Princeton professor Leeanga-Yamahtta Taylor may not be a household name, but when the African-American studies teacher called President Trump a “racist, sexist megalomaniac and the biggest danger the world faces at a commencement address, she got her 15 minutes of fame with some coverage on Fox News.
Now she’s squawking about the attention as victimization because of alleged threats she has received, not to mention some criticism, saying, “I am not a newsworthy person.”
She says she’s canceling her scheduled public lectures in Seattle and the University of California-San Diego “for fear of my safety and my family’s safety,” having received “more than 50 hate-filled and threatening emails,” including a murder threat, since the Fox News segment.
Taylor delivered the speech last week at Hampshire College, a small Massachusetts private school best known for lowering the flag to half-staff to mourn Trump’s victory.
One of her claims to fame was organizing this year’s International Women’s Strike. She has written a best-selling book called “From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation.
But when her recent speech came to the attention of Fox News, she suddenly became shy and introverted – not a public persona, not worthy of news coverage.
Here’s the portion of her speech that seemed newsworthy to Fox News: “Today is recognition of the sacrifices that you and your family have made to finish college, but you are graduating into a world of uncertainty and one that is increasingly dangerous. These dangers manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most extreme illustration now resides in the White House. The president of the United States, the most powerful politician in the world, is a racist, sexist megalomaniac. It is not a benign observation but has meant tragic consequences for many people in our country.”
She went on to add: “From the terror-inducing raids in the communities of undocumented immigrants; to his disparaging of refugees in search of freedom and respite; he has empowered an attorney general who embraces and promulgates policies that have already been proven to have had a devastating impact on Black families and communities; he thinks that climate science is ‘fake’ and his eagerness to take the country into war can only be interpreted as a callous disregard for its steep price in both money and human life. This list could continue but suffice to say that Donald Trump has fulfilled the promises of a campaign organized and built upon racism, corporatism and militarism.”
Taylor and her college claim Fox News targeted her for incitement of violence, not because of their newsworthiness, yet she also claims her ideas deserve the widest possible audience, “free from threat or intimidation.”
Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash and board chairman Gaye Hill released a statement saying Taylor was the victim of “vicious and explicitly racist, misogynistic, and homophobic threats. And we condemn the actions of those who are inciting violence by willfully taking information out of context and fanning the flames of prejudice and hate. … We are dismayed that Professor Taylor is being attacked and threatened as a result of her speech at Hampshire. The assault to which she is now being subjected only serves to reinforce how very important her message is, especially in these times.”