The business section of the New York Times carries a bizarre dispatch about a rebellion by the Schwarzman Scholars against their benefactor.
Under the online headline "After Capitol Riots, Billionaire's 'Scholars' Confront Their Benefactor," the Times reports that
some participants in the Schwarzman Scholars program — a master's course he established at Tsinghua University in Beijing to be a Chinese analogue to the Rhodes Scholarships — are speaking out against their benefactor.
They say Mr. Schwarzman is failing to live up to his own values and harming the program's reputation by not cutting off money to lawmakers who opposed certifying President Biden's electoral victory.
Also, "After Mr. Trump introduced a travel and immigration prohibition aimed at people from predominantly Muslim countries, Mr. Schwarzman received sharp questions from the scholars on a video chat, according to one attendee."
The Times and the complaining scholars seem to take for granted that it is problematic for Schwarzman to support Trump or congressional Republicans who voted against certification. But there is no mention of any ethical qualms about attending or funding Tsinghua University, an institution owned by the Chinese Communist government. George Will has an excellent column this weekend recommending "an immediate announcement of a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, whose current viciousness is comparable to that of Germany at the time of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin." Writes Will: "there should be at least public shaming of U.S. corporations that, while ostentatiously woke at home, seem not to think that Uighur lives matter."
So Schwarzman funds, and these scholars attend, a program in a country that both Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Blinken says is perpetrating genocide. And the big worry of scholars amplified by the Times is that Schwarzman might make a campaign contribution to Elise Stefanik? The whole question of China's repression of Hong Kong and of the Uighurs is absent from the Times article.
I'm not saying Schwarzman shouldn't have funded this program in China. The whole question of how to move China toward increased freedom and rule of law is complicated, and people who share the goal may have different views of the best tactics. But read the George Will column and read the Times news article and one can't help but wonder—these people are choosing to study at a state-owned university in Beijing, and their big concern is that Steve Schwarzman's campaign contributions to U.S. Republican politicians are going to make them look bad? It's downright comical.