College Staffer Placed on Leave Over Criticism of BLM Organization, Systemic Racism

September 17, 2020 Updated: September 17, 2020

A staff member of a Christian liberal arts college in Georgia has been placed on leave, shortly after sharing his critical views of the Black Live Matter organization and systemic racism on social media.

Matt Mixer, an area coordinator for residence life at Berry College, uploaded last Sunday a series of “Ask Me Anything” posts to his Instagram page, in which he argued that the Black Lives Matter organization contradicts the founding values of the United States, and that systematic racism doesn’t exist.

In one of the Q&A-style posts, Mixer encourages the reader to go through BLM’s website and speeches, pointing to the fact that the organization has made it clear that its Marxist agenda is far more radical and destructive than what most people think.

“I would encourage you to read their about section and look at the details that show[s] their Marxism and belief that western philosophy is evil and should be overthrown,” Mixer wrote. “These are incompatible with anyone who values freedom and our representative republic.”

When responding to the question of why he thought it was okay to criticize the BLM organization as a whole but not law enforcement, Mixer said such comparison is flawed. “If this is trying to imply that since a few are violent rioters, then BLM shouldn’t be looped into this, then I say you don’t understand me,” he wrote. “The entire core of the organization’s belief is evil and should not be supported.”

Mixer was then asked whether he believes “systematic racism is alive and well in this country today,” and he said he doesn’t believe so.

“Please show me a system that is currently on the books and we can fight it together,” he wrote, adding that such a system of racial oppression did exist in the past. “However, just saying the system is racist and holding people back is not only incorrect but is an untenable position when trying to address actual individual acts of racism.”

The following day, Berry’s President Steve Briggs said in a campus-wide email that Mixer has been placed on administrative leave while undergoing an investigation by the college’s human resources department, reported student newspaper Viking Fusion.

“Berry is committed to being a welcoming and diverse campus that encourages positive discussions, fosters generous actions and forms intentional friendships in a caring environment,” the email read. “We must continue to build bridges, through our words and actions, that allow people of different backgrounds, interests and experiences to flourish side by side.”

Mixer also briefly became the target of an online petition, which was reportedly started by a Berry student. The petition called for Mixer’s dismissal and had accumulated over 600 supporting signatures before it was deleted.