their family trees back to a single African population between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago; the results were first reported in the journal Nature.
"As a whole, I think the group is open-minded," McGee told The Tab. "Understanding other peoples' perspectives is a basic part of cultural anthropology."
McGee's page on the college website states:
I have worked with the Lacandon Maya since 1980, studying Maya religion, language, and culture. My research work has focused on the Maya, anthropology of religion, culture, theory, and field research methods. I also lead a yearly field school in Chiapas Mexico, and a study abroad program in Canterbury, England. Currently, I am working with Dr. Joel Palka at the University of Illinois-Chicago on an archaeological and ethnohistorical survey of the Lacandon area.