Black SUNY prof considers kicking begging white boy in the face
A black New York professor recently published a piece in which he narrates himself considering kicking a begging white boy in the face.
State University of New York (SUNY) College at Old Westbury professor Nicholas Powers wrote the since-deleted essay, titled “Seeing poor white people makes me happy” in mid-June on a site called RaceBaitr, according to The College Fix.
“‘Should I kick him in the face? Hard? No, chill, he’s not worth it. But why is this white boy begging for money in a Black neighborhood? Is he stupid?’” Powers begins the piece. “I shake the evil out of my head and go into the subway.”
“White people begging us for food feels like justice,” the professor continues. “It feels like Afro-Futurism after America falls. It feels like a Black Nationalist wet dream. It has the feels I rarely feel, a hunger for historical vengeance satisfied so well I rub my belly.”
In the piece, Powers narrates a struggle between this vindictive attitude toward white people and a compassionate one inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When he sees poor white people, Powers says he sees “the history of colonization, slavery and mass incarceration that makes their begging Black people for money ironic—if not insulting.”
“Here is a descendant of murderers who killed our ancestors now begging us to save their life,” the professor says. “So let’s turn the other cheek! But it’s not always honest. It is the trick of internalized racism that Black anger is transformed into showy altruism to show the ‘white gaze’ that we’re safe—good Negroes. So we aren’t attacked by more powerful whites—instead rewarded by them.”
Powers is a professor of literature at SUNY, according to the Fix. His research interests include African American aesthetics, feminist theory, and Marxism, according to his faculty profile. The profile had been made private or scrubbed, as it said “access denied” and “you are not authorized to access this page,” but displayed the professor's information again after Campus Reform reached out to SUNY.
Powers has also penned articles on RaceBaitr entitled, “Passing the torch to Black heroes in comics is part of the white supremacist lineage of reconciling servitude,” and “Caster Semenya and how the biomedical industry is designed to kill Black people.
"Associate Professor Nicholas Powers authored an article related to issues of race and class that used language that was distasteful and hurtful regarding a white, homeless person. Dr. Powers’ statements in no way represent or reflect the values or viewpoint of SUNY Old Westbury," school spokesman Michael Kinane told Campus Reform. "The points of view expressed were those of Dr. Powers alone and are protected under his right to free speech. He remains a member of our faculty. Dr. Powers has been advised that he does not speak, nor should he suggest at any time, that he is speaking for the college."
When contacted by Campus Reform, Powers declined comment.
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