Sit down, Harvard Law School students. I have something to tell you, and it’s going to make you sad. You are privileged. You are as privileged as it gets. Maybe your parents, your friends, your relatives, suffered from racism, sexism, whatever -ism gets your motor racing, but not you.
You beat the system. You will graduate from Harvard Law, provided you don’t fuck it up along the way, and the world will be your oyster. You will have a job. Not just a job, but a job that will pay you oodles of money, far more than you’re worth, if you decide to go in that direction.
If you want to change the world, you’ll get a job doing whatever flavor of social justice tastes good to you. Or a clerkship! And maybe, just maybe, you will find yourself in front of the Senate some day explaining how baseball works.
Whatever. You won. You got the brass ring. You are privileged.
And then, you boneheaded infants, you went and blew it. You call your group “Reclaim Harvard Law.” and you “explain” why you exist with pictures of kids holding white boards with slogans, as was used with the “I’m a feminist because” meme. This pitch sucks.
It’s not just that such insipid crap is unpersuasive, but that it tells us that Harvard Law students today are morons who can’t distinguish between sound reasons and infantile nonsense. If you think this is persuasive, then I don’t want you in my firm. I don’t want you anywhere near my clients. You suck at persuasion.
No, no. Don’t get up. We’re not done.
That you have no clue what constitutes a sound argument is only one piece of the puzzle that goes into being a lawyer. The other is the ability to craft an effective strategy to accomplish your goals. So Reclaim Harvard Law (and how is it “reclaim,” since there was no “claim”?) occupies the lounge at Wasserstein Hall and has “renamed” it Belinda Hall, in honor of Belinda Royall? If she was alive today, she’d smack you upside the head.
Belinda Hall is dedicated to Belinda Royall, who in 1783, at 63 years old, petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts asserting her right to compensation for her years of enslavement by Isaac Royall. We want to celebrate this early radical woman of color.
Here you are, at Harvard Law School, and instead of learning to become lawyers, instead of grasping that brass ring and making the most of it, you think it’s more effective to whine about how they want to teach you law instead of critical race theory? Belinda Royall had the good sense to seek compensation, and had a lawyer there to help her. If she were alive today, she wouldn’t want your help, because you’ve got nothing to offer. She needed someone tough and bold to represent her, not whiners complaining about their fragile feelings of oppression while enjoying (and denying) their huge privilege.
But then, lawyers’ arguments are challenged. That’s the nature of the adversary system, which might have been explained to you if Prof. Kingsfield was still the ideal of a Harvard law prof. But being challenged is “against your wishes.”
But on Monday, there was a new message—one equating the movement with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, claiming that both Trump and Reclaim are anti-free speech.
The signs were posted by third-year student Bill Barlow, who has been a vocal opponent of perceived censorship by Reclaim HLS. Barlow believes some of the protestors’ demands impinge on academic freedom and stifle dissent—a conviction this incident reaffirmed for him.
Barlow believes? Is this a mystery, that censoring disagreeable thoughts stifles dissent? Damn, you Harvard kids are sharp as tacks. Nothing gets past you. Well, almost nothing.
Because of Harvard’s status as a federally tax-exempt educational institution under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, it is required to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elected public office. The Trump sign, Dean Sells explained to Barlow, might run afoul of these obligations.
Okay, so the Harvard Law curriculum no longer includes tax law, because this is absolutely idiotic. It’s understandable, though, since there’s no space for tax law in a schedule of Law and Queer Gender Studies, Law and The Oppression of Pronouns and Law and Intersectional Therapeutism. Something had to give.
Sit down. I’m not done yet.
So your solution to having been outed as censors was to create a “safe space” for people to place their signs that say unpleasant things about your “cause”?
— Josh Craddock (@joshjcraddock) April 1, 2016
You made the “privileged” section too small, kids. You are the privileged. Want proof? No grown-up has come in, grabbed you by your ear, and dragged you to that gate that only goes out.
And if you want to rename the building, pass around the plate so you can give Wasserstein back the money. You may have gotten a free ride at the most privileged law school in town, but you don’t get a free ride on enjoying a donor’s largesse without appreciation.
But a little free advice. Let go of the name, because the cost of repaying Bruce Wasserstein’s estate the $25 million he donated won’t be worth it when you find out that, for the first time, nobody wants to hire Harvard Law students. Why? Because you’re going to make remarkably shitty lawyers. You don’t have the chops. You don’t have skills. You’re just not good at it, as this foray into social justice wonderland conclusively proves. Save your pennies, kids, as you’re going to need them.
Now you can go.