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Professor Whose Work Influenced Buffalo Killer Retires

July 29, 2022

A University of Notre Dame professor whose writing appeared in the alleged Buffalo, N.Y., killer’s racist screed has retired, The South Bend Tribune reported.

His faculty biography says John Gaski, an associate professor of marketing, is a professor emeritus.

Dennis Brown, a Notre Dame spokesman, confirmed that Gaski was now an emeritus professor but said he couldn’t say more.

Gaski did not respond to requests for comment.

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old white man who has been charged with first-degree murder in the killings of 10 Black employees and patrons of a Buffalo supermarket on May 14, included Gaski in a 180-page diatribe posted online. Specifically, Gendron cited a 2013 opinion piece, “A Discussion on Race, Crime and the Inconvenient Facts,” published by Investor’s Business Daily, in which Gaski accuses “race hustlers” and “race baiters” of falsely “engendering a climate of racist danger for black citizens.”

Gendron was apparently interested in a portion of the article in which Gaski discusses “interracial violent crime,” including this statement: “Because the number of white-on-black rapes is so low nationally in any given year, the ratio ranges from 100-to-1 to infinity. Liberal, politically correct feminists need to reflect on that one. If these interracial crime ratios were randomly based, they would be uniform—that is, 1-to-1—for the two racial groups.”

Gaski’s cited article provides a single, undated data source: “Department of Justice’s Criminal Victimization in the United States, ‘Victims and Offenders.’” Gaski did not immediately provide a more specific reference when asked. But his statements appear to be an extrapolation of data from earlier versions of the National Crime Victimization Survey. Some years list the share of sexual assaults with Black victims and white offenders to be 0 percent of total sexual assaults.

In any case, presenting such data as Gaski did ignores that offender race is unavailable or unlisted in many rape cases (in 25 percent of cases with Black victims in 2008, for instance); that white offenders are responsible for the overwhelming majority of rapes where offender race is known; that white offenders do assault Black victims, but Black men who assault white women have been shown to receive more serious criminal charges and longer sentences; and other crucial framings and context.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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