James Comey delivers keynote address to Howard University students

Sep 23, 2017, 00:12
James Comey delivers keynote address to Howard University students

Former FBI Director James Comey was drowned out by student protesters when he tried to give the commencement speech at Howard University.

Mr. Comey gamely delivered his speech, at a ceremony marking the school's 150th opening convocation, amid disruptions from more than a dozen protesters in the packed, large auditorium who interrupted him repeatedly to let him know he was not welcome on campus. The $100,000 compensation will be donated to a scholarship fund for students that come from foster homes, Howard officials said.

"Welcome to Howard. I'm honored to be here and I'm looking forward to adult conversations about what is right and what is true", he said to wrap his remarks. I hope you listen to what I have to say, " Comey told the protesters to applause from other students, staff and faculty seated in rows closer to the front.

The chanting continued as Comey went on with his boilerplate address about why colleges like Howard should be considered an important part of the "real world". Music played from the chorus in an attempt to drown the students out. The NBC live stream of this convocation even cut to some Howard promotional footage for a few minutes before the feed started up again. The feed was later put back up.

Between his infamous intervention in the 2016 general election and his starring role in the unfolding Trump-Russia saga, it's hard to remember that former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey once courted controversy for something completely unrelated to presidential politics.

Last month, Howard announced that Comey would be leading a series of lectures throughout the school year, in addition to being named the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy for the 2017-2018 semester.

However, a number of students objected to the appointment.

The Howard protest group also claimed on Twitter that Comey 'referred to Black and Brown people as weeds that need to be pulled'.

Lindsey Chapman, an 18-year-old freshman who sat near the protesters as they drowned out Mr Comey's remarks, told the BBC she disagreed with the demonstration.

After several more minutes of protests, Comey launched into his prepared speech - which, ironically, was about how the rest of the world is often "too noisy" to take time to reflect, whereas Howard University represents an "island".

Comey, who's donating his lecture fees to fund scholarships, touted Howard's role in US history and described it as an "island" where students can challenge themselves and their beliefs.

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