Posted on April 28, 2010

Harvard Law School 3L’s Racist Email Goes National

Kashmir Hill, Breaking Media (New York), April 28, 2010


{snip} According to our sources, DNA [“Crimson DNA,” not the writer’s real name] made some controversial comments about race at a dinner held by the school’s Federalist Society. CORRECTION: This dinner was not an official Fed Soc dinner. [FN1]

After the dinner, DNA felt the need to send an email to a few friends clarifying those views. Here’s an excerpt:

I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent. I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances. The fact is, some things are genetic. African Americans tend to have darker skin. Irish people are more likely to have red hair.

One of the 3Ls to receive that email, available in full after the jump, was very upset by it. We’ll call this student CRIMSON OUTRAGE. OUTRAGE arranged for the email to be sent out to the Harvard Black Law Student Association list-serv, including DNA’s name and the fact that after graduation, the author will be doing a federal clerkship.

After that, the email went viral, apparently circulating to BLSAs across the country. There are now plans to try to go after DNA’s clerkship. . . .


We got the email multiple times last night, from lots of first-time tipsters horrified that a person at Harvard Law School with a federal clerkship offer in hand holds such views. {snip}


Another tipster said there would be repercussions:

{snip}Harvard’s BLSA sent the email, along with CRIMSON DNA’s name and information, to the BLSAs at other Top 14 schools. The BLSAs are meeting to discuss what should be done about this and judging from the craziness on the listservs and at meetings, this is going to get ugly. They want to go after her clerkship offer, so this one might make the news.

As troubling as DNA’s view may be, it’s troubling that OUTRAGE and the Harvard BLSA identified the person by name in the emails that went out. {snip}


We invite you to continue the conversation in the comments, but we ask that you not out any of those involved.