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Harvard tramples on constitutional rights

Melvin B. Miller

Academia creates an environment so distinct, that students are often ill-prepared to function effectively in the work-a-day world. College administrators would be wise to implement policies to prepare their students for the real world. Harvard University has wasted such an opportunity by failing to continue as faculty deans of Winthrop House both Professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife Stephanie Robinson, who is also on the faculty of the Harvard Law School.

It is important to note what they bring to their office. It is not unreasonable to conclude that many of the students admitted to Harvard are from families not acquainted with peer black families. The ability to relate to the deans and their children is a circumstance that is uncommon and useful as the country struggles with its race problems. There are social skills that many will have to acquire with the growing racial diversity.

According to reports, the fundamental reason for Professor Sullivan’s termination is that some students were offended by his willingness to serve as a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer who has been accused of rape. In the past, there was not criticism of Sullivan’s representing murderers and others accused of violent crimes. It is unjust and unseemly for Harvard to deny anyone accused of a crime his constitutional right to a lawyer of his choice.

Even though it might be officially denied, Harvard acted in support of the political campaign to end sex abuse, the MeToo movement. The college administration has demonstrated it believes that it is justified to deny the accused their rights when the accusation is offensive to them.

That attitude is responsible for much of the oppression and erroneous convictions in the criminal justice system. Harvard should never support such a position that violates the Constitution.

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