Durham activist challenges embattled Duke professor

Durham activist challenges embattled Duke professor (Image 1)

A long-time professor at Duke University, under fire for racially-charged comments, is now facing a new challenge. A community activist in Durham is asking political science professor Jerry Hough to participate in, what he’s calling, an “intellectual dual” – a debate – on the issue of race.

Minister Paul Scott said he works to keep African-American teens out of trouble and said he emailed the professor to challenge him to a debate. This comes after Hough took the the online comments section of a New York Times editorial titled “How Racism Doomed Baltimore” to compare African-Americans to Asian-Americans.

He said in part, “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 didn’t make sense,” Scott said. “We have different histories. African-Americans were brought over here in slave ships. We lost our names in Africa. We don’t know what our names were.”

Scott said he emailed Hough on Monday, but had not yet heard back as of that evening. Duke University has disavowed the comments, but said every professor has a right to free speech. Hough is currently on an unrelated leave from Duke and stands by the comments.

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