To adhere to what some consider improvement, Harvard University is condoning racially separate commencements for its students—seriously.
“Aside from studying and taking grueling tests, if you’re a minority, the outer pressures of society make the already challenging coursework even more difficult. Knowing this, Black members of the class of 2017 decided to form an individual ceremony. It’s the first of its kind at the school in recent memory and took nearly a year to plan. The separate graduation is an effort to highlight the aforementioned struggles and resilience it takes to get through those,” according to BET.
Again, while Harvard itself isn’t mandating this ceremony, the school is perpetuating segregation by allowing it. More, graduating students’ intent could also convey superiority and ultimately falls into the philosophy of post-modern relativism, which conveniently makes this ethically sound.
Amid the chatter, The Root weighed in with their enabling words. “The ceremony comes at a time when the experiences of Black students on college campuses in America have been marked by incidents of overt racism, micro-aggressions, passive racist comments and the marginalization of minority experiences in both reading assignments and learning materials.”
This separate-but-equal event is currently open to graduate students, however, next year’s plans entail availing this structure to every Harvard student—undergraduates too.
In an interview, it was learned that Harvard-graduate student Michael Huggins not only assisted in setting this up but also claimed the ceremony “is not about segregation.”
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s Black excellence and Black brilliance,” Huggins said. “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.”
But this isn’t a first in higher education. BET availed that “Stanford, Temple and Columbia all have black-student graduations.”
Would Martin Luther King Jr. call this equality or…?