Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow apologized Saturday for making a comparison about the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery in the United States, to Harvard's fundraising efforts with donors.

Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III joined Boston Public Radio on Monday to discuss this issue and its implications with historical accuracy.

"You would think that this gentleman wouldn't juxtapose wealthy donors to being shackled to the whole notion of the 13th Amendment," Monroe said. "He really displayed historical ignorance, and this isn't something you expect from such a premiere institution."

Bacow's comment is just the tip of Harvard's historical involvement with slavery, Price noted.

"It was beyond a slip. It was not only tone-deaf, but revisionist history," Price said. "Harvard University's endowment is so large because of folks who used slave life-insurance policies to cash in when slaves died."

This is only one example of the issue of ignorance at large, Monroe said.

"What it really shows is that you can go to the best schools and be lauded as the one of the most intelligent people, but when it comes to understanding American history, it is bereft of understanding marginalized people," she said.

"I don't think that [Bacow] is a bad man or a racist, but I think he's like most white Americans, who don't have an understanding of other disenfranchised people," Monroe said.

Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist and the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail and a visiting researcher in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology.

Price is professor of worship, church & culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Together they host the All Rev’d Up podcast, produced by WGBH.