A View from an Incoming Harvard 1L

Here’s a message that I got in response to the earlier posts on the Harvard e-mail controversy. I do not know the author personally, but I thought it was worth passing along; I certainly saw no cues suggesting that it was insincere or otherwise not credible:

I wish I were a tenured professor, and was able to say reasonable and true things freely, like the idea that things that haven’t been proven yet remain unproven.

Instead, I’m an incoming student at Harvard Law next year. And even though I’m neither interested in nor well-informed about the IQ-race correlation debate, I am scared to even mention my opinion on the subject to my friends or roommates, or ask them about it. I have no idea what I would say if someone asked me if I could categorically rule out the possibility that there was a correlation between race and IQ… but the funny thing is, I have no idea what anyone would say. The reasonable thing to say has been tabooed.

And I wish that I could write an op-ed or something about it, except I realize that if this is the reaction to stating these kinds of ideas in a forwarded private e-mail, imagine what people would say about a published argument…

And I wish I could send this email to Dean Minow instead of you, except that I know now that she doesn’t seem to condemn or criticize the forwarding of private emails, and I don’t know where it would end up, and I realize that it is privately rational for me to just shut up and pretend I agree with everyone else, and I wonder how many people are doing that….

(I assumed from context, and confirmed in a follow-up e-mail, that by “IQ-race correlation” the author means a correlation between race and genetic components of intelligence, not just race and IQ measured after some amount of socialization.)

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