Julianne Malveaux, the new dean of Cal State University Los Angeles’ College of Ethnic Studies, has come under scrutiny for her 2011 remark wishing for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to die an early death.
“I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease,” Malveux said on PBS in 1994, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Malveux later apologized for the remark, claiming it was a joke taken as hate speech.
“I replied that the average black man had a life expectancy of about 65, and that if his wife fed him lots of butter and eggs (if her recent call to Anita Hill is any indication she isn’t cooking much these days), ingredients for high cholesterol and heart trouble, he’d die an early death,” she explained, according to Fox News.
“Conservatives called it a death wish. Death by breakfast, I responded, still in jest. As if someone were standing over Thomas with an Uzi forcing him to eat that butter and eggs.
“The wisecrack has to be taken even less seriously if Justice Thomas’ purported commitment to physical fitness and working out is taken into consideration.”
Malveaux will now lead the university’s ethnic studies program that focuses on “an interdisciplinary analysis of the histories, cultures and social experiences of people of color, as debates over racial injustices and pedagogy make headlines,” according to the Fox News report.
Malveaux may have apologized for her comment, but her words continue to complicate her current role. Many will continue to question her selection to lead a state ethnic studies department addressing racial injustice after wishing for the early death of the Supreme Court’s first black justice.