To the Editor:
Re: “Too Quick to Punish,” Opinion, April 26
This piece raised important concerns regarding the recent controversy surrounding Prof. Grant Farred, English and Africana Studies. However, in this discussion of the damage caused by overactions and the use of catchalls which obfuscate the perils of racism and sexism, a noteworthy part of this story was left unaddressed — that of what Cathy Young, a contributing editor of Reason magazine, has called “a dose of poetic justice.”
Before coming to Cornell, Professor Farred taught in the Literature Program at Duke University. While at Duke, Prof. Farred was an outspoken member of the infamous Group of 88, members of Duke’s faculty who signed a statement in the Duke campus newspaper condemning without any due process the Duke lacrosse players who had been wrongfully accused of rape. It is quite ironic that after engaging in a premature, disproportionate and unjust response to a controversy on his former campus, Professor Farred now has similar injustices levied at himself.
What goes around comes around, I suppose.
John Cetta ’10