By Jesse McLean
The president of the Campus Conservatives says the United Black Students at Ryerson unfairly dragged his group into a racist e-mail scandal.
Brian Petz accused the Black student group of automatically associating Justin Morris’s e-mail with the Progressive Conservatives after the UBSR demanded an apology from provincial leader John Tory. The e-mail doesn’t mention the campus political club.
“They’ve taken the words of a single individual and presented it as my group’s stance,” said Petz.
“Morris is from Newfoundland. Why didn’t they demand an apology from Danny Williams?”
On March 7, Morris sent RSU VP Education Heather Kere an e-mail titled “KKK – White Power,” which she called a “racist threat.”
Five days later, Tory denounced the e-mail in a press release, describing Morris’s message as “completely unacceptable and inexcusable.”
“There is absolutely no room for this type of behavior in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario,” the release stated.
Petz has forced Morris, who maintained the group’s website, and his brother Trevor to resign from the Campus Conservatives.
UBSR President Saron Ghebressellassie stands by her group’s appeal to the provincial and federal Tories. “It’s reasonable to expect an apology from the leaders of a group who is implicated by this individual’s comments,” she said.
Grace-Edward Galabuzi, a politics professor and member of the Anti-Racist Coalition, said he doesn’t get why Petz is angered by the UBSR’s actions. “If I, a member of Ryerson’s faculty, go out and do bad things, my association with the school would force them [the school] to do something,” he said.
Morris has since apologized for the e-mail, saying he should have been more thoughtful and sensitive with his comments.
When reached by the Eyeopener over the phone, Morris declined to comment.
“To me, it’s old news. I’ve apologized and its over,” he said.
Last week, Morris had a private meeting with Galabuzi in which he asked the professor if he could join the Anti-Racist Coalition.
In an e-mail titled “The Return Of The evil Hate-Monger! (with sound effect),” Morris said his intentions to work with the coalition were sincere. Galabuzi said the group would consider Morris’s request at its next meeting.