The Situationist

Jon Hanson & Jacob Lipton Respond To Randall Kennedy’s “Black Tape” Op-ed

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 1, 2015

Randall KennedyFrom the Justice Blog:

In the spirit of fostering a community-wide conversation, we wanted to respond to Randall Kennedy’s provocative op-ed.

Although Randy is unperturbed by the black tape recently placed over his photograph, he is quite concerned about something else: the potentially destructive effects of taking the outrage and demands of some students at Harvard Law School – and at universities around the country – too seriously.

These students perceive racism not only on the walls of Harvard Law School but also in its history, culture, curriculum, and personnel. Having asked some of those students to explain “with as much particularity as possible” the sources of their discontent, Randy is largely unconvinced. Some of their “complaints” may have “a ring of validity,” but others “are dubious.” True, their “accusations warrant close examination and may well justify further reforms,” but his primary concern is with the intensity and unintended consequences of their grievances. On the pages of The New York Times, he cautions those youngsters to avoid “exaggerat[ing] the scope of the racism” or “minimizing their own strength and the victories that they and their forebears have already achieved.”

Read their full essay here.

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