Dublin City University faces criticism for response to speaker George Floyd’s blog post
Dublin City University has come under fire this week following its response to a controversial blog post posted by one of its assistant professors.
Dr Mark Humphrys caused a stir among the DCU student body after the discovery of his personal blog, which included an article in which Humphrys discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd.
In the post, Humphrys calls Floyd “another unnecessary criminal who dug his own grave.”
He goes on to say: “Floyd, a black career criminal (armed robber), was arrested by police after using counterfeit money while on drugs. He physically resisted arrest and was kept on the ground where he died. “
Humphrys also criticized the response to Floyd’s death which saw thousands of people across the United States take to the streets to protest and riot on his behalf. “Anti-cops, criminals and leftists are protesting the death / injuries of a criminal. Police are slandered and property is destroyed. Cops can be killed. Nothing good will happen.”
Since the assistant lecturer’s comments came to light, many students have expressed concern that they are learning from someone who has such views. Others have called on the university to immediately end its working relationship with Humphrys.
However, yesterday (November 23), the university released a statement that distanced itself from the views expressed by Humphrys and appeared to suggest that it would take no action in response to the backlash.
“The University of Dublin is aware of recent posts on a personal blog belonging to a member of its staff,” the statement said. “The issues discussed and the opinions expressed are in a personal capacity.
“We understand and recognize that people will find parts of this blog offensive.”
“DCU is deeply committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. The university does not endorse any of the views expressed in this blog and they do not reflect the views of the university , its staff or its students. “
The statement sparked further outrage from the general public and the student body. “Can you please explain how something written by a staff member does not reflect the views of your staff?” One person asked in response to the statement on Twitter.
Can you please explain how something written by a staff member does not reflect the views of your staff?
– twitch.tv/420brianman (@ 420BrianMan) 23 November 2021
“If I made racist comments, showed racist views, I would expect to be held accountable by my employer. Surely this has to apply to @DCU staff as well?” wrote Rosemarie Maughan.
Humphrys himself took to Twitter to defend his right to express his opinions on his personal blog, arguing that his political views had no bearing on his work as an educator.
“This week some students found out about my take on the Black Lives Matter movement last year and got offended,” he wrote. “I have never shown these thoughts to any student. I never discuss politics with students.”
“Unlike many lecturers, my politics don’t go into my lessons, which are technical. Politics is completely absent.”
“I oppose the BLM movement because it made it worse for the urban poor in America, not better. There is a lot of statistical evidence to support this strong claim,” he continued. “A lot of people, including academics, agree.”
Former Humphrys students have also spoken out in favor of his right to express his political views, with an individual named James O’Nualláin tweeting: to @DCU. I use what I learned in your OS lessons every day in my work.
“You have the right to have your own opinions and your own life outside of your job. Ignore the trolls and hate it.”
As much as I disagree with @markhumphrys on every political issue, once he keeps his private opinions completely separate from his public career, then freedom of speech must be paramount.
-Paul Culloty (@PolyglotPaul) 23 November 2021
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