Crimson opinion writer
Eleanor V. Wikstrom
The question of course offerings on Tagalog and the Philippines — or, more accurately, the lack thereof — is not whether Harvard has a duty to help its minority “ethnic” students learn about their own culture. It’s about what institutional silences signal about our reckoning with national history and complicity in the narratives that maintain oppression, a conversation that implicates us all.
What we need is to find a way to see the tension of difference not as a threat to be eliminated or avoided, but as a tool for revision and a source of creation. To do so, we must turn to those who have spent their entire lives learning to navigate and grow in the often-shunned space beyond rigid dichotomy. We must turn to the mixed community.
We are attempting to take flight in a time that is defined by staying in place. We are attempting to enter the world while it practices isolation. In a year of crisis and profound societal loss, we need the milestones promised to us in childhood more than ever before — but it is a consequence of the very same crisis that we can never experience them entirely, that we may only ever watch as they recede beyond our reach.