Gregory H. Shill is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law. Slightly less ancient, however, is the fact that a 33-year-old Obama routinely assigned works authored by Bell—including the latter’s racialist interpretations of seminal civil-rights cases—as required readings in the courses he taught at the University of Chicago Law School in 1994.
Yes, Tribe is the worst example of a law school professor today. All told, there are 49 addresses and 16 different Social Security numbers listed for a person whose name is spelled Barack Obama.” In some cases, the middle initial H” is listed. Only after requests for transparency from Reclaim Harvard Law did the administration issue another statement acknowledging the second recorder and the multiple Velcro discoveries late last night.
V. Amend student evaluations to account for implicit bias and include questions regarding whether professors contextualize material. We respectfully ask that the Reclaim Harvard Law School movement amend their demands accordingly, and that the administration take this concern into account before making any decisions.
Although we appreciate your efforts in effectuating symbolic change with the removal of the Royall family crest, our concerns regarding substantive institutional change at Harvard Law School have gone unaddressed. We will continue to promote the availability of such opportunities for all students.
Even though 45 percent of Harvard Law’s faculty appointments during the preceding decade had gone to minorities and women, none was both black and female—hence Professor Bell’s objection.11 Bell’s students dutifully echoed the professor’s mantra, bleating that they desperately needed black women role models” to help them combat the status quo” that was dominated by white men.” When Harvard’s dean stated that no attempt to increase diversity” should override the University’s commitment to academic excellence, the protesters called his position highly insulting to blacks” and symbolic of the elitism of Harvard.”12 It is reasonable to assume that Barack Obama, who helped galvanize campus support for Derrick Bell’s crusade on behalf of black women, more or less shared these views.