University of Georgia Dean Caves to Pressure, Apologizes for Having a GOP Candidate Friend

'Politics be damned. He is a nice guy, always was. Kind to a fault' — those thoughtful words absolutely incensed scores of people on Twitter

Image Credit: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

A dean at the University of Georgia in Athens continued the recent trend of stated apologies by public figures merely for having Republican friends.

Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the southern university, based in Athens, Georgia, tweeted his favorable impression of GOP Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp (pictured above) last week.

“I went to high school with GOP guv candidate @BrianKempGA,” he tweeted, as a piece in Campus Reform noted. “We played YMCA ball from childhood. Politics be damned. He is a nice guy, always was. Kind to a fault.”

“He’s a friend, always has been, and will be when we’re old(er) and grey(er). That’s how all this should work, people,” he added.

But the Twitter rage machine kicked into high gear and soon made Davis regret his thoughtful and sensible words about the candidate.

“You posted that less than an hour after Kemp won the GOP nomination for Governor & you are starting [sic] it wasn’t a ‘political statement’?” tweeted one social media user among the many who were upset.

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“The context says otherwise. You even said ‘politics be damned’ in the tweet. That was a political statement and to say otherwise is disingenuous.”

Another tweeted, “I think people, and i know i was, were upset that the dean of our esteemed college seemingly supported a candidate that stands for policies that are archaic and small minded. Plus we all love the dean, so his initial tweet was disheartening.”

Davis did have his supporters out there.

“No, the tweet you’re apologizing for was well-timed & well-written,” wrote one Twitter user. “What you’ve learned is how easy it is to question yourself when soulless, conscience-free ideologues are determined to punish you for being the decent person you are instead of the vindictive bullies they are.”

Davis apparently stirred up at least some of the Left’s animosity when he ran a provocative ad that alluded to rounding up illegal immigrants in his pickup truck.

The University of Georgia college dean would later take back his words in a Twitter post.

“I’d like to apologize to anyone offended by my tweet shout out to Brian Kemp. It was ill-timed and poorly written. I’ve read and learned so much from you all and will endeavor to be more thoughful [sic],” he wrote.

Davis later said he wasn’t pressured by colleagues to make the retraction on social media. He did not respond to LifeZette’s request for further explanation by the time of publication.

The apology marks another example of public figures’ taking back their kind words about conservative or Republican friends. HBO actor Mark Duplass recently apologized for his praise of conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, for instance.

“Fellow liberal: If you are interested at all in ‘crossing the aisle’ you should consider following @BenShapiro,” Duplass wrote in mid-July in a later-deleted tweet.

“I don’t agree with him on much but he’s a genuine person who once helped me for no other reason than to be nice,” he added. “He doesn’t bend the truth. His intentions are good.”

Duplass would also retract his presumably genuine words about Ben Shapiro.

“So that tweet was a disaster on many levels,” Duplass wrote. “I want to be clear that I in no way endorse hatred, racism, homophobia, xenophobia or any such form of intolerance,” he also said, not making clear what he was referring to, really.

“My goal has always been to spread unity, understanding and kindness,” he continued. “And I want to say thank you to those who reached out with constructive criticism. I have genuinely learned so much and wish everyone all the best.”

That doesn’t seem like a response to constructive criticism; it seems more like caving to destructive attacks. Shapiro would later tweet his own response.

“Today’s Leftist lesson on Twitter: write a nice tweet about someone with whom you disagree politically, get labeled a racist sexist homophobe,” he said. “Good stuff, guys. Really showing that tolerant streak.”

The “tolerant streak” continues with hypocritical apologies like Charles Davis’. Sadly, it’s not all that surprising today, given that liberals are much more likely to “unfriend” conservatives than the other way around.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: UGA Myers Quad, CC BY-SA 4.0, Cropped/Collage, Coxonian)

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Kyle Becker is a content writer and producer with LifeZette.

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