by Devon Ashby, Staff Writer
Morgan State University’s Mr. Morgan organized a town hall meeting with the intent of explaining his comments on “All Lives Matter”, Wednesday night.
Andrew Mitchell, who is serving as Mr. Morgan for the 2016-2017 academic school year, apologized to the student body at the meeting.
“Everybody has a right to speak their opinion, and I hold myself responsible to what I have said or may have said,” he said. “It’s my understanding that in recent times some of the statements I made, I shared in a way that they could be misconstrued. I could’ve shared them in a different manner as opposed to inciting arguments and I apologize for the uproar that has happened because of that.”
During the event, which was live-streamed on social media with the help of student activist Chinedu Nwokeafor, Mitchell answered questions from the audience and those watching online. One question addressed a series of past tweets in which Mitchell blasted the university by saying it “doesn’t have history” and “isn’t a real HBCU.”
“That was a time where I was a serious athlete; we played teams like Florida A&M and North Carolina Central University, where fans and alumni were just going crazy, not just on homecoming or senior night,” he explained. “When I said that Morgan has no heritage, heritage is defined as culture being passed down through the line, and if you are here at Morgan State University today, you would see that we lack that.”
Students, faculty and staff in attendance were given opportunities to speak their mind. While there were those that didn’t agree with him, there were also those who didn’t agree with the way that the student body reacted.
“We need to give each other the space and the opportunity to grow and change; he is in this position but he also has the time and space to grow, too,” said Joy Barnes, a junior. “It’s not fair for us to attack him publicly and have all these other universities commenting on our Mr. Morgan, but still scream ‘Black Lives Matter,’ because all black lives matter, even the ones that don’t agree with you.”
Mitchell reminded the audience repeatedly that he never accepted “All Lives Matter”, nor denounced “Black Lives Matter.”
“I do support the black community very strongly, and I do feel as though we as a community need to hold each other more accountable for the way that we interact with each other.”
Mitchell’s holding another event titled “Extinct Black Brother” on the evening of Monday, Oct. 24.