Harvard students create petition to revoke the degrees of Trump supporters: ‘Violent white supremacy’

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CAMBRIDGE, MA — The fallout from the Jan. 6 debacle at the Capitol includes Harvard University students demanding that the school revoke the degrees of anyone who supports or is affiliated with President Donald Trump because they believe he instigated an insurrection.

The petition was obtained by Fox Business, which uploaded it on Scribd. It begins:

“The campaign to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election left five dead and nearly killed many more as armed, organized insurrectionists with Confederate flags and Nazi paraphernalia stormed the Capitol in search of members of Congress to kill or capture. Nationwide violence is expected in the weeks to come.

“Is Harvard University prepared to take a stand for representative democracy and against violent white supremacy?”

The petition then accuses Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Senator Ted Cruz and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany of spreading disinformation and mistrust that “created” the Jan. 6 incident:

“It’s no secret that over a dozen Harvard graduates worked hard to spread the disinformation and mistrust that created last Wednesday’s insurrection — from Representative Dan Crenshaw (HKS ‘17), who supported the December Texas lawsuit to invalidate the election, to Senator Ted Cruz (HLS ’97), one of the loudest claimants of fraud and a rare senator still objecting to the election certification afterthe violence at the Capitol, to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (HLS ’17), who dutifully denies the validity of the election.”

Crenshaw, Cruz and McEnany are not under investigation for inciting violence at the Capitol, but the students want their degrees revoked anyway along with others who “deny the validity” of the presidential election results:

“Harvard must revoke the degrees of alumni whose incendiary language and subversion of democratic processes — rooted in a history of white supremacist voter suppression — incited the violent insurrection on January 6.

“This includes all who have used their platforms to deny the validity of the presidential election. They do not and should not represent a university committed to ‘strengthening democracy’ and ‘the advancement of justice.’”

The petition then opines that “violent actors” must be held accountable and that if they are not, more violence will result because the “perpetrators” do not experience any consequences and will be emboldened to commit more acts:

“A wide body of evidence, including studies from Harvard researchers, suggests that societies cannot recover from civil strife without a process for holding violent actors accountable.

“Communities that eschew justice in favor of ‘moving on’ fall victim to violence once more because the perpetrators never experienced consequences for their actions.”

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Next, pressure is put upon Harvard’s administration to “demand accountability” from “implicated political figures” and to mete justice in the form of denying the accused of speaking engagements or teaching positions:

“So it is unsurprising that a growing chorus of Harvard faculty members like HKS Professor Juliette Kayyem has demanded accountability from the Trump administration on both moral and practical grounds. But what of the Bacow administration?

“Are those who demanded that Republicans have the courage to impeach the President prepared to exhibit the same courage within their own institution?

“After Wednesday’s insurrection, Government professor Ryan Enos and HKS Student Body President Diego Garcia Blum both renewed demands that the University pledge not to invite implicated political figures for speaking engagements or teaching positions.

“This is an important first step, as is Harvard Kennedy School Dean Doug Elmendorf’s welcome decision to remove Representative Elise Stefanik (College ’06) from the Institute of Politics.”

However, the students demand more than just banning the “implicated” from their university:

“However, banning someone from a committee or campus because they incited a violent attempt to overthrow the U.S. government is the least the University can do; it still grants them the benefits of their Harvard degree everywhere outside of Cambridge.

“Those like Rep. Stefanik, who will wear a ban from Harvard as a badge of honor, may be less sanguine about a career without their B.A or J.D. 

“Revoke their degrees.”

The students acknowledge the “institutional anxiety” of not wanting to penalize alumni or “chill open discourse,” but demand that Harvard University denounce political violence and white supremacy:

“There is long-standing institutional anxiety that penalizing alumni will chill open discourse on campus. Harvard should be confident in its ability to expose students to diverse viewpoints without empowering the instigators of a violent, racist revanchist movement.

“There should be little concern of a cascading ‘slippery slope’ of degrees revoked — unless more alumni choose to encourage armed insurrection in the future.

“As Prof. Enos writes, avoiding a role in the armed overthrow of your own government is not a difficult standard to meet. 

“Accountability is not a partisan demand because the validity of armed insurrection is not a partisan issue.

“Voices from the right and the left must always be welcome, but the acceptability of violence in politics should not be up for debate at Harvard.

“An absolutist commitment to the free exchange of ideas in this moment resembles a commitment to treating white supremacist uprisings as ‘politics as usual’ and maintaining a dangerous culture of impunity.

“This cannot be the position Harvard wants to be remembered for at this pivotal moment in American history. 

“The violence on Capitol Hill is not an isolated incident, and it will not be the last if institutions like Harvard continue to allow white supremacy to go unchallenged.”

The students insisted all participants at the uprising were white supremacists:

“The preeminence of white supremacy was on display among protestors carrying confederate flags and wearing Nazi symbols, reaffirmed by police officers who met Black protesters with riot gear and live ammunition but welcomed white supremacists with selfies and warm embraces, and immortalized by politicians who continue to label BLM protesters as thugs and criminals while describing Capitol Hill insurrectionists as patriots and American heroes.”

Many people, mostly Trump supporters, were seen breaking into the Capitol building unlawfully, and there is evidence that this course of action was preplanned days before it happened.

Anti-Trump people also entered the Capitol, including John Earle Sullivan, founder of the leftist group Insurgence USA.

Sullivan has been affiliated with both Black Lives Matter and Antifa, although both groups have suggested he is an agent provocateur working against their organizations.

One thing is clear however. Sullivan has an odd history of witnessing or encouraging violence.

He recorded the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by Capitol Police inside the building.

Back in August, Sullivan spoke at Black Lives Matter Place in Washington, D.C. and called for the violent removal of President Trump:

“We got to f*cking rip Trump out of that office right over there. We got to f*cking pull him out that shit. Nah, nah, we ain’t about to f*cking wait until the next election. 

“We are about to go get that motherf*cker. I am about that shit ’cause you know what time it is? I want y’all to [repeat] after me: it’s time for a revolution! It’s time for a revolution!”

Last summer in Provo, Utah, Sullivan was arrested for his involvement in a counterprotest against police. He was charged with rioting, making a threat of violence and criminal mischief, according to Deseret News.

An affidavit regarding the Utah case noted:

“The protest traveled on the roadways blocking motorists who have the right of way. John Sullivan blocked vehicles from freely moving lawfully.

“During the course of the protest, two handguns were brandished and two shots fired toward a motorist traveling to Home Depot. Vehicles were damaged by protestors as well as by John Sullivan.”

He was also allegedly captured on video threatening to beat a woman who was inside an SUV, according to Deseret News.

Sullivan was arrested for his involvement in the attack on the Capitol after his own brother, James Sullivan, turned him in. Sullivan is facing federal charges of civil disorder, entering a restricted building and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

Sullivan was released conditionally without bail by a Utah federal judge, according to a Fox News report.

The petition by Harvard’s students concludes by stating that “adult insurrectionists” need to be held accountable and that their university degrees need to be taken away from them:

“Harvard values democracy, equality, and the rule of law. Does it value them enough to hold its own alumni accountable for the most flagrant attack on these principles in recent history?

“A Harvard degree is a privilege, not a right. Harvard had no qualms about rescinding offers of admission to high school students because of racist activity online that did not reflect the University’s values.

“But holding teenagers accountable is easy. Harvard should have the will to hold adult insurrectionists to the same standards. 

“Revoke their degrees.” 

The petition was created by Harrison Mann HKS ’21, Samantha Kahn HKS ’22, Darold Cuba HKS ’21, Camila Thorndike HKS ’20 and Crystal Collier HKS ’21.

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