The Daily Nous reports that Texas A&M philosophy professor Tommy Curry is receiving death threats because I highlighted a podcast he made in which he discussed black people killing whites, and when it might be acceptable. From the Daily Nous:

The article, “When Is It Ok To Kill Whites?” by Rod Dreher, appears at The American Conservative, and uses as its launching point an interview that Professor Curry did four years earlier. In that interview, Professor Curry discusses the contemporary popular lack of awareness of calls for violent black resistance against slavery and racism in U.S. history, the history of violence against black people in the U.S., the way in which the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment has been made use of in racist ways, and related topics. Dreher uses misleading rhetoric and selective quotations in an attempt to frame Curry’s remarks as “racist bilge.”

For example, in the interview, Curry, discussing Jamie Foxx’s joke about how great it was for him to be able to kill all of the white characters in the movie Django Unchained, says:

What I’m surprised about is that I’ve seen no black public intellectual come out and actually address the issue of violence or social revolution or radical self-defense by black people historically. So right now black people simply buy into the idea that “oh, it’s entertainment,” or “oh, you know, violence against white people is only the idea of the Black Panthers.” But in reality we’ve had people from Nat Turner to Robert F. Williams who was the father of the radical self defense movement that inspired the Black Panthers… that thought about killing white people in self-defense…

When we have this conversation about violence or killing white people it has to be looked at in the context of a historical turn, 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,” I’ve just been immensely disappointed, because what we look at week after week is national catastrophe after catastrophe where black people, black children, are still dying…

Dreher takes all of that and reports it as follows:

“In order to be equal, in order to be liberated, some white people might have to die,” he says

—completely ignoring that with those words Curry was describing a view that some people, historically, have held. You get the idea. Dreher, no stranger to the Internet, knows exactly what he is doing here, and what the likely result will be.

Ridiculous. Anybody who is threatening Dr. Curry ought to be ashamed of themselves, and arrested if possible. I say that as someone who, back in 2001, had to hide out in my apartment for a week after Al Sharpton and other racist demagogues whipped up sentiment against me, resulting in multiple death threats. It’s not very comforting to have left on your answering machine at work, “We know what you look like and what door you use when you come out of your building. We will be waiting with a knife, and we’re going to cut your throat.” That really happened, that threat. And it was not the only threat.

But I stand by my interpretation of Curry’s remarks. Listen to the entire short interview. He begins by condemning Barack Obama and Martin Luther King for being peaceable in talking about race and racial reconciliation. Then, at around the two minute mark, Curry condemns black and white liberals who try to dissuade discussion of blacks killing whites as a form of achieving justice. Curry says (sarcastically) that “you can never have a political conversation about the killing of white people, that that in itself is evil, is not productive, that only evil black nationalists do that, right?”

He goes on to lament that so few black intellectuals today consider “how relevant and how solidified this kind of tradition is” it is to today, when, he says, police are killing black children. He says openly that we should be talking about black people taking up arms to protect themselves from the police. You listen to the Curry rant for yourself and decide what he’s saying, but he began by talking about how wrong Jamie Foxx was to fantasize about killing white people as mere entertainment. Curry says in context that this was a serious thing, and that people like Obama and King and other black intellectuals in that tradition are wrong to downplay the threat of deadly violence as a means of black liberation. In context of the entire piece, it seems pretty clear to me that Curry is saying that this ought to be a live option for black Americans today. Again, Curry’s quote:

When we have this conversation about violence or killing white people it has to be looked at in the context of a historical turn, 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,” I’ve just been immensely disappointed, because what we look at week after week is national catastrophe after catastrophe where black people, black children, are still dying…

Listen to the entire Curry interview, and tell me that he’s not saying that black folks today ought to be talking about killing white people for the sake of liberation and equality. I don’t believe Tommy Curry is encouraging black people to go out today and cut throats. I think he is entertaining dangerous thoughts here, same as far-right white radicals.

You can find all kinds of talks online from Tommy Curry trashing white people and black people who are insufficiently radical (e.g., “Stop Absolving White Folks”). In that talk, Curry condemns progressive white academics who criticize whites for the way they have treated Native Americans.

“Contemporary white feminists pretend that they can simply converse [sic] these ideas without consequence,” Curry says. In other words, shut up, white woman, because your skin color makes you guilty. Curry goes on to say that white feminists allow the “academic-industrial complex” to “pimp out oppression,” and that “white people and whiteness” are “responsible for the genocide” against Native Americans, “and continue to enforce today as a slavetocracy [sic] against African descended people.”

Tommy Curry believes that black Americans today live under a “slavetocracy.” He said so. And he thinks black Americans ought to be thinking about the historic example of armed black people who were prepared to use lethal force to protect themselves in a time when white people were allowed to terrorize them with impunity.

Tell me, then, how my interpretation of Tommy Curry’s point of view is wrong. I do not believe it is. I think Curry prefers to think of this stuff as something he can talk about and rant about, but that nobody outside the circles of the elect should listen to and take seriously. It seems to me that contemporary radical black nationalists like Prof. Curry pretend that they can simply talk about these ideas without consequence. If you’d like to do that, then don’t post your crackpot racial hatred to the Internet. If you’d like to know more about what Tommy Curry believes regarding this stuff, it’s easy to find out on the Internet. He has spoken at length about it.

That said, again, anyone who threatens to harm Dr. Curry or his family ought to be arrested.

UPDATE: And, I might add, I hope Dr. Curry is armed, so that if anybody shows up at his house threatening him, he defends his home and family by any means necessary.

Seems to me that what links this case to the Duke Divinity School situation is that academics would like to carry out their own discourses within the bounds of the academy, and do not want outsiders looking in or passing judgment. My guess is that within the academy, people have gotten so accustomed to hearing professors like Tommy Curry spout radicalism that they think it is normative. When outsiders peek in and judge it, they get furious. Could it be that they’re so accustomed to their audiences deferring to them that they cannot imagine anyone objecting?