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Harvard Police Investigating Racist, Anti-Semitic Email Sent to Students, Bacow

Massachusetts Hall
Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard.

The Harvard University Police Department is investigating an email containing a litany of racist and antisemitic statements that was sent to University President Lawrence S. Bacow and multiple College students Monday.

The email, which was addressed to Bacow, was sent from an account under the name ‘Jamal West’ set up through Hushmail, a Canadian encrypted email service. It called on the College to reverse its decision to rescind its admission of Parkland shooting survivor and gun rights activist Kyle Kashuv over racist comments he made in high school.

The sender made multiple racist statements and used slurs against African-American, Chinese, and Jewish people in the email. Several of the College’s Diversity Peer Educators, at least one other College student, and at least one College alumnus received the email.

College administrators alerted HUPD to the message Monday, according to Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane. HUPD spokesperson Steven Catalano confirmed in an email that police had been alerted to the email and that the incident is currently under investigation.

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University spokesperson Jason A. Newton wrote in an emailed statement that the University is “committed to ensuring an environment where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.”

“Harvard is strengthened by the rich diversity of individuals, ideas and ideals that make up our community,” he wrote. “However, speech that attempts to marginalize people based on their identities is beneath contempt.”

—Staff writer Molly C. McCafferty can be reached at molly.mccafferty@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @mollmccaff.

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