No matter how far you’ve come, you’ll still have miles left to go. That, unfortunately, became the case for former Harvard University President Claudine Gay, after she resigned her position due to her controversial testimony at a congressional hearing about antisemitism on U.S. campuses along with allegations of plagiarism. When her resignation was finalized, it didn’t take long for there to be public outrage, especially with women of color. According to an NBC News source, NBC reporter who writes about race Char Adams reported how Harvard University junior Eden Getahun was ecstatic to have the first female black president at Harvard University.
In her words, there was, “excitement and hope in terms of what it represents for Black women everywhere to see someone like them in a position of authority like this,” Eden explained. “But I did, from the very beginning, recognize there is a chance that she is just going to be used as a puppet of the institution. This situation has proven she still is a victim of these controlling forces.”
It’s a struggle for people of color to find their place in the world, and even after having historical successes such as having Barack Obama becoming the first African American president of the United States as well as Kamala Harris become the first African American female vice president of the United States, things can happen to set us backward. When it came to Claudine Gay, it was a moment of taking two steps forward and twenty steps back for the black community, as the situation was viewed as a “disappointing” reminder that people of color will have their days of being undermined and scrutinized no matter how much they achieve in life.
Harvard University junior Aimee Howard expresses her feelings of heartbreak and discouragement regarding the situation involving Claudine Gay saying, “It’s very telling that this type of scrutiny, this type of backlash,” was aimed at the university’s “first Black woman president. I feel like Claudine Gay is becoming the scapegoat for everything.”
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