To Shame Dr. Gay, the Media Had to Shield Representative Stefanik

Photograph Source: Rizka – CC BY-SA 4.0

Linguist Lorenzo D. Turner traced the Woke idea to the Senegal language, Wolof. He uses it interchangeably with the Wolof word hipi which means to “to open one’s eyes” or hip-kat, which in Wolof means “a person who has opened his eyes.” I doubt that Bret Stephens and other mainstream columnists who inveigh against Wokeness in their uptown version of QAnon know about Turner. For them and comedian Bill Mahar, Wokeness in the form of a Black curriculum has taken over American campuses. That’s QAnon crazy. But once in a while, the actual campus rulers step forward. Those who support universities with money. This was evident during the interrogation of college presidents who insisted upon freedom of speech on American campuses. One billionaire, William A. Ackman, pressured Harvard to fire President Claudine Gay, and though the Harvard board voted to keep her on, her enemies claim that it’s only temporary.

Congressional Republicans led by Representative Elise Stefanik assaulted the college presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the former president of the University of Pennsylvania with mean-spirited questions. Left out most of the news reports was her embrace of anti-Semites and racists. When it comes to issues like racism, the media cater to millions of white subscribers who buy their products. They still insist that Trump voters were those left behind economically or that racism was not a factor in their vote. Wajahat Ali, the fastest mind on television, was let go by CNN because they said he talked about white racism too much. He was no longer welcome as a contributor to the New York Times Op-ed pages because he called Bret Stephens a racist.

No serious study of Trump voters supports the conclusion that they were among the left behind. Those who stormed the U.S. capitol were predominantly middle-class voters whose lives are so pathetic that their only satisfaction derives from arrogant Blacks brought low. The media failed to mention that their crusader against anti-semitism, Representative Stefanik, supports a presidential candidate who accused liberal Jews of destroying America. He dined with Nazi sympathizers Nick Fuentes and Kanye West. She also endorsed Carl Paladino, a Hitler admirer. Paladino, a corny Buffalo racist, thought it funny to depict President Obama as a pimp, a stereotype often aimed at Italian-Americans.

Was Congresswoman Stefanik the right person to demand Harvard’s Black President Claudine Gay’s resignation? Two New York Times articles ignored her support of Steve Bannon’s Great Replacement Theory or Stefanik’s support for President Trump, who has been caught retweeting far-right anti-Semitic posts. Her support for a Hitlerite candidate wasn’t mentioned. I’m a Black man living in the Oakland inner city. I know this. Why doesn’t The Times know this? Why don’t Black pundits at MSNBC and CNN bring this up? The most disgraceful puff piece for Stefanik appeared in a Times article by Annie Karni. She called Representative Stefanik “a voice of reason.” A what?

Johanna Bergman, who has a B.A., was brought on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to slime Harvard President Gay’s scholarship. She mentioned Representative Stefanik, President Gay’s accuser, but left out Stefanik’s support of anti-Semites. She and Willie Geist, who, unlike the strident Joe Scarborough, hides his nastiness with a cool demeanor, accused President Gay of plagiarism without providing any evidence. In the December 13, 2023 edition of The Times, the plagiarism charge was exposed as a lie begun by Christopher Rufo, who started the Woke hysteria and was responsible for the recall and continued harassment of San Franciso school board members Alison Collins and Gabriella López. Will Willie, Joe, or Mika apologize to President Gay?

I’ve condemned anti-Semitism in print, but when I proposed that Stephen Miller, who has sought to deprive Black farmers of compensation for decades of discrimination and has influence over the Republican agenda, is more of a threat to Blacks than Black athletes and entertainers who make uninformed anti-Semitic remarks are to Jews, the piece was turned down by Haaretz where I’d had essays published. I sent it to The Forward. Editor Robin Washington, a contributor to my anthology, Multi- America, rejected the essay.

Are they going to fire the college presidents who continue to tolerate hate crimes and racial insults, which include the placement of nooses in the lockers and rooms of Black students? In 1993 when Israeli student Eden Jacobowitz shouted, “Shut up, you water buffalo! If you’re looking for a party, there’s a zoo a mile from here,” at Black women students, he became a hero to those who saw him as a martyr to political correctness, and the “language police.”

Vernon Jordan offered a dissenting viewpoint years later when he wrote “the participant in the white mob became a hero for the right wing, while the four black women remained faceless and the objects of national ridicule.” Are student groups who invited far-right speakers like Charles Murray and John McWhorter, who says Blacks should have their genes spliced to make them smart, Hitlerite talk, going to be suspended? No, they would cry free speech. Has Princeton taken down the statue of KKK lover Woodrow Wilson?

 When Milo Yiannopoulos was a fad, this racist stuntman caused Berkeley riots and cost the University of California hundreds of thousands of dollars, his protestors were ridiculed for not permitting him his free speech. The Anti-Defamation League called him “a controversial right-wing media personality and provocateur. They cited his alignment with Alt-Right, which the ADL accused of  ant-Semitic leanings.” Where were the congressional hearings?

Finally, Representative Stefanik called Harvard’s decision to keep President Gay on the job “a moral failure.” The shamelessness of this comment shows what she’s learned from her leader.

Ishmael Reed’s latest play is “The Conductor.”