On Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said that companies should not "blacklist" Harvard college students who are members of organizations that co-signed an anti-Israel letter in the wake of the Hamas terror attack on the country.
In a post on X, Ramaswamy said, "The Harvard student groups who co-signed the anti-Israel letter are simple fools." He continued, "But it’s not productive for companies to blacklist kids for being members of student groups that make dumb political statements on campus."
"Colleges are spaces for students to experiment with ideas & sometimes kids join clubs that endorse boneheadedly wrong ideas," Ramaswamy added. "I've been as vocal as anyone in criticizing left-wing cancel culture (see my first book “Woke, Inc.”), but it’s bad no matter who practices it."
The presidential candidate went on to note that he felt it was wrong for companies to fire people for other political views as well. "It wasn’t great when people wearing Trump hats were fired from work. It wasn’t great when college graduates couldn’t get hired unless they signed oppressive 'DEI' pledges," he said. "And it’s not great now if companies refuse to hire kids who were part of student groups that once adopted the wrong view on Israel," Ramaswamy added.
He noted that he "vehemently disagrees" with the actions of the student organizations, but that "Those calling for blacklisting students right now are responding from a place of understandable hurt."
"I’m confident that in the fullness of time, they will agree with me on the wisdom of avoiding these cancel-culture tactics," he concluded.
Former President Donald Trump had a different view in a post on Truth Social Saturday. He said, "What happened in Israel was barbaric! Now American universities are allowing or enabling open hatred against Israel and America!"
Trump condemned Deans for standing by idly as their student groups called for a National Day of Resistance which he said is "antisemitic" and "anti-American." The former president advocated to throw the groups off campus.
"We banned Nazis, banned Communists, it is about time that we remove these antisemites from our schools," he said. "Or is the Cancel Culture only used against Conservatives?" Trump questioned.
During the August GOP presidential debate hosted by Fox News, Nikki Haley claimed that Ramaswamy wanted to "defund Israel." Ramaswamy responded by saying, "Our relationship with Israel would never be stronger than by the end of my first term, but it’s not a client relationship, it’s a friendship and you know what friends do? Friends help each other stand on their own two feet."
"I will lead Abraham Accords 2.0, I will partner with Israel to make sure Iran never is nuclear-armed," he added. "You know what I love about them, I love their border policies, I love their tough-on-crime policies, I love that they have a national identity and an Iron Dome to protect their homeland, so yes I want to learn from the friends that we’re supporting."
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