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Harvard quietly closes anti-LGBT emails investigation

Emails allegedly called Cambridge, Massachusetts ‘MAGA country’

Harvard University quietly closed its investigation into emails allegedly sent to LGBT individuals that reportedly contained hateful messages.

“The incident is closed,” Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Steven Catalano told The College Fix via email.

He did not provide any further information, including to answer whether there was any possibility it was a hate-crime hoax.

Despite the news that the investigation has been closed without any further updates, the university has remained silent on the incident that occurred in August 2022.

There were no updates posted under the university’s media announcements nor under the police department’s press page as of February 20 when The Fix checked.

The emails had threatened their recipients, saying “watch your back.” Allegedly sent by a group called “Harvard Straight Pride,” the emails also declared “Cambridge is MAGA Country.”

“MAGA” refers to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan to “Make America Great Again.”

Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow called the messages “profoundly disturbing” and said “[r]est assured that if we can identify those responsible, we will pursue their prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

Bacow also assured students and faculty that the campus police department was working with federal law enforcement to find the perpetrators.

Now that the university has closed the case, The Fix asked if it had any comment regarding the investigation being over or if it intended to inform the student body of the result. The university has not responded to an inquiry sent in the past week.

As noted by The Fix when the anti-LGBTQ emails were first reported on, the wording “Cambridge is MAGA Country” is reminiscent of what gay actor Jussie Smollett claimed to have heard when he was attacked by two men who yelled, “This is MAGA country” in Chicago in January 2019.

That alleged hate crime turned out to be a hoax orchestrated by Smollett, who was found guilty of lying to the police about the incident. Instead of white Donald Trump supporters, it turned out Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers to orchestrate the attack.

Because of the similarities between Smollett’s fake hate crime and the anti-LGBTQ emails, The Fix asked Harvard University and the campus police whether there was any reason to suspect the emails were also a hoax, but the university did not respond and the police department did not address that question in its Feb. 8 response.

MORE: No video evidence or police report for University of Maine LGBT hate crime

This is not the first time police have closed an investigation into hateful messages on Harvard’s campus without providing further details.

The police similarly closed an investigation in 2022 into hateful messages allegedly sent to former student government President Michael Cheng. He claimed that someone placed notes on his door that said, “Michael Cheng is a ch**nk. Save the [Undergraduate Council].”

Harvard’s police department would also not say if it had identified a suspect when the investigation was closed.

It seems unlikely the campus has been informed of the closure of the anti-LGBT emails investigation, since the campus newspaper and several LGBT student leaders recently referenced the emails while trying to blame the campus pro-life group for an alleged hate crime attack by a black Democrat law student.

The Harvard Crimson recently reported on criminal charges filed against Noad Nega, a black Democrat law student accused of “allegedly assaulting a fellow HLS student in a homophobic attack last month,” according to the student newspaper.

LGBT law student leader Gabrielle Crofford “said the assault is part of a larger pattern of homophobia on the Law School’s campus, citing violent threats emailed to LGBTQ+ Harvard affiliates in August 2022,” the paper reported Feb. 9.

Crofford and fellow LGBT student leader Sean McDonough both tried to tie the attack by Nega, who interned for Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and was in the University of Maryland College Democrats, to an event held after the assault by Harvard Law Students for Life.

The pro-life group hosted Notre Dame University Professor Sherif Girgis for a discussion on abortion jurisprudence. Girgis, a conservative philosopher, also opposes redefining marriage to include homosexual couples.

“Someone just got attacked–so we don’t need to ask questions of, ‘What does letting homophobic thought on campus lead to?’ This is what it leads to. It leads to people getting punched and called slurs on our campus,” Crofford said.

MORE: Here are 14 times campus hate crimes turned out to be hoaxes

IMAGE: Harvard University Police Department

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Jack Shields is a student at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and a graduate of Texas A&M University. He is also an editor and columnist at Lone Conservative.