Apparently, ex-FBI Director James Comey thought he was going to march into the historically black college, Howard University, and deliver a riveting speech met with applause and cheers — but he was mistaken.
Instead, Comey received heckles and jeers from the student body as a means of condemning his efforts to “criminalize” the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to NBC News, protesters had been planning an action against Comey’s visit to the campus all week on social media.
They executed their demonstration by jumping to their feet in the back of the auditorium and chanting “we shall not be moved,” “I love being black,” and “no justice, no peace,” as Comey took his place at the podium and throughout his address.
BREAKING: Howard University students disrupt convocation speech and chant, "get out James Comey, you ain't my homie!" for over five minutes. pic.twitter.com/57Kcn1eOOv— Devin Sena (@DevinSenaUI) September 22, 2017
"I am here at Howard to have a conversation. I hope you listen to what I have to say," Comey said to the protesters, which garnered applause from other students, staff, and faculty seated in rows close to the front.
Nevertheless, the protesters persisted. At one point, a minister stood up and pleaded with the students to hear what Comey had to say, but to no avail.
After Comey was booted out as FBI director by President Donald Trump, Howard University announced him as their new Gwendolyn S. Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in public policy for the 2017-2018 academic term. As such, Comey is expected to lead a series of five lectures, and he was tasked with welcoming the incoming freshmen class on Friday, which is when the commotion took place.
Much of the student population opposed Comey’s appointment in the first place. There was even a petition against him circulating the campus penned by a student-run group called “HU Resist” that aims to challenge university policies.
Activists within the organization maintain that during his time as the FBI director, Comey's actions included the “criminalization and attempted dismantling of Black Lives Matter” in addition to advancing xenophobic “characterizations” of Muslims.
Former student government leader Allyson Carpenter reportedly told NBC News that she thinks Howard’s administration is under the misguided belief that students support Comey because he went head-to-head with Trump.
But, she added that the students’ dissent stems from concerns about how his initiatives as FBI director impacted black Americans.
"What does Comey have to tell me about being a black woman," she asked.
"Why not Susan Rice, who also stood up to Trump," she continued. Or "Donna Brazile?"
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick reportedly referred to Comey as an ethical man who aims to challenge students to keep an open mind about people with differing views.
However, the real incentive driving the administration’s decision to support Comey may be the fact that he vowed to donate his $100,000 salary to a scholarship fund for Howard students who came out of foster care.
The students, however, sent a very clear and distinct message to the administration that they will not be pawns in this game, so to speak, that values money over morality.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters