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Letters

Letter to the Editor: Thinking About Selective Remembering

By Brianna J. Suslovic, Contributing Writer

To the editor:

The latest “Pop a Molly” column urges readers to “think harder” about “hot-button topics” like the House Master title change, yet it fails to do so in its own pronouncement of the controversy as “silly.”

While the author criticizes the “dishonest” practice of renaming for its selective remembering, she advocates for a selective remembering that prioritizes the images of slave-owners and perpetrators of violence. She claims that it is “dangerous to pick and choose what parts of our history we want to remember,” then defends the selective memorializing—and inherent honoring—of Confederate soldiers and Christopher Columbus. Do these forms of memorial not serve to honor those who have done great harm?

Instead, as a means of preserving the past, why not rename buildings after former slaves or historical figures who have fought for justice? Is this not a way to critique and remember the harm done by slave owners and colonizers while also uplifting subjugated narratives?

As the author claims that there is little benefit or cost in changing the House Master title, I wonder if she has taken the time to consider the experience of black students on this campus. As a writer who has not taken the time to “think harder” about Harvard’s racist legacies in her own column, what right does she have to critique our apparently selective remembering?


Brianna J. Suslovic '16, a former Crimson columnist, is a joint social anthropology and studies of women, gender, and sexuality concentrator in Winthrop House.

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