Letter to the Editor: “Our university has let down many of its black and brown alumni”

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Letter to the Editor: “Our university has let down many of its black and brown alumni”

Brandon Jacobs

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My Fellow Ospreys,

I come to you all today saddened and disappointed. As many of you may already know, our university has let down many of its black and brown alumni and undergraduate student body with the results of their investigation of the video created by Mr. Morse and his associates mocking those who attended the Black Lives Matter rally in October with their racially insensitive behavior displayed in a Snapchat video. Although from a “legal” perspective the position taken by the university and its leadership is justified, from the position of basic human decency, morality and the long-term ramifications of race relations on UNF’s campus, a poorer decision could not have been made.

Many of you who have known me over the years recognize me as a very outspoken and passionate individual who isn’t afraid to speak my mind; although that remains the case here, I also with age have recognized the bigger picture and take my responsibility as one of the few minority representatives on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association very seriously. I take it so seriously because I recognize that I represent all of you, and when I do speak on your behalf I want to do so with maturity and professionalism, ensuring that I never showcase the black and brown agenda in a negative light or in a manner that prohibits our long-term goals from being addressed.

Though this decision leaves our constituency filled with disappointment and a certain level of cynicism, fueled with thoughts that we knew that this would be the result all along, I would much rather we focus that energy towards continued change and a sense of passion to increase our footprint on UNF’s campus as a portion of the alumni base. UNF Black Alumni Weekend and its partnership with the Alumni Association was created with the aspiration of creating programming to engage our portion of the alumni base and to showcase that we are present and engaged from both a participatory and financial perspective. It is imperative that we do not allow this decision to discourage us and that we participate in UNF Black Alumni Weekend to let our dollars support minority scholarships and to ensure that our presence is felt during the Homecoming events in February.

Again, I am disappointed in the university leadership and their decision, but I look forward to representing you all, continuing to work alongside those whom I might disagree with and living the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.“

I promise you all, I will never look the other way when addressing your concerns and I’m committed to being fearless in my attempt to do what is right on your behalf.

 

Respectfully,
Brandon Kolby Jacobs, MBA

UNF Black Alumni Weekend Committee Member

 

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