Harvard University has apologized for telling their Asian students who have experienced racism that they might wish they “weren’t Asian” on their anti-Asian racism resources page.
The Ivy League college’s Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) website wrote that Asian students may not want to be of their race anymore after experiencing racism but told students to remember that their “ancestors likely went through similar or even worse incidents.”
“They survived by recognizing the beauty and strength of their community,” the page reportedly said. “So, seek out or create literature, art, films, shows, and music that highlight your community in a positive light.”
Harvard CAMHS has since replaced the language on the website with an apology, saying that the aim of the office was to support all students “who are experiencing distress in their lives.”
“We are deeply sorry that some recently-posted content on our website not only fell short of that mission, but caused more stress in our community,” the website reads. “We had intended to post helpful resources for our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities that we know are hurting in light of recent events around us, but what we ultimately posted included some insensitive and inappropriate content that we have now removed.”
“We plan to engage more closely with members across our community to ensure that we can serve as a trusted, reliable resource for everyone at Harvard, and will work diligently to ensure that this never happens again,” the school added.
The website also said that more information regarding “further discussion” between CAMHS and the school’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
Harvard Crimson writer Matteo Wong first drew attention to the webpage on on Wednesday.
Wong reported that the website also told students who have experienced racism and excoriated the university for their “strong mental health content.”
“And then some more strong mental health content from Harvard: ‘When you experience racism, you can feel angry but also want to minimize or deny your feelings [… followed by more explaining to me how I respond to racism and am wrong…],’ Wong wrote.
“’… But remember that during the event, your priority was your safety, and you did what you thought was best at the moment. Try not to judge your reactions,’” he continued. “Good to know the template by which I and all AAPI people respond to racism, and how we can do better.”
“And then, ‘You need the time to heal from this trauma.’ Where’s the f—ing time Harvard, my (un)wellness days?” Wong added, noting that the page predates the deadly Atlanta spa shootings “by months.”
Harvard came under fire in 2018 when the school’s dean of admissions, William Fitzsimmons, testified in court that Ivy League schools placed different SAT standards on applicants based on certain factors, such as race.
Fitzsimmons testified that African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores out of a possible 1600 combined math and verbal, are sent recruitment letters with a score as low as 1100, whereas Asian-Americans need to score at least 250 points higher – 1350 for women and 1380 for men.
Students for Fair Admissions attorney John Hughes argued Harvard’s practice was “race discrimination, plain and simple.”
Fitzsimmons refuted Hughes, saying that the practice was not discriminatory and that the reason behind the practice was to “break the cycle” and convince students to apply that would not usually apply to Harvard.
Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.