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UT Law Prof Lino Graglia's Remarks on Race Provoke Controversy (Again)

University of Texas School of Law

A controversial University of Texas law professor’s comments on race are drawing negative attention online.

In an interview with the BBC, Lino Graglia said African-Americans and Hispanics are less academically competent than whites. “I can hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent,” Graglia said. “Usually a female, uneducated and without a lot of money.”

At that point, the interview interjected: “I’m black. I was raised in a single parent family. You’re saying I’m likely not as smart as a white person of the same age?”

“Well, from listening to you and knowing who you are and what you’ve done, I’d say you were above usual smartness,” Graglia said, adding “For whites, to say nothing of blacks.”

This is not the first time Graglia has been accused of racism. In 1997, he was rebuked by many of his colleagues when he claimed black and Hispanic cultures “set children up for failure.”

Gary Bledsoe is president of the Texas NAACP. He tells KUT News “with the day of the internet, and the fact this is on BBC, I think this is really harmful to the university’s international image.”

University of Texas Law School Dean Ward Farnsworth issued a statement saying Graglia's comments do not represent the position of the Law School, but he stands by Graglia’s right to discuss his views. Here’s his comment in full:

The University of Texas School of Law is committed to ensuring the best educational environment for its students, including one in which all students can enjoy the educational benefits of diversity.  The University’s admissions policies are designed to achieve that objective, in accordance with Supreme Court precedent permitting the limited consideration of race in admissions.  The University is committed to a policy against discrimination in employment or admissions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability. The Law School is also firmly committed to academic freedom. Professor Lino Graglia's recent comments to the BBC do not represent the position of the Law School, but we stand by his right to discuss his views.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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