Gov-Speak? Kennedy Watch is not honoring JFK100

Harvard_Wreath_Logo_1.svg.png  It is doing the opposite, or what is called “Gov Speak” or Harvard’s legacy of exclusion by people who practice, preach, and profess government.

Today’s theme = intolerance, under what one could call Kennedy-watch, or what one could say is watching the past government actors and politicians in recent and/or previous administrations.  (Congratulations Marti Gould Cummings!)

Why is everything/anything a “lesson” when it’s bad/not good (e.g. intolerant news; forget alt-news, either from the right or the left)?

One could call it “gov-speak” –– although I was told years and years ago (circa 1980s) that Harvard only spoke “gov speak,” which is to say a coda, a culture, a special language of exclusivity — which means exclusion of women, or anyone who is not in the mainstream of government (which is all white, mainly propertied men) or what I call SCAMs and SLAMs.

As a courageous student, Pranav Reddy, put it, the school named after the Kennedys is “kowtowing to the powers that be.” That’s not just bad for all of us who know that Chelsea Manning should remain honored.  (She was pardoned).  It’s not very courageous of the Kennedys, who last May honored President Barack Obama with the Profile in Courage Award.

Obama’s words ring hollow, even if the JFK Presidential Library, situated near the public University Massachusetts, Boston, is a different institution from the private sometimes venerable Harvard.


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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see