Berklee College of Music Apologizes for Perpetuating 'Oppression, Silencing, and Marginalization'

AP Photo/Matt York

 

Boston’s Berklee College of Music made a mistake, and they’re very sorry.

Last week, the school’s Public Safety Department took to Facebook for a mea culpa.

As it turns out — in the words of Beantown’s Channel 4 — “after peaceful protests at the State House,” the school allowed Boston Police to use its restrooms.

Inside the Berklee Performance Center.

Here’s how BCM put it:

The decision to allow them into our facilities was ours. This was not a formal decision by the institution, but an informal one, made on the spot. Some have asked if the campus was used to house or stage activity of the Boston Police; it was not.

Following the protests, cops were positioned at various intersections, including the crossing of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street.

Officers stationed there were given access to the Performance Center’s toilets.

Therefore, the Berklee Public Safety Department issued an “important message” addressing people’s “hurt and anger”:

To be clear, providing indoor plumbing to the po-po wasn’t meant to suggest Berklee doesn’t support Black Lives Matter. The college expressed deep regret for contributing to oppression:

We understand that many members of our community feel betrayed. We are deeply sorry for the impact this had on our community and for perpetuating feelings of oppression, silencing, and marginalization.

And in case you were wondering, it definitely won’t happen again:

This should not have happened, and going forward, it will not happen again.

Two things stand out to me here:

  1. That being able to use the restroom at a school would even be an issue. Barring bizarre circumstances, I’d expect a toilet facility to be available to any schmo walking around campus who needed to pee.
  2. That not telling cops they were unwelcome would necessitate a formal apology.

We’re living in strange times, but I suspect this will all soon be history — the moment CNN, MSNBC, and a few other outlets decide it’s time to hyper-focus on some other potentially ratings-grabbing idea.

In the meantime, wow.

Find the apology in its entirety below:

Dear members of the Berklee community,
We are writing to follow up on the Public Safety message posted on Sunday night about Boston Police officers’ access to the Berklee Performance Center.
Following the peaceful protest at the State House on May 31, Boston Police staged officers at various intersections throughout the city. One of these locations was at Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street. On Sunday, Berklee Public Safety allowed officers stationed there access to restroom facilities in the Berklee Performance Center.
Boston Police of course have jurisdiction over the roads and other public spaces around our campus, but not inside our buildings. The decision to allow them into our facilities was ours. This was not a formal decision by the institution, but an informal one, made on the spot. Some have asked if the campus was used to house or stage activity of the Boston Police; it was not.
We have heard from many of you personally and across social channels of your hurt and anger that this access was permitted, especially as the facility is not currently open for students and members of our community. Allowing police officers into the space was in no way meant to undermine Berklee’s support for Black Lives Matter.
We understand that many members of our community feel betrayed. We are deeply sorry for the impact this had on our community and for perpetuating feelings of oppression, silencing, and marginalization. We will make a more concerted effort to consider the effects of our actions.
Let us assure you, this should not have happened, and going forward, it will not happen again.
Sincerely,
Roger H. Brown
President
Mac Hisey
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance/CFO/CIO
David Ransom
Senior Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Starbucks Announces New ‘Black Lives Matter’ Shirts for Employees

Cops Are Canceled: Minneapolis City Council Unanimously Votes to Dismantle the Police

In Response to a 22-Year-Old’s Complaint, Merriam-Webster Revises Its Definition of ‘Racism’

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