Q&A of the Day – Is Harvard hypocritical in rejecting Parkland’s Kyle Kashuv?
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
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Today’s entry... Quoting Kyle Kashuv’s comments about his rescinded acceptance by Harvard over a racial epithet he used two years ago.
“Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and anti-Semites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn’t possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don’t believe that.”
He was right, Harvard is wrong
Bottom Line: Kyle is right that Harvard has its own checked record to account for. They didn’t admit a black student until 1868. Three years after the conclusion of the Civil War. This despite being in a northern state that was part of the union. Harvard was established in 1636, even now, 383 years old – the elite institution has spent well over half of its history as an institution that wasn’t open to black students. That included periods of time before the formation of the United States, after, during the Civil War and after. And what about Harvard’s treatment towards Jews as Kyle referenced? Yes, the discrimination is quite clear and as recent as the 1950’s. Harvard’s president took steps to place quotas and cap the percentage of the Jewish student population of the school at 15% after it rose above 20% in the 1920’s. Those policies weren’t completely eradicated until the 1950’s. Nearly a decade after the fall of Nazi Germany. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? In other words, Kyle’s comments are completely warranted.
Ordinarily I’d say just move on, why force the issue to be part of an institution that clearly operates with a double-standard but it’s not that easy. Kyle declined other scholarship opportunities when he accepted the opportunity presented by Harvard. He’s currently in a situation that finds him potentially having to put his college education and life on hold after this. In other words, he’s potentially a victim of Harvard’s decision. Additionally, there are only five colleges which produce higher average income opportunities: Harvey Mudd College, MIT, The US Naval Academy, CIT and Stanford. So, unless he were to receive opportunities at one of those schools, there’s the potential for a career worth of negative impact from this decision. As of now Harvard’s not provided any indication, they’re willing to back off their decision. Based on their history, they’re fortunate they’re not held to a similar standard.