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[news] Harvard admits ultimatum to suspected "Communist" prof

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  • Boyle, Francis
    Francis A. Boyle Law Building 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 USA 217-333-7954(voice) 217-244-1478(fax) fboyle@law.uiuc.edu
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2001
      Francis A. Boyle
      Law Building
      504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
      Champaign, IL 61820 USA
      217-333-7954(voice)
      217-244-1478(fax)
      fboyle@... <mailto:fboyle@...>

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Boyle, Francis
      Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 11:14 AM
      To: Abolition Caucus (E-mail)
      Subject: [abolition-caucus] FW: Harvard's `regrets' not enough for widow
      School admits ultima tum to suspected `


      Dear Colleagues: Ann Fagan Ginger is one of this country's top anti-nuclear
      campaigners. If you agree with me, then please write to Harvard's President,
      Lawrence Summers, Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge Mass.
      02138.
      Thanks.
      Francis.

      Francis A. Boyle
      Law Building
      504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
      Champaign, IL 61820 USA
      217-333-7954(voice)
      217-244-1478(fax)
      fboyle@... <mailto:fboyle@...>

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Boyle, Francis
      Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 11:09 AM
      To: Boyle, Francis
      Subject: Harvard's `regrets' not enough for widow School admits ultimatum to
      suspected `

      Harvard's 'regrets' not enough for widow: School admits ultimatum to
      suspected 'Communist' prof
      by Kay Lazar

      Tuesday, April 3, 2001
      [published in the Boston Herald]

      After waiting nearly half a century, Ann Fagan Ginger says the letter of
      "regret" she finally received from Harvard University for what it did to
      her late husband falls woefully short of the apology she sought.

      "It's the arrogance of power," said Ginger, 75, in a telephone interview
      yesterday from her California home. "Nothing they do is subject to
      questions."

      Ginger's husband, Raymond S. Ginger, was a respected assistant professor in
      business history at Harvard in 1954. With Communist hysteria gripping the
      nation, Harvard officials forced Ray Ginger to make a choice - reveal
      whether he was a Communist, or immediately resign.

      With a 3-year-old son, and a wife just four weeks away from delivering their
      second child, Ginger stuck to his principles and quietly resigned.

      Ann Ginger, a civil rights attorney in failing health, asked Harvard last
      fall for a public inquiry into the school's actions toward her husband and
      other faculty during the Communist era.

      After media stories about her mission died down, Harvard sent Ginger a
      three-paragraph letter.

      "From what we can see," wrote Sharon Gagnon, president of Harvard's Board
      of Overseers, "it does appear that Mr. Ginger was asked to resign . . .
      because he declined to answer a question regarding whether he was at the
      time a member of the Communist Party."

      During the 1950s, thousands of entertainers, clergy and college professors
      were investigated by federal and state government agencies because they were
      suspected of siding with America's Cold War enemies, the Communists. Many
      were blacklisted, refused jobs or fired - even though there was little
      proof.

      Harvard's letter concludes, "It seems clear, however, that Harvard took an
      action in the case of Mr. Ginger that many thoughtful people today, looking
      back, would not find appropriate. It is also clear that you and your family
      experienced hardship and anguish as a result, and for that, (Harvard's
      president) joins me in extending to you the University's genuine sympathy
      and regret."

      Yesterday, Ginger said Harvard missed the point. She has sent another letter
      asking, again, for a full public inquiry.

      Harvard spokesman Joe Wrinn said the school's private letter to Ginger
      "speaks for itself."

      The controversy has captured the attention of other Harvard alumni,
      including Francis A. Boyle, law professor at the University of Illinois, and
      a 1976 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.

      "More is called for here," said Boyle, who has written to Harvard's
      president and e-mailed scores of other lawyers nationwide, urging them to
      also lobby Harvard for further public action.

      Boyle said Harvard should endow a full-time chair to study peace, justice
      and human rights, named in honor of Ray and Ann Fagan Ginger.

      Ray Ginger died in December 1975. Ann Ginger continues her work as a
      professor, writer, editor and political activist.
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