Self-identified white nationalist Jared Taylor will no longer be speaking at the University of Alabama because the student organization that invited Taylor to campus is now inactive.
Political group Students for America First invited Taylor last month for a lecture at Russell Hall auditorium titled “Diversity: Is it Good For America?”. He was scheduled to speak on Thursday.
University officials stated in an email on Monday that the group’s registered status has been withdrawn.
“For any student group to host an event through UA’s student event registration process, it must be a registered student organization, which requires, among other things, having a full-time UA faculty or staff advisor,” the statement reads. “This content-neutral policy applies to all student groups, regardless of a group’s views or the substance of its proposed event.”
UA stated the group had an opportunity to comply with the requirements before the withdrawal, but was unable to do so.
The announcement of Taylor appearance sparked uncomfortable feelings for many students and staff at UA. Taylor is the editor of American Renaissance, a website that publishes theories about how blacks and other minorities are inferior to whites, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
University president Stuart Bell stressed in a statement last month that the student organization invited Taylor on campus and not the school. He encouraged students and faculty not to attend the event.
“Many in the campus community, including campus leadership, have strong feelings against the messages this person may espouse. The security of our campus is our absolute priority,” Stuart stated. “Hate and bigotry have no place at The University of Alabama. Our community is diverse, inclusive and accepting, and we are committed to treating one another respectfully. We value the ways diversity enriches our University community.”
Bell also noted that as a public university, the law and UA’s commitment to free speech do not allow it to refuse the speaker based on the content of speech. Monday’s email stated that if Students for America First becomes active again, the group will be able to re-register and will have the ability to host events and invite speakers.