Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday News and Notes

WRAL has an interview with Ed Bradley preview tonight’s 60 Minutes episode. The best line: when asked by the interviewer what most surprised him about this case, Bradley responded as follows:

The biggest surprise for us was the presumption of guilt. I mean, I think our criminal justice system presumes you are innocent until you’re proven guilty. I think almost immediately, at Duke University, in Durham, and in the rest of the country, there was a presumption of guilt.

You can watch the entire video here.

The presumption of guilt, it’s worth reiterating, remains: more than seven months after they produced their statement, not a single member of the Group of 88 has retracted their signature from the “we’re listening” document. And, of course, not a single member of the Group, as with the nearly 420 other members of Duke’s arts and sciences faculty, has spoken out publicly against the district attorney’s myriad procedural irregularities.


The Herald-Sun always can be counted for a heavy-handed pro-Nifong line, but its attempts to repair the damage from Kim Roberts’ publicly reiterating her March 22 police statement have tested the imagination of even what Liestoppers terms the “Snooze Room.”

First, the Herald-Sun obtained an interview with Durham City Manager Patrick Baker, who hypothesized that Roberts’ interview with Ed Bradley suggested that she “says one thing to our officers and another to 60 Minutes, which raises questions about her credibility.”

Baker has been under fire recently after he claimed to have misunderstood a series of memoranda outlining license and environmental problems at Durham’s yard waste composting facility. The dump then caught on fire. (The N&O, naturally, broke the story; perhaps the Herald-Sun was too busy coming up with creative defenses for Nifong’s latest outrage.) Based on his quote to the Herald-Sun, it appears as if not reading or understanding government documents is a persistent problem for Baker. After all, everything Roberts said to Bradley confirmed, not contradicted, her March 22 statement in police. The statement has been online for months, even if Baker hasn’t had time to drop by Nifong’s office and read it.

Then, Bob Ashley’s crew turned to the accuser’s father, who revealed that he hasn’t spoken to his daughter in months. He has maintained the faith, however, telling the Herald-Sun: “I still believe my daughter because I saw her when she came here from the hospital.” Her face “was all bruised and swollen, and then she couldn't hardly walk.” Befitting its “We Conceal, You Decide” motto, the Herald-Sun never mentioned that photographs of the accuser taken on the 14th, before she went home to her father’s, and on the 16th, after she went home to her father’s, showed no bruises or swelling in her face.

In the words of Liestoppers, at the Herald-Sun, “the truth is but a minor inconvenience.”


Duke graduate Greg Kidder has a must-read letter in Friday’s Chronicle, suggesting that the suppression of the Duke Students for an Ethical Durham voter registration drive outside the Duke-Virginia football game isn’t going away anytime soon. Kidder argues:

To date, Duke faculty and administrators have taken a very passive approach to the questionable course of the lacrosse investigation. Whereas a large group of faculty members thanked protesters for making themselves heard in response to the allegations, no similar support has been expressed for students raising questions about the conduct of Durham authorities. This policy of passivity, right or wrong, should not be extended to students by force. It is certainly not a justification to stop voter registration activities.

I couldn’t agree more.

The incident outside the football stadium also has attracted the attention of Walter Abbott, who has formally complained to the Justice Department. The issue clearly is one of federal concern: according to this title and chapter of the U.S. Code, any person who “knowingly and willfully intimidates, threatens, or coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any person for . . . urging or aiding any person to register to vote, to vote, or to attempt to register or vote” can be fined and face up to a 5-year prison term.


John in Carolina has published his exchange with Duke chaplain Sam Wells, who recently spoke out on behalf of the preferred story line regarding what Duke now refers to as the “March 13 incident.” Wells (naturally) made his remarks before the Campus Culture Initiative.

JinC especially challenged Wells’ insinuation that those who have condemned Duke’s timid response to Nifong’s misconduct are engaged in a “nostalgia fest” for a Duke dominated by “privilege.” Wells responded by claiming, in part, to have been misinterpreted, but mostly avoids answering JinC’s questions.

This is not the first time Wells has made seemingly inflammatory remarks about the case. On April 9, the Herald-Sun published an April 2 sermon from Wells in which he:

  • referenced “the subculture of reckless ‘entitlement’, sexual acquisitiveness and aggressive arrogance” at Duke;
  • stated that “the last week [i.e., March 26-April 2] has exposed the reality that sexual practices are an area where some male students are accustomed to manipulating, exploiting and terrorizing women all the time—and that this has been accepted by many as a given.”
  • expressed a hope that “the lifting of the veil of sexual violence in the last week may provoke each of us to ask ourselves, what do we desire?”

This spring, I wrote Wells to ask about these comments; he responded that he wasn’t specifically referring to the lacrosse case, but only the general horror of sexual assault. In light of his remarks to the CCI and his response to JinC, that response no longer seems tenable.

Surely the fact that dozens of arts and sciences professors rushed to condemn the lacrosse players while not one has, to date, publicly defended their character or criticized the district attorney’s procedural irregularities is an appropriate subject for a “campus culture” initiative to consider. Wells thinks not. But I suppose that’s unsurprising for a figure who has appeared stubbornly resistant to any facts that have emerged about the case since Mike Nifong’s publicity barrage in late March.


[Updated, 9.03am] This morning's N&O has a fascinating letter from Steve Henry Herman, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke, explaining why, from a technical angle, the procedurally flawed April 4 lineup was doomed to produce flawed results. According to Herman,

In the social sciences, any test of a hypothesis must allow room for what we call a "negative finding." In a medical drug trial, the negative finding would be that patients given the test drug did no better -- or less well -- than those who received a sugar pill. This may not be the answer the drug company had hoped for, but it has value in its own right because it is the truth. In the Duke lacrosse lineup there was no room for a negative finding -- the deck was stacked against the team members. It was thus worse than useless -- it was a blown opportunity to find out a bit of the truth.

If this were simply incompetence on the part of the investigators it would be bad enough. But the context in which these violations occurred suggests that the rights of both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrators may have been placed secondary to other considerations by those conducting the investigation. District Attorney Mike Nifong's pre-election public declarations could easily have set the tone for an investigative process that looked only for positive results and disallowed negative findings. If so, this would truly be an outrage.


[Updated, 9.03am] The People's Alliance, a left-wing Triangle PAC (which received a donation from Mike Nifong last spring), is urging voters to cast a straight Democrat vote, including a vote for Nifong--with one exception. The Alliance refused to endorse a Democratic candidate for the state House, W.A. "Winkie" Wilkins from northern Durham and Person counties, because he's an opponent of equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Said Milo Payne, the co-cordinator of the People's Alliance: "We just want to send him a message that there are citizens who don't agree with his views on marriage."

Payne offered no explanation as to why the group didn't apply that standard to Nifong--who, after all, indicated he was "very pleased" to have a citizens' committee co-chair who opposed health care for partners or gays and lesbians on the grounds that all gay and lesbian people get diseases and die young; or opposed adding gays and lesbians to a statewide anti-discrimination statute on the grounds that all gay and lesbian people are cross-dressers.

I guess the commitment of the People's Alliance to GLBT rights is selective, depending on whether the issue conflicts with other, more important, aspects of the group's agenda.


Durham’s peculiar conception of the legal process goes well beyond the procedural irregularities of Nifong. John Bennett, a black pastor in Durham, criticized 60 Minutes for interviewing Kim Roberts (on the grounds, oddly, that Roberts has changed her story—in an affair where the accuser has offered multiple versions of events). Said the pastor, “Hopefully, justice is blind when it is time to carry out the proper punishment for what has been committed, and perhaps what has not been committed.”

The last clause brough back memories of Chan Hall, the NCCU junior who proclaimed that he wanted the Duke players prosecuted “whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past.”

Hall’s remark, to my knowledge, was never publicly condemned by any leader of Durham’s African-American community. Will silence also greet the Bennett statement?


Thanks to readers who attended my talk today the Pope Center conference. The specifics for my talk with ACLU@DUKE aren't yet finalized; when they are, I'll announce time and place, etc.


Anonymous said...

The Duke professors should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Hey KC, are you "forgetting" something? Ha ha ha.... Unbelievable, well not really.

KC Johnson said...

Am I "forgetting" something? Not to my knowledge, no.

Anonymous said...

Someone is trying to throw you off your game, KC. Keep up the great work and try to ignore it.

KC Johnson said...

Good advice! I had, actually, forgotten to thank people to came to my talk yesterday; and so added that to the post . . .

Anonymous said...

Professor, in your article, you say that the incident outside the football stadium has attracted the attention of Walter Abbott, who has formally complained to the Justice Department. You then quote some language from a federal statute apparently in an attempt to suggest to your readers that the entire Duke Administration may be on its way to federal prison because they would not allow DSED to register voters at the game. The only problem with your analysis is that the Justice Department has already responded to Abbott and told him that they will not be taking any action against Duke because the Duke campus is private property and Duke has the right to control what takes place on its own private property. I see that Abbott then sent a letter to the Attorney General of the United States expressing outrage at this situation and urging him to bring all of the power of the federal government to bear in order to investigate this massive violation of the civil rights laws. However, he sent this letter more than 10 days ago, and I have not seen anything in the newspapers indicating that the FBI has descended onto the Duke campus. Did I miss something? Has Abbott received a letter from the Attorney General expressing grave concern about this situation? If so, perhaps you could provide us with a link to the letter.

Anonymous said...

KC: Do you think a certain someone over at Cliopatria is a little perturbed that you haven't blogged (or penned) anything much to his chagrin?

Excellent coverage. You're now THE source for information on this topic! RM PAM

Anonymous said...

Why do assume without any qualification whatsoever that Bennett meant what you claim. He says, "Hopefully, justice is blind when it is time to carry out the proper punishment for what has been committed, and perhaps what has not been committed." I think it is very reasonable to assume that the statement "perhaps what has not been committed" is simply a concession that a rape may not have occurred and not a call to punish the innocent. If Bennett is for justice, how can he support punishing the innocent? If he wants a "proper punishment," why would he contradict himself when there is no proper punishment for the innocent. It is very reasonable to assume that he was clumsy with his words, which can happen in interviews. It sounds to me that he realized his comment assumed the guilt of the lacrosse players and so he threw in acknowledgement that they may be innocent. Why was there no follow up by the reporter? Probably because in the conversation, the reporter knew Bennett was not calling for the innocent to be punished.
Why do you, KC, immediately and unreflectively assume the worst when there might be a plausible contrary explanation? I mean a lot of people immediately and unreflectively assumed the worst about the lacrosse players. Of course, you have to play to the Koolade drinkers on your blog. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

By the way KC, how do you know Bennett is black and why is it necessary for you to include that adjective in describing the pastor? If I wanted to make an immediate and unreflective judgment about you, I might say you were playing the race card.

Anonymous said...

Do these articles support your uncharitable interpretation of Bennett's comments?
Bennett has called for unity and peace. He opposed Sharpton politicizing the alleged incident. He even denounced the New Black Panthers. Does that sound like someone who would want to punish the innocent? It is much more reasonable to assume Bennett worded his sentence awkwardly. Of course, I really doubt KC would ever concede that fact, nor will the KCoolade drinkers.

Jason Trumpbour said...

To the 1:31 poster, here is the text of the statute in question. The fact that the incident took place on private property is irrelevant.

42 U.S.C.A. Sec. 1973gg-10

A person, including an election official, who in any election for Federal office--

(1) knowingly and willfully intimidates, threatens, or coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any person for--

(A) registering to vote, or voting, or attempting to register or vote;

(B) urging or aiding any person to register to vote, to vote, or to attempt to register or vote; or

(C) exercising any right under this subchapter; or

(2) knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by--

(A) the procurement or submission of voter registration applications that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held; or

(B) the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held,

shall be fined in accordance with Title 18 (which fines shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury, miscellaneous receipts (pursuant to section 3302 of Title 31), notwithstanding any other law), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster (2:23, 2:27, 2:44): You assert that the "KCoolade drinkers" on this blog would not concede that Mr. Bennett's comments are subject to more than one interpretation. I am a daily reader of this blog and a supporter of the Duke lacrosse players (which undoubtedly makes me a "KCoolade drinker" in your estimation). I read Mr. Bennett's comments on another web site yesterday. I noted the ambiguity in his words, and decided that I would give him the benefit of the doubt and not assume that he was calling for the players to be punished if they are innocent. Yet today I find you "immediately and unreflectively" assuming the worst about me and people like me. Perhaps you should spend a little more time "reflecting" on your own views and biases before you spend so much time assailing others.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog everyday and I think Kool Aid is disgusting. However, I do appreciate all the comments attempting to clarify people's statements.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, Mr. Bennett should have chosen his words more carefully. After all, he was talking about a very important topic. Didn't he want to come across clearly in his views? Or, did he think perhaps he could fudge it and get away with it? We will never know, but that was at the very least very sloppy speech. Reverse the roles, put those words in the moths of a white pastor who was talking about 3 black kids and then you will see the noise level go up. Don't make excuses for the pastor – we understand what he is saying.

Anonymous said...

1:31 am poster:

You are missing the point. The issue is not whether the federal government will come out and put anyone in prison. The issue is what objective or motivation prompted the Duke administration to stop the student registration while they allowed Monks’ supporters to register both inside and outside the football stadium. Is it too much to expect an explanation to these two contradictory actions/decisions?

What were they trying to accomplish? Perhaps, you will agree with me that in the absence of an apology or some reasonable explanation to their actions that day, one can speculate many scenarios. Were they trying to help Nifong win the election? Were they trying Monks to win the election? Were they trying to secure a conviction to the accused? You see what I am saying? We demand an explanation! And, it should be a real one we can buy.

Duke alumnus

Anonymous said...

The first part of Bennett's assessment focuses on the 2nd dancer’s inconsistencies while overlooking the accuser’s inconsistent statements. This one statement alone shows either a bias to believe the accuser or ignorance of the facts in at least two ways:
1) The accuser had many inconsistent statements.
2) The claims by the 2nd dancer in the 60 minutes clips are supported by Kim’s “It’s a crock” statement to the police as well as her written statement to the police.
When someone provides commentary to a newspaper reporter on this case it would behoove them to know something about the facts before speaking. Otherwise, as in Bennett's statement, they appear biased or ignorant of the facts. An interpretation of the last statement will probably be influenced by the assumption of bias or ignorance of the facts gained from the first statement.

Anonymous said...

If Nifong can do what he's done to these "rich" white boys in front of a national media spotlight, what makes Durham African-American voters think he won't (or hasn't) done worse to young black men of Durham?

Can someone explain why this hasn't been addressed in this campaign?

Anonymous said...

How can we hold the group of 88 professors accountable?

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that K.C. has become a target since he has recently been mentioned in the media. Keep up the great work K.C.!
Texas Mom

Anonymous said...

I interpreted Mr. Bennett's statements the same way KC did. Especially considering Mr. Bennett was not happy Kim Roberts was interviewed, I presume because Kim’s statements did not support the accuser's story. It’s extremely peculiar that someone would object to Kim Roberts based on her inconsistencies, while the accuser who told wildly inconsistent stories apparently should be believed.

KC Johnson said...

To answer a few of the questions:

To the 2.27 am: I didn't "assume" John Bennett was black. He is black. A photo of him is here:

To the 2.23 am (the same person?): I didn't assume anything about his statement. Perhaps he was misquoted. I'll be waiting for a correction from Newsday on the misquote, and if one is given, I'll mention it.

To the 1.31 am (the same person?): Jason Trumpbour quotes the relevant statute. While Duke is private, as an institution of higher education that accepts federal funds, its private-property freedoms are limited by Title VI.

Ralph Luker said...

RM PAM, "a certain someone over at Cliopatria" is unperturbed and unchagrined.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Luker: It is good to know that “’a certain someone over at Cliopatria’ is unperturbed and unchagrined.” I thought that little tribute that you posted on Cliopatria about KC was long overdue—and much appreciated. In any event, thanks for massaging and assuaging the faux pas. RM PAM

Anonymous said...

To Jason Trumpbour: Thank you for taking the time to quote the federal statute. However, the fact that the statute, or at least the portion of the statute quoted in your post, does not create an exception for activities occurring on private property is not the end of the analysis. If it were, then I would presumably be free to come over to your house and hold a voter registration event for Mike Nifong. If I were to do this and you were to tell me to get lost, do you think that the Justice Department would intervene on my behalf or that a federal court would send you to prison for 5 years?

To Professor Johnson: Interesting point about Title VI, but your post does not refer to anything specific in Title VI that would apply in this case. Are you aware of anything specific? If so, perhaps you could provide us with a link. However, the fact that the Justice Department is obviously blowing off the complaint from Walter Abbott tells me that there isn’t anything. Also, you seem to be forgetting the front page story in The Chronicle this past Friday which described the big BBQ / voter registration event on West Campus organized by DSED and the LAX players and the statement by one of the organizers of DSED talking about how pleased she was at the number of students they had been able to register, all of which runs directly contrary to your suggestion that Duke has been engaged in some sort of evil conspiracy to prevent students from registering to vote. Or is it your position that Duke has absolutely no power whatsoever to restrict the time and place of voter registration activities occurring on its private property? If so, then maybe DSED should have held one of its voter registration events in President Brodhead’s living room at two o’clock in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I hope that when this is over, KC, that you will compile the pages and pages of facts and research that have appeared on this blog into a book. Your writing has been exceptional and accurate throughout. The prosecutorial abuses and misinformation need to be documented lest they happen again.

Ralph Luker said...

Anonymous at 1:46 p.m.: You either don't bother to read Cliopatria before making a fool of yourself in public or you are delusional. Just scroll through the backfiles. You'll find plenty of credits, tributes or whatever you think is missing there. KC does his research. You don't.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that the poster who chooses not to view Duke,nifong,etc in a negative light decided to engage in a substantive debate. The poster has progressed greatly and I was pleasantly surprised not to see 'koolaid' within the post.

I will begin by saying that I have no problem with a voter registration drive at a stadium IF it is outside, ie, not people going around the student section of the stadium (student seating). That's because I find such things to be distracting but if it did occur I could deal with it easily. My understanding is that the drive was outside the entrance to the student section. There are quite a few vendors, program people, charities, etc that are allowed to be there. The students themselves are allowed to be there. If Durham was sponsoring a voter drive I would imagine it would have been okay with the staff. Of course Durham makes ZERO effort to register Duke students because the electorate is not so happy with students voting (because students are from out of state, etc and will probably vote for higher taxes that do not have an impact on them). The Nifong issue is just a further incentive not to come.

I'd contrast that with NC PUBLIC SCHOOLS where the ELECTION OFFICE REGISTERS STUDENTS TO VOTE (ie 18 and older). They do it during school time which takes away from class time which is a major disturbance.

I happen to live in NC and feel that Durham is making North Carolina looks like a joke - as if 'southern justice' still existed (in reverse). It's certainly true to an extent but most DAs are not as blatant as Nifong even during re-elections (elections for Nifong technically).

Duke should have moved when they had the chance - I am quite glad that Wake did so as Wake Forest, NC is nothing like it used to be, ie, before they moved to W-S.

"Also, you seem to be forgetting the front page story in The Chronicle this past Friday which described the big BBQ / voter registration event on West Campus organized by DSED and the LAX players and the statement by one of the organizers of DSED talking about how pleased she was at the number of students they had been able to register, all of which runs directly contrary to your suggestion that Duke has been engaged in some sort of evil conspiracy to prevent students from registering to vote."

You apparently are completely unaware that if a given university accepts federal funding INDIRECTLY OR DIRECTLY they are no longer free to discriminate as private institutions are. Perhaps you would like to know what 'federal aid' is - it can be federal loans that students receive, federal loans that are partially guaranteed by the federal government (PLUS loans), federal grants to students, federal grants to a university, direct funding of programs at a university, research grants, etc.

Almost every university accepts federal funding. One reason that women have sports teams with equal funding of their male counterparts is due to federal intervention.

Anyway you can choose to believe the Feds won't do anything and you're probably right. It would take too much time to investigate and Duke can claim 'safety' issues, etc which would serve to justify their actions.

You apparently approve of the supression of voter registration per your post as long as students are able to register at another time. The reason why that is not acceptable is because a person at the stadium MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AT THE BBQ. That is why people are supposed to be free to register to vote AT ANY TIME. Perhaps had they been allowed to continue their registration more voters would have been registered. Even if it was 1 more it is unethical.

Perhaps you would be more concerned if Duke banned a voter registration drive during a community forum about the LAX case attended by African Americans. I imagine that the Feds would be quite interested.

As for the BBQ Duke was unable to assert a safety issue. Apparently you don't 'get' how events on campus 'run' or choose to ignore it. The BBQ was entirely student run while the stadium is run by paid staff. If Duke attempted to halt a voter registration drive during a BBQ they would have no justification to do so and would definately be investigated by the AG. Obtaining a BBQ permit is quite easy - and often not necessary - and in doing so you also obtain the right to run a voter registration drive (although it is not a political protest permit which can be obtained for partisan affairs).

Registering to vote is not partisan. Registering to vote is a right and responsibility. Duke students probably will vote against Nifong (and for Cheek) as a whole but there will likely be a sizeable majority that do not.

Also: the voter drive did not pre-screen people at the stadium but the BBQ probably would (b/c it was known to be sponsored by them presumably the protestors from last semester would not have attended).

Apparently you don't 'get' football either: Sports events at Duke and Wake ARE HEAVILY ATTENDED. MUCH MORE SO THAN BBQs. Hence it is quite likely that students who may have registered at the game did not due to the staffs' decision to remove the voter drive people.

Anonymous said...

"Am I "forgetting" something? Not to my knowledge, no."

Although I doubt Nifong posts (but does read the blogs as he has admitted) I do wonder who some of the posters here are. The 'forgetting' poster is also the 'koolaid' poster and prior to that the poster whose posts you deleted (which apparently upset said poster).

At least the poster now acknowledges, to a degree, that a university accepting any form of federal funds is subject to federal anti-discrimination law. Unfortunately the poster believes that the students who attended the BBQ were the same students who attended the game @ the stadium and were denied the right to register to vote. That is certainly not the case - not all the students in the student section went to the BBQ meaning that some were disenfranchised which you could address...apparently the poster believes that a person is motivated to register to vote. In my experience students have to be given a form mostly because many are unaware that they are able to vote or are unable to find the form (which are kept in the library usually - or online for mail in).

Addressing the poster is probably a good idea, given that the individual has chosen to actually engage in a debate.

It is, however, quite unfortunate that IP logging is not enabled.

Anonymous said...

Settle down Mr. Luker. You're a little more disgruntled then I presumed. In any event, your misdiagnosis is amusing and delectable. Thanks for the chuckles! RM PAM

Anonymous said...

KC: What is the likelihood that this case is going to trial? On an unrelated note, what repercussions should Mike Nifong face for having deviated so drastically from ethical and procedural regularities? Should he lose his job? his license? more? What say you?
Not Exactly RL

Anonymous said...

KC keep up the great work. To the anonymous blogger who seems critical of KC, the American public will not let Duke off the hook on stopping the voting registration. Federal laws were broken, it doesn't matter if it is public or private. The Justice Department in conjunction with FBI Department of Public Integrity are investigating the Duke Hoax, the DA's office, the Durham Police Department and Duke University. Thousands and thousands of letters have flooded their offices. Special agents have been assigned. They are professionals and know the guidelines of the Constitution and Bill or Rights, therefore they will not give 70 interviews before investigating. They will not alert bloggers or the press of their movements. The breath and scope of this case is wide and the corruption in Durham is deep. It will take time for a complete investigation. But mark my words....justice for the Duke three will be served, justice for the Duke students who have been profiled by the DPD will be served. In essence the FEDs will disinfect Durham of the Nifungus and his band of thugs, Crystal will be forced to take the lie detector test Nifong never gave her. Duke University will be held accountable for their actions. The Duke 88 will be questioned.

Ralph Luker said...

Anonymous at 7:37 p.m.: Not chagrined, disgruntled or perturbed. My diagnosis was spot on. Maybe the next time you want to start trouble and insult people, you'll find the courage to do so in your own name. Or, since you are an anonymous coward, maybe not.

LearnedHand said...

"Duke should have moved when they had the chance."

Dunno what you are specifically referring to, but duke HAS moved already (from original site to present site) when it took over Trinity College in 1924.

there is no need for duke to move anywhere. racial animosity, unethical and overzealous prosecutors, shoddy and mismanaged city officails are not limited to durham. w-s is no peach either (although a helluva lot better than durham).

my prediction? (1) the case will go away, one way or another, with the kids not convicted, but many in the durham community unconvinced; (2) duke will see a pretty nice dent in its annual fund for 2006-07 fiscal year due to the terrible approach to this case of the admin, especially broadhead; (3) broadhead will be on a much tighter leash and expect him to attempt to engage and "make up" for his earlier stance by trying to support the team or athletics in general (maybe bball?); and (4) life will return to "normal" - probably never for the accused guys and their families, but for the tenuous relationship between duke and durham.

but i will certainly not have as much fun reading as i do now when i pop open KC's blog every day.

Anonymous said...

6:24 PM, before responding to your post, I want to clarify two things. First, I am the poster who has been talking about the voter registration issue (1:31 AM and 3:06 PM above), but I am not the person who has been calling people cool aid groupies. Second, you should not refer to me as the poster who chooses not to view Duke, Nifong, etc., in a negative light. I believe that Nifong has engaged in massive violations of the rules of legal ethics and should be disbarred. However, I support the manner in which President Brodhead and the Duke Administration have handled the LAX situation. Unfortunately, this website has polarized those who support the LAX players by dividing them into those who support Brodhead and those who are critical of him. I support him, and I believe that most of the criticism of him on this website is completely unfounded.

You say that because Duke accepts federal funds, it is prohibited from engaging in discrimination. That is absolutely true, and as I am sure you are aware, Duke does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin, which is what the prohibition on discrimination means. However, the fact that Duke is prohibited from engaging in discrimination does not mean that Duke has no power to regulate the time or place of voter registration activities occurring on its campus. In this case, I gather from the reports I have seen that Duke did not allow DSED to conduct a voter registration event at the football game because DSED did not obtain permission to do so in advance of the game. However, Duke has obviously given DSED other opportunities to conduct voter registration events on campus, as evidenced by the big BBQ / voter registration event held on West Campus last Thursday. As a result, it is clear that Duke has not discriminated against DSED or prevented them from registering students to vote. The fact that there were more students at the football game than at the BBQ is irrelevant.

I should say that I find it amusing that at the very same moment that you and Professor Johnson are trying to argue that Duke has discriminated against DSED and violated the civil rights laws, the leader of DSED is being quoted by The Chronicle as saying how happy she is about the number of students they have been able to register. What this tells me is that you and Professor Johnson are not providing your readers with an objective analysis of the voter registration issue. Instead, you are pushing an agenda, and you are trying to distort the facts to fit the agenda. The agenda is that the LAX team parents are mad at Brodhead for canceling the LAX season and refusing to meet with them and not speaking out more aggressively on behalf of their sons, they have decided to seek revenge by posting anonymous negative comments about him on this website, Professor Johnson has decided to assist them in this effort because he apparently has become friendly with some of the LAX team families, he saw an opportunity to take some shots at Brodhead when DSED was not allowed to register voters at the football game, so he decided to tear into him and the rest of the Duke Administration and suggest that they are engaged in some sort of conspiracy to prevent the students from exercising their right to vote. For all of the reasons set forth above and in my prior posts, this is complete nonsense and just constitutes one more example of the overheated rhetoric that permeates this website.

Anonymous said...

11:07 I am not the person you are responding to. I just happened to be reading the comments under this thread and came across your comment above. I am compelled to ask you a question. What makes you so sure that you know the facts? Couldn’t there be any room for doubt? Did you investigate what happened that day at the football game, were you there, did you talk with the administration and get an explanation from them? Did you talk to the DSED team and get an explanation for them?

If you have done these things and you are basing your opinions on these facts, I will understand it. But if are you only speculating about could have happened, perhaps you are not being open-minded. When the facts come out, and they will eventually, you may be proven wrong. You may well have a positive opinion of Brodhead and his administration, and that is admirable, but this does not change any of the facts. I suggest you check your facts carefully before jumping to defend anyone, for your own sake.

What if (and I am being genuine here) Brodhead and his administration already acknowledged wrongdoing on the matter and apologized. What if the apology was offered in private and the ongoing effort is to get a public apology? How are you going to feel about that? I am not saying this is the case. All I am saying is don’t presume to know unless you have all the facts. And, if you have the facts, please share them with us so we can buy your argument.

Sorry for jumping in but I just had to ask this question.

Anonymous said...

To 11:07 PM
I am not a Duke parent or a Duke student or otherwise affiliated with Duke. I think Broadhead is a weasel and it didn't take KC to convince me of that. There are quite a few people that agree. It has to do with more than what you mentioned as reasons in your post. It has to do with putting people like Professor Holloway and Sterns from the group of 88 on committees created in response to everything that has happened. Broadhead has not openly said that what the group of 88 did was wrong. By putting them on committees he has given tacit approval of their previous actions. If I had a child at Duke I would worry that a professor might make some public statements like the group of 88 did about the LAX players. What they did was wrong. Their continued commentary shows obvious biases against the LAX team.

(Hopefully I got those professors names right. It is late and I didn't go look them up.)

Anonymous said...

Of course leader of DSED is happy they were able to register a lot of students. And they could have registered more if they were allowed to register students at the game. And what if Brodhead apologized (and of course there is nothing to indicate he did apologize). The deadline to register students to vote is over. How is the apology going to change anything?

Anonymous said...

KC didn't read anything into Mr. Bennett's statement at all. Mr. Bennett said it all by himself. He EVEN felt funny about saying what he did and that is obviously why he added what he did at the end of this statement. It just shows more of the picture of what is going on in Durham. It is so off base of the basic facts of this case: whether or not these 3 boys brutally raped and beat up, and tried to strangle this girl while 46 other boys sat right outside of this bathroom and did nothing. IT IS RIDICULOUS!!!! And our Duke president says on national television tonight that he was quick to judge because an elected official told him that was what happened. FRIGHTENING!!!!

Anonymous said...

To 11:46 PM, thank your for your comments on my post. I did not attend the game, so I do not have first hand information about what happened on that day. I am relying on the information contained in Professor Johnson’s article of October 1 called Black Panthers Welcome, Duke Students Not? Based upon the two updates which appear at the end of the article, it is my understanding that DSED did not follow the correct procedures for obtaining permission to conduct voter registration activities at the game and that apparently is why they were not allowed to set up their booth at the game. However, they have been conducting voter registration activities on campus for several weeks including at the BBQ on Thursday, so it simply is not accurate to suggest that the Duke Administration has been conspiring to prevent them from signing students up to vote.

To 12:06 AM, I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about the appointment of Karla Holloway as head of the Campus Culture Initiative. I think it is a judgment call which can be argued both ways. The argument against it is that she simply may not have been the best choice from the standpoint of temperament or intelligence or perspective on the issues and that perhaps her involvement with the group of 88 should have disqualified her for the position. The argument in favor is that the committee is charged with looking at issues such as the relationships among the different races at Duke and the relationship between the sexes and that by appointing a black woman to head the committee, Brodhead has sent a message to the women on campus and the black students and other minority students on campus that their views will be fully and fairly represented on the committee. You should note that just because she is the chairman of the committee does not necessarily mean that the committee is going to issue a report which embraces a radical perspective on the issues because the committee includes several members who have differing points of view, and even if the committee did issue a report that reflected a radical perspective, no action can be taken on its recommendations until the report is approved by the Duke Administration and the board of trustees.

Anonymous said...

10:17 PM, what is the basis for your conclusion that Duke violated federal law when it refused to allow DSED to conduct voter registration activities at the football game and that it does not matter whether the activities occurred on public property or on private property? Are you an attorney with expertise in the area of federal election law? Have you reviewed all of the statutes, regulations, and federal court decisions bearing on this issue? If so, perhaps you could explain them to us so that we can all get up to speed on the issue. Also, what is the basis for your statement that the Justice Department and the FBI are investigating Duke? Do you play golf with Alberto Gonzales and Robert Mueller?

Georgia Girl said...

I still don't understand how ALL OF YOU seem to run together in your opinions.

You've seen my posts in KC's archives.

Does ANYBODY here understand that the perpetrator responsible for gang-raping me in 1962 would NOT have gotten away with it "today"?!

Now what would you attribute that to? I thank God that "feminists" exist today. Unfortunately, for me, women had NO voice in 1962.

Do any of you care?