Phi Beta Cons

Missing: A Sense of Proportion

Last week, during the time of the academic term reserved for studying and finishing term papers, a noise complaint was made to the Harvard University Police Department after several dozen students held a raucous gathering on one of the campus’s yards.
HUPD arrived, asked to see students’ IDs, and asked them to “keep the noise down.”
Oh, and the students were black. And so began the campus’s latest indignation intermezzo: Based on nothing beyond supposition, the incident is being touted as proof of racism on campus. A rally has been held, a demonstration during Commencement is being contemplated, and the usual hysterics are having their say. 
The usual hysterics are not just confined to student and faculty radicals, but also Dr. Allen Counter, a Harvard administrator tasked with diversity issues. He told the rally:

This is an important step to take in what is clearly a racist community, in which police are allowed to use South African apartheid techniques to harass our students. If there had been 60 white students on the lawn, would police ride up on motorcycles with dark shades to make them show their IDs?

The comparison, of course, is just absurd: It demonstrates an ignorance of history and an out-of-whack sense of proportion.
A couple students have noted that Counter has previously insinuated a Jewish conspiracy in the campus press, and have called on him to apologize; he should probably do more than that, and show himself the door.

Travis Kavulla is director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute. He is a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners who held elected office as a Montana public service commissioner for eight years. Before that, he was an associate editor for National Review.