Watch former FBI Director James Comey lecture Black students at Howard University about race and policing: pic.twitter.com/ZWrprfNGFc
— #HUResist (@HUResist) October 27, 2017
A student group at Howard University has issued a scathing letter in response to former FBI Director James Comey‘s continued presence and prominence on campus.
On Friday the group released a video mocking Comey’s law and race lecture series. In an open letter issued prior to the video’s release, the group said:
HU Resist rightfully protested during [Comey’s] speech at convocation and performed libations to honor the Black individuals murdered by the FBI and other state agencies. Rather than protecting its students, the University chose to protect James Comey, subjecting its students to physical harm at the hands of campus police officers.
No students were arrested during the above-referenced September 22 protest, however, HU Resist later shared a video of protests occurring outside the convocation speech. In that video, multiple activists are denied entry to the event after apparently being ejected by campus security.
At one point, a female student leads the following chant, highlighting one of the group’s major grievances against the appointment of Comey as Convocation Keynote Speaker and Endowed Chair in Public Policy for the 2017-2018 school year, “This university was built on the backs of activists the FBI killed.”
The FBI was involved in a 14-man raid which resulted in the death of prominent Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in December 1969. Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once reportedly said, during a meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson, “we wouldn’t have any problem if we could get those two guys fighting, if we could get them to kill one another off.” Hoover was talking about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.
Another noteworthy incident in the FBI’s relationship with the African-American community is an infamous letter penned by FBI Domestic Intelligence Chief William Sullivan and sent to King. The letter urged the storied civil rights leader to kill himself.
HU Resist’s open letter continues:
[T]he administration has done everything in its power to ensure that students are unable to challenge James Comey. In order to attend his ongoing lecture series, students must RSVP and get approved by the administration, allowing the University to effectively ban student activists from participating. Moreover, the Q&A portion of the lecture series is deeply biased, as all questions must be screened and pre-approved. We believe this is a direct attempt to censor students. How can we possibly engage in any real dialogue if the terms and conditions of the conversation are pre-determined?
LawNewz reached out to Howard University to verify whether activists are in fact being targeted and denied admission to Comey’s speeches, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
In the group’s new video, Comey is repeatedly questioned on his bona fides and political views by Howard students. It also highlights segments of his speeches where he implores black students to empathize with police officers who have killed black people.
HU Resist’s letter also accused Comey of developing the “racist ‘Ferguson effect’ theory,” which, the group claims, “undoubtedly influenced a recently leaked FBI intelligence assessment which classified Black Lives Matter activists as ‘Black Identity Extremists’ and domestic terrorists.” It concludes:
Our message is clear: James Comey is not welcome here.
[image via screengrab]