YouTube - Henry Gates Rant In 1996 On "Racist White Institutions" So what say the USMESSAGEBOARD forum members? Is this racist or not? Take the poll and post your opinions. EDIT: TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO: The only reason we have so many people doing so well, the only reason, is because of the civil rights movement and its child, affirmative action. Without affirmative action, we would have never been able to integrate racist historically white institutions in American society. And to me, the first fundamental question that we have to address is how to protect, preserve, and expand affirmative action. When I went to college, instead of going to Howard like three generations of my family, which is certainly a great thing, I was able to go to Yale University, because they were trying to diversify themselves. They wanted a class that looked more like America. They let in women for the first time. They let in black people for the first time. The class of '68 at Yale had 18 black kids. My class, the class of '73, had 96 black kids. You know, I was lucky enough to get a fellowship to go to England after I graduated. It's called a Mellon Fellowship. My daddy called it the Watermelon Fellowship, because I was the first black person to get it. That's true. Cornel knows my father. He knows I ain't lyin'. And then, I taught at Yale for 9 years. I taught at Cornell for 5 years. I taught at Duke for one long, painful year. And then, uh ... that ain't lyin'. I don't even like the airplane to fly over North Carolina. (Addressing someone off camera) Oh, that's true. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. And they got good barbecue, too. So maybe it's OK. And now I've been, thank God, at Harvard for 5 years. Now each of those things was enabled, each was made possible, by the existence of affirmative action. It didn't mean I wasn't qualified. It meant that because of racism I never would have been allowed to compete on a more or less level terrain with white boys and white girls. And for me, for someone who has benefited so much from the opportunities of affirmative action, to stand at the gate and try to keep other black people out would be to be as hypocritical as Clarence Thomas. ... And we in the academy have to know that our people, we, those of us who practice African American studies, have to know that our people are under assault. Newt Gingrich and company, that Contract for America is serious. You know what those guys have said? 'All right, somehow, while we were asleep, all you white women and all you black people got into the middle class. We're not sure how it happened, but the first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna shake the tree, and any of y'all who can't hold on, y'all goin' back. And the second thing, we're gonna set up barriers so that no more of you all can get in here.' ... And what we're trying to do is end your mama and your daddy criticism, which is what African Americans, quite frankly, have mastered in for 250 years. We're also trying to end what we used to call the "One ****** Syndrome." You know, this place ain't big enough for more than one of us.