Jeff Olmsted: ‘Poet harms his own cause’

Published: 10/11/2021 5:02:23 PM

The harm suffered by BIPOC people at the hands of white people deserves attention and reparation, not bullying and virtue-signaling. It also deserves better representation than the complainant who lobbied to have the Northampton Arts Council cancel its Biennial arts exhibit. His understanding of what makes a piece of art “genocidal” might not be universally shared.

In the opinion of this old white man, the poet harms his own cause, and gratuitously impugns the integrity of possible allies. He disrespects the work and threatens the expressive freedom of the other artists whose work will not be seen as a result of this decision, which, while difficult, remains deeply silly, repairing nothing and redressing nothing.

Jeff Olmsted


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