Michelle Jones committed a heinous crime when she murdered her four-year-old son. Having endured abuse from her mother, surviving rape at 14 years old and psychological trauma, she claimed a mental breakdown led to the killing.
Jones was initially sentenced to 50 years at the Indiana Women’s Prison. But her sentence was dramatically reduced as a result of good behavior and educational strides. After 20 years in prison, the 45-year-old was released in August and began pursuing her doctoral degree at New York University the following day.
But Jones could’ve had a chance to study among the elites. Harvard College granted Jones an offer of admission. She was one of 18 students selected from a pool of 300 applicants to enroll in the school’s history program for graduate students. But after two professors flagged her file for administrative review, the Ivy League decided to rescind its invite.
One of those professors was John Stauffer. In an interview with The New York Times, Stauffer claimed fear of jeopardizing the school’s image led them to reverse their decision.
“We didn’t have some preconceived idea about crucifying Michelle,” Stauffer said.“But frankly, we knew that anyone could just punch her crime into Google, and Fox News would probably say that P.C. liberal Harvard gave 200 grand of funding to a child murderer, who also happened to be a minority. I mean, c’mon.”
“At a time when an overt white supremacist is in the White House, surrounded by other white supremacists, Harvard folded to white supremacy,” she continued. “Harvard’s racist, sexist decision also comes at a time when 60 million voters, most of them white, decided to forgive a racist sexist.”
Stony Brook University Crystal Fleming professor had another school of thought on Harvard’s decision when she pointed out the college’s hypocrisies on Twitter.
“Harvard continually forgives itself for profiting from/justifying crimes against humanity (slavery, eugenics, scientific racism, sexism etc),” Fleming wrote. “Crimes that the university has never and will never pay for—but forces at Harvard (ironically within the American Studies Department) found it impossible to forgive an individual, incarcerated black woman for a crime she actually paid for—out of fear of white backlash.”
She also noted that Stauffer is an expert on abolitionist movements. Harvard’s cold-shouldering of Jones came just days before they retracted their fellowship offer for former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning who was imprisoned for leaking government documents and violating the Espionage Act.