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WILK | Bull and Bookclubs: The Higher Ed Response to Bigotry

A four-hundred-year history of American racial brutality has streets across the country demanding change. And yet unresponsiveness is still being wrapped up aesthetically as a concession. Instead of taking action, various establishments rely on sundry statements from the atonement assembly line to quiet rebellion and save face. Police murders and anti-Blackness are being met with a golden age of apology, in which Cornell is disappointingly and unsurprisingly participatory. Racism, and the magnitude of its gruesomeness, is uncapturable.

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GUEST ROOM | A response to Cornell’s statement on Prof. David Collum ’77

Dear President Martha E. Pollack, Vice Provost Michael Kotlikoff, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Opperman, Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi and Chief David Honan,

On June 4th, Buffalo police brutalized an elderly man in an upheaval of police abuse that has spanned this country. Cornell Prof. David Collum ’77, Chemistry, publicly defended that violence. In your statement the next day, you claimed that “Professor Collum has a right to express his views in his private life.” This so-called “right” — to express your views and remain a professor at an elite institution — is not borne from the Constitution, nor any federal or state law: The University extends it, and can just as easily take it away. We, the undersigned, urge you to consider the consequences of extending this right to David Collum. You wrote that “Cornell is founded on a vision of a university, and by extension, a world for “any person.” Do you believe that “any person” would feel safe working for or taking a class from Prof. Collum?

President Martha E. Pollack said in an email on Wednesday that the University doesn't expect to have an update on plans for the fall semester until mid-to-late June.

Pollack: No Update on Plans for Fall Semester Expected Until June; Cornell Anticipates Hundreds of Millions in Losses

“We recognize that there is great interest in knowing Cornell’s plans for the fall semester. While we are committed to making a decision as early as possible, we are also committed to making that decision in a principled way, taking into account both the guidance of public health officials and a careful analysis of our own situation.”