The president of Texas A&M University has responded to a philosophy professor 's comments made on a podcast in which he discussed "killing white people" as a form of entertainment.
The comments were initially made in 2012 by Professor Tommy Curry on a podcast discussing Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," which follows the story of a freed slave who tries to rescue his wife from a plantation owner. According to the Houston Chronicle, Curry said that the film's depiction of violence against white people was a form of "entertainment," and not actually based in reality.
"When we have this conversation about violence or killing white people it has to be looked at in the kind of this historical turn," he said in the podcast. "And the fact that we've 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 may have to die."
KBTX reports that Texas A&M President Michael K. Young released a statement May 10 condemning Curry's comments, but emphasized the professor's right to voice his opinions under the First Amendment. The statement, in part, reads:
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As you may know, a podcast interview by one of our professors that took place approximately four and a half years ago resurfaced this week on social media, seen for the first time by many of us. 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.
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. It also protects our right to freedom of speech which I am exercising now.
We stand for equality.
We stand against the advocacy of violence, hate, and killing.
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We firmly commit to the success, not the destruction, of each other.
We wish no violence or harm even to those who espouse hateful views under the First Amendment, a sentiment that by its very nature is one that they would deny others.
Inside Higher Education reports that the old comments resurfaced after The American Conservative quoted him in a piece titled "When Is It OK to Kill Whites?"
The piece sparked intense online backlash, with many calling for Curry's termination. Curry also said that he received a number of death threats and racist emails, with people sending him pictures of "apes, monkeys, etc."
KBTX reports that the spokeswoman for the university has yet to comment. It is unclear whether the administration will take any disciplinary action.