Posted on December 15, 2023

‘It’s Racist!’ CNN’s Abby Phillip Gets Earful From Nikole Hannah-Jones About Attacks on Harvard Prez

Tommy Christopher, Mediaite, December 13, 2023

Author and New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones gave CNN’s Abby Phillip an earful when she was asked about conservative attacks on Harvard President Claudine Gay.


But a new strain of criticism arose after Harvard announced they’d be standing by President Gay — conservatives attacking her as a diversity hire who lacks qualifications.


PHILLIP: So, Nikole, what do you make of the fact that — this was striking to me, some of the same voices who are your toughest critics are the ones who are Claudine Gay’s toughest critics and the loudest voices are calling for her ouster.

Do you think that these two things are related, this idea of pushing back on diversity and inclusion in higher education and getting the president of Harvard ousted from her position?

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES: Oh absolutely, so they’re using the guise of pretending that this is about concern over anti-Semitism, which is, of course, something that all of us should be concerned about. It’s really just further their propaganda campaign against racial equity.

So, when you think about the fact that Harvard, this nation’s oldest university, had about a 370-year explicit racial quota of only hiring white men to be the president, it’s laughable to think that the first ever Black woman following that unbroken line of white racial quotas is the one who’s unqualified.


PHILLIP: What do you make of the fact that, you know, there were all these university presidents who were criticized. She wasn’t the only one. {snip} She is being singled out as someone who is only surviving because of her race. What did you make of that?

HANNAH-JONES: Well, it’s racist. I mean, we have — no one has produced a shred of evidence that shows that the sole qualification that President Gay had was that she is a Black woman. That’s insulting. It defies logic. {snip}