Harvard has laid an egg with “holiday placemats for social justice,” with talking points for students to use on their families on winter break.
The Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion distributed the mats at dining halls “to provide a framework to help first-year students with potentially difficult conversations during their first visits back home.”
For example, if Mom or Dad asks why black students are complaining about racism on campus, the placemat suggests: “I hear young people uplifting a situation that I may not experience. If non-Black students get the privilege of that safe environment, I believe that same privilege should be given to all students.”
Except for the section on Syrian refugees and “Islamaphobia,” the content was taken “word-for-word” from a holiday placemat by Showing Up for Racial Justice, pointed out Idrees M. Kahloon in the Harvard Crimson.
Giving students “poorly written, straw man questions followed by seemingly official and definitive ‘responses’” stifles debate, argued Kahloon.
In response to complaints, two deans apologized for the mat’s suggestion that “there is only one point of view” on these issues.
Harvard “has the First Amendment right to try to politically indoctrinate students, and to indoctrinate them in how to politically indoctrinate others,” responds Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor. “But that doesn’t make political indoctrination a good idea, at a university ostensibly committed to teaching students how to think for themselves.”
Oberlin students are complaining that the Asian food isn’t authentic — General Tso’s chicken is steamed rather than fried, sushi rice is undercooked — and is therefore culturally appropriative.
Black students want fried chicken on the menu every Sunday night at Afrikan Heritage House, an on-campus dorm. They also want more vegan and vegetarian options.