The Cancel Counter: Statue of Philadelphia Abolitionist Defaced

Editor’s Note: A wave of “cancellations” has swept the U.S. Compiled here is a list of people, monuments, and artistic works that have been the targets. The events are listed in reverse chronological order, although some incidents do overlap. This list will be updated as the cancellations continue. Please send a message to [email protected] if …

Editor’s Note: A wave of “cancellations” has swept the U.S. Compiled here is a list of people, monuments, and artistic works that have been the targets. The events are listed in reverse chronological order, although some incidents do overlap. This list will be updated as the cancellations continue. Please send a message to [email protected] if you have information about a cancellation that you would like to share.

23. In Richmond, Va., the former capital of the Confederacy, protestors toppled a century-old statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis which resided on the city’s Monument Avenue. The bronze statue had been vandalized throughout the week.

Meanwhile, Kentucky State Senator Chris McDaniel has filed a bill to have the statue of Jefferson Davis lawfully removed from the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda. African American military hero and master diver Carl Brashear will replace the Confederate President.

On Capitol Hill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for the removal of 11 Confederate statues which currently reside in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

22. The country music group Lady Antebellum has changed its name to “Lady A” because of what its members said were associations to the pre-Civil War experience of slavery.

“We named our band after the Southern ‘Antebellum’ style home where we took our first photos,” the band said in a statement. “But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen, or unvalued.”

View this post on Instagram

Dear Fans,⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word “antebellum” from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern “antebellum” style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…Southern Rock, Blues, R&B, Gospel and of course Country. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning—to grow into better humans, better neighbors. Our next outward step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children & generations to come.

A post shared by Lady A (@ladyantebellum) on

21. A statue of Matthias Baldwin, an abolitionist activist who built a successful manufacturing business in Philadelphia, was defaced in the city’s Matthias Baldwin Park on June 10. The statue was doused in paint by demonstrators, with the word “colonizer” spray painted on the pedestal.

Baldwin, who moved to Philadelphia from New Jersey in the early 1800’s, advocated for the enfranchisement of African Americans during Pennsylvania’s 1837 Constitutional Convention, and made regular contributions to a school for African American children in Philadelphia.

“He was BLM [Black Lives Matter] before there was a slogan,” Joe Walsh, a member of the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park, told National Review.

20. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, has defended herself against accusations of anti-transgender animus.

“Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence,” Rowling wrote on her website on Wednesday. “I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.”

Rowling had criticized the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” in place of women.

The author has previously stated her opposition to the idea that “gender” is not grounded in biological sex.

19. A statue of Christopher Columbus in front of the Minnesota State Capitol in Minneapolis was toppled on June 10 by protesters from the American Indian Movement, a militant civil rights group. Minnesota officials, including Governor Tim Walz, were made aware of AIM’s initiative to topple the statue but did not force the demonstrators to back down.

Another statue of Christopher Columbus located in the eponymous park in Boston was beheaded on June 10, and the statue has subsequently been moved into storage. In 2015 an unknown vandal covered the same statue in red paint and wrote “Black Lives Matter” on its pedestal.

“Certainly we don’t condone any vandalism here in the city of Boston, and that needs to stop” Mayor Marty Walsh told reporters.

18. HBO Max announced on June 9 that it would temporarily remove Gone with the Wind from its platform. The film’s depiction of African Americans in the antebellum South is far rosier than is historically accurate.

The announcement came after publication of an op-ed in the Los Angeles times by John Ridley, screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, who called for a temporary suspension of Gone with the Wind in light of the George Floyd demonstrations. It was not clear if HBO’s decision was directly linked to the op-ed.

17. A&E permanently canceled one of the highest-rated shows on cable Live P.D. after it was placed on hiatus following George Floyd’s death. 

The network issued a statement to Deadline: “This is a critical time in our nation’s history, and we have made the decision to cease production on Live P.D. Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”

Live P.D. host Dan Abrams, who was more optimistic than his audience, took to Twitter the night before the show was canceled.

Here’s his response to the cancellation:

16. Paramount Network pulled Cops from the air following George Floyd’s death and has decided to drop the program completely. The network picked up the reality show after its 25 season run on Fox.

Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a network spokesperson said. 

15. Four cast members of the Bravo reality TV series Vanderpump Rules were fired on June 9 following accusations of racism.

The accusations against Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni have been known since January 2020, when social media users shared screenshots of tweets by the cast members that contained racist language.

A black former cast member said stars Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute called the police on her for crimes the cast member did not commit.

“My actions were not racially driven, [but] I am now completely aware of how my privilege blinded me from the reality of law enforcement’s treatment of the black community, and how dangerous my actions could have been to her,” Doute wrote in an apology.

14. Greg Glassman, CEO and founder of CrossFit, announced his resignation from the company on June 9 following backlash over his comments about the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd.

On a Zoom call with staff, Glassman told company officials that “we’re not mourning for George Floyd.”

“Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do,” Glassman said in a recording obtained by BuzzFeed. The CEO also suggested that Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to cover up money laundering occurring at a club that employed both men.

The comments caused an outpouring of criticism on social media, as well as pushback from Crossfit employees.

“I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members,” Glassman said in an apology. “I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions. They are too important to jeopardize.”

13. A number of prominent academics and economists, including Paul Krugman, have called on the University of Chicago to fire professor of economics Harald Uhlig over a tweet criticizing Black Lives Matter.

“Too bad, but #blacklivesmatter per its core organization @Blklivesmatter just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice,” Uhlig wrote on June 8.

“Yet another privileged white man who evidently can’t control his urge to belittle the concerns of those less fortunate,” Krugman wrote of Uhlig.

12. David Collum, director of undergraduate studies at Cornell University’s chemistry department, announced on June 8 that he would step down from the position after facing a torrent of online criticism over a tweet criticizing the 75-year-old protester who was knocked to the ground by Buffalo police during a George Floyd protest.

“The guy needed to give that cop space. Wasn’t brutality; the guy was feeble. The cracked skull (which I agree was the likely event) was self-inflicted,” Collum’s tweet read in part.

The tweet went viral after Hollywood actor Kumail Nanjiani, a star of the HBO series Silicon Valley, retweeted it. The professor then faced backlash from students and staff.

However, Collum said that the Cornell chemistry department had already been planning to bring in a new head of undergraduate studies. Collum has been a professor at Cornell since 1980 and has not been fired from the chemistry department entirely.

11. MTV fired reality TV star Dee Nguyen from its show The Challenge after what the network called “offensive comments on the Black Lives Matter movement.” Nguyen retaliated against another Twitter user for suggesting she didn’t take the Black Lives Matter movement seriously enough, with the user writing “people are dying.”

“People die every f***ing day,” Nguyen responded. “U don’t know me or what I do. I suggest you wake the f*** up and get off social media.”

Nguyen apologized after backlash, writing “I am sorry for the insensitive tweet I posted earlier. I was being defensive and not speaking from my heart. But there’s no excuse.”

10. Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit food magazine, resigned on June 8 after a 2004 photo of him dressed as a “Puerto Rican” for Halloween resurfaced on Twitter. The picture was taken with Rapoport’s wife, Simone Shubuck, who posted the photo on Instagram in 2013 and referred to Rapoport as “Papi” in the caption.

Rapoport wrote on Instagram that he needed to “reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place.” Rapoport had worked with publisher Conde Nast for over 20 years.

9. Christene Barberich, editor and co-founder of women’s lifestyle magazine Refinery29, resigned after current and former staffers alleged that they faced discrimination in the workplace.

“I worked at Refinery29 for less than nine months due to a toxic company culture where white women’s egos ruled the near nonexistent editorial processes,” writer Ashley Ford wrote on Twitter. “One of the founders consistently confused myself and one our full-time front desk associates & pay disparity was atrocious.”

“I will be stepping aside in my role at R29 to help diversify our leadership in editorial and ensure this brand and the people it touches can spark a new defining chapter,” Ms. Barberich wrote in a post on Instagram.

Nancy Dubuc, head of Vice Media, which acquired Refinery29 in October, said Barberich’s exit was “an acceleration of a conversation Christene and I have been having since Vice’s acquisition of R29 and she asked that we make the change immediately over the past few days.”

8. James Bennet, opinion editor at the New York Times, resigned on June 7 following backlash from staffers at the paper over an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), in which Cotton called to use federal troops to quell rioting in major cities.

Publisher A.G. Sulzberger blamed a “significant breakdown in our editing processes,” though no actual factual errors were identified, and Bennet subsequently apologized to Times staff. Numerous staffers had tweeted that Cotton’s op-ed put black colleagues “in danger.”

7. The Los Angeles Galaxy, a Major League Soccer team, fired midfielder Aleksandar Katai after his wife referred to Black Lives Matter protestors as “disgusting cattle” and issued a demand to “kill” them via her social media. Katai apologized shortly thereafter on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Aleksandar Katai (@aleksandarkatai) on

6. Philadelphia Inquirer editor Stan Wischnowski announced his resignation on June 6 after about 40 staff members called in sick to protest a headline that was viewed as tasteless. Wischnowski resigned after over 20 years at the paper.

“Buildings Matter, Too” read the headline of a story by architecture columnist Inga Saffron, who wrote about the destruction caused by looting and rioting in Philadelphia during George Floyd demonstrations.

5. Students at the University of California Los Angeles have signed a petition to fire business professor Gordon Klein. The professor refused to alter the final exam for his Management 127 after a student had emailed Klein to ask for accommodations for minority students in “these trying times.”

“Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota,” Klein wrote in his response email, which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we’ve been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half?”

UCLA senior Preet Bains started a petition calling on the university to fire Klein, writing that the professor’s response was “extremely insensitive, dismissive, and woefully racist.”

Klein is reportedly under investigation by the university for discrimination, and LA police have stepped up their presence near Klein’s house after the professor received threats, according to Fox News.

4. Stockwell Day, a commentator on Canada’s CBC News and former cabinet minister in the government of Stephen Harper, apologized in early June for “insensitive” comments that denied the existence of “systemic racism” in Canada.

“Yes, there’s a few idiot racists hanging around but Canada is not a racist country and most Canadians are not racist. And our system, that always needs to be improved, is not systemically racist,” Day said during a panel discussion.

Day then backtracked, writing on Twitter, “I realize my comments in debate on Power and Politics were insensitive and hurtful. I ask forgiveness for wrongly equating my experiences to theirs.I commit to them my unending efforts to fight racism in all its forms.”

Day eventually resigned from positions with telecommunications firm Telus and business law firm MacMillan LLP.

3. Grant Napear was fired from his job as a radio host on the KHTK station, and resigned from his job as play-by-play announcer for Sacramento Kings, after receiving backlash for tweeting “All Lives Matter…Every Single One!” on May 31. Napear had worked with the Kings since 1988.

Napear’s “recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do not reflect the views or values of [KHTK owner] Bonneville International Corporation,” the company said in a statement. “The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive.”

“[I was] not as educated on BLM as I thought,” Napear said in a statement on June 1. “I had no idea that when I said ‘All Lives Matter’ that it was counter to what BLM is trying to get across.”

2. David Shor, a 28-year-old political data analyst who worked for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, was fired after tweeting out a study showing that violent protests, and the ensuing media coverage, tends to increase support for Republican politicians.

Ari Trujillo Webster, the founder of OpenField, a Democratic canvassing app, promptly attacked Shor in racial terms for sharing the paper.

Following a cordial reply from Shor, Webster tagged his boss Dan Wager, the CEO of Civis Analytics, and wrote “come get your boy.”

Civis Analytics conducted an internal investigation of the incident and Shor was fired days later.

1. Lee Fang, an investigative reporter at The Intercept, was attacked on social media by his colleagues for sharing a Martin Luther King Jr. quote about the importance of remaining non-violent in the face of racism in response to activists’ claims that MLK believed violence was sometimes justified.

The backlash mounted after Fang tweeted out a video in which a black man attending a George Floyd protest complained about back-on-black violence.

Fang, who reportedly feared he would be fired, posted a lengthy apology on Twitter two days after the exchange.

Follow us on Google News

Filed under

Recent Search