Texas A&M President Calls Professor’s Remarks ‘Disturbing’

Updated (5/11/2017, 5:10 p.m.) with comment from Professor Curry.

The president of Texas A&M University at College Station has rebuked a professor after a conservative commentator drew attention to four-year-old remarks in which the scholar referred to the killing of white people.

In a column in The American Conservative titled “When Is It OK to Kill Whites?,” Rod Dreher describes comments by Tommy Curry, an associate professor of philosophy at A&M, as “racist bilge.” In a second post Mr. Dreher doubled down on his interpretation. The columns focus on a phrase uttered by Mr. Curry: “In order to be equal, in order to be liberated, some white people might have to die.”

But the Daily Nous reports that that statement was taken out of context, and was part of a wider discussion of comments by the actor Jamie Foxx about interracial violence and its history. The full passage was:

When we have this conversation about violence or killing white people, it has to be looked at in this context of historical turn and the fact that we have had no one address like how relevant and how solidified this kind of tradition is for black people saying, “look, in order to be equal, in order to be liberated, some white people might have to die.”

The Daily Nous reports that Mr. Curry has since received hate mail and death threats. And on Wednesday the university’s president, Michael K. Young, commented on an unnamed professor — thought to be Mr. Curry — whose remarks on race and violence had recently resurfaced on social media.

“The interview features disturbing comments about race and violence that stand in stark contrast to Aggie core values — most notably, those of respect, excellence, leadership, and integrity — values that we hold true toward all of humanity,” Mr. Young wrote. “As we know, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of others to offer their personal views, no matter how reprehensible those views may be.”

Mr. Curry said he was “grossly disappointed” by the university’s response.

In an interview with The Chronicle, he said Mr. Dreher had not tried to reach him for comment before writing the column. He also said Mr. Dreher’s interpretation was wrong.

“It was not an incitement to violence,” Mr. Curry said. “I think that anyone who has listened to the podcast gets that. This is an attempt by the alt-right and conservatives to demonize a black professor.”

People have been sending him and his family hate mail and death threats, he said. One of the messages shows a monkey holding a gun in its mouth.

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