Virginia Tech Rescinds Black Conservative's Speaking Invitation, Then Lies About it
A conservative Wall Street Journal columnist, who writes about racial and other issues, has been disinvited from a scheduled lecture at Virginia Tech over concerns about his controversial political beliefs.
Jason Riley was invited to speak this fall at a lecture series hosted by the university’s business school, the BB&T Distinguished Lecture, but Virginia Tech administrators worried his opinions might provoke protests. “Mr. Riley, who is black, has attracted some negative attention since his publication in 2014 of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed,” wrote National Association of Scholars President Peter Wood Monday in National Review.
According to a memo obtained by Mr. Wood, the head of the Virginia Tech Finance Department, Professor Vijay Singal, vetoed the speaking arrangement. He worried the campus was still recovering from the last BB&T Distinguished Lecture, which was delivered by Charles Murray on March 25.
“The head of the finance department had not initially objected to Riley as the next BB&T speaker but later, when he realized that Riley had ‘written about race issues’ in the Wall Street Journal, he decided Riley would have to go,” Mr. Wood reported.
Mr. Riley joins a growing list of pundits, intellectuals and statesmen who have been disinvited from speaking at universities for holding controversial political beliefs.
After National Review broke the story, a Virginia Tech official claimed that Mr. Riley’s invitation had been revoked because it had never been extended in the first place.