Russell Rickford, an assistant history professor at Cornell University, urged white students to commit “race suicide” on Wednesday night in response to the death of Michael Brown and the recent riots in Ferguson, Mo.
The event at which Rickford spoke was called “Ferguson: The Next Steps,” according to Campus Reform.
A staffer for The Cornell Review, the Ivy League school’s conservative student rag, recorded the event.
The Ivy League professor suggested that “treason to whiteness” is a necessary step to salvage humanity.
“There’s still a slender minority of white folks, a very slender, but a slender minority of white folks, that are ready to commit race suicide,” Rickford told the audience, near the end of his remarks. “Which is to say, they are ready to reject corrupt skin privileges. They’re ready to perform treason to whiteness, as an expression of their loyalty to humanity.”
Rickford, who grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., also suggested that the police are “mercenaries for the corporations and the rich” and go out of their way to kill black people.
“We attempt to negotiate with a system that has demonstrated time and time again its utter disdain for the sanctity of black lives,” he pontificates at the 8:32 mark of the video below. “Not only its disdain, but its deep commitment to the slaughtering of black and brown people.”
He alleges that black Americans are suffering from “genocide” and many black Americans are complicit in the act.
“The petite bourgeoisie, including black and brown folks stands [sic] on the sidelines mumbling, asking white supremacy to please crack fewer hits,” he bloviates.
“The statement ‘fuck the police’ is one of the most astute, honest and meaningful responses to the events in Ferguson,” Rickford tells the audience at the 12:11 mark. “Fuck authoritarianism and white supremacy. This is uncompromising politics, the politics of resistance.”
He calls “poor black and brown people” “the primary victims of American capitalism.”
Rickford earned a graduate degree from Columbia University, a school with an endowment of $9.2 billion (which is roughly equal to the nominal gross domestic product of the country of Laos).
He has written a laudatory biography of Betty Shabazz, who was married to Malcolm X.
Casey Breznick, the editor in chief of the Cornell Review, discussed Rickford’s remarks with Campus Reform after the event.
Rickford and people who believe what he believes “are operating within a totally different paradigm of thought,” Breznick wrote in an email. “They view the world in terms of race and class.”
“[I]ndividual rights are nonexistent to them,” Breznick added.
Rickford has a history of incendiary statements.
Back in January, at Dartmouth, the professor called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “a tool of the far-right imperialists to appease people.” (RELATED: Dartmouth Professor: MLK Day Is A Far-Right Imperialist Holiday)