Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Group Profile: Grant Farred's "Phantom" Insights

Grant Farred, an associate professor of literature, is one of the few Group of 88 members with any connection to athletics. He coached JV soccer at Williams College, and published a book on race and the globalization of the NBA entitled Phantom Calls.

I’ve been around basketball all my life: my father was a small-college All-American at Fitchburg (MA) State, where he was the NAIA’s leading national scorer for the 1962-1963 season; my sister was a three-year starter and two-time captain at Columbia. I’ve heard or used the phrase “phantom call/foul” thousands of times. I’ve never encountered anyone who deemed it a code phrase illustrating secret racism.

That is: until I encountered the Group of 88. In a 2005 playoff series, Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy complained about “phantom calls” against his team’s star center, Yao Ming, a native of China. More explosively, Van Gundy claimed that an NBA referee had told him that league officials had ordered the referees to call more fouls against Yao. The latter charge called into question the integrity of the game: when Van Gundy couldn’t substantiate it, he was fined $100,000, at the time the largest fine in the history of the NBA.

Farred, in his pamphlet-length book, argues that the critical aspect of the story came not in Van Gundy’s claim of an anti-Rockets conspiracy (the focus of virtually all contemporaneous press coverage) but instead in the use of the phrase “phantom calls” to describe what the coach considered unfair officiating against Yao. The remark indicated that “the politics of the NBA is once again fraught with the ghostly presence of race, now reflected through the Asian body.” (p. 15)

According to Farred, “the referees’ ‘phantom calls’ unleashed a racial politics that was foreclosed during the rhetorical skirmishes that erupted around the ‘fouled’ Asian body” (p. 27). As a result, “through Yao’s body, race is reconstructed as an anti-imperial category with significant consequences for the local (USA; NBA) discourse about racism.” (p. 31)

Van Gundy, it turns out, had powers no one (least of all, I’m sure, Van Gundy himself) ever could have imagined. “By positioning Yao as the symbolic victim of the American racial phantasmatic and his refusal to name the race or racism, by ‘mediating’ Yao, in Kundera’s sense, Van Gundy makes possible a discussion about the condition of racial politics as it pertains to African-American players in the NBA.” (p. 48) Try using that sentence as an icebreaker at a party.

Why did Van Gundy possess such powers? Farred explains as only Farred can: “The contradictory, contingent nature of racial articulation can be identified in those moments when the figure of discursive initiation (here, Van Gundy) speaks from a disjunctive—or, non-raced—place, as in those racist Phantoms released into public circulations in sites where their presence and articulation are not expected.” (p. 36)

In fact, suggests Farred, Van Gundy’s complaint might come to be viewed as a critical point in the development of globalization. “The ‘phantom calls’ reveal how the migrant Asian subject of globalization is, in the moment of crisis or the experience of direct address, precariously close to the kind of non-belonging with which the raced subject perpetually lives.” (p. 66)

While the NBA might have been able to discipline Van Gundy for his comments, Farred concludes that the United States will not be able to use the “neo-liberal, imperial imaginary” to hold back China. (p. 82) In this respect, “Yao represents the spectral presence of Chinese capital within America. He is, precisely because of his complicated ideological heritage, the most profound threat to American empire.” (pp. 87-88)

Maybe the referees were right, then, to try to call more fouls on Yao . . .


In one sense, Farred’s musings might be dismissed as little more than an example of academic writing at its most absurd. Farred himself makes no pretense of his political approach to academic life: he trained under the radically anti-Israel scholar Edward Said, and recalled his mentor as “a model for being engaged in political activities outside the university,” a figure who, “while his primary focus was the Palestinian cause . . . was able to extend the struggle for justice far more broadly.”

In another sense, however, Farred’s remarks reveal a mind preconditioned to see racism everywhere, even where it clearly doesn’t exist. This is, after all, a professor who produced a 95-page essay claiming that something that occurs every day in the NBA—a coach complaining about fouls called on his best player—actually showed how the “NBA is once again fraught with the ghostly presence of race, now refracted through the Asian body.” (p. 15)

A few days before the election, Farred published a Herald-Sun op-ed that demonstrated the same level of intellectual quality evident in Phantom Calls. The theme: the “secret racism” (sound familiar?) underlying the lacrosse case.

Farred could not hide his intense dislike for the lacrosse players. He denounced—without citing any evidence—“the lacrosse team’s reputed tendency toward arrogant sexual prowess.” (Imagine the appropriate outrage if a professor had made such a generic claim about, say, his African-American students.) He asserted that the team had a “criminal history.” (Yes, according to the Coleman Committee report: the same “criminal history” of hundreds of other Duke students who had alcohol-related violations.)

But Farred reserved his greatest vitriol for each and every Duke undergraduate who disagreed with his approach to the case:

Mobilized through the proliferation of Blue Devil blue armbands, too visible on campus early in the fall semester, inscribed with the numbers of the three indicted players and the defiant proclamation, “Innocent” (in bold white), Duke University students are now said to be registering to vote in Durham in unprecedented numbers.
How dare Duke students, fumed Farred, try to overturn Mike Nifong’s “separate-but-equal” system of justice? Duke students voting in Durham, the professor reasoned, would yield consequences almost as profound as those he saw in Van Gundy’s fateful complaint about the “phantom calls” against Yao: “What Duke students becoming Durham citizens does is displace the problem of racism from the lacrosse team and the university to Durham’s political system.” (That’s the same political system, it’s worth remembering, that produced Harris Johnson.)

Farred lamented that his institution’s undergraduates—the people he teaches twice a week—wanted to exercise “their right to the franchise without any other sense of civic responsibility.” He appears to have overlooked how an estimated 75% of Duke students engage in community service in and around the Durham area. I e-mailed Farred to ask what level of community service should be required before Duke students would have a sufficient level of “civic responsibility”; he never replied.

To Herald-Sun readers, Farred posed a question that “needs to be answered. What does Duke stand against?”

It’s clear what Farred stands against: due process and the dispassionate evaluation of evidence, free from ideological blinders; and a willingness of faculty members, like the Group of 88, who presupposed the lacrosse players’ guilt to reconsider their actions.


Over the last seven months, anyone following the lacrosse case has witnessed Duke professors, one after another, making public acts and statements that almost appear divorced from reality, all with the goal of intensifying public condemnation of the lacrosse players. It’s little surprise, I suppose, that a professor who would detect the “ghostly presence of race” in a basketball coach complaining about “phantom calls” would also see “secret racism” in Duke students registering to vote to oust an unethical district attorney.

But a major difference exists between the context of Farred’s two crusades. Phantom Calls is currently ranked 277,943 at, so isn’t exactly a threat to crack the New York Times bestseller list. “Secret Racism,” on the other hand, represented one of the final pre-election statements by any Duke professor on the lacrosse case. The op-ed sent an unmistakable message to Durham voters: the Duke faculty—at least those of whom care to speak publicly—wanted Mike Nifong to remain in office, so he could continue his procedurally tainted prosecution.

If Farred really wants to uncover the veil of “secret racism,” perhaps he should start a little closer to home, and take a look at the motives of his colleagues in the Group of 88.


Joe T. said...

I swear, Madame Tussaud's should build a new chamber-of-horrors section to display mannequins of each one of these demented 88.

Anonymous said...


Another homer on your part. Farred truly has disgraced himself, and it is sad to see someone like him at an elite institution that allegedly is about education.

Moreover, the arrogance of the Gang of 88 is breathtaking. These are people who are answerable to no one, and certainly not the Duke administration and president, who seem to cower before this set of rogue professors.

As a college professor, I cannot imagine being able (or wanting) to libel my students the way Duke professors libel theirs. As a number of people have sent taunting emails to me because I do not teach at an "elite" institution, all I can say is that where I teach, professors are expected to show respect to each other and to their students. I guess that is not the case at Duke.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

Duke University should be ashamed of itself for hiring professors like Farred. Incredible.

Anonymous said...

Did you actually have to read all of Farred's book for this post? You are a brave man, KC Johnson.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if those at Duke who are reponsible for hiring individuals such as Farred actually read the drivel that they write. It is disturbing to think that the garbled nonsense penned by people such as Farred and Holloway actually passes for academic scholarship at Duke.

Anonymous said...

"Almost" divorced from reality? I think you are too kind to the Despicable 88, K.C. I find it curious that they have apparently decided to stonewall you rather than respond to any of your inquiries. Logic and reason must be too big of a stretch for any of these characters. I guess they're only comfortable when putting on the jargon-laden non-speak for other fools or when lording it over undergraduates. sic semper tyrannis

The Dude said...

A point that creeps up in all the posts seems to be the Duke students snf their voting approvalor disproval. Does anyone have an actual inquiry of the percentage of Duke Students who vote in Durham? Most college students retain their residency from whence they came. They either don't vote in Durham or they vote absentee in their home state. I think this point needs to be explored. The Duke staff must live near or in Durham and therefore are registered voters. Besides the class warfare, the out of state students have no opportunity to defend themselves. I for one would look elsewhere if choosing a college/Univ. for my child. I'm sure the long term position at Duke will suffer greatly not to mention the alumni benefactors that are getting fed up with this travesty.

Anonymous said...

Has he been sitting in on Karla Hollaway's English class? How you were able to even read this impenetrable garbage is hard to fathom. Farred has devoted his life to ferreting out racism, and it's staring him right in the face and he doesn't even recognize it! I'm wondering if he's trying to get attention for his views and move his book up on the list. After all, Holloway is beating him with her recent book at 267,656.
Although it may be somewhat reassuring that their views are not finding a wide audience outside of Durham, it is still frightening indeed that these views are being promoted at Duke.
Academic freedom, just like any other freedom can be abused. Their arrogance and willingness to sacrifice the most basic tenets of fairness to promote their own agendas has crossed that line. Their dislike for Duke in general and it's students in particular is so obvious as to make one wonder why they would continue to teach there. I am hoping the trustees and administration will eventually ask that same question.

Anonymous said...

Duke is currently working with a PR firm in an effort to recover from any damage done by the lacrosse hoax. The Administration still does not get it. The real issue is the "coming out" of the left-wing, agenda driven, under achieving professors who thought this case would elevate their doctrines. It is because of them that applications and fundraising will be down- not the lacrosse players. How long with the Board of Trustees continue to allow this travesty to take place?

Anonymous said...

How long? Probably as long as these faculty continue to be among the most prolific faculty in the institution. Get over it. If you people think that the 88 are reviled on campus, you are living in disney/wonderland. The fact is that these 88 are influential, highly respected, prize winning authors, sought after teachers and administrators.

Anonymous said...

The last comment says it all. The "prizes" these faculty members win are the kinds of prizes given by like-minded organizations.

In a place where real academic achievement mattered, people like Farred and Holloway would be teaching at junior colleges somewhere. The journals in which they are published are among the most convoluted and nonsensical journals out there. They are the ultimate of academic gibberish.

However, I suspect the poster is correct when he says that the 88 are well-respected on campus. That Duke University would continue to honor people like that tells me everything I need to know about that place.

HMan said...

To 8:41
No doubt these people are popular within their mini-universe. However, when the full story of this mess is written into history, a long chapter will be on just how out of touch with reality campus PC deconstructuralist nonsense had become. Little things like due process, truth vs. scam apparently have no weight in that world.

TombZ said...

Farred's pamphlet must have been written to inspire suicide by its readers... Or demands for euthanasia.

My head hurts. Please kill me so I can forget I read these excerpts.

Anonymous said...

Where is Al Sharpton these days? If the allegations against the LAX players had any merit, or even if they did not have any merit but were at least not so clearly false, I would think that he would be in Durham banging the drum, but he is no where to be seen. Also, the New Black Panther Party seems to have disappeared, which is very odd when you consider how hot they were about the case last Spring. Perhaps one of the pro false accuser commenters on this board could explain to us why Al Sharpton and the New Black Panther Party seem to have lost interest in this case.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has dealt with the tangled jargon of modern academic discourse and is still able to place a catalog order over the phone is due hearty congratulations. The sterile, institutional rhetoric of deconstruction, when itself deconstructed, often reads like the parody Derrida probably meant it to be. Take Farred’s main point, as quoted by Johnson:

“The contradictory, contingent nature of racial articulation can be identified in those moments when the figure of discursive initiation (here, Van Gundy) speaks from a disjunctive—or, non-raced—place, as in those racist Phantoms released into public circulations in sites where their presence and articulation are not expected.”

In translation: The difficulty in finding racial meaning in discourse is made clear when a speaker or writer (the “figure of discursive initiation” – I love it!) doesn’t mention race at all, particularly when you don’t expect him to do so.

In other words, sometimes it’s damn difficult to explain how race is involved in specific discourse – but I’m here to try!

When I was in graduate school, one of the professors in my department – what the heck, James Longenbach – was an editor of a literary journal which published an article that, through the skillful use of deconstructive jargon, proved that discourse cannot exist. It was a brilliant parody, and the editors published it without bothering to tease out meaning from rhetorical bravado. Needless to say, when the author of the article pointed out that it was a crock, there were many red faces. If only I believed that same scenario could play itself out with respect to this more serious narrative.

Brad Davis

huesofblue said...

“The contradictory, contingent nature of racial articulation can be identified in those moments when the figure of discursive initiation (here, Van Gundy) speaks from a disjunctive—or, non-raced—place, as in those racist Phantoms released into public circulations in sites where their presence and articulation are not expected.” (p. 36)

Content aside, this is just bad writing. It reminds me of Will Ferrell's debate with James Carvel in Old School. Are short, crisp sentences really too much to expect from a professor at Duke?

Anonymous said...

That is right. Unfortunately, it seems that Brodhead has a lot of support from alumni who feel the same way (blame the lacrosse players for damage done to the institution.)
The Board seems to be really out of touch.

Anonymous said...

8:53-Well put. I could not say it better myself. I may catch hell for saying this, but I am going to say it. If people like Holloway were not in a minority, would she even be teaching at Duke?

Anonymous said...

K.C., Brad, Bill or anyone else,

Can someone please cite one example where any of the "88" has published research of substance that has gained a following OUTSIDE of academia? Isn't the real issue here that the "88" have have attempted to leverage the lax hoax into a feeble attempt to improve their standing among their academic peers?

Anonymous said...

Farred's craptacular prose reminded me of something...

In 1996 NYU physics professor Alan Sokal wrote an essay titled "Transgressing the Boundaries: towards a tranformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity." It was intentional nonsense from start to finish. Sokal submitted the paper to the journal "Social Text."

Social Text bills itself as "A daring and controversial leader in the field of cultural studies, the journal consistently focuses attention on questions of gender, sexuality, race, and the environment, publishing key works by the most influential social and cultural theorists.

Despite the patent nonsense and intentionally false equations and calculations, Social Text published Sokal's hoax. It was a clear demonstration, in black and white, that Social Text wore no clothes.

What entity publishes psycho-babble like Sokal's? Duke University Press.

huesofblue said...


That's exactly what I'm talking about! Farred goes out of his way to make a straightforward assertion difficult to understand. He’s writing like a high school senior, trying to cram the maximum number of “SAT words” into each sentence, instead of actually trying to communicate with his reader.

Sound analysis and interesting ideas stand on their own. They don’t need to be dressed up in a cheap suit of big words.

Anonymous said...

You people are pathetic. All of this smacks of class jealousy, academic envy, and an "I wish I were someone who had a reputation that somebody other than a fellow blogger cares about."
But alas, the audience for the 88 is far wider, and far more credible than you can imagine.You are more interested in reading something that reminds you of your elementary school reading book. That's the distinction between you and an academic. They read widely and think deeply. You skim. Those big words and compound sentences confuse you don't they? And your only response is that something might be wrong with these writers? Check the mirror folks. Those of us who send our children to Duke to be taught by these faculty are hopeful that our children turn out to be more like them than like you.

Anonymous said...


I don't think that members of the Group of 88 initially saw the lacrosse incident as a means of enhancing careers. My suspicion, in fact, is that many of them would probably retract their now-infamous signatures if they could do so without losing face. The rhetorical posturing that has taken place since the AV's story has become increasingly suspect is an attempt to displace real-world _facts_ with a deconstruction of _intention_.

I believe that the lacrosse case in its original form was a narrative frankly irresistible to some faculty members. The perpetrators: infuriatingly-privileged white male chauvinist athletes whose sense of automatic social entitlement is made chronic by boorish anti-intellectualism. The victim: an African-American woman brutally exploited for the salacious satisfaction of an oppressive white elite, forced by economic circumstances beyond her control to perform a degrading spectacle that ends, literally, in a direct and personal violation of her body.

As it has become clear that a rape almost certainly did not occur on Buchanan Boulevard, members of the Group of 88 have reinvented their condemnation of lacrosse players as the exposure of a white male athletism on the _verge_ of raping. This is a classic deconstructionist move where _intention_ is more relevant than _facts_, a substitution of the mundane and obvious with the political and subtle.

This approach gives faculty the opportunity to move the debate from specifics of the incident (in which their political agendas are frustrated) to the realm of an institutional discourse where they set the rules and, as long as the rules are observed, they feel beyond criticism.

Brad Davis

Anonymous said...

I have concluded that the last post is a parody. Either that, or the person is a caricature of himself.

Guess what, I am an academic, and I have published in an "A" journal, as well as others in lesser categories, and I will say that the kind of convoluted writing that we see from the Evil Gang of 88 would not have been acceptable in those journals.

The idea that Karla Holloway's piece on "white innocence means black guilt" piece is an example of "deep thinking" simply is not true. The poster may think that these people are Really Deep Thinkers, but the only thing that is deep here is the bullsh*t.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

Please, let's ignore 10:31's baiting. The fact that many of the writers here (including, of course, the blogger himself) are PhDs and professors is reply enough.

Brad Davis

Anonymous said...

By the way, I was not referring to Brad's post, but the one before. Brad makes good sense, and it is great to see him on board.

By the way, that infamous deconstructionist babble piece was published my first year in graduate school and everyone in our economics department at Auburn got a hearty laugh from it.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

I do not want my Duke grad to be anything like the examples I have seen from the 88's academic portfolio. And I, as a Duke grad, want nothing to do with them either. Sorry, 10:31, you do not speak for us (Duke parents) all. Perhaps you are the one in Fantasyland - or perhaps you are a member of the 88.

The drivel that has been published by these professors is nothing short of academic and intellectual fraud. I know what I am talking about, by the way. I have social science Ph.D. and a Masters.

Anonymous said...

Bill: I posted before I read your reply. Good points, of course.

Brad Davis

Anonymous said...


Retrospective on Sokal's article:

Brad Davis

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the Duke Columnist Butler who managed to get it right about Nifong has taken courses from Holloway? Maybe she could give us the inside scoop on what its like to hear babble everyday.

huesofblue said...

10:31 wrote:

“You are more interested in reading something that reminds you of your elementary school reading book. That's the distinction between you and an academic. They read widely and think deeply. You skim. Those big words and compound sentences confuse you don't they? . . . Those of us who send our children to Duke to be taught by these faculty are hopeful that our children turn out to be more like them than like you.”

I stand by my post about short ,crisp sentences. Complicated prose is appropriate in literature, but in the real world of law, business, medicine, journalism, ect. the point of writing is to communicate. And if you have to read a sentence multiple times figure out what it’s saying, the writer isn’t communicating effectively.

EC said...

10:31 is either one of the "88" and maybe Farred himself or an indoctrinated student.

Notice no attempt to argue the basic facts of ineptitude from the 88 only a smear of "jealousy" from us, the "ignorant masses". LOL

See 10:31? My prose is very easy to understand and to the point. My IQ is 156. Certainly higher than many of the feculant 88. Though the difference is that I live in the real world while they simply elevate themselves with the flatus that exudes out of their mouths.

As to Farred, I notice he is from South Africa. Maybe he needs to go back there and enlighten Mbeki with his convoluted screeds. I'm positive he'll find many a sympathetic ear in post-Apartheid South Africa.

There more you dig with these non-people, the greater the stench.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why these posts are becoming so personal in their attacks. I thought we were doing better when we stuck to the issues of the case and our wish to see these innocent young men released from the imprisonment of this media massacre. These stench and whatever posts bother me because they reach the lower levels of our interests and even suggest that some of us might be racist to people who read these posts for our information. Let's up the level of our posts and leave the smut to some other website. Come on guys, we have reputations to uphold of these boys, and it doesn't help for our own to be under question!

Anonymous said...


Excellent point! I would like to note that when I graduated from college I felt so mentally level headed and educated. All I wanted to do is go out and change the world. Then I got into the real world and realized one vital thing. College taught me how to think, but they did nothing at all to prepare me for the real world and how it operates. I was on my own. I couldn't hide behind a theory or a view point if I did not complete a task. I felt unprepared and just a little bit robbed after spending 20k a year to go to school. Do not get me wrong, I donot regret college at all. I am just saying, many professors like Farred fail to prepare a person for what it is like in the real world, perhaps because he himself has never been there.

Anonymous said...

The fact that so many of these posts wallow in the lower regions of personal attacks indicates the level of people who are writing them. It is very revealing of the mental capacities of the writers. Go on, go after the scary 88. The fact that not a one of them has bothered to think twice about you all, or resign, or be admonished by the administration, or whatever else your wishful thinking would want for them suggests to me that they understand the difference between important speech and stupidity. To be clear: yours would be the latter.

EC said...

12:12 - this travesty IS about race, pure and simple. To ignore it and to attempt to "rise above it" is lunacy. One needs to find the root of the problem before a true cure can be enacted.

12:29 - thank you and excellent point as well.

12:37 - you are an embarrassment to higher education and freedom of thought. Go do your bootlicking on campus, please. To infer anything other than the 88 being out of touch with reality as to why they have not "bothered to think twice about you all" (sic) is idiocy at its finest.

ec said...

Sorry, that would be 12:35 and not 12:37

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.35:

The only person who writes posts on this blog is me (as you might notice, my name is right below each post). So it would be "level of person writing them," not level of "people."

It's unfortunate that you don't consider the posts of sufficient mental capacity, but, obviously, you're entitled to your opinion. My CV, by the way, is here.

As the Duke Chronicle article of last week revealed, it does appear as if the Group of 88 has thought quite a bit about its critics. That the Group hasn't in any way been admonished by the administration is one of the most striking aspects of the case.

Luke said...

Where is The Potbangers' Ball going to be held next year?

Anonymous said...


I have looked at the CVs of many of the Evil Gang of 88, and I can assure you that they do not have even close to your academic record.

This is an elite CV, especially give you have not reached 40. So, those posters who insist that K.C. is a sub-par scholar need to be taken back to school.

I realize, of course, that your detractors do not need any reason to question your credentials. You have come out in favor of the defense in this case, and to them that is the unpardonable sin.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

One of the best reasons to keep coming back to this site is its essential fairness and demonstrations of clear thinking, both with respect to the original posts and in the resulting comments.

I think it's fair to say that the 10:31 and 12:35 comments are nothing but bait, exhibiting neither fairness nor, certainly, clear thinking. If no one rises to the bail, it will float away.

Brad Davis

Anonymous said...

One more re: Sokal. A must read to interpret Farred:


Anonymous said...

I wish Duke had professors like KC Johnson and Bill Anderson. Unfortunately, given the unethical and nonsensical nature of academic discourse in the humanities departments at Duke, I doubt that that they would feel comfortable there.

It also seems only appropriate that Brodhead is an English professor himself. I doubt that he thinks all that differently from the Houston Bakers of the world.

I get the feeling that if the trustees had looked for the best man/woman for the job instead of trying to fill their own insecurities by hiring a Yalie, they would have done much better.

As a Duke alumnus, it makes me sick to the stomach knowing the kind of faculty behavior Brodhead has let pass without public reprimand. He has the freedom of speech and the responsibility to speak out against lies and injustices (since he is a "leader" and all).

Anonymous said...

I think one more thing needs to be said about K.C.'s academic accomplishments. He has done this:

1. While teaching a 3-4 load, which means three classes one semester (and sometimes up to three preps) and four the next.
2. Without having doctoral students doing huge amounts of his research for him.

To put this in perspective, at many "research" universities, the academic load might be a 2-2, a 1-2, or even a 1-1 or 1-0. Furthermore, these people also have many graduate students doing research for them, and have access to research libraries.

K.C. has managed to compile an impressive vita in a situation where most people would not produce a tenth of what he has done. This is impressive, so anyone who wishes to rag on his supposed lack of credentials needs to understand that K.C., indeed, has intellectual firepower.

Bill Anderson

EC said...

I concur with Bill Anderson at 1:43 and the contributions of KC. Though Bill should not be selling himself short on his contributions either.

I find it despicable though completely unsurprising that the anonymous trolls attempt to discredit Bill through his university. The old attack the messenger instead of the message ploy. What else do they really have anyway?

Anonymous said...

To 1:37,
I think most universities wish they had KC Johnson or Bill Anderson...I think the Duke administration along with the Group of 00's are relieved that they don't have KC or would not be pretty!

Also, did anyone see the recent FoxNews report by Greta Vansusteren and a panel of legal experts from around the US? Not pretty for Nifong either!!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the comments, but between K.C. and me, K.C. is the much better scholar. I got into this business in my mid-40s and have my limitations. But it still is an enjoyable career, even if I never had aspirations to teach at an elite place.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

To Bill @ 2:52;
That says a lot about KC then.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about Bill Anderson, he has some great work on the von Mises Institite website.

I first learned about Dr. Anderson prior to the Duke affair through some of my son's recent college research (he studies/follows Austrian Economics).

In any event I think if you do not now hold Bill's opinions in very high esteem, you will after reviewing his work.

Anonymous said...

I find 10:31's comments about class and degree envy amusing. He must be among the Despicable 88. Hate to break this to you, but lots of people out in the real world earn many times what university professors make, even the ones who hustle as consultants on the side. And those high income folks are significant contributors of much of Duke's development income every year. Many among us are appalled at your arrogance, your Stalinist agenda and your hateful attitude toward the young men and women we send to University. Perhaps even more shocking than your patent disregard for right and wrong is the evident stupidity so prevalent among you. How did these people get tenure at Duke? sic semper tyrannis

AMac said...

William Anderson:

In an earlier thread, you stated that the Duke basketball team had hired exotic dancers for a party early this year, prior to the start of the Lacrosse Scandal. Are there any citable newspaper (or other) accounts that have made this claim?

(Sorry that this is somewhat off-topic--but it does get to the question of equitable treatment of students by their faculty. Presumably, if Group L has committed an unpardonable sin by hiring dancers, then Group B, doing the same thing, would have deserved the same censure.)

Another Duke mom said...

This is mostly for KC but applies to all of us:
Suppose on Dec 15, the case is thown out on the defense motion to dismiss b/c of the faulty line-ups? First day: Yippee! Fantastic! Second day: Wait...what happens to KC, Brad, the Dude, Prof Anderson and the Duke parents/ friends that have been posting here?
I'm sure you'll appreciate my commitment of your time, KC, but will you consider continuing this blog with another focus? Your research and text on this subject have been marvelous. For the most part we have had healthy discourse here. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

If this case is dismissed I doubt this board will end. Nifong, gottlieb, and Precious all have some explaining to do. I assume it is possible that all three (especially Precious) could face charges.

Anonymous said...

Also, I highly doubt the basketball team ever hired strippers. For one thing, none of those guys come from money except maybe Joe Paliagca and the strippers were not cheap. Secondly, they are under a much larger microscope than the Lacrosse team and would not take the risk. Furthermore, that would have happened last year when they had Shelden (who already had an issue in high school with accusations of a sex crime against him, I think he elarned his lesson) and JJ Redick who is a face recognizable by any sports fan. So to answer your question, I highly doubt such an event would have happened. Perhaps you misinerupted a hypothetical or something.

AMac said...

It would be interesting to have a tally of Duke faculty who have signed statements and written pieces attacking the (47, 46, or 3) lacrosse players.

For statements, there is the Group of 88.

For essays, it seems Profs. Wood, Starn, and Farred would qualify.

In contrast, how many faculty members have signed public statements or written in support of Due Process for Duke students, regardless of the presumed guilt or innocence of the three accused men?

To my knowledge, Chemistry Prof. Steven Baldwin is the only one.

Finally, how many have explicitly declared their belief that the three indicted players are innocent of the felonies they are charged with? I think the answer is zero.

So--with all the facts that have come to light in the past few months:

88 - Anti due process, anti accused students

1 - Pro due process

0 - Pro accused students

1,506 (1,595-89) - No opinion/declined to answer

It would be interesting to poll the 1,506 on the reasons for their non-involvement. I'm sure many feel insufficiently acquainted with the facts, or are uneasy with any faculty advocacy.

What number, I wonder, refrain from speaking out against the prosecution--and their 88 colleagues--because they worry that public expression of such incorrect views would have an adverse effect on their professional life, or even their career prospects?

Another Duke mom said...

When Prof. Baldwin wrote his pro- defense article in the Chronicle, I emailed him to express support. He replied that he appreciated it very much particularly since the atmosphere had been extremely tense in the previous couple of days. My guess is that the professors who have not chosen to speak up are trying to stay under the radar screen. Cowardly as that may seem to us, it is their lives, their jobs and their families who are at risk.

Anonymous said...

To amac:

I have much appreciated all the learned comments posted on Grant Farred's remarks. I have learned much.

However, as I am a CPA, your comments struck me the most; numbers I understand.

88 - Anti due process, anti accused students

1 - Pro due process

0 - Pro accused students

1,506 (1,595-89) - No opinion/declined to answer

Ouch. Those numbers couldn't be more damning of an "elite institution." How do I enroll my child in the Community College?

KC Johnson said...

To the 4.57:

The blog focus is the Duke/Nifong case--a case I expect to continue after charges against the three players are either dismissed or collapse. So the blog will probably continue as well.

The explanations for faculty silence are well taken. That, in part, explains the significance of the Group of 88. They clearly don't represent a majority of Duke faculty. But their ability to effectively silence the majority by threatening an allegation of racism for those who defend due process has had a profound effect on Duke's handling of affairs.

Anonymous said...

I have very, very good sources on the basketball team having strippers. While I do not feel at liberty to divulge them, trust me that this actually did happen.

Now, people do not have to believe me, but I am not making it up, nor was I engaged in the sloppy gathering of information. Why it has not been publicized is anyone's guess, but all of the moral theater that has accompanied the lacrosse party would be in jeopardy if people had to admit that the basketball team, sororities, and other groups at Duke (and many other college campuses) have hired strippers.

The moral theater (and the Duke administration's talking points) have tried to make it look as though:

1. Only the lacrosse team would do something like hiring a stripper, and,
2. They hired a black stripper, and the entire team was in on it.

In truth, the team captains planned the strippers, and most people who came did not know about it beforehand, and did not know until the captains began to hit them up for money. One reason that Reade Seligmann left early was because he did not like what was going on.

Nor had the captains officially asked for African-American women, and certainly not the overweight, 30-ish women that showed up. The accuser already was out of it when she came there, which added to the problems.

Anyway, people can believe what they want to believe. If they really think that Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans were able to commit a brutal rape and leave absolutely no DNA evidence, and were able to commit a 30-minute rape in less than five minutes, then by all means let them believe. I can only hope people who have such fanciful beliefs are not on the jury.

Bill Anderson

AMac said...

Thank you for the response, Bill Anderson.

Other student groups' hiring of exotic dancers certainly would complicate the "moral theater." It would seem as though a finite number of inquiries by an enterprising reporter could bring this into the public domain.

[sarcasm] Perhaps the NYT's Duff Wilson or the H-S's John Stevenson reads this blog and would be game for such sleuthing, no matter where the trail might lead. [/sarcasm]

Anonymous said...

Bill, based on your last comment, it appears that the LAX team captains did a nice job of sandbagging Reade and the other players.

Anonymous said...

Professor Anderson:

I appreciate your support of the three accused lacrosse players and share your disgust for Duke's response to this affair. Given the anti-athlete, anti-white male disposition of a significant faculty contingent on Duke's campus, I seriously question the wisdom of releasing information about transgressions of the basketball team, the two most prominent players for which are Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts (both white males). The News&Observer ran an early story about the baseball team hiring strippers.

Did this story help or hurt the situation? The type of information you are releasing based on your sources is exactly the type of information the G88 and folks like Orin Starn and Peter Wood would love to have. Why are you providing them this ammunition? I thought part of the point of KC's blog was to be critical of professors who irresponsibly criticize and make accusations against students to pursue their own goals. Isn't that what you are doing vis-a-vis the basketball team?

No one questions that other student groups hired strippers on Duke's campus or on any other campus. Is is really necessary to make a specific allegation against the basketball team? The post above suggested giving the information to news reporters. Do you think that would help or hurt the causes you are advancing?

I confess my concern is as a Duke alumnus utterly disappointed in the faculty and administration's response to this incident. I recognize that many people want to destroy each and every part of the University as retaliation for the actions of Brodhead, the G88, and faculty members like Starn and Wood. Perhaps pouring more gasoline on the fire would help pursue this goal. Perhaps Duke even deserves it. All I can ask, however, is that you consider the consequences before doing whatever it is you plan to do with your information. Thanks for your consideration.

Duke Alum

Anonymous said...

I understand 8:18's point, and I am not trying to throw some stink bombs into the mix. Instead, I am pointing out tht while the administration is trying to say in its talking points that the LAX players are singularly bad actors because of the stripper business, what they did was not out of the ordinary at Duke.

As I pointed out in a piece on Lew Rockwell's page, the real crime was not that some students hired strippers, but rather that the lacrosse team hired them. The LAX players represent everything that the Evil Gang of 88 truly hates. They are white, athletic, generally good students, and are middle or upper-middle class, and generally have pretty good families at home. The person who does not understand the mentality of the typical campus leftist cannot understand just how professors such as Peter Wood and Karla Holloway would absolutely despise someone like Reade Seligmann. It was not because he was "arrogant" (and which I hear from everyone who knows him that he clearly is not an arrogant person), but rather that he represents people that the Peter Woods of the world hate to the very core of their sick beings.

That is NOT to say I approve of anyone hiring strippers, period, but I am 53, not 19 or 20, and I cannot always say that I am proud of some of the things I might have done at that age.

(Yes, I also was an athlete -- track -- at the University of Tennessee, and we had the tendency to make the other people in the dorm hate us. Enough said. There are times that I cannot say that I like that guy in my skinsuit back in my competitive athlete days.)

Part of the real irony of the indictment of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty is that they really were on the periphery of the party and left early. The image of these guys leering and "oppressing" some African-American strippers simply is not what was the case, and especially with those two. This shows just what a crapshoot the indictment process was, and how Nifong really has degraded what is left of the legal process.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

Duke Alum, unfortunately, you are one of the very few sane people posting on this board, and I think you are about to learn a lesson about the level of fanaticism that exists here. Bill does not give a damn about Duke. He is not a Duke alum and he does not have a child at Duke, but for some reason, he has gotten all hot about the LAX case and seems to feel entitled to say things and apparently even do things to tear down Duke even though he has no real stake in the situation. Who knows, maybe he applied to Duke years ago and was rejected and he thinks this is a great way to get some pay back. The idea that trashing the Duke basketball team would somehow help the LAX players is literally insane and therefore cannot be accepted as a logical explanation for what he would be doing if he were to follow through on this. This is one of the problems with the blogosphere. You get a lot of crazy people expressing a lot of crazy opinions and in this case threatening to do crazy things, and you have absolutely no idea who they are or what hidden agenda or evil motives they may have.

Anonymous said...

Whoops! I did not apply to Duke and have nothing against Duke or the basketball team. My comments speak for themselves, and I have no idea how the person can know my "motives."

I believe that the rape and kidnapping charges against three people who clearly are not guilty of the crimes is monstrous, and I am speaking out. If that is offensive to you, well, get over it. I do not respect a faculty that trashes its students, and I will speak out on that, too.

My intent is NOT to trash the basketball team. Instead, I am pointing out the rank hypocrisy in which the LAX players are called rapists for doing what others at Duke have done. My point is valid, and if you don't like it, well too bad.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

I think I also need to point out that I had both the grades and the athletic accomplishments to get into Duke. I was an All-American and All-Southeastern Conference track athlete and would have been able to compete quite well in the ACC.

So, no, it never even occurred to me to apply to Duke when I was in high school. Tennessee had one of the top programs in the country (we were NCAA champs in cross country in 1972 and track in 1974), and when Tennessee called, I went. It was that simple.

Now, I had friends at Duke, including Scott Eden and Robbie Perkins, and Tony Waldrop, who ran for UNC (and was one of the best milers this country ever has produced) also was one of my friends.

Folks, I am not anti-Duke. I am anti-wrongful indictments and convictions, and people who know me and are familiar with my stands on these issues are not surprised that I have become involved in the Duke affair. So, enough of this Bill-Anderson-hates-Duke business. I used to respect Duke immensely, but those days are gone, thanks to Brodhead, Nifong, and the Evil Gang of 88.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

Bill, the main people who are calling the LAX players rapists are the false accuser and Nifong. Do you think they will care if you trash the basketball team? What exactly do you think that will do to help the LAX players? Do you think it will cause Nifong to drop the charges? Do you think it will cause the group of 88 to suddenly change their politcal and social philosophy? Or do you think it will mainly just help you to score a couple of debaters points?

AMac said...

Duke Alum 8:18pm--

The April 6, 2006 N&O article by Ned Barnett that you cite makes relevant points. It reads:

[begin quote]
"We always had parties at the baseball house," said [Duke baseball player] DeMarco, now a graduate student at Fairfield University. "The thing to do was to get strippers."

At a party he attended, DeMarco said, the dancer brought an imposing male bodyguard.

"I remember that night with the stripper," he said. "There were video cameras, some big, tough guy there guarding her. It was pretty shady."

... [DeMarco] said he was a light drinker and didn't want a stripper, especially because the group of about 30 at the party had to contribute $20 each for the show.

It seemed odd to him that athletes at a prestigious school would often drink heavily and hire dancers for special parties.

"At Duke, if you didn't go, you were ostracized, you were picked on," he said... Another former player in DeMarco's class, outfielder Mike Miello, said he attended two spring break parties at baseball houses that featured strippers...
[end quote]

There seem to be three related issues at hand.

(1) The false felony charges being pursued against the three men, with due process protections discarded at the outset.

(2) The failure of the Duke Administration and most of the Faculty to stand up for the Constitutional rights of the charged Duke students, and the willingness of a loud and visible minority of professors to tacitly or openly support the prosecution's corrupt practices for their own purposes.

(3) A collegiate culture that, in part, appears to be reminiscent of Tom Wolfe's Dumont College, with binge drinking, hookups, noisy and obnoxious behavior, and bouts of loutishness being often considered acceptable by much of Duke's student body.

Of the three, the last seems the least important to me. Though I would still commend Pres. Brodhead and the Group of 88 for striving to create a more civil, considerate, intellectually balanced campus climate... if they had displayed a modicum of honesty, and if they had not shown themselves willing to throw three students and the Constitution under the bus in order to accomplish their pet 'reforms.'

If hiring strippers is the norm for certain campus parties, then students' actions have made that fair game. They can change the terms of the discussion by changing their practices. If certain lacrosse, basketball, baseball, or other players are in the habit of public drunkenness/rowdyism/urination/late-night noisiness, then those individuals should be cited with campus or city police tickets. And they should face the disapproval of their peers for such behavior.

The concern from afar is the seeming acceptance by large parts of Durham and Duke's Faculty & Administration of a despicable game of "Pick Three." As if that makes up for the past sins of Duke athletes, real and imagined.

Anonymous said...


You have made a compelling case for de-emphasizing the role of athletics at Duke. Peter Wood could not have said it better.

Anonymous said...

I will try again. However, this is not for the benefit of 10:08 PM, who already has claimed I tried to get into Duke but failed and other such nonsense.

My point is not to trash the basketball team, but rather to point out that THE LACROSSE TEAM WAS NOT COMPOSED OF SINGULAR BAD ACTORS BECAUSE THEY HIRED STRIPPERS. The Duke administration is trying to claim that only the lacrosse players did such things, and that is the basis of the administration's talking points.

Now, I do not expect 10:08 PM to get that or to care. He is fixated on this "Bill Anderson hates the Dookies" nonsense. My beef is not just with Nifong, but also how Brodhead and the administration and faculty have behaved. By pointing out that the behavior of the lacrosse players was not out of line with what goes on at Duke, contrary to the Duke administration's talking points. Enough said.

By the way, please do not think that this affair somehow is going to have no effect upon other Duke athletic teams. It is terribly damaging to the university and its teams, and none of this was necessary. But I am not about to say, as some claim, that "it is all the fault of the lacrosse team." Sorry, but that dog won't hunt.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...


Your last post basically confirms what I suggested above, namely, that this is mainly about your desire to score some debater's points. By the way, in regard to your comment about the terrible impact the LAX mess is having on Duke's other athletic teams, the Scouting News recently ranked Duke's incoming class of basketball players (those coming in as freshmen next year) as the third best class in the country.

AMac said...

anonymous 10:21pm--

Just to be clear, I have never been to Durham. I did attend college in a different part of the country some decades ago. It's fairly comparable to Duke in reputation, except perhaps that athletics were (and still are) valued more highly at my school.

To my knowledge, behavior of student-athletes at my school would not have been described by the terms that the baseball players quoted in the N&O article used. Yeah, most of us got drunk on weekends, and were typically loud and obnoxious know-it-all young men (and women). But routinely blasting music off-campus at 90 dB at night, stripper parties, urinating in public, and the like? Such things would have been a scandal. From visits to my alma mater, they still would be.

You can argue that I am out-of-touch with Young People Today. Fair enough. Or that your tolerance for collegian antics is more suited to the realities of town and gown. Also fair.

Better still would be to point out that AMac doesn't know Duke--as I pointed out at the beginning--and thus relied on misleading accounts of these matters. Could well be.

In writing that my comments "have made a compelling case for de-emphasizing the role of athletics at Duke", you seem to be suggesting that student-athletes inevitably behave quite badly, and the best hope for the athletic program is to keep such instances well-hidden. If this is the case, that's one more reason to cry for Duke.

Though perhaps ironically, this negative stereotype seems plainly not to apply to one or more of the accused players. From KC Johnson's reports of the Coleman Committee's findings, it doesn't seem to apply to the Men's Lacrosse team as a whole, either.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson:

Is Robbie Perkins the father of Ross and Max Perkins?

Anonymous said...

My post is above, I checked Ross's profile, he is indeed Ross and Max's dad. With that said, your source for the Hoops team having strippers is pretty clear. Thus I do beleive that happened now.

Anonymous said...

I have not seen nor talked to Robbie since my running days more than 30 years ago.

As for debater's points, it is much more than that. The administration is trying to perpetuate a fraud, and I am calling its hand. If doing that constitutes mere "debaters' points," then so be it.

I never have been much of a debater, but what is happening at Duke and Durham is sickening. Does the poster think that he would be so cavalier if one of his sons were in the dock, or the sons of his friends?

Last post of the night. This is out of hand.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your response to my comment. I did not mean to suggest that the best hope for Duke athletics is to keep instances of bad behavior hidden. What I did mean to suggest is that maybe the time has come for Duke to adopt the appoach that the Ivy League universities adopted many years ago and just treat sports as a fun pastime but no big deal. If you treat them that way, you will be less likely to get these out-of-control guys who think the world owes them a living, and that in turn should eliminate problems like the LAX mess. You do not hear about things like this happening at HYP.

AMac said...

anonymous 11:05pm wrote--

> ... and that in turn should eliminate problems like the LAX mess.

No. "That" tacky behavior of hosting exotic dancers at a party doesn't even rise to the level of a misdemeanor. Only if your turn of phrase "the LAX mess" had referred to fines for DPD-issued noise violations would you have a point.

Three men stand falsely accused of felony charges because an unethical prosecutor saw personal and political advantage in charging them. A combination of schadenfreude and agenda-driven opportunism caused certain Facuty and Administration members to pile on. Now that the involved parties risk disgrace if they climb down, the ugly, dishonest charade continues.

Yeah, wouldn't it be nice to have 6,000 undergrads who never did anything naughty, ever. Until then, let's talk instead about the "D.A., DPD, Faculty, Administration Mess."

johnny-rhetoric said...

Farreds truckload of overly verbose crap that is presented as though it was worthy of great praise reminds me of much of the modern art that is produced by arrogant narcissistic morons. They slather a canvas with dog droppings and colored beads and slap a $10k pricetag on it. Vacuous trend-sucking goats with more money than sense, fawn over the garbage because they are desperate to be perceived that they "GET IT". If the artist is of the "favored race/gender/origin, they will pay whatever the price. In most cases the artist has nothing but contempt for the buyer. The artist knows he is a talentless boob and his work is worthless. His skill is creating a personna that the upscale idiots need to be close to.

This is what Farred is doing with his literary offal. Few if any truly understand what he is saying (if he is saying anything at all) but they ride along beacuse they want others to believe they "GET IT"

I dont have a prestegious degree and I dont do much abstract reading but I can say without a doubt.....I GET IT.

EC said...

Are there people so dense that they truly have a hard time understanding Bill Anderson's motives regarding the Duke basketball team and strippers? I think they are not so dense but more to the point of being mendacious trolls.

Anonymous said...

Girls hire strippers too, follks! On another board, mention was made of a sorority having hired a male stripper during the same spring break in which the lacrosse team was villified for hiring the AV. The administration at Duke found out about it and punished the sorority. According to this mom of a current student, the incident was widely known on campus.

In my day, strippers were reserved for bachelor parties (I'm 57). However, after the Duke case broke, my stepson at UTK told me that it was common for his fraternity to hire strippers. I had never known that this was the norm. Can't IMAGINE WHY kids aren't telling their parents about their weekend activities!!! (Sarcasm intended.)
Texas Mom

Anonymous said...

And it is not just the strippers. From what I gather, the behavior of students, male and female, black and white, in the college party scene is, well, obscene.

I think it is ironic that the LAX party was pretty tame by today's college standards. Yet, it is being held up as the poster child of drunkfests. And, no, I do not think that "something terrible" happened there that has remained hidden.

Instead, we are dealing with a lie, and that lie has morphed into rape and kidnapping charges that in other circumstances would have been universally recognized as a lie. The politics of race and sex, as well as local Durham politics and some members of the Duke faculty have driven this case, not the facts, and certainly not the truth.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

Troll, is that the name you guys apply to anyone who is not a rabid and fanatical LAX team supporter?

AMac said...

anonymous 10:34am wrote "Troll, is that the name you guys apply to anyone..."


It's impossible to know which "anonymous" you are, and whether your earlier contributions here were meritorious or meretricious (Definition 2).

If you want a discussion about what "us guys" think of your comments and why, you could get a blogger 'identity', or sign your comments.

Anonymous said...


Your last comment is a little disingenuous. Obviously, the word "troll" has some established meaning for the LAX team supporters on this board otherwise why would ec use it. So what is the meaning? Is it basically a way of putting down and hopefully silencing anyone who does not think exactly the way you do about the LAX case? Maybe I should just start referring to all of you as a bunch of stupid morons. That way we could all just trade insults with each other instead of having a rational discussion. It has been my experience that people who engage in this kind of name calling are usually stupid, shallow people who do not have the intellect necessary to hold up their end of an argument, so they resort to name calling in order to compensate for their lack of intelligence. Would you agree with that analysis, ec?

AMac said...

anonymous 1:13pm

> Amac, Your last comment is a little disingenuous.

No. It isn't. Read it again.

I answered your question directly, and offered a suggestion for improving dialogue (which you ignored).

> Is it basically a way of putting down and hopefully silencing anyone who does not think exactly the way you do about the LAX case?

What exactly is hopefully silencing?

Do you mean that you write well-reasoned comments, but then KC Johnson deletes them? No?

Do you mean that anybody who writes "troll" about you has spilled invisible ink over your comments, rendering them invisible to D-i-W's credulous readers? No?

Or perhaps you don't like it when people disagree with you, and challenge you to write carefully, supporting your opinions with facts and hyperlinks.

If that's the case you can:

--Start your own blog, deleting contrary comments as you see fit, or

--Aikido-like, turn the name-calling to your advantage by becoming inspired to use more rigorous reasoning and/or to present your opinions more clearly, or

--Work on developing a thicker skin.

Anonymous said...


Maybe you should try to be less arrogant and condescending, you stupid moron.

ec said...


My apologies for using the word troll in describing you if your questions were legitimate. (That is a good reason to use a name or id instead of "anonymous" so we do not mix others up. Hence me using "ec".) I felt you were simply going on, and in my opinion, unfairly towards Bill Anderson about his comment about Duke BB and strippers. The comparison of Bill's is quite apt in this case. If the university did NOT do anything to the BB team, then why this faux moral indignation over the LAX stripper case. One thing that is absolutely expected from a university IS fairness and that is one thing Bill was trying to get across. Your nitpicking and red herring argumentation of his point needed to be addressed. I also suggest to follow the advice of Amac.

Personally, I do not expect everyone here to be in lockstep agreement about everything. However, I do expect people to be able to defend their position if brought to task on it.

Your 2:10 comment indicates your presence may be "trollish" and it is immature.

Anonymous said...

EC, my use of the term "stupid moron" is no more immature than your use of the term "troll." You started the name calling with your 12:15 AM comment, and when I asked you to explain what the word "troll" means, Amac leapt to your defense with two in-your-face comments that basically suggested that I was the bad guy. Since neither of you would tell me what the term means, I concluded that it must mean something like stupid moron, and I threw it back at you. My purpose in throwing it back at you was to show you that anyone can engage in this kind of name calling and that it serves no purpose, other than to lower the level of discourse. So if you thought that my calling you and Amac stupid morons made me sound immature, congratulations, you got the message, and now you know what I thought of you when you called me a troll. In the future, I would suggest that we all just dispense with the name calling.

EC said...


Maybe this will help with the word troll...

In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, most often in the form of posting inflammatory, off-topic, or otherwise inappropriate messages.

The reason I thought you may be such a character is that Bill Anderson DID attempt to answer and explain himself several times to you though to no avail.

Anonymous said...

Without all the issues of "trolling" and the like, I have to admit that I disagree with the person who continually calls me a "fanatical LAX team supporter." Now, a person can use what language he or she wants, and if someone wishes to call me by such, I can do nothing about it.

My purpose in my writing, whether it be on the blogs or on Lew Rockwell's page, is not to support the Duke lacrosse team per se, but rather to deal with what obviously are false criminal charges against people who are being wrongfully charged. Furthermore, while the criminal charges are transparently false, there is an attempt to railroad three young men into prison because certain people find political advantage in so doing.

If I am fanatical, it is about individual rights and justice. I have written on the courts (mostly federal courts) for many years, but also deal with state courts once in a while.

While the black community in Durham continues to insist that the Duke 3 are guilty, and that any exculpatory evidence exists only because of grand conspiracies, members of the Duke faculty, as well as the Duke administration, have changed the topic from guilty as charged to "guilty for being politically incorrect."

Many lacrosse players at Duke do not fit into the mold that some professors demand from students, and for that they are being demonized. Furthermore, the Duke administration came up with a set of talking points that declare that the lacrosse players are a really bad element and are the worst kinds of human beings.

Given the real history of the LAX team, versus the contrived history that was created to better fit the Official Duke View, I have chosen to defend the LAX players. I do not think that my actions are fanatical; they simply reflect the fact that I do not believe I should be silent when those who are in positions of power and authority choose to lie and abuse their powers.

Nor do I apologize for my stand. Readers can imagine the hate mail I receive and the insults I get on this blog and elsewhere. I need to let you know that I consider the hateful comments to be a badge of honor. When someone in Durham accuses me of being a racist because my two adopted sons are black, I do not take that kind of talk seriously; rather, I consider those comments to be pathetic.

Likewise, if the person who often posts anonymously believes that I am wrong in being supportive of the Duke 3 and the LAX players in general, he can believe what he wants. But I still will continue to do what I am doing, so the critics will have to deal with it.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

3:12 pm,

Do you seriously not know what a troll is? It's actually pretty common in net parliance.

You're not being accused of being a moron, rather you're being accused of being intentionally obtuse for the purposes of eliciting negative responses. The accusation isn't based on disagreement, rather it's based on the manner in which that disagreement is voiced.

Michael Filteau

PS: Keep up the good work with the blog, Professor Johnson.

Anonymous said...

EC, thank you for the explanation. I certainly have no desire to disrupt the discussion, and I will try my best not to be too obtuse.

AMac said...

anonymous 3:12pm,

Re-reading your comments of 10:34am, 1:13pm, and 3:12pm, I see that you were unaware of the usage of this Internet slang term.

Had I realized, at 11:01am I would have done as EC did at 4:30pm, and linked to a definition. However, people sometimes find links to basic ideas to be arrogant and condescending.

In any event, I apologize for my part in this mini-flame war. I see from your 5:20pm comment that you have been trying in your own way to contribute to the discussion.

As noted earlier, by using the tagline 'anonymous,' you make it very difficult for others to follow the progress of your arguments from comment to comment (much less from post to post).

On a different note: Bill Anderson, thanks for the extended explanations of why you write about this case. Your reasoning is lucid. Unfortunately (given what it says about the state of the Liberal Arts academy), you offer a series of plausible explanations about why the Duke Faculty and Administration persist in behaving as they do, in the face of a growing mountain of inconvenient truths about the origination and propagation of the hoax.

Anonymous said...


No problem. May I suggest you give yourself a name in order for us to follow your comments? Click "Other" in the "Choose an identity" section under the comment box. Then give yourself a name in the "Name" box. Use the same name when commenting. And continue to comment, as it was not my intention to stifle anyone's voice. Just the purposeful troublemakers.

EC said...

Oops. 5:51 is me.