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Government Department Reviewing Gov 50 Student Concerns

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay works alongside other administrators in University Hall.
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay works alongside other administrators in University Hall. By Steve S. Li
By Kevin R. Chen, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: September 28, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Harvard’s Government department is reviewing allegations that Government preceptor David D. Kane authored racist blog posts after students wrote to Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay expressing concerns about the matter Friday.

“Thank you for reaching out and letting us know about the situation,” Gay wrote in response to the students. “We are looking into it now, and someone from my office will follow-up after we understand all of the details.”

Kane allegedly wrote the posts under the pseudonym “David Dudley Field ’25” on his website EphBlog. The dean’s office will review both the students’ complaints and the posts on EphBlog, FAS spokesperson Rachael Dane confirmed.

Kane did not respond to a request for comment on the FAS’s review and the allegations against him.

Some entries posted by “Field” on EphBlog make references to “Black Supremacy” in the NBA; make claims that more than 90 percent of Black students at Williams College would not have been admitted if it were not for their “Black’ness” [sic]; and question Williams College’s decision to condemn white supremacist group Identity Evropa without also condemning the Black Lives Matter and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movements.

Kane, a 1988 graduate of Williams College, founded EphBlog in 2003 for Williams affiliates, according to the website. “David Dudley Field ’25” has been writing posts on EphBlog since 2003, and authored a post on the blog in 2014 that was signed “David Kane ’88.”

Students confronted Kane about the posts Friday via the Slack channel for his course Government 50: “Data”; in a response on the platform, Kane denied endorsing white supremacy and anti-Blackness.

“I can assure you I do not endorse ‘white supremacy and anti-Blackness.’ Slack is probably not the best place for this conversation. I will send out some options to the whole class later today,” his message reads in full.

Kane later wrote in an email to all students in the course Friday evening that those who were uncomfortable having him as an instructor can transfer into the course Government 51: “Data Analysis and Politics.”

The EphBlog website became inaccessible late Friday night, redirecting to a page which, as of Saturday evening, states that it is in “maintenance mode."

—Staff writer Kevin R. Chen can be reached at kevin.chen@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @kchenx.

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