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In Harvard Papers, a Dark Corner of the College's Past

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by MJF, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. MJF

    MJF Amphibious Member

    In today's NYTimes an interesting article about a secret chapter in Harvard's history:

    "About six months ago Amit R. Paley, a writer for The Harvard Crimson, was researching an article he thought fairly mundane when, combing a list of the university archives' holdings, he was stunned to see an entry for "Secret Court Files, 1920."

    That short reference eventually led Mr. Paley to 500 pages of documents describing an episode more than 80 years ago in which the Harvard administration methodically harassed a number of young men for being gay, on suspicion of being gay or simply for associating with gays. Nine of those victimized one teacher and eight students were ousted from the college and essentially run out of town.

    The events, recounted by Mr. Paley in an article published last week in Fifteen Minutes, The Crimson's weekly magazine, began when a sophomore who had received poor grades committed suicide. His older brother, an alumnus, found letters addressed to that student that detailed a gay culture at Harvard. The alumnus turned the letters over to the dean of the college."

    The rest of the article here:


    SUpposedly this is left in the past and not present today.

    But I love this comment at the end of the article:

    Mr. Paley finds it surprising that the Court, which disbanded once it felt that the incident had been taken care of, kept any documentation at all.

    "If the administrators knew this was going public right now," he said, "they would roll over in their graves. This was probably the most embarrassing thing that could have happened to them."

    Somehow, I may be reading between the lines here. ;)
  2. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    First we hear about forced sterilization and Eugenics
    studies by our educated ancestors and now this.

    I wonder how many other dirty secrets will find their way out.
    Will we find some of these out while the perpetrator are still
    alive? I'd love to punish some of these sanctimonious bastards,
    if they are still alive.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks MJf, most revealing incident. Reminds me of the no Jews allowed policy Harvard, and other Ivy League schools held.

    I am sure, many of the professors were actually Jews during those times also.
  4. MJF

    MJF Amphibious Member

    And gay as well?

    My concern is the comment about they didn't destroy the documents.

    Is that the norm today or no documentation at all. Hmmmm.
  5. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    And just think how many gays are currently serving in the military. ;)

    <strike>Don't ask, don't tell</strike>Don't let us find out, or you will be magically transformed into someone incapable of serving your country, and you will therefore be expelled.

    This Harvard incident just goes to show you the bullshit that gays have to go through. The laws have certainly helped a lot, but people's feelings and attitudes can not be changed by legislation. It is almost funny to me that so many people still insist that homosexuality is a choice. Yeah, I love being shunned. I think I made a great choice.
  6. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    Think of it this way, the people who
    shun you are people neither of us
    would get along with anyway.

    You're not missing anything.
  7. Pyrion

    Pyrion Liquid Metal Nanomorph

    It's actually a "don't ask don't tell" policy with heterosexuals in the military as well. It's just not such a big deal because the mass majority of heterosexuals know how to control themselves. Wherein the few gays that do join the military like to make it a big deal, and thus get kicked out. If you saw heterosexuals doing the same, they'd get kicked out too. Remember, it's the friggin' military, not a goddamn reform school.
  8. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    <small>As said by PhyreFox:</small>
    "Wherein the few gays that do join the military like to make it a big deal, and thus get kicked out."

    I really don't think that is entirely true or fair to say. I would be willing to bet the military probably has roughly the same percentage of gays as the general population (roughly 10%).

    Yes, there are a few who seek out the publicity to garner awareness of the situation but I believe them to be in the vast minority.
  9. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The ones in the military and announce fall into three categories in my opinion:

    1. Activists who want to fight a policy they disagree with.

    2. Gays who find the military discipline and physical activity harsher than they expected and use their sexual orientation as an excuse to get out.

    3. Straights who find the military discipline and physical activity harsher than they expected and call themselves gay to get out.

    Just a personal opinion, mind you, but I think 2 and 3 are much more prevalent than 1.
  10. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    With all due respect, you have no idea what you're talking about. For every homosexual in the military who behaves in an unacceptable way, there are probably a hundred who successfully hide their sexuality and do not disgrace themselves or their peers.

    Your statement about heterosexuals living by the same rule(Don't ask, don't tell) is just silly to me. If a male soldier was caught having sex with a female, he would not be dischaged from the military. If a guy is caught making out with another guy, he would be kicked out of the military, even though he didn't "tell" anybody. To imply that heterosexuals are treated the same as homosexuals in the military is just plain ignorant. There is a huge double standard.

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