Cambridge fellow involved in race controversy claims quotes attributed to him are ‘fake’

Nathan Cofnas has been under fire for his recent blog post where he advocated for ‘the preservation of racial distinctions’

A fellow at the University of Cambridge has faced backlash after he advocated for a “hereditarian revolution” where we accept “race realism” in a controversial blog post.

The blog post, published on Monday 5th February, has sparked national media attention but Nathan Cofnas has since commented that some of the quotes attributed to him are “fake.”

In the post titled A Guide for the Hereditarian Revolution, the Philosophy Research Associate at Emmanuel College argued that in a colourblind system, the percentage of black people occupying “high-profile” positions such as professorships at Harvard would “approach zero per cent.”

Nathan Cofnas has been reported in the media also saying “black people would only be famous for sports and entertainment” and that, in a meritocracy, Harvard would have “no black professors.”

However, Nathan Cofnas has told The Cambridge Tab that these quotes, attributed to him by a tabloid news site, are “fake.”

via Nathan Cofnas on X

Cofnas told The Tab that after complaining to the editor of the publication that printed the alleged fake quotes he was told that the “use of inverted commas” does not automatically imply a direct quote.

In a statement to The Cambridge Tab, Cofnas explains that whilst he reportedly said that admission of black people to Harvard would be at zero per cent if it were based solely on academic merit, the actual figure he gave was “0.7 per cent.”

He elaborates: “In a meritocracy, there would be blacks in top academic positions, including at Harvard, although not in proportion to their representation in the population.”

Furthermore, he argues “fewer underrepresented minorities” would occupy certain positions  without the “affirmative action” designed to increase their representation, stressing this does not mean “black people would only be famous for sports and entertainment.”

Cofnas also clarifies that his arguments rely on US data so “don’t necessarily apply to the UK.” He adds “African immigrations to the UK are relatively elite.”

Professor Angela Breitenbach, Chair of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge has commented “The views expressed in these blogs do not represent the views of the Faculty of Philosophy. The Faculty strives to be a leader in defending equality and fostering inclusion. There is no place for racism at the University of Cambridge.”

A spokesperson on behalf of Emmanuel College, where Cofnas is a Research Associate, has commented: “The College appoints up to 100 College Research Associates. They are post-doc researchers who have been academically selected by, and are already employed in, departments, faculties and research centres within the University.

“College Research Associates are not employed by the College and are not Fellows or students of the College. The College provides no financial support towards their research and does not administer their research or provide any research facilities. Our aim is to offer a social and extra-curricular connection to the College. In practice, this involves access to College social facilities, along with two dinners each year which are held for this group.

“No College Research Associate is employed by the College. The academic appointment held by a College Research associate within the University is a matter for the relevant Faculty and research funder.”

Featured image via Nathan Cofnas on X.

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