Calling for the genocide of any group must be seen as speech which violates the code of conduct in any setting, regardless of “context.” That is what Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is inviting University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill to say in her congressional testimony below, but it is not what Magill chooses to say, instead equivocating and insisting on understanding the context in which the genocidal call is made before making a judgment.
Stefanik’s question, which she repeats multiple times, is: “At Penn, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s rules or code of conduct? Yes or no?”
Magill: “If the speech turns into conduct it can be harassment, yes.” Stefanik presses on, asking the question again without rephrasing, getting this answer from Magill: “It is a context dependent decision, Congresswoman.”
Just seeing this, and I’m speechless.— Angry Staffer 🌻 (@Angry_Staffer) December 6, 2023
Calling for the destruction of *any* people should be a violation of the code of conduct everywhere — this isn’t complicated and should be bipartisan.
If only Stefanik cared this much about her party’s crimes.
Stefanik, enraged by the invocation of a gray area muddling what she sees as a clear black and white query, tells Magill: “This is the easiest question to answer yes, Ms. Magill.”
Offering that “if the speech becomes conduct, it can be harassment,” Magill further enrages Stefanik, who presses the conduct point, saying: “Conduct meaning committing the act of genocide?”
Before Magill, MIT President Sally Kornbluth also failed to give an unequivocal answer to the same question. Dr. Claudine Gay, President of Harvard, followed Magill and gave the same answer to Stefanik’s question. “It can be [harassment], depending on the context,” she replied.
(NOTE: All three schools are elite American educational institutions, with Penn and Harvard being in the famed Ivy League.)
The segment is being widely shared and the three presidents broadly excoriated for their reluctance to answer plainly. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman, a Harvard alum, wrote “This could be the most extraordinary testimony ever elicited in the Congress, certainly on the topic of genocide.” His conclusion? “They must all resign in disgrace.”