Following Protest Threats, Steve Bannon Will Reportedly Not Attend Harvard Conference

Image via Evan Vucci/AP Photo.
Image via Evan Vucci/AP Photo.

Citing a change of plans, Trump chief strategist and Darth Vader impersonator Steve Bannon will no longer be attending Harvard’s Institute of Politics event for presidential campaign managers on Thursday, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs reports. News of Bannon’s attendance at the conference (as a “confirmed participant,” although not a speaker) was soon joined by reports on Monday that Kennedy School students were planning to protest his appearance, along with the appearance of other Trump advisors.


Harvard’s Kennedy School defended their decision to invite Bannon to the long-running election year event (“we deliberately invite guests who represent a wide range of views on many issues”), failing to acknowledge that Steve Bannon’s views appear to fall mostly in the range of fascism, misogyny, Islamophobia and white supremacy, with a dash of “why so many Jews?”

Trump’s decision to elevate Bannon, who attended Harvard Business School in the 80's, was recently disparaged in a letter to the New York Times signed by 650 women who attended or currently attend HBS.

“While we do not always agree on politics, we can agree on this,” it reads. “We unequivocally disavow the appointment of our fellow Harvard Business School alumnus, Steve Bannon, as chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Donald Trump.”

Kennedy School spokesman Doug Gavel told the Harvard Crimson that he did not know why Bannon was no longer attending. Other participants from the Trump campaign include Kellyanne Conway, Corey Lewandowski and Paul Manafort, leaving “plenty of reasons to still protest,” as one Facebook event attendee put it.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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I really wish people would stop treating racism and misogyny as “a different side of an issue” or as a “different point of view”. Not every topic has two valid sides. If you’re talking about child molestation, you don’t go out and find people who believe molesting children is totally ok and treat them the same way as you would the people who’re against it. Some things are just morally and ethically wrong and shouldn’t be given a platform.