Just when you thought America’s fancypants Ivy League students couldn’t possibly be any dumber, they go and do something like this…and totally redeem themselves!
The particular kerfuffle at issue began in the wee hours of Thursday morning as student streakers — many of them drunk — gathered on the famed grass of Harvard Yard for Harvard’s legendary Primal Scream.
The biannual Primal Scream tradition involves a jog around the oldest part of the storied campus as students brace themselves for the first day of final exams.
This semester, the flock of Harvard streakers was met by a group of roughly 30 students seeking to hijack the event by forcing everyone to participate in four-and-a-half minutes of silence to honor Michael Brown and Eric Garner — two black men recently killed by white police officers, reports The Harvard Crimson.
Protesters held signs reading, for example, “Black Lives Matter.” Some wore shirts bearing the words “I [Heart] Black People.”
The demonstrators had posted their intentions to protest on Facebook. (The protest was originally supposed to be a die-in.) (RELATED: Watch These College Students CHECK THEIR PHONES During Ferguson Die-In)
On this night, however, the demonstrators learned to their chagrin that not every Harvard student studying or drinking — or both — for finals reads everyone’s Facebook posts.
Perhaps sensing the possibility for trouble, a couple dozen Harvard administrators also showed up to officiate between the streakers and the protesters.
As the streakers showed up and loitered on Harvard Yard, they chatted and yelled merrily.
The protesters gathered as well. Despite the plan to hold a silent protest, one of the demonstrators brought a megaphone — to yell at the streakers that they must shut up.
The protesters — and then an administrator — tried and failed to force the Primal Scream participants to cease all speaking.
“Silence! Silence!” frustrated protesters exclaimed, according to the Crimson.
Several runners responded by breaking into a chant of “U.S.A., U.S.A.!”
The “U.S.A.!” chant has been a staple of past Primal Scream events at Harvard.
The “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” drowned out the pleas for silence from the demonstrators.
Then, some nude Harvard students took matters into their own hands by cleverly running in the opposite direction of where the protesters were standing. This maneuver was a slight breach of Harvard Yard streaking etiquette because it was the wrong direction, but it totally worked. The entire group of streakers followed.
At the end of the first Primal Scream lap, the protesters and the streakers met again. Some streakers chanted “Black lives matter.” Others hurled obscenities at the protesters.
The demonstrators ended up very unhappy that they failed to co-opt the traditional Primal Scream for their own political ends.
“For people to say black lives matter, and for the crowd to shout back ‘U.S.A.,’ which is upholding a system that is oppressing black people, I think that that is problematic,” senior protest organizer Amanda D. Bradley whined to the Crimson.
“I think that for many students of color, particularly black students, there’s always a fear of what white retaliation looks like,” added another senior, Sasanka N. Jinadasa.
On her Facebook page, Jinadasa’s likes include “Dont Touch My Hair And Phone,” “Arianna Huffington,” “Trans United For Obama,” “SlutWalk La” and “Her Cosmetic Samples.”
Meanwhile, Primal Scream runners expressed confusion.
“It killed me that I had no knowledge of the four-and-a-half minute silence,” junior Emily Savage told the campus rag. “And I think I speak for so many students when I say that it’s so unfortunate.”