In a recent Facebook post, Mike Rowe, the host of “Dirty Jobs,” took aim at Harvard University’s practice of hosting “affinity celebrations” for students, labeling them as a form of “segregation.” The university announced its intention to allow students to commemorate their graduation with separate events based on racial and ethnic identities.

Rowe’s Facebook post challenged the notion of celebrating diversity through separate events, questioning the wisdom of encouraging students to segregate themselves based on their backgrounds. He wryly remarked, “What better way to celebrate Harvard’s rich commitment to diversity, then by encouraging diverse groups to celebrate separately?” He further emphasized the irony by drawing a parallel between Harvard’s “affinity celebrations” and historical segregation practices, stating, “I’m old enough to remember when this was called ‘segregation.’ At Harvard, they call it ‘affinity.’”

Highlighting the list of events such as “The Latinix Celebration, The Black Celebration, The Arab Celebration, The Jewish Celebration, The Lavender Celebration” among others, Rowe expressed his astonishment at the categorization of celebrations based on racial and ethnic identities. He particularly noted the inclusion of “The First-Generation Low-Income Celebration” as his “personal favorite,” underscoring the absurdity of segregating celebrations along such lines.

Rowe’s post also shed light on his foundation, mikeroweWORKS, which prioritizes the importance of skilled labor and remains indifferent to factors like race, nationality, or gender. Emphasizing the foundation’s focus on values such as personal responsibility, work ethic, and positivity, Rowe underscored his commitment to promoting principles that lead to success in life and career, irrespective of external characteristics.

Despite Rowe’s critique of Harvard’s practices, he faced pushback from some individuals who defended the university’s affinity celebrations. One commenter argued that segregation is not mandatory, unlike the optional nature of the affinity celebrations, to which Rowe reiterated his stance on the inherent problems with organized celebrations based on race.

Another commenter accused Rowe of being out of touch with the struggles faced by marginalized communities, to which Rowe responded by reaffirming his commitment to treating all individuals with respect and emphasizing personal responsibility over external factors.

In closing, Rowe urged others to focus on celebrating meaningful aspects of life and encouraged a shift away from divisive practices. His comments underscored the importance of inclusivity and respect for individual dignity, regardless of race, ethnicity, or any other characteristic beyond an individual’s control. As the debate continues, Rowe’s message serves as a reminder of the enduring value of unity and understanding in a diverse society.