According to one Duke University professor, black people riot because they’re “lazy” and have “strange” names.
The professor in question, Jerry Hough, is a political science professor. Over the weekend, Professor Hough left remarks on a New York Times editorial about the Baltimore riots, referring to “the blacks” and “the Asians.”
As you might be able to guess, Hough himself is white. And, appropriately, he’s facing blow-back for his remarks.
“Strange new name.”
The article in question is entitled “How Racism Doomed Baltimore.” Like most major cities, Baltimore is a highly segregated city, and segregation by color invariably results in fewer economic opportunities, and widespread poverty. The added impact of incarceration is just icing.
The Times article that Hough left his controversial comment on touched on these themes.
In his comment, Hough echoes “The Bell Curve,” a notorious study (later turned into a book by Charles Murray) that suggests blacks are inferior to whites and Asians due to genetics. Although Hough doesn’t go quite so far as to say genetics are to blame, his comments are disturbing. Part of his comment reads as follows:
I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost [non-existent] because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.
Hough later confirmed with Samantha Lachman, a reporter for the Huffington Post, that the comment was his.
The political science professor also wrote in his comment, “[T]he blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.”
He would compare this “attitude” to “the Asians,” saying that, “They didn’t feel sorry for themselves [about the discrimination], but worked doubly hard,” and closed his comment by noting, “It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.”
Controversy? What controversy?
Hough was hit with immediate blow-back from the students and the school. The Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Affairs, Michael Schoenfeld, said in a statement, “The comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse. Duke University has a deeply-held commitment to inclusiveness grounded in respect for all, and we encourage our community to speak out when they feel that those ideals are challenged or undermined, as they were in this case.”
The school promised a zero-tolerance policy towards racism after they found a noose hanging on campus last month.
In an email with ABC news 11, however, the professor maintained that his remarks weren’t controversial:
Martin Luther King was my hero and I was a big proponent of all the measures taken at the time, including Affirmative Action. But the degree of integration is not what I expected, and it is time to ask why and to change our approach. I am, of course, strongly against the toleration of racial discrimination. I do not know what racial intolerance means in modern code words and hesitate to comment on that specific comment.
The issue is whether my comments were largely accurate. In writing me, no one has said I was wrong, just racist. The question is whether I was right or what the nuanced story is since anything in a paragraph is too simple.
I am strongly against the obsession with “sensitivity.” The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident. I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as “colored.” They pushed ahead and achieved. Coach K did not obsess with all the Polish jokes about Polish stupidity. He pushed ahead and achieved. And by his achievement and visibility, he has played a huge role in destroying stereotypes about Poles. Many blacks have done that too, but no one says they have done as well on the average as the Asians. In my opinion, the time has come to stop talking incessantly about race relations in general terms as the President and activists have advocated, but talk about how the Asians and Poles got ahead–and to copy their approach. I don’t see why that is insensitive or racist.
Read Jerry Hough’s full comment below:
Featured image via screen capture