Who is Derek Hook? Duquesne University prof supports White people's suicide in video

Who is Derek Hook? Duquesne University prof supports White people's suicide in video
Screenshot showing Derek Hook giving the lecture (Twitter/@MythinformedMKE)

A Pennsylvania university professor has become a talking point on the Internet after he reportedly supported a quote that said, “White people should commit suicide as an ethical act.” In June, Derek Hook, who teaches psychology at Duquesne University, was giving a lecture to Baltimore-based American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW) and had quoted a South African philosophy professor, Terblanche Delport, in one of the presentations’ slides, which has been shared recently on the Internet.

Delport has written about White people taking their lives in South Africa, which Hook first deemed as “crazy” but also mentioned that “there was something ethical in Delport’s statements.” The quote by the South African professor, which Hook read, stated: “The reality [in South Africa] is that most White people spend their whole lives only engaging Black people in subservient positions... My question is then how can a person not be racist if that’s the way they live their lives? The only way then for White people to become part of Africa is to not exist as White people anymore.”


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The quote added, “If the goal is to dismantle White supremacy, and White supremacy is White culture... then the goal has to be to dismantle White culture and ultimately White people themselves. The total integration into Africa by White people will also automatically then mean the death of White people as White as a concept would not exist anymore.”

After quoting Delport, Hook said, “I want to suggest that psychoanalytically we could even make the argument that there was something ethical in Delport’s statements.” He went on to state that Delport is a “fighter academic,” and may have overstated some of his comments, but insisted that “nevertheless, I want to make the argument that there is some kind of ethical dimension to his, his provocations.”

He noted, “I think that Delport took his White audience to the threshold of a type of symbolic extinction... he took them to a proposed end of whiteness,” before adding that Delport “offered his White audience the opportunity to” consider “the castration of whiteness”.

The footage of the presentation has gone viral on the Internet with many slamming the professor for his comments. A user wrote, “Lead by example Derek Hook. Your move.” The second one shared, “Good leaders lead by example...” “After he show us how it’s done, we will think about it. Not for long but we will think about it,” the third one tweeted.




A person asked, “Sounds like the rationale behind every genocide in history… How do these people do this kind of thing with a straight face?” Another one wrote, “If this is really what that teacher is teaching and students don't like it, there should be an option to disenroll and get their money back. Otherwise #boycottDuquesneU.” “Can he please be the first, I am sure 50% of people reading this would be glad to help him.  Do the right thing and lead by example professor,” a tweet added.




Meanwhile, Duquesne University has defended Hook and released a statement that read, “The statement attributed to Professor Hook is ridiculous and reckless. He did not make a statement advocating anything like what was suggested. In fact, he said that the statement in question was ‘crazy’. Professor Hook also said that the provocateur who used this example was wrong in suggesting any such radical action. The words being circulated were simply lifted out of context to distort the actual comments. Saying that Professor Hook called for anything like the words in question is false.”

“While some of the content in the recording certainly contained troubling elements if taken alone, the full discussion only references the work of another person (Terblanche Delport, as the slides indicate) and the extreme proposition in the context of post-Apartheid South Africa. Professor Hook did not advocate taking the extreme measures Delport described. Professor Hook is not advocating, nor does he advocate, violence. His effort to understand how extreme thought is developed is the point of the presentation,” it added.

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