Email Scandals, Harvard Law Review, Minority Issues, Racism, Reader Polls, Richard Posner

Was the Harvard Email Racist? Was it Offensive?
Take Our Reader Polls

If you’re tired of reading about the Harvard Law School email controversy — judging from our traffic and comment levels, most of you aren’t, but maybe some of you are — we have some good news. Our coverage is winding down. (We do have a few loose ends to tie up, though, which may take us into the weekend or early next week.)

Before we conclude, we’d like to hear from you, our readers. We’ve heard from the commenters, of course — but many readers never comment, so the commenters aren’t representative of everyone.

Reader polls, which draw much larger participation than the comments, offer a better gauge of audience sentiment. We’d like to poll you on two questions:

(1) Was Crimson DNA’s email racist?

(2) Was Crimson DNA’s email offensive?

Please vote in our two reader polls, after the jump.

As you may have noticed, your three editors have very different views on the email. Kash, who wrote our first post on this topic, found the email to be racist. Elie declared it very racist.

In contrast to my co-editors, I did NOT think it was racist. And I’ve taken some heat for my defense of Crimson DNA.

But I stand by my position — and I think I’m in good company. Does the name Richard Posner ring a bell?

Over at the Boston Globe’s Brainiac blog, Christopher Shea points out:

[Crimson DNA] is near graduation and likely headed to a more congenial environment, the appellate bench. None other than Judge Richard Posner, it turns out, of the seventh circuit, has written with similar open-mindedness about the possibility of a racial IQ gap.

In “Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline,” Posner defended Charles Murray and Harvard’s Richard Herrstein, authors of “The Bell Curve,” writing that their discussion of race and IQ was, at worst, a “rhetorical mistake.” There ought to be nothing controversial, Posner continued, about the propositions that 1) a black-white IQ gap exists and 2) it has genetic as well as sociological roots.

(For additional commentary that I largely agree with, see the Harvard Email Controversy tag over at the Volokh Conspiracy.)

Anyway, enough of my poisoning the jury pool. Here are the polls:

About that Harvard Law “email on race” [Brainiac / Boston Globe]
Racist Harvard Emailer [Feministe]
Harvard Email Controversy [Volokh Conspiracy]

Earlier: Harvard Law School 3L’s Racist Email Goes National
The Harvard Law School ‘Racist’ Email Controversy: Corrections and More Commentary
Harvard Law School BLSA and the Banality of Evil

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