Cornel West, the academic and activist who also played Councillor West in the Matrix movies and recently released a Grammy-nominated album, tweeted his resignation letter to a certain Divinity School in Boston after the administration was too busy mumbling their resumes to themselves to give him tenure.
“I hope and pray you and your family are well!” West wrote to his dean on June 30. “This summer is a scorcher! Here is my brief and candid letter of resignation.”
The one-paragraph letter calls Harvard, a place whose myriad contributions to society include the resume stack at McKinsey and the continued market demand for ice luges, “awash in decline and decay.” West describes being snubbed for raises and shorted on sabbaticals despite already making a smaller salary at the school than he did during his first stint there 15 years ago.
His courses, which spanned several subjects and fields, were all shoehorned into “Afro-American Religious Studies.” After the faculty recommended him for tenure at the university (where just eight percent of tenured professors are Black, Latino or Indigenous), the administration rejected it.
According to West, two other key factors in his departure were the total apathy from his colleagues to the recent death of his mother and his suspicion that they rejected his bid for tenure over his support for Palestine. Hmm. What a surprise that the birthplace of emotional repression, which has hundreds of millions invested in companies tied to Israeli settlements in Palestine, would have problems like this.