We previously discussed the controversy over the writings of Trinity College professor Johnny Eric Williams and his position that “whiteness is terrorism.” in a recent opinion editorial. I previously supported Williams when many called for his removal because I believed — and still believe — that his writings are protected by both free speech and academic freedom. Williams has now penned a new opinion piece that lashes about at any one who identifies as white. My concern is not whether Williams’ speech is protected. It should be. Rather my concern that another professor saying that same about black people would not receive the same protection and the lack of any bright line rule protecting all free speech.
In the prior controversy in April 2019, Williams declared that “all self-identified white people (no exceptions) are invested in and collude with systematic white racism/white supremacy” and other racially charged comments. He declared “it is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do, put end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system. #LetThemFuckingDie.” He was denounced for suggesting that the victims of the massacre at a congressional baseball game should have been allowed to just die and he called white people “inhuman a**holes.”
In his new opinion piece entitled “I tweeted ‘whiteness is terrorism’ and was condemned for it. Here’s why I’m right,” Williams writes that white is not a race but a socially constructed category designed to oppress minorities. He also denounced the concept of individualism in this context:
But white supremacy is not merely confined to openly bigoted whites but also people who see themselves as individuals, rather than a member of a socially constructed racial group and system. Individualism denies the very existence of systemic white racism by reducing it to individual hate and discrimination. People immersed in individualism claim innocence or refuse to consider how the cultural environment of white supremacy we inhabit shapes our racial identities and world views and further informs how we perceive and interact with others within a hierarchical racial order. To overcome this obstacle, it is imperative that people who imagine themselves as white, grasp how their socialization into whiteness guarantees their participation in everyday systemic white racism.
. . .
Whiteness by its very definition and operation as a key element of white supremacy kills; it is mental and physical terrorism. To end the white terrorism that is directed at racially oppressed people here and in other nations, it is essential that self-identified whites and their whiteness collaborators among the racially oppressed confront their white problem head-on, unencumbered by racial comfort. Such comfortableness enables folks immersed in whiteness to disregard their complicity in systemic white racism, forestalling the destruction of white supremacy.
I actually found the opinion piece to be thought-provoking even though I disagreed with it. My concern is that, if you flip the racial references from black to white, there would be little question that an academic would be fired at Trinity. My primary interest, as always, is with free speech. Universities and colleges continue to maintain an ill-defined and seemingly ad hoc approach to what speech is protected. This creates uncertainty for many academics if they will be disciplined for writing in the same provocative way as Professor Williams.
101 thoughts on “Trinity College Professor Doubles Down on “Whiteness Is Terrorism” Position”
And the other alternative to whitey – running from a lion stubbing your toes on the tree roots. Zuluuuuu…
Paying attention to statements of racists is very 60s. Ignore this slug.
The Board of Trustees would be in default of their fiduciary duties if they ignored him. There is one solution here: shut the sociology department and discharge its faculty. He’s just the most obtrusive manifestation of their general unseriousness. And censure the provost who granted this man tenure, if he’s still around.
Of course that will never happen. Trustees are worse than useless.
The Boards are jokes even the “All-star” ones. Look how well the Theranos Board kept Fraudster Lizzie Holmes in check as she prattled on selling her snake oil machine and won the Horatio Alger Award.
True. However, Theranos problems were esoteric to someone like George Schulz. No clue when the all-star board was assembled. The point of inflection for Theranos was 2015, when the FDA approved one of their technologies but they were facing criticism in the professional literature in regard to others. Since Schulz grandson was aware of Theranos problems, he certainly could have forwarded bibliographies and articles to his grandfather and Henry Kissinger and probably did. It was fairly late in the day at that point. They were facing lawsuits in 2016. The company was shut down in 2018.
The thing is, they were operating in afield with operational measures of competence. Most academics, not so much. It’s up to the board and the sociology department’s problems are grossly manifest. See also their anthropology department. Palaeoanthropology, physical anthropology, and archaeology are absent from their curriculum. Ethnographic studies of particular cultures are almost absent. They list 30 courses (excluding independed study, thesis, and capstones), of which maybe a half dozen are on conventional anthropological topics. They employ ‘athropologists’, but anthropology is not taught there.
Apparently just resigned intern, Tyler Shultz, went to his grandfather who, in the first instance, demanded corroboration of the fraud charges. Tyler returned and brought a bio-chemist with him who verified everything (Cheung) about the false testing but the “Winner of the Cold War” was having none of it. He let lawyers from David Boies office skulk around his house during the second meeting and ambush Tyler. They tried to force him to sign an after-the-fact NDA which the 20-year-old refused to do. Maybe Tyler should have been Sect’y of State. Tyler went to the WSJ and the rest is infamy.
Tyler talked to his grandfather in April 2014.
He sicced a BigLaw attorney on his grandson? ‘Worse than useless’ doesn’t quite cover it in his case.
Looks like it was window dressing. Evidently the corporate by-laws permitted by the state issuing their charter (1) allowed Holmes to be a member of the board and (2) gave her 99% of the weighted votes on the board. No clue why the rest of the board did not resign.
And someone has to clean up corporation and securities law. Not that it will ever happen.
😦 what! 99 % weight, pssh, pfft, crazy
You are right, they should not ignore his comments. We can be rest assured that when he is confronted, he will claim racism and white supremacy.
“Paying attention to statements of racists is very 60s. Ignore this slug.”
Mespo, what constitutes racism? Are you conflating freedom of thought, speech, belief, religion, socialization, assembly with manifestly immoral, unethical and illegal acts of violence? Which opinions, preferences and rights to discriminate shall government allow? May an owner of private property sell or rent to whomever he prefers or shall government dictate to private property owners? Jimmy Carter allowed for freedom of assembly, and neighborhoods, including those he referred to, appear to reflect what you would call racism, in that residents only allow limited percentages of minorities before “voting with their feet.” Does American fundamental law prescribe compulsory racial amalgamation with artificial supports such as generational welfare and affirmative action? Understanding that racist slavery was ended, at what point are people compelled to adapt to the outcomes of freedom or must all freedom be eliminated eventually?
By Christopher. Lydon Special to The New York Times
April 7, 1976
SOUTH BEND, Ind., April 6 — Jimmy Carter said today that the Federal Government should not take the initiative to change the “ethnic purity” of some urban neighborhoods or the economic “homogeneity” of well‐to‐do suburbs.
‘If he wins the Presidency, the Georgia Democrat said at a news conference here, “I’m not ‐going to use the Federal Government’s authority deliberately to circumvent the natural inclination of people to live in ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods.”
Similarly, he said, “To build a high‐rise, very low‐cost housing unit in a suburban neighborhood or other neighborhoods with relatively expensive homes, I think, would not he in the best interest of the people. who live in the high‐rise or the suburbs.
“Any exclusion of a family because of race or ethnic background I would oppose very strongly and aggressively as President,” he said. “But think it’s good to maintain the homogeneity of neighborhoods if they’ye been established that way.”
you cannot ignore people teaching others, and likely paid for on your dime.
He can keep his ideas, but we shouldn’t be paying him, or having him teach our kids.
I am uneasy about protecting him, but I have to. The trouble is how this “white free” culture will operate. As a white person, I have benefitted from the culture that rewards me for being in the dominant group. Presumably, this new culture will be rid of the injustices of white dominance; the faster the better. Sorry, but that won’t happen. There are common characteristics of all peoples, white and otherwise. Humans organize themselves into hierarchical orders so that some kind of elite will dominate. Sometimes this happens peacefully, but usually not. You can always be sure, however, that the dominated group won’t like it.
“As a white person, I have benefitted from the culture that rewards me for being in the dominant group.”
Wow, you have drunk the Maoist Kool-Aid. What you achieved, you did due to your own merit or lack of merit. There has been no widespread institutional racism in employment since the 70s by both legislative and judicial fiat. If you don’t believe me, watch network TV commercials. Quit self-flagellating. You look weak and worthless but, on the other hand, as a psychology professor of mine once said “if someone tells you what they are — believe them.” (No it wasn’t Jordan Peterson.)
Why is it always “white supremacy” and never red supremacy, yellow supremacy, brown supremacy or black supremacy?
What was the genesis of generational welfare and affirmative action privilege?
The only supremacy I see of late are among insecure Black racists trying to ESTABLISH Black Supremacy by shaming Whites into believing it’s high time to voluntarily “pass the wand on” & let Blacks rule supreme.
They are filled with blood-lust against Whites & want revenge
— when none is due them.
Let them die? A professor wants all white people to die? Is he going to murder his white students? If a white professor said he thought all black people would die, protestors would burn down the university if it didn’t fire him.
Free speech means you don’t go to jail for what you say. As a business owner, what employee’s do in the public square affects the business’s reputation. Who would use a business run by the KKK who said black people should die? Therefore a business owner can and should fire any employee who threatens the company’s profits or reputation.
I would never pay a cent for my child to attend a university who employed professors who shouted online that white people should die. I would not believe it was safe.
If this guy one day shoots up the white kids on campus, everyone would point the finger at the school and say why didn’t they remove him? He was obviously making threatening statements publicly. If any white kid got less than an A, they might wonder if it was because of racism.
Professors are supposed to be unbiased. Does this sound unbiased? This is not a difference of political opinion. I wouldn’t care if he was a communist, as long as he kept his personal politics out of the classroom. But saying white people are evil and should die sounds like he wants to hurt people.
I wonder if he thinks that slavers currently operating in Africa should die. Does he think the descendants of the Barbary pirates, who bought black slaves, castrated the males, and sold more slaves than Europeans did should die?
The mainstreaming of bigotry against conservatives, racism against whites, and misandry against men is disgusting. What is wrong with people’s critical reasoning skills, conscience, and character not to be bothered by this? I can think of a few relatives of my own who would be cheering this guy on. And they’re white! Maybe they think if they virtue signal it’s like painting lamb’s blood on the door frame. Judgement and Blame will just pass them by.
Stop the hate. Stop the Democrat Party. They’re only doing this because it is successful. They get votes. If people snapped out of it, and the hate became the turnoff that it should be, then the Democrat Party would adjust and become a more tolerant, compassionate political affiliation.
The only way to force the party to stop its trajectory is to vote against them in November. Send a message. Make them change. They didn’t used to be like this. They didn’t used to be about so much hate…well not since the days of the Klan. All they’re missing today is the white hoods.
Karen, he isn’t doing any thinking. He’s paid for performance art. He was hired and tenured because they want him as decoration (why? well, that’s part of the psychopathology of gentry liberals). His dissertation is classified as a work of comparative religion and with scant doubt includes no statistical studies. The department where he studied 25 years ago is this one here:
You’ll note that two of the three areas of study for graduate students all but require adhering to certain attitudes a priori.
You’ll also note how meagre is the undergraduate course list. Also, look at the faculty, and what interests them. I doubt you’ll find many quantitative studies in their vitae. Criminology and urban sociology are almost absent. There is one indicating economic sociology is an interest (among a half-dozen other things about which he writes). The only one who avers she studies family life is a professional feminist.
All these fluff degrees and soft sciences they offer now have very little use. With the proliferation of student loans and quotas, universities started coming up with make-work and social justice degrees. Look at all the gender and family classes required for the major. It’s like the underperforming relative of anthropology. No, wait, who knows what anthropology has been reduced to now.
Graduates are saddled with six-figure debt for a degree that won’t get them a paying job, and then they demand that taxpayers out there being productive subsidize their gender studies degree.
They have to take an entire class devoted to digital literacy??? Seriously?
Karen S – I have taken whole classes in “digital literacy” and learned a ton. Don’t mock.
All these fluff degrees and soft sciences they offer now have very little use. With the proliferation of student loans and quotas, universities started coming up with make-work and social justice degrees.
Karen, sociology as a discipline taught in colleges and universities antedated student loans by a couple of generations.
Sociology is unrecognizable now. It used to be useful for urban planning, human resources, and the like. But now it’s devolved to social constructs, gender relations, SJW, etc.
There is a movement to force working Americans to pay for the higher education of others. But odds are the taxpayers won’t be able to choose what degrees they want to hand out. Will they pay for doctors to get their medical licenses, in exchange for those doctors working off that debt in rural clinics? No. It will be like handing a credit card to a teenager without being allowed to set a spending limit or standards. People will get degrees in basket weaving, gender studies, gender fluidity, etc and demand that taxpayers foot the bill. Whether it’s blue collar workers paying for white collar degrees, or useless degrees, they will still have to pay.
It used to be useful
Karen, it’s liberal education. It’s not supposed to be useful, though there may be side benefits to the learning. Academic courses do not map to careers. The problem isn’t that it isn’t useful. The problem here is that it’s worthless and obnoxious agitprop. The problem at other schools is that professors who make inquiries contrary to disciplinary ideology are subject to harassment, if not by the faculty than by organs of the American Sociological Association.
It didn’t use to be like this because we’ve allowed it to go unchecked for too long.
White people need not fear saying they are proud of being White, proud of their White forefathers’ successes or White cultural heritage.
Whites are basically prohibited from acknowledging their race in a positive light. White guilt, taught via school systems & MSM, has poisoned our youth’s minds for decades.
We are yielding the fruit we have sown …. that started with Affirmative Action.
The man has mental problems. The truth is that if it weren’t for slavery, blacks would still be running around in Africa raiding each others villages and living in squalor.
I checked their statement using mathematical proofs. Sorry. Zero plus zero is still zero.
“Rather my concern that another professor saying that same about black people would not receive the same protection and the lack of any bright line rule protecting all free speech.”
If that right of free speech against any protected class was permitted then I believe William’s statements would be observed in a much harsher environment and he would become an outlier. It is this abridgment of free speech that is creating these monsters.
And THAT is my issue as well. Blacks are “off-limits”. They are a protected class of people.
Racism and Blood-lust within the Black community have run unchecked for so long. Brings to mind the image of a child that’s been allowed to run too wild for far too long, by an overindulging parent, without consequence.
I am white. Proud of my wholly European ancestry.
I actually found the opinion piece to be thought-provoking even though I disagreed with it…This creates uncertainty for many academics if they will be disciplined for writing in the same provocative way as Professor Williams.
You’re a legal scholar, there should be no uncertainty. It’s high time you did more than opine about the free expression of ideas. It’s time for you to stick your professional neck out with your own opinion piece supporting or condemning the substance of these provocative opinions.
The problem is manifest in the Professor’s pretense and patterns of avoidance. Williams is a parody professor, a gruesome little lawn ornament. That he is free to speak is irrelevant to the principal question, which is why he was hired and why Prof. Turley finds it necessary to pretend.
Olly and DSS, in life there are those that talk and those that do.
Agreed. The law is one thing, I refuse to believe that JT is that personally innocuous, unless he really is that ivory-towered, and I’d hate to believe that. Enough already. Stop making excuses for leftist-fascism, please. It is a real and growing problem in this country. I respect the rule of law – they don’t. Not at all. Not even a little bit. They’d have to understand it first, and they simply don’t.
Again, you have these problem because board of trustees do not regulate their institutions. The institutions are regulated according to faculty politics. The problem is one of what Paul Shaugnessy has called ‘sociological corruption.’ In Shaugnessy’s understanding, given 100 men, 5 may be heroes, 5 may be scoundrels, and the rest keep their heads down trying to do their jobs. In a healthy organization, the 5 heroes set the overall tone and discipline the malefactors. In an unhealthy organization, the organization is run by hollow men whose object is to contain bad publicity. The sociologically corrupt organization requires outside intervention to right itself.
Outside intervention needs to come in the form of state legislation, particularly that which concerns corporate governance. May not be anywhere near enough, but you don’t know if you do not try. The Democratic Party, which is on the side of corruption and injustice in every venue, will run interference for the faculty. The Republicans, as we speak, are supine.
I will always defend anyone’s right to make a fool of themselves
– makes me look good.
But Mr. Williams obviously doesn’t get how this whole supremacy thing works. See, a nation full of supremacists wouldn’t allow a person public space to rant about how inferior all of them are. They would make that person go away. Yet, here we have over 192 million “supremacists” defending his right to slander them.
Again, sociology is a degenerate discipline. I doubt this is inherent in its subject matter. It’s a reasonable wager this is so because it was damaged during a seminal period by a critical mass of ideologues. They acted to exclude their opponents from tenured positions. At the same time, the discipline grew less and less attractive to men of serious intellect.
Have a gander at the vitae and bibliography of the other members of his department. As we speak, there are 9 faculty in that department. Maybe two of the nine are authentic academicians. The rest are parody faculty. There’s a simple solution that Trinity’s otiose board of trustees will not implement: close the department and discharge its faculty.
Keep in mind that successive provosts have allowed this situation to develop at Trinity, so the rest of the faculty is implicated in the ruin that is the sociology department there. Each person tenured therein was so with the approval of faculty committees and officers external to the department. You want to know the source of this problem, professor, all you have to do is look around you.
Professor T is correct. If this same scenario was a “white” professor, saying the same things about “blacks,” that Professor never would have been given a second “bite of the apple.” I am all for “freedom of speech,” but that freedom also comes with consequences. In this case, this professor is telling blacks that is free hunting season on whites, and that is the last thing we need as a nation. Just as any white professor would have been rightfully fired, this Trinity professor must be fired as well.
It seems that the college tenure programs are one of the reasons that people like this get away with such things…or, at least that is the excuse given.
This professor is as racist as they come. It is time for “whitey” to strike back.
A little constitutional and chronological context: the U.S. Constitution is a “wartime governing charter” created during wartime and designed to be following during wartime with wartime emergency clauses already built in. In other words there is no “terrorism-exemption” or a “War on Drugs-exemption” to the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights.
1960’s and 1970’s Supreme Court rulings, like “Terry v. Ohio” effectively changed the meaning of the 4th Amendment, without the legally required constitutional amendment. 9/11 effectively nullified the remaining Bill of Rights, without constitutional amendment.
During the Bush Administration and GOP-controlled Congress, it was essentially illegal to do things like “playing paintball while non-white or non-Christian”. The DOJ prosecuted American citizens, of non-Christian faiths, for playing paintball. White Americans, some engaging in far worse violence, doing exactly the same things, were exempted from this liberal interpretation of constitutional law.
Over almost 20 years, it turns out that most real “terrorism” (using intimidation, through threat of violence) was “domestic terrorism” by white hate groups. Now that the statistics prove this reality, White hate groups are now opposed to “unconstitutional authoritarianism” that has come full circle.
A posting not worthwhile responding to except to correct one important bit of misinformation.
AZ writes: “A little constitutional and chronological context: the U.S. Constitution is a “wartime governing charter” created during wartime”
That things might occur during wartime doesn’t make any document a “wartime document”. If AZ knew his history then he would recognize that fact.
The US Constitution was not written during a time of war. It was written in 1787. The American Revolutionary War ended in 1783.
Gypo, you are absolutely correct and thank you for making that point though I still disagree with AZ’s assessment of wartime documents.
Racism is racism.
The notion that academic freedom provides a free pass for any faculty member to say ANYTHING no matter how ridiculous belongs in the same garbage can as the Sullivan decision.
Another example of how we apply justice unevenly in the U.S.
Liberals would call Williams’ pass a small step towards reparations.
Which Trinity College? I know of 5.
— David B Benson
The one in Connecticut.
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