Prof removes name from 'cancel culture' letter to avoid association with co-signers
Harper's Magazine wrote in a letter criticizing cancel culture that the suppression of ideas is something to be expected of the "radical right."
Kerri Greenidge demanded that her name be removed from the letter as it gained backlash shortly after its release.
Tufts University Director of American Studies Kerri Greenidge requested to have her name removed from a letter she signed criticizing cancel culture. Harper’s Magazine released A Letter on Justice and Open Debate which was signed by 150 professors, authors, and journalists.
People such as J.K. Rowling, University of Arizona Professor Noam Chomsky, and Harvard University Professor Steven Pinker signed the letter.
It claims that the “right-wing demagogues are already exploiting” cancel culture as it continues to gain momentum throughout the U.S. Even as “the forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world,” the signatories state that by speaking out they can get “the democratic inclusion we want.”
The letter quickly gained backlash over social media, and this prompted Greenidge - among other signatories such as Barnard College Professor Jennifer Boylan - to retract their support for it.
I did not know who else had signed that letter. I thought I was endorsing a well meaning, if vague, message against internet shaming. I did know Chomsky, Steinem, and Atwood were in, and I thought, good company.
The consequences are mine to bear. I am so sorry.
— Jennifer Finney Boylan 🐕 (@JennyBoylan) July 7, 2020
Soon after the letter's release, Greenidge tweeted out “I do not endorse this @ Harpers letter. I am in contact with Harper’s about a retraction,” but Greenidge's Twitter has since been made private.
[RELATED: UPenn extends 'Cancel Culture' to famous 1700s preacher]
While she made this demand, Greenidge’s sisters’ tweeted that they added her name to the list without her permission.
Never put me on. A colleague in a professional org my sis belongs to added my sister's name without her consent. So mad at this person rn.
— Kaitlyn Greenidge (@surlybassey) July 8, 2020
According to The Daily Beast, Greenidge’s sisters’ statements have been proven to be false. In an email replying to Harper’s request to sign the letter, Greenidge responded June 29, saying, “yes, I will add my signature. It reads well.” She also requested to be listed as a “Historian,” rather than signing her name with her institution.
Harper’s emailed Greenidge again on July 1, stating that “Harper’s has agreed to publish it online. It should run next week…Again, thank you for your support.”
Among the co-signers who have come under criticism are J.K. Rowling for her recent comments on transgenderism.
Greenidge did not respond to Campus Reform in time for comment.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KestecherLacey