Did Harvard Investigate Conservative Students?

A group of conservatives at Harvard Law School set up a web site called Royall Asses to mock left-wing law students who were making absurd demands on the administration, occupying a law school building, and so on. In particular, the Royall Asses students made cogent arguments, which we wrote about here and elsewhere, that proved it was almost certain that an alleged “hate crime” at the law school was actually a hoax perpetrated by leftists.

This apparently was too much for the law school’s administration. The Royall Asses students have obtained emails that were circulated among leftist students, including this one:

My dad works in DC and one suggestion he had for tracing anonymous threats was reach out to the FBI. The local police just don’t have the tech capability to trace anonymous threats over the internet.

AJ, Mawuse, and Brian: if I have your permission, I will also ask the FBI to consider monitoring the Royall Asses blog.

To be clear, the Royall Asses students never threatened anyone. This email followed on December 8:

Brian and I met with Dean Sells, Tracy Daley, and Jeff McNaught at 10am this morning. We wanted to find out what our options are if we have safety or wellbeing concerns for any staff, students, or professors in the movement.

1. Electronic concerns: The “Coalition for Racial Justice at HLS” Blogger Blog, The “Royall Asses” WordPress Blog, the “Nigger” email to professors.

The head of HLS IT and HUPD are looking into finding out who is behind the blogs and the email.

Dean Sells is Dean of Students Marcia Sells, a leftist. Tracey-Ann Daley is the law school’s Coordinator of Student Activities, and Jeff McNaught is Director of Student Affairs. HLS IT is, of course, the office of information technology at the law school, and HUPD is the Harvard University Police Department.

Did the law school’s administration really enlist its IT department and Harvard’s police department to try to identify the students behind the Royall Asses web site? We don’t know this for certain, but this is what the left-wing student who met with Dean Sells and other law school officials reported that they told her.

If true, this is seriously troubling. The Royall Asses authors committed no offense, except to the dignity of far-left campus movements. They used humor, facts and sharp analysis to expose what almost certainly was a hoax, but was being treated by the Dean of the Law School, Martha Minow, as evidence that Harvard has a serious problem with racism. (Dean Minow’s investigation faded out without identifying the perpetrators of the incident, presumably because it became apparent that the guilty parties were liberals perpetrating a fraud.) This, perhaps, is an offense that liberal university administrators can’t abide.

If the law school’s administration really did take cyber steps to identify the Royall Asses authors, the contrast with their handling of left-wing anti-Semite Husam El-Qoulaq is shocking. At a public forum at the law school, El-Qoulaq repeatedly asked a former Israeli Foreign Minister why she is so “smelly.” That a student at Harvard Law School should do such a thing is almost inconceivable, but it happened. It should have been grounds for immediate expulsion, but instead, the law school went out of its way to protect El-Qoulaq’s identity, going so far as to release a video of the event from which his attack on the Israeli minister was deleted.

Protecting a vicious and public anti-Semite, while trying to expose students who mocked leftists and their pretensions? Is that really what Harvard Law School has come to? While not all the facts are known, and action may yet be taken against El-Qoulaq, at present that does seem to be the case.