A Cornell University professor charged that the Fraternal Order of Police is “a terrorist organization” at a Black Lives Matter protest in Ithaca, New York on Friday.
The protest was in response to the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, reports The Ithaca Voice.
Castile was shot by a police officer on Wednesday in Falcon Heights, Minnesota — 1,074 miles from Ithaca. Sterling was shot by a police officer on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — 1,395 miles from Ithaca.
The professor is Russell Rickford.
“The Fraternal Order of Police is a terrorist organization,” Rickford said during the protest, according to the Voice. He was countering an unidentified protester who suggested a letter-writing campaign to various law enforcement agencies about Black Lives Matter.
Rickford, a history professor who “specializes in the black radical tradition,” declared that the situation in America today calls for a much more radical response.
“We charge genocide,” Rickford said, and he presented the definition of genocide as proffered by the United Nations.
The site of Rickford’s screed was the Southside Community Center, a lovely colonial building just west of the fancypants Cornell campus (where students enjoy an impressive endowment of $6 billion).
“No more reforms! No more waiting until tomorrow! No more empty statements from politicians!” yelled Dubian Ade, another participant at the rainy Friday protest.
Ade is affiliated with a group called Black Lives Matter: Ithaca. On his Facebook page, he notes that he either attends or recently graduated from Ithaca College (a small private college in town). Interestingly, Ade’s Facebook webpage identifies him with a more run-of-the-mill last name: Campbell.
“I don’t need white tears,” Ade also said, according to the Voice. “Every person of color who came up to say something did not cry. You know why? Because we are so vulnerable that crying in front of a group of white people is unthinkable to us. It’s unthinkable!”
Rickford, who also criticized crying, went off on additional jeremiad against capitalism because of the two recent police shootings.
“There can be no human system under capitalism. Capitalism is an anti-human system,” Rickford proclaimed, according to the Voice.
“You can’t write a goddamned letter,” the Ivy League professor further pontificated. “You’ve got to organize!”
“We need to build a grass-roots, anti-racist, multi-racial, democratic movement,” Rickford bellowed.
Rickford has a history of very radical statements.
In 2014, when he was on the faculty at Dartmouth College, he called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “a tool of the far-right imperialists to appease people.” (RELATED: Ivy League Professor: MLK Day Is A Far-Right Imperialist Holiday)
The end of the Ithaca protest featured a naming of people killed in recent years by police and in other ways. “Say his name!” and “Say her name!” the crowd murmured as the names were read.
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