Harvard students

Black, Female Harvard Students Say School Did Not Protect Them After Racist, Sexist Threats

Four first-year Harvard Law School students say that the school hasn’t taken seriously “racist taunts about affirmative action and intelligence” and “body-shaming” language, including personal insults, sent to them by another student.

The messages were sent from an anonymous person, though the students told Buzzfeed News they think they know who the sender is, to black and female students between December 2018 and March 2019.

Of the 80 students in the section of the school, nine are Black and 21 are other minorities. The first student to receive a threatening text message was one of the Black students, Mo Light.

Two of the Black students who were sent the messages said they feel the attacks were racially motivated.

“In the era of school shootings, in this era of white supremacy, really, and the violence and anger that goes along with that, I think it was our duty as students to bring this forward,” One of the students, Chelsea Rooney, told Buzzfeed News. “It would have been really irresponsible for us to receive these messages, know that someone is exhibiting really bizarre behavior, and not say anything.”

However, the Dean of Students for Harvard Law School, Marcia Lynn Sells, who is Black, does not agree.

Related Article: Harvard University is Profiting from Photos of Slaves: Lawsuit

Sells told Buzzfeed that none of the messages that the students received “threaten[ed] any type of violence” though there is an ongoing investigation. However, she won’t reveal any details or progress.

The first image ever sent was to a Black male student named Mo Light. The message is clearly racist and threatening.

“You know you don’t belong here. You’re just here because of affirmative action. Why even try,” the sender wrote, “Everyone thinks you’re a joke. but I guess your section is lucky to have a curve boost.”

Light was just one of many students who reported the messages and said that no action was taken in their defense. Light said he thinks that he and another Black student were specifically targeted because they were the “most outspoken, most proudly Black students in the section.”

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