Julian von Abele, a white Columbia University student who was captured on viral video yelling at a group of mostly Black undergraduates that “white people are the best thing that ever happened to the world,” is insisting that those are not his “true beliefs.”
Von Abele told the Daily Beast that the shocking rant, which the university said that they will investigate, was “part of a broader debate and series events that provide important context.”
“I am not a white supremacist or racist, nor do I subscribe to any views that support that ideology. I unequivocally denounce all groups that support racism,” he explained. “My reaction that evening grew out of my distaste for the overuse of the term ‘white privilege’ and similar divisive rhetoric as a means of dismissing views of others.”
The encounter started, according to von Abele, during an exchange where “several students were accusing Trump supporters of encouraging sexual violence.”
“I explained that I am a Trump supporter and I do not in any way encourage violence, sexual or otherwise. A large group of students gathered around me and told me that I had no right to share my views on women as I’m a white male with ‘white privilege,” von Abele said.
The sophomore who is studying physics said he become “offended” as he believed he was “being held personally responsible for the historical actions” of all white people.
He said that his outburst was meant to encourage all races and cultures to openly appreciate others, according to the report.
That being said, apparently, he regrets that he “engaged in an exchange that was admittedly overzealous and was not the right venue to discuss the value of identity politics.”
However, he did not dispute or seem to take back anything he said, saying that his views were being misrepresented in the “out-of-context” video.
“The rhetoric I used to prove a point sounded as if I feel that whites are better than other races, while really, I was theatrically and sarcastically demonstrating that whites are not allowed to embrace their cultural achievements,” he wrote. “The out-of-context video widely circulated was not representative of my general argument that evening, which was not that white men were solely responsible for the scientific accomplishments of the world, but instead that the great things western culture has accomplished throughout history should not be ignored to accommodate identity politics.”
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