With the release of the brilliant Netflix miniseries When They See Us comes renewed interest in the trial surrounding the Central Park Five and its standing as one of the most heinous miscarriages of justice in the history of the state of New York.
In exploring how five innocent black teenagers—whose only crimes were naiveté—were coerced into contradictory confessions and eventually convicted of rape, assault, robbery and other charges, many of us learned that the chief architect of their captivity was author and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein—which is Wakandan for “evil-ass white woman.”
As such, viewers spent the weekend taking to social media to not only drag Fairstein to the gates of Hell and back, but to call for retailers and publishers to boycott her various bestselling novels—the first step in a plan to upend the lucrative empire she built on the backs of innocent black children.
On Instagram, users have flooded the comments of Amazon, Audible and other retailers demanding that they remove Fairstein’s books from their stores and shelves.
“@lindafairstein went on to become a successful author after she coerced and convicted 5 innocent boys of a crime they did not commit. These boys sat in prison and lost their youth inside of a broken system while she made millions!” Love and Hip-Hop: New York star Jonathan Fernandez wrote to his 503k followers. “Call your local book stores and ask to remove this woman’s books off the shelves! Tag @barnesandnoble @amazon @audible #whentheyseeus #centralpark5"
Fairstein has yet to officially comment on the ensuing boycott, in part because with #WhenTheySeeUs and #CancelLindaFairstein trending she’s seemingly removed any trace of her social media presence.
Deleting her accounts and seemingly going into hiding is a bit peculiar considering that she’s maintained—as recently as July 2018—that “the questioning [of the Central Park Five] was respectful, dignified, carried out according to the letter of the law and with sensitivity to the young age of the men” and that “[Matias] Reyes ran with that pack of kids” despite evidence to the contrary.
No word yet on if her publisher Penguin Books or retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Audible will remove her novels from their stores and shelves, but a Change.org petition requesting that they do so currently has over 6,000 signatures and the approval of Central Park Five exoneree Raymond Santana.
“Even if it’s 30 years later,” he told TMZ. “She has to pay for her crime.”