San Diego State University is defending a longtime lecturer of film who used a racist example to explain the definition of “ideology” to his students.
“So let’s say our assumptions, um, I might have an assumption that Black people are just not as intelligent as white people. Oh, I can hear already people getting all riled up, right. I can believe that,” the lecturer, Bob Jordan, said during a portion of a lecture that has circulated online. “That was the way I was raised. That’s just the way that, you know, my values are. It doesn’t mean I am going to come and lynch you. It doesn’t mean that I am going to do something attacking you. It might mean that I won’t hire you.” Jordan continued, “But, you know what, it’s the way I believe. It’s the way I think. Maybe in my head I am saying, well, isn’t that the way everybody thinks? I can go way back, all the way to the silent movie era …”
San Diego State said in a statement that the comments in question came during an hourlong lecture “highlighting examples of how racism and discrimination have been portrayed in television and film, like the Roots and Holocaust miniseries of the 1970s, over time.” The university said that the goal of Jordan’s introductory cinema course is to “discuss how television and film, through portraying these very real, racist events in history, are able to help viewers better understand the plight and continued struggles of people with different backgrounds or identities than their own.”
The university also said that Jordan “insists the clip in no way represents his personal views or opinions” and that San Diego State “does not tolerate acts of marginalization, racism and hatred based on personal background, identity or skin color.”
Jordan also emailed his students about the circulating video clip, saying that it “shows me discussing the notion that people are all raised with different values and opinions.” Jordan added, “I go on to say that in some parts of the world, folks are raised not to trust Asian people and in other places Jews are assumed to be greedy,” and, “Did I say I personally [believe] that this was my opinion or that I support such ideas? Of course not,” according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.