Some Harvard University alumni are furious over their alma mater is offering fellowships to former Trump insiders Sean Spicer and Corey Lewandowski.
A letter from 600 former students says the plan gives “intellectual and moral legitimacy” to “Trumpists” who have “done much to degrade public discourse in this country, re-ignite white nationalism and further reactionary policies that harm millions.”
Harvard graduate Talia B. Lavin is behind a petition that urges Harvard to rescind the fellowships because it’s bad for the storied university’s image.
She told the Harvard Crimson, “I think we should have a voice, and an extra responsibility to raise our voices and say, ‘You know, this is not an action that is fitting of the University that I got my degree from, and that I chose.'”
Lavin is particularly upset over Spicer’s appointment because “Harvard’s motto is Veritas. You cannot hold that up and invite Sean Spicer, an incompetent liar.”
“I am thrilled to join @HarvardIOP as a Visiting Fellow this semester!” Spicer tweeted.
The furor comes just days after Harvard withdrew an offer of a fellowship to a darling of the left — transgendered soldier and convicted intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning. A former acting director of the CIA was so outraged over the decision that he resigned as a senior fellow, and the current director, Mike Pompeo, refused to go to Harvard over its initial decision to make an “American traitor” a fellow.
Lavin implies a moral equivalency between Spicer and Lewandowski and Manning, accusing Harvard of “tacitly granting the same imprimatur of legitimacy” to the pair as it admitted it shouldn’t have given to Manning.
Another critic told the Crimson that he fears Spicer and Lewandowski will legitimize something he calls “Trumpist ideas.”
Paul B. VanKoughnett warns, “We worried that the further normalization of these men and of Trumpist ideas that are going to have awful material effects on people in the real world.”