Princeton professor cancels event over death threats, blames Fox News
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a Princeton University professor of African-American studies was supposed to speak at Town Hall Seattle on Wednesday evening about her new book, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. However, she had to cancel her speech after Fox News aired a news segment about her.
On Sunday, Fox News aired a segment vilifying Taylor for her commencement speech to the graduating class at Hampshire College in which she told the graduates that President Donald Trump was a “racist, sexist, megalomaniac.”
The segment was titled “Anti-POTUS Tirade: Princeton Prof Slams Pres During Speech,” and, according to a statement Taylor’s publishers released on Facebook, prompted several people to send hate speech and even death threats to the professor.
“Since last Friday, I have received more than 50 hate-filled and threatening emails. Some of these emails have contained specific threats of violence, including murder,” Taylor wrote. “Shortly after the Fox story and video were published, my work email was inundated with vile and violent statements. I have been repeatedly called ‘ni**er,’ ‘b**ch,’ ‘c*nt,’ ‘d*ke,’ ‘she-male,’ and ‘coon’ — a clear reminder that racial violence is closely aligned with gender and sexual violence. I have been threatened with lynching and having the bullet from a .44 Magnum put in my head.”
She laid the blame entirely at Fox’s feet for what she had experienced, writing, “I am not a newsworthy person,” she goes on to write. “Fox did not run this story because it was ‘news,’ but to incite and unleash the mob-like mentality of its fringe audience, anticipating that they would respond with a deluge of hate-filled emails — or worse. The threat of violence, whether it is implied or acted on, is intended to intimidate and to silence.”
Citing recent racially-tinged attacks, Taylor admitted that the threats had forced her to cancel, calling the move a “concession to the violent intimidation that was, in my opinion, provoked by Fox News.”
“Their side uses the threat of violence and intimidation because they cannot compete in the field of politics, ideas, and organizing. The true strength of our side has not yet been expressed in its size and breadth, and so they believe they are winning. We have to change this dynamic and begin to build a massive movement against racism, sexism, and bigotry in this country. I remain undaunted in my commitment to that project.”