Shut Up, Harvard Nerds

The selective outrage over Ken Griffin’s $300 donation

April 14, 2023

We regret to inform you the Ivy League nerds are at it again. This time it's the Harvard nerds, who might not be quite as obnoxious as the Yale nerds, but are certainly among the worst.

This week they are outraged because a billionaire hedge fund guy—Ken Griffin (Class of '89)—donated $300 million to his alma mater as a gesture of gratitude. That's on top of the $150 million Griffin gave the university in 2014 to boost its financial aid program.

What a monster.

Well, yes, according to the outraged Harvard nerds. Why? Because Griffin has given money to Republican candidates and is a supporter of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Everything they don't like is literally violence

Ericka R. "Ricky" Sanchez—a Ph.D. candidate in English, obviously—slammed Harvard for accepting money from a DeSantis supporter "who is so hostile to the survival of the people who make up the school."

Everything they don't like is literally slavery

Former professor Theda Skocpol argued (without irony) the university's leaders were hypocrites for taking Griffin's money while also claiming to be "worried about Harvard College's acceptance of slavery in the 1700s."

Their outrage is more selective than Harvard's admissions process, which is significantly less pro-Asian than the university's policy on accepting large donations. In this case, the nerds are especially aggrieved because in return for Griffin's half-billion dollar gift, the university named some buildings after him.

Happens all the time. Not in normal America, but certainly at Harvard.

A Harvard Crimson article published in 2020 outlined some of the massive gifts the university received the previous year. For the sake of context, many of the donations were far greater than the $9 million Harvard received from the jet-setting pedophile (and Democratic megadonor) Jeffrey Epstein.

• Leonard Blavatnik, a Ukrainian-born aluminum smelting and petrochemical magnate, donated $200 million to the (subsequently renamed) Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School.

• Swiss billionaire and Democratic megadonor Hansjörg Wyss gave $131 million to the Wyss Institute for Biological Engineering.

• Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born steel magnate, donated $25 million to the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute.

• The United Arab Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal, gave $10 million to the Emirates Leadership Institute at the Harvard Kennedy School, the first iteration of which was founded by a convicted jewel smuggler.

• Epstein pal Bill Gates gave $50 million through to the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which got its name after Hong Kong real estate tycoons Gerald and Ronnie Chan pledged $350 million via their relatively shady family foundation. Ronnie Chan has ties to the Chinese Communist Party—those renowned advocates for public health—and publicly opposed the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

• Michael Bloomberg chipped in a mere $10 million. No building. Loser.

• Syrian President Bashar al-Assad donated an additional $6.5 million to the Bashar Hafez and Asma Fawaz al-Assad Institute for Leadership and Humanitarian Studies.

• The Nation of Islam contributed $40 million to the Louis Farrakhan Center for Holocaust Truth

Those last two are obviously fake. But why not? It's hard to imagine the entitled nerd brigade would be as outraged about mass-murdering dictators and virulent anti-Semites as they currently are about a rich guy who supports the popular and overwhelmingly reelected governor of America's third-largest state.

The Crimson article rattles off that list of names (Assad and Farrakhan excluded) before highlighting "at least one donor" that has "come under fire" for its other activities and affiliations: The Templeton Foundation, which happens to support projects that dabble in Christianity and conservative politics.

If Griffin has done anything wrong, it's wasting an exorbitant sum of money by giving it to Harvard.

For the love of God, shut up

Seriously, nerds, just shut the f— up for once in your lives. You're not "making a difference" in the world, or standing up for some moral principle.We all know you would sooner stage a protest to stop the new Harry Potter television show from filming a scene on campus than you would to stop the leader of Hezbollah from becoming an adjunct professor of rocket science.

We get it, you don't like Republicans. Fine. But you're the ones spent all your free time excelling at homework so you could enroll in an accredited cult attached to a tax-exempt hedge fund with assets greater than the GDP of Bolivia. Deal with it. No one cares about your grievances.

Just keep your heads down, go work at Deloitte, maybe join a throuple and commit securities fraud or whatever it is you people do these days. Just stop complaining about

We won't tell anyone that you secretly watch that new Harry Potter show alone in your room with the door locked and the curtains drawn, committing literal violence by enabling J.K. Rowling's transphobia.

You can't help yourselves. Take the nerd out of Hogwarts? Sure. But you'll never take the Hogwarts out of the nerd.

Some context: Barack Obama is a classic Harvard nerd—possessed of a preternatural capacity for self-regard, ambitious for the sake of ambition. The insufferable homework-lover who wants to be president just to put it on his résumé. (See also: Pete Buttigieg, another classic Harvard nerd.)