Harvard makes some reparations but avoids the true big ones

Harvard's employees, students, and graduates are no doubt feeling smug right now.  That's because Harvard is setting aside a $100-million endowment as reparations for its long list of sins toward Blacks.  They shouldn't be smug at all, though.  Aside from being a pathetic sum of money, it's just another example of leftist check-writing with no real sacrifice involved.

On Tuesday, Harvard proudly announced that it is setting aside $100 million as reparations for its historic abuse of American Blacks:

The email from Harvard President Lawrence Bacow included a link to a 100-page report by his university's 14-member Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery.


The report laid out a history of slaves toiling on the campus and of the university benefiting from the slave trade and industries linked to slavery after slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts in 1783 – 147 years after Harvard's founding. The report also documents Harvard excluding Black students and its scholars advocating racism.


The report's authors recommended offering descendants of people enslaved at Harvard educational and other support so they "can recover their histories, tell their stories, and pursue empowering knowledge."

Other recommendations included that the Ivy League school fund summer programs to bring students and faculty from long underfunded historically Black colleges and universities to Harvard, and to send Harvard students and faculty to the institutions known as HBCUs, such as Howard University.

I'm sorry to have to say this, but Harvard's actions are so cheap and insincere that they're an insult to American Blacks.  First, the amount sounds good — $100,000,000 — but it is, in fact, a pathetic portion of Harvard's total endowment.

You see, Harvard's endowment was worth $53.2 billion as of October 2021.  If my percentage calculator has led me right, Harvard is setting aside only 0.19% of its total endowment.  If Harvard really has sinned as much as it boasts about sinning, setting aside less than 0.2% of its massive money pot is the stingiest remorse payment I've ever seen.

But what really strikes me is that, in addition to being some pretty tacky virtue-signaling, Harvard's action is also entirely consistent with the leftist approach to charity or any type of guilt-based repayment: it's someone else's money, with no personality, generosity, or remorse behind it.

Image: Harvard University (cropped) by EllenSeptember.  CC BY 2.0.

Think about it this way: every White person currently connected with Harvard — every member of the administrative staff, every faculty member, and every student — is getting a huge benefit from Harvard.  That benefit isn't an education, something the Ivy Leagues don't really bother with anymore.

Instead, that benefit is the cachet of Harvard.  It's great salaries for the employees and great opportunities for the graduates — and that's true no matter how minimal the usable skills they've acquired from their Womyns, BIPOC, or Queer Studies majors.

The only way to really give back to descendants of slaves or of Black students refused admission to the college is to give those descendants the Harvard cachet.  That's done by having the greedy, undeserving, privileged Whites (for that's how Harvard academics define Whites) leave, and turning Harvard over entirely to Blacks, with priority for those who can prove they are descendants of slaves.

You'll have noticed, though, the same pattern I have at academic institutions that gleefully wallow in and boast about their guilt: nobody ever offers to step aside so that a deserving Black person can have his or her (or, given that it's academia, xe, xir, and its) position at the institution.

So, before anyone applauds Harvard for its selfless reparations, remember that it's giving away less than 0.2% of its endowment and that no people are making a sacrifice of their ill-gotten benefits.  These people are posers and undeserving of any admiration for their actions.

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