I am tired of being overcome with emotion when, yet again, the administration refuses to acknowledge that my experiences are different because I come from an intersectionally marginalized background, and that no, we are not all homogenous privileged Harvard students.
There’s a way of preserving a sweet, Salvadorean, Mexican, or Latin American culture while getting rid of its painful, violent, oppressive components for the benefit of men and women yet to be born into it. There’s a way of rethinking our machista world.
If I don’t speak Spanish, I’ll lose it, and my children will lose it. The loss of mi cultura y mi historia is not worth your comfort, so I’ll continue to hablar en la combination de Español y Ingles que amo tanto.
We come up with answers for the problems we’ve diagnosed in the Latinx community. In our heads, we’re doing God’s work but, suddenly, the realization that we are the select few—the glowing brown chosen ones—comes crashing down on us. There’s no purpose in learning or scheming or brainstorming the best ways to help your community if you run so far away from them in order to do so.
As an institution that places so much weight on where we will be post-graduation, and the ways we will choose, as alumni, to shape the world, Harvard is committing a disservice by ignoring the reality that not all students feel entitled to make the jump into a world of suits, high heels, social capital, and class.
I wondered if that girl would have sung a different tune if she could see her community reflected in the brown hands roughened from serving the privileged students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The subtlety of this truth, of the lie that we don’t belong, is gone. People will say to our faces that our immigrant narratives, our lives on the borderlands, and our melanin are now worth questioning.
Those students who are already vocal about their status can be traced through coverage they have received in the media, and the declaration of Harvard as a sanctuary campus will only reassure them of the University's commitment to them.