The University of Michigan community is calling for Board of Regents member Ron Weiser to resign because he replied “I don’t know” when asked if he believes President Donald Trump is to blame for the Capitol Hill riot last week.
A petition, entitled, “Recall U-M Regent Ron Weiser for Complicity in Capitol Violence,” is circulating among the University of Michigan community, and has garnered more than 4,000 signatures calling for Weiser to resign.
“The evidence is clear: Ron Weiser is complicit in Wednesday’s historic and horrifying events, and continues to defend their instigators,” reads the petition. “We demand that he either resign or be recalled by the Board of Regents, and we expect President Schlissel to condemn this threat to all students of color on campus.”
The petition goes on to claim that Weiser stood by “the consciously destructive actions of President Trump” the day after “white supremacy stormed America’s Capitol.”
The authors of the petition source their claim using an interview Weiser had with Bridge Magazine, in which the Board of Regents member said, “I don’t know,” in response to the question of whether he believes President Trump is to blame for the Capitol riot.
“Asked if Trump bears blame for Wednesday’s violent mob — Weiser demurred. ‘I don’t know. I didn’t read any of that stuff, and I didn’t watch television. I watched Michigan destroy Minnesota in basketball, and that kind of contest is something that I strongly support,'” the petition reads.
The petition argues that Weiser’s answer is “merely a continuation” of “refusing to condemn Trump’s undisputed endorsement of white supremacist violence.”
Weiser later took to Twitter to clarify his views on the matter.
“I strongly condemn those people who turned into a mob and breached the capitol after what was supposed to be a peaceful protest,” wrote Weiser. “Those who broke the law should be held accountable. My heart goes out to the families of those who were unnecessarily harmed.”
I strongly condemn those people who turned into a mob and breached the capitol after what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Those who broke the law should be held accountable. My heart goes out to the families of those who were unnecessarily harmed.
— Ron Weiser (@RonaldWeiser) January 7, 2021
“Let me be clear, the events in our nation’s Capital this week were both incredibly tragic and wrong,” added Weiser in a follow-up tweet. “People were misled. And that resulted in death and destruction. That is unacceptable and abhorrent.”
Let me be clear, the events in our nation's Capital this week were both incredibly tragic and wrong. People were misled. And that resulted in death and destruction. That is unacceptable and abhorrent.
— Ron Weiser (@RonaldWeiser) January 9, 2021
Weiser’s clarification, however, was not enough to satisfy the authors of the petition.
“After pressure to clarify his stance on Trump’s actions, Weiser did not relent. He released a statement ‘strongly condemn[ing] those people who turned into a mob…after what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Those who broke the law should be held accountable,'” the petition reads.
The petition argues that “most political leaders” say that the plan “had never been to hold a peaceful protest.”
“Simply put, Weiser’s defense of Trump’s actions is a defense of using lies to incite violence and upend American democracy,” the petition affirmed.
“If his words were not enough, Weiser still proudly displays an image of himself with President Trump as his twitter banner,” the petition added.