Friday, November 10, 2006

Group of 88 Statement

In light of a strongly negative reaction to the Group in the Duke Chronicle comments section and a biting essay on the Group’s motives in Johnsville News, the Group of 88’s statement suddenly disappeared from the Duke server. JN scanned the image before it, somewhat fittingly, vanished into the ether.

The statement dated from April 6, when 88 members of Duke’s arts and sciences faculty signed a document saying “thank you” to campus demonstrators who had distributed a “wanted” poster of the lacrosse players and publicly branded the players “rapists.” The rush-to-judgment denunciation occurred only four days before the DNA evidence that Mike Nifong had promised would “immediately rule out any innocent persons” instead revealed no matches.

It appears that most Group members didn’t share signatory Karla Holloway’s false bravado that critics have “displaced the actual content of the ad for the fiction of their own meagerly articulated agendas.” So much easier, I suppose, for ashamed signatories to dismiss their critics when Duke’s own website no longer provides access to the ad’s text. As the statement’s underlying presumption of guilt has been torn to shreds by evidence revealed since April 6, not one of the 88 has retracted his or her signature, or even publicly questioned Nifong’s “separate-but-equal” approach to Duke students.

Ironically, the document listing the Group of 88’s membership remains on the Duke server, though who knows for how long. As of now, 88 Duke professors are listed as signing on to a statement that no one can read on the Duke site. But, then again, it seems as if the specific wording of the statement was always less important than the symbolism of 88 faculty members issuing a public denunciation of the team at a time when Nifong was riding high.

47 comments:

GPrestonian said...

First! ;>)

GPrestonian said...

lol, yeah, I noticed on another blog that the listening.pdf had been removed. Curious, since it's been a number of days since the last Chronicle article about the Gang fo 88.

KC Johnson said...

I wonder if they just got around to noticing the Chron article . . .

GPrestonian said...

That thought occurred to me, KC. Thank you for all your great work w/ DukeLAX!

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe that all 88 of these professors still stand behind the ad, especially after all that comes out...

It's laughable when they suggest the ad had nothing to do with the rape allegations...please,it's called revisionist history.

What gives me a smile is that everytime I google one of these professors names, "Group of 88" pops up.

Unless they make a formal declaration otherwise, the ad will follow them forever...:)

Anonymous said...

http://www.jbhe.com/preview/autumn06preview.html

No impact on black enrollment at Duke.

Guess these kids didn't "listen" to the Gang of 88!

Anonymous said...

The group of 88 are a complete embarrasement to Duke University. I would pull either of my kids out of their classes before I would EVER allow any of those people to get in the minds of my children.

Joe T. said...

Anon 5:35 : And the ad SHOULD follow them forever. May they have no Argentina to hide out in like Nazi war criminals.

Anonymous said...

KC, I sent you a copy of the listening.pdf file in case you didn't have one. Probably no reason not to have it and supporters.pdf available for posterity.

Anonymous said...

You can take down a document but it never really goes away. For example, google still has it.

Anonymous said...

KC, I have a question. During the time you have been operating this web site, have you ever received any financial support either directly or indirectly from any current or former Duke LAX player, any member of the family or other relative of any LAX player, any other person who you have reason to believe is a supporter of the LAX players, or any attorney or law firm representing any of the indicted or unindicted LAX players? Also, have you received any nonfinancial assistance or advice or have you discussed strategy or worked in a coordinated manner with Bob Bennett or his law firm, or any other lawyer, law firm, or public relations consultant working on behalf of the LAX players or their families? Just curious.

GPrestonian said...

7:07 anon:

That was 2 questions. But good ones. ;>) And if you're going to ask questions like that, Cash, don't you think you should post via nick rather than anon?

Anonymous said...

The gang of 88 will be haunted by that list for the rest of their days thanks to the Internet.

I know of a teacher who lost there job because of something they posted very nasty and someone had the smarts to print it out, now everytime he goes for a job that post is right there, he is still unemployed.

Anonymous said...

document removed?

Orwell would be proud.

Double plus good !

GPrestonian said...

Mark Anthony Neal (of the Gang of 88) on WUNC - http://www.ibiblio.org/wunc_archives/sot/audioarchive//sot032906a.mp3

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous critic:

I have no idea if K.C. is receiving financial help for his blog, but somehow I doubt it. As for me, I have not received a penny from anyone.

Like K.C., I teach a full load of classes, chair a graduate committee, publish academic papers, and work on the side to pay for school tuition for two of my young children.

I am doing this because people like the anonymous poster are part of an attempt to railroad innocent people into prison. You can check my other writings, as I have spoken out about prosecutorial abuse, both at the state and federal levels. You can bet that K.C., Beth Brewer, Joan Foster, and the rest are not doing this for money.

Oh, and I will also identify myself. I wonder who you are? Just curious.

William L. Anderson

K.P. said...

KC and Mr. Anderson thank you for your hard work on this case as I have been working hard on my end.

I have no website but my first book will by worth all the effort thanks to people like you, helping to expose the corruption in Durham.

Anonymous said...

7:07 poster: You are asking a very loaded question without identifying yourself. My guess is, and I believe a very educated guess, Dr. Johnson did not receive a single penny from anyone. I frankly find your question insulting and cannot help but wonder what your motivations are. Or, perhaps, I should say on whose behalf are you asking this question? In any event, as soon as Dr. Johnson reads your message, I am sure he will respond.

30yearProf said...

Another reason NOT to contribute to the University at which I earned ny doctorate.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen, in case the Group of 88 members are wondering who is reading about them, right now (9:57 pm Saturday, November 10) there are 460 readers on this page. You can do the rest of the math.

Yes, I would say a lot of people are reading about you, with disgust!

Strabo the Lesser said...

Last night I got a call from Duke. They were asking for money. I told them I was upset about the handling of the LAX issue and that I would not be giving this year. I encourage others to give this message. It is the only message that will resonate with this atrocious and ham-handed administration.

Anonymous said...

I like the work KC is doing but what is wrong with the anonymous question about whether KC has received any financial compensation or has any other connections to the defense? I don't believe that KC does but I don't see the harm in asking.

Thanks in advance for an explanation of the politics of disclosure!

Anonymous said...

Am I the first person to point out that "88", in neo-Nazi circles, means "Heil Hitler"?

/yeah, I godwined this thread

Anonymous said...

The internet never forgets, and neither will we! Here is a list of the Gang of 88 from the Crystalmess blog, appropriately titled "Dear Cowards:

http://www.crystalmess.blogspot.com/2006/09/dear-cowards.html

Anonymous said...

The problem with the question was the manner in which it was asked. It was clear from the way it was phrased that the writer was trying to imply that K.C. is just carrying the water for people who were paying him to lie.

One of the early set of charges was that the people from Duke were buying off the hospital staff, buying off the police, trying to buy off the accuser, ad infinitum.

It seems that the only people who have been talking about money are the "cousin" allegedly named "Jakki" and the accuser herself.

Thus, I might wish to ask the questioner if he is in the employ of someone who seeks to benefit financially from this false accusation. Just curious.

William L. Anderson

BigDirigible said...

Is it really a crime for Duke to have taken this vile propaganda off the official site? It's only whitewashing if it never appears anywhere else. But if I was a non-signatory at Duke I'd certainly prefer that the statement not appear under the Duke name.

(Disclosure - I'm an MIT man myself, so it's really none of my business.)

GPrestonian said...

William L. Anderson & 10:19 anon:

I don't see anything wrong with asking the question(s) [hard to believe that they haven't been asked before], nor with the manner in which they were asked [if you're used to legal phrasings].

If I saw the questions w/o context, I'd assume they came straight from a **deposition**.

Anonymous said...

Hey, BigDirigible!

Is MIT as PC as Duke? I never have seen such a performance before from a faculty that hates its students, or at least SOME faculty members.

I get emails from people who chide me because I teach at Frostburg State instead of an "elite" institution, but if the kind of people I am reading are typical of an "elite" faculty, then I am quite happy and proud to be among the "common folk."

Now, I received my doctorate at Auburn, so I really am low on the totem pole, but 'das life.

All that being said, I think the Evil Gang of 88 is a disgrace, even to an "elite" institution like Duke.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

"I like the work KC is doing but what is wrong with the anonymous question about whether KC has received any financial compensation or has any other connections to the defense?"

Because it's irrelevant when it comes to his arguments. The arguments hold or fail based on their own merits, not the merits of the people advancing them.

Anonymous said...

Re above: I don't think anybody is complaining that the statement was taken down. I think we are all upset that it went up in the first place, and about the fact that it stayed up for so long. I don't know about others, but I am celebrating the fact that the statement is no longer on the Duke site. I have been waiting for this day. And, I am waiting for many more corrections of mistakes to be made by Duke administration. This is only a good start but by no means the end.

GPrestonian said...

10:54 Anon:

How do we know that its being removed wasn't a mistake or hack? One would think that if it was deliberate removal by the 88 that they would have removed the signers list as well. Perhaps the Gang of 88 is even now searching for the rich white male athlete [could it be anyone else? ;>)] who deleted the file.

Anyway, this thread should be over - 10:23 Anon correctly pointed out that he had godwined the thread. Anon 10:23 therefore loses and the thread is over! lol

Anonymous said...

K.C.,

I will be glad when this Duke business is over, because then I can concentrate on my day job again. Instead of sending a paper to a journal today, I wrote a piece on the Duke case (which will appear on Lew Rockwell's site on Saturday).

I say this because I can bet K.C. will be happy to get back to his main area of work. Now, unlike me, K.C. does not have three young children and a wife, all of whom demand attention. (And I give them attention.) But I also can guarantee the readers that he is doing this for one reason: he is morally outraged by this ridiculous and illegal prosecution.

For those of you who believe he is doing it out of racism, all I can say to you is one thing: Get a life -- and quit believing lies.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:53 pm said:

"Because it's irrelevant when it comes to his arguments. The arguments hold or fail based on their own merits, not the merits of the people advancing them.

Exactly. And based on the intelligence displayed in the format of those questions (which looks like a depo to me, too), what is bothering the poser is really the EXPOSURE that KC has given to the truth. The questions are a form of INNUENDO used to imply that KC is a mouthpiece for information given to him by defense lawyers and, therefore, cannot be relied upon as fact and logical analysis of that fact.

Even if KC has accepted money to justly compensate him for his time and expenses in covering this story and producing this blog, I would have to say that I believe Editor Ashley and Reporter Stephenson get paid for their renditions of "news and analysis," too, don't they? (Although that is grounds for misappropriation of funds.) In fact, I'm curious, too, as to what the answers would be to those questions with "Nifong" replacing the "Duke" and "lacrosse" references if asked to Ashley, Stephenson, and a few others.

I would love to answer questions like Anon 7:07 asked with a simple "no." All but one of the questions in such a list could be a "yes," but if there is ONE "no," your answer would truthful. That forces the interrogator, who always thinks he knows the answers already because, as I said, the questions are innuendo, to ask for details. Voila...the "yes or no" trap is broken.

Since when is reporting facts and their logical conclusions racist? That is exactly what those who believe, who pretend to believe, or who refuse to deny that a rape occurred are, because they do so out of 1)loyalty to the race of a false accuser, and 2) a desire to see members of another race punished for a crime they did not commit just because they are of another race. That is racism. Cash Michaels knows all about it.

You rock, Bill Anderson. Did you get an email from me about a news story in Long Beach?

Twaddlefree

Defiant Falcon said...

Seems to me, that there's a racist lynch mob who's being protected by 'the man'.

Bull Conner would be proud of them.

Anonymous said...

Twaddlefree,

I don't recall receiving an email from you, and I don't have a spam guard (but Yahoo sticks the bulk mail in another folder, but yours was not bulk).

To be honest, I hope after this is over K.C. can make a million bucks on this thing, but he never got into this because of that. I suspect that his involvement has been similar to mine: start off with a few things, and then the whole business starts to cascade.

Let's face it. No one in the spring had any idea this case would metastisize like it has done.

William L. ("Bill") Anderson

GPrestonian said...

FYI, I checked the listening.pdf file that I took off the AAAS site last week.

Per Acrobat Reader 7.0, relevant properties are:

Title - werelistening3.indd

Created - 4/4/2006 6:20:51 AM

Modified - 4/5/2006 8:43:25 AM

So if you have something other than those dates you've got a copy that isn't 'original'.

Was hoping that the properties section would show the author... perhaps the full-blown Acrobat would show more info?

KC Johnson said...

To answer the question above:

"I like the work KC is doing but what is wrong with the anonymous question about whether KC has received any financial compensation or has any other connections to the defense?"

I have received no financial compensation of any form, from any source, for my work on this case.

I have no connections to the defense, other than the fact that I speak to sources (as, I suspect, everyone covering the case does).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the group of faculty and “other” who signed the notorious “We Are Listening” letter is still being taken to represent the majority of Duke faculty, not a small minority. It may be useful to add one further detail concerning mention, in the last paragraph of the letter, of “departments and programs signing onto this ad.” When I found that my own department had been included without any discussion among its members, I wrote to the colleague who had taken this initiative:

I'm not at this point interested in inaugurating a grand departmental controversy, but after reflection I do feel compelled to raise a small point of conscience. ...I managed to miss the Chronicle ad in which the department was subscribed as supporting the "We Are Listening" advertisement, along with an available listing (I am told) of members of the department. I have seen a reproduction of the statement in the Chronicle online edition, and would never have wished to subscribe to the posture represented there. I gather that you were instrumental in including all of us, willy nillly, in this statement, which in effect robbed each member of the department of the right to choose: in effect, cancelling our individuality. This is a serious matter, as you will recognize. The phrase "totalitarian liberalism" comes to mind, which is every bit as dangerous as the neo-racist trend among blacks to privilege group entitlement seeking group revenge over the earlier effort to achieve equal justice for all. You might Google Thomas Sowell (a black, conservative senior fellow at the Hoover Institute) for his trenchant column on just this....
To set the record straight, would your intemperate colleagues in promoting this ad consider publishing a list of those who were included in it without their consent? Or must I too cry, "Rape, rape!"

My letter was received coldly, and there was no response to my final suggestion.

And although the impression of faculty hostility towards the Lacrosse team is still being taken to represent a general attitude, I can at least speak for myself. In some forty-five years of teaching at Duke I’ve known more Lacrosse players than participants in any other sport on campus, and have found them good students and, in some cases, good friends; several have distinguished themselves in remarkable ways both while in my classes (one learned to sightread the difficult Latin of the concluding books of St Augustine’s Confessions with breathtaking facility) and afterwards (a student early on joined the Peace Corps, learned to speak Arabic, and has more recently served as a principal executive of a major New England investment fund). I don’t imagine that mine is an isolated experience, and I regret that the intemperance of a few has been taken to represent the many.

Anonymous said...

I've always assumed the Group of 88 by no means represented the majority sentiment among Duke faculty. Therefore if a group of faculty were willing to stand up FOR the students who've been railroaded, I'm sure the readers of this blog would be more than happy to pay for an ad in the Chronicle in their support

Miguel said...

As a faculty member at a small liberal arts college, I'm frequently bothered by the "politization" of academia. How does that not create a "hostile environment" for students? As a treacher, I'm always aware that I stand in a position of power in relation to my students; their grades, their future livelihoods, are in my hands. How can that not intimidate students? And if they know that I'll act in hostility towards members of the student body for political motives, how can that not poison the classroom environment? I make it a point to, as much as possible, hide my personal opinions from my students. Or I take the Jon Stewart approach & snark everyone equally. Otherwise, I'm not doing my students a service. I'm just using my bully pulpit to initimdate, threaten, and coerce them.

GPrestonian said...

Anon 9:33 am:

"My letter was received coldly..."

I'll bet!

Thank you for your response, and reminding me, at least, to not subconciously lump the other hundreds of Duke faculty in with the Gang of 88.

Anonymous said...

I see in an earlier post that someone got a call from Duke regarding a financial contribution. If it was the same as the one I received, it was about a $100 donation to Trinity College. The collected monies would be used at the discretion of the professors. I asked the caller (a Duke junior) if he could assure me that none of the money would go to a member of the Gang of 88. He didn't know what I was talking about, so I informed him. Since he offered no assurance, I turned down his solicitation.

Anonymous said...

To Anon @9;33 am,

You begin: "Unfortunately the group of faculty and “other” who signed the notorious “We Are Listening” letter is still being taken to represent the majority of Duke faculty, not a small minority."

So far the "88" has been the "loudest" and most numerous faculty group actively speaking in response to the hoax..

With a few honorable exceptions, the rest of the faculty has either exhibited "88-like" behavior - Wells, Starn and Wiegman come to mind - or remained silent.

What are people to think "the majority of Duke faculty" believe?


Thank you for sharing parts of the letter you wrote after a department "colleague" signed your dept. onto the statement.

I thought something like that may have happened in more than one of the depts., programs, etc. listed as supporting the statement.

How those "signing ons" were done will tell us a lot about A&S's faculty culture.

I've a number of faculty friends who are saying something I'd think you'd agree with: "The faculty needs to get its voice back."

Any ideas about how you'll do that?

I wish many more faculty would do as you did here: talk with us about why certain things happened at Duke and how things can be put as right as possible.

For example, why did so many in higher admin and on the A&S faculty embrace such a wildly improbable hoax, or at least go along with those who did?

Thank you for commenting.

John
www.johnincarolina.com

Locomotive Breath said...

For those of you reading who normally contribute to Duke and who are thinking about not doing that this year, you will want to know that you can make your charitable contribution directly to support the research of an individual professor. I'm thinking Steven Baldwin would be a good choice. Simply contact the chemistry department chair or the chair of any other department. If you do this make sure that the development people know that you diverted your money.

KC - any chance you could do a post on this? Duke really needs to be sent a message.

p.s. I have three Duke diplomas and my wife has two. We won't be contributing this year either. I wish we had enough money for that to make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Here in the midwest the voice we have heard of the Duke faculty has only been that of the disgusting, race baiting Group of 88. Where are the voices who are the right side of this miscarriage of justice ?

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the document listing the Group of 88’s membership remains on the Duke server, though who knows for how long.

It's gone now.

Anonymous said...

The "listening statement" can be seen here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20060825054233/http://www.duke.edu/web/africanameric/listening.pdf

While the "Group of 88" signers are here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20060825152609/http://www.duke.edu/web/africanameric/supporters.pdf