Sudbury

Laurentian University professor concerned about 'cancel culture' in academia

A Laurentian University professor has signed a petition to have her colleague reinstated after what she calls 'a clumsy and badly written' Tweet.

After Twitter incident, Laurentian created an ad hoc committee to look into racism, discrimination on campus

There is a petition circulating to try to help a Laurentian University professor get his job back. (Erik White/CBC )

A Laurentian University professor in Sudbury, Ont. has signed a petition to have her colleague reinstated after what she calls 'a clumsy and badly written' Tweet.

In June, David Lesbarrères used the hashtag #ALLLIVESMATTERS in a tweet.

That upset a lot of people. A few days later he apologized for his words and stepped down as dean.

Professor Mery Martínez García says she doesn't think her Laurentian colleague is racist, just uninformed about what the hashtag means.

Lesbarrères response to step down is something she says is an example of cancel culture — when people withdraw support from public figures or companies after they've done or said something considered offensive or objectionable.

"We have seen many many cases ... And depending on the eyes of who's looking ... you can find things that are positive and you can find things that are not positive."

The petition Martínez García signed was started by students. She and a couple of other Laurentian University professors also wrote an editorial about the matter in a recent issue of The Sudbury Star.

Martinez Garcia said she doesn't think her colleague is a racist.

"We are judging David on a tweet that was clumsy, that was badly written and that he hurt people. And I am not denying at all the fact that he hurt people because it's their pain," she said.

"But I also know the character of David."

Following the Twitter incident, Laurentian University created an ad hoc committee to look into racism and discrimination on campus.

A Laurentian professor of colour is defending her colleagues who was stripped of being a dean due to what some are calling a racist tweet. 6:08

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