Defends Theories Others View as Racist
By DAVID PEDREIRA of The Tampa Tribune
TALLAHASSEE -- A university professor under attack for
his genetic theories speaks out on race and academic freedom.
students rallied against him and a peer charged him with "bogus
science," professor Glayde Whitney sat behind a lime-green door
in a musty research building.
theories Whitney creates in laboratories and disseminates in
journals are suddenly drawing public notice. He is trying to
keep the controversy at bay.
are running around calling me nasty names," Whitney told The
Tampa Tribune on Tuesday. "I'm not into publicity or controversy,
and I find this whole thing disturbing."
find Whitney disturbing. The tenured Florida State University
professor has written, among other things, that blacks are less
intelligent than whites and more inclined to murder.
he wrote the foreword to David Duke's autobiography, lauding
the former Ku Klux Klan leader for an "academically excellent"
work that could "change the very course of history."
wary and a bit disheveled, Whitney said Tuesday he regretted
writing the foreword, although he agrees with several parts
of Duke's book.
"My Awakening," Duke uses genetic science to push for
the resegregation of schools -- arguing it is better to
group children "in line with their natural abilities."
who has taught at FSU since 1970, also said he lectures his
students on genetic theories suggesting the races are fundamentally
different. He said he treats all his students the same, regardless
of their skin color.
believe in equal treatment for equal people," Whitney said.
he spoke, a few dozen students rallied outside Westcott Hall
at the heart of the campus. They are demanding an investigation
into how Whitney's research is funded and whether he grades
blacks the same as whites.
leaders are grappling with the growing unrest. It has put them
in the uncomfortable position of weighing academic freedom against
charges of racism.
Mashburn, FSU's assistant vice president for student affairs,
said Whitney had "torpedoed from within" the university's mantra
that all people are welcome, regardless of race or creed.
one of Whitney's colleagues publicly scourged him.
work is not science, it's bogus science and lousy science,"
a professor of sociology, James Fendrich, said Tuesday. "I encourage
him to get out of his rat labs and come out on a beautiful day
like today and meet some real people."
FACT, Whitney was meeting real people Tuesday afternoon.
of the professor's students emerged from his small office in
a nook of the Kellogg Research Building.
came out soon after and agreed to talk, saying he avoided answering
the telephone because he has received threats.
recent caller, he said, stated: "You are the inferior, racist.
You should be lined up and shot."
of stature, with a salt-and-pepper beard, the University of
Minnesota graduate doesn't appear to be an earth-shaker.
who is doing genetic research on the ability of mice to taste,
did not back down on his belief that blacks are less intelligent,
more aggressive and more likely to have high testosterone levels
-- factors, he says, that make them predisposed to murder.
question isn't whether there is a difference [among blacks and
whites], the question is why," Whitney said. "The answer for
some is genetics."
whether blacks and whites should have children together, Whitney
paused and said: "It might be OK, it might not."
SAID he has no problem with minorities attending his class.
About 20 percent of FSU's 30,000 students are registered as
psychology majors are required to take a class Whitney teaches.
The professor said he gives his students multiple-choice exams
to ensure no one can claim he grades students based on race.
far as I know, my minority students do as well as anyone else,"
bosses are backing his rights as a professor even as they criticize
his inflammatory beliefs.
J. Contreras, chairman of FSU's psychology department, said
he pored over teacher evaluations written by Whitney's students
and found nothing awry.
never had any complaints about his grading," Contreras said.
"But I have been concerned what students get out of his course."
who earns $56,026 a year, said he believes FSU will stand by
his freedom to teach, even though President Sandy D'Alemberte
has said he finds "nothing agreeable" with the professor's writings.
said they don't want to interfere with academic freedom, but
they questioned whether the university should be lending a hand.
don't think any public funding should go to his research," said
junior Robyn Faucy, 22. "We'll never be united as a campus or
a country if we have people trying to prove we are genetically
has no plans to stop.
is a political thing," he said. "I think you ought to be able
to espouse just about anything in the classroom."