Cedric Johnson, assistant professor of political science, had an editorial addressing the recent remarks by Bob Lonsberry published in the Oct. 5 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, titled “Orangutan reference opened old wounds of racial torment”.
“Had Lonsberry aimed his orangutan comments at some white politician,” wrote Johnson, “they would not have carried the same sting. His remarks have a peculiar racist lineage.” Johnson referenced post-Civil War “pseudo-scientific thinking” that attempted to prove blacks were biologically inferior to whites.
“Today’s geneticists have clearly established that races are a social myth lacking any genetic foundation,” said Johnson. “In recent Web columns, Lonsberry tries to spin public criticism of his racial slurs into a tale of neoconservative victimization. Lonsberry rehearses anti-democratic assumptions and then whines about democratic freedoms. When the framers of the U.S. Constitution drafted the First Amendment, their desire was to insure that political views could be exchanged without state censorship. While radio and television talk shows generate critical, public-spirited conversation, his comments merely resurrected the most narrow-minded and anachronistic racist ideas—that blacks are intellectually inferior and unfit for public leadership.”