Thursday, December 08, 2011

Harvard's Double Standard

This past week, Harvard dumped my friend and colleague Dr. Subramanian Swamy. Dr. Swamy had been affiliated with Harvard since his student days and on the faculty since 1964. The Harvard faculty voted overwhelmingly to dump Swamy in light of his July publication calling for harsh measures against Indian Muslims who do not acknowledge India's Hindu character. The University, it should be noted, earlier rejected calls to sanction Swamy over the article, which they labeled free speech. Moreover, Dr. Swamy is a very frank and outspoken individual; his views could come as no surprise to anyone.

Does that mean that the Harvard move was one of opportunity rather than outrage, and that they were just waiting for an excuse to deprive Harvard students of a uniquely qualified professor?

Dr. Swamy taught economics, a discipline for which he has impeccable qualifications; qualifications based on real world experience helping India become the economy it is. He is the President of India's Janata Party; yet, this cabal of elites have dumped him because of an article.

Yet, the infamous Stephen Walt remains a favored fellow at Harvard, despite his co-authorship of a particularly heinous and hate-filled book, The Jewish Lobby. It reprises the old canard that US foreign policy is unduly influenced by Jews and others advocating for a strong US-Israel relationship. Yet, Harvard faculty continue to honor Walt and would defend his hate-speech to the death.

So, why Harvard's double standard? Why is free speech suspended when the subject is Muslims if it makes the elite uncomfortable? Why is hate-speech against others defended as free speech by these same elites? Is it perhaps time that we re-assess the value of anyone looking to this same cadre of academic elites for wisdom or unbiased information?

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