Texas A&M University officials have described as alarming several comments made by a tenured professor in a nearly 5-year-old YouTube interview in which he discusses racial divide over time.

Amy Smith, A&M's chief marketing and communications officer, told The Eagle on Wednesday evening that administrators found the statements made by Tommy Curry "alarming on many levels and we find it certainly in direct contrast with Aggie core values in its content.”

In an email response, Curry declined to comment and referred questions about the interview to his supervisor - Theodore George, who is head of the Department of Philosophy.

In the 5-minute recording - in which Curry is interviewed by online talk show host Rob Redding - he touches on the movie "Django Unchained" in which he says it prompted a backlash from white conservatives who were offended, accusing the lead character - Jamie Foxx - of being racist. The actor jokingly said during his monologue on a 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live that his new movie was "great" because his character was able to kill "all the white people."

Early in his interview, Curry says he wanted to talk about the context of such a statement.

"...When we have this conversation about violence or killing white people it has to be looked at in the kind of this 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."

Smith said university officials were not aware of the recording until it surfaced on social media this week.

“I want to afford him the respect that was not afforded in those comments to others that was said five years ago,” Smith said when asked about Curry's comments. “We are Aggies and we have to stand up for what we believe in. People have a right to their First Amendment right, but so do we.”

A&M's reaction to the comments come six months after denouncing comments made by white nationalist Richard Spencer, who was invited by a former student to speak on campus. The university published a statement shortly after his event was announced, saying A&M does "not endorse his rhetoric in any way." The university went on to host a counter-event across the street, focusing on unity. It drew thousands, while thousands protested outside and inside the building in which Spencer spoke.

Like with Spencer, Smith acknowledged Curry’s First Amendment right to express his personal views but noted that Texas A&M has a policy against faculty or staff expressing inflammatory views while in a university-affiliated context.

The recording mentions A&M once — at the beginning when the host is introducing the A&M professor. Curry doesn't reference the university.

Curry has taught at Texas A&M for eight years, joining the Department of Philosophy staff in fall 2009. This semester, Curry - who is black - taught a class in radical black philosophies, as well as a graduate course on social and political philosophy. He's considered an expert in critical race theory and Africana philosophy.

Pamela Matthews, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and George - the department chief - will be meeting with Curry to discuss his right to offer personal views on his own time and also doing so in a way that is not affiliated with his role at Texas A&M, Smith said.

Smith said she does not want the statement from the university to "harm" Curry, rather, she said she wants there to be “peace all around.”

“We just want to articulate that for which we stand,” Smith said. “That is for core values and not for what was said in that interview said years ago that apply to a member of our own faculty.”

He has written about and made presentations for years on racism, white privilege, black radicality, hip hop and the Klu Klux Klan, as well as and stereotypes, among others.

Curry graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1999. He earned degrees in philosophy and political science in 2004 from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he graduated with university and department honors. There, he also minored in Black American Studies. That next year, he again graduated with honors for  a master’s degree in philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. He secured his doctorate degree in philosophy from Southern Illinois in 2009.

(9) comments

Billybob

White Lives Matter...well, to most of us anyway.

Twelve

Question: will Mr. Young fund another ~$2M concert in response to this radical speaker on campus like he did for the last radical speaker on campus (Richard Spencer)?

bbfan22

Will be interested in what President Young has to say, especially considering his comments/actions regarding Richard Spencer's appearance on campus a few months ago. Spencer only spoke here for one night and the left, and President Young, reacted immediately and predictably. Professor Curry teaches here. Can't wait to see what their reactions are to Curry advocating a race war. Amy Smith's statement isn't enough.

THX1138

Agreed.

THX1138

Diversity is a code word for White genocide. Who can still doubt this? Imagine if he had said this about Jews. A&M was silent about Denton Ward - imagine if the races were reversed there.

Alabama

Richard Spencer is a white nationalist, in a way, but too many claim him to be a 'white supremacist'. a serious lie, Personally, I think he's an arrogant Yankee of overbearing pomposity. Still, the Aggies pay this racist to actually teach there, giving them no ground to say diddly about Spenser, twit though he be.

SuzyQue

"Smith said she does not want the statement from the university to "harm" Curry, rather, she said she wants there to be “peace all around.”"

That's great, but it's hard to be peaceful when the discussion is about killing people.

foospro86

New recordings of students directly asking Curry whether he believes violence is necessary. He answers affirmatively.
http://www.supportaggies.com/

lastsaneman

Imagine if I a white man said that about blacks. I would be fired, run off campus and never allowed to teach again. Why is it OK for leftist hate mongers to say anything they want as long as it is against whites. The real racists are the democrats who have spent 50 years keeping the AA down. When LBJ started his program to help blacks 7% of black children were born to single mothers and 90% of working age blacks had jobs, now 73% of AA children are born to single mothers and nearly 75% of working age blacks are collecting welfare. The Democrats survive by keeping them on welfare which is why the left now wants illegal aliens to boost their voting numbers. Wake up America...

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