The speech is Obama’s A More Perfect Union, which he only delivered when the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy blew up in the 2008 election. You may remember it as the speech where Obama said he could never disown Wright, before promptly throwing him under the bus.

What else is Harvard requiring freshmen to read? Let’s take a look.

John Leo of Minding the Campus has the story.

Harvard Tells the Freshmen What to Read

Harry Lewis, a professor and former dean of Harvard College, wrote yesterday that the texts Harvard freshmen are reading this year “are more politically correct and less challenging than they used to be.” Yes, it would seem so. Here are this year’s readings:

A More Perfect Union, Barack Obama

Whistling Vivaldi , Claude M. Steele

Choosing the Color of My Collar, David Tebaldi ’10

Every Asian American I Know Is Smart, Frank H. Wu

Who Is the Surgeon? , Chris Barrett, GSAS ’12

Psalm, Wislawa Szymborska

Demographic Snapshot of the Harvard Class of 2016 

The first thing to note is that the inclusion of President Obama’s famous speech carries a political  and partisan weight this year that it would not have had last year or next. Lewis writes: “Was there really no alternative to including the Obama text as required reading for all freshmen, two months before the first election in which many of them will vote?”

Worse, this year’s texts give new Harvard students clear clues on what grievances they ought to feel and which class and racial resentments are deemed proper on this famous campus. And the emphasis on stereotypes is heavy: Claude Steele’s depiction of stereotype threat as a reason for lack of success by many qualified women and minorities; Frank Wu’s complaint that Asian-Americans are conventionally stereotyped as smart and successful; David Tebaldi’s discomfort as a black student of humble means at Harvard confronted by bewildering expectations and, yes, stereotypes; and Chris Barrett’s rambling complaint that people always think of surgeons as male and heterosexual.