Posted on October 17, 2021

The Hate Speech Double Standard

Stephen Webster, American Renaissance, March 2006

The American cultural and political landscape is littered with the career remains of whites who said things offensive to blacks. In 1987, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Al Campanis was fired for saying blacks may not have “some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager” in major league baseball. The following year, CBS Sports commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder lost his job for speculating that the dominance of blacks in certain sports was due to selective breeding: “During the slave period, the slave owner would breed his big black with his big woman so that he would have a big black kid — that’s where it all started.” Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh was forced to resign as a commentator for the sports network ESPN in 2003 after implying that the only reason Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was considered a top player was because he was black.

Last September, former education secretary William Bennett nearly lost his radio program after saying: “If you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down.” He added: “That would be an impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” He was simply making a point about crime rates and the possible consequences of abortion, but he had to endure sustained criticism and calls for his resignation.

Blacks are not held to the same standard, and a particularly obvious case is that of Dr. Kamau Kambon, a black activist and a former visiting professor of Africana Studies at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Last October, Prof. Kambon was on a panel at Howard University Law School to discuss media coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He told the audience that “we [blacks] are at war” and that white people had set up an “international plantation” for blacks. “White people want to kill us,” he added. “I want you to understand that. They want to kill you. They want to kill you because that is part of their plan.” Dr. Kambon’s solution? “We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem.” He concluded by urging blacks to “get very serious and not be diverted from coming up with a solution to the problem, and the problem on the planet is white people.”

Had the professor been a white man calling for the extermination of blacks, the media outcry would have been deafening, but there was silence about Dr. Kambon. Were it not for the Internet, his words would have gone unremarked, despite being aired on C-SPAN to a national audience. No black group or individual came forward to denounce him.

Prof. Kambon was the subject of a debate between American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor and James “Jimi” Izrael, a black editorial assistant for the Lexington Herald-Leader. The debate took place on the Sue Wylie Program of News/Talk 590 WVLK in Lexington, Ky., last Nov. 9.

Mr. Izrael refused to say that what Prof. Kambon had said was wrong. He at first dismissed him as a “kooky academic,” and said America “was a free country.” When pressed by Miss Wylie to condemn someone who promotes genocide, Mr. Izrael could say only that he defended Bill Bennett’s right to say whatever he wanted as well as Prof. Kambon’s. He seemed bemused that anyone would be disturbed by talk of extermination.

In response to a caller, Mr. Taylor mentioned other blacks, such as musician Miles Davis and poet bell hooks, who have publicly fantasized about killing whites but have suffered no consequences. Mr. Izrael began to laugh out loud. “Listen,” he said, “I’m laughing because if I had a dollar for every time I heard a black person [talking about] killing somebody white I’d be a millionaire, like, once or twice a week.” Mr. Izrael found it amusing that whites would be offended if blacks fantasize about killing whites, but did concede grudgingly, “I guess if I were white I wouldn’t think it was funny, either.”

He then explained why it is harmless for blacks to talk about extermination. Dr. Kambon should not be taken seriously because, as a black man, he has no power. If Sue Wylie or Jared Taylor started talking about exterminating blacks that would be cause for alarm because whites do have power. Mr. Izrael was dismissive of any caller who thought his position was inconsistent.

Mr. Izrael’s own performance was a perfect example of the racial double standard in “hate speech.” Despite his insistence that he spoke only for himself, and not for the Lexington Herald-Leader, if a white editorial writer refused to condemn genocidal remarks uttered by a white professor — and indeed, laughed at the idea of killing blacks — he would have lost his job by the time the program was over. When whites make even semi-humorous comments that offend blacks it is serious. When blacks talk of exterminating whites it is a laughing matter.