Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Creating Wahneema's World

Yesterday’s post examined the peculiar career of Wahneema Lubiano, a figure who has parlayed “forthcoming” books and a heavy dose of fringe political activism into a tenured position at Duke. In turn, she has used this position to rally opposition to her own institution’s students, the “perfect offenders” whose conviction she believes will advance her pedagogical and ideological agenda.

Over the last eight months, we’ve seen Duke professors producing a good deal of case-related commentary that most people would consider of marginal intellectual quality—raising questions of exactly what these faculty members teach in their classrooms and write in their scholarship.

That the academy tilts disproportionately to the left, and even to the far left, is common knowledge. Most people who follow higher education also realize that the trinity of race, class, and gender dominates most humanities and many social science departments.

But through what kind of process would a university of Duke’s caliber hire professors like Lubiano?

Manipulating Search Committees

Departments conduct searches for new hires in two ways. At the senior level, the department chair and allies often will have a desired candidate in mind to invite to the department. The experience of the African-American Studies program illustrates the point.

In 1996, then-dean William Chafe persuaded Karla Holloway to accept the appointment as AAAS chair, with a promise to boost the number of faculty positions in the program. “Too often in the past,” said Chafe at the time, “we have failed to realize the potential that the AAAS has for becoming a bright and shining star in the firmament of our academic enterprises.” This, of course, is the same William Chafe who published a late March op-ed suggesting that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided an appropriate historical context for interpreting the actions of the lacrosse players.

Upon accepting the position, Holloway explained her personal academic approach: “Like many African-Americans I am bi-dialectal—proficient in both standard (acultural) English and in a dialect that identifies my ethnic community. As an academic linguist and an African-American woman, my public (academic) performances about what was essentially my private (community-based) identity were schizophrenic nightmares. Even though my physical appearance—the fact of my dark skin—called forth lurking prejudices, my standard dialect contradicted those prejudices.”

Armed with the administration’s support and her own, dubious, conception of “quality,” Holloway recruited several senior scholars to the program. Lubiano was in the first batch that arrived; Houston Baker followed shortly thereafter. Holloway’s apparent goal: add professors who shared her vision of mingling professional and ideological/political activism.

Far more common are entry-level searches for tenure-track assistant professors. In such cases, the department chair will normally appoint a three-person search committee, whose members screen all applicants, conduct preliminary interviews, and (in most instances) decide on three finalists to invite for an on-campus interview. The decision on who to appoint as search committee members decides the type of person who ultimately will be hired: the search committee, in effect, defines what constitutes scholarly “quality.”

Imagine, for instance, a U.S. History position, with a search committee composed of Chafe, Thavolia Glymph (who lamented that things were “moving backwards” when DNA tests revealed no matches to lacrosse players), and Peter Wood (who has gone out of his way to appear to slander his own students). Based on what we’ve seen from this trio over the past eight months, is there any reason to have confidence in how they would define a “quality” applicant?

Search committees can screen out any prospective applicant likely to challenge the “groupthink” mentality predominant on campus. At a university like Duke—where even now only one member the nearly 500-person arts and sciences faculty has either publicly criticized Mike Nifong or defended in any way the lacrosse players’ character—this “groupthink” mentality is pervasive.

In the hard sciences and math, quality is based in large part upon quantifiable research accomplishments. The concept is much more subjective in the humanities and social sciences, however. Events of the last eight months have demonstrated that many humanities and social sciences professors define “quality” in ways that few outside the academy would recognize.

Awarding of Faculty Positions

Administrators can most directly shape the faculty’s ideological tenor by disproportionately awarding lines for new hires to favored departments.

Take, for example, the African-American Studies program—recently elevated to department status. As of now, the program has 15 full-time faculty, out of the 471 tenured or tenure-track arts and sciences faculty at Duke. (That’s 3.2 percent of the total.) According to the Chronicle, the program currently has 33 undergraduate majors, or 0.5 percent of the total number of undergraduates.

Because African-American Studies is an interdisciplinary program, its roster of permanent faculty actually understates the number of professors eligible to teach its classes. According to a Duke press release, 50 more professors are “affiliates” of the program. So 13.8 percent of the arts and sciences faculty can offer classes in a major that attracts only 0.5 percent of the school’s undergraduate body as majors.

Those figures would suggest that no curricular need exists for expanding the program’s full-time faculty. Yet, astonishingly, Provost Peter Lange announced last week that AAAS is “slated for growth.”

AAAS had the highest percentage of Group of 88 signatories (80.0 percent). It also has featured three of the most irresponsible anti-lacrosse faculty: Houston Baker (since departed to Vanderbilt), Karla Holloway, and Lubiano. So the Brodhead administration can harbor no illusions about the kind of person the department is likely to hire.

Curricular need, of course, isn’t the only reason that Universities allot new faculty positions. Yet the issue almost always plays some role in such decisions. In this case, it’s extraordinary that the Brodhead administration would commit itself to hiring more members of a department that already, based on enrollment figures, seems wildly overrepresented in number of faculty.

Prioritizing Ideological Conformity

“Diversity” is a prized commodity on contemporary college campuses. In recent years, some institutions have used the concept to mask redefining quality away from standard measurements and toward ideological conformity—of the type that we saw from the Duke faculty last spring.

Take, for example, a program for “diversity” cluster hiring at the University of Arizona. A campus “diversity committee” proposed “recruiting not just one or even two diverse faculty members as isolated ‘targets of opportunity,’ but rather a critical mass of diverse professors who have shared intellectual interests.” “Diversity,” therefore, became little more than a mask to ensure ideological conformity among the new faculty.

The plan, part of a broader emphasis on diversity in hiring at Arizona, envisions a university in which “diversity” rather than academic quality becomes the primary motive for hiring, promotion, and tenure. According to the campus diversity plan, in faculty personnel matters, “In order to make significant progress in creating a more diverse faculty and a campus that truly embraces diversity, the advancement of diversity must be established as a primary indicator of quality.” Until diversity, the report concludes, “is included in the institutional family of primary indicators of quality, other indicators will continue to trump it – especially in the hiring of new faculty.” The U of A contends that “this does not mean lessening our commitment to excellence in research and teaching,” but such a claim is absurd: research and teaching, according to the “diversity” plan, will have to meet an ideological litmus test before being judged on their quality. Indeed, the plan argues, “Depending upon the discipline,” new faculty should be required to “conduct research and contribute to the growing body of knowledge on the importance of valuing diversity.”

The U of A is one of three major universities (Virginia Tech and Kansas State are the others; the University of Oregon is considering the move) to implement the diversity theories of Harvard Education School researcher Cathy Trower. In a talk at Chicago summarizing her findings, Trower listed a variety of subtle developments in the academy that she contends undercut efforts at diversity, including the “single-minded devotion to professional pursuits” and excessive value placed on research. “To compound the problem,” she continued, “some members of the majority, for reasons of self-interest or self-defined notions of ‘quality,’ are reluctant to grant newcomers a toehold.” Arguing that “merit is socially constructed by the dominant coalition,” Trower has recommended requiring white male (and only white male) job candidates to demonstrate a commitment to diversity before being hired.

Trower’s proposals are extreme—but they illustrate how standard notions of quality have been displaced in the academy in recent years. Her analysis envisions a radically different type of university, one based on the promotion of a specific ideological agenda, and designed to train a generation of social activists rather than teach students knowledge from traditional academic disciplines. Someone like Cathy Trower would consider Wahneema Lubiano an ideal appointment.

--------

No major research university will—or could—state that it has removed “intellectual quality” as the preeminent factor in hiring. But such a move isn’t necessary to implement what Lubiano has termed an agenda of “sabotage” in the “knowledge factories.” Redefining “quality,” stacking search committees, or awarding new positions to ideologically acceptable departments can all lay the groundwork for a faculty oriented around groupthink. Over the past eight months at Duke, we all have witnessed the pernicious effects of such a development.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Professor Johnson is doing a terrific job in teaching us about the long-term dangers of allowing our once-great universities to fall into the hands of ideologues. No wonder the Nifong travesty can flourish in such an atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

As a parent who has paid Duke's tuition for multiple students, I can't help but wonder what percentage of the 0.5 percent of the undergraduate student body receiving the attention of 13.8 percent of the arts and sciences faculty is paying tuition. Also, what percent of my tuition payments went to pay for such unqualified faculty members?

Anonymous said...

Excellent questions by 12:21. Brodhead needs to answer these questions.

Anonymous said...

The light needs to be shined on many elite universities in this country. I applaud KC's revelations of the truth! Duke is not alone in this sickness- in fact, they probably aren't as bad as some (Harvard, Yale, Brown...). I still think Duke provides a great education but it is necessary to choose one's professors wisely.

Anonymous said...

This has been around a long time. As a first year at UVa, my RA was Black. She wanted to major in Accounting. When she failed, she switched her major to AA Studies, which she refered to as (truly, no kidding) African American piddily sh*t. The AA Studies got an entire building soon after.

rabbi-philosopher said...

Nothing uglier than an unemployed white guy with a Ph.D. in our current search for university faculty.

Anonymous said...

I really wonder if any of these minority activists have stopped to think that these sort of threats of sabatoge and intimidation (casting the term racist at anyone who disagrees with them) are permitted only so long as the majority is suffering from this group guilt complex.

As soon as the guilt complex gives way to self interest, as it eventually will, these games will be over. The interesting thing is that many of the prior generation thought affirmative action was okay, but it didn't impact them. Now that their children either can't be admitted to the schools of their choice because of being white or are subjected to the idiocy of the Wahneemas of the world, the acceptance of affirmative action will deteriorate.

Then hopefully we can close down these departments and get back to education.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

KC if this trend continues for, say, 50 years what would be the logical outcome in academia? Additionally it seems that Roberta Mathews is--unfortunately--correct in saying that "teaching is a political act."

Anonymous said...

Hello, American Studies scholars! K.C. has exposed for you a heretofore unexplored, rich vein of contemporary cultural history to pursue at the doctoral level. The timing is right; the implications are vast. Dig in and make your bones! Thank you, K.C., for your penetrating insights. sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

I do not want to be the one to say it, but by what other process could an elite institution like Duke install significant numbers of "diverse" faculty members? If one looks at the SAT gap between AA students and for example Asian kids one gets an idea of the amount of padding of credentials necessary to produce a quota deemed acceptable. Now consider the case of faculty positions. The severe shortage of truly qualified AA highschool kids is nothing compared to the absolute rarity of truly qualifed Post -Doctoral AA graduates.
So, if you are a college President who comes to understand that the only way to retain the power to be selective in regard to white/asian kids is to have a student/faculty that looks to the outside world to be sufficiently dark-skinned (say, 15%) What would you do? Where do you go to get sufficient numbers of highly qualified AA Post-Doctoral teachers and in what fields?
This picture reminds me of the recruiting tactics of the British Army towards the end of its long wars with Napolean. They did not want to fill the front lines with the lame, the tuberculin, or the obviously deranged but they did what had to be done to produce red-coated units on the field.

Anonymous said...

As the diversity trend continues on campus, perhaps at some point all students will be required to take a few courses from the AAS department just as they now must take a certain amount of interdisciplinary courses beyond their majors.

It's that kind of institutionalizing of a trend in academia that makes it hard to root out dangerous, frivolous or unneeded departments and allows them to live on.

KC points out how few of the Duke students are majoring in AAS, but the school is well known for having a large number or students who have multiple majors. The more important question is how many students are taking courses from the AAS faculty. While that number may "justify" the large number of faculty members, it might also horrify parents and alumni to know how many students are being exposed to the idealogues of the AAS groupthink.

madder than a hornet said...

Wow, talk about the nuts running the nuthouse. KC thank you for the detailed and specific facts.

Eric said...

Anonymous asks "If this trend continues for, say, 50 years what would be the logical outcome in academia?"

I think we're beginning to see it already; The University of Phoenix is among the outcomes.

I see a three-tiered system:

1) Pre-professional and Science-oriented universities, largely funded by government and industry grants,

2) University of Phoenix-type schools, with low-cost, fast track education for practical business and technology pursuits,

3) A set of Liberal Arts institutions, well endowed due to their age, where wealthy scions and affirmative action lottery winners discuss more and more about less and less, and where anti-democratic political "action" (really theater) progressively substitutes for scholarship.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

It is worth noting that at least a few of the very few AAAS undergrads at Duke are athletes who I am sure have no desire to use the degree in anyway other than to stay eligible in their sport before turning pro.

Daniel Ewing (now of the LA Clippers was an AAAS major)

As is current football star John Talley.

My guess is this is a major for people who want to not have to work too hard to earn a degree.

Anonymous said...

I suspect there is a lot of truth in what KC has said about the hiring process in academia today. However, I am sure this process is exactly the same at all of the top universities in the country. Does anyone out there think that the process is any different at Harvard, Yale, or Princeton?

Anonymous said...

what we are learning by way of a hoax.... lol

Anonymous said...

This is why I never gave a nickle to Duke.

"My Duke" was the time I spent there, the friends I met, the education and good times.

Duke's values don't reflect mine, and I can't rationalize giving them my dollars which are better served going to a charity.

Ironically, Duke supports its athletic programs largely to retain alumni support - I sense a 'chink in the armor'

bill anderson said...

You might remember the issues that Lawrence Summers faced at Harvard a few years ago when he was president. He also met with Cornel West and urged him to increase his level of scholarly work, as opposed to doing just popular stuff.

West, one of the AA "stars" at Harvard, was incensed, and he and others went to Princeton, where they were greeted with great fanfare. In other words, the Houston Baker nonsense goes on at all of these places.

K.C. is correct in how he explains the various processes that lead to hiring at colleges and universities. I'm glad I am tenured and promoted, and the place where I work is not a university that can attract the "stars" of any race or sex, so you won't see the kind of nonsense here to the same degree as you see at the "elite" universities.

I know that sounds ironic, but that is the state of higher education these days.

Anonymous said...

KC, suggest u contact adam bellow (saul's son). he's interested in the diversity mess, particularly specifics--he was charles murray's editor on "the bell curve": 212.782.9000. suggest u pitch the title as "Groupthink at Duke"--add subtitle-- abellow@randomhouse.com--I think u hv the makings of a book here. The W posts are all u need to show adam. also suggest u get a decent agent--adam would probably help you

use my name: Jim Clyne

great post--i'll comment later

Anonymous said...

JC--

I answered your question from yesterday over on the other board. Was very busy so just got around to it.

KC is helping Duke's 88 get the attention they so desired, eh?

As a result of all this illumination, poor Brodhead will be running for cover. Poor guy......I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for him. Ha!

Debrah

Anonymous said...

thanks for the response, debrah

kc deleted my favorite post: my tee shirt suggestion

i'm devastated--jim

Anonymous said...

Last weekend I had lunch in The Loop after attending a basketball game and had a very interesting opportunity - we sat at one of the long tables and only a seat separated us - to eavesdrop on two AA students. Girl A was clearly bright and articulate, the kind of “diverse” student that Duke and other universities fight over. Girl B spoke with a moderate AA accent and appeared guarded even when speaking to a fellow AA student. The gist of the conversation revolved around Girl A convincing Girl B that the world wasn’t as hostile as Girl B claimed. Well, duh! I have no doubt that Girl A simply charges past any prejudice she meets and comes out the winner. She provided proof: at one point she went to the counter to pick up something then stopped on her way back to talk - giggle and chat - with a group of EA (European American) girls who clearly liked her. While Girl A was talking to her EA friends, AA Girl C came up looking for a seat. Since only a single seat remained on either side of Girl B, I moved my coat and offered the seat next to me because, as I said to them, we were about to leave. Both Girl B and C visually acknowledged my offer (our eyes met), but neither was polite enough to even turn it down. Instead, Girl C took the more crowded seat on the opposite side. Was she prejudiced against my age? A few minutes later, Girl A returned but the tone of the conversation between Girl A and B cooled dramatically and became stiff. As I stood to leave, two of the EA girls joined their friend, Girl A, but the jovial chatter had vanished. I surmised, and that’s all it was - my opinion - that the EA girls needed a seat in the otherwise crowded room and they liked Girl A enough to endure Girls B and C.

I’m not a sociologist or psychologist - I’m a landscape architect - but the sociological inference was stunning. All of these girls were born twenty years after desegregation and live forty-plus years into a period of quotas and excuses. None of them are stupid. They know the game, but what game are they learning? AA Girls B and C will continue to seek out and find every hint of prejudice, blaming their problems on discrimination, and will live - and maybe raise children - perennially at the bottom of the social ladder. The EA girls will be immunized against the Lubianos of this world and AA Girl A will sail through life on red carpets.

“Professors” like Lubiano have a vast scope of influence, but the lessons that the students learn is very different than the one taught by Lubiano. The Maoist Doctrine that she peddles has lost credibility even in China. Yet, we as a nation are faced with a serious problem in our academic institutions that begs a simple question: can you recall the exact day and time that you discovered that your plumber (usually a white male) was smarter than the professors teaching your kid at Duke? I can. It was the spring semester of my son’s freshman year when he (a Pratt student) lamented that the title of every elective history and literature course ended with the words “in woman’s studies.”

The lacrosse case was indeed the “perfect storm” for the ideologues who are raising our future leaders. Oh, and, if you’re in California, did you know that your courts just decided that it’s okay to be ADD and still be a doctor? The courts just proclaimed that your medical schools have to give ADD students extra time to take their MCATs. Just wanted you to know that Duke isn’t the only sanctuary for sanctimonious pin heads.

Mom in SC

Anonymous said...

Alberto Gonzalez has been asked to investigate the conduct of Mike Nifong.

Good going!

Bring in the Feds!

Debrah

Anonymous said...

JC--

LOL! You're just a treasure trove of ideas, aren't you?

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes-


Mom in SC,

I see no reason why a person with ADD can not be a doctor IF they finish the test in the allotted time and are not given special treatment. What it comes down to is this, ADD for some people is a gift if properly channeled because people with ADD, while easily distracted, can also hyper focus when neccesary, giving themselves an advantage on people who can not hyper focus. So if an ADD person is driven and focused on becoming a doctor, my guess is they will be a great one and won't need the extra exam time. ADD, like so many other things in life, is what you decide to make it. It can be a good thing, or a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

http://www.pulitzer.org/

Hey KC,

Deadline for entry is Feb 1, 2007.

Anonymous said...

debrah,

if kc plays his cards right, his book will be optioned as a feature

too bad that tyrant deleted my T idea: i'm so addled by drug abuse that i forgot it

damn him--what's his name, i forgot--lol

jim

HMan said...

To 12:15
Indeed. There are a number of quite successful professionals, especially MDs, who discover in middle life that serious amounts of ADD were a constant feature of their make-ups. Sometimes an anchor to drag; sometimes a pole-vault.
But one things for sure, when you're sitting on top of a successful career, it is way too late for some a..hole expert to try to label you a genetic loser.

Jon said...

Can someone point me to an explanation of where the money comes for this?

And, while we're at it, are there any cases of successfully breaking this evil cycle?

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

12:50

What is your question?

It's totally vague.

Anonymous said...

Race relations at Duke University will improve substantially when the University shuts down the divisive commentary coming out of the African/American Studies courses. After this indoctrination, the students come out into the school community with a massive chip on their shoulders waiting for someone to (as they say in the hood) "dis" them. The AAAS department should really be renamed "Woe Is Me".

Anonymous said...

1:05

Very good point, but how do you propose shutting up these tenured blowhards?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...but without AAAS, what would the athletes major in? Back to sociology?

A fascinating triangle of need and despisal emerges here. For years, top schools like Duke that attempt to compete in the highest tier of athletic endeavour have been scrutinized for offering "soft" majors for athletes. We now have AAAS as a soft major, particularly suited to AA athletes who are predominantly the at-risk student athlete academically. AAAS is virtually untouchable, as any criticism of AAAS or it's students would be tantamount to racism. But AAAS professors hate athletics and want fewer athletes on campus - even though the athletes are the most likely group to have both AA students and AAAS majors of any definable group on campus.

So the athletic department loves AAAS as a bullet-proof major for the athletes who need a "soft" curriculum to stay eligible, the AAAS department needs the athletes as majors to help justify their existence and promote diversity on campus, but the AAAS professors hate the athletic department and all it stands for.

Only in academia.

Anonymous said...

Cogito, Ergo

WAKHEEMA!

Anonymous said...

Is the above poster that troll JC with another harebrained T shirt idea?

What a loser

Anonymous said...

Waheema be breakin' bad!

She bad, I tell ya!

Anonymous said...

Yes, many athletes take AAAS courses--but they aren't just the AA athletes. Many white athletes also take a significant number of AAAS courses. They also take Women's studies courses, history and sociology--all known to be the easiest departments. it's actually hard for non-athletes to get into these classes--they have to take the harder stuff.

Anonymous said...

Harder stuff?

What? Basket weaving?

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Finally a step in the right direction.

http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/520626.html

Anonymous said...

Chicago--

Yes, it has been reported that Alberto Gonzales was contacted about the lacrosse case.

Finally, perhaps the city of Durham will understand that they will not be able to railroad these guys.

I love it. I love to see justice. Sweet justice.

Debrah

Kitty said...

Get on over to the N&O. Neff's story filed just after noon says that Rep. Jones has asked Alberto Gonzales to investigate Nifong and his handling of the Duke case.

Anonymous said...

It is worth noting that when supporters of the Duke 3 contacted Governor Easley and other Liberals to help, they did nothing.

This is yet another reason why the Far Left is so repulsive.

Perhaps a few Lib-Dems have learned something about the values, ethics, and the courage of their brethren.

Debrah

GPrestonian said...

2:09 Chicago & 2:31 Kitty:

Thanks for the head sup, Chicago - the Duke Chronicle now has it as breaking news on their site.

GPrestonian said...

Crystal Mess strikes on the subject of the DOJ:

Mr. Jones and Me

duke09parent said...

Debrah,

I really don't think the issue of this hoax is a left/right issue. Some of us leftists also think this case is a gross miscarriage of justice.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Wouldn't Nifong's demonstration of the choke hold onnational tv also be unethical? How did he know about the choke hold when he had not spoken to the false accuser?

Anonymous said...

Just received my "save the date" notice for Brodhead's A Duke Conversation: "Making a Difference" in Chicago. It's not until April but I can't wait to attend this PR event. If it's a true conversation, I'll have many questions. I suggest no one miss the opportunity to look him in the eye when he comes to a town near you.

Anonymous said...

To Duke 09 parent---

Well I most certainly do.

We can agree to disagree.

Sitting back as many Liberals did in the beginning, not understanding fully the mentality of Nifong and his followers soon enough.......tap dancing around the real problem......allowed lots of time for Nifong and his minions to stage a very successful demarche.

Also, I continue to be baffled by the sheer naivete of some as to what this case was always about.

Debrah

duke09parent said...

Well, Debrah, traditional conservatism trusts in the institutions of law enforcement and prosecutions, particularly local ones. Traditional liberal ideology promotes individual bill of rights protections for the accused, and wants the central (federal) government to ride herd over local law enforcement institutions.

This case doesn't seem to fit that construct.

Anonymous said...

As perhaps the only person to defend the AAS department on this website I officially concede the argument. Thank you KC for these interesting posts. Although such a department did not have to be this way, I see that it is, in fact, a front for training in victimhood politics--a common problem around the world. Duke09, I agree that this department would likely be better for the students if it was part of the history department where I hope the content and instructors would receive a more rigorous vetting.

Yes, Chicago, DA Nifong's demonstration of the chokehold was an ethical breech. If only that was his only ethical breech!

Eric, interesting post. I hope you are mistaken, though. The world would be MUCH the worse off and far less interesting without the liberal arts. They house, I believe the collective soul of humanity.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Duke 09 Parent--

Indeed, this case doesn't fit any construct.

Open, unapologetic, and rampant racism produce anything but order.

Debrah

duke09parent said...

Debrah,
What I was trying to say was that "liberals" can well be and many are outraged at this prosecution, and "liberal" ideology as far as the rights of the accused are concerned supports dismissal of these charges So can't you see that "the Liberals" are not really at fault here?

Anonymous said...

7:00

do u support prosecuting the "victim"
making a false charge a felony sex crime?
abolishing affirmative action?
disbarring nifong?
revoking the tenure of irresponsible "advocates"?

just curious

jc

bill anderson said...

Indeed, I think this is a case where people on the left and right can come together. There are many issues that I have discussed in articles written during the past several years (on my Lew Rockwell archives) in which I have taken both liberals and conservatives to task for abuses of the justice system.

For example, Janet Reno was able to get her job at DOJ because Hillary Clinton thought she was "good" on "children's issues." Well, "being good" was about her malicious and false prosecutions of people like Grant Snowden and others, as Reno was front-and-center in the child molestation witch hunts of the 1980s and 90s. (She was as bad as Nancy Lamb in the Little Rascals case.)

A month after coming to DOJ, Reno managed to create the biggest civilian massacre of the 20th century in this country. Somehow, I was not surprised, given her record of legal abuses.

Now, Reno was a hero of the liberals, and still is, I guess. I think she is a criminal.

As for conservatives, they have given us the drug war, which fills up our prisons, and they have been among the most vociferous in giving almost unlimited powers to the prosecution. Thus, justice is caught in a vise between liberals and conservatives.

It is my fervent hope that out of this, at least some people rediscover the tenets of justice, and realize that these procedures are not simply "technicalities." They are real-live issues of rights.

Nifong, while a white liberal, is a monster whose powers come, in part, from all of the adulation that white conservatives have given prosecutors. (It is called "giving police and prosecutors the 'tools' with which to 'fight crime'." And I think we see what they do with those "tools.")

So, this issue is not simply about the innocence of three Duke lacrosse players. It strikes at the very heart of our system, and I hope that all of us can be united on that one.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

7:00 I would like to answer you questions that you have asked.

1. charge the accuser for filing a false report-- YES --YES---YES YOU BET I DO. This girl needs a federal prison not county. No time for good behavior.

2. End Affirmative Action YES--YES---YES. Time for everyone to stand on there own two feet, like it or not.

3 Revoke Tenure for professors who don't deserve it. YES

Anonymous said...

To Duke 09 Parent---

I well understand the points you were making and I agree that the usual constructs have been turned upside down.

Like many during extreme youth, I started out professing liberalism......until I got out into the real world and saw how things really work......and also began paying closer attention to political issues.

Still, I'm not a conservative.....am pro-choice and could be considered liberal on many social issues; however, this lacrosse case has brought out so many elements.....and illuminated them in bold relief.....showing what is terribly wrong with the leftists in our country.

Many.....like the Duke 88 and Nifong's supporters, (and they are not just in the black community), seem to be operating in a parallel universe.

Anything goes.......no absolute reality......if they but wish for it and say it......it should be so, in their view.

Right and wrong be damned.

Even some supporters of the lacrosse players who are liberal make sure that they bring in their political persuasion so they don't appear to be "going against blacks". And even when some of them appealed to NC's Democrat liberal governor he did nothing.....against his buddy Mike Nifong.

Incidentally, Governor Easley got his law degree from NCCU. ( LOL!!!)

Perhaps that explains his indifference to fairness and justice.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

ok--to professors/attorneys:

can Wah be sued for slander in the event charges against 3 r dismissed?

is there a university code that was violated by making wreckless allegations?

there should be something to use to get this pig and her ilk out of duke

can u imagine W as an exec at Microsoft and making those allegations against male M employees

she'd be fired in a second

attorneys? Professors?

jc

Anonymous said...

JC--

Try to catch Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record" tonight at 10 EST.

She will be covering the latest in the case.

Debrah

mattjumbo said...

"Debrah,

I really don't think the issue of this hoax is a left/right issue. Some of us leftists also think this case is a gross miscarriage of justice."

I join the opinions here much like Debrah's later posts. I'm very liberal on social issues. I started out my political life as a full-fledged liberal. Wish I still were a liberal. Being on the left in America is easy and fun: nothing is ever your fault and you get to spend your career criticizing faceless bad guys in the "fill-in-the-blank" industry and the "dominant socio-economic group".

While I agree that this issue isn't strictly a right/left matter, you have to be truly naive not to see that Democrats and leftists contribute to and benefit from these trumped-up race and gender imbroglios at a wildly disproportionate rate.

And, make no mistake, despite the work of blogs like this, despite the 60 minutes piece, despite any of it, in the end these three mne will go on trial and they my very well be convicted depending upon jury selection. Look at the recent Durham elections...what reasonable or fair-minded person could possibly vote for Nifong at this point?

And yet...

duke09parent said...

I just stumbled upon this link from Liestoppers discussion board. It is a Wikipedia entry on George Orwell's essay on Politics and the English Language. It has wonderful examples of translating a simple sentence into something Holloway and Lubiano could write.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_and_the_English_Language

duke09parent said...

Sorry about the bad link, I'll try again:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_and_the_English_Language

An excerpt:

Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigours which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement

Anonymous said...

I have no patience for political correctness and am totally outraged by Nifong, but I don't think your comparison of percentage of majors vs. percentage of professors is very convincing.

There are lots of reasons why a university will choose a particular number of professors for a department, other than just the number of students majoring in a department.

Some departments have huge grants that fund lots of researchers, regardless of whether they teach undergrads. Some academic disciplines are more condusive to large lectures, and therefore need fewer professors than departments that focus on small seminars. Take economics, for example--when I was at Duke it was the most popular major, and probably still is. But you don't need that many faculty members to teach basic macro, because 200 students can easily fit into a lecture hall.

M. Simon said...

Does my knowledge and proficiency in the small town Mid western Jewish accent and dialect qualify me to be a Duke Professor?

Certainly the fact that I'm a Jew in a small town qualifies me as an under represented minority whose numbers need to be boosted on the faculty because of diversity concerns.

Could it at least get me on the short list?

Given that I was a Communist in my youth and now consider myself a member of the libertarian wing of the republican Party, I am conversant with and would be glad to mouth any orthodoxy required. With conviction. BTW my Communist leaning tends towards the views of Trotsky. Nice Jewish boy.

I could also do an imitation of a Milton Friedman supporter. Another nice Jewish boy.

Perhaps because of my special experience I could get my own department. We could call it Midwestern Small Town Jewish Studies. Kind of has a nice ring don't you think?