Harvard Hospital President Removes Historical Portraits Of White Doctors In The Name Of Diversity

download-1downloadDr. Betsy Nabel, the president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School has decided to sanitize the school’s Bornstein Amphitheater . . . of white men.  Nabel declared recently that she decided that all of the portraits of the historical leaders of the hospitals made minority students and visitors uncomfortable because they are white and male.  Nabel therefore ordered their removal and was celebrated for her race-based cleansing of history.

I have previously expressed my strong opposition to the removal of portraits at schools like Yale where the portraits of white academics were removed as creating a hostile or intimidating environment.

Nabel appears to divine the unstated.  The Boston Globe reported that she could tell that minorities were intimidated by portraits of white men: “I have watched the faces of individuals as they have come into Bornstein. I have watched them look at the walls. I read on their faces ‘Interesting. But I am not represented here.'” 

She promptly declared that “That got me thinking maybe it’s time that we think about respecting our past in a different way.”  Of course, removal of historical portraits on a racist basis does not rethink history but rather erases it.  These portraits represent the leaders that made the hospital and the university great institutions — including the institution that Nabel inherited.  There is no need to “rethink” history, just to understand it.  These towering figures were part of the school’s history over the course of its evolution.

Among the portraits shifted to less visible spots is that of Dr. Harvey Cushing, the “father of neurosurgery.”  Cushing studied at Harvard and Yale and laid the foundations for neurological medicine in the early 1800s.  She also removed the portrait of the first chief of pathology, the pathbreaking Dr. William Councilman as well as Dr. Henry Christian, Brigham’s first chief of medicine.  

Nabel was supported in this ahistorical and race-based approach by Dr. Jeroan Allison, a University of Massachusetts Medical School, who insisted that portraits of white men “reinforces that white men are in charge.” No, it just shows historical portraits of the leading figures at the institution.

Nabel ignores the countervailing message sent to male and white students that their race is something that is tolerated in small and remotely placed increments.  There is another approach: allow history to speak for itself and take steps to show that this history had led to greater diversity and pluralism.

43 thoughts on “Harvard Hospital President Removes Historical Portraits Of White Doctors In The Name Of Diversity”

  1. A challenge for Dr. Nabel

    There’s another Ebola outbreak in Africa May, 2018: What’s the difference this time? Nobody knows.

  2. People of Color…….if you don’t like portraits of white men hanging on the wall, then do something worthwhile so you will deserve to have your portrait hanging on the wall, instead. “Nah, that’s too much trouble, all that learning, and stuff. I’d rather be a famous rap singer or basketball player.”

  3. I wouldn’t say this kind of thing is racist so much as it is petty and childish. And the argument that this “erases” history is simply incorrect. What it does is hide history. These white guys have their portraits hung in honor of their service to the institution and rightfully so. They are educational actually and in the future would become more so as the portraits diversify over time. Those who are filled with resentment and who have developed a fondness for this nonsense about intimidating people of color is absurd and vastly more patronizing and paternalistic to minorities and women because it implies they aren’t strong or adult enough to view pictures of the people who came before them at a great institution. The truth is, women and minorities have to be very strong to get to be in an elite institution and they can take it. Perhaps it isn’t discomfort or intimidation so much as it is resentment and misplaced antipathy that drives such moves by people like the current misguided leader of the institution? I do agree that history and the past should be fully understood, not understood differently which strongly implies that what is going on is the substitution of one viewpoint for another. Good history can have a viewpoint while still including all the elements that went into making the story in the first place. Understanding power and how it works in all aspects of life, personal, political, and professional is the key to understanding how to achieve change and improvement in the future. These misguided do-gooders are going to be looked at very unfavorably in the future because of their attempt to mold a “different” understanding instead of a more comprehensive and complete understanding of the past. They also, in the case of higher education, give the academic community a very bad name.

  4. She’s another political hack who uses the code word “diversity” to enrich herself and her liberal hack pals.

    “In 2015, Nabel was appointed Chief Health and Medical Advisor to the National Football League, a role that builds on her lifelong commitment to improving health through science. Nabel provides strategic input to the NFL’s medical, health and scientific efforts; participates as an ex-officio member on each of the NFL’s medical advisory committees; and identifies areas for the NFL to enhance player safety, care and treatment. In May 2016, a Congressional report detailed how multiple doctors tied to the NFL, including Nabel, lobbied the NIH not to fund a study whose lead investigator had been critical of the NFL in the past.”

    1. Two more points:

      1) She grew up in lily-white Minne-soh-tah, so the white guilt is strong in her. Since she is of such a pale pallor, perhaps she should resign and allow someone much tanner than she is to take over.

      2) One of the portraits was of a physician of Chinese extraction. That must have been a no-brainer for her since Harvard stopped accepting Asian students a while back.

  5. An interview with Dr. Nabel. There was an armed robbery during dinner.

    By the way, Dr. Nabel is rolling in dough:

    Dr. Nabel leveraged a $3 billion research portfolio to establish pioneering scientific programs to pursue the promise of genomics and stem cells, stem and progenitor cell biology, and translational research.

    1. Disarming the population and criminalizing dissent ranks pretty high on the tyrants “to do” list. So far, only the Democrat Party has ever voted to restrict gun rights and criminalize speech.

      Everybody knows how much Democrats want to restrict the gun rights of law abiding Americans – their publicists at MSNBC and CNN help them push it every time some nut engages in a mass shooting. But Trump – the supposed aspiring tyrant – has only ever expressed his support for the 2A. He has resisted the call of Democrats to restrict the gun liberty of law abiding Americans.

      It is true that Trump launched a trial balloon about strengthening libel laws, which would be a restriction on free speech. But it fell flat. He talks a lot about “fake news”, and that makes the media wet themselves. But he’s done NOTHING to restrict speech. Left wing idiots come to this blog every day to call him an idiot and somehow they avoid being carted off to the gulags. The cable TV morons (on both sides) keep spewing their nonsense in their bubbles. And the radicals on the WaPo and NYT editorial boards are free criticize him in the harshest terms and the worst that happens is he calls them “fake news’.

      In contrast, Senate Democrats UNANIMOUSLY voted to “amend” – meaning replace – the First Amendment on 9/11/14 so that the government can claim for itself the power to regulate political speech.

      The Democrat Party and their public relations arm – most of the American MSM – gaslights the public about how Trump is some sort of aspiring tyrant, yet only the Democrats have ever voted to restrict gun rights and criminalize political speech, two goals of every tyrant.

      1. Scott:

        You seem to be saying that mass shootings in America are simply a burden we must shoulder as a ‘free society’.

        1. Peter, there isn’t much you can do about ‘mass shootings’ that’s prophylactic. You’ve got two options: armed guards at concentrated gatherings of people and mass gun confiscation. You’d have headed off a few of these with more streamlined civil commitment procedures, but not most. With that, as with everything else, there are trade-offs.

          Of course, I’m assuming you have any practical aims. Which of course you don’t. The whole point of the gun control discourse is to try to stigmatize rural gun owners and hold them responsible for violent crime committed by the proximate relatives of Democratic voters.

  6. Ideas are important to history. The names and faces associated with the ideas are irrelevant.

    1. No. People are important to history. “Ideas” don’t do a damn thing.

  7. To restrict diversity by discrimination based on race or sex is illegal. To deny matriculation to blacks and women, ignoring academic excellence, is immoral.
    Diversity qua diversity is not necessarily a Good Thing. Diversity where there was non-merit-based admission policy before is grand. The equivalent of forcing all NBA teams to have a diversity of heights is silly.

    A student who is at a given school because of merit can see past sex and race and see merit regardless of irrelevant characteristics. They have enough ability to succeed and don’t need any special consideration.

    The idea that blacks and women need special help is bigotry. Racist and sexist bigotry.

    The idea that blacks and women are so emotionally tender that their feelings about history will interfere with their ability to learn is bigotry.

    1. @Professor, retired June 19, 2018 at 8:21 AM
      “The idea that blacks and women are so emotionally tender that their feelings about history will interfere with their ability to learn is bigotry.”

      Yes, sappy bigotry.

  8. Read the adjoining article about crime in Britain; we know where this ends if the SJW’s get their way.

    Confirmation that we voted the right way in the last presidential election.

  9. Got Prejudice? Welcome to Hahharvard! Racist haters gonna hate…which will be their contribution to their Alma Mater.

    Because such people will not be financially successful enough for true accomplishments…and for significant contributions. And while that endowment is large-it has a target on it. No taxes…hmmm we will see.

    This will be fun to watch…

  10. “There is another approach: allow history to speak for itself and take steps to show that this history had led to greater diversity and pluralism.”

    If that’s want history shows, it ought to be taken down. There is no research to suggest that “diversity and pluralism” are good things — the so called “contact theory.” In fact, just the opposite, Robert Putnam, ironically from Harvard, has the numbers showing diversity and pluralism cause distrust and civic alienation:

    “However, a new study fundamentally challenges this basic assumption about the benefits of living in a culturally diverse society. As the Boston Globe reports, Harvard political science professor Robert Putnam has released the results of a comprehensive survey of over 30,000 respondents around the country and has found some rather sobering, perhaps even shocking results:

    [Putnam’s study] found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogeneous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.”

    ~Boston Globe


      – Peter Lynch

      “Avoid hot stocks in hot industries. • Distrust diversifications, which usually turn out to be diworseifications. • Long shots almost never pay off. • It’s better to miss the first move in a stock and wait to see if a company’s plans are working out. • People get incredibly valuable fundamental information from their jobs that may not reach the professionals for months or even years. • Separate all stock tips from the tipper, even if the tipper is very smart, very rich, and his or her last tip went up. • Some stock tips, especially from an expert in the field, may turn out to be quite valuable. However, people in the paper industry normally give out tips on drug stocks, and people in the health care field never run out of tips on the coming takeovers in the paper industry. • Invest in simple companies that appear dull, mundane, out of favor, and haven’t caught the fancy of Wall Street.”

      ― Peter Lynch, One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In

  11. ‘I read on their faces ‘Interesting. But I am not represented here.’

    The reason ‘I’ is not represented ‘here’ is because ‘I’ did nothing for society. This woman is an idiot, of the ilk of Donald Trump, who ‘just makes things up’ to suit himself. We have a society now where idiots believe what they want to believe, on the extreme left, and on the extreme right. The scary part is that there are so many more extreme right wing idiots that follow the biggest liar ever to hold office in the US. But, hey, everybody loves a parade.

    1. issac – have you ever built a 58 story skyscraper or gotten yourself elected President of the United States? When you do both of those then you can start knocking The Donald’s accomplishments.

      1. Paul

        What I have built I built by myself, without the underwriting of my Dad-$70mil-for my first project. I have been in real estate development, of course on a vastly smaller scale, and understand the narrow focus of the ‘big boys’. The mind set of the big players is extremely narrow and self serving. Anything is sacrificed in order to get the biggest return.

        One can hand it to Trump, who grew up in the discipline, encountered all the necessary connections, and had unlimited capital with which to start, for succeeding in pandering to the mega rich. However, given those advantages it would be extremely hard to fail. In the end, he failed at much more than he succeeded, bankrupt six times. His audience has been couch potatoes, wanna be real estate millionaires, and the mega rich. He has a depth of understanding about everything other than real estate for the mega rich, that is as deep as your comments, in other words nothing more than a wet spot.

        Trump may luck out but whatever he accomplishes is nothing that could not be accomplished at a far more minimal cost to the nation. The US does not need to revert to the past regarding the environment, does not need to base government on an us or them basis, does not need to rile up the citizenry with lies and false accusations created solely to fill the vacant spaces between the ears of the mob. The US should not need a mob. There is/are mob(s) on the left; but they are extremely distanced from the center left, very small, not instrumental in the daily life of the citizenry, and admittedly embarrassing to the liberal cause. On the other hand, on the right, we have mob as the bulk of the conservative voters, the dupes. When a dupe is singled out and identified as a dupe, as most must realize by now that they are, they typically entrench themselves deeper in the ranting and raving of their leader. Your comment illustrates this perfectly.

        Through the glass darkly, the perspective of the dupes.

      2. Paul:

        The business world is full of ‘geniuses’ who are abusive bullies, alcoholics and, or, total neurotics.

        Pop Star Michael Jackson was richer than Trump at one point. But we know he was seriously deranged. Designer Calvin Klein built a fashion empire while suffering a longterm co-dependiency. Movie Producer Don Simpson, one of Hollywood’s biggest players, died with a catalog of drugs in his system.

        Almost every one of us has known a successful businessperson who had either a monstrous personality or serious addictions. Therefore business success alone is scarcely a qualification for high public office.

        1. Pop Star Michael Jackson was richer than Trump at one point.


          But we know he was seriously deranged.

          I’d point out there’s a difference between an entertainer and a businessman in terms of skill set, but that should have occurred to you before you made this inane comparison.

      3. I don’t imagine Issac has ever overrun a country the size of Poland in approximately a months time either. So I guess he’s not entitled to disparage the accomplishments of Adolf Hitler. Schulte – Did you learn this kind of reasoning in law school or did you pick it up on your own?

  12. If it were not for the men she is taking off the wall, she would not have a job.

  13. Again I ask, how can any self-respecting white person vote for a Democrat??? Stop voting for Democrats, and this crap will come to a crashing end as the unemployed Democrats begin cleansing their party of these idiots, and this idiotic quasi-religious political theology.

    Stop bitching about it, and start withholding your vote from the Democrats At every level, down to dog catcher and school boards.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. The problem is colleges and universities themselves. Colleges and Universities are all compromised with Marxism. Liberalism and Marxism teach the same cultural values. One really has to close all the humanities departments. Georgetown University, a Catholic school, needs to be shut down as well. It is only a hell-hole of Liberalism.

  14. Dr. Betsy Nable of Harvard had a counterpart in Princeton Dr. Danielle Allen. Another who worships failure.

  15. This is a demonstration of and classic example of a mobocracy taking over the asylum. The very reason the forefathers banned the system of a democracy to begin with and now we have it with a mob of idiots. How can one have any respect for or trust in such institutions or their ‘product’ in disease, illness and injury when they run from facing any sort of difficult task. The simple answer is we are looking hard for and hope to find some of other races whose pictures may light a path for others to follow but to do that the followers must keep their own path well lit in order to provide an example for those others.

    But instead Harvard gives us medical mobocracy and instill a sense expecting failure to be so prevalent that it must hide the inevitable from these good for nothing but failure students. Not exactly awe inspiring but just treat them as if they had already failed. Princeton is now home to little minds not great minds. So…. we must replace them as well springs of success and treat them as fit only to inhabit the swamps of despair.

    All because som eProfessor took the easy way out and taught by example ‘you wil lnever succeed to the point we have to hide what you will never be able to become.

    And so it goes … not with a bang but a whimper.- but it does have some positive notes. Hopefully those so pre-ordained will not procreate for if so – to what purpose?

  16. Insane. For good or for ill, white makes were in charge and did lead. It is amazing to me that someone could get to her position and be so ignorant of the importance of history in all its glory and warts. Racism and gender discrimination is discrimination regardless of the race or gender of the subject of that discrimination.

    As to what she knows or thinks she knows by looking at peolpe’s faces, does she also do phrenology?

  17. Perhaps if the races/sex/whatever not represented had made contributions in the past we would find their busts and portraits hung in reverential places also. But they didn’t, and people like this foolish woman seem to think that removing the symbols that annoy them will change things. It won’t, I will only make the rest of us angry and prepared to push back against that kind of bigotry.

    1. The disproportinate represenetation of Asians in elite educational institutions creates a hostile environment for white students, especially non-Jews. These portraits are needed to remind white non-Jews some of them are very smart.

      Nabel’s thought process is a road to nowhere.

      1. This is just like taking down the Confederate memorials across the South. When you will people learn—Whites are now persona-non-grata in the country they built. The Quicker we die—the happier they will be!!!!! We are being replaced and we are being cleansed from the national memory. This country ain’t ours any more.

        1. In the immortal words of HRH Winfrey: “Old white people just need to die.”

      2. I think you may have a point. It’s a project of trashing previous generations as a means of cultural warfare against their descendants.

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