Saturday, May 18, 2002

racism at harvard

Somehow it's appropriate that debate concerning race be examined under a microscope at a lawschool. Professors and students spend so much time focusing upon the outside world that problems close-at-hand are sometimes easily ignored:
It took nerve for first-year Harvard Law student Tel Cary-Sadler to deliver a two-minute speech before 80 students during his torts class, blasting his professor for making racist comments and requesting a public apology. Students at this 180-year-old law school -- in a rare position of priviledge -- are better known for putting aside their personal needs to get the ultimate designer degree than confronting senior faculty. For Cary-Sadler, who took the chance, nervy or not, that apology will never come.
A debate regarding academic freedom and anti-harassment rules? Maybe the school is over-intellectualizing the problem. Maybe it just comes down to treating other people with dignity, regardless of their nationality, race, or gender. And if a lawschool professor doesn't understand that when he or she is spouting-off about the need to protect "academic freedom," then maybe they don't understand that any freedom at all comes with a level of responsibility attached to it.