A professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School invited a white nationalist to speak on campus for the second time within two years.
Professor Amy Wax asked avowed white nationalist Jared Taylor to come and speak in her class on Conservative and Political Legal Thought on 28 November, according to a syllabus obtained by the Daily Pennsylvanian.
Mr Taylor is a well-known white supremacist, who is also the editor of American Renaissance, a website and former magazine that holds extremist racist views.
Ms Wax is also a controversial figure and is currently involved in disciplinary proceedings over her long past of racist, homophobic and xenophobic remarks which she has made both on campus and to the media.
“I’m very confused about what he [Mr Taylor] can offer to a class. … He’s a known white nationalist. He exists in circles of neo-Nazis,” said Vinila Varghese, a third-year law student and Council of Student Representatives president, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I don’t know what type of informative or evidence-based conversation he could have, but that falls in line with Amy Wax. Nothing she says is based on actual data.”
The co-president of the university’s Black Law Student Association believes that Ms Wax has re-invited Mr Taylor again only to gain more media attention. “She’s not [bringing Taylor on campus] to encourage debate or conversation or whatever,” Ms Uba said. “She’s doing it to get a little sound bite for Fox News.”
He previously spoke at the University of Pennsylvania Law back in 2021, when Ms Wax invited him to make an appearance in a lecture in the same Conservative and Political Legal Thought class.
This led the former dean of the law university, Theodore Ruger, to propose sanctions on Ms Wax for “a callous and flagrant disregard for our university community.”
Ms Wax inviting the white supremacist onto campus “crosses the line of what is acceptable in a University environment where principles of non-discrimination apply,” Mr Ruger wrote in a report in June 2022.
“Taylor’s explicit racism, hate-speech, and white supremacy contravenes the University’s express policies and mission, and his white supremacist ideology has been associated closely with those perpetrating violence towards minorities in this country and others. In both promoting this ideology herself, bestowing an honorific guest lecturer role on Taylor, and importing his views into our curriculum, Wax has caused profound harm to our students and faculty, and her escalating pattern of behaviour raises risks of increased harm,” Mr Ruger’s report stated.
The report also included a lengthy list of indents in which Ms Wax has used racist, homophobic, sexist and xenophobic behaviour, such as “stating that “our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites”.”
In 2018, Ms Wax was previously barred from teaching first-year law after a series of racist comments got the attention of the dean.
In January of this year, Ms Wax filed a grievance against Mr Ruger, stating that her academic freedoms were at stake and that she could be fired or suspended.
“Dean Ruger has grievously harmed Prof. Wax by seeking to punish her for deviating from a narrow set of acceptable opinions, thus effectively imposing a rigid orthodoxy of permissible speech and expression at the Law School,” Ms Wax wrote in the grievance.
She asked for her first-year class back, yet did not seem to have any remorse for the racist opinions that she relayed to both students and the press. In fact, she alluded, in a webinar by the Foundation of Individual Rights and Expression, that many of Mr Ruger’s allegations were true, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian.
Ms Wax claims that Mr Taylor’s previous visit to the university was approved by administrators and even reimbursed the lunch she set while he spoke.