Human Rights

Harvard Students Want to Keep Former Trump Officials From Attending, Teaching or Speaking at the University

A petition drafted by a group of Harvard University students aimed at preventing Trump administration officials from teaching, attending, or speaking at the venerated university has caused a stir and some people aren’t exactly happy with the students’ “progressive” intentions, the New York Post reports.

Students at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences drafted the petition last week and it hasn’t received a welcome reception by those attending the Kennedy School of Government and the Business School. The petition has drawn ire because it’s demanding that Harvard require “accountability” for members of the outgoing administration before they are allowed to speak on campus, The Washington Post reports.

In particular, the petition, which is also an open letter, specifically cites Trump’s stubborn refusal to concede the presidential election and repeated attempts by some Trump officials to claim without evidence instances of widespread voter fraud. The petition’s authors also include a stern warning that inviting Trump allies to Harvard could sabotage democratic norms.

“That is why today we are asking you to set up a system of accountability for high-level political appointees and Trump administration consultants before they are invited as fellows or to teach or speak on campus,” per the letter. “These accountability guidelines should be publicly shared with students by the end of the year.”

An earlier version of the petition apparently aimed to prevent Trump administration officials from setting foot on campus, and the Post, citing unnamed sources reported that the petition organizers changed the wording to say Trump officials should be held accountable before stepping onto university grounds.

Those sources said the change in the language was likely due to opposition to the original. The Kennedy School struck down that earlier version, people familiar with the situation told Fox Business.

“A few other students and I made the point we can’t just target Republicans, that isn’t what the Kennedy School stands for,” said Carter Estes, in an interview with the outlet.

“Harvard has hosted a number of controversial guests over the years like a fellow from the Palestine Liberation Organization, so we should make broadly applicable guidelines that apply to every speaker, not single out Trump employees,” said Estes, who’s part of student government there and a member of a Republican student group.

Estes has a point because in most cases no one should be sanctioned unless perhaps they have extremist political viewpoints — like say, some Republican speakers — Milo Yiannopoulos and commentator Ann Coulter, who have spurred high octane protests.

Unsurprisingly, Kayleigh McEnany, a Harvard Law School graduate, has asked university officials to reject the letter, saying she and other Trump administration members would be more than happy to show up on campus to dare the school to kick them out.

“Our academic communities should be bastions of free speech and the countering and jousting of ideas, not the censorship of a viewpoint that you feel is unpalatable,” she said in an interview with Fox Business.

Welp, fascism is a “viewpoint” of sorts, although it’s actually a political ideology and a very dangerous one at that. And more than a few members of the Trump administration (Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, for instance) are double-dipping in fascism, including Trump himself. It’s an ideology that’s wreaked catastrophic results and as most people who have survived World War II would tell you, it’s an ideology that must be thoroughly and completely censored.

The students who circulated this petition are almost certainly aware of this.

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meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity.

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