Emails obtained by The Young America’s Foundation have revealed that a 1950s themed dance was rejected by a Harvard University Student group who were concerned over the event’s theme and its perceived association with racism and oppression.
Although the theme of the dance was originally voted on by students in Adams House (the residential community at Harvard that planned the event), it was ultimately changed after a vocal minority caused a stir by claiming that the event’s innocent celebration of 1950s American culture would be disingenuous if it ignored the experience and oppression of the social minorities of that era.
In a leaked email conversation, students argued that the event’s theme suggested that African-American students would be subjected to treatment that they endured in the 1950s:
“Will there be a separate water fountain for us at the formal?” Other students chimed in asking, “Are we even allowed to buy tickets? Or are we only allowed in as serving staff?” Some went even further, alleging more injustices, such as, “What sort of quotas will be in place for Asians entering/emigrating into the house? What is the policy on communists?”
After the backlash, the event’s organizers notified the students of Adams House that the theme had been changed to “Sock Hop” in an effort “to make formal the inclusive and welcoming event that it always is.” Although it’s unclear how this change modified the event in such a way that would quiet its detractors, the event was a success and did not draw protests.
Tom Ciccotta is a classical liberal who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or on Facebook. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org