Antisemitism response, plagiarism claims threaten to topple Harvard President Claudine Gay
December 11, 2023
The more digging into Harvard President Claudine Gay, the more likely it is that she will be fired. Which is something of a sadness, for while it’s good that she goes, it’s important that she goes for the right reason. For the reason that aids in changing what is wrong with American elite academia. The “that” here is not as important as the “why that.”
Why she should go is the hypocrisy over the treatment of antisemitism at Harvard. That symptom – as has long been said — the Jews are the canary in the coal mine of society, one that discriminates against them is going down a path that will lead to disaster – of what is wrong with the entire system. Therefore, we should want her to go not for sins against academic standards or for being viciously performative at bureaucracy. But for that right reason, she is allowing that antisemitism.
As that rabbi at Harvard who resigned in disgust said:
Battling that combination of ideologies is the work of more than a committee or a single university. It is not going to be changed by hiring or firing a single person, or posting on X, or yelling at people who don’t post as you wish when you wish, as though posting is the summation of one’s moral character. This is the task of educating a generation, and also a vast unlearning.
We need to change the system; therefore, those who go must be made to go for the right reason. Only that will put fear into others and make them change their ways.
As ever, Bill Ackman is chasing this point.
Because of her failure to condemn the most vile and barbaric terrorism the world has ever seen, for supporting rather than condemning 34 Harvard-branded student organizations who hold Israel “entirely responsible” for Hamas’ barbaric acts, for failing to enforce Harvard’s own rules on student conduct, and for her other failures of leadership, President Gay catalyzed an explosion of antisemitism and hate on campus that is unprecedented in Harvard’s history.
That’s why. Not the other things being claimed. For example, she was behind the killing of the career of the best economist of this generation, Roland Fryer. Fryer’s actual crime was to follow the evidence where it led, even if that led to non-woke, non-progressive conclusions about the world and the way it works.
There are further claims about her skill at the infighting that leads to climbing the bureaucracy. Or this idea that she might have plagiarised in her PhD thesis. These are all important questions and most certainly call into question any leadership position now or in the future.
However, they’re not the real point here. As we at AIM have been pointing out since the beginning of this:
Harvard University, once an elite academic institution, is now embroiled in antisemitism and hate from some of its students and faculty.
How did what regarded itself as the finest university in the world get to this? It’s not just that one place either, as we’ve also pointed out:
The presidents of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University were called to Congress to respond to questions on the antisemitism rife in their colleges.
It’s not just them, either. The dean of Columbia Law has had to go on this issue. This then feeds down through the entire academic system in the country. It’s also not just antisemitism – as above, that’s just the signal of something deeply rotten in the thinking and attitudes. It’s the stink from the system that needs to be cured, not the mere removal of one of several from leadership positions.
Yes, of course, they need to go and right now. But think for a moment. If Gay has to go for problems with her PhD (upon which we only report what is claimed, we have no more detailed information), then that only scares those who might also have problems with a PhD thesis. Which isn’t what we need at all. We have to insist that those who support the vileness of antisemitism – and that entire corruption of academia that even allows it – be afraid. Therefore, Gay and the others have to go for that and be seen to go for that.
That we’re even talking about this shows that something’s rotten in American academia. And we all know what to do with something rotten – cut it out, dispose of it. So that’s what is needed – and we need these figureheads to be seen to go for that reason, too.