The Problem with Claudine Gay: Harvard as Test Case for Racism
For those of you not paying attention, Claudine Gay is the current (hopefully temporary) president of Harvard University. She’s a Black woman in her early fifties. She started her tenure in July. In October she made headlines when being interviewed by congress and refusing to condemn student calls for the genocide of Jews. Following this, a few instances of plagiarism were discovered, which soon bloomed into dozens of instances of plagiarism. Currently she’s now accused of not releasing her data-sets from her early 2000s paper which gave her a PhD at Stanford. She’s been criticized roundly on all sides for most of this.
The claim on the Left and by many at Harvard is the usual: This is a “right-wing conspiracy” and “racism.” Or else there have been bizarre rationalizations of the plagiarism claiming that it’s “not really plagiarism.” (For cases where it clearly is, for instances where Harvard students are routinely disciplined, and according to Harvard’s own designation of the act of plagiarism.)
This is the most blatant and obvious moment of Woke Racism. To elite white progressives, both at Harvard and off, Claudine Gay is nothing but a political football, to be hurled around for virtue-signaling points. She’s not a full human being but rather a symbol. The most superficial thing about her—her skin pigmentation—is being used as the main criteria for defending a clearly disastrous record. Do you realize how awful and detrimental doing is this going to be for all Black Americans? From now on whenever a Black American gets into a high position of power, people are absolutely going to think, Hmmmm; were they hired because of competency and merit…or because they’re Black?