Be Consistent — Remove Governor Cuomo From Our Campus
Two years ago, Robert Kraft found himself facing two misdemeanor charges of solicitation, charges that were later dropped. Yeshiva University’s administration promptly removed images of him from around the Wilf Campus. Whether the decision to do so was prudent or not remains a matter of opinion, one that I believe has legitimate arguments on either side. What is clear, however, is that by removing Kraft’s images from campus, the administration had entered into the murky waters of moral censorship. If the bar the administration set for removing images from campus was placed at two misdemeanor charges that were eventually dropped, one wonders why Governor Cuomo’s face is still on display throughout the Wilf Campus.
Governor Cuomo finds himself in the midst of two horrible, distinct types of accusations. First is the governor’s deadly policy of forcing nursing homes in New York to accept COVID-19 patients. The Empire Center, which blew the whistle on Cuomo in June, claims that Cuomo’s policy caused “several hundred and possibly more than 1,000 resident deaths,” exacerbating an already bad situation at NY nursing homes. Recently, it was discovered that the governor and his task force deliberately covered up the deaths in the nursing homes, prompting several federal investigations.
This is all bad enough. But it gets worse.
In the past few weeks, the governor has been accused of three separate instances of sexual harassment and misconduct. Of course, an accusation is not a guilty verdict, and the governor should have his day in court to plead his innocence. Yet, the accusations seem quite credible, an investigation by the New York Attorney General is underway and there has been a bipartisan call for the governor to resign. All the while, Governor Cuomo’s image still decks our halls.
I am a vocal opponent of “cancel culture” and censorship. But I’m an even bigger proponent of consistency. When YU entered into the censorship business, it established itself as a moral arbiter and decided that we ought not to glance at Robert Kraft while walking down Amsterdam Avenue. To retain any sense of credibility and to retain even a speck of consistency, the administration should move swiftly and promptly to remove the now-disgraced governor’s photo from our campus. If accusations of such severity – covering up the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers and sexual misconduct – don’t warrant the same treatment that Kraft received, perhaps it is the self-proclaimed moral arbiters in the administration who need investigating.
Phillip Dolitsky (YC ‘20) is currently a master’s student at the School of International Service at American University.
Photo credit: Naftali Shavelson
Photo caption: Picture of Governor Cuomo in Furst Hall