Matthew Yglesias writes, “ … identifying a racial gap and declaring it to be racist is often insufficient. Such an approach impedes actually thinking about problems — particularly in media, academic and nonprofit circles, where the accusation of racism can carry severe consequences” [“Not all ‘anti-racist’ ideas are good ones,” Feb. 26, Opinion].
An example of such consequences is the recent resignation of Hugo House director Tree Swenson [“Hugo House director resigns amid calls for racial equity,” Feb. 19, Books]. Swenson is a highly accomplished literary-arts professional who was forced out of her job after allegedly failing to respond to demands for transformative equity changes quickly enough (i.e., within about seven months, during a pandemic).
No reporting of this issue critically examines many of the complaints; rather, there is an assumption that this was the right thing to do.
Maybe it was. But it’s hard to know when the other side of the story isn’t told. And why might that be?
Emily Alhadeff, Seattle