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Dublin City University faces criticism over response to lecturer’s George Floyd blog post

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Dublin City University faces criticism over response to lecturer’s George Floyd blog post

Dublin City University has faced criticism this week following its response to a controversial blog post published by one of its assistant lecturers.

Dr Mark Humphrys caused a significant stir among the DCU student body after his personal blog was discovered which included a post in which Humphrys discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd.

In the post, Humphrys refers to Floyd as "another useless criminal who dug his own grave".

He goes on to say: "Floyd, a black career criminal (armed robber), was stopped by police after using forged money while high on drugs. He physically resisted arrest and was held to the ground where he died."

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Humphrys also criticised the response to Floyd's death which saw thousands of people in the US take to the streets to protest and riot in his name. "Cop-haters, criminals and leftists protest about the death/injury of a criminal. The police are slandered and property is destroyed. Cops may be killed. Nothing good will happen."

Since the assistant lecturer's comments have come to light, many students have expressed they were disturbed to learn they are learning from someone who would hold such views. Others have called on the university to end its working relationship with Humphrys effective immediately.

However, yesterday (November 23) the university issued a statement which distanced itself from the views expressed by Humphrys and seemed to suggest it would not be taking any action in response to the backlash.

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"Dublin City University is aware of recent posts made to a personal blog belonging to a member of its staff," the statement reads. "The issues discussed and the views expressed are done so in a personal capacity.

"We understand and acknowledge 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 viewpoints expressed in this blog and they do not reflect the views of the university, its staff or student body."

The statement has sparked further outrage from both the general public and student body. "Can you please explain how something written by a staff member doesn't reflect the views of your staff?" queried one individual in response to the statement on Twitter.

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"If I made racist comments, showed racist views I would expect to be held accountable by my employer. Surely this must apply to staff at @DCU too?" 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 have no bearing on his work as an educator.

"This week some students discovered my views on the Black Lives Matter movement of last year and got offended," he wrote. "I never showed these thoughts to any student. I do not discuss politics with students ever."

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"Unlike many lecturers, my politics do not come into my lectures, which are technical. Politics are completely absent."

"I oppose the BLM movement since it has made things much worse for the American urban poor, not better. There is much statistical evidence to support that strong claim," he continued. "Many people, including academics, agree."

Former students of Humphrys have also spoken out in support of his right to express his political views, with one individual named James O'Nualláin tweeting: "Former student of yours. Never once did you bring politics into any lecture nor when I spoke with you at @DCU. I use what I learned in your OS classes every day in my work.

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"You have a right to your own views and your own life outside your work. Ignore the trolls and hate."

Featured Image Credit: SSCOhA on Wikipedia

Topics: Ireland

Gary Grimes
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