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.
A broken promise is seeing through the smoke screen of admissions pamphlets, looking at your browness in a mirror, and wondering whose Harvard you’ve been admitted into.
We will write. We will fight. We will protest. We will remind them that this is our country, too.
We can be seen for our beauty, our sexuality, but to open our mouths and demand for change is impossible.
R: Feed me a diverse curriculum, please. Z: I can’t describe the unimaginable feeling of validation that would come from seeing the narrative of our community gracing the pages of syllabi and being discussed in section.
Latinidad is partially about the way we view ourselves and the way we view others in our community, but it is also about the way the world views us.
Latinx students have to be excellent, because we are few and far between and represent communities whose majorities are barred from these institutions.
I imagine what it might have been like to be born into a family of college graduates where money and experience could comfortably guide me towards a secure future. I wonder what it would have been like to be like them—the seeming majority of Harvard’s student body that, unlike me, isn’t first-gen, low-income, or a minority.