Harvard canceling Chelsea Manning’s talk on its campus reflects the university’s flawed prioritization of public image over stimulating education and public discourse, holds Nathan Heller of the New Yorker. The university seems to be siding with those who think that Manning hasn’t been adequately punished. She served the sentence for her crimes, to which she admitted and should be able to live as a free civilian, with the right to share her opinions on campuses. With this decision, Harvard has admitted that it values maintaining a ‘clean’ reputation over giving ideas that go against the status quo a platform.
Chelsea Manning is a felon that leaked highly sensitive national data and should not be given the honor of speaking at Harvard, asserts the New York Daily News in an editorial. Making her a Harvard fellow would legitimize her actions and encourage others to seek fame by committing similar crimes. These invitations have, in the past, been reserved for governors, senators or renowned journalists. Manning may be an influential figure for the transgender community, but this is heavily outweighed by her leaking national secrets, which undermined the U.S. government. Such a person shouldn’t be able to affect students’ opinions.