During an appearance on a Canadian radio show Monday, a Barnard College English instructor discussed with a Jewish host a passage from his new book about how he would gas white people in a locked room “when the race war hits its crescendo.”
Ben Philippe, who teaches English and film studies at Barnard, appeared on the CBC show “q,” to talk about his book “Sure, I’ll be your Black Friend,” the College Fix reported.
The host, Talia Schlanger, read the following passage from the tome in which he describes what he would do if there was a “race war.”
When this race war hits its crescendo, I’ll gather you all into a beautifully decorated room under the pretense of unity. I’ll give a speech to civility and all the good times we share; I’ll smile as we raise glasses to your good, white health, while the detonator blinks under the table, knowing the exits are locked and the air vents filled with gas.
Philippe told Schlanger that his original text was much longer, and thanked his editor for “condensing it.”
“It was ultimately just trying to take the state of the world to its logical conclusion if we all have to exist in this common land together, and we can’t get along and we can’t feel and we can’t try to understand each other,” he explained.
“If it’s always going to be us versus them … then— you know— I guess I was wrestling with the question that, isn’t the end result of that, all-out warfare? Like, ‘Game of Thrones’-style warfare? and what does that look like? And I lived in that sort of stray thought for a few pages,” Philippe continued, adding that the words were “disturbing to write, too because I’m not a violent person, I love all my white friends.”
Schlanger informed her guest that, as a Jewish person whose “grandparents survived the Holocaust,” she found the passage “shocking and disturbing.”
“I can’t tell you how it felt to read that sentiment,” she told him.
Incredibly however, Schlanger went on to apologize to Philippe: “I wanted to say to you that I’m so sorry that your experience of the world made you feel that way, and made you feel compelled to write that,” she said.