A Duke professor is defending himself against criticism from his own university after a post he made in the New York Times comment section comparing Asian Americans with Blacks, reports the Daily Beast (Photo by Jim Wallace, Duke University).
Prof. Jerry Hough wrote that Asian Americans “didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard” in response to discrimination.
The professor of political science then went on to criticize the names African American parents choose for their children.
“Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” said Hough. “Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”
A spokesperson for Duke University called the comments “noxious, offensive and have no place in civil discourse.” However, Duke emphasized that Hough has not been suspended as some have reported, but was already on academic leave when he made his comments.
Hough has not backed down from his remarks.
“In writing me, no one has said I was wrong, just racist. The question is whether I was right or what the nuanced story is since anything in a paragraph is too simple,” he said.
I’ve always considered comments that I work hard a backhanded compliment. I much rather hear I’m smart, talented and just do good work. It’s also bothersome when the compliment is used while comparing Asian Americans to other ethnic groups. It implies the other ethnic group, in this case, African Americans, don’t work hard. There are numerous socioeconomic reasons why one group may be behind in certain areas than others. Work ethic has nothing to do with it.
You can read Hough’s remarks on interracial dating between Whites and Asians and on the Japanese American incarceration camps during WWII in the Daily Beast.