Given Harvard’s history of discrimination against Catholics, Jews, and Gays, it is surprising that the privately funded university on the Charles would open itself to more cries of foul by providing Muslim women private time at a gymnasium, thus excluding dues-paying male members.
If Harvard were still publicly funded as it was before 1870, there would be real legal issues. In 1824 the Federalist Party was finally defeated forever in Massachusetts; the triumphant Jeffersonian-Republicans cut off all state funds. What Harvard has done since then is absolutely remarkable: It has the largest university library in the world and largest endowments in the U.S. The first Bible to be printed in the entire North American continent was printed at Harvard in an Indian language, Massachusett. The school invited Indians to study at Harvard with an eye toward sending out missionaries to the tribes, and in 1665 graduated Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck from the Wampanoag tribe.
During the Revolutionary War, General Washington and the Continental Army quartered in Harvard buildings and organized military exercises in Cambridge Common.
When that happened, and when the school started catering to Indians, undoubtedly there were people screaming “foul” to the board of regents. The thing people must understand is that Harvard does not owe anything to anyone. It can do as it pleases, and usually does despite discrimination claims. Long live the Harvard Crimson.
It should be an honor for each American to have such a great school in our midst. And it would be if it wasn’t so confoundedly liberal. Harvard’s liberality only mirrors Massachusetts far left leanings. A climate of intolerance prevailed in many eastern colleges long before discriminatory quotas were contemplated. Jews tended to avoid such campuses as Yale and Princeton, which had reputations for bigotry. But Harvard earned a reputation as the most liberal and democratic of the Big Three, and therefore Jews did not feel that the avenue to a prestigious college was altogether closed.
Now the school is opening itself even wider to Muslims, and once again the Jews—yeah, even traditionally favored Protestants—are taking a back seat.