When students at Harvard Law School awoke and walked to classes on Thursday, they were reportedly greeted with the defaced photographs of black tenured professors at the school.
Michele Hall, a Harvard first-year law student, explained on Blavity.com that the hallways at Harvard are lined with photographs of every tenured professor in the history of the school.
But at some point early on Thursday, somebody put black tape over the faces of all the black professors’ photographs. To Hall, that action constituted a hate crime.
“The portraits of black professors, the ones that bring me and so many other black students feelings of pride and promise, were defaced,” she wrote.
“Their faces were covered with a single piece of black tape, crossing them out of Harvard Law School’s legacy of legal scholarship. Their faces were slashed through, X-ing them out, marking them as maybe unwanted or maybe unworthy or maybe simply too antithetical to the legacy of white supremacy on which Harvard Law School has been built.”
The founder of Blavity, Morgan DeBaun, posted a photo of a defaced photo:
— Morgan DeBaun (@MorganDeBaun) November 19, 2015
The alleged hate crime comes amid upheaval and claims of systemic racism at colleges across the nation.
Yale University has been embroiled in student-led protests over pervasive racism, and students have called for the resignation of administration members who they say are creating a dangerous environment.
Students have banded together, staging rallies, writing op-eds, and debating with Yale administrators to demand sweeping changes at the school.
But there are equally staunch opponents who rave ripped into the students, calling their protests out of line and an affront to free speech.
Bill Barlow, a third-year law student at Harvard, wrote an op-ed calling certain Yale protesters “fascists.”
“This recent movement of university students to use administrative procedures to punish speech with which they disagree should be called by its rightful name: proto-fascism,” Barlow wrote in the Harvard Law Record.
And former Harvard Law professor and leading proponent of civil liberties, Alan
Dershowitz, has called the student protesters “tyrannical” and hypocritical in their demands.
“The last thing these students want is diversity,” Dershowitz told Business Insider.
“They may want superficial diversity, because for them diversity is a code word for ‘more of us.’ They don’t want more conservatives, they don’t want more white students, they don’t want more heterosexuals.”
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