Merely a week after this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, history and anthropology double major James Jacobson discovered a tattered black and white photograph wedged in a biography of Father Edward Sorin on the thirteenth floor of the library, where Father Ted Hesburgh’s former office resides. The photo depicts former Notre Dame president Father Ted Hesburgh and the Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. singing and holding hands at a civil rights rally in 1964. This was a groundbreaking discovery, as it had previously never been seen by the general public.
“This photo changes everything, I can’t believe the Notre Dame student body hasn’t been made aware of this yet,” Jacobson remarked. “No longer can people say that Notre Dame isn’t diverse or racially inclusive, because we have photographic evidence that our former president was not racist, so that means that no one else at Notre Dame is racist either.”
Jacobson has sent copies of the photo to Father Jenkins and several other important professors in an effort to spread awareness of its existence. Since then, the university is doing its best to promulgate the photo. Possible places administration is considering displaying the photo include on napkins in the dining halls, in emails to students completely unrelated to civil rights issues, and in all pamphlets for prospective students. Rumor has it that Jenkins is debating whether or not to have a large scale replica of the photo painted across the Dome.
“The importance of this picture cannot be underestimated,” commented Jenkins. “We’ve noticed that many of our students are victims of ‘white guilt’ because they believe that our campus offers disproportionate opportunities to whites than we do to minorities. This is false, and this photo proves that because Father Hesburgh once held hands with a black man, we cannot possibly be criticized for our lack of diversity.”
Jenkins, paused and muttered something under his breath that sounded like, “It’ll also come in handy when anyone tries to bring up Hesburgh’s discrimination against LGBT students in the 90’s.” Jacobson regrets that he did not make this discovery in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day or the “Community Luncheon” held by Notre Dame on Monday, but he remains optimistic about the future.
“Now that we have made such an incredible discovery, we know that it’s possible we could find other old photos or documents that we can use to justify our shortcomings as a university,” Jacobson said enthusiastically. “Who knows? Maybe next we’ll find a letter from Father Basil Moreau addressed to a lesbian woman!”
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