Find New Decorations
Few things are hateful enough to compare to swastikas, and the Christmas tree in Leverett dining hall is not one of them. Schechter’s comparison fails logically: A swastika in Leverett dining hall would be disturbing because swastikas are disturbing, not because it’s wrong to put symbols in public places.
Even Shira Kieval wrote that about the Christmas tree in Cabot dining hall that Harvard “might as well have put up a tree in her room.” But that would clearly be far more intrusive! Why does the concept of degrees go out the window in discussions like this?
Kieval and Schechter seem to ask: If we allow Christmas trees in dining halls, where do we draw the line? Clearly, we draw it somewhere before we get to swastikas and trees in people’s rooms.
That said, take the trees down already. Inappropriate as it is, the swastika comparison shows that to some people, public endorsement of a Christmas tree might be the spiral arm of something dire. And if Christmas trees are so harmless and secular, why are we bent on erecting them? To prove that Our Fun can’t be spoiled by Some Whiny Minority? Let’s find a new way to decorate, one that generates festivity and spirit instead of bad analogies. I recommend bright fabric, big jars of pasta and squashes with wigs on.
Emily J. Carmichael ’04
Dec. 4, 2001