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Woe! Harvard Home For the Holidays

'Why yes, darling, we would love to hear you tell us what bigots we all are. Please, sit down.' (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Is there anything more insufferable than a college student at home for the holidays, sitting around the dinner table lecturing his family on politics and social justice? Woe betide families of Harvard undergraduates, who are being instructed by the university on what to say to their benighted kinsmen over the upcoming break. The Crimson reports that the university put propaganda placemats in dining halls the other day:

Dubbed “Holiday Placemat for Social Justice” and described as “a placemat guide for holiday discussions on race and justice with loved ones,” the placemats pose hypothetical statements on those topics and offer a “response” to each of those in a question and answer format. For example, under a section entitled “Yale/Student Activism,” the placemat poses the question, “Why are Black students complaining? Shouldn’t they be happy to be in college?” and suggests that students respond by saying, “When I hear students expressing their experiences on campus I don’t hear complaining.”

In the center of the placemat are what it calls “tips for talking to families,” with recommendations such as “Listen mindfully before formulating a thoughtful response” and “Breathe.”

The placemats are endorsed by Harvard administrators. The product of a collaboration between the College’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Freshman Dean’s Office, the placemats first appeared in Annenberg last week. Jasmine M. Waddell, the freshman resident dean for Elm Yard, described the placemats’ goal as giving freshmen strategies for discussing those issues with their families over winter break.

Via Jonathan Haidt, who nails it:

It’s a safe bet to assume that anything that comes from a college’s Diversity Office, or that is labeled “social justice,” is b.s. of the highest order, and deserves to be ridiculed mercilessly. I hope the next president elevates the South Park production company to cabinet-level status.

When your Harvard undergraduate comes home for the holidays and undertakes to preach about politics at the dinner table, ask yourself, “What would Eric Cartman say?” Then say it over and over again, until the SJW runs sobbing from the table.



Here’s an image of the placemat. It’s actually worse — and more ridiculous — than I thought. It’s like a cross between a news quiz and an SJW catechism. You know what I think? That some Harvard faculty member should sent out an e-mail questioning whether it’s the place of a university to instruct and police its undergraduates in this way. Heh heh:


UPDATE.2: Harvard has withdrawn the placemat and apologized. Good for them. I suppose it’s too much to hope that they dismantle the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and send its employees forth into the world to get honest work.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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