Dr. Cornel West is, by most accounts, one of the greatest living American philosophers and public intellectuals and has been unflinchingly critical of the politics of the nation and the world from that perch. On Monday (July 12), West shared with social media a scathing letter of resignation from Harvard University, declaring in his words that the embers of Jim Crow are still warm at the hallowed academic institution.
West shared the letter as an image in a tweet that can be read in full, writing in the tweet caption that he wanted to tell the “unvarnished truth” about his time at Harvard and the promises that were broken within that span.
“This is my candid letter of resignation to my Harvard Dean. I try to tell the unvarnished truth about the decadence in our market-driven universities! Let us bear witness against this spiritual rot!” read the caption.
The letter opens with, “How sad it is to see our beloved Harvard Divinity School in such decline and decay,” he wrote. “The disarray of a scattered curriculum, the disenchantment of talented yet deferential faculty, and the disorientation of precious students loom large.”
West continues to dress down Harvard University, remarking that he took the job at a lower salary than a position he took 15 years prior and did so without the promise of tenure. It wasn’t without effort that West tried to obtain tenure but he was shot down at every turn, pointing to the fact that West’s open support of Palestine was part of the motivation to deny him the coveted job security tenure brings. West also added that after the death of his mother, the university offered little in the way of solace.
On Twitter, many are reacting to Dr. Cornel West’s resignation letter and its focused dressing down of Harvard University. Check out the reactions below.