Harvard Business School Club of NY cancels speaker from…cancel culture talk: report
Mckenna Dallmeyer, Campus Reform
- The Harvard Business School Club of New York cancelled an event about cancel culture.
- The event was cancelled after someone complained about the topic, the speaker told Campus Reform.
The Harvard Business School Club of New York cancelled an event about cancel culture after someone allegedly complained about the featured speaker.
James Lindsay, who was set to be the featured speaker at the event, is a co-author of a new book called Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody.
The book discusses how “anti-Enlightenment beliefs” such as cancel culture, subjective truth and language as violence pose an imminent threat “not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself.”
The Harvard Business School Club of New York (HBSCNY) invited Lindsay for a presentation and discussion of the book along with a Q&A session on March 11. However, the club decided to cancel the event.
Ironically, the very discussion that was cancelled would have discussed cancel culture.
“Have you ever wondered about the ideas behind the cultural and political wars that are wrecking the country and reached a crescendo last summer in the ‘Cancel Culture’ movement and the violent outbursts in many cities around the country? Do we even understand the fighting words brandished by the social justice activists in this movement?… Join us for a presentation and discussion of the book with author James Lindsay, followed by a Q&A session,” the event description, now removed from the Business School Club’s website, stated. Lindsay tweeted that it was because “someone was upset that I exist” and he refused to “back down.”
Lmao! I had been invited to speak for the Harvard Business School Club of New York about Cynical Theories, and because someone was upset that I exist, they changed the moderator to their chief equity officer, Hemali Dassani, and then, when I didn't back down, cancelled the event. pic.twitter.com/hOvGQE4gFK
— James Lindsay, increasingly relevant (@ConceptualJames) February 24, 2021
Lindsay told Campus Reform that Jean-Louis Maserati was the original moderator who is “sympathetic and friendly” to Lindsay and his opinions. Maserati told Lindsay that former HBSCNY president and current board member Hemali Dassani complained “high up in the administrative hierarchy” about Lindsay, claiming that his ideas would go “unchallenged” with Maserati moderating.
According to Maserati, this complaint prompted HBSCNY to change the moderator.
Lindsay still agreed to do the event but expected it to be more hostile with the different moderator. He provided an account of what he says led to the event’s cancellation, which Campus Reform has not independently verified.
“I said to him I would do it but expected it to be hostile now and intended to embarrass her if she became hostile to me,” Lindsay said.
Dassani is an “experienced fundraiser and investor relations professional within the alternative investments space.” She also chairs HBSCNY’s racial equity task force, according to an archived link of the event.
Several days later, Lindsay tweeted that the event was cancelled, and now claims it was because he “didn’t back down.” He told Campus Reform that he was not provided a “real explanation” except for HBSCNY stating the event was no longer a fit for the club. He said he asked the club for more details, but did not get a response.
When asked about his take on what happened, Lindsay told Campus Reform that the joke is on HBSCNY.
“The jokes write themselves around our elite institutions these days, of course, but that’s not the greater irony one might accuse them of. The greater irony is how bourgeois these institutions are. In reality, that’s not ironic either, though. Equity, which is to say communism, has always been a bourgeois fancy,” Lindsay said.
HBSCNY did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @redwave1776