• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

  • BU Today staff

    BU Today staff Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 10 comments on Pain, Anger, and Hope as BU Comes Together to Talk Race and Racism

  1. The decision to re-open campus will perpetuate and exacerbate the racism that is already present on campus, especially as the university has effected policies that given administrators broad access to personal health data, and expanded their surveillance capabilities. To understand why this decision is racist and to understand why a decision to maintain remote education throughout the pandemic would be an act of antiracism, please consult Ibram Kendi’s most recent volume “How to be an Antiracist,” or older works such as “A History or Racist Thought.”

  2. I know I have a lot of work to do in this area and I greatly appreciate the discussion and resources provided. I also look forward to other next steps at BU. Meanwhile I will do all I can to become a better ally with a goal to be an accomplice. Note the lead headline of “more than 1,000 BU community members” took me back as that’s only 10% of employees not factoring in students and alumni. While I was glad to see the participation closer to 5,000 I think future events should be mandatory. My guess is some people most unwilling to see racism as a problem are less likely to attend such opportunities to learn, grow, change and act. Thanks again to all involved.

    1. Ray, It is, at least, a start for of a lot of us. I agree, requiring some kind of training makes a lot of sense. For most whites, even those who may consider themselves “woke”, there is much room for knowledge and growth. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the first ever Day of Engagement.

  3. Thank you for yesterday. It was indeed revealing, inspiring, painful, and important. I truly am sorry for all the members of the BU community who’ve experienced racism at the hands of students, faculty, staff or the public who pass through our campus.

    Realistically, there is no way a community of 30K+ can ever reach consensus on anything, let alone some of the proposed actions that came up yesterday. I suspect many people kept their mouths shut in the Zoom debriefs for fear of not being in lockstep with the groupthink of the day.

    Diversifying the curriculum absolutely makes sense for an institution of higher learning. Hiring more faculty of color is a necessary and important action.

    From what I can see the university has been moving in this direction and the President was forthcoming about the 5% turnover that prevents fast and large scale new hires. I appreciate that he is not firing people who have dedicated their careers to BU simply to create new job openings.

    I find it hard to believe, though, that a majority of students, parents, faculty and staff want to eliminate BUPD, force the administration into matching a student group’s fundraiser (sets a bad precedent), bar certain speakers from coming to campus (despite being invited by students), and devise mechanisms to punish faculty and students for saying things the wrong way.

    Does our society and culture need to change so it is truly equitable and safe for all? Of course!

    Does Boston University need to fulfill the already annoying stereotype that universities are bastions of liberals promoting the latest social justice agenda by going to the extremes? It does not.

    Agendas and culture change, and assuming our community is comprised of members that all share the same persuasions is misguided and will only contribute to an echo chamber that will enforce a different kind of prejudice.

  4. Graduated in 1979. I am a mixed race individual married to a mix race wife. Afro-american family links are included.
    Within your discussion, did the subject of Black entitlement come up? Did the discussion of the complete lack knowledge of the history of slavery among all of these loud unimpressive young people come up ?
    Did the need to repair the presence of the nuclear family (Man, women and children) come up ?
    Did the need to stop all of this dangerous and bad behavior or else a civil war will breakout (and the black community will be on the losing end) ?
    Was there an understanding that we can not paint the black community with one brush ?
    Was there a discussion of first steps towards productive dialog and change (and not ridiculous suggestions about abolishing the police).

    Time for venting immature juvenile temp tantrums is over.

  5. It’s difficult to take Joel seriously about efforts towards equality when he arbitrarily capitalizes incidences of the word “Black” and not “white.” It’s things like this that make the aims of this movement seem more retributive than anything else.

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