“The problem is Harvard itself, what it believes, and its commitment to an insidious ideology—best-recognized by its acronym, DEI, for diversity, equity, and inclusion—that is inherently opposed to the notion of free and unfettered exchange of ideas.”
Claudine Gay may have stepped down, but DEI and the ideology behind it has a firm grip on the school. Is it just too late?
Liel Leibovitz writes at City Journal:
Opportunity, Not Tragedy
If you’ve ever watched a monster movie, you know the scene. The triumphant heroes walk away, the creature they had just vanquished left for dead behind them. And then, in a furious flash just before the credits start rolling, it opens its eyes and pounces, assuring us that evil never truly dies and that the sequel is coming.
That was the vibe at Harvard University last week. No sooner was its purported plagiarist president, Claudine Gay, forced to step down after struggling to find fault with calls on campus for genocide against Jews than the haughtiest Ivy found itself in trouble again. The university had announced the creation of an anti-Semitism task force, but before it could even convene, some critics pointed out that its co-chairman, history professor Derek Penslar, wasn’t exactly the man for the job.
Penslar, wrote the university’s former president, Lawrence Summers, “has publicly minimized Harvard’s anti-Semitism problem, rejected the definition used by the US government in recent years of anti-Semitism as too broad, invoked the need for the concept of settler colonialism in analyzing Israel, referred to Israel as an apartheid state and more.” Harvard, Summers went on, would never appoint anyone who made light of racism, say, to an anti-racism task force, which only proved the existence of a “double standard between anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice.”
Summers and Harvard’s other critics are right about the facts but entirely wrong when it comes to the bigger picture. The problem isn’t really Penslar or Gay, and it won’t be solved by a task force, however honest and well intentioned. The problem is Harvard itself, what it believes, and its commitment to an insidious ideology—best-recognized by its acronym, DEI, for diversity, equity, and inclusion—that is inherently opposed to the notion of free and unfettered exchange of ideas.
Consider another recent Harvard initiative, one receiving far less attention from the billionaires who worked to save Harvard by defenestrating Gay. The university’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights is now offering a three-week, intensive “Palestine Social Medicine Course” designed to “introduce students to the social, structural, political, and historical aspects that determine Palestinian health beyond the biological basis of disease.”
Are you confused about that last part? Were you brought up to believe that disease is a medical condition caused by things like pathogens and therefore, you know, pretty much all about biology? No worries: the first aim of the course is to introduce you to “structural humility,” or the idea that you shouldn’t bother your teachers and fellow students with things like questions or facts.
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