Bid to Condemn Prof May Die in Senate

Karen Branch, "Bid to condemn prof may die in Senate," Tallahasse Herald, Friday 30 April, 1999 p. 6B.

TALLAHASSEE --- The black, Hispanic and Jewish members of the Florida Senate have co-sponsored a resolution to condemn a Florida State University professor who wrote an admiring forward to the autobiography of David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.

But Senate leaders are refusing to allow a debate on the matter.

Sen. Daryl Jones, D-South Dacc, chairman of the legislature's black caucus filed the proposed resolution (S 2742) on Wednesday.

It says: "The Florida Senate condemns the racist, intolerant and divisive teachings of Professor Glayde Whitney as an affront to the values and morals of our state and nation, and repudiates his views with this instrument of truth."

The Herald left an e-mail message and a phone message for Whitney, who could not be reached for comment.

Senate leaders say the bill was filed too late to fully examine the issue.

"I don't know a whole lot about this," said Sen. John McKay R-Bradenton, chair of the Rules Committee that serves as gatekeeper to bills.

"If this gentlemen did all these things, it's completely abhorrent. But before the Senate as a body accuses someone of anything, you have to go through a deliberative process."

McKay told Homes there should first be a Senate hearing to allow Whitney a chance to defend himself.

They wanted a deliberative hearing to put people under oath to prove this guy actually said and did these things," Jones said. "I think his record speaks for itself."

Whitney wrote a glowing introduction to Duke's book, My Awakening. The FSU psychology professor has said he believes Duke relied on "good science" to separate schools and perhaps even live in separate countries.

"[Duke] challenges all the sacred cows of modern life, and he does so with intelligence and emotion," Whitney wrote. "Voltaire and David Duke are warriors in a conflict that is as old as civilization."

FSU President Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte said he strongly disagrees with Whitney's views, which he said are "very distasteful." But he also has defended Whitney's right to free speech.

The senator's who signed onto Jones resolution are: Howard Forman, D-Cooper City; James Hargett, D-Tamp; Roberto Casas, R-Hialeah; Kendrick Moek, D-Miami; Mandy Dawson-White, D-Fort Lauderdale; Ron Klein, D-Miami Beach; Mario Diaz-Dalart, R-West Dade; Alberto Gutman, R-Miami; Steve Geller, D-Hallendale; Burt Saunders, R-Naples; Berry Holzendorf, D-Jacksonville.

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