Politically correct racism at the City University of New York
THE speech was grotesquely racist - littered with cracks about dead white people. And it featured an insane call for blacks to outsmart the white man by ridding their bodies of all things white: white milk, white sugar, white bread.
But this racist rant was not spoken in a basement somewhere. It was part of a city-hosted "Unity in Diversity" event yesterday - and it took place inside the headquarters of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. During working hours.
Your tax money at work.
The speaker was Dr. Leonard Jeffries, the disgraced City University of New York African Studies professor who rose to infamy in 1991 when he declared that Jews and the Mafia conspired to keep down blacks.
A fire-breathing Jeffries, in African dress and a photograph of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney pinned to his robe, suggested to the standing-room-only crowd of nearly 100 HPD workers that blacks were thinking and acting too white.
"If every white person in the world dropped dead, the system would continue to go on, because it's in you now," he said. "The system that white folks rule."
"That's heavy!" an onlooker chanted in approval.
Jeffries has learned nothing since he was stripped of his departmental chair for his remarks. He continues to teach to this day, unbowed.
In 1994, he compared Jews to "skunks - who stink up the place."
So much for diversity.
Jeffries suggested yesterday that white people conspired to ruin blacks' health with inferior food - a ploy to keep them going to doctors.
"My basic rule of thumb is to stay away from things white," Jeffries told the mostly African-American HPD staffers. "Take the whiteness out of your minds, or at least neutralize it with blackness."
To do that, he urged people to "start the day with lemon water, not white sugar."
"Some of you like coffee, too," he said. "You should take it black."
"In order for you to detox that body, you gotta have something of color on your plate. You gotta have some red tomatoes. You gotta have some greens. You gotta have some oranges, some carrots. You gotta have some color on your plate.
"You gotta have some black beans."
Then he paused for effect.
"Now corporate America wants you to die."
It was billed as a "unity" event, one that every agency in the city puts on and is organized by the workers themselves. But the HPD employees who crammed into an eighth-floor conference room - including some high-level administrators - instead got a venomous lesson in intolerance and division.
"You've been trained to worship white people. To worship white values. To worship white culture," Jeffries said.
"If you talk about the Garden of Eden, you talk about the Garden of Eden in the sun, you're not talking about it in the ice," said Jeffries, who has likened blacks to superior "sun people" and whites to inferior "ice people."
He also downplayed mass murder of people other than blacks.
"People in the death camps of Germany went to their deaths as humans. For hundreds of years, black people were told you are not part of humanity."
And, "They say that when 9/11 occurred, it was the biggest terror attack on New York. But there were other terrorist attacks," he said - referring to the draft riots during the Civil War.
One of those in the audience yesterday, Alex Matskevich, a computer consultant with the HPD, said the event reminded him of the intolerance he experienced as a Russian Jew.
"Making statements about dropping dead and about avoiding everything white - ridiculous. That's why I came to America 27 years ago. Here, we are one huge family. And here comes this Dr. Jeffries who's trying to break up the family, and I think it's unfair.
"And the fact that the city is promoting this racist!"
He should be banned from city property, not celebrated.
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