A black professor who once said first responders should let white victims “f***ing die” has since expressed more of his thoughts on “whiteness.” And, it’s a little bit of a reach, to say the least.
Johnny Eric Williams, a tenured professor of sociology at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, came under heavy fire after he made racially charged social media posts, saying first responders should just let white victims “f***ing die” simply because they’re white. Apparently, he didn’t learn his lesson after causing an uproar and taking a “mutually agreed-upon leave of absence” from the college after his inflammatory social media comments garnered national attention.
Instead, Williams has doubled down on his thoughts about “whiteness,” calling it “terrorism” and causing another firestorm among alumni of the liberal arts school. Although Williams has since made his social media account private, The Hartford Courant has a record of his remarks. “Whiteness is terrorism,” the controversial professor wrote on Twitter.
According to Campus Reform, Williams followed up that tweet with “all self-identified white people (no exceptions) are invested in and collude with systematic white racism/white supremacy.” He also pointed a finger at Barack and Michelle Obama, referring to the former president and his wife as “white kneegrows” in a Facebook post.
“‘White’ kneegrows really need a lot of therapy and a good ‘ol ass kicking,” Williams wrote. When asked if he was referring to Candace Owens, a black conservative commentator and political activist from Connecticut, Williams said, “I’m referring to her other and less brazen but more insidious dangerous ‘white’ kneegrows like Barry and Michelle Obama and many other white kneegrows you encounter daily.”
“There are many socially defined black folks who have internalized whiteness — as a way and knowing and being in the world. They like others who believe themselves to be ‘white,’ act on these ideas in ways that create and sustain systemic white racism,” Williams explained in an emailed response, according to The Courant.
“Such whiteness internalization lead folks like Candace Owens, Barry and Michelle Obama to engage in actions and policy creations that are existential threats to humanity, particularly the racial oppressed,” Williams furthered. “Thus my post denotes the urgency of exposing these individual as enemies of humanity’s well-being.”
Although Williams was previously placed on leave over his controversial comments about race, which used the profane hashtag “Let Them [expletive] Die,” an investigation by Trinity cleared the professor of any wrongdoing and determined the tweets were protected by academic freedom.
At the time, Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said she supported Williams’ right to express his views but admitted that she found his words personally offensive. And, it all came at a cost to the school. “The college lost $200,000 in donations due to the controversy. Sixteen incoming students also withdrew their enrollment,” according to The Courant.
Following Williams’ more recent incendiary remarks, Campus Reform spoke to a member of the school’s College Republicans about the professor’s comments. The student, who said they have taken a class with Williams before, called his behavior “horrible” and said he “needs to be checked by the administration.”
“Everyone really questions, even liberals, why is he still here?” the unnamed student said. “I think that’s kind of a question a lot of people are asking is, he advocated for white genocide, why is he still here?”
The student added, “I think if you ask anyone on campus that is not as radical as he is, they will be like ‘He needs to go,’ which is interesting because at Trinity College, most students are pretty apathetic toward really everything, so to have such a high defensive that an individual needs to go, that really says something.” [Source: The Blaze]
In addition, the student alleged that Williams is known for failing students for no reason and requiring students to sign a waiver stating they will not discuss or email about what is said in his class. But, what did the college have to say about the professor and his behavior? The Courant received the following statement from a Trinity spokesperson in an email:
“Yes, we know about the tweets by Professor Williams, which were made in the context of his academic scholarship on issues of race. A discussion of the tweets followed on a closed Facebook group of some Trinity alumni. In that thread, an alumnus reports having reached out to ask Professor Williams about the tweets. Professor Williams then shared a broader scholarly context for the statements, as well as some relevant publications on the concept of whiteness. The context provided by Professor Williams speaks for itself.”
President Berger-Sweeney also told Campus Reform that it’s important to foster debate when it comes to “controversial” speech. “Trinity College supports academic freedom and free expression and inquiry, which are hallmarks of academia and democratic society,” the college president said. “When speech proves controversial, our responsibility as educators is to promote more debate and discussion, not less. Twitter is a challenging place for a thoughtful discourse, which is clear from this example.”
The question is whether the speech is only controversial or, ironically, terroristic in nature. Although Johnny Eric Williams has declared, “Whiteness is terrorism,” it would seem the professor’s own words, calling for the death of innocent civilians based on the color of their skin, are violent and intimidating in nature, in pursuit of his political beliefs. That’s far from just “controversial.” It’s the very definition of “terrorism.” So, echoing the sentiments of the Trinity student quoted earlier, why is he still at the school?