Roy Innis, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and Dr. William B. Shockley, a Nobel laureaute and professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, will hold their controversial debate on genetics December 4 at Princeton University.
The debate will focus on Shockley's claims that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. The Princeton Whig-Cliosophic Society, a student organization, is sponsoring the confrontation.
The Harvard Law Forum had originally invited Shockley and Innis to debate on October 26 but then withdrew its invitation in response to pressure from members of the Law School faculty and the Harvard Black Students Association.
Both Shockley and Innis praised the Princeton organization for extending them the opportunity to speak.
Responsible and Eminent
"I am one of the few intellectually responsible eminent scientists in this field," said Shockley, who yesterday called the invitation "appropriate."
Shockley added that he was "exasperated" by the "lack of cooperation" he had received from Harvard.
"I'm proud of Princeton," Innis said yesterday. "I'm glad to see that the Ivy League is not against academic freedom and not panic-prone."
Innis called the Harvard black professors who had led the flight to force cancellation of the original debate "cowardly" and charged white liberals with harboring a "missionary complex," which made them protective towards blacks.
"They're hiding us from the tiger, instead of giving us a gun and a spear and letting us go out and get the tiger," he said.
Innis said that he was qualified to debate Shockley because he represented "the point of view of people whose vital interests are at stake."
Howard B. Brownstein, president of the Harvard Law Forum, said yesterday that he had "no reaction" to the Princeton invitation.