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Mansfield Is Wrong



The staff rightly critiques Mansfield's detractors but fails to discuss the full context for their protest. Mansfield's claim that affirmative action is undermining Harvard's commitment to academic excellence is patently absurd. By a variety of indicators, from rising admissions standards to the recruitment of acclaimed faculty, Harvard's academic brilliance seems to be intensifying, not decreasing.

Furthermore, Mansfield's remarks about black students being capable seemed rather patronizing and insincere, especially because in a recent New York Times Magazine article, he indicated that he believed that too many black students were enrolled here. Most noxious of all was Mansfield's offhand insinuation that blacks might have genetic intellectual deficiencies. Like most of Mansfield's statements about race, his recent essay was so ridiculous that it reeked of racism. The staff should have pointed out that Mansfield's ignorance and bigoted blather caused this latest controversy in the first place.

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