There are few student species more nakedly ambitious, focused, and future-oriented than the average Harvard law student. Having likely spent his undergraduate years planning admissions maximization strategies, he now has the Holy Grail almost within his grasp. Let him but graduate with a Harvard J.D. and he will face a wealth of job offers from prestigious law firms, government agencies, judicial clerkships, and businesses.
Yet according to student activists, as well as the media and Harvard law school dean Martha Minow, an as yet unknown Harvard law student has risked destroying everything he has so assiduously worked for in order to commit a childish act of defacement ready-made for labelling as a racial hate crime. On Thursday morning, black tape was found on the portraits of black professors in a Harvard law school building. The tape had allegedly been used previously to cover up the Harvard seal in its various iterations across campus in protest against the seal’s supposed racist connotations. The discovery of the taped portraits triggered the inevitable protests and a meeting with Dean Minow, who announced that racism is a “serious problem” at the Harvard law school and at Harvard University. The incident will be leveraged into the usual demands for an even larger and more useless diversity bureaucracy.
Perhaps there exists a Harvard law student so unable to control his impulses, or so clueless about today’s political environment, that he is willing to risk being expelled and banished from every high-powered job that would otherwise be available to him, simply in order to engage in a juvenile prank. But I am not betting on it. Don’t expect Harvard to disclose the outcome of its investigations into this latest “hate crime,” just as the UCLA law school never disclosed the outcome of its investigations into its own alleged hate crime a year ago.
In the meantime, perhaps Dean Minow could identify those faculty members or students responsible for creating the “serious problem” of racism in the law school, a problem that apparently outweighs the school’s incessant efforts to hire black professors and to admit as many plausibly qualified black students as it possibly can.