During an interview aired on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “AC360,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) called for the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT to resign and also called for a Department of Education investigation of MIT in addition to its investigations of Penn and Harvard.
Gottheimer said, “I certainly think the three of them should step aside. Imagine being a parent of a student on that campus who — and I don’t ever want any student, I don’t care if you’re Jewish, if you’re Muslim, I don’t want anyone to be afraid to go to class, to be who they are, regardless of their background. And, to me, I don’t know how if you’re a Jewish student right now on those campuses, or frankly on a lot of campuses in our country, you’re not just afraid. And that’s — when people are screaming death to Jews or dirty little Jew or other things that I’ve heard from a lot of my constituency’s students of what it feels like now to be on these [campuses] where they literally don’t want to go to class. They can’t wear a head covering, a yarmulke, right? They just can’t be who they are. And I never want that, you have a freedom of speech that I believe in strongly as a member of Congress. But you do also have a freedom from fear and no one should be afraid.”
He added, “Each of these colleges receives a large amount of federal funding, research funding, and other resources. And if they’re in violation of Title VI — and I think the Department of Education needs to investigate as well — they could lose their funding. The government should not encourage environments that literally put students in fear, again, regardless of background.”
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