On May 11, the Harvard Crimson reported that Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana informed Winthrop House residents by email that morning that he would not renew Sullivan and Robinson — both of whom teach at Harvard Law School and will keep their positions there — as Winthrop faculty deans. The first African Americans to head one of Harvard’s 12 residential houses, Sullivan and Robinson had served in that position for 10 years.
The trouble began in January when Professor Sullivan — faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute and the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop — announced that he would serve on the legal team representing film producer Harvey Weinstein, who faces criminal charges of rape and other sexual misconduct (Sullivan left Weinstein’s defense team on Friday, May 10, the day before Dean Khurana made public his decision). Students protested angrily. They claimed that Sullivan caused them to feel unsafe by taking Weinstein as a client. They alleged that Sullivan’s decision was “trauma-inducing.” They demanded his ouster on the grounds that he had rendered himself unfit to lead Winthrop House.
Sullivan emailed Winthrop House students to explain that it was the duty of defense lawyers in the American criminal justice system to represent those accused of crimes, including those who are unpopular. “It is particularly important for this category of unpopular defendant to receive the same process as everyone else – perhaps even more important,” Sullivan wrote. “To the degree we deny unpopular defendants basic due process rights we cease to be the country we imagine ourselves to be.”
Several left-liberal Harvard Law School professors have testified to the gravity of Harvard’s most recent betrayal of traditional liberal principles. Likening the firing of Sullivan and Robinson to the dismissal of lawyers who, in his student days, represented communists and civil rights activists, Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz wrote that “[f]eeling ‘unsafe’ is the new mantra for the new McCarthyism.” According to Dershowitz, “[i]t is a totally phony argument not deserving of any serious consideration. Any student who feels unsafe in the presence of two distinguished lawyers doesn’t belong at a university.” In any event, the claim is not credible, he maintains, “since the students apparently did not feel ‘unsafe’ when Sullivan was representing a convicted double murderer.”
In a New York Times op-ed, law professor Randall Kennedy asserted that in his 34 years at Harvard the university “has never so thoroughly embarrassed itself as it did” in dismissing Sullivan and Robinson from Winthrop House. To Kennedy’s dismay, “Harvard College appears to have ratified the proposition that it is inappropriate for a faculty dean to defend a person reviled by a substantial number of students — a position that would disqualify a long list of stalwart defenders of civil liberties and civil rights, including Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall.” This, according to Kennedy, was not a mere misunderstanding. “Some high-ranking administrators have clearly been guided by an affinity for the belief that Mr. Sullivan’s representation of Mr. Weinstein constituted a betrayal of enlightened judgment,” Kennedy writes. “Others have simply been willing to be mau-maued.”
Harvard’s renowned constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe tweeted, “I agree fully with my colleague Randall Kennedy’s denunciation of Harvard University’s mistreatment of my colleagues Ronald Sullivan and Stephanie Robinson. Of the many blunders Harvard has made in my 50 years as a professor here, I recall none worse.”
It's worse than worse, Larry. It's just one more step in the march of "wokeness" toward an American Cultural Revolution. And the leaders of our institutions have been corrupted - poisoned - into supporting it.
Is this next for the insufficiently woke?
The Cultural Revolution didn't work out so well in China, and it won't work well here. If you are unfamiliar with Mao's fabulous idea, grab a quick education here.
What we are seeing in our country now is a slow motion cultural revolution. The rise of wokeness, the enforced confusion of sex and gender roles, the rise of illogical and pernicious theories like Critical Race Theory, all point to a huge oncoming conflict with those who would, in true Orwellian fashion, force their insane ideologies on the rest of us. It's a conflict between those who adhere to the concepts of human nature and political organization outlined by our country's founders in the Constitution and related documents, and those of the far, far left, who seem to seek nothing but naked power over everything, even logic and truth.