The Washington Post had two editorials in two days that severely missed their mark in explaining the ramifications of Harvard president Gay’s actions, after the October 7 slaughter of Israelis.
In “Claudine Gay gave the far right exactly what it needed” (1/5/24), Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson stated that “the first Black president of Harvard University, Claudine Gay, was forced out by a right-wing pressure campaign orchestrated by bitter opponents of diversity.” No Mr. Robinson, she wrote her own ticket out. Claudine Gay was out because she plagiarized, and she could not protect her Jewish students from harm on her campus. The number one job of a college president is to protect their students. Jewish students were bullied, harassed and afraid to go to class. This is not about politics; it is about humanity. Claudine Gay failed in that regard and plagiarism aside, her failings to her Jewish students were reason enough for her to be out.
In “What Harvard has to learn from Ms. Gay’s resignation” (1/4/24), The Washington Post Editorial noted every part of her controversy but one – the most important one: Jewish students must be able to go to classes without being harassed or bullied! The leader of a college must ensure this. How more basic a right or expectation should a Jewish (or other minority) student have? The editorial states that “the lesson for Harvard and for all universities is that it was a mistake to create the expectation that university presidents must weigh in on the great issues of the day.”
No, the lesson for Harvard and for all other universities is to protect your Jewish students! And the lesson for The Washington Post is to not forget that the next time you write an editorial about it.