Portraits of Black Harvard Profs Defaced With Tape

Campus police investigating as a potential hate crime
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Guvner
Posted Nov 20, 2015 6:48 AM CST
Portraits of Black Harvard Profs Defaced With Tape
In this Aug. 1, 2005 file photo, a bicyclist walks by Langdell Hall, the Harvard Law Library, on the Harvard Law School campus in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Campus police are investigating what they say might be a hate crime at Harvard Law School: Someone put strips of black tape across several portraits of black professors outside a lecture hall on Thursday, reports WCVB. The scene appeared a day after students rallied in solidarity with those fighting racial injustices on other campuses across the country, reports the Boston Globe. "You see things like that and it hurts you," says the president of the Black Law Student Association. "This is some coward or somebody who thought this was an appropriate reaction. And it hurts." The New York Times reports the tape may have come from a separate protest: Some students placed tape over mats that included the law school's seal because it includes the crest of a slave-owning family.

"This is my portrait at Harvard Law School," a professor tweeted, per the Times, alongside a photo showing a piece of tape positioned across his face. The "saddened and angered" dean of Harvard Law School says university police are "investigating the incident as a hate crime." The black tape didn't stay in place for long, though, with notes of encouragement quickly replacing it. Among warm comments about each of the professors were the words, "We Love Our Black Faculty." "I think it's beautiful to see so many examples of love and collective uplift right now," says one student. Others have since voiced a number of concerns regarding race on campus, including that just 12 of 125 full-time faculty members are black. (More Harvard Law School stories.)

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