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Independent Women's Forum: The Lesson For Conservatives About Claudine Gay’s Resignation: A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Claudine Gay recently resigned from her role as president of Harvard University following several allegations of plagiarism. What took Claudine Gay down was not her inability to address the rampant antisemitism on Harvard’s campus. But, instead, it was the plagiarism allegations and academic dishonesty that ultimately forced her to resign.

In academia, scholars are required to cite others’ work in their papers. Although, clearly, this is not always enforced.  Outside the academy, this is considered intellectually honest and good manners. But even outside the academy, not everyone takes care to give others credit for their work.


I’ve had conversations with colleagues who voiced frustration about their work being cited incorrectly or, in some cases, not at all. In a few cases, I emailed a writer and politely pointed out that my writing was misattributed; in these cases, the writers corrected. Indeed, there are instances in which many people make similar arguments, and identifying the original source may be difficult or nearly impossible. But every writer and researcher can make a good-faith effort to give proper credit to authors and creators.


In the case of Claudine Gay’s resignation, City Journal, the magazine run by the Manhattan Institute, and the Washington Free Beacon led the charge in documenting and sharing Gay’s plagiarism. (I should add that these are truly excellent publications.)  Bill Ackman, a hedge fund manager and self-identified centrist, has been pressuring the Harvard Board of Overseers to take action to fight antisemitism on its campus. These groups and individuals should be applauded and recognized for their efforts and their profound impact.

But as with most cultural and political causes, many people and organizations have contributed, albeit indirectly, to holding the DEI apparatus accountable.


The most obvious example is the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce that held the December 5, 2023  hearing in which Claudine Gay of Harvard, University of Pennsylvania’s Liz Magill, and MIT’s Sally Kornbluth testified and failed to condemn antisemitism


The members of Congress and their staff diligently prepared for the hearing, doing research and writing questions that would, presumably, give these university presidents a chance to speak out against antisemitism, but instead, all three university presidents chose to fail.

Groups like Independent Women’s Forum, where I’m a Visiting Fellow, have published blog posts and op-eds calling antisemitism what it is–a scourge on humanity.

Similarly, the Heritage Foundation’s Dr. Jay Greene and Mike Gonzales have both been writing about education, antisemitism, and DEI for years.


Commentary Magazine, Mosaic, and The Jewish News Syndicate are three Jewish publications that have been outspoken about left-wing antisemitism, DEI, and hostility towards Jews and Israel on college campuses.  For years these publications have been producing some of the most interesting and intellectually serious articles on issues about Israel and the Jewish people.


These are only a few of the individuals and organizations that have been working diligently to fight DEI and antisemitism and stand up for Jews everywhere.


Understandably, we all want recognition for our work, and it is professional and respectful to credit others for theirs. Perhaps an irony of Gay’s resignation over plagiarism allegations is that, when conservatives win, some of us are busy pursuing attention instead of congratulating and supporting everyone who played a role in the victory.  The lesson to conservatives should be that we ought to credit one another for our work.  A rising tide lifts all boats.


This article first appeared on the Independent Women's Forum website.



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