Skip to main content

Since We Last Spoke: Ivy League Insurgents

New twists on past stories.

By Elena Gooray


Ralph Nader with Lydia DePillis. (Photo: Reed Young)

Editor’s Note: A version of this story first appeared on on June 8, 2016, with the headline “Ralph Nader Draws More Controversy on Race.” This edited version was published in our September/October 2016 print issue.

The five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader caused an uproar on Twitter with his comments to labor reporter Lydia DePillis about what he sees as political correctness run amok on college campuses (“America, You Are Asleep,” July/August 2016). A few months after the conversation, Nader found himself on the losing end of another charged campus dispute when his campaign for a seat on Harvard University’s Board of Overseers fell short. Nader’s “Free Harvard/Fair Harvard” campaign sought universal free tuition and more transparency in undergraduate admissions — at the expense of racial progress, critics said. “[Free Harvard/Fair Harvard] is like a Trojan horse whose real purpose is to harm affirmative action,” argued Betty Hung, a 1993 Harvard graduate, to Politico.