March 18, 2021

Volume XXXII, Issue VI

Editor's Note

Dear reader, The past few days have been extremely difficult, marred by the murders in Atlanta that are only the latest in a devastating wave of anti-Asian violence. We wish you all the best amidst the awful violence and much of the horrendous rhetoric surrounding it. We also find hope in the outpouring of support for AAPI people and communities. We cannot allow racism, sexism, or hatred in any form. If you have the time, energy, and will, we have an excellent slate of stories this week. Written before Tuesday’s shootings, LJR writes a moving piece on the dissonance between anti-Asian racism and recognition of Asian American media. MX launches a thorough investigation into the safety and regulatory backdrop that led to the recent death of two utility workers — and also closes the issue with a heart-wrenching endpaper on her uncle’s cancer diagnosis. On the lighter side, FJH and AL write a sweet introspection on the 25th anniversary of Pokémon that will hearten fans everywhere. We have a few great Conversations pieces: KIS talks to Ted Kaptchuk, a Harvard professor and leading researcher on the placebo effect. GJP and RNWO profile Allanah R.J. Rolph ’23-’24 and her upcoming book, “Radical Redneck.” And DCB and KNJ profile Peter Kerre, an activist, DJ, and extension school student leading incredible efforts in NYC. HRTW, bringing strong levity content as usual, has some fun with the Economics department t-shirt slogans. Two powerful scrutinies ground this week’s issue, both delving into Harvard’s troubled past. GWO and MHM take a new approach to Tamara K. Lanier’s struggle with Harvard over ownership of daguerreotypes of her ancestor, Renty. The court case, Lanier v. Harvard, has the potential to set a momentous precedent in the case for reparations for American slavery, what civil rights attorney believes may be the most important civil rights case since Brown v. Board. More than just a legal exploration, their article tells the human story of the Laniers in a way that has not been done before. And SSI, in a related piece, writes a powerful and revealing retrospective scrutiny about Louis Agassiz, the Harvard biologist responsible for taking the daguerreotypes of Renty against his will and who is infamous for promoting racist theories of polygenism. Diving deep into Agassiz’s life and psychology, and all the people and circumstances that influenced him, she debunks and complicates the “great man” myth that has come to surround his legacy. Again, please take care. We send all of our love to our readers, their friends, their family. We send support to all of our AAPI friends, family, and communities. Until next week, MNW+OGO