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Harvard Crimson editors: Yes, cartoon was antisemitic, but c’mon it’s ‘just’ an Instagram post

We need to ‘see the best intentions in others’

So there I was rewatching “The Social Network” again, and — again — marveling at how brilliant college students Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin were (are).

They went to Harvard, after all.

But, of course, the events in the film took place over 20 years ago, and you know how quickly things can change.

Harvard’s student paper, The Crimson, over the years has become almost laughably biased … and in some cases nonsensical.

This isn’t much of a surprise; what is a surprise (perhaps a better word is “disappointing”) is that two of its big guns, so to speak, are hard science majors like Zuckerberg and Saverin.

I’d have thought all the editors would be concentrating in the humanities, especially stuff like sociology and the various “studies,” given the paper’s latest editorial.

While calling a cartoon (pictured) recently posted by a pair of “pro-Palestine” groups “unequivocally and reprehensibly antisemitic” (it features a hand “branded with the Star of David with a dollar sign at the center […] holding a noose that circles the necks of two men who appear to be Muhammad Ali and former Egyptian President Gamal Nasser”), the editors nonetheless say the post “was just that: an Instagram post.”

This one post does not tell us what the dozens of other members of these two organizations believe. It does not tell us what the pro-Palestine coalition at Harvard believes. It most assuredly does not tell us what the national pro-Palestine movement believes, nor does it invalidate their essential aims.

All this Instagram post tells us is that Monday afternoon a handful of activists failed to exercise even the most basic sensitivity.

Uh huh. Except that one of the groups is the Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine (emphasis added). Shouldn’t we assume these folks are rather intelligent — despite being just a “handful of activists”? The chair of the school’s history department is a member, after all.

MORE: Harvard Crimson urges student activists to break the law because they’ll get away with it

(Both groups eventually pinned blame for the cartoon on the defunct group Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which is a “associated” with the Black Panther Party.)

The Crimson editors continue:

Campus discourse has gone toxic, and this ugly, thoughtless Instagram post is the worst of it.

So, to the Harvard community: It’s time to talk to each other; to be mindful of what we say and how we say it; to engage with the best intentions and see the best intentions in others; to seek out uncomfortable conversations with courage and humility.

Ah. Does anyone think the editors would be (as posited by the first commenter to the editorial) saying all this about a KKK cartoon “with tropes against blacks”?

Indeed! Everyone should just “see the best intentions” of those big-browed dolts underneath the white sheets!

“Everyone would be fired,” the commenter (rightly) said.

Keep in mind this is the editorial board that has remained essentially silent on Hamas’ slaughter of over 1,000 Israelis on October 7, but dedicated an editorial to why women’s rights activist Riley Gaines doesn’t deserve an audience. So much for Gaines’ best intentions.

A decade ago, the Crimson editors didn’t care about “engaging with the best intentions” when it told Ted Cruz, Bill Reilly, and Mitt Romney if they were to enroll in the present day they should forget it — stay away from campus. Why? Because their political views are different.

Did the editors “engage with the best intentions” when they asked for rap concert reviews … and then labeled some “racist”? Did they so engage with their complaints about the “racist” 200-word limit on admissions essays?

Certainly, the Crimson saw the “best intentions” in the Bali police when the latter reported a transgender Harvard student’s death was a suicide, right? Right??

Let the massive guffaws commence.

MORE: Harvard student newspaper denies 82 percent liberal faculty is a problem

IMAGES: leungchopan/Shutterstock.com; David Wolpe/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.