Nicki Minaj Madness Continues As Harvard Gives Me Another Reason To Skip My Class Reunion…

Harvard Minaj

Who would have predicted that a nasal-voiced Trinidad rapper’s ridiculous explanation that her cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles were why she was unvaccinated against the Wuhan virus would bind together Joy Reid, the CDC, The White House, Twitter, “The View,” the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Harvard College in public controversies highlighting the Totalitarian Left’s increasingly ominous enthusiasm for curtailing free speech?

And yet here we are, because the United States of America has lost its collective mind, with progressives and Democrats leading the madness. For the third Ethics Alarms post in three days about a celebrity I would normally ignore, we have this addition to the Nicki Minaj Affair: a Harvard undergrad using the Twitter handle @imjustjuice tweeted two weeks ago that he and his suitemates had been contacted by Harvard authorities and told to remove from their window a flag showing an unusually restrained Minaj saluting in front of Old Glory. (I missed this story at the time because, as noted above, I pay no attention to Minaj. I also pay increasingly little to my alma mater, which regularly disgraces itself.) The latest example of Harvard’s abuse of common sense, civil rights, authority and ethics sat relatively unnoticed until Swollen Testiclegate erupted, but now we learn that Minaj fans have unleashed their fury on America’s oldest, most prestigious and, of late, most obnoxious university.

Good.

The FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) entered the fray on September 10. Before making his account private, @imjustjuice tweeted that he deleted the original tweet over concern that Harvard might do something to punish him for the attention his original tweet. That’s why the “request” above isn’t really a request. It is a classic example of an authority chilling free speech. That triggered FIRE, which protects students from such abuse (even if the ACLU will not). It wrote,

Whether the suitemates’ flag might offend others, Harvard has adopted clear promises pledging its commitment to students’ freedom of expression. Although private schools like Harvard are not bound by the Constitution, they must keep the promises they make — and freedom of expression doesn’t depend on whether someone else might find your speech offensive. FIRE wrote a letter to Harvard today, calling for the university to rescind its demand that these students remove the flag and to allow them and other students to display it in the windows of their residences freely. As we write: “Given Harvard’s strong commitment to protect students’ expressive rights and endorsement of a climate of open discourse, including expression of unpopular opinions, students would reasonably expect to be able to express any viewpoint, even those possibly considered offensive to others, without facing institutional backlash.Harvard must abide by its express commitment to free expression by allowing @imjustjuice and other students to display the flag in their windows, even if certain community members find it offensive.” 

I’ve seen some unlikely people become symbols of opposition to government, institutional and mob oppression in my day, but Nicky Minaj wins the prize.

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Pointer: Curmie

13 thoughts on “Nicki Minaj Madness Continues As Harvard Gives Me Another Reason To Skip My Class Reunion…

  1. They must really be afraid.

    Actions like these are those of desperate people.

    Good. Let’s keep resisting all efforts to control and silence ANYONE.

    • I do suspect the situation might not be as problematic as it first appears.
      The message to the students “wonders if [they’d] be willing to take it down.” That’s hardly heavy-handed, at least on its face. The fact that @imjustjuice interpreted the request as a command doesn’t mean it was one. (By the way, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that @imjustjuice is named Yousuf, and lives in room 426 of the dorm in question. I suspect that narrows the field a little if Harvard is indeed interested in retaliation.) The proposed conversation might indeed be only that, and the desire not to “censor anyone’s political or aesthetic expressions” could be sincere.
      It is not difficult to imagine a scenario whereby the university official says something like, “hey, you have every right to leave that poster up if you want to, and I promise there will be no negative repercussions if you do so, but…” (I’ve been involved in conversations similar to this fairly recently, although not about Constitutional matters.)
      I note all this, by the way, while remembering that one of my personal mantras is “if you have to tell me, it ain’t so.” I’m not absolving Harvard of responsibility, in other words, but merely suggesting that sometimes a request is only a request.
      It’s a little more difficult to understand what is even potentially offensive about the poster, since no one ever identified that stimulus. It could be anything: the US flag per se (as in the EA post last week about abortive 9/11 commemoration at the high school football game), or the exact opposite: demeaning the flag by linking it to a sexualized image. Or maybe the university official merely finds Ms. Minaj’s oeuvre as insufferable as I do. (Probably not this last, as s/he apparently doesn’t recognize the subject of the photograph.)
      The point is that it doesn’t matter. It might be reasonable for the residence hall to have a rule forbidding any type of potentially controversial display visible outside the room itself–whether for purely aesthetic reasons or to avoid linking the university to a particular viewpoint. But no such restriction appears to exist. Aye, there’s the rub.

      • When I was a freshman at Harvard, and the SDS first tried to take over Mass Hall, the administration building, and then led a class boycott after the police forcibly ejected the students in a dawn raid, my room mate made a banner that read, in support of beleaguered Harvard president Nathan Pusey, “Pusey is for Harvard. Are you?” he hung it outside our third floor window in Hollis Hall, a very central part of “The Yahd.” Shortly afterward, while my room mate was out, we had a knock on the door. It was Pusey. He asked who was responsible for the banner, and we told him. “Please tell him I dropped by,” he said. I see that banner from my office window, and it means a lot to me. Tell him I’m grateful.” And he left.

  2. They were offended by the left-handed salute, no doubt thinking she was Army rather than Navy or Marines. Yes, I’m sure that’s what it is.

    Silly Harvard.

    • Hah. I wondered about that as well. I think the photo is taken from inside the room so we’re seeing the reverse of the image the flag presents to the outside from looking at a nearly transparent, back-lit flag?

      My favorite banner hung from my Hamilton College freshman dorm read “The Aaron Burr Lucky Shot Society.” I can’t imagine anyone in the then administration (1969) would have thought of doing anything in response other than chuckling. Who knows, maybe after a day or two, an RA may have suggested it be taken down. More likely, somebody needed their bed sheet back.

  3. My biggest issue is another promotion of plastic breasts by a larger than life sort of celebrity.
    This is not a good thing for young girls and women to be constantly bombarded with.

    I walked away from two different relationships after discovering they had plastic boobs.
    Was that wrong?

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