After a social media post about a chemistry teaching assistant’s history of anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric circulated around the University of Wisconsin campus Monday, university officials announced he would be removed from overseeing sections for that class.
A Ph.D. student in the chemistry department, Dylan Bleier had been acting as a teaching assistant for various Chemistry 109 courses. After a Facebook post and Medium post circulated about his history of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic behavior at Oberlin College in 2013, UW students called on the chemistry department to remove him from his teaching position.
Bleier became recognized for his racially charged statements while he was an upperclassmen at Oberlin College. Starting from 2013, Bleier has been active on social media about his controversial ideas regarding Muslims, Jews, black people and what he called “racists.”
From February to March 2013, he had been involved in the spreading of posters on Oberlin’s campus to professors and students with statements expressing opposition toward LGBTQ+ and marginalized communities, and encouraging people to join the KKK.
Bleier’s reasoning for this, according to a police report, was to see the campus’s overreaction to his racial postings.
According to a statement released by university officials, the university became aware of the past statements the teaching assistant said and wrote “they run counter to our university values of inclusivity, respect and non-violence.”
“Based on a mutual desire to avoid disruption of these course sections, the sections will be handled by other instructors, effective immediately,” the statement said. “Students who have any concerns about the class may reach out to the course instructor.”
Correction: A previous version of this article suggested Dylan Bleier had been expelled from Oberlin College. This article has been updated to accurately reflect the fact that he actually been suspended. The Badger Herald regrets this error.