Texas A&M University

Texas A&M philosophy professor Tommy Curry, who has been under scrutiny following comments made in a resurfaced podcast from 2012 responded to The Eagle defending his remarks.

"At no point did I advocate violence of any kind. I have a major problem with the way my remarks have been framed. This wasn't a random tweet or me expressing my personal opinion," Curry said. “The context was this: It was part of a scholarly analysis. That's an important distinction. I was making a historical point. We have professors in philosophy who study Nazis, among many other topics. Is it rational to think a discussion about Nazis means the professor is espousing those beliefs? Where does the university see the limits here?"

Curry further told The Eagle that he has received death threats and racist emails. The article written by The American Conservative, where the podcast resurfaced, included a link to Curry’s Texas A&M academic page, which includes his contact information.

Curry said his comments are being taken out of context.

"Within the historical trajectory, some black people have in fact believed that the only way to get liberation is through killing white people. It's been a major debate throughout history," Curry said.

Curry also said he believes there is an effort to discredit his academic work.

"I'm suggesting this is a deliberate attempt to devalue my work in a world where I've exceeded the standards for this discipline," Curry said. "One way a university measures the success of faculty is through promotion. I have earned that through the stringent tenure process accepted by peer review, and that very work now is being mischaracterized."

Texas A&M Sociology professor Joe Feagin, who is considered an expert in race theory, said that Curry was referencing that people of all races have the right to self defense.

“As for Professor Curry's comments about the current threats of white violence that Black Americans still face, he is clearly arguing that they have the right to self-defense against white violence,” Feagin said. “That is a value, as they say, as ‘American as apple pie.’ That is, self-defense is normal.”

Feagin also said that he finds it worrisome that The American Conservative is being taken as serious source, and reiterated that Curry is regarded as an expert in his field.

“In this case, I also find it highly problematical that a publication on a far-right website set up by and for white nationalists and white supremacists is cited as a major source on this matter and taken seriously, while leading social science scholars who research and know what they are talking about on US racism are rarely or never consulted,” Feagin said.

Brad Morse was a sociology major, Class of 2018, and former Editor-in-chief for The Battalion.

(2) comments

Ezekiel16

What follows is a full transcript of Tommy Curry's interview on Rob Redding's Youtube channel.

Mr. Curry's thoughts and expressions, despite poor mechanics and grammar, are clearly filled with false presuppositions, sloppy reasoning and lies. The purpose of the talk is to have a "political conversation" about the need for black "radical self-defense" against white vigilantism and state violence. Do we swallow that pill? The presupposition is black victimhood is unchanged since days of slavery, and there is a need to talk about the extra-judicial killing of whites as a political matter. I suppose this is necessary since the state is killing black people as a matter of political policy? Does anyone else see "crazy" written all over this screed?

The statements of Prof. Feagan are used as a kind of bolster of defense to Curry's indefensible propositions; but Feagan engages in the classic false arguments: first we have the ad hominem that fails to address the merits of Curry's assertions -- look at the publication source! It comes from a far right website! It can't be taken seriously! Even Balaam had to acknowledge the words of the lowly donkey. This is followed closely by the appeal to authority: "leading social science scholars...." The transcript below was taken directly from Rob Redding's Youtube page (not that it matters).

Mr. Curry has the right to express his thoughts, but he does not deserve to be given a pass in which intellectual and constitutional scrutiny is suspended simply because he is in a favored, affirmative action racial class. He certainly does not deserve a comfy sinecure at A&M.

The interview:

"Curry: So today I want to talk about killing white people in context.

Redding: Let’s do it!

Curry: Alright. So over the last 20 years, black people have a lot of white academics, white liberals and I don’t know if you saw the recent movie Django Unchained- it’s actual history of black civil rights struggle and black slave insurrections. Uh, what we have today is a situation where the symbols of King and peaceful white progressives have become the hallmarks of the black civil rights struggle. I mean we saw this with people like Skip Gates when Obama won the election saying that even all of our slave foreparents who were enslaved and stolen from Africa, all the suffering, dying and deaths that we had during the civil rights movement, have all accumulated in Obama, himself, right? And what that does is it puts a public relations face on the history of enslavement, it puts a popular face on the suffering of Africa-descended people, and it puts a smile, a persona from black people that we can, in fact, talk about American racism without mentioning the threat of violence or social revolution at all.

Now two weeks ago, Jamie Fox made a joke about how great it was for him to be able to kill all the white people in his new movie. And I saw it and he is right. Practically every white person in that movie dies a very violent and well-deserved death for their participation in the enslavement of Africa-descended people. But the problem I have with that statement, and if used in the context of Django, is that it’s a fantasy where the deaths of white people are really just an entertaining spectacle. It’s something that didn’t really happen; it’s not like black people had that type of opportunity under enslavement, and today what you see is the backlash from white conservatives on one end who were offended saying that “Jamie Fox is racist” and white liberals on the other hand who are saying that “well this is not productive if you ever talk about killing white people” and putting the burden back on black people who’ve actually suffered these type of horrors saying that you can never have a political conversation about the killing of white people because that in itself is evil, is non productive, is nationalistic. Only evil black nationalists do that, right?

And I think that a lot of times black people [unintelligible] buy into this as well. What I am surprised about is this that I’ve seen no black public intellectual come out and actually address the issue of violence or social revolution or radical self-defense by black people historically. So right now, black people simply buy into the idea that, “oh, it’s entertainment,” or “oh, you know, violence against white people is only the ideas of the black panthers.”

But, in reality we had people from Nat Turner to Robert F. Williams, who is the father of radical self-defense movement that inspired black panthers and he wrote the book, Negroes With Guns, that thought about killing white people in self defense. Now remember that these black people were actually in a world very much like ours today where white vigilantism gives black people murder, state violence – were all deemed normal. This was how you preserved American democracy. This was what Ida B. Wells talked about. You lynch black people because they are an economic threat to whites, poor whites, getting businesses. You lynch black people to show black people they can never be equal. So they will never challenge you, never pursue politics, never pursue the right to vote.

So when we have this conversation about violence, or killing white people, it has to be looked at in the context of its historical term. And the fact that we have had no one address 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 may have to die.” I have just been immensely disappointed, because what we look at, week after week, is national catastrophe after catastrophe, where black people, black children, are still dying. And we are front row, we’re front and center, when it comes to white people talking about their justification for owning assault weapons, and owning guns to protect themselves from evil black people and evil immigrants.

But then, when we turn the conversation back and says, “Does the black community ever have a need to own guns? Does the black community have a need to protect itself? Does the black individual have a need to protect itself from police officers?” We don’t have that conversation at all.

Now we see white citizens arming themselves with assault weapons fearing gun legislation and we saw the nationalist rhetoric during the election where people are trying to kill Obama, but we don’t have any kind of connection between the arguments made today about the second amendment where people say they have the right to bear arms and the historical role of the second amendment where it was used to all white people to put down slave revolts and revolts from indigenous natives. So Robert Controller Raymond Diamond write this excellent piece called “The Second Amendment Toward and Afro American Reconsideration” where they actually trace the history of that. And so the second amendment isn’t about individuals simply trying to protect themselves, it’s actually about community.

But the problem is the black community has not taken the time, has not taken the, doesn’t have the discipline to look at black politics as an outgrowth of how it needs to protect itself from violent anti-black forces that are still killing our children, are still attacking our communities, and now is trying to justify nationalist rhetoric to preserve its right to bear arms."

George

Why is this racist lunatic employed by Texas A&M University!? I love Texas A&M and the traditions and values it has stood for but I will not continue to support a university that has someone like this individual on their payroll. Enough is enough.

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