Racist Prof Who Said Blacks Inferior Dies

By Sinclere Lee

My mother always told us that if we didn’t have anything good to say about the dead, don’t say nothing, Glayde Whitney is dead, GOOD! Whitney was the quack, psychology professor who was branded a racist for claiming that Blacks were generally less intelligent than whites, has died.

Whitney,who was 62 when he died and taught at Florida State University for over 31 years. The died of natural causes at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, nursing supervisor Susan Gibbs said.

Whitney, who studied genetic mechanisms underlying behavior, found himself at the center of controversy in 1999 when he scripted a foreword to a book written by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. In it, Whitney said he believed Duke relied on ``good science'' in concluding blacks should attend separate schools and perhaps even live in separate countries.

Duke's book, ``My Awakening,'' also claimed blacks are inferior to whites.

At the time, the Tallahassee branch of the NAACP asked Florida State to fire Whitney. Professors in his department put out a news release distancing themselves from him and students protested his views.

FSU administrators took no formal action against Whitney, who had tenure. University President Talbot Sandy D'Alemberte said Whitney's opinion on race was obnoxious and wrong, but he defended his right to express it.

``If there's any place in our society that deserves to have robust free speech, it's the university,'' D'Alemberte said.

Unlike environmental psychologists, who believe intelligence has more to do with living conditions than race, Whitney contended most blacks are destined to fail and that science proves it.

``Is it a nice idea to have a society where you have a lot of mentally not very smart people, and you tell them as children that they can all be astronauts or neurosurgeons if they want to be, and it's just not true?'' he said in 1999.

Whitney, who earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees at the University of Minnesota, said he was shocked by the negative publicity. He said he was a ``Hubert Humphrey liberal'' during the civil rights movement.

Donald Foss, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said he would remember Whitney as a research scientist at the forefront of his field, though many colleagues disagreed with Whitney's opinions.

``In the face of such criticism, he defended his views,'' Foss said in a statement.

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