Students at Harvard University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, are calling on school administrators to ban officials with the Trump administration from ever being hired by the school to speak or teach.
The students said that anyone affiliated with the Trump administration should be heavily scrutinized before they are even able to step foot on the campus.
The students argued that the president’s refusal to concede the election has violated the university’s values.
In the letter, they state that “Harvard should stand firm with its stated commitments to a just Harvard and a just world, to free and honest inquiry in the unfettered pursuit of truth, the right to vote, a free and independent press, checks and balances, the peaceful transfer of power, and the rule of law with equal justice for all. We believe that Trump administration officials who failed to live up to that standard have disqualified themselves from being hired by the school as faculty or fellows.”
Harvard administrators have not yet responded to the petition.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized the petition, saying that “Academic communities should be bastions of free speech,” and insisting that she would be willing to walk back onto the campus herself to challenge it.
However, the students argue in their letter that they are actually preserving Democratic values by keeping Trump in office.
The students say that despite having a variety of different political beliefs on both ends of the spectrum, “We worry that in following tradition and inviting members of the Trump administration to Harvard, the school would be legitimizing this subversion of democratic principles that up to now had been universally accepted by both political parties.”
— Georgia College Republicans (@GACRs) November 21, 2020
When public officials leave office they are typically greeted with a variety of job offers, speaking engagements, and other business opportunities that end up making them a lot of money. With the Trump administration, the conversation has been much different because of how controversial his time in office has been.
For the past several years, conservative speakers have been facing major pushback from Universities when attempting to set up events, so this should come as no surprise, but some people out there want to see anyone in the public arena who supported Trump to be “canceled” from further public work.
Earlier in the month, a group calling itself the Trump Accountability Project announced that they would be keeping a record of those who helped Trump rise to power.
In a statement that has now been removed from the group’s website, they said, “Remember what they did. We should not allow the following groups of people to profit from their experience: Those who elected him. Those who staffed his government. Those who funded him.”
The previous message has now been replaced with one urging unity and hope for a Joe Biden presidency.
Trump officials are not very concerned about their prospects when leaving office. Their base is still large enough to support them, and as some officials have already pointed out, Americans have a short attention span and have already allowed George W. Bush to restore his image.
"It was Heinrich Heine who once said, if you begin by burning books, you'll end by burning people. And if you begin by censoring speech, you'll end by burning books."
@AlanDersh condemns calls for Harvard to blacklist Trump associates.
— Jan Jekielek (@JanJekielek) November 24, 2020