LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Warning in the Wake of Greenwood

To the Editor:

In what can only be laughably called a punishment, John Greenwood ’20 took a plea deal and was ordered to do 75 hours of community service — less time than the membership requirements of most Cornell service organizations — for an assault and racial slurs that, if committed by a black student against a white one, would have inevitably resulted in jail time, and no such plea deal. It is striking to come to the realization that we are living in a world where this can be considered an adequate reprimand for such community-wrenching actions. Greenwood barely received a slap on the wrist for something that has toppled our community’s sense of safety: a distorted response, when compared to our community’s reckoning in the wake of this incident. The truth is that distortion is, and has been, the reality. This case, like so many before it, became a war of attrition rather than a true criminal proceeding.