Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe Under Fire For Referring To The Selection Of African-American Vice President As “Cosmetics”

120406010959-laurence-tribe-headshot-story-bodyHarvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe is under fire this week after referring to the selection of an African American for vice president over Sen. Elizabeth Warren as mere “cosmetics.” The comment set off a firestorm with critics calling the comment racist.  I have strongly disagreed with Tribe’s legal positions and his rhetoric. However, I testified with Tribe during the Clinton impeachment and I have interacted with him for years. He is neither a racist nor dismissive of racial concerns.  Tribe has spent his life fighting for his vision of a more perfect and equal union.  People need to afford others a modicum of decency and consideration in such ill-considered commentary.  Anyone who believes that Laurence Tribe is a racist is discarding decades of public interest work over a wayward comment.

Tribe interviewed with the Washington Post to support Sen. Elizabeth Warren after signing a letter with 100 others to former Vice President Joe Biden.  He told the Washington Post that Biden should not yield to the demand to select an African American woman.  (Biden previously declared that he would not consider men for the position).  Tribe stated “I think African-Americans above all would be the first to say they are more interested in results than cosmetics.”

Former Pete Buttigieg staffer Rodericka Applewhaite, objected Tribe was engaging in racist speech. She declared Tribe “has no business speaking for Black people” and that dismissing calls for black leadership as “cosmetic” is racist.

Tribe quickly tried to quell the objections.


Notably, Tribe’s insistence that he is not “ANTI-excellent others” does not seem to include any male candidates who were categorically excluded by Biden.  Biden’s promise not to consider any male candidate would violate federal law if he were the head of a corporation as opposed to the country.

Nevertheless, “cosmetics” aside, Tribe is no racist.  Hopefully, he will be equally protective of other academics who have been recently declared racist for merely expressing their views on current events.



77 thoughts on “Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe Under Fire For Referring To The Selection Of African-American Vice President As “Cosmetics””

  1. Tribe has been an unhinged TDS imbecile. He has shown himself to be an extreme bigot. Yes, he has free speech but he richly deserves to be hung on his own petard.

  2. biden, the dem socialist candidate, is in fact telling all voters that he is willfully discriminating with his VP logic and likely selection. It’s not complicated; Review the dem party’s history of discrimination, to include their support for spending trillions on “social welfare” programs that have obliterated black individual responsibility, black individual accountability while asymmetrically increasing the black community to generational entitlement addictions

  3. After all the unfair and defamatory remarks Laurence Tribe has leveled at others with whom he’s disagreed politically, your defense of Prof. Tribe makes about as much sense as your good words for Michael Avenatti, while he was still at large.

    As for Tribe himself:

    “…For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
    Hoist with his own petard; and ’t shall go hard
    But I will delve one yard below their mines
    And blow them at the moon. O, ’tis most sweet
    When in one line two crafts directly meet.”
    — Prince Hamlet, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4.4

  4. Per Wiki: The 1578 edition of the Directorium Inquisitorum (a standard Inquisitorial manual) spelled out the purpose of inquisitorial penalties: … quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur (translation: “… for punishment does not take place primarily and per se for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit”).[13]

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