A video has surfaced on YouTube of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. delivering a church speech in which he uses the N-word, rails against “racist historically white institutions in America” and accuses Newt Gingrich of attempting to block blacks from entering the middle class.
Gates became a lightning rod of racial controversy when President Obama defended the professor, who was handcuffed outside his home last week by police in Cambridge, Mass.
“We are trying to end what we call the one n-gger syndrome – you know, this place ain’t big enough for more than one of us,” said Gates in the video, filmed in 1996 in the All Souls Church in Washington, D.C.
“We in the academy have to know that our people, those of us who practice African-American studies, have to know that our people are under assault,” Gates said.
He continued: “Newt Gingrich can come in, that Contract for America is serious. You know what those guys have said? ‘Somehow, while we were asleep, all you white women and all you black people got into the middle class.’
“‘We are not sure how it happened. But the first thing we are going to do is we are going to shake the tree and any of y’all who can’t hold on, you’re all going back. And the second thing, we are going to set up barriers so no more of you all can get in here.’”
Gates was speaking to the church about his book, “The Future of the Race,” which he co-authored with radical black professor Cornel West. Gates was arguing for the continued employment of affirmative action.
“Without affirmative action we would have never been able to integrate racist historically white institutions in American society,” Gates said.
“I was able to go to Yale University because they were trying to diversify themselves,” he said. “Because of racism I never would have been allowed to compete on a more or less level terrain with white boys and white girls.
“What we’re trying to do is end ‘your mamma’ and ‘your daddy criticism,’ which is what African-Americans quite frankly have mastered in for 250 years,” he said.
In clearly racially divisive remarks, Gates blasted the state of North Carolina, drawing applause when he exclaimed, “I don’t even like the airplane to fly over North Carolina.”
One audience member pointed out American jazz icon John Coltrane was born in North Carolina.
“Oh, that’s true. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” said Gates. “And they got good barbeque, too. So maybe it’s OK.”