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Davis Denounced at Med School Rally

25 Attend Committee Against Racism Rally

By Joseph Straus

A small group of protesters rallied outside the Medical School yesterday to denounce recent allegations about minority students made by Bernard D. Davis '36, Lehman Professor of Bacterial Physiology.

While about 25 members of the Committee Against Racism circled in front of the entrance to the Med School Quad chanting slogans and passing out leaflets, a series of speakers attacked Davis, calling him a "racist."

In a recent article, Davis alleged that certain minority medical students with "substandard academic qualifications" have lowered standards at medical schools.

Robert M. Leonhardt '65, an organizer of the rally, made several analogies between Davis's views and Nazi doctrines, and other demonstrators made similar analogies in speeches and protest signs.

Davis last week denied any racist motivation, stating, "I' not peddling a racist doctrine."

He also said in a statement this week he is not criticizing performance of minority students as a group and recognizes the fundamental success of minority programs in medical schools.

The rally was attended by Steven Rosenthal, assistant professor of sociology at Boston State College, which recently denied him tenure for what some observers have called "political reasons." He said he helped organize yesterday's rally to "bring out the importance of how dangerous Davis's ideas are."

Like each of the other seven speakers, Leonhardt proceeded quickly from his attack on Davis a more general critique of American society, saying that Davis's views were symptomatic of a pervasive national racism.

Ronalde Locke, a member of CAR, called the Medical School "a bastion of racist ideology," and contended that the United States in "trying to make up for loss of profits" by exploitation of minorities.

John L. Springs, a technician at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, said "We're going to smash [Davis] for the lies he tells," leading the protestors to chant, "Davis, you liar, we'll set your ass on fire."

Yesterday's rally was part of the continuing reaction to Davis's claims. On Tuesday, President Bok said that he finds "no basis for any implication that minority students are less than fully qualified."

Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, associate dean for student affairs at the Med School, read Bok's statement at a rally of approximately 250 people at the Med School.

Poussaint also read a statement from Dr. Robert H. Ebert, dean of the Med School, which called Davis's contention that the quality of medical students has diminished in recent year "irresponsible" because of the general implications it has for all minority students.

Nancy Scollard '63, a Divinity School student and a member of CAR, said that the turnout was "not bad" for reading period. About six of the demonstrators attend Harvard.

As the demonstration progressed, pedestrians continued to straggle by, but almost no one stopped to listen as each speaker kept the bullhorn pointed out toward the traffic on Longwood Ave.

At 5:30 p.m., the speeches ended and the small group wandered slowly down the street chanting slogans, hands clenched against the May chill, and soon dispersed. A few minutes later, the police also drove away.

George Doucette, a Boston police sergeant, said of the demonstration, "We like them kind of small. It makes our job easier."

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