UNCW professor: 'Blow Up Republicans' FB post was an attempt to 'blow off steam'

The UNCW professor who posted 'Blow Up Republicans' on his personal Facebook page is now apologizing, stating that the post was an attempt to 'blow off steam.'

A UNCW Board of Trustees member told Campus Reform that the apology doesn't change his call for an investigation into the post and the university's initial handling of the situation.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington professor who posted “Blow Up Republicans” on his personal Facebook page is now apologizing, stating that the post was an attempt to “blow off steam.”

As Campus Reform first reported, Dan Johnson, an associate professor in the UNCW School of Health and Applied Human Sciences posted the Facebook post containing, “Blow Up Republicans,” on May 17.

In a prepared statement shared through a university spokesperson, Johnson said that he had made a “mistake” in writing the post, and is “deeply sorry for it.”

”Recently, I made a mistake, and I am deeply sorry for it. I posted a poorly worded expression of political frustration on my now-deleted personal Facebook page. I profoundly regret it. This statement does not reflect my personal values or UNCW’s culture of civil and respectful discourse,” Johnson said. 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: UNC Wilmington prof posts ‘Blow Up Republicans’ on Facebook]

Johnson continued, stating that his “attempt to ‘blow off steam’” created concern within the UNCW community.

”My attempt to ‘blow off steam’ understandably caused concern among many students, parents, alumni, and other members of the UNCW community. I deeply care about the students, faculty, and staff at UNCW, and I apologize to them and the university and Wilmington community,” Johnson said. I am not a person who advocates for any kind of violence toward others. Instead, I have spent my career dedicated to helping others as an educator and advocate in the field of recreational therapy, including adults and children with disabilities. I won’t soon forget the wisdom I have gained from this experience, and I humbly ask the Seahawk community to accept my apology. I only want to move forward, support the mission of UNCW, and continue my teaching, research, and service for students, staff, faculty, and the Wilmington community. 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: UPDATE: UNCW trustee emails chancellor calling for investigation into ‘Blow up Republicans’ FB post after reading ‘Campus Reform’ story]

Despite the apology, Woody White, a Board of Trustees member for the University of North Carolina Wilmington, told Campus Reform that the university should still investigate the incident.

”Dr. Johnson’s sincere and seemingly heart-felt apology is a welcome development in this situation.  But it does not put it to rest,” White said. “Duty requires our Board to learn why this incident was reported by student Haily Davis on May 17, followed up on by her mother in early June, yet no meaningful explanation or similar apology as we see today, ever provided to her or anyone that saw the original post, leaving them to wonder what, if anything UNCW would do about such an indecent act by one of its distinguished professors.”

White said that if Haylie Davis would not have decided to come forward about the post, “no one would have ever learned about the potential of bias.”

”Had the young lady decided against coming forward, no one would have ever learned about the potential of bias that might have otherwise gone unknown. To suggest that we have no further duty than merely accepting a 6 week late apology and closing the books on this case, is not in keeping with our duty to advise this Administration on high-level matters of import to not only the University, but also to the Wilmington community,” White said.

When initially contacted about the Facebook post on June 18, Andrea Weaver, the interim communications officer for UNCW, told Campus Reform that the university was “aware” of the post and has “appropriately addressed it.”

The university didn’t condemn the content of the post until June 25, when Weaver told Campus Reform that “Any hateful language by faculty, staff or students aimed at others is contrary to our university values and our commitment to an environment of respect and dignity. It is absolutely reprehensible.”

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