Students of Dublin City University have taken to Twitter to voice their disgust about several lengthy blog posts about the Black Lives Matter movement which were found on the blog of a computing lecturer.
Dr. Mark Humphrys started the blog in 1994 and has continued to post until this month, with his statements coming under scrutiny yesterday.
Dr Humphrys also repeatedly referred to black people as “blacks,” and claimed that there is blood on former US President Barack Obama’s hands due to his support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Humphrys’ posts are not dated and are compiled by topic.
The university issued a statement this evening addressing the situation.
“Dublin City University is aware of recent posts to a personal blog belonging to a member of its staff. The issues discussed and views expressed by the individual 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.”
After riots in Ferguson, Missouri which happened after a black man was killed by police in 2014 Humphrys wrote: “Obama’s legacy: Less policing. More murder. More dead blacks. Well done, Obama.”
He has also said “There are now even statues of George Floyd. Statues of this drugged up armed robber. Are people insane?”
Students of DCU as well as other Twitter users took to the site to criticize the university for employing Humphrys.
One user said “I really hope DCU take action on this because there is literally no way in hell any of this is acceptable.”
The university’s Twitter account as well as the Student’s Union’s Twitter account were tagged numerous times in threads which discussed Humphrys’ political views, leading to the DCUSU account replying “Hey all, We’ll get on this ASAP. George Floyd was a victim of systemic oppression and the loss of his life is something that can never be repaid. We are committed to uprooting systemic racism in our communities and across the globe.”
The Student Union also urged students to forward details of Humphrys’ blog to their Vice President for Welfare and Equality.
At 4:18pm today Humphrys Tweeted a statement reading:
“For 20 years I have expressed opinions on various political and religious topics online. I do so under my own name unlike the legions of Internet trolls who have targeted me over the years. I am wlling to debate in public such as at the L&H and NUIG and in DCU debates also. I have written op-eds under my own name such as for the Sunday Times and RTE.”
“This week some students discovered my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement of last year and got offended. I never showed these thoughts to any student. I do not discuss politics with students ever.”
“Unlike many lecturers, my politics do not come into my lectures, which are technical. Politics are completely absent. You can read a thread of students who did an entire degree and had no idea of my politics until after they left. That is how I like it so why do people want to upset that? Keep the two separate I say.”
As for Blacks Lives Matter, of course I only want what is best for all people, in America and Ireland alike. I oppose the BLM movement since it has made things worse for the American urban poor, not better. There is much statistical evidence to support that strong claim. Many people, including academics, agree.
My thoughts, whether crazy or clever, or both, are my own. They are nothing to do with DCU. If you think I am crazy or have some facts wrong, it’s not hard to debate me. But leave DCU out of this.”
The previous night Humphrys had Tweeted “I see some silly people are upset because I criticise the BLM movement.”
Humphrys currently teaches Advanced Web Design, and Foundations of AI in DCU’s School of Computing.
One post reads “The diagnosis – that blacks are unfairly targeted by racist US police – is a lie and is not supported by the evidence. The ‘protests’ about this fake problem – involving looting and rioting and arson and shooting police – are utterly evil.”
Christine O’Mahony, a black student who is a class representative stated that:
“Today I was made aware by a student that a computer lecturer in DCU runs a racist and Islamaphobic blog. DCU prides itself on being anti-racist, inclusive and diverse, but how could they employ somebody who runs a racist and islamaphobic blog and who teaches Black, POC and Palestinian students? Humphrey’s blog goes against DCU’s standards and values and it is no surprise that Humphrey does not mention that he teaches at DCU, apart from one blog entry where he details his beef with sport journalist, Ewan McKenna. I am thankful that DCU SU immediately wants to sort this out and try to get some accountability. I have informed some minority students about Humphrey today and they are disgusted and felt that reading the rest of his blog was too triggering for them. I hope DCU does discipline this lecturer as he should not be teaching a diverse class with these views.”
Another one of his blog segments on the Black Lives Matter movement claims that former First Lady Michelle Obama believes that talking about violence caused by the BLM movement is “wacist.”
He appears to have spelt the word wrong on purpose to imply some form of speech impediment or lack of intelligence.
Jamie Mc Carron
Image Credit: DCU