Former FBI Director James Comey did not receive a warm welcome as he attempted to deliver a convocation address at Howard University on Friday.
Comey, in a rare public appearance since leaving the FBI, was set to deliver the 2017-18 convocation at the historically black college, but as soon as he stepped up to the podium, he barely managed to utter a sentence before he was interrupted by a group of protesting students in the back of the auditorium.
The students stood up with their fists raised in the “Black Lives Matter” sign to indicate black power, and started singing, “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
They also chanted slogans, such as “No justice, no peace,” and, “White supremacy is not a debate.”
Other chants they yelled were, “I love being black,” and, “Get out, James Comey, you’re not our homey.”
Comey stopped all attempts to speak and stood in silence for 15 minutes as the protesting students sang, chanted and taunted him.
Finally, he resumed his remarks, but the students continued to disrupt him with singing, chanting and clapping in an attempt to drown him out.
“I love the enthusiasm of young folks, but I wish they understood what a conversation is,” Comey said at one point.
As he concluded his speech, he stated, “I look forward to adult conversations about what is right and what is true.”
The student-led group, HU Resist, reportedly passed out a statement at Friday’s convocation that claimed: “James Comey represents an institution diametrically opposed to the interests of Black people domestically and abroad.”
Not all students agreed with the protesters.
“What just happened is not the Howard way at all,” Brittiany Royster, a freshman at Howard, said, “I wanted to hear him out. I love being black, but I also love being black and educated. And in order to do that … is to choose intellect over ignorance. You have to keep an open mind and hear all parties out.”
As the school’s endowed chair of public policy, Comey is expected to give several speeches during the year. A university press release said his role at Howard will be to deliver a lecture series “designed to foster fruitful discussion and spur meaningful interaction.”
The interaction part hasn’t started off so well, based on Friday’s incident.
COMEY UNDRESSED: Howard University Says ‘Hell No’ to James Comey w/ Chants like “Get out Comey, you ain’t my homie!”pic.twitter.com/eSEUpyInUZ
— 💎STOCK MONSTER💎 (@StockMonsterUSA) September 22, 2017
Students at Howard University protest James Comey during his opening speech: “Black lives, they matter here.” 📷: Samayia Taylor pic.twitter.com/QZAlfpQwji
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 22, 2017
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