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Outrage DCU students to stage protest in wake of lecturer's Black Lives Matter criticism

Many students have called for the lecturer to be sacked and have said that they are “disappointed” with the college’s response

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Dublin City University campus. Picture: Mark Condren

Dublin City University campus. Picture: Mark Condren

Dublin City University campus. Picture: Mark Condren

Dublin City University (DCU) students are planning to stage a protest in support of Black Lives Matter after a lecturer denounced the movement on his personal blog.

Dr Mark Humphrys, a computer science lecturer at DCU, caused controversy this week when he wrote “the whole Black Lives Matter movement in the US is nonsense built on sand” and “[George] Floyd was another useless criminal who dug his own grave” on his website.

Humphrys said Floyd, who was murdered by police in Minnesota in 2020, was a “drugged up armed robber,” and added: “There are now even statues of George Floyd. Statues of this drugged up armed robber. Are people insane?”

A screenshot of the blog went viral on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, and Dr Humphrys later released a statement that said: “I oppose the BLM movement since it has made things worse for the American urban poor, not better.”

“If you think I am crazy, or have some facts wrong, it’s not hard to debate me. But leave DCU out of this,” he added.

DCU released a statement addressing the controversy, stating that the blog doesn't “reflect the views of the University, its staff or student body.”

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A mural featuring George Floyd in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

A mural featuring George Floyd in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

A mural featuring George Floyd in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

 

However, the university neglected to comment on whether any further action would be taken at this time.

DCU students have expressed their outrage at Dr Humphrys’ comments - with many calling for the lecturer to be sacked - and have said that they are “disappointed” with the college’s response.

To show their support for students of colour and the Black Lives Matter movement, a number of students plan to take part in a protest on campus this Friday.

Organised by students Christine O’Mahony and Darragh Adelaide, the rally will take place outside The U building, which houses DCU’s Students’ Union, on the Glasnevin campus at 1pm.

Speaking to sundayworld.com, Christine said that DCU’s efforts to combat racism haven’t been good enough.

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“We waited for the university to respond and they did respond but the general consensus is that the statement showed nothing,” she explained.

“DCU say they are committed to inclusion and diversity... they do not do anything for black students and students of colour to resolve racism.

“That’s why we decided to have this protest. Mark is just one incident. There have been other incidents of racism.

“There have been other students coming to us saying, ‘I’ve experienced racism from other students or lecturers, or my lecturers have really dodgy takes on Twitter.’ There is racism and it exists on our campus.

“It’s not a ‘Sack Mark Humphreys’ protest. It’s a Black Lives Matter protest to platform the voices of black students, students of colour, Muslim students.”

O’Mahony, who is undergoing a Master’s in Political Communication, added that she and Darragh are “absolutely delighted” with the response received so far.

“I’ve had many DMs on Instagram and Twitter asking if they could help out with and promote the protest. Loads of people have said that they’re coming out so we do expect a big turnout. We’re absolutely delighted with the support.”

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