Duke University placed a professor on leave after creating a controversy in the online comment section of an article about racism and Baltimore, reported Talking Points Memo.
The professor, Jerry Hough, made questionable comments when he compared black people to Asian in America, saying that each group responded to racism in different ways. Hough said that Asians “don’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.” Hough’s a professor so he must at least have some academic, well-thought out reason her his opinion, right? Well, he doesn’t.
“Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” commented Hough. “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 them.”
That’s Hough’s argument. He didn’t outright say it, but he implies that because some Asian people give their children traditional “white” names, their desire for integration is greater. Because blacks don’t do this, Hough says, they are trying to “avoid integration.” Connecting namesake with the desire, or lack thereof, for integration is simplistic and unthoughtful.
Rather than apologize and realize the error of his statements, Hough doubled down and refused to admit his racism.
“The issue is whether my comments were largely accurate,” said Hough. “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.”
The problem with Hough’s argument is not only the racism, but also the unthoughtfulness of it. He insisted that all black people want to do is feel sorry for themselves. That is wholly incorrect and undermines the problem of racism still prevalent in America.