A Rutgers professor is walking back his controversial remarks about misbehaving white children after they stirred a substantial backlash last week, including a ban from the Harlem Shake diner described in his post.
Rutgers Professor James Livingston was banned from a Harlem diner last week after an unusual Facebook post caught the attention of various media outlets.
“OK, officially, I now hate white people,” Livingston, who teaches history at Rutgers University, wrote on Facebook last week. “I am a white people [sic], for God’s sake, but can we keep them — us — us out of my neighborhood? I just went to Harlem Shake on 124 and Lenox for a classic burger to go, that would [be] my dinner, and the place is overrun with little Caucasian a**holes who know their parents will approve of anything they do.”
Livingston is now walking back his remarks, claiming that they were simply a joke. To make matters more interesting, Livingston reminded his audience that his remarks could not possibly have been racist because racism is prejudice plus power.
Put it this way. Black people can hate white people, but you can’t call them racists unless they have power over you, and not just over you but your people, those white people you call your own. Have black people ever been able to enslave you, degrade you, confine you, define you, as the consequence of your phenotype, as white people have done for centuries in oppressing, employing, excluding, and representing black folk?
If your answer is no, then, give up on calling me a racist. Be white if you like, just don’t project the image and the idea of oppression onto yourself as a function of your whiteness, because if you do, I can, with good reason, call you a sniveling, punkass moron.
Despite Livingston’s attempted clarification, it is likely that he is still not welcome at the Harlem Shake diner. Last week, the diner’s owners said that Livingston should get his “burgers somewhere else.” “We ask that our name is removed from your rant because we do not want to have anything to do with you,” the owners of the diner said in a comment. “And yeah, we ask that you get your burgers somewhere else. We do not tolerate ‘racism’ either. We thrive on equality and fairness and have full intentions to keep it that way!”