RICKFORD | A Statement Regarding My Actions From Oct. 15

Re “Cornell Professor ‘Exhilarated’ by Hamas’ Attack Defends Remarks” (news article, Oct. 16)

I apologize for the horrible choice of words that I used in a portion of a speech that was intended to stress grassroots African American, Jewish and Palestinian traditions of resistance to oppression. I recognize that some of the language I used was reprehensible and did not reflect my values. As I said in the speech, I abhor violence and the violent targeting of civilians. I am sorry for the pain that my reckless remarks have caused my family, my students, my colleagues and many others in this time of suffering. As a scholar, a teacher, an activist and a father, I strive to uphold the values of human dignity, peace and justice. I want to make it clear that I unequivocally oppose and denounce racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, militarism, fundamentalism and all systems that dehumanize, divide and oppress people. 

Russell Rickford is an associate professor of history in the College of Arts & Sciences. He specializes in African-American political culture after World War II, the Black Radical Tradition and transnational social movements. He can be reached at [email protected].