Cowardice at Harvard

While I’m still enjoying the schadenfreudey yumminess of Oberlin’s comeuppance, worth catching up with the latest news from Harvard. You may have followed the story of how Harvard recently removed law professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife (also a law professor) Stephanie Robinson, as deans of the undergraduate Winthrop House at Harvard. The campus wokerati targeted Sullivan for the sin of joining Harvey Weinstein’s defense team, which he did on the old-fashioned ground that everyone’s due process rights deserve vigorous protection. Harvard’s cowardly administration crumpled in the face of student complaints that by his act of practicing law for an unpopular client, he was creating an “unsafe space” for students. Harvard hid behind supposed performance reviews that Sullivan and Robinson were poor deans at Winthrop.

Possible, but I don’t believe it. Sullivan and Robinson are starting to speak out, starting with this 6-minute video explaining bluntly why their treatment is a travesty of liberal values. Worth watching all the way through,  and at the end they say they will have more to say about all of this.  I hope this means they will join the ranks of chastened liberals and progressives like Bret Weinstein, and increase the pressure and shame on the craven cowards who run higher education.

P.S. I think they should accuse Harvard of racism.

Chaser: Heather Mac Donald today in the Wall Street Journal, about graduation remarks from another Harvard dean—

Rakesh Khurana opened his Class Day speech to graduating seniors with a summary of the changes at Harvard over the previous four years. He omitted two in which he played a central role: the removal of law professor Ronald Sullivan from oversight of an undergraduate dorm and the effort to banish single-sex social clubs. Mr. Sullivan’s legal representation of rape defendant Harvey Weinstein had put the “well-being” of Harvard’s students at risk, Mr. Khurana announced earlier this year, and the single-sex clubs perpetuated “spaces that are rife with power imbalances.”

Power imbalances were a big theme of Mr. Khurana’s remarks. He proposed to “interrogate” what it means to deserve something, whether being at Harvard or being successful in life. The “capitalist ethos,” according to Mr. Khurana, tells us that “we deserve to win because of our skill, our hard work, and our contributions.” Mr. Khurana—who is also a professor of business and of sociology—claimed to be mystified by that belief. In Monopoly, the board game Mr. Khurana called synonymous with the capitalist system, it’s the roll of the dice that determines “whether we land on Park Place or land in jail.” Monopoly is like real life, he concluded, which is often determined by factors beyond our control—above all by “those privileges sociologists call ‘structural inequities.’ ”

Maybe it is time to burn it all down.

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