Posted on December 12, 2018

Columbia Student from Viral Video Speaks: ‘I Am Not Racist’

Pilar Melendez, Daily Beast, December 11, 2018

The white Columbia University student seen in a viral video this week shouting at fellow students about how white people are “the best thing that ever happened to the world” wants to set the record straight.

Julian von Abele, a sophomore studying physics, claimed in a statement provided to The Daily Beast that the stunning video “does not show my true beliefs” and that his rant was actually “part of a broader debate and series of events that provide important context.”

“I am not a white supremacist or racist, nor do I subscribe to any views that support that ideology. I unequivocally denounce all groups that support racism,” he explained. “My reaction that evening grew out of my distaste for the overuse of the term ‘white privilege’ and similar divisive rhetoric as a means of dismissing views of others.”

According to von Abele, his videotaped tirade was simply a plea for all races and cultures to openly appreciate their people’s accomplishments. “I believe that every single person should love themselves and love their culture, and we should all be allowed to be proud of our heritage,” he said. {snip}

In the video captured Sunday night, von Abele is seen standing outside Butler Library around 4 a.m., wildly swinging his arms while screaming at other students: “Europeans built the modern world.”


In his statement, von Abele claimed that the heated exchange began “when several students were accusing Trump supporters of encouraging sexual violence.”

According to the sophomore, “I explained that I am a Trump supporter and I do not in any way encourage violence, sexual or otherwise. A large group of students gathered around me and told me that I had no right to share my views on women as I’m a white male with ‘white privilege.’”

And so, von Abele added, he became irate as he was “offended” for what he perceived as “being held personally responsible for the historical actions” of all white people. Furthermore, he said, “I was tired of the divisive rhetoric that blames all the ills of society on white men.”

In the video, von Abele’s fellow students can be seen getting upset by his remarks, calling him a “degenerate” and giving him middle finger while simultaneously egging him on to “say it one more time.”

“We saved billions of people from starvation, we built modern civilization! White people are the best thing that ever happened to the world!” von Abele continued, his voice growing hoarse from all the shouting. “We are so amazing. I love myself! I love white people! Fuck yeah, white people. Fuck yeah, white men. We’re white men, we did everything.”


But the student does not repudiate anything he actually said.


On Tuesday, von Abele defended his conduct as nonviolent. “At no time did I shove, grab, or physically or verbally assault anyone, nor did I denigrate anyone’s race.” He added, “Since this event, I have received credible threats to my safety, I have been harassed, and my personal information has been released.”


“I apologize for going over the top, and I emphasize that my reaction was not one of hate.”