Duke University professor on leave after making racial comment on news website

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DURHAM, N.C. — A Duke University professor is on leave after he posted racially-charged comments on a news website comment section.

WTVD reported that some students said Professor Jerry Hough was disrespectful and insensitive when he left a comment on a New York Times editorial.

In the recent post, he made references to “the blacks” and “the Asians” in response to an editorial about racism and the Baltimore riots.

Hough is listed as a political science professor on Duke’s website. He also made comparisons to minority groups in America.

In one paragraph he wrote, “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 comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse,” said Duke Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Affairs Michael Schoenfeld. “Duke University has a deeply-held commitment to inclusiveness grounded in respect for all, and we encourage our community to speak out when they feel that those ideals are challenged or undermined, as they were in this case.”

The professor responded to WTVD’s request for a comment with an email saying he is strongly against the toleration of racial discrimination.

“Martin Luther King was my hero and I was a big proponent of all the measures taken at the time, including Affirmative Action,” the professor said. “But the degree of integration is not what I expected, and it is time to ask why and to change our approach.”

The university would not comment on the professor’s future at the school. The professor said he was on leave. A spokesperson said they will not comment on personnel matters.

The school vowed they wouldn’t allow racial intolerance after a noose was found hanging in a tree a few months ago.

WTVD talked to some students about the incident. One said it’s not a good image for the school and another said people should be careful not to be offensive.

Hough’s full comments in the New York Times are below:

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. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.