‘I Was Against Her On The Merits’: Alan Dershowitz Rejects Ousted Harvard President’s Claim Of ‘Racial Animus’

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Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz pushed back against former Harvard President Claudine Gay’s claims that criticism of her was motivated by “racial animus” Tuesday, calling for a “return to meritocracy.”

Gay resigned Tuesday after coming under fire over multiple allegations of plagiarism and fallout from her Dec. 5 testimony about antisemitism at the university, claiming in her resignation letter that she faced threats and personal attacks fueled by racial animus. Dershowitz told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow that Gay was trying to blame others for her downfall. (RELATED: ‘Her Presidency Was Untenable’: Elise Stefanik Says ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Testimony Led To Harvard President’s Downfall)

“She is blaming racists. I’m not a racist,” Dershowitz said. “I was against her on the merits because she didn’t deserve to be president. She didn’t do a good job in her six months as president. That’s called meritocracy. That’s what universities are turning against today, meritocracy. They’re against grades.”


“It has been distressing to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor — two bedrock values that are fundamental to who I am — and frightening to be subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus,” Gay wrote in the resignation letter.

Dershowitz called for an independent investigation into the multiple allegations of plagiarism against Gay. “I hope there will be a full investigation by an objective, neutral group of scholars who have no dog in the fight,” Dershowitz said. “Not anybody who defends her, defends the corporation, not anybody opposed to her, but three or four major scholars. Let them look and see if she warrants a suspension or warrants taking away from her honorific professorships or the ultimate sanction, the end of, the end of tenure. It’s very hard to take tenure away, but I think there should be a full and complete investigation.”

Gay faced multiple complaints saying she committed plagiarism more than 40 times across eight of her academic works, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The former university president refused to say whether students and applicants would be held accountable for using phrases like “from the river to the sea,” which has connotations of destroying Israel, when questioned by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York during her Dec. 5 appearance before the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Dershowitz said he hoped that the scandal around Gay’s plagiarism would result in changes at the Ivy League school. “What we need is a return to meritocracy,” Dershowitz said. “A return to hard grading. A return to real values where people are rewarded based on their hard work and their accomplishments, not the color of their skin or their gender.”

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