Texas A&M professors defend colleague's comments

Published: May. 11, 2017 at 10:43 PM CDT
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A Texas A&M professor is under scrutiny after comments he made almost five years ago.

Dr. Tommy Curry frequently spoke on a radio show hosted by Rob Redding. It was on the show Curry said he wanted to talk about killing white people in context.

It was during a time when the movie "Django Unchained" had been released, and he was referring to comments made by an actor.

Some people have said he crossed the line and think he should be fired, but some of his colleagues are defending him.

"Nowhere in the comments is my colleague, Dr. Curry, calling for the killing of white people. That's a complete misunderstanding and misrepresentation of his comments taken completely out of context," said Dr. Felipe Hinojosa, a professor at Texas A&M.

Hinojosa says Curry is a scholar that has a national reputation for his studies in African American philosophy and represents the best of what scholars do.

"This is a history that might be troublesome to some folks. Talking about white supremacist, violence against black people, the history of lynching, rape, murder, of outright discrimination and segregation, it's not one that is an easy conversation to have with a lot of people, but if people are troubled by that, that's not something they should be troubled with Dr. Curry about," said Hinojosa.

Texas A&M President Michael Young sent out a letter Wednesday night saying Curry's comments during the interview didn't match the Aggie core values.

In response, Dr. Violet Johnson, the Director of the Africana Studies program, wrote a letter. It reads in part, "Your statement did not highlight crucial contexts for interpreting Dr. Tommy Curry's interview and, yes, importantly too, the current environment in America that may have triggered the search for and rebroadcast of it after four years."

Rob Redding echoed that statement.

"It's just very interesting that a lot of people are spending so much time talking about this, something that happened almost five years ago on YouTube, that nobody's ever tried to hide. I mean, there's no reason to try and hide it because the context is they don't want to discuss it or the possibility of any retribution, which is what the Django movie talks about," said Redding.

Texas A&M's President went on to say that the First Amendment protects the rights of others to offer their personal views, no matter how reprehensible those views may be.