Black Model (Nyakim Gatwech) Called ‘A Freak of Nature’ by Columbia U’s Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman
On Wednesday, #ColumbiaUniversity’s top psychiatrist was suspended after suggesting that a black model’s dark skin made her a “freak of nature.”
“Whether a work of art or freak of nature, she’s a beautiful sight to behold,” tweeted Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of the school’s psychiatry department, in response to a photo of South Sudanese-American model #NyakimGatwech.
So far, Columbia has not issued a statement in response to Lieberman’s remarks. However, the Manhattan school said he was removed as the psychiatrist-in-chief at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital and was suspended from his department chair role.
On Tuesday, Lieberman wrote an email to the faculty and staff which read: “I tweeted from my personal account a message that was racist and sexist. Prejudices and stereotypical assumptions I didn’t know I held have been exposed — to myself and you —, and I’m deeply ashamed and very sorry,”
He said, “An apology from me to the Black community, to women, and to all of you is not enough. I’ve hurt many, and I am beginning to understand the work ahead to make needed personal changes and overtime to regain your trust.”
As a result, Lieberman also lost his position as director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
“The Office of Mental Health took immediate action after learning of Dr. Lieberman’s offensive and inappropriate comments on social media,” it told The Post in a statement Thursday.
Gatwech, who gracefully responded to Lieberman’s comments on Instagram, said, “I love my dark skin and my nickname ‘Queen of Dark.’”