Indian American Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy says it would be “unproductive” for companies to blacklist some “foolish” Harvard students who have blamed Israel for the war with Hamas, calling it an example of “cancel culture.”
“The Harvard student groups who co-signed the anti-Israel letter are simple fools,” he wrote on X joining the debate over the conduct of Harvard student groups who have signed a letter blaming Israel for the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct 7.
“But it’s not productive for companies to blacklist kids for being members of student groups that make dumb political statements on campus,” wrote the Yale and Harvard-educated entrepreneur.
“Colleges are spaces for students to experiment with ideas & sometimes kids join clubs that endorse boneheadedly wrong ideas,” he wrote. “I’ve been as vocal as anyone in criticizing left-wing cancel culture (see my first book “Woke, Inc.”), but it’s bad no matter who practices it.”
“It wasn’t great when people wearing Trump hats were fired from work. It wasn’t great when college graduates couldn’t get hired unless they signed oppressive “DEI” pledges,” Ramaswamy wrote. “And it’s not great now if companies refuse to hire kids who were part of student groups that once adopted the wrong view on Israel.”
READ: Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy clash over Israel-Hamas war (October 15, 2023)
“This isn’t a legal point, it’s a cultural point. I say this as someone who vehemently disagrees with those Harvard student groups,” he wrote.
“Those calling for blacklisting students right now are responding from a place of understandable hurt, but I’m confident that in the fullness of time, they will agree with me on the wisdom of avoiding these cancel-culture tactics,” Ramaswamy wrote.
Following Hamas’ attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent retaliation with airstrikes in Gaza, over 30 pro-Palestine groups in Harvard held Israel to be ‘entirely responsible’ for the unfolding violence.
READ: What if a ‘Sea-water flood-bomb’ awaits IDF in Gaza? (October 15, 2023)
The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups, in a joint statement, stated that Hamas’ attack did not happen in a vacuum. Millions of Palestinians have been forced to live in an open-air prison for the past two decades, they stated accusing Israel of systematised land seizures, routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions, family separations, and targeted killings.
The anti-Israel letter drew severe criticism on social media, with many questioning how the actions of Hamas can be ignored.
Meanwhile, Harvard University President Claudine Gay said that the statement does not speak for the institution as a whole or its leadership.
“Let me also state … that while our students have the right to speak for themselves, no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership,” Gay stated. Prominent Harvard alumni also denounced the statement of the student organisations.