Recordings show TAMU prof endorsing anti-white violence in class
Even as “concerned students” rally to his defense, former students are revealing even more recordings of a Texas A&M professor advocating violence against white people.
Dr. Tommy Curry became a focus of controversy last week when recordings surfaced of a 2012 podcast interview in which he discussed “killing white people in context” and asserted that, “In order to be equal, in order to be liberated, some white people may have to die.”
“Academic freedom does not mean...the right to promote racism and violence in the classroom."
The interview prompted widespread condemnation of Curry, including a statement from President Michael Young describing the remarks as “disturbing,” inspiring an anonymous group of “concerned students” to post an open letter on Change.org defending Curry and claiming that his comments were taken out of context.
“President Young’s language in this email not only allows for but encourages the campus community to assume that Dr. Curry...used his First Amendment rights to ‘espouse hateful views’ by advocating for ‘violence, hate, and killing,’” the letter states. “We believe that this is not only a mischaracterization of Dr. Curry’s comments but serves to perpetuate a targeted campaign against his person and his work.”
According to Curry’s supporters, he had been discussing the film Django Unchained, in which the black protagonist wages a vendetta against white people, and was simply “paraphrasing what other Black intellectuals have said over the years in response to slavery and lynchings.”
“So are you saying that nothing would change without violence between the oppressors and the oppressed?” a student asks in one recording, to which Curry responds in the affirmative, saying, “in this American context, yes.”
While acknowledging that people may laugh upon hearing “kill white people,” Curry says he is “very serious” about it, telling the class that “these ideas [of killing white people] resonate in the history of people who have been oppressed.”
In another recording, Curry denigrates the “degraded minds of the conservatives at Texas A&M” and argues that violence is necessary for racial justice, declaring, “you cannot have progress here without violence and upheaval.”
Support Aggies is a group of former Texas A&M students who have recorded Professor Curry’s lectures during the past few years, and when the 2012 radio interview resurfaced, members began posting their old recordings of Curry online.
Campus Reform spoke with the co-founder of Support Aggies, a Texas A&M graduate who spoke on condition of anonymity while describing their initial exposure to Curry’s rhetoric.
“One of my friends who was passionate about Dr. Curry's teaching told me about the lecture, so I went,” the alum recounted. “At the lecture, I asked Professor Curry what we should do to help the oppressed. He told me it was our duty to talk to the oppressed in ways that resonate with them, telling us to say to them: ‘kill white people.’”
The co-founder also rejected the argument that Curry’s statements are protected by academic freedom, arguing that “academic freedom does not mean that radical activists have the right to promote racism and violence in the classroom."
Support Aggies is circulating a petition demanding that the administration fire Curry, soliciting commitments from disgruntled alumni that they will “withhold all donations to Texas A&M...unless these problems are corrected.”
Notably, this petition also takes issue with President Young’s statement, lamenting his “lackluster and passive response to Curry’s egregious message of violence and hate” and declaring that anyone who even allows such views to be promoted in an academic environment should be fired.
“President Young claims to ‘stand against the advocacy of violence, hate, and killing,’ yet he continues to support Professor Curry’s dangerous indoctrination of young students, engraining [sic] impressionable pupils with hate against whites and an appreciation for violence,” the petition states, adding that “Any university employee who promotes such a view should be fired.”
Curry acknowledged the content of the recordings in an interview with Campus Reform, but claimed they were “spliced” out of context.
Curry explained that he often teaches the work of Frantz Fanon, a black psychiatrist who wrote about revolutionary violence, but did not respond to additional questions on why so much of his work revolves around Fanon’s writings.
According to emails obtained by an open records request, Curry delivered multiple lectures on “justification for violence against whites” during 2006 and 2007.
These lectures drew from his published article on the subject, which highlights the “use of violence as a means to secure freedom from racial oppression” and laments that “[no previous works] have analyzed the use of violence against whites as a necessary step towards the elimination of racism.”
Curry’s explicit appreciation for violence can be seen in that paper, in which he disparages the tradition of nonviolence in the Civil Rights movement.
“In an attempt to move Black political theory in this direction, this essay explores the use of violence as a solution to the permanent institutionalization and white cultural rei?cation of anti-Black racism,” he writes. “This author believes that the dogmatic allegiance to non-violence is a price that African descended people in America can no longer afford to pay.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen