On the morning of April 26, the entire community of Harvard University and its alumni received what, in any sane society, would be seen as a grossly inappropriate emailed letter signed by Harvard’s president, Lawrence S. Bacow, along with a list of other high-up Harvard officiants, titled “Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery.” The letter transmits a 134-page report , the product of a committee established to document Harvard’s entanglement with slavery, a project that, especially since the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, has preoccupied certain left-bubble institutions and universities such as Columbia , Brown , and Harvard.
Like Google dressing up its logo for Halloween , Harvard’s homepage , to commemorate the occasion, is donned in mournful black, in contrast to its usual white, and dedicated entirely to the topic of its grand “reckoning.” Academics are an afterthought.
Bacow’s cover email, which also appears here , where it is accompanied by a video of him reading its text in the same self-satisfied tone in which he might deliver an address commemorating the dedication of a new university building, gives us all the familiar clichés of this now well-established “antiracist” genre. It gives us talk of “reckon[ing] honestly with our history,” “dismantl[ing] . . . contemporary injustice,” the “embedded[ness]” of slavery “in [our] fabric and . . . institutions,” how “[t]he legacy of slavery, including the persistence of both overt and subtle discrimination against people of color, continues to influence the world in the form of disparities in education, health, wealth, income, social mobility, and almost any other metric we might use to measure equality,” how “Harvard benefited from and in some ways perpetuated practices that were profoundly immoral” and, of course, our “moral responsibility to do what we can to address the persistent corrosive effects of those historical practices […]
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I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
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