The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What Is Racism: Distinguished Duke University Professor Joins The Growing Ranks Of Overt Racists

If you need evidence racism is not solely the cognitive deficiency of the less educated, think again.

The recent civil unrest in Baltimore led to a rather thoughtful and noteworthy New York Times editorial. The article apparently reached the eyes, mind and impetus to respond from a racist who is responsible via his profession for educating our young, gifted and possibly foundational pillars of the nation.

The subject NY Times editorial: How Racism Doomed Baltimore

Now meet the professorial racist:
Jerry Hough, James B. Duke
 professor of political science
...and a safe bet Republican voter

At Duke University, the title of James B. Duke Professor is given to a small number of the faculty with extraordinary records of achievement. At some universities, titles like "distinguished professor", "institute professor", or "regents professor" are counterparts of this title.
Jerry Hough is employed by Duke University; do not allow the Duke University "record of achievement" title of distinction, guide you away from one of the nation's most storied institutions of higher learning. According to Times Higher Duke ranks 34th among international colleges and universities. While this piece is not per se about Duke University, it should be noted in early April a Duke student admitted to hanging a noose form a campus tree.

Is there a problem at the University? What is the prospect the following sentiments and response to the NY Times editorial have a common thread in educator/student interaction? Of course, one can only speculate, and probably not arrive at an accurate answer. Coincidence, however, can be a horrible conduit to perception.  And, that takes one to the old axiom: "Perception is reality."

I digress.....

Let's take a look at part of Hough's response as he posited the NYT author was "what is wrong in the black community." The 'distinguished political sciences professor'  and (I assume) activist in the black community (facetious) keyboarded.....

Via The Raw Story
“[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,” he wrote. “The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.” 
Hough noted that “the Asians” faced discrimination throughout U.S. history: “They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.” 
“I am a professor at Duke University,” he admitted. “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.”
Hough added that blacks made the problem worse by refusing to date white people. 
“It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state (Spelling should be statue),” he concluded. “King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.
If you wish to read Hough's full comment we offer an embed from the Duke Chronicle.

Hough's response to being placed on suspense by the university?

Watch the video below from WTVD, broadcast May 17, 2015.
The ABC affiliate attempted to secure an on-camera response from Hough, but he would only responded via email:
"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."
Hough is a Harvard educated professor working at one of the top 50 universities on Earth. He claims an affinity for Martin Luther King Jr. while also harboring deep stereotypical generalizations about African-Americans. The professor felt compelled to seek and postulate on the "wrongs in the black community while ignoring another author's opinion on the ills of inner city America.  Alleged laziness in African-Americans is by far not the bottom-line basis for urban strife.  

The email comments above are fairly common rationales for disparaging the black community, but those who go there do not consider the impact of whites first hired, first promoted and are not encumbered by glass ceilings in corporate America. I posit it is safe to assume Hough has never sat and reviewed data inherent in an affirmative action plan with attention to participation rates in jobs categories above the level of Service Worker. He doesn't care to contemplate the impact of school systems left to lower tax rates when whites flee to suburbia and enroll their kids in private schools. Ultimately, he did not speak the dog whistle "welfare", but we can rest assured Hough will not acknowledge there are more white Americans on welfare than black Americans. He seems like many whites who simply lay inner city strife to its economically corralled denizens. He has the gall to ignore US history in its entirety while reaching to Japanese internment (due to racism an insecurity) for a flawed example of overcoming life's barriers.

One would think a Harvard educated professor would have the common sense to rid himself of ingrained racist that may have been implanted from birth and fully developed as he grew he grew to adulthood. Since, he doesn't seem to have developed beyond the psyche of a common racist, we can only await the outcome of his suspension for a readout on how Duke University  handles the likes of Hough in the classroom. 

Thirty-one percent of the university's student body is African-American. A fact that brings us to another intriguing dynamic. Hough's course offerings may be the perfect curriculum item for the many Duke University students who attract a high level of national acclaim via its athletic programs.

For those who will finish the read thinking, the good liberal, The Pardu, fell into a bit of racism via mention of Duke's athletic programs do not rush into that realm. Think first about the majority of white, Asian or Latino athletes who will find the good professor an untenable leader of an educational program and an undesirable as a lecture hall leader.

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