University chief backs protests on racism - The Worcester Observer

University chief backs protests on racism

Rob George 10th Jun, 2020 Updated: 10th Jun, 2020   0

UNIVERSITY chiefs have spoken out in favour of the Black Lives Matter movement after a weekend of protests in the UK and across the globe sparked by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

Professor David Green, vice chancellor and chief executive of the University of Worcester backed the movement and voiced his opposition to all forms of discrimination including the ‘pandemic of racism’.

However, city and county councillor Coun Alan Amos dismissed the movement and said people should be judged for who they are, on their qualities, abilities, their contribution to society and others.

The pair spoke out after a weekend of protests in the USA and across the globe, including in the UK where in Bristol where a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and dumped in the docks by irate protestors.

The protests were sparked by the death of Mr Floyd during his arrest on May 25.

A post-mortem concluded Floyd’s heart stopped as cops restrained him and compressed his neck for nearly nine minutes. All four officers involved have since been charged with second-degree murder.

Professor Green said: “Black Lives Matter. Each and every human being is precious and is endowed with inalienable rights including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of human happiness. These are the values on which this University was founded and by which we stand.

“We must work together to end the pandemic of racism whilst promoting mutual respect, understanding, inclusion and love.

Professor Green was born in the USA and has spent his life fighting against all forms of prejudice, including 20 years’ service on the Hackney Council for Racial Equality in the 1970s, 80s and 90s during which time he worked relentlessly to counter racial violence and intimidation.

“Now is the time to recommit the University of Worcester community to act as a beacon of justice and equality where black colleagues and students, who have felt and feel the hideous impact of racism on their lives, can be sure that this

University is their University, that this University is all our University and that we will act together for justice, truth and liberty for all,” he added.

Speaking to the Observer, Coun Amos said: “I am sure the silent majority of decent, law-abiding, hard-working, tax-payers find the ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan grating.

“A more appropriate one would be ‘ALL Lives Matter’, regardless of skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, or any other irrelevant factor.

“This obsession with labelling people on the basis of the colour of their skin or gender is divisive and pernicious, and only leads to division and social unrest, as we are now witnessing.

“The best way to eradicate the scourge of discrimination is to treat people on the basis of merit only.


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