Local outlet calls on Providence, Rhode Island to 'sever any and all official ties' with HP Lovecraft

The cancellation of yet another late author.

Providence, Rhode Island has officially designated September 10 Edward Mitchell Bannister Day as a tribute to the trailblazing 19th-century African-American painter. While some simply celebrated the move, others used it as an opportunity to suggest that the city's other artistic giant, HP Lovecraft, should be canceled. 

GoLocal Providence ran an editorial piece on Monday urging Providence to erase any trace of the acclaimed horror author, citing statements he had made about black people and Jews.

"With the celebration of African Bannister's contributions to the city's vibrant art community, Providence, once, and for all, needs to sever any and all official ties to Lovecraft," the outlet wrote. To not do so undermines the city's efforts to celebrate its racially and ethnically diverse past and present."

While the authors described Lovecraft as a "talented horror writer," they accused him of also being a "documented anti-Semite and racist," pointing out that there is an online game wherein players have to choose whether a given quote is attributable to him or Adolf Hitler.

"These weren't the 'antiquated' musings of America's slave-holding founding fathers; nor were they of the Civil War era," they explained. "They were the beliefs of a documented racist and anti-Semite well into the 20th century, at the very moment the seeds were being sewn for the Second World War and the Holocaust."

The authors cited Lovecraft's claims that black people were "fundamentally ... biological inferior of all white and even mongolian races," as well as one instance where he wrote that, "Just as some otherwise normal men hate the sight or presence of a cat, so have I hated the presence of a Jew."

Lovecraft, who was born in Providence in 1890 and died there in 1937 following a short and troubled life, is commemorated via plaques and statues throughout the city. He inspired generations of horror writers, and remains a popular figure in the literary world. 

If those like the editorial staff at GoLocal get their way, Lovecraft will be just the latest artist to be erased from memory because of comments made outside their line of work.

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