Terrorist hijacker, FBI's Most Wanted among most extreme campus speakers of 2020
Campus Reform is reviewing the most extreme speakers invited to speak to students in 2020.
Speakers include a terrorist hijacker, self-described communist, and "anti-racist" authors.
Campus Reform has compiled a list of the most extreme speakers invited to colleges in 2020. Although there were numerous examples of controversial statements made by several guest speakers at universities across the country, this list focuses on the speakers themselves and disturbing histories and viewpoints.
In early September, San Francisco State University’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Studies Department announced a virtual event that would host terrorist hijacker Leila Khaled. Khaled was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and participated in two airplane hijackings, one in 1969 and another in 1970.
The virtual event titled, “Whose Narrative? Gender, Justice, and Resistance: A Conservation with Leila Khaled,” was scheduled for September 23 but was canceled after Zoom refused to let the group use its platform for the event. AMED then attempted to stream the event on YouTube, where exclusive footage from Campus Reform shows the feed was cut after thirty minutes for violating the terms of service. Facebook also banned the event from its platform.
Several months after the event, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was investigating SFSU to determine if the university broke any laws by inviting Khaled to speak at the virtual event. The Department of Education enlisted the help of the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments, which could result in reduced federal funding, criminal charges, and fines.
Earlier this year, the former communist leader who appeared on the FBI’s Most Wanted List spoke at the College of New Jersey to discuss issues about gender and race. Students interviewed by Campus Reform stated that they still would attend the event, knowing she was once wanted by the FBI.
Davis was also a member of the Black Panthers and now calls herself a “communist, evolutionist, internationalist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, black, queer, activist, pro-working class, revolutionary, intellectual, community builder.”
Davis is a professor-emerita at the University of California-Santa Cruz and frequently speaks at events on campuses including at Harvard University, California State University-Los Angeles, and the University of Michigan.
An event titled “The Pandemic Effect: Exposing Racism and Inequities” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosted two authors, Robin DiAngelo and Austin Channing Brown. DiAngelo, who is a white female, was paid $12,750 to participate in the event while Brown, a black female, was paid $7,500.
DiAngelo is best known for her book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and was the first speaker for the two-day event. Brown, author of I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, was the speaker for the second day.
When asked why the university paid $12,750 for DiAngelo to speak, UW-Madison stated, “Speaker fees are set by the agency that represents the speaker.”
Boston University Center for Anti-Racist Research Director and How to Be an Anti-Racist author Ibram X. Kendi spoke at a California State University-Sacramento event, titled, “Advancing our Commitment to Antiracism.” The university administration urged that classes and events be canceled so that students could attend the event.
Prior to the event, Kendi attacked Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett for adopting two Black children from Haiti. As previously reported by Campus Reform, Kendi tweeted, “Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.”
While Kendi describes himself as “anti-racist,” he appears to advocate for racism in his book: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
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