Culture

Harvard Op-Ed: ‘Everything Is about Race,’ Even Benches

No, not just most things -- everything.

A Harvard student penned an op-ed for the school’s newspaper explaining that if you’ve ever said, “Don’t make this about race,” you were automatically wrong — because “everything is about race.”

“Of course it’s about race — everything is,” Ted G. Waechter writes in a piece in the Harvard Crimson. “Our country was built on oppression, and race is everywhere, at every moment on my standard trip back to Harvard.”

That’s right. Not just most of the moments, but “every moment.” Every. Single. One.

“The view from my airplane window is about race,”  Waechter writes. “Colonizers killed Indigenous people for those tidy plots of farmland.”

“It is impossible to separate the wealth that paid for my plane ticket from structural oppression,” he continues. “When I land at Logan, it’s about race.”

Other things that Waechter insists are “about race” include the Central Artery (a section of freeway in Massachusetts), “luxury high-rise developments,” Boston’s Silver Line bus system, and the benches at Jamaica Pond and Trinity Church.

“In a country built on oppression, everything is about race,” Waechter writes. “Including the benches.”

#share#Now, to be honest, I have not once looked at a bench and thought it might be about race — but Waechter has an explanation for that, too:

“It’s the easiest way for white people to invalidate experiences of oppression and avoid fraught debates about justice in America,” Waechter writes.

#related#In other words: I’m a selfish jerk and completely incapable of considering the struggles of others. Either that or Waechter is looking a bit too deep into things and completely incapable of chilling the hell out.

But he’s probably right. After all, I never went to Harvard — and we all know that those kids are our best and our brightest.

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