There has been a lot of discussion about last week’s events between me, my posting in Belinda Hall / Wasserstein Lounge, and Reclaim Harvard Law’s reaction. I’m not proud of everything I did, but I do hope that by laying out the facts, as I saw them, I will clear up some of the misconceptions that have arisen. My one, self-imposed limitation is that I will not name the other students involved in these events.
By now, most of you have heard of Critical Race Theory. Its narrative, ideology, and even vocabulary have become a familiar refrain. “Systemic oppression,” “institutional racism,” and “white privilege” have become common topics of debate. At Harvard Law, a group of protestors calls for $5 million and three tenure-track faculty to establish a program on Critical Race Theory at HLS. But, beneath the demands, there remains a lack of clarity about what Critical Race Theory actually means.
Critical Race Theory Calls for Permanent, Codified Racial Preferences
At the heart of Critical Race Theory lies the rejection of colorblind meritocracy. “Formal equality overlooks structural disadvantages and requires mere nondiscrimination or “equal treatment.” Instead, Critical Race Theory calls for “aggressive, color conscious efforts to change the way things are.” It contemplates, “race-conscious decision making as a routine, non-deviant mode, a more or less permanent norm” to be used in distributing positions of wealth, prestige, and power.
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
Written in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, Simon and Garfunkel’s famous song, “The Sound of Silence” was rumored to describe Americans’ collective inability to communicate in the aftermath of that tragedy. Garfunkel later gave the song’s meaning as, “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.”
We’ve heard a lot of the sound of silence on campus recently. In the aftermath of the tape incident with the portraits, one part of the campus seethes in outrage whereas another part is afraid to say, “I think that the protestors are being a bit unreasonable.” They’re afraid of being called racist, insensitive, or bigoted. Because they are afraid, they do not say anything at all. Continue reading “#HLSUntaped: The Sound of Silence“
Usually, we at Harvard are more than happy to see Yale students make fools of themselves on camera. The video that emerged this week of Yale students screaming down one of their professors might make for a good laugh, if its implications were not quite so serious. It’s a scene we’ve seen played out far too often at college campuses in recent years, and it deserves to be called by what it is: a nascent form of fascism. Continue reading “Fascism at Yale”