Last summer, Trinity College professor Johnny E. Williams made headlines after tweeting that “whiteness is terrorism.” Now in a recent op-ed, he has doubled down on that claim.
What’s the background?
TheBlaze previously reported that Williams, a sociology professor at Trinity, tweeted in April 2019 that “whiteness is terrorism” and added that “all self-identified white people (no exceptions) are invested in and collude with systematic white racism/white supremacy.”
Though his Twitter account was made private soon after, the Hartford Courant recorded the comments and Campus Reform subsequently reported on them, along with other incendiary remarks about white people and “white kneegrows” such as Candace Owens and Barack and Michelle Obama.
It wasn’t the first time that Williams had been in hot water over his racy social media use. He had previously been placed on leave by Trinity College following inflammatory remarks, including a Facebook post following the congressional baseball shooting in 2017 in which he said that white people are “inhuman assholes” and that first responders should have let the white victims “f***ing die.”
What’s he saying now?
In a recent opinion piece published by the Hartford Courant titled “I tweeted ‘whiteness is terrorism’ and was condemned for it. Here’s why I’m right,” Williams argued that in the United States, “people who identify as ‘white’ preside over an oppressive system” that exploits and terrorizes people of color.
Williams began his argument by asserting that “there is no ‘white race'” — rather, “whiteness” is a “system based on beliefs, values, behaviors, habits and attitudes.” This “shared conglomeration of fabricated meanings and ideas about biologically insignificant human differences,” he claimed, is subsequently mobilized to exploit and terrorize non-whites.
Williams explicitly defended his past claim, asserting that “race and whiteness materialize as systemic white racism terroristic actions and practices with very real, tangible, and lethal effects.”
And he reiterated that “whiteness by its very definition and operation as a key element of white supremacy kills.”
“It is mental and physical terrorism,” he added.
In its original report on Williams’ “whiteness is racism” tweet, Campus Reform talked to a student at Trinity College who is a member of the school’s College Republicans group. The student provided insight into how Williams is viewed on campus.
“Everyone really questions, even liberals, why is he still here?” the student said. “I think that’s kind of a question a lot of people are asking is, he advocated for white genocide, why is he still here?”
“I think if you ask anyone on campus that is not as radical as he is, they will be like ‘he needs to go,’ which is interesting because at Trinity College, most students are pretty apathetic toward really everything, so to have such a high defensive that an individual needs to go, that really says something,” the student added.
Here is more about Williams’ perspective on race from a TED Talk he gave in 2018: