Harvard University will be holding a special separate graduation ceremony this year for black graduate students, with plans to expand the new tradition to include black undergraduate students.
The special ceremony and subsequent reception will feature some 125 black students, who raised upwards of $27,000 themselves to cover the ceremony and party, The College Fix reported. It is worth noting that these students will also be taking part in the regular Harvard graduation ceremony for all students.
The ceremony, first reported by The Root, was scheduled to take place May 23 and intended to “acknowledge the struggles and resilience that black students have had to possess in order to thrive in higher education,” especially in a predominately white environment like the campus of Harvard.
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“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” said Michael Huggins, soon to graduate with a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. “It’s an event where we can see each other and our parents and family can see us as a collective, whole group. A community.”
“This is not about segregation,” Huggins added. “It’s about fellowship and building a community. This is a chance to reaffirm for each other that we enter the work world with a network of supporters standing with us. We are all partners.”
Except that graduation ceremonies already provided a venue where parents, family and friends could celebrate the achievement and take note of the “network of supporters” without regard to race, color or creed.
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It also would seem that Huggins was unclear on the definition of “segregation,” as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it: “(T)he separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means,” as well as, “(T)he separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group.”
A blacks-only ceremony would seem to fit both definitions, but, moving right along …
The Root reported that black student college graduation rates across the country averaged 44 percent in 2011, yet the graduation rate for black students at Harvard approached 96 percent, far higher than the national average and seemingly indicative of there not really being a problem with black students being unable to achieve success at the school.
Not so fast though, as student Courtney Woods, soon to hold a master’s degree in education policy and management, explained: “Harvard’s institutional foundation is in direct conflict with the needs of black students. There is a legacy of slavery, epistemic racism and colonization at Harvard, which was an institution founded to train rising imperialist leaders. This is a history that we are reclaiming.”
“It speaks volumes that there has never been a black graduation ceremony until now. We created this from scratch, because for me, for many of us, we are not here alone,” she added. “I carry with me the dreams and desires of my family. And as a first-generation, I know I am here to change the trajectory for all of us.”
The left often talks about striving to become a unified people in this country, but at the same time promote and perpetuate divisive identity politics that only serve to separate people and marginalize minority communities — the same ones they insist they are fighting on behalf of.
The left should stop disingenuously berating the right about being “inclusive” while acting divisively in its own ways.
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