Silvana tackles the basics of the Harvard e-mailer Stephanie Grace below, and highlights it as an example of the need for empathy in a law school system that prioritizes logic first. I'd go even further and say that Grace's statements are not logical at all.
Grace assumes faulty science as underlying fact and uses a discursive style to give her "argument" the sheen of rationality, but she's just using fancy language to justify the racist conclusion she's already reached. Some things are just wrong. Unfortunately, in some worlds, the underlying facts of an argument are valued less than argument for argument's sake. Because of this, elite schools can foster the kind of environment that makes students think they can be coddled for saying something stupid because dialogue is overvalued. Jill FIlipovic's post at Feministe was
so spot on in this regard.
Also, I think there's a strong argument for her to lose her reported clerkship with Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski. For some, this is just a question of whether her career should be derailed over one e-mail. And there's also the response that, while Grace is entitled to her opinion, she somehow has a right to not be held accountable for that opinion. From Above the Law, the blog that broke the story:
We won’t say her life is ruined, but it’s certainly not been a good week. People have emailed the judge she’s rumored to be clerking for. She has issued an apology. And the Harvard Law School dean has issued a statement, distancing the school from DNA’s views. And hell, it’s finals time.
Grace is possibly about to launch a career in the public sector which, frankly, makes her an employee -- and steward -- of the general population. And I don't want to hire her. I suppose it's remotely possible that there's such a thing as a government agency where issues of racial justice do not matter, but the federal justice system is definitely not that place.
-- Monica Potts
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(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)