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UMass Dartmouth Black Lives Matter flag on main campus grounds flagpoles

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UMass Dartmouth has raised a Black Lives Matter flag on the main flagpoles on the campus grounds. From Interim Chancellor Randy Helm:

Dear members of the UMass Dartmouth Community,

randy_helm-152x200
Interim Chancellor Randy Helm

On November 18th I shared with the campus community a new “flag policy” that UMass Dartmouth adopted after extensive consultation and research, and vetting by the Cabinet. For those who wish to review the policy again, it can be found at: www.umassd.edu/media/umassdartmouth/universitypolicies/Flag_Policy_11-18-16.pdf

This policy provides a process by which requests to fly flags for specific causes and organizations can be reviewed and, if appropriate, approved. The first request received under this new policy was from the UMass Dartmouth Council on Diversity and Inclusion advocating for the Black Lives Matter flag. An advisory committee comprised of student, faculty, and staff representatives endorsed (though not unanimously) this request and I have approved it. The Black Lives Matter flag was raised this morning and will, in accordance with our policy, be flown through Friday, December 16th.

Some members of our campus or the broader community may wonder why we feel it is appropriate to fly this flag at this time. I realize that there have been controversies about the Black Lives Matter movement. I thought it might be helpful for me to share my thoughts on what this flag means – and what it does not mean – in the context of our University’s values.

In raising this flag we are taking the words on it literally. We are not endorsing the political agenda or platform of any off-campus group or organization. It is a statement that emphasizes the extent to which racial prejudice and violence have disproportionately affected African Americans. In the aftermath of the recent presidential election, our nation has seen a sharp increase in hate crimes and violence against people of color. It is understandable that these friends and colleagues feel especially vulnerable at this time, and it is especially important for us now, as a community, to signal our strong support for their lives and their dignity.

Let me be clear. The flag does not mean that other lives do not matter, or that they matter less than Black lives. Nor do we endorse views that are anti-Police or anti-Semitic. To the extent that any BLM organizations have embraced such positions, we do not agree with them. In particular, I want to commend the service of our own Public Safety Officers and their colleagues throughout the region who have a very difficult and often thankless job, and who do an outstanding job of keeping us safe, often in challenging situations.

It is my sincere hope that this action will encourage civil and respectful dialogue at a time of deep divisions in our country. This symbolic gesture will not change anything unless we listen to each other and engage in thoughtful conversations with our colleagues, our family, friends, and others. Our Faculty Senate has approved a motion in support of a Teach-In Day related to race and violence, to take place early in the Spring semester. The event is being organized by the Diversity and Inclusion Council, in collaboration with faculty and staff. I look forward to engaging in this important conversation with other members of our community.

Finally, I wish all our colleagues and neighbors a restful and restorative holiday season, and a happy New Year.

Sincerely,

umass-d

Randy Helm
Interim Chancellor

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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58 comments

  1. From the school that brought you the Boston Bombers ladies and gentlemen…..

    • VERY PROUD OF UMASS

    • These liberals should face a lawsuit and be ejected from a federally funded campus.
      I would say, what a cowardly act for supporting a terror network on any campus.
      BLUE LIVES MATTER! Where is the flag on campus?

      • Since it’s clear you can’t exercise critical thinking or perhaps think at all, if you’d read the article instead of immediately spouting racial hatred, you would see that BLM had a flag put up because they were the first group to apply under the new rules the school put up.

        • Jack, racial hatred is when you define the color of another human beings skin and uphold an agenda according to color definition.
          Have you read the first word on the flag? You would also be the first person to call upon the Law Enforcement community to protect your
          ability to spout your racist motives. Show some respect for those who
          put everything on the line to protect you, then you will have my complete respect.

          • Interesting how in your twisted logic, the black community wanting it to be known that black people can’t be killed freely by police, and me defending their right to loosely organize to do so, is a “terror network” and “racial hatred,” respectively. Until you realize the degree of racial discrimination against black people still cemented in our society from the very founding of the country, then I have no desire for your respect.

        • Jack, I clearly understand discrimination and the outcome based on
          personal family experiences my entire life. The ignorance of another
          does not give me or any of my family the right to make attempts at
          creating conflict based on our experience of racism. The power we have
          is our ability to rise above the hatred and stand upright proud of our
          heritage and always do what we feel is right for the greater of good.
          Jack, i understand what it feels like to face the painful and ugly
          actions of an inhumane act or intent of another guided by racism . Try to imagine your ability to rise above and walk upright in the light
          and live your life based on integrity and compassion. Not revenge or a continuing cycle of hatred. Its hard to imagine until you make an
          attempt at bravery and most of the time you will stand alone, if you
          do make the choice to rise above, you are not alone!

          • I can’t imagine that you would write something like that and still label Black Lives Matter as a hate group. Also, your familial anecdote of whatever racism you feel you experience does nothing to discount government-sponsored disenfranchisement of black people for as long as this country has existed.

  2. “In the aftermath of the recent presidential election, our nation has seen a sharp increase in hate crimes and violence against people of color.” For ome this statement is a jackload of liberal bullshit, it’s clearly the other way around with this poor excuse for a civil rights movement organization. There have been more accounts of white Trump supporters being harassed or attacked. I’m so ashamed to attend this poor excuse of a university that tries to preach superiority of blacks.

    • I’m with you up to – “tries to preach superiority of blacks.”

      I don’t think that is their motive or the outcome. Their motivation is simple, they are kowtowing to extortion. They are afraid being blamed if they say “no” causes and bus loads of BLM thugs to arrive to start a riot, (like they have in other cities). I also believe the BLM flag is unsettling to black people by inspection of how I would feel to see a “White Lives Matter” flag.

      • Wow Mickey, it’s almost as if flying a White Lives Matter flag would be eerily reminiscent of an overwhelming majority of American history (and some could argue, continuing to this day), where white lives were absolutely the only lives that did matter!

        • Rise Above Jack,

          Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
          The true power is within you Jack!
          Walk upright in the light and you will gain fellowship.
          This is the road to healing your heart.

  3. Will you fly the POW MIA flag as well? WillYou Fly The Blue Lives Matter?

  4. There is no longer a she Chancellor at UMASS Dartmouth. I feel that there is no place for this on any public institution. Italian lives matter. Muslim lives matter! Life matters! Period! Please get that flag down ASAP or I will get an injunction to take it down! Did you allow input from students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and the community and family on how they feel about flying a flag of “diversity,” while there are so many other causes to fly flags for! Poor judgement Chancellor Helm!

    • Since you didn’t actually *read* the article…
      The piece is about the new policy in place for applying to fly flags for specific groups and causes. The BLM campaign was simply the first to complete the application and receive permission to fly their flag. If you feel so compelled to fly an Italian Loves Matter flag, go for it, no one is stopping you.
      Condurremo indignazione da qualche altra parte.

      • Right, as though nobody knows that the policy change was the direct result of BLM harassment of university officials threatened if they did not change it.

        That IS how anarchist BLM thugs get what they want to advance their lying agenda to divide us.

      • Hi Heather, I read the article over and over before I wrote on this comment section. I feel that choosing something more with the time of the year rather than some negativity on the news and something more universal would be in order. Black lives matter but this has nothing to do with our University and why should a flag be placed on each flagpole! I have been involved with this University since 1969. I was on the Executive Board of the Alumni Association from 1989 until 2014. I organized events, on committees, chaired committees and I love the University. I have been to every homecoming since I graduated volunteering my time. UMASS Dartmouth is a big part of my life. So I do not respect flags flying without the consent of the individuals involved and I don’t care if he is the Chancellor or the University President.

      • “What do we want? Dead Cops!!
        When do we want it? Now!!
        …BLM

    • Thanks Oliver! Ur Chancellor sounds like the music man! Get RID OF HIM!

      • Pardon me but … “Music Man”, if you are referring to the Franklin Lacey and Meredith Willson musical, is a bad example. That story is one of a transformation from illicit self centered behavior to hope for humanity. Watch the Robert Preston / Shirley Jones version again.

  5. There is no longer a she Chancellor at UMASS Dartmouth. I feel that there is no place for this on any public institution. Italian lives matter. Muslim lives matter! Life matters! Period! Please get that flag down ASAP or I will get an injunction to take it down!

  6. You better put up a Blue lives matter, a White lives matter, a Red lives matter, Animal lives matter, as well as the flags for all the Portuguese, Italian, Cape Verde, etc. people who attend school here. Time to put up more flag poles. This is bullshit!!!
    Put up an ALL LIVES MATTER flag, because no one is better or more important than any one else.

    • What follows is A DIRECT QUOTE FROM THE 3/4 PAGE POLICY MEMO THAT YOU COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO READ.
      …This policy provides a process by which requests to fly flags for specific causes and organizations can be reviewed and, if appropriate, approved. The first request received under this new policy was from the UMass Dartmouth Council on Diversity and Inclusion advocating for the Black Lives Matter flag. An advisory committee comprised of student, faculty, and staff representatives endorsed (though not unanimously) this request and I have approved it. The Black Lives Matter flag was raised this morning and will, in accordance with our policy, be flown through Friday, December 16th.

    • Thanks Willow for some common sense!

    • They will need to change to a UN motif – http://inclusion-international.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/undayflags.jpg

      Yep – that’s sure to make us all come together! /sarc

    • The degree to which you have a total misunderstanding of BLM is astounding; get out of your echo chamber and realize that the movement is simply saying that black lives DO matter, since it is readily apparent that many people in this country don’t believe so. No one is saying that black lives matter more than anyone else’s. How hard is that to understand?

  7. BLM isn’t preaching “superiority” of black people. It’s simply advocating for fair and equal treatment of black people. The BLM movement underscores the belief that ALL lives matter.

  8. §175. Position and manner of display:
    (e) The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.

    Shame on you Mr. Helm

  9. That’s awesome! Salute to the forward thinking and inclusiveness. That’s real leadership.

    • If inclusiveness was the actual intent it would be an “All Lives Matter” flag.

      • No, because All Lives Matter is saying “we care more about the feelings of police-worshipping white people than the lives of black people being killed every day.” All Lives Matter is a copout response used by people who have no understanding of what BLM stands for.

        • JACK: All Lives Matter is saying “we care more about the feelings of police-worshipping white people than the lives of black people being killed every day.”

          Goose meet gander Jack! If an “All Lives Matter” can have THAT meaning to YOU (despite the fact that is does NOT say any such thing), then you have ZERO ground to claim that a “Black Lives Matter” flag is not saying that other lives do not matter. You want to get away with reading words into one phrase that are not there? Well then SO CAN I for another phrase!

  10. Pan-African Flag, which has been a symbol of black equality, should be a permanent fixture to the flag pole. This comes off as more of a statement piece for the school, which by the comments are depicting, is taking away from the meaning behind the flag.

  11. As a student that attends UMASSD I don’t approve of this flag. It causes controversies and issues that may side track students from learning their studies. Yes black lives matter, everyone agrees. We are in 2016 folks, our president is of African American decent. We treat everyone equal and with respect. Now the message the flag is petreying can have multiple meanings, but the fact that it clearly only focuses on one demographic group bothers me. Of course black lives matter, every life matters. I’m not saying this to be bitter or ignorant I’m saying this because it hurts to have grown up looking at everyone as an equal and seeing a flag that represents only one group of lives. All Lives Matter and growing up I was taught that’s what the American Flag is all about.

  12. BIG MISTAKE! Flags are supposed to be symbols of unity and based on honorable principles. BLM is the opposite and is based on a pack of lies. It is intended to divide us, it expresses disdain for the rule of law and there is nothing honorable about anarchy. Tear it down and burn it.

  13. Although many of its supporters are well meaning and carry heart felt concerns ultimately Black Lives Matter is a racist organization;. It take money froms left wing extremists including former Nazi camp worker George Soros. It has a history of promoting violence and spreading propaganda. The flag should be removed .

    SMU 77

  14. I was born and raised in Fall River. Being black was tough. Being looked at as “less than.” I have lived in The South and the south Bronx. Never called the N word, unlike when i was being raised. I am a member of BLM. I am ab upper middle manager with Master’s-level education. I have marched, sure, but my protest is excelling despite the looks and treatment I have received while in Fall River. THAT is what BLM is all about. Excelling and making sure I receice equal access against the odds this country still are dealing my people. Not racism, violence or propaganda. Stop delegitimizing our humanity. PERIOD. Allowing this flag to fly over UMASS is a great step in showing UMASS’s belief in our humanity. Thank you, Chancellor Helm.

    • “Not racism, violence or propaganda.” Maybe on your planet that’s true but not this one. BLM was founded on a lie – “Hands up don’t shoot”. On this planet there is video after video of BLM activists calling for the murder of white police officers who are becoming afraid to go into black neighborhoods that will leave the 99% peaceful residents at MUCH higher risk of being ripped off, raped and killed by the thugs. Martin Luther King, Jr. rolls in his grave hearing someone like you get duped by these radical leftist/anarchist/communist thugs, now funded by people such as George Soros. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message was the complete opposite of BLM –

      “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

      If you want a path that is guaranteed to succeed I can only suggest that his is the one for everyone to follow – not BLM’s.

  15. Take it down it does not belong with the rest hang white lives matter police lives matters let’s hang one for every group out there how about kkk lives matter let’s play the game

  16. There are two reasons why people are against the flying of this flag:
    1) You do not understand the true meaning of the BLM movement.
    2) You are racist.
    That’s it.

  17. Chancellor Helm…
    This is not a good way to start your interim appointment as Chancellor. Your.first flag selection is a controversial one. You should have know that. Please take it down.

    Oliver Cipollimi

  18. If you refuse to recognize that discrimination and violence against blacks in our nation is a major problem, you are part of the problem. It has never, in the history of our nation, been a question whether or not white lives matter. That’s not the issue at hand. Let us stand in solidarity with ALL lives: all lives don’t matter until black lives matter. Be kind to one another.

  19. If you visit the BLM website and read their Guiding Principles, you’ll see the very first thing listed is Diversity. It states, “We are committed to acknowledging, respecting and celebrating difference(s) and commonalities.”
    http://blacklivesmatter.com/guiding-principles/

  20. I hope a student will apply to fly a WHITE LIVES MATTER flag. If UMASS denies, sue.

  21. Black Knives Matter

    Murders in Chicago this year: 600+
    Black victims: 75%
    Black murderers: 71%

    Just saying…

    • http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/December-2016/Mapping-Inequality/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Chimag%20most%20read%20Dec%2005%202016

      It’s almost as if black people systematically have been denied upward mobility, as if the black community was infiltrated with crack by the CIA and shipped off to jail by the War on Drugs, and that all of American society is pivoted against them. Get a clue.

      • I agree. The man be holding us down. He is making us kill each other!

        While we are at it, I think we should make a group BLACK WIVES MATTER. You know blacks are born out of wedlock at higher rates than any other group? Black Wives are being extinct!

        Also, how about BLACK EMBRYOS MATTER. Blacks are having abortions at higher rates than any other group. If you think Chicago is bad, It has come to the point that inside the womb is the MOST dangerous place for black children. At least once you are born you can run from the gunfire coming from all the good boys in Chicago who just want some upward mobility. In the womb, you have no where to hide.

        How about BLACK LIVES FATTER. You know 4 out of 5 black women in the US are overweight or obese? The man is systematically making them unhealthy.

        While we are at it, how about BLACK ISREALITES MATTER. Yes there is actually a group of blacks who believe they are descendants of an ancient tribe from Israel. And the Jews refuse to acknowledge.

        And if you don’t agree with these groups, you are racist.

      • “It’s almost as if black people systematically have been denied upward mobility, as if the black community was infiltrated with crack by the CIA and shipped off to jail by the War on Drugs, and that all of American society is pivoted against them.”

        Yes Jack, you are exactly correct! And I’ll give one guess who is behind all of it and they are … NOT REPUBLICANS! If you want to know WHY black people have been denied upward mobility – ask a democrat because they are the ones who have exclusive control over a city like Chicago. Ask democrats if a steady stream of hand outs to black people over the last ~50 years has showed any evidence of bringing them out of poverty? Ask democrats if the most restrictive gun laws on earth have stopped the slaughter going on in their black neighborhoods? Ask democrats if things like affirmative action have instilled any sense of pride in a black person’s sense of accomplishment? Democrats created the culture of dependency that blacks have on government and it has a VERY DISTURBING SIMILARITY to the dependency blacks had on plantation owners ~150 years ago! Jefferson Davis is laughing at you from his grave.

    • Latest stats year to date for the city with the most restrictive gun laws on earth, Chicago:
      4199 people have been shot total
      Shot dead – 587 black, 124 Hispanic, 31 white
      Shooters – 95 black, 30 Hispanic, 5 white

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