Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Clearing the record …

The other day I linked to this:

 … Don Surber: Professor wants white people to kill themselves.

Shortly thereafter I wrote to Ken Gormley, the president of Dusquense University. I just received an email from Gabriel Welsch, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications fir Dusquesne. I asked Gabriel if I could post his letter and he gave me permission. So here it is:

Mr. Wilson,


We are thankful that you contacted us. The video online that you reference is being presented out of context and inaccurately. The details below we are sharing widely and so I am sharing them directly with you. It is imperative that we provide information to correct the misleading information being circulated. 


In fact, Reuters, the international news service, published yesterday a fact-check article on this matter: https://www.reuters.com/article/fact-check-duquesne-university-professor/fact-check-duquesne-university-professor-did-not-endorse-suicide-in-lecture-idUSL1N2Q81AY


That story links to the University's statement. In that statement, Duquesne notes that the statement attributed to Professor Hook is ridiculous and reckless. As Reuters' reporting makes clear, using sources beyond the University as well as through interview with us and the professor, Dr. Hook did not make a statement advocating anything like what was suggested. In fact, he said that the statement in question was “crazy.” 


The statement goes on to say: "Professor Hook also said that the provocateur who used this example was wrong in suggesting any such radical action. The words being circulated were simply lifted out of context to distort the actual comments. Saying that Professor Hook called for anything like the words in question is false. 


"Duquesne University is a Catholic institution that condemns any suggestion that suicide is to be advocated or endorsed in any form. 


"Professor Hook’s presentation was part of an invited online talk he gave to Baltimore-based American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW), an international association for psychoanalytic social workers. It happened in June. While some of the content in the recording certainly contained troubling elements if taken alone, the full discussion only references the work of another person (Terblanche Delport, as the slides indicate) and the extreme proposition in the context of post-Apartheid South Africa. 


"Professor Hook did not advocate taking the extreme measures Delport described. Professor Hook is not advocating, nor does he advocate, violence. His effort to understand how extreme thought is developed is the point of the presentation. 


"Professor’s Hook’s expertise is in psychoanalysis, and his work considers psychoanalytic dimensions of racism in America and South Africa. He is a highly respected expert, and it is disappointing that his efforts to understand and challenge ideas that are admittedly extreme are being shared out of context to falsely illustrate advocacy for extreme behavior." 


Again, we are thankful that you cared enough to inquire about what really was occurring. Your concern is much appreciated.  



1 comment:

  1. What is the motive of the first person to spread the rumor? Is this a game? Is something won, no matter the damage? And what about those hateful comments it provoked in the original blog post you linked to? Are those people the dupes? Was that some kind of food for them?