Princeton University professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor said Fox News’ coverage of her recent commencement address was designed to “incite and unleash the mob-like mentality of its fringe audience,” which has resulted in death threats against her in hate-filled emails.
Fox News published an article on Sunday that focuses on excerpts of a commencement address Taylor delivered at Hampshire College on May 20 in which she commented on President Donald Trump. Fox also created a separate video titled “Princeton professor goes on anti-POTUS tirade.”
Taylor, a professor of African American studies, said in a statement posted Wednesday on her publishers’ Facebook page that the article and video consisted of “excerpts of my speech, which included my warning to graduates about the world they were graduating into.”
In the video clip, the voice of a Fox News host describes Taylor as going on a “commencement tirade attacking President Trump.”
The clip only focuses on two quotes by Taylor: “The President of the United States, the most powerful politician in the world, is a racist, sexist, megalomaniac.”
And, “Donald Trump has fulfilled the campaign promises of a campaign organized and built upon racism, corporatism and militarism.”
The clip ends with the Fox News host then saying, “That school [is] already making headlines for lowering the American flag at half-staff right after President Trump’s election. Remember that”
Fox News video:
“I am not a newsworthy person,” Taylor said in her statement.
“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 Fox News article linked to aseparatearticle published by The Blaze on May 27.The article did highlight Taylor’s quotes on Trump but also offered Hampshire College TV’s video of her complete, almost 20-minute speech, instead of just excerpts.
Complete commencement speech:
The professor said following Fox News’ coverage, she has been repeatedly harassed via her work email.
“I have been repeatedly called ‘ni**er,’ ‘b*tch,’ ‘c*nt,’ ‘dyke,’ ‘she-male,’ and ‘coon’ a clear reminder that racial violence is closely aligned with gender and sexual violence,” she said.
“I have been threatened with lynching and having the bullet from a .44 Magnum put in my head.
“The threat of violence, whether it is implied or acted on, is intended to intimidate and to silence.”
Last year, Fox News had to disable the comments section of an article about Malia Obama, former President Barack Obama’s daughter, after readers inundated the post with racist comments such as calling her an “ape” or “monkey.” Fox News readers also posted racist comments about former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Taylor was scheduled to give public lectures at Seattle’s Town Hall and at the University of California, San Diego this week to discuss her book “#BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,” in which she examines the history and politics of Black America, and the development of the social movement Black Lives Matter in response to police violence in the United States.
Taylor cancelled her appearances.
“The cancelation of my speaking events is a concession to the violent intimidation that was, in my opinion, provoked by Fox News,” she said.
In her Facebook statement, Taylor also gave her assessment of the “threat of white supremacist, terrorist violence” taking place in the country and offered further opinion of Trump:
“On May 20, a white ‘alt-Right’ sympathizer, Sean Urbanski, murdered an African American Bowie State University student, Richard Collins III, on the campus of the University of Maryland. Urbanski was a member of a Facebook group called ‘Alt-Reich: Nation.’
The soldier lost his life in America’s ongoing battle with racism.
“And just this past weekend, a white supremacist in Portland, Oregon, murdered two men and attempted to murder another, when all three stepped in to stop an Islamophobic and racist attack on two young women riding public transit.
“You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism,” said Jeremy Joseph Christian, who may be charged with terrorism or a federal hate crime.
“President Donald Trump finally decided to release a half-hearted and subdued tweet to oppose the murders in Portland, but with not nearly the same vigor he has used to incite his base against immigrants, while also whipping up anti-Muslim hysteria.
“The lethargy of the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security in responding to the actual threat of white supremacist, terrorist violence encourages the development of its networks and organizations across the country.”