Claudine Gay, president of Harvard University, during a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Lawmakers on the education committee will grill the leaders of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about their responses to protests that erupted after the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. Photographer: Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photographer: Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Oh, To Be A Black Harvard President

Last week, Claudine Gay objectively humiliated herself before Congress.

Harvard’s esteemed president failed to simply state that calling for genocide of Jews was in violation of Harvard speech policies. Instead, she supposedly clung to free speech — the violation of which is constant and ever-present at Harvard.

An excerpt from Harvard’s mandatory Title IX training session for undergraduate students contains a “Power and Control Wheel” that helps students identify “harmful” conduct.

Attitudes that “contribute to an environment that perpetuates violence” include sizeism and fatphobia, cisheretosexism, racism, transphobia, ageism, and ableism. The training presents scenarios, one of which involves “Andre” who repeatedly uses the wrong pronouns and comments on Logan’s “outfits, hair, and nail polish” and makes remarks about Logan’s gender identity which “contribute to a climate of disrespect and may also violate Harvard’s policies.”

If you say a man is a man, you may be violating Harvard’s policies. If you say death to the Jews, well, that’s context dependent.

This is the same university, you’ll recall, that banned prospective admittee Kyle Kashuv for sending texts that included the n-word in them when he was 16-years-old.

But Claudine Gay is all about free speech for Jew-haters.

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Again, all of this is part and parcel of the “equity” hierarchy established by the academic Left over the course of two generations. Some groups are more equal than others.

And Claudine Gay is part of the privileged elite, which is why she is unfireable.

This week, Chris Rufo, Aaron Sibarium, and other journalists uncovered vast evidence of Gay’s plagiarism, from her PhD dissertation to other published papers. Multiple professors who were plagiarized have now come forward to condemn Gay’s plagiarism, including Miami University professor Anne Williamson, who said,

It does look like plagiarism to me. If they are going to do what they did, then I should be cited as a reference. My first reaction is shock. The second reaction is puzzlement. There is a way to draw from my paper. All she had to do is give me a credit.

Carol Swain, another scholar Gay allegedly plagiarized, said,

What is bothering me is not just that there’s passages she didn’t put in quotation marks. When I look at her work, I feel like her whole research agenda, her whole career, was based on my work.

Swain went a lot further, saying,

She became president of Harvard and got recognition as being its first black president. I don’t believe her record warranted tenure, and I believe that I had to meet a much higher standard than she did. … It’s clear to me that standards were lowered in the mid-1990s, and the elites came together and decided that they were going to defend affirmative action. It’s clear to me that she was a beneficiary of that. I blame her committee, and I blame white progressives equally.

Swain, who is black, concluded,

White progressives have always rewarded the blacks who supported their ideas. … A white male would probably already be gone.

That’s exactly right. But not at Harvard, where the board has defended Gay, saying they did a full investigation into the plagiarism allegations as soon as they received wind of them in October.

But even that was a lie — because equity must be upheld, particularly at the cost of truth. It turns out that the university, once hit with the plagiarism allegations against Gay, didn’t investigate; rather, they went into full defense mode. According to the New York Post,

Harvard University covered up a high-level investigation into whether its controversial president was a plagiarist — and used an expensive law firm to threaten The Post over our own probe. … The Post contacted the university on October 24, asking for comment on more than two dozen instances in which Gay’s words appeared to closely parallel words, phrases or sentences in published works by other academics. … When The Post brought the allegations to Harvard, Jonathan Swain, its senior executive director of media relations and communications, asked for more time to review Gay’s work. A day later Swain, who was part of the Biden-Harris transition team and a one-time Hillary Clinton aide, said he would “get back in touch over the next couple of days.… But he did not. And two days later, on Oct. 27, The Post was sent a 15-page letter by Thomas Clare, a high-powered Virginia-based attorney with the firm Clare-Locke who identified himself as defamation counsel for Harvard University and Gay.

Harvard must defend the precious. Because Gay is the perfect emblem of “equity” — an underqualified black woman who has been elevated particularly because of that status to the presidency of the nation’s most storied university. She is too woke to fail. 

If she fails, what does that say about the entire Potemkin village of diversity, equity, and inclusion? If she Gay were fired, that would undermine the DEI principle. After all, Harvard is a university totally reliant on that DEI principle. As Gay herself said in a joint statement after the Supreme Court threw out affirmative action as unconstitutional: 

We write today to reaffirm the fundamental principle that deep and transformative teaching, learning, and research depend upon a community comprising people of many backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences. That principle is as true and important today as it was yesterday. So too are the abiding values that have enabled us — and every great educational institution — to pursue the high calling of educating creative thinkers and bold leaders, of deepening human knowledge, and of promoting progress, justice, and human flourishing.

Harvard doesn’t mean that in terms of ideas, of course; they mean it in terms of race, which is why, according to the Harvard Crimson, in an analysis of the period 1995 to 2013, “Asian-Americans admitted to Harvard earned an average SAT score of 767 across all sections” — an average of 1534. (Remember, the maximum is 1600.) Meanwhile, the report shows “white admits earned an average of 745 across all sections” — 1490. Hispanics “earned an average of 718” or 1436, and black admits “an average of 704” or 1408. In other words, the average Harvard Asian-American had to outperform the average black admittee at Harvard by 126 points to get in. For context, a 1408 is below the average SAT score for admittees at every top university in the United States.

The only way to justify this sort of racism is to suggest there are “other benefits.” But what are those other benefits? The unspoken assumption is that a racially diverse student body — or faculty, or administration — is its own justification. Why would racial quotas be self-justifying? Only because meritocracy itself is supposedly unjust, wrong, and racist.

Which is precisely the proposition Harvard puts forward. This is why minds everywhere are boggling at Harvard — the apex of the supposed American meritocracy — now promoting “diversity, equity, and inclusion” in the face of merit, and, in fact, making clear that if you are part of a higher-achieving group, this makes you an oppressor who can be discriminated against.

But that’s what universities have been promoting for decades.

Claudine Gay is the natural consequence of that perverse mindset. That’s why Derrick Johnson of the NAACP has now tweeted, “Enough is enough. Harvard President Claudine Gay is a distinguished scholar and professor with decades of service in higher education. The recent attacks on her leadership are nothing more than political theatrics advancing a white supremacist agenda. … Black America isn’t buying into your game, and we sure won’t stand for your perpetuation of misogynoir.”

Yes, that’s right: Pointing out Gay participated in precisely the same activity that got Liz Magill fired is now racist — because plagiarism is now just another front for racism, just like SAT scores, grades, criminal law, drug law, free speech, property rights.


This is the game. Rig the game in favor of those who underachieve, pretending that underachievement is the fault of the meritocracy itself. When challenged, claim that those who are pointing out shortcomings and failures are themselves racist as are the representatives of that corrupt and exploitative pseudo-meritocratic hierarchy. DEI is a cult philosophy — false and yet utterly unfalsifiable, rooted in the core belief that those who oppose it are, by dint of that very opposition, bigots. 

That’s the game Derrick Johnson is playing when he attacks Bill Ackman, the private equity guru and Harvard alum who has been trying to fight anti-Semitism on campus. Johnson has commented, saying

Ackman’s statement on President Gay and equating diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to modern-day McCarthyism have nothing to do with combating antisemitism. Rather, Ackman is choosing to inflame “anti-woke” culture wars against the most visible Black woman he could target.

Yes, according to the DEI-friendly, to bow to Ackman — a major Democratic donor — would be to bow to racism. 

Johnson even calls for a boycott against the businesses in which Ackman invests — businesses with a bevy of black employees:

Ackman can be held accountable for his actions. His hedge fund, Pershing Square, is a major investor in Chipotle, Lowe’s, Popeyes and Burger King, among other major consumer brands. Black women have the power to decide whether these brands should continue to earn their patronage — and the boards and employees of these companies can speak up as well.

The DEI lie must be upheld at all costs. If it falls, so too does the theory that American meritocracy is itself evil — and that theory lies at the root of the Left’s ideological revolution. It undergirds their support for everything from radical trans politics to the Black Lives Matter rioters to Hamas.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a cancer. But that cancerous tumor cannot be simply removed. It has metastasized throughout our universities and across the body politic. It must be hit with societal chemotherapy — a vast and destructive measure that will, indeed, cripple many of America’s top institutions. 

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