Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Comey ’82 talks race relations

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Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey ’82 made headlines this weekend for his remarks on race relations, which he delivered in a speech at Georgetown University Feb. 12.

The New York Times reported that, in the speech, Comey acknowledged that in multiple instances U.S. law enforcement “enforced the status quo,” which was often unjust toward certain groups. Comey also cited racism in the FBI’s history: In the early 1960s, the FBI wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home, a decision that Comey criticized in his speech.

Comey also mentioned that many people maintain unconscious racial biases, arguing that law enforcement officials must make an effort to resist such biases when making decisions on the job.

This is not the first time that Comey has spoken out about race-related issues. In 1980, Comey co-wrote an editorial for The Flat Hat in which he criticized the College of William and Mary for putting aside money to improve the athletic program, but not dedicating the same amount of funds to recruiting students from marginalized and minority communities.