Russell Rickford

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Name: Russell Rickfordrickford photo

School: Cornell University

Subject: Black Radical Tradition, Black Political Culture

Exposed by: Casey Breznick

Offense: Speaking before a packed auditorium at Cornell University in 2014, Professor Russell Rickford told white students that they must “commit race suicide” and reject their privilege in order to move past the events that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri: “There’s still a slender minority of white folks, a very slender, but a slender minority of white folks, that are ready to commit race suicide. Which is to say, they are ready to reject corrupt skin privileges. They’re ready to perform treason to whiteness, as an expression of their loyalty to humanity.” At another point in the speech, Rickford says “white supremacy as a system is inextricable from the system of capitalism, imperialism, militarism, and the systems of the carceral-state mass imprisonments,” followed by “The statement ‘fuck the police’ is one of the most astute, honest and meaningful responses to the events in Ferguson. Fuck authoritarianism and white supremacy. This is uncompromising politics, the politics of resistance.”

Indoctrination Score: 4.5