Racial tensions seem to be mounting on college campuses across the U.S lately. Sadly, even the most highly regarded institutions of higher learning have not been able to escape the illusion that something is just not right on campus. At a school where people go to practice law and uphold the rights of others, it’s jarring to the senses to hear the words “hate crime” mentioned when not taking a test or talking research.
Students at Harvard Law woke up yesterday morning to what some perceive as a “hate crime”. Until the perpetrator(s) are caught however we will not know the actual meaning behind the debasement of photos of black professors. Following a rally held on Wednesday on campus in support of black students around the country and with demands of their own, the students at Harvard Law woke up yesterday to the sight of several portraits with black strips of tape placed diagonally over the faces of black faculty. The portraits in question are on the first floor of Wasserstein Hall, which houses two hallways with more than 180 framed portraits of law professors.
The school’s dean scheduled a community meeting Thursday in response to the discovery of the defaced portraits.
“The Harvard University Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime,” the school said in a statement. “The HLS community gathered at noon to listen to one another, to share our concerns, experiences and perspectives, and to address ways to move forward.
Expressions of hatred are abhorrent, whether they are directed at race, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, religion, or any other targets of bigotry. Here at HLS, we are focused on efforts to improve our community, examining structures that may contribute to negative experiences of any members of our community, and pursuing opportunities where the School can both change and support change.”