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Ibram Kendi and other identitarians claim Claudine Gay's short fall from grace was due to racism
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Ibram Kendi and other identitarians claim Claudine Gay's short fall from grace was due to racism

Claudine Gay resigned as president of Harvard University Tuesday following scores of plagiarism complaints and controversy over the costly perception the institution had become an incubator both for anti-Semitism and segregationist tendencies under her leadership.

In her resignation letter, Gay set the script for her would-be defenders: she was a victim "subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus."

Critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi and other race obsessives embraced the script and took the stage, suggesting Gay's short fall from grace was all about racism.

Kendi tweeted, "Racist mobs won't stop until they topple all Black people from positions of power and influence who are not reinforcing the structures of racism. What these racist mobs are doing should be obvious to any reporter who cares about truth or justice as opposed to conflicts and clicks."

Kendi's tweet was quickly met by a community note linking to a recent New York Times article detailing the latest of nearly 50 plagiarism complaints against Gay, who appears to have appropriated content from black and white scholars alike.

Seven of Gay's 17 published works, including her 1997 doctoral thesis, are implicated in the plagiarism complaints.

The latest complaint, filed Monday and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, alleges Gay lifted nearly a page of material verbatim from University of Wisconsin political science professor David Canon's 1999 book "Race, Redistricting, and Representation: The Unintended Consequences of Black Majority Districts" without using quotations.

Despite this and other indications she may have reaped the fruit of others' labor, Gay said in a Dec. 11 statement, "I stand by the integrity of my scholarship."

Extra to the plagiarism scandal, Kendi recently raised eyebrows for suggesting during a congressional hearing early last month that calls for the genocide of Jews could be protected under the university's policies on bullying and harassment "depending on the context."

Kendi was put on blast Tuesday for claiming the controversy about Gay's perceived deficit of academic integrity and tolerance of anti-Semitism on campus was actually about her race.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) wrote, "Kendi's cry of 'racism' in response to a termination of employment that had nothing to do with race—and appears to have been undertaken with great caution, perhaps based on considerations related to race—is itself a form of ugliness akin to racism."

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw (Texas) responded to Kendi, "'Yeah ok so I know I refused to condemn genocide or anti-semitism, and maybe I plagiarized my way to the top of academia....but really you're all just a bunch of racists.'"

Jeremy Redfern, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary, responded, "Did you expect anything less from Henry Rogers (his real name), here? Pointing out plagiarism is racist, obviously."

Megyn Kelly quipped, "Henry Rogers weighs in (spoiler: everyone's racist)."

Spectator columnist and author Douglas Murray tweeted, "Or.... you shouldn't be a plagiarist with a blind-spot on anti-Jewish racism."

The intellectual diversitarian group Free Black Thought wrote, "Can you imagine how much motivated reasoning it would take to convince yourself that Claudine Gay was toppled by racism?"

Kendi doubled down on his racism claim in a series of posts, which were again countered with facts.

"When a racist mob attacks a Black person, it finds a seemingly legitimate reason for the attack that allows for it to accrue popular support and credibility, and which allows the growing mob to deny they are attacking the person in this way because the person is black," wrote Kendi. "The seemingly legitimate reason, in this latest case at Harvard, is primarily academic misconduct or plagiarism."

"The question to assess whether this was a racist attack isn't whether Dr. Gay engaged in any misconduct," continued the identitarian academic. "The question is whether all these people would have investigated, surveilled, harassed, written about, and attacked her in the same way if the Harvard president in this case would have been White."

Respondents noted at least two instances just over the past several months that neatly provided an answer to Kendi's question, thereby killing his preferred narrative.

Liz Magill, a white woman who served as the 27th president of the University of Pennsylvania, resigned in disgrace in December. While ostensibly not another plagiarist, she similarly bungled her response to anti-Semitism on campus, failing to explicitly say during a recent congressional hearing whether demands for the genocide of Jews amounted to bullying and harassment on campus.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a white man who served as the president of Stanford University for seven years, resigned in July after the board of trustees discovered that multiple academic reports he had authored contained falsified information.

Dr. Anthony Bradley, distinguished research fellow at the Acton Institute, highlighted for Kendi another instance proving his understanding wanting: retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen resigned as president of the University of South Carolina in 2021 after being exposed for plagiarizing — not seven books or his doctoral thesis — part of a speech.

Bradley wrote, "Prof Kendi wrongly thinks Prof Gay’s resignation is about race. It's about plagiarism. And yes, @ibramxk a little bit of research would show that white presidents resign for plagiarism with great regularity. We can't hold students to higher standards than college presidents."

Kendi was not alone in suggesting Gay's resignation was about race or at least something beside her foibles.

The leftist blog Mother Jones suggested Gay was the "latest casualty in a growing conservative crusade against 'diversity in education'" and her resignation was further proof that a "larger trend of racial regression" is underway.

Don Moynihan, the chair of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, claimed, "Gay was attacked because she is seen by the right as undeserving of the job. A diversity hire."

Daily Beast contributor Wajahat Ali's takeaway was that "[r]ight-wing actors are so obsessed with 'truth' that they will not target, bully & 'scalp' anyone/anything in academia who threatens them (people of color, women, liberals, books)."

Mara Gay of the New York Times' editorial board indicated the efforts to hold Gay accountable amounted to an "attack on diversity."

"The fact that she's a black woman and the first person, uh, who is a black American to lead Harvard only added to [critics'] thirst to dethrone her," Mara Gay told MSNBC. "Those attacks ... I don't have to say that they're racist because you can hear and see the racism in the attacks."

Al Sharpton said in a statement obtained by CNN Tuesday, "President Gay's resignation is about more than a person or a single incident. This is an attack on every Black woman in this country who's put a crack in the glass ceiling."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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