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Monday, April 22, 2024

UF’s Vice President of Student Affairs’ David Parrott’s “incomprehension” statement is factually false because it incorrectly implies that violence has only occurred against blacks across the nation. The Washington Post reported July 8 that of the 509 people who had been killed by police in 2016, 123 were African-American. That means about 75 percent of the people killed were not African-American. To say there was only violence against blacks across the nation is, and continues to be, a blatant and intolerable misstatement of fact.

In Parrott’s “struggle to finds words,” he has actually continued a false narrative that white people hate black people because he specifically excluded the fact that the problems in Ohio, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina were due to police violence, not white-on-black hatred.

Parrott makes a further implication as the vice president for Student Affairs that he “speaks” for the university and that it agrees with his false assertions that violence is only and solely committed against African-Americans by whites and all whites are guilty of black hatred.

Furthermore, why didn't he hope that the tragedies in Chicago, where hundreds of African-Americans have been killed and thousands have been injured, not go unnoticed? He is complaining about violence against African-Americans, yet he is excluding the violence not committed by whites or police? Why not conduct a respective or supportive dialogue about the shooting and tensions in Chicago? If he wants to be truly concerned about violence in the U.S., then why not expose the entire truth about violence? Why omit vital facts about the situation? If Parrott truly cared, why not say “all violence matters?” He should be upset about violence against all Americans. When Parrott and others are selective about which acts of violence to be outraged about, it does nothing but further divide us and builds the walls his Office of Multicultural Affairs should be tearing down.

I understand his zeal to encourage students to stand together and participate, but it’s not his job to do that. When he prefaces his request with gross misstatements of fact and omissions, it only serves to divide the UF Student Body into white aggressors and (everyone else) victim groups. In his letter, for me, he portrayed whites as racists who just want to commit violence on anyone and everyone who is not white. He has created more divisiveness, not more diversity.

Parrot’s email should not have been sent using the student-wide server. It contained his private and factually inaccurate opinion about the state of our nation. It created the appearance that UF supported and agreed with his blatant falsehoods. It was an attack and an insult to me and all Americans, because he implied we (anyone not black) are all racists and practice black hatred as a matter of course, which I do not. I feel that the university should retract the statement, and Parrott should apologize. Furthermore, personal opinions should be limited to personal and private email servers, and school-wide emails need to be fact-checked before they are sent.


John Jones, UF business student

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