Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a person who is used to controversy in her professional life as the author of the book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. She also works as an assistant professor at the esteemed Princeton University teaching African-American studies. In 2016 she had the distinction of being a The Root 100 honoree.
Of course, with a controversial figure like Taylor, there will be threats from those who disagree with her or feel their beliefs are challenged by her. She recently gave a commencement address at Hampshire College which has turned into fuel for one-sided media outlets to feed hateful people. Those people have unleashed relentless death threats against Taylor and her family. This is despite the fact that her speech was well-recieved at the Amherst, Massachusetts liberal arts college. She has since been forced to cancel all public appearances since that May 20th commencement address for her own safety.
Her speech is considered controversial because she spoke plainly about the current president of the United States of America. She referred to President Donald Trump as being a “racist, sexist, megalomaniac.” Taylor did so as part of a warning to the graduating students about the political and social climate they will be facing in this world, which she called “increasingly dangerous.” The president was used as the most extreme and powerful example of those dangers.
Taylor did not lie in her commencement address. She stated facts about President Trump, such as his disbelief in climate science and his policies that show a hatred for refugees. Yet those truthful words somehow inspired cruel people to threaten her life.
Those death threats are largely the result of Fox News and TheBlaze fanning the flames while blatantly disregarding the violent threats their readers are hurling at Taylor. They posted her entire speech on their websites in what Taylor refers to as an attempt 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 fact that people are willing to resort to death threats simply because they disagree with what Taylor said is frightening. Sadly, this is what many marginalized people are met with when they speak up about injustices.