After making headlines earlier in the month for his “Imagine A World Without WHITENESS” presentation, Portland Community College history and humanities professor James Harrison defended his statements, while once again channeling John Lennon, and blaming the media for the outrage.
He compares his plight to the time when the media took Lennon’s quote of “We are more popular than Jesus” out of context, and calls the outlets who covered his last event “yellow journalism”, despite the fact that several uncut videos were posted, including the entire 38 minute speech.
After his diatribe, he went on to give his latest presentation, “How Some Human Beings Became White”, where he says that people of several different European nationalities were not considered “white” at first, until they separated themselves from black folks and integrated more with those of English and French decent, until they were eventually accepted as “white”, and thus, benefiting from their “whiteness”.
“If you are of Irish decent, or Italian decent, you’re not officially white. The Polish race? They weren’t white. Greeks were not white. Hungarians were not white. Slowly but slowly, they became white. So, that whole movement along the line of ‘what is white’ it’s not fixed at all. What it does is, it provides something, again, that you need to look up, something called ‘white privilege’; the privilege of having white skin. Which a lot of people say, ‘ehh, I don’t believe it’ but again, if you’ve never heard of it, there’s a tendency to doubt it, to dispute it, and say ‘that’s not true’. I encourage you, if you heard anything that I said that you doubt, you can ask me about it. There’s a new world coming. In fact, it’s already here”
“Once the Irish become accepted, then they don’t want other groups coming in. Those are now the barbarians. They were the barbarians, and now the outsiders are barbarians. And so the Irish become as prejudice as any other group. Now, at this point, I need to tell you when I’m using that, I am using a generalization, it does not mean that every single person of Irish decent, but just the group as a whole begins to move. And whether you like or participate in it, you benefit from that move”
And here’s his entire presentation, 37 minutes uncut:
Portland Community College president Sylvia Kelley can be reached at 971 722 4365.