Statement Regarding Claudine Gay’s Resignation from Harvard

YW Boston

Claudine Gay’s resignation as President of Harvard University on Tuesday signals a dangerous precedent that will most certainly impact academic institutions across the country as vitriolic “anti-woke” movements pick up steam in the coming election year. The debacle highlights an issue that has been studied and written about extensively: In this country, Black women have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good. They are often held to a much higher standard than their peers who are white and men and are presumed to be less qualified despite their credentials, work product, or business results. When these women are pushed out, they are gaslit with distorted arguments that just barely veil the racism motivating those who seek to eliminate them from positions of power and influence. 

In a post on X, author and activist Ibram X. Kendi said, “When a racist mob attacks a Black person, it finds a seemingly legitimate reason for the attack that allows for it to accrue popular support and credibility, and which allows the growing mob to deny they are attacking the person in this way because the person is Black.” He went on to say, “The question is whether all these people would have investigated, surveilled, harassed, written about, and attacked [Claudine Gay] in the same way if the Harvard president in this case would have been white. I. Think. Not.”  

The fact is, these attacks will not stop until those who want Black people removed from positions of power are satisfied, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from American history, it’s that racism has an insatiable appetite. As this hunger increases, we encourage you to work in solidarity with us and similar organizations to change the systems that whet racism’s appetite. Dialogue diminishes ignorance and increases empathy. 

Elizabeth Chandler
President, CEO
YW Boston