Solent lecturer sacked after claiming black men ‘need all the help they can get’

He was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct

Stephen Lamonby, a lecturer from Solent University, has been sacked after he made racist and offensive comments. He had worked at Solent University for six years as an associate lecturer.

He said he “had a soft spot” for young black men because they were underprivileged and without fathers so “need all the help they can get”.

He also claimed that “Jewish people are the cleverest in the world” and “Germans are good at engineering”.

He argued his comments were not racist or offensive because he was saying positive things, however, employment tribunal judges disagreed and threw out his claim for unfair dismissal.

The comments were made during a meeting with his course leader Dr Janet Bonar.

During a cross-examination, Lamonby was asked whether black people might find it offensive that they might need extra help and he said: “No, not just black people, also Lithuanians”.

He also added: “I worked in Africa, Brunei, all over the world with these people. Perhaps it is inappropriate of me to say so but sometimes they need extra help.”

Dr Bonar told the tribunal she felt concerned that students at Solent were being taught by someone with “entrenched racist views”.

During a final disciplinary hearing, Lamonby admitted he had been clumsy in this language and apologised and that he had no intention of being racist.

Despite his apology, he continued to make inappropriate comments during the hearing and said Jews had “neurological differences”.

The hearing was chaired by Vice-Chancellor Julie Hall, where Stephen Lamonby was dismissed for gross misconduct.

The tribunal was held in Bristol. According to the Mirror, Judge C H O’Rourke said: “While Mr Lamonby sought to argue that his stereotyping (which it was) was positive, such ‘positivity’ is nonetheless potentially offensive to the recipient.

A Jew – may well consider that as demeaning their personal intellectual ability/hard work. Secondly, it could also be simply grossly offensive, as the person may not actually be Jewish, but feel some characteristic is being ascribed to them.”

Lamonby said: “I think the judgment came down to the fact the judge was a woke judge.”

He added: “You can’t make any comments now [in universities] because they are totally obsessed with racism and to talk aout Jews in the context of racism is crazy because they are not even a race, they are an ethnicity.

Free speech is totally dead in universities.”

Featured image credit: Shaun Ferguson / Sir James Matthews Building Solent University

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