While We Were Out, Part III: Where Brooklyn At?

B.I.G. was from Bed-Stuy, too.Apparently it’s still 1934. Harvard cannot stand to have a poor, black, female student from Brooklyn wearing a cap and gown, let alone on its campus. That’s according to Chanequa Campbell, whose lawyer claims Harvard prevented her from walking after tying her to the alleged murder that occurred in Kirkland house last May. She pulled a Kanye West to our collective Mike Myers a fortnight ago when she told the New York Post, “Harvard is doing this to me because I’m black, I’m poor and I’m from Brooklyn.”

Okay. Right, it could be that Harvard might be more hesitant to pillory a student of a wealthy donor. It too seems possible she believes that because she is black the university is presuming her guilty whereas they might give white students the benefit of doubt. It appears she is not enjoying as much solidarity from the Harvard black community as she might like, though.

But what does Brooklyn have to do with anything? Everyone knows Harvard dislikes Staten Island much, much more. And Brooklyn is hot right now. There are plenty of rich kids living on daddy’s money in Williamsburg who attend or attended Harvard.

The AP story all but exonerates Campbell of any involvement or foreknowledge, however tangential, with the crime. Instead, it focuses on her youth in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, her success in high school, and her Harvard-contemporaneous globe trotting. The piece lacks any sources even anonymous sources from the Harvard administration, other students’ comments, or even her own family.

Campbell claims she didn’t know the local drug dealer Justin Cosby, who was allegedly murdered by Jabrai Copney according to police. Copney was the boyfriend of Chanequas’ friend who also attended Harvard, and while she told the AP she was at work and taking an exam at the time of the shooting there is no independent verification of the fact.

Universities tend to overreact when their students’ actions garner them bad press, even if the students eventually turn up innocent. Remember how those poor lacrosse players at Duke who were just trying to have an innocently debauched, raucous house party with strippers when all of a sudden they were accused of rape just because they were rich and white? In this case Harvard took “appropriate action,” and it is unclear if Harvard withheld diplomas or just refused to allow the two women to participate in the ceremony.

If you can verify that Campbell was taking a final at the time of the shooting on 18 May let us know.

  • Nice

    I love how the AP story says she was “making her voice heard” in Cambridge. What is that supposed to mean?

  • Nice

    I love how the AP story says she was “making her voice heard” in Cambridge. What is that supposed to mean?

  • Cornell ’12

    It means that as the minority the media would tend to leave her part of the story out of the picture and the Duke case was so much more than those guys being rich and white…

  • Cornell ’12

    It means that as the minority the media would tend to leave her part of the story out of the picture and the Duke case was so much more than those guys being rich and white…

  • Uhm, no.

    The media loves to spin its own narrative to make sometimes arbitrary, clinical reality seem interesting and contextual. That’s what happened in the Duke case when “entitled whites can’t stop exploiting people” made for better headlines than “crazy b makes unsubstantiated claim!”

    To answer the first commenter’s question, she was obviously being careful to speak at an audible level. 70, perhaps 80 decibels.

  • Uhm, no.

    The media loves to spin its own narrative to make sometimes arbitrary, clinical reality seem interesting and contextual. That’s what happened in the Duke case when “entitled whites can’t stop exploiting people” made for better headlines than “crazy b makes unsubstantiated claim!”

    To answer the first commenter’s question, she was obviously being careful to speak at an audible level. 70, perhaps 80 decibels.

  • asian

    when i read the story and the AP one i rofled my ass off. i gotta say this is a classic example of how fucked up higher education and the ivies are today. i mean this girl gets into harvard (AA), doesn’t pay a cent while there, goes skydiving (what kind of class has skydiving as part of the curriculum, btw?) and when she gets into trouble she has the gall to ignore all that shit and go: “yeah you all are just being racist.” LOL. Just another gender/ethnic studies bitch.

    kiddies, don’t go to an ivy league school. go somehwere more down to earth. like cornell.

  • asian

    when i read the story and the AP one i rofled my ass off. i gotta say this is a classic example of how fucked up higher education and the ivies are today. i mean this girl gets into harvard (AA), doesn’t pay a cent while there, goes skydiving (what kind of class has skydiving as part of the curriculum, btw?) and when she gets into trouble she has the gall to ignore all that shit and go: “yeah you all are just being racist.” LOL. Just another gender/ethnic studies bitch.

    kiddies, don’t go to an ivy league school. go somehwere more down to earth. like cornell.

  • http://www.twinxlbedding.com/ Twin XL

    This is insane. I can’t believe the audacity of the AP- what am I saying? Yes I can. Ridiculous- Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.twinxlbedding.com Twin XL

    This is insane. I can’t believe the audacity of the AP- what am I saying? Yes I can. Ridiculous- Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.antivirusandfirewallsoftware.org/ Jane

    Higher education these days stands for education while high. Overpriced pompous jackasses. Sooner or later if they keep raising tuition at the astounding pace that has been so typical year after year, nobody will be able to afford it anyway. I guess the blue collar taxpayers will just keep paying for the “Poor” to go to school for free, while their kids work at McDonalds.

  • http://www.antivirusandfirewallsoftware.org Jane

    Higher education these days stands for education while high. Overpriced pompous jackasses. Sooner or later if they keep raising tuition at the astounding pace that has been so typical year after year, nobody will be able to afford it anyway. I guess the blue collar taxpayers will just keep paying for the “Poor” to go to school for free, while their kids work at McDonalds.

  • parad0x

    Hey, I resent all of these comments about the Ivies not being down to earth. I’m a Hispanic female from Brooklyn and also a member of the Harvard Class of 2013. Just because this one crazy person would rather play the “because I’m black” card doesn’t mean that all of us attending are like that. We worked hard to get in to Harvard, are thrilled that we’re attending, and are nowhere near as insane. Also, my dad is a blue collar taxpayer and we still get Financial Aid, and for the record, I’ve never worked at McDonald’s.

    Another note on the “from Brooklyn” thing: as anyone who lives here can tell you, there’s rich neighborhoods and poor ones, like any city. This is why I tell people I’m from NYC and not Brooklyn; people perpetuate stereotypes and negative associations about Brooklyn. Every time I do make the mistake of saying “Brooklyn”, I’m greeted by the awkward “Have you ever been shot?” “Is it scary there?” interrogation.

  • parad0x

    Hey, I resent all of these comments about the Ivies not being down to earth. I’m a Hispanic female from Brooklyn and also a member of the Harvard Class of 2013. Just because this one crazy person would rather play the “because I’m black” card doesn’t mean that all of us attending are like that. We worked hard to get in to Harvard, are thrilled that we’re attending, and are nowhere near as insane. Also, my dad is a blue collar taxpayer and we still get Financial Aid, and for the record, I’ve never worked at McDonald’s.

    Another note on the “from Brooklyn” thing: as anyone who lives here can tell you, there’s rich neighborhoods and poor ones, like any city. This is why I tell people I’m from NYC and not Brooklyn; people perpetuate stereotypes and negative associations about Brooklyn. Every time I do make the mistake of saying “Brooklyn”, I’m greeted by the awkward “Have you ever been shot?” “Is it scary there?” interrogation.

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