The critically-acclaimed biographical miniseries about the so-called Central Park 5’s lives behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit reminded viewers about the very racist district attorney who prosecuted the young Black males even though she knew they were not guilty. “When They See Us” debuted on Netflix Friday, and the very accurate portrayal of former Manhattan District Attorney’s Office prosecutor Linda Fairstein left viewers fuming with anger that she not only emerged unscathed from the case that ultimately exonerated the prisoners, but she has also been thriving in her professional life.
The best-selling novelist retired from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 2002, the same year that Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise were exonerated only because a fellow inmate came forward to confess. However, Fairstein has not only remained a novelist with a book deal with a major publishing house, but she has also enjoyed the privilege of being named to Vassar University’s Board of Trustees.
Now, only after “When They See Us” was released, the school in upstate New York was reviewing Fairstein’s status as a board member.
“Mari Robles, an international studies junior at Vassar, published a petition Sunday morning calling for Fairstein’s removal,” the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. “As of noon Monday, more than 2,700 people had signed the petition on change.org.”
The shame has apparently gotten to Fairstein, whose Twitter account was deleted over the weekend.
Santana was in full supporting of TMZ called a “boycott” of Fairstein’s books and there were calls across social media for her publishing house to end its business relationship with her.
“Even if it’s 30 years later, she has to pay for her crime,” he told TMZ in a recent interview.
“Fans have taken to Instagram and other platforms, calling for retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to remove Fairstein’s book collection from their shelves,” TMZ wrote.
The hashtag #Cancellindafairstein was one of the top trending topics on Twitter Monday morning, which folks on social media tagging Amazon and other places that sell Fairstein’s books in an appeal to them to stop helping an openly racist woman get rich after she knowingly ruined the lives of five innocent young people.
Though no official numbers have been released, at least one website put Fairstein’s net worth at $4 million.
As of Monday afternoon, Fairstein was still listed as a Vassar trustee on the college’s website. But that, along with her book contract, could ultimately be a thing of the past depending on whether decision-makers agree that rewarding Fairstein’s hate not should continue.