Duke University Professor Defiant in Face of Racism Charges

AP Photo/Jonathan Drew
AP Photo/Jonathan Drew

A professor from Duke University is defiant in the face of charges of racism saying that the country needs a more honest discussion about racism.

Duke political science professor Jerry Hough is under fire for “racially noxious” comments he made in response to a New York Times article on the riots in Baltimore.

On the Times article, professor Hough posted a long reply comparing “the blacks” to “the Asians,” saying that the black community is at fault for refusing to assimilate in America and for insisting on adopting strange Afrocentric names.

“Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” Hough wrote. “Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”

Hough quickly came under major attacks on social media and at the university. The 80-year-old professor, though, is defiant in the face of the firestorm of criticism.

Hough told the News & Observer, “Anyone who says anything is [called] a racist and ignorant, as I was called by a colleague. The question is whether you want to get involved in the harassment and few do. I am 80 and figure I can speak the truth as I see it. Ignorant I am not.”

He also says “he was a disciple of Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1950s” and is frustrated that blacks have made little progress since the civil rights days.

“On the racism charge, it is just a way to try to end debate through intimidation,” Hough said to Reuters. “Asians and Poles were treated terribly, and they on the average have advanced much further than blacks. There must be a reason.”

The university has said that the professor’s 40-year teaching career is probably safe and insisted that the school is committed to free expression of thought.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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