In Praise of Dead White Males


The staff correctly observes that an ethnic studies requirement does not belong in the Core. The notion of requiring overburdened Harvard students to take a highly politicized course in which some minority group complains about oppression is frightening.

The staff makes the egregious error, however, of saying that Harvard's curriculum needs to be more diverse (read; politically correct) than it already is, and that having an ethnic studies requirement might prevent professors from including ethnic perspectives in other courses. But ethnic perspectives have no place whatsoever in the vast majority of our courses.

Harvard must return to the times when rigorous scholarship and the pursuit of truth were valued above the feel-good campus politics of militant minorities. If white males are the leading thinkers in a field--as they are in almost every real academic discipline--we should read their work, and not the token work of some sloppy scholar who just happens to be a woman, a Black or a Latino (or all of the above).

Long live dead white males!