Joy Reid: Claudine Gay Was Ousted So White Dudes Can Run Harvard Again

News & Politics

No evening of post-Claudine Gay resignation hot takery would be complete without MSNBC’s Joy Reid weighing in. And weigh in she did- by claiming, without evidence, that Gay was “taken out” in order to make room for the guys “who used to have” the presidencies of elite universities in the 50s.

Watch as Reid concocts a theory behind Gay’s resignation that requires neither the words “antisemitism” nor “plagiarism”:

JOY REID: I do just want to pivot to another thing. Because there’s another thing happening, Jelani. There- there is this sort of open war on Black progress, Black history. Um- Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard University, at least up until she resigned, is now the latest casualty of that. Christopher Rufo, who is out there touting and, you know, high fiving and claiming the scalp of Claudine Gay, telegraphed that this was what they were going to do. They were going to associate these DEI professors of colleges with BLM and decolonization and Hamas in the public mind and get rid of them. He’s now claiming victory. He telegraphed that this was the campaign. Why are these elite colleges capitulating to it and essentially making it so uncomfortable for these women leaders that they have to step down to be replaced by white men? Because that is the goal of Christopher Rufo and his gang.

I don’t pity former GOP congressman David Jolly one bit for having to sit through this nonsense while unable to do little more than raise his eyebrows. As Hyman Roth said to Don Michael Corleone: this is the business we’ve chosen

Reid’s chosen business as MSNBC’s resident race-baiter is, of course, to race-bait. Wantonly, dishonestly and maliciously, as is Reid’s custom. 

Despite what Reid would have you believe, Christopher Rufo did not compel Gay at gunpoint to cavalierly answer Elise Stefanik’s question. Nor did he force her to smirk while saying that whether calls for genocide against Israel violate Harvard’s harassment policy or not is a matter of context. These are things that Gay did all her own. 

Gay’s plagiarism scandal, which Reid failed to mention, is similarly self-inflicted. By attributing Gay’s resignation to an imaginary campaign to restore white men atop academia, as opposed to casual antisemitism and plagiarism, Reid does the cause of Black progress more harm than Rufo ever could were he so inclined. 

Click “expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned segment as aired on MSNBC’s The ReidOut on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024:

JOY REID: I do just want to pivot to another thing. Because there’s another thing happening, Jelani. There- there is this sort of open war on Black progress, Black history. Um- Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard University, at least up until she resigned, is now the latest casualty of that. Christopher Rufo, who is out there touting and, you know, high fiving and claiming the scalp of Claudine Gay, telegraphed that this was what they were going to do. They were going to associate these DEI professors of colleges with BLM and decolonization and Hamas in the public mind and get rid of them. He’s now claiming victory. He telegraphed that this was the campaign. Why are these elite colleges capitulating to it and essentially making it so uncomfortable for these women leaders that they have to step down to be replaced by white men? Because that is the goal of Christopher Rufo and his gang. 

JELANI COBB: We saw the same thing… You know, we saw the same thing with Critical Race Theory, where again, he telegraphed and said that, you know, he was going to associate that term with every negative connotation that people could imagine. Irrespective of what the term actually represented, a very specific and particular body of legal scholarship around the efficaciousness of civil rights litigation. You know- very highly particularly, kinds of scholarly inquiry. But by the time he was done, it was kind of Cold War, McCarthyite level hysteria. And so, the same damn thing. They’re running the same playbook. Except now we have kind of individuals that are being attached to it. And, you know, for the record, when we saw Elise Stefanik, representative Stefanik tweet she would always deliver…

REID: Yeah. Yeah. 

COBB: …in the aftermath of the resignation, I was like, was that something you campaigned on? Was that what your district wanted? We voted for you in order for you to dispatch the president of Harvard university?

REID: Apparently. 

COBB: So this is pure cultural warfare here in the guise of intellectual inquiry and ethical concern.

REID: Yeah, and there’s no intellectual inquiry about it. They’re just trying to take out any woman or person of color who leads elite universities so they can give them to the people they prefer, which is the guys who used to have them in the 50s.  

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