A white Duke University professor caused an uproar when he denigrated black people in online comments he posted to a New York Times editorial, television station WTVD reported on Saturday.
Professor Jerry Hough responded to an editorial about the Baltimore protests and subsequent violence that broke out after the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old black man died from injuries he sustained while in police custody.
In the online comments section of a May 9 editorial titled “How Racism Doomed Baltimore,” Hough compared black people to Asians. He said Asians “didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard” after experiencing discrimination in this country.
Hough’s May 10 comments included several other comparisons between Asians and blacks.
“Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” Hough said. “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 a white.”
Hough told WTVD he was currently on leave from the university. The Duke Chronicle reported on Monday that Hough had taken leave before the comments were made.
Hough told the television station in an email that he was “against the tolerance of racial discrimination,” but also against “the obsession with ‘sensitivity,'” which he said has worsened race relations.
Hough also defended his online comment.
“The issue is whether my comments were largely accurate,” Hough told WTVD. “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.”
Duke University wouldn’t discuss Hough’s status with the station and a spokesperson reportedly said the school couldn’t comment on personnel issues.
Below is Hough’s comment from the Times’ website:
This editorial is what is wrong. The Democrats are an alliance of Westchester and Harlem, of Montgomery County and intercity Baltimore. Westchester and Montgomery get a Citigroup asset stimulus policy that triples the market. The blacks get a decline in wages after inflation.
But the 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. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.
In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.
So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.
I am a professor at Duke University. 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. 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 a white.
It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state (sic). King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.
Correction: The Duke Chronicle reported on Monday that Hough was already on leave when he made the comments. According to the Chronicle, he was granted leave for the 2014-2015 academic year.