Former St. John’s professor Richard Taylor has sued the school over his wrongful termination in September.
In September 2020, Professor Taylor, who taught Global Society and Columbian Exchange, was let go from St. John’s University in New York for reportedly asking a racist question to his class. He was called a racist and within a few hours was suspended. The student making the accusation said, “Taylor wanted students to justify slavery during a September lesson.”
The actual question Taylor asked the students was, “Do the positives outweigh the negatives for the meeting of the Old World and the New World?”
In class, Professor Taylor, who was also a retired police officer, was known to ask the students if addressing controversial and difficult subjects would be okay with them. He added in that same class that “slavery can never be justified.”
SJU Radicals, who are now calling themselves We Are the Radicals, sent 300 letters to the university complaining about Taylor. He only had 29 students. Attorney Ronald G. Russo and Taylor are suing St. John’s, saying there was no evidence given to them to support the firing and it was an unjust complaint.
When Russo, an SJU alum, asked to sit down with the head of the university and discuss the issue, Russo never heard back from the university.
A petition on Change.org started in support of Professor Richard Taylor has over 3,700 signatures, and that number is quickly growing.