Stanford Defends Decision To Host Richard Hanania, Proficient Author Of Racist Screeds

Richard Hanania is the president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology. Until recently he was listed as a visiting scholar at the Salem Center for Policy at the University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business. Stanford GSB will host him in October. Photo illustration by Justin Morrison/Inside Higher Ed. Photo: Salem Center for Policy

Even after a right-wing policy center at the University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business cut ties with him, the conservative firebrand at the center of a controversy involving his history of white supremacist writings has landed on his feet. That’s in part because another prominent B-school continues to promote the scandal-ridden writer’s appearance on its campus next month.

Richard Hanania, who became a visiting scholar at Texas McCombs’ Salem Center for Policy in March 2022, was revealed in an August Huffington Post exposé to have written for white-supremacist publications in the 2010s. Using the pen name “Richard Hoste,” Hanania wrote in favor of eugenics, among other racist screeds. Though he has since apologized and repudiated his writings and the racist beliefs informing them, Hanania has apparently been cut loose by the center: His bio page has been disabled from its website, and his name has been scrubbed from its list of fellows and scholars.

But Hanania hasn’t been completely cancelled by the world of graduate business education. He’s still listed as a speaker for Stanford University Graduate School of Business’s Classical Liberalism seminar series, scheduled to appear October 5 to discuss The Origins of Woke: Civil Rights Law, Corporate America, and the Triumph of Identity Politics, which is the title of his book published September 19. And Stanford is defending the move to platform him.

A screenshot of the October 5 seminar that Richard Hanania is scheduled to give at Stanford GSB

STANFORD RESPONDS TO STORY BY P&Q AND OTHER MEDIA

Following the Huffington Post exposé on Hanania and the publication of Poets&Quants‘ story, Stanford added this statement to the notice of Hanania’s appearance:

“Richard Hanania is scheduled to give a talk at Stanford Classical Liberalism seminar about his recent book The Origins of Woke. Recently, it has been revealed that more than fifteen years ago Hanania wrote, under a pseudonym, some abhorrent ideas. We were not aware of these writings when we invited Hanania. More importantly, Hanania has repudiated his old writings. We take his word and recognize the possibility that he has changed over the past fifteen years. We believe in a world where people can listen, change their views, and contribute productively. We are thus planning to go ahead with Richard Hanania’s talk.”

The Stanford seminar listing is for “Richard Hanania — Columbia University”; in fact, though Hanania has been a research fellow at Columbia University’s Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, he is not currently listed among the scholars on the institute’s website. It’s unclear whether Hanania plans to appear on Stanford’s campus or by Zoom, or whether attendees will attend by Zoom.

“This speaker has been invited to a seminar organized by two Stanford GSB faculty members and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution,” Amelia Hansen, director of communications and media relations at Stanford GSB, tells Poets&Quants. “Under Stanford’s policy of academic freedom, we give faculty broad leeway to invite speakers for the seminars and events they organize.”

Inquiries seeking comment from the McCombs School of Business and the Salem Center have not been answered.

NOT SALEM’S FIRST DALLIANCE WITH SCANDAL

The Hanania imbroglio is not the first controversy to emerge from the Salem Center, even in the last year. Last September, finance professor Richard Lowery, a fellow at the center, sued the Texas A&M University System over its hiring policies, saying they discriminate against White and Asian-American teaching candidates through a faculty fellowship program for African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Lowery, who is White, contended that the fellowship violates federal law.

Lowery wasn’t done making headlines. In February 2023, he trained his litigious sights on his own employer, saying in a lawsuit filed in federal court that his academic freedom and job status were threatened at Texas McCombs because of his public criticism of the university’s diversity policies. Suing for attorney’s fees and guarantees of academic freedom, he says his criticism of UT diversity policies led to threats to his job, and his suit names Dean Lilian Mills among the defendants.

Lowery also spoke last November at a controversial Academic Freedom Conference hosted by Stanford GSB. Among the conference’s other speakers were Jordan Peterson, the well-known right-wing psychologist, author, and media commentator; and Amy Wax, a Penn Law professor who has ignited controversy over her racist remarks about Black and Asian people.

Not just racist – sexist, too: A screenshot from X, formerly known as Twitter, shows a post by Richard Hanania on September 26 offers some unconventional and offensive dating advice

ANTI-‘WOKE’ WRITER’S MANY RACIST SCREEDS

Richard Hanania

As pointed out in the Austin Chronicle and other publications, Richard Hanania had become a right-wing darling in recent years by attacking so-called “wokeness,” including screeds against feminists and trans people, saying they are “wrong about everything and bad for society.” In his book, The Origins of Woke, he argues that the left dominates nearly all major institutions, including universities, the government, and corporate America, with the state putting its thumb on the cultural scale and repressing conservative ideas since the 1960s. His right-wing positions have garnered him a national following and the approval of high-profile backers like Twitter owner Elon Musk.

But it’s his older writings that have landed Hanania in hot water and threatened his rise as a conservative academic and pundit. Inside Higher Ed, a sister publication to Poets&Quants, compiled a list of Hanania’s most controversial and racist writings as described by HuffPost:

  • In 2010, Hanania’s alter ego wrote that “If the races are equal, why do whites always end up near the top and blacks at the bottom, everywhere and always?”
  • “For the white gene pool to be created millions had to die. Race mixing is like destroying a unique species or piece of art. It’s shameful,” Hanania additionally wrote.
  • Also in 2010, he wrote for white supremacist Richard Spencer’s AlternativeRight.com that “individuals differ in their inherent capabilities. The races do, too, with whites and Asians on the top and blacks at the bottom.”
  • And, in 2010, he wrote in Counter-Currents, a “pro-white” outlet, that Hispanics “don’t have the requisite IQ to be a productive part of a first world nation.”
  • More recently Hanania, under his own name, wrote in a May tweet, “I don’t have much hope that we’ll solve crime in any meaningful way. It would require a revolution in our culture or form of government. We need more policing, incarceration and surveillance of black people. Blacks won’t appreciate it, whites don’t have the stomach for it.”
  • Also in May, after a white man, Daniel Penny, reportedly choked a Black man, Jordan Neely, to death on a New York City subway train, Hanania posted from his own X account, “Daniel Penny getting charged. These people are animals, whether they’re harassing people in subways or walking around in suits.”

‘I NO LONGER HOLD SUCH VIEWS’

Richard Hanania’s book is scheduled to be published Sept. 19

Hanania posted a response to the HuffPost article on his Substack: “Recently, it’s been revealed that over a decade ago I held many beliefs that, as my current writing makes clear, I now find repulsive.

“My posts and blog comments in my early twenties encouraged racism, misogyny, misanthropy, trolling and overall bad faith.

“Phrases like ‘racism’ and ‘misogyny’ get thrown around too easily, but I don’t believe there’s any doubt many of my previous comments crossed the line, regardless of where one thinks that line should be. Below, I’ll offer an explanation for why I wrote such things, and why I no longer hold such views.”

However, Hanania also wrote, “The reason I’m the target of a cancellation effort is because left-wing journalists dislike anyone acknowledging statistical differences between races. My mistake in a previous life was assigning collective guilt based on certain undeniable facts.”

Hanania is president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology. “His research interests include the relationship between wokeness and civil rights law, psychological differences between liberals and conservatives and how to improve public discourse and policymaking by holding experts accountable through prediction markets,” his bio there says.

NOT JUST RACISM — SEXISM, TOO

Hanania may have repudiated his past dalliances with racism but he continues to publish controversial — and sometimes simply ugly — views, particularly through his account on X (formerly known as Twitter). In a post September 26, he mused about obesity in women being the cause of bad “marriage prospects for American men” and offered ludicrous and offensive remedies to solve the problem.

“One thing I know is possible is to start dating a fat girl with a pretty face (undervalued stock), make her like you, and then hint the relationship depends on her being skinny,” Hanania writes.

“And you don’t even have to hint. Just start dating, she likes you, you withdraw. She’ll start looking better next time you see here. This happens all the time.”

Hanania holds a JD from the University of Chicago Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA.

DON’T MISS A SCHOLAR’S RACIST PAST COST HIM A POSITION AT TEXAS McCOMBS. STANFORD GSB HAS INVITED HIM TO SPEAK and A TEXAS MCCOMBS PROFESSOR IS AT THE HEART OF A NEW SALVO IN THE CULTURE WARS and TEXAS MCCOMBS SUED BY ONE OF ITS OWN, A CONSERVATIVE PROVOCATEUR

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