SILA NAZ ELGIN/THE VARSITY

At least 181 people, many of whom are faculty at the University of Toronto, signed an open letter written to Master of Massey College Hugh Segal on September 27 calling for the termination of a faculty member allegedly responsible for comments deemed as anti-Black.

The letter claims that Michael Marrus, a Senior Fellow at Massey College and Holocaust historian, addressed a Black Junior Fellow by saying: “You know this is your master, eh? Do you feel the lash?”

The letter does not detail the context in which this comment was made.

Along with condemning anti-Black racism, the letter also supports the demands that Junior Fellows have forwarded to the college.

The demands are as follows:

  1. The termination of Michael Marrus’ association with Massey College as a Senior Fellow;
  2. A formal public apology issued from Massey College;
  3. The immediate title replacement of Master with a suitable alternative title to describe the head of Massey College;
  4. Mandatory antiracist training organized by Massey for all Junior and Senior members of the 
Fellowship—specifically for members of the House Committee;
  5. A formal meeting with Hugh Segal and the administration of Massey College to present their plan of action in response to this and other ongoing issues affecting racialized members of the College.

Elena Ferranti, the Administrative Assistant to Segal, wrote a statement from Massey College to The Varsity. “When we receive a complaint about something said or done by anyone in the college, that is deemed to be offensive, which does not happen frequently at Massey, we take it very seriously,” the statement reads. It states that the college is seeking to meet with the complainants as quickly as possible, and will “engage constructively to address [the concerns expressed in the letter] responsibly as quickly and fairly as possible.”

The Varsity has reached out to Michael Marrus for comment.

This story is developing, more to follow.

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