- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Princeton University instructor who called President Trump a racist, sexist “megalomaniac” during a recent commencement address has canceled two public talks this week, claiming a Fox News report on her speech led to death threats.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,” said in a statement Wednesday morning via her publisher, Haymarket Books, that she canceled upcoming appearances at Seattle’s Town Hall and the University of California-San Diego.

“I am canceling my appearances for fear of my safety and my family’s safety,” she announced.

Ms. Taylor said she has received more than 50 “hate-filled and threatening emails,” including specific threats of violence, ever since Fox News published an article and accompanying video describing her May 20 commencement speech at Hampshire College as an “anti-POTUS tirade.”

“I argued that Donald Trump, the most powerful politician in the world, is ‘a racist and sexist megalomaniac,’ who poses a threat to their future,” Ms. Taylor, an assistant professor at Princeton’s Department of African American Studies, wrote.

“Shortly after the Fox story and video were published, my work email was inundated with vile and violent statements,” she continued, adding a list of expletives she’s allegedly been called since the story broke, including the N-word.

“I have been threatened with lynching and having the bullet from a .44 Magnum put in my head,” she wrote. “I am not a newsworthy person. 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 cancelation of my speaking events is a concession to the violent intimidation that was, in my opinion, provoked by Fox News.”

During her speech at Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, Ms. Taylor told students that they were graduating into an uncertain and “increasingly dangerous” environment under Mr. Trump. She alleged that Mr. Trump, “a racist and sexist megalomaniac,” built his presidential campaign upon “racism, corporatism, and militarism.”

She said Wednesday that while she is canceling her talks out of safety concerns, she refuses to be silent about the Trump administration’s alleged “lethargy” in responding to “the actual threat of white supremacist, terrorist violence.”

“Their side uses the threat of violence and intimidation because they cannot compete in the field of politics, ideas, and organizing,” she wrote. “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.”

A Princeton spokesperson told Inside Higher Ed that the university was aware of the threats against Ms. Taylor, who is currently on sabbatical.

View Ms. Taylor’s full commencement speech below:

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