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  • Robert Farago

It’s Not OK to be Gay

Harvard University puts diversity over integrity

Harvard University President Claudine Gay (above) told Congress that calling for a genocide of Jews wasn’t a breach of the university’s Code of Conduct. “It depends on the context,” Ms. Gay declared.


In a post-Capitol Hill interview with The Harvard Crimson, Ms. Gay clarified her weasel words. She drew a proverbial line in the symbolic stand.

Antisemitic speech when it crosses into conduct that amounts to bullying, harassment, intimidation — that is actionable conduct and we do take action.

Ms. Gay’s statement is the dictionary definition of “a distinction without a difference.” How is antisemitic speech not bullying, harassment and intimidation?


Plus ça Change


Yesterday’s New York Times revealed that Harvard continues its laissez-faire policy regarding on-campus antisemitic speech.

Protesters have disrupted lectures, shouting through bullhorns that the war in Gaza was a genocide. Antisemitic messages have been posted on social media…

The previous day, as students prepared for final exams, pro-Palestinian student groups staged a large, silent demonstration at Widener Library, occupying a reading room.

Rows of protesters, many wearing kaffiyehs, the Palestinian scarf, sat at tables with open laptops, all displaying the same flier: “No Normalcy During Genocide. Justice for Palestine.”


Was the protest an example of “actionable” antisemitic bullying? Someone should ask the Jewish students using the library during the demonstration. Oh wait…


Resisting “Political Pressures”


It’s clear that the backlash against Ms. Gay’s Congressional dissembling has had zero impact on the University’s antisemitic status quo.


No surprise there. Not after the University’s controlling corporation summarily dismissed calls for their President to step down. Not after 500 faculty members wrote an open letter urging the tax-exempt corporation…

to defend the independence of the university and to resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard's commitment to academic freedom, including calls for the removal of President Claudine Gay… The critical work of defending a culture of free inquiry in our diverse community cannot proceed if we let its shape be dictated by outside forces

So academic freedom means letting antisemites (for that is what they are) disrupt Jewish students’ education. To say the least. In other words, its opposites day every day at Harvard.


“Academic Freedom” Uber Alles!


The faculty and President Gay speak as one on this: action against on-campus antisemitic outrage would be a violation of antisemites’ free speech. A principle they hold dear. In principle.


Back in the real world, The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s College Free Speech Rankings recently rated Harvard dead last, “awarding” them an unprecedented 0.00 score.


FIRE uses various criteria to make their assessment, but focus on this: only a quarter of Harvard students surveyed said they were comfortable publicly disagreeing with their professor on a controversial political topic.


The “controversial topic” motivating Harvard’s defense of President Gay is not antisemitism. It’s diversity.


The Plagiarist President of Color


People are saying the quiet part loud: Ms. Gay’s ethnicity is the reason she’s in a position to oversee the non-enforcement of Harvard University’s Code of Conduct.


Accusations of reverse racism surfaced after the wider world got wind of a secret Harvard commission investigating Ms. Gay for plagiarism.


Carol M. Swain – one of several victims of Gay’s academic perfidy – went there in yesterday’sWall Street Journal.

Even aside from the documented instances of plagiarism, Ms. Gay’s work wouldn’t normally have earned tenure in the Ivy League. Tenure at a top-tier institution normally demands ground-breaking originality; her work displays none. In a world where the privilege of diversity is king, Ms. Gay was able to parlay mediocre research into tenure and administrative advancement at what was once considered a world-class university.

And then…

Harvard can’t condemn Ms. Gay because she is the product of an elite system that holds minorities of high pedigree to a lower standard. This harms academia as a whole, and it demeans Americans, of all races, who had to work for everything they earned.

Are we surprised to read The Media’s Curious Lack of Interest in Harvard’s Plagiarism Fiasco at The Nation. We are not.


Glad to be Gay


Responding to this latest controversy, Ms. Gay has added citations to her work and mounted a PR campaign to “re-frame” her tarnished image.


Ms. Gay’s efforts at rehabilitation include an obsequious apology for her Congressional testimony and a visit to a menorah-lighting ceremony.


A menorah that the rabbi packs away every night lest it be vandalized. Did Ms. Gay consider posting security by the display as a sign of Harvard’s comittment to protecting its Jewish community?


Anyway…


Fuck Harvard


Back in the day, when I was applying to university, my parents were hopeful that my Harvard application would find favor. Unbeknownst to them, I ripped it up. I wanted nothing to do with the University’s arrogant elitism.


It was the right decision then, it’s the right decision now – for any student who values education over indoctrination, groupthink and condescending self-righteousness.

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