I advise you to have a bottle of Dramamine on hand before reading Claudine Gay’s nauseating missive announcing her resignation as president of Harvard University. “It has been distressing,” she (or perhaps it was someone else) wrote, “to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor — two bedrock values that are fundamental to who I am — and frightening to be subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus.”
“Confronting hate”? “Upholding scholarly rigor”? “Racial animus”? Puh-leeze!
Gay had a chance to “confront hate” when the pampered panty-waist radicals at Harvard demonstrated in favor of Hamas. She didn’t. Asked by Representative Elise Stefanik whether calling for the genocide of Jews violated Harvard’s code of conduct, she retreated to carefully prepped thru-text about “context.” It was a disgusting performance, made worse by the ditto-head, nearly identical responses of Liz Magill, (former) president of UPenn, and Sally Kornbluth, still the president of MIT.
Gay also had a chance to “uphold scholarly rigor.” She failed miserably by rampantly plagiarizing and falsifying data and then attempting to intimidate journalists who sought the truth about her record.
And as for “racial animus,” Gay has been a conspicuous beneficiary of the twisted racial spoils system that has blighted American higher education for a generation.
As evidence of her serial plagiarism mounted, the clock began ticking on Gay’s tenure at Harvard. I for one am sorry that it was her textual kleptomania that did her in. It would have been more appropriate had her resignation been forced by her moral obtuseness and preening racial grandstanding.
As I noted in this space last week, Claudine Gay was bad for Harvard, but Harvard is bad for the country, so there was some satisfaction in having her stay in her post for as long as possible. Every day that she was president was one more declaration of the intellectual absurdity that is Harvard University and, by extension, American higher education writ large. Claudine Gay was the perfect embodiment of “Harvard,” the scare quotes indicating not so much a single institution as a state of mind.
As I put it elsewhere, at the center of that state of mind is an ambition to achieve — not intellectual distinction, but to be a socially “‘transformational’ force whose goal is to undermine and invert our civilization.”
All of which is to say that Claudine Gay’s departure will not by itself make any difference to the rotten edifice that is Harvard. She herself will slip back to her ludicrously overpaid professorship — she was paid (I won’t say “earned”) $879,079 as a dean in 2021 and is set to make even more. And Harvard will simply roll on in its preening, tax-exempt bubble of anti-American self-satisfaction.
The ship that is the American educational establishment has struck a fatal iceberg of woke, ideological fatuousness. It is taking on water rapidly and is doomed. Claudine Gay’s departure is simply a rearrangement of chairs on an upper deck.