In the wake of last week's decision by the grand jury in Missouri not to issue an indictment for the shooting of Michael Brown, Howard University students were involved in several protests. While Howard officials praised the activism, President Wayne A.I. Frederick issued a statement taking issue with whoever put up a Pan-African flag on the university's flagpole. "While I openly support freedom of expression on our campus, I do not support unauthorized use of University property or official platforms to transmit these expressions of thought and ideas. The flag was removed. Our flagpole is reserved for the American and official Howard University flags," Frederick wrote. "The events in Ferguson, Mo., have resulted in the loss of a young African-American's life. That remains the primary concern of the Howard University community. The social construct that exists in our country, which has led to this loss, is one that fortifies why Howard University exists. The core values of our University include truth, service, justice and freedom, which are the same values embodied in the American flag. Howard University must and will lead in finding solutions through our research and scholarship that contributes to our Nation's betterment."
Comments about the statement on the university's Facebook page were mixed -- with some praising the president, others saying that his statement was pragmatic (in light of how the flag protest would look to potential funders), and others saying he shouldn't have objected to using the flagpole for the Ferguson protests.
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