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In November of 2017, Ekow Yankah, a law professor at Yeshiva University, wrote a guest essay for the New York Times on the topic of whether white and black Americans can actually be friends.

THE QUOTE

WHAT HAPPENED

Yankah sparked widespread ridicule and outrage on Twitter after he averred that he would teach his sons “to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible.”

  • The Yeshiva University law professor said he would do so despite having grown up in a diverse, “classic Midwestern college town” that “lacked the deep racial tension and mistrust that seem so hard to escape now.”
  • “For many weary minorities, the ridiculous thing was thinking friendship was possible in the first place. It hurts only if you believed friendship could bridge the racial gorge,” Yankah added at one point in the essay.
  • He also said that in “Trump’s America,” his only white friends were those who had marched against racism or protested then-President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

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