DCU lecturer, who called George Floyd ‘another useless criminal’, defends blog

Dr Mark Humphrys says site where he criticised Black Lives Matter movement is separate to his teaching

DCU said it ‘does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed in this blog’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

DCU said it ‘does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed in this blog’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

An assistant professor at Dublin City University has defended his online criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement and insisted his controversial blog remains separate from his role as a lecturer.

Dr Mark Humphrys, a faculty member at the School of Computing, was responding after students expressed concern over posts on his personal website, which discusses a wide range of political and religious issues.

“The ‘Black Lives Matter’ hysteria has a script,” he posted in one entry.

“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.”

Dr Humphrys referred to George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, 2020, as “another useless criminal who dug his own grave”.

“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.”

After the posts prompted a backlash this week, Dr Humphrys issued a statement on his Twitter feed saying he had kept 20 years of online political views and his teaching profession separate.

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

He argues that the Black Lives Matter movement has made conditions worse for the “urban poor” in the US.

According to his DCU profile, Dr Humphrys completed his PhD at Cambridge, currently teaches a variety of computer science classes and maintains a particular interest in non-symbolic artificial intelligence. When contacted by The Irish Times, he declined to comment further.

DCU issued a statement saying it was aware of personal blog posts of a member of staff.

“We understand acknowledge that people will find parts of this blog offensive,” it said. “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 comments have prompted a backlash among students and the DCU Students Union has encouraged people to forward concerns to the dean of the university.

One social media post appealed to the university to “act fast on this because this is completely unacceptable”.

Dr Humphrys claims his blog to be among the oldest political sites in Ireland, having started in the mid-1990s.

He appears unapologetic about its content, however, describing it as addressing religious and political subject matter that should be avoided in polite discussion.

“Instead, I discuss them here. If you cannot stand robust discussion, then please do not enter.”