“When DEI is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, Fight Back!!! We stand for Claudine Gay.” — The Rev. Al Sharpton
Wondering about who the Harvard Board of Trustees might consider for president of that august outfit once Claudine Gay moves to her new professorship in the graduate program for creative writing? The no-brainer, in more ways than one, has got to be Ibram X. Kendi, the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, launched in 2020, then un-launched in September, 2023, after BU auditors disclosed that $43-million in donations, endowments, and grants to the center could not be accounted for.
Mistakes were made, BU conceded, mostly by white people seeking to discredit the antiracism movement, proving the persistence of structural racism. Dr. Kendi explained to The New York Times that critics were using the situation “to settle old scores and demonstrate that I’m a problem or that antiracism is a problem,” because blaming the victim is one of the core techniques of those behind structural racism. “Unfortunately, we live in such a polarized, spiteful sort of reactionary moment,” he said.
Surely, the firing of President Gay at Harvard was just such a case of spitefully settling old scores, and Dr. Kendi is the best-qualified candidate to root out the remaining reactionary racists on Harvard’s payroll, who pose the gravest threat to democracy, hate-speech elimination, and equity in academia. We could expect President Kendi to double-down on the institution’s commitment to advancing marginalized people at all costs. Also, consider: Boston U is less than a mile across the Charles River from Harvard, so at least no moving costs to get Dr. Kendi on-board — what with some of the school’s biggest donors (e.g., Wall Street’s Bill Ackman) threatening to withhold future giftings to Harvard’s hedge fund, a.k.a., its endowment.
Perhaps a shrewder hire would be Admiral Rachel (née Richard) Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, one of the chief overseers (whoops), I mean, administrators of America’s official Covid-19 policies, and chief promoter of mRNA vaccine mandates. Wikipedia tells us: “Levine was commissioned as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the United States uniformed services as well as the first female four-star admiral in the Commissioned Corps,” evading the fact that s/he is not actually a female, but rather a male pretending to be a female, with scrupulous attention to hair and costume.
Readers can argue as to whether female is interchangeable with the word woman and whether imagining oneself to be a woman is the same as being a woman. But you see this would be exactly the advantage of putting Dr. (pediatrician) Levine in the president’s chair at Harvard: the nation’s attention would shift dramatically from the quandaries of racism and anti-racism to the even richer perplexities of gender identity, while exposing the baleful influence of men who remain on the Harvard faculty in promoting intransigent patriarchy, often tinged with toxic whiteness.
As president of Harvard, Dr. Levine could elevate and emphasize the importance of pretending in higher education. Of course, pretending is already well-established in academic journals and publishing, and especially lately in the medical science surrounding one of Dr. Levine’s specialties, Covid-19 (and its remedies). One can only hope that the admiral will recruit Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, Chief of the Covid Task Force at the New England Complex Systems Institute, as her chief of staff. As recently as three days ago, Dr. Feigl-Ding tweeted (or X’ed): “Anti-vax campaigns are fueled by disinformation army. Your friends and family are pummeled with disinfo to the point they start to believe it — but don’t fall for it!” Meaning: for goodness sake, go out and get more mRNA booster shots! Especially because, as Dr. F-D also declares on X, “a raging inferno of Covid is surging nationwide.”
One is tempted to ask: if Harvard renewed its Covid vaccine mandate, would Harvard students be intelligent enough to decline the injections? Granted, Harvard’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging policy (DEIB) has front-loaded matters beside intelligence in its admissions procedures. Parents might ask: in the case of a student’s death from myocarditis before the end of a semester, would Harvard refund any or all of the $55,000 tuition? These are some of the perplexities that Dr. (Admiral) Levine is well-equipped to resolve.
Anyone else have some nominations? (hints: Nikole Hannah-Jones, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Mika Brzezinski? Ilhan Omar, Megan Rapinoe. . .?)
Send this article to a friend: