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The President of Harvard Blames the Backlash Over Her Outrageous Testimony on People Being 'Confused'

Kevin Dietsch. Getty Images.

By now you're no doubt familiar with Dave Portnoy's post regarding yesterday's hearing on Capitol Hill discussing anti-Semitism on America's college campuses and the absolute unwillingness of university presidents to say that calls for genocide violate their school's code of conduct:

You've no doubt seen Dave's reaction because when one of America's most prominent Jewish voices (and I never would've believed I would be using that as a descriptor 20 years ago when we were doing an AM radio show with about two dozen listeners and putting out content like the Boston's Sexiest Bartenders Issue, but life is strange) becomes outraged to the point he's announcing a hiring freeze on all graduates of these institutions until their presidents resign or are fired, it becomes national news. 

And now we have an update. One of the university heads has taken to social media to explain her testimony. And by that I mean, to explain that it's all our fault. The rest of us got confused and didn't understanding what she was trying to say:

Source - Harvard President Claudine Gay is today walking back her shocking comments on antisemitism, insisting her words have been 'confused' and that the school will take action against anyone threatening Jewish students. 

Gay and the presidents of UPenn and MIT have been eviscerated for telling congress yesterday that calls for the genocide of Jews do not violate their codes of conduct. 

After ferocious backlash and a donor boycott, Gay released a statement today insisting she'd been misunderstood. 

Neither UPenn nor MIT have corrected their president's comments.

Hey, at least President Gay tried, right? Playing the "I was misunderstood by all you morons who don't run a university" card. But at least she made some effort. The cowards from Penn and MIT couldn't even be bothered to say anything. All we're looking for is a little clarification. For them to expand on their remarks and put them into a broader context. And now we have this. On Harvard's official X account. A carefully crafted post, written in thoroughly insincere lawyerspeak. With a "Let me be clear" wedged right into the middle of a pluperfect example of not being remotely clear. The school's account Tweeting out of both sides of its mouth in a statement that couldn't even survive the scrutiny of Community Notes without getting hammered into the Kuiper Belt. And it completely contradicts everything she said under oath. 

Listen again to this exchange and tell me where all this talk about calls for violence against Jews or any other minority won't be tolerated on her campus (Gay's questioning starts at the 2:10 mark):


I could argue that it would've been really simple to just say, "You're damned right that calling for the genocide of Jews violates our rules against bullying and harassment! I mean, what's the point of having rules if this doesn't constitute a violation? Words don't get any more bullying or harassing than demanding a whole ethnic group gets straight up murdered into extinction, amirite?" But apparently that's exactly what she was saying, as she kept ducking the direct questions with nuanced qualifiers like "can be" and "depending on the context" and so on.

She didn't mean what we thought she meant from the actual words she spoke into the microphone in front of Congress. She meant some other thing. The rest of us were simply too confused to comprehend her concise and crystal clear responses. So I'm glad we got this clarification, to help dumb it down for those of us who barely qualify to be president of the chair we're sitting in, never mind Harvard. It's us who didn't understand her easily understandable denouncement of anti-Semitic hatred. And that's on us. Our bad, Dr. Gay. 

It's amazing the kind of accountability you can get out of the academics in charge of our institutions of higher learning by simply asking for it. Though a "ferocious backlash and a donor boycott" doesn't hurt either. 

I have two words of advice to parents of young kids and teenagers: Trade schools.