February 21, 2011, - 2:59 pm
Will somebody please tell the Wall Street Journal to keep race-war politics out of its real estate pages? And why is the Journal using its homes and architecture page to pimp us on Harvard’s “hip-hop archive?”
Affirmative Action Architecture: The Harvard Hip-Hop Archive House
Every Friday, the Weekend section of the Wall Street Journal has a nearly page long article, entitled “Home Front.” It features very interesting homes, usually owned by the very wealthy, which have been uniquely remodeled, designed, and/or decorated. One recent week, for instance, the Journal featured this unique modern home, which has a living room raised in mid-air without any supports underneath. The canti-levered glass house was cool, interesting, and different. And that’s the point. The column is a vicarious glance into how “the beautiful people” live. Since I enjoy unique design and architecture, I enjoy reading the column during the Jewish Sabbath.
But not this past weekend. The home featured was average, and there was nothing unique about it, unless you consider it interesting that the homeowner manages Harvard’s “Hip Hop Archive” and has Henry “Cambridge Cops Are Racist!” Louis Gates, Jr. as a frequent guest. To most, that might be “unique,” but not in a good way or in any way that makes a home interesting enough for nearly a page in the Wall Street Journal. The house looks like the inside of my aunt’s and uncle’s home, but with tacky, ugly decor, including ugly turquoise chairs. It was clear to me that the home, a run of the mill colonial, was featured as an affirmative action way to promote its owners, one of whom was previously denied tenure at Harvard by Lawrence Summers.
And since there is nothing of note or comprising “luxury living” in the house, the Wall Street Journal’s Nancy Keates tells us that the home of Harvard professors Marcyliena Morgan and Lawrence Bobo is warm and “a gathering place.” Couldn’t that be said of more than half of the homes in America? But here’s the real point:
Every Sunday night, when Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrives at the home of friends Marcyliena Morgan and Lawrence Bobo, he knows to expect two things: heated discussions and a chilled cosmopolitan.
“As soon as my foot is in the door, Larry starts making my cosmo,” said Mr. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard. He said the “Larry and Marcy salon” is “warm, open, inviting, generous, comforting and constant, like them.”
In 2008, Ms. Morgan, a 50-year-old Harvard professor who founded and directs Harvard’s hip-hop archive, and Mr. Bobo, the 52-year-old acting chairman of Harvard’s African and African American Studies department, finished a year-long, extensive renovation that married the traditional exterior and pine floors of an early 1900s Victorian with a more modern interior. . . .
Ms. Morgan and Mr. Bobo met in 1990 when they were both at the University of California Los Angeles; they married four years later and moved to Boston to take positions at Harvard, living in a condo in the Back Bay. In 2004, then-Harvard President Larry Summers vetoed a unanimous vote by the African and African American Studies Department to offer Ms. Morgan tenure. The couple decamped for Stanford University and a ranch house in Palo Alto.
When Harvard offered them both tenured positions in 2007, the couple decided to return.
You see, we’re supposed to be impressed with the very average Morgan/Bobo house because not only are they good friends with a renowned race-pimp, Gates, but she was denied tenure by Lawrence Summers. The article doesn’t tell you that Morgan got “lukewarm reviews” from students and had limited scholarship. And she’d written only one book, “The Real Hiphop,” which would rarely get you Harvard tenure if you’re White, much less consideration for tenure.
And what the heck is a “hip-hop archive?” The words “hip-hop” don’t ever belong next to the word “archive.” It’s kind of like saying “crackwhore country club.” In fact, crackwhore country club is probably a good euphemism for “Harvard hip-hop archive.” Reminds me of the many colleges that once offered courses in “studying” pop star Madonna. I’m holding my breath for the Masters Degree in Lady Gaga. That Harvard has money to waste on a “hip-hop archive” and even more money to waste on hiring a person to run it and “teach” about this garbage should tell you everything about the name, “Harvard.” It’s an upper crust sign fronting a educational sewer. I mean, really, do they study the average measurements of the barely covered bouncing butts in hip-hop videos and look for some implication for American society?
And it figures that Casa Morgan/Bobo is frequented by their fellow Harvard professor of victimhood, Skip Gates, friend of Obama.
Please, Wall Street Journal, leave the racism-pimps and undue respect for hip-hop, out of the cool homes column. Especially when the home isn’t the least bit cool.
Remember, MTV “Cribs” was canceled after poor ratings.
Tags: Harvard, Henry Louis Gates Jr., hip-hop archive, Home Front, Lawrence Bobo, Lawrence Summers, Marcyliena Morgan, Nancy Keates, Skip Gates, Wall Street Journal