• Duke University
    Duke University
  • Racial prejudice
    Racial prejudice
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Jerry Hough is a long-time professor at Duke university who came under significant criticism in 2015 following his response to a New York Times (NYT) article dealing with race issues in Baltimore and the riots taking place at the time. In a lengthy comment on the NYT website, Hough began his criticism by claiming that “the blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.” He contrasted this with the Asian community in America, writing that “every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” whereas “virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”[1]

Moreover, Hough argued that Asians have been discriminated against in America “at least as badly as blacks,” but that, unlike the black community, “they didn’t feel bad for themselves, but worked doubly hard.”[2] Hough completed his comments by arguing that “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.”[3]

[1] Stancill, J. (May 16, 2015). Duke professor responds to criticism about his comments on African Americans. Charlotte Observer. Retrieved from http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article21174990.html

[2] Craven, J. (May 19, 2015). Duke University Professor Stands By Racist Comments. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/19/duke-jerry-hough-racist_n_7309148.html

[3] McLaughlin, K. (May 17, 2015). ‘The blacks feel sorry for themselves but the Asians don’t: Duke professor’s comment on New York Times Baltimore editorial sparks accusations of racism… but he says he was misunderstood. The Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3085508/Professor-comments-African-Americans-misunderstood.html

Totally Clueless Racist | 2017

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Brookings Institution

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Georg Vanberg is the Chair of the Political Science Department

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