Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Absence of Self-Reflection

“Critical self-reflection” is one of the catch-phrases in the contemporary academy, especially in schools of Education. Good teachers, we are told, are those who have particular skills in “self-reflection”—who can recognize their mistakes and then learn from them.

Three articles have appeared in the last week, in different publications, that speak to a question that virtually all in the Duke administration and faculty have thus far done everything possible to avoid: how will the University deal with behavior by prominent faculty and to a lesser extent administrators that, with every day, looks less and less defensible?

In the N&O, Rick Martinez penned a piece that I hope everyone on the Duke campus gets a chance to read. With the coming of the new year, Martinez wrote, “Some Duke University faculty members and administrators should take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on their actions of the past year and to reclaim their reputations.” It’s time, in particular, for them to consider whether and how their actions contributed to a rush to judgment against the lacrosse team.

Duke, Martinez argues, needs to confront the question, since if the institution “chooses not to probe its institutional actions and statements, it will sweep under the rug a lot of damning evidence.” He cites the cancellation of the lacrosse team, the firing of Coach Mike Pressler, the April 5 Brodhead statement—which “liberally cited systemic racism, fear of sexual coercion and assault and a societal privilege that preserves inequality”—and the Group of 88’s statement, which appeared the next day.

Martinez notes that the ad “included a sophomoric collection of race-baiting quotes attributed to unnamed students,” earning the support of figures like Karla Holloway, who denounced the players for embodying sexist and racist behavior even though the Coleman Committee report found no grounds to substantiate her insinuations.

If all charges are dropped or dismissed, Martinez contends, “Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are owed a huge public apology, especially by those Duke faculty members who used ugly allegations against the young men to attack a culture of racism and sexism that exists in their cloistered minds but rarely exists in the real world.”

Martinez concludes with an important point. Normally, the race/class/gender mindsets “are more comical than consequential,” and have little effect on the outside world (which ignores them), except for in distorting hiring patterns at colleges and universities nationwide. But at Duke last spring, “this self-generated culture of pseudo-oppression helped send the three players, their teammates and Pressler down the river for an alleged crime that is supported by scant evidence,” by creating the image that the students’ own professors believed them guilty.

An online update from the superb pen of Kristin Butler, meanwhile, anticipated a “gathering storm” on campus. Butler noted that Duke as an institution needs to confront the obvious when students return for classes on January 10: they are residing in a jurisdiction with a D.A. who, as Rep. Walter Jones wrote, undertook actions that might have “illegally deprived the accused of their civil rights as American citizens.”

Or who, as Dr. Brian Meehan revealed, conspired with a lab director to conceal exculpatory evidence.

Or who, after expressing with moral certainty for months that a rape occurred, dropped the rape charges but maintained the other, underlying, allegations?

“We owe our classmates,” Butler correctly declared,

much more than prayers and well wishes for the holiday season. We also owe them accountability, particularly on the part of those leaders who are best positioned to censure Nifong. The Duke community has done a commendable job of leveraging our voices and our votes for this purpose, and I hope the developments of the past two weeks will inspire us to redouble our efforts.

As we found out Friday, substantial progress has already been made: After basically declining to comment for nine months, President Richard Brodhead issued a press release demanding that Nifong "put this case in the hands of an independent party" and "explain to all of us his conduct in this matter." Although Nifong's conduct merited such condemnation months ago, Brodhead is to be commended for ultimately offering it. I have no doubt that our president will have many opportunities to match words with deeds in the New Year.

Brodhead, no doubt, will have such opportunities: let’s see if he uses them.

Meanwhile, Michael Skube’s L.A. Times op-edoffers insight into the “groupthink” mentality that appears to pervade Duke’s arts and sciences faculty. Skube concludes, “For the university, those [race/class/gender] preconceptions — a reflexive, left-leaning culture shared by many of its supporters — are part of the larger problem.” In an atmosphere where so few voices are willing to challenge the status quo, any mindset—even one as ostensibly pure as the race/class/gender approach—can become stale and reflexive.

One protester, former Duke professor Ned Kennington, describes the institution as “populated by a faculty that is very socially conscious”; he notes that Nifong’s assertions “fit into our preconceptions.”

Those preconceptions, as we’ve seen, have proven disastrously wrong in this instance. Yet beyond the isolated voices of Jim Coleman, Steve Baldwin, and Michael Gustafson, there’s no indication that anyone from Duke is aware of this problem. The Campus Culture Initiative moves full-speed ahead, dominated by those on the faculty most guilty of a rush to judgment. The African-American Studies program—with the highest percentage of faculty who signed the Group of 88’s statement—was not rebuked but rewarded, with a promise of new lines seemingly undeserved given its small number of majors.

The recent remarks of some Group of 88 members do not give any indication of a willingness to engage in critical self-reflection. Houston Baker, upon being asked to speak out against Nifong’s misconduct, replied: “LIES!” He would do nothing to defend the rights of what he termed “a scummy bunch of white males . . . who beat up a gay man [sic] in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like 'a bunch of farm animals’ near campus.”

Nor was Alex Rosenberg (last heard from celebrating how the lacrosse players “could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds”) in a forgiving mood. In a statement that he sent to Friends of Duke, he suggested that those who had criticized his actions—motivated by a “self promoting ($) McCarthyite brush”—had “(willfully mis-)read” the Group of 88 statement. Indeed, those who have criticized the statement, sneered Rosenberg, “just don’t get it yet.”

Apparently unaware of how he was stereotyping his own students, Rosenberg asserted:

I signed the statement in large measure to express my astonishment and anger that these wealthy, white, well educated future investment bankers (some of whom were my students) engaged in behavior contributing to a climate of loutishness, racism, and a general entitlement to flout the law, that they felt the need to purchase sexual titillation to go along with under-age illegal alcoholic consumption, and to emit racist abuse to express their disappointment in the performances for which they did not get their money’s worth.
Rosenberg continues to appear unaware that the statement contained no mention—one way or the other—about alcohol or “loutishness.” Nor did it comment—one way or the other—about “sexual titillation” (unsurprisingly, since another of its signatories has described the strip club as the “new church”).

It’s remarkable, moreover, that Rosenberg feels more motivated to speak out publicly about the behavior of his students—and speak out, as he did on April 6, based on wildly incomplete information—than to publicly comment on a district attorney who has abandoned all ethics in going after students at his own school.

But, of course, Professor Rosenberg’s critics “just don’t get it.”

Place yourself in the position of a prospective Duke parent—or, better yet, a prospective Duke student-athlete. Based on what we’ve seen over the past nine months, and based on what we continue to see from professors like Rosenberg, how confident would you be that Duke professors treat all students—regardless of race, class, gender, or athletic status—in the same way? And how confident would you be in the quality of instruction provided by these professors, who have proven wholly unwilling to critically examine their own actions?

In different ways, Martinez, Butler, and Skube all ask Duke’s faculty and administration to undertake a little of the critical self-reflection that people in the academy so often demand of others. It would be nice to see some signs—even one sign—that members of the arts and sciences faculty at Duke are listening.


Anonymous said...

One must take into account that the optic of mid-March was much murkier than what we see today now that we know with certainly the despicable acts by a rogue prosecutor. While not defending the Duke 88, they should be judged more for whether they have the courage and the vision to atone than by their naiveté at the outset. Hindsight is always better than foresight. So let's see what they are really made of. Let's see whether they are capable of owning their mistakes and openly sharing any newfound wisdom just as they so openly shared their rush to judgment. One can only hope...

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis. Hell will freeze over before the despicable group of 88 will change its collective mind.

Anonymous said...

Amen! God forbid the unfortunate non-left student who has to write a final essay for one of the radical profs with theirpersonal agendas.

I want to throw up bc my own leftist liberal arts faculty tried that on folks I know. Thank god I am into math, not poly sci or english.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breath expecting the Duke 88 would come up with anything other than "was I too socially conscious?" and "was I too progressive?" in their self-reflection. There seems to be no realization that they were so easily duped into taking part in this little witch-hunt because of their own prejudices and bigotry.

This isn't an attitude that is limited to the Duke 88 either, but something which seems to have a presence at the humanities departments of most universities, as indicated by Mr. Baker's flattering introduction to Vanderbilt. I expect the urge to defend their agenda will be stronger than any urge to undertake the very difficult and un-fun task of reflecting upon and learning from one's mistakes.

Anonymous said...

12:17 The only problem i have with your post is that the group of 88 now has the same hindsight as you, I, KC, LieStoppers, many in MSM. Yet they stand silent. Their time to claim hindsight has passed.

NDLax84 said...

Rosenberg didn't sign the Statement to express his "astonishment"

"that these wealthy, white, well educated future investment bankers engaged in behavior contributing to a climate of loutishness, racism, and a general entitlement..."

He signed it because that's the way he viewed them on March 12th.

Anonymous said...

KC, let's face it--in America, undergrad academia, other than scientific/engineering/math disciplines is a joke. It's laughable--this Duke thing is but one example--but the rot is evident, from the inability to control the nutcase MEChA folks, to Leonard Jeffires to Ward Churchill. It is a joke. I remember sitting at a reunion when some parent started yammering about how great Oberlin College was, and I quipped, yeah, it must be great to pay 40Gs to have them teach your kid that Mumia is innocent. Or what about all the revisionists who whitewashed the record of Soviet Communism or lionized spies like Alger Hiss. It is laughable. Utterly laughable.

With respect to academia, the Duke case is but one symptom of a deeply metastasized cancer. It is a culture which deems Langston Hughes better than William Blake or equates Maya Angelou with William Shakespeare. These people are hacks.

Michael said...

I'd really love to know if any of
the 88 read this blog.

I'm sure that the press does and
perhaps the 88 have wandered by from
a news site link. But I can't imagine
that they would read too much as I
imagine that it would be rather hard
to take personally.

But I think that the media does come
in here for story ideas.

The comment on parents and their
children is a particularly strong
one for parents. But it's worded
rather delicately.

Particularly for parents of
teenagers as they get exposed to
the world and have to confront the
dangers therein.

Those that don't have children or
that have never been responsible
for children
may not understand how something
like this affects parents in terms
of fear and anger. But it's only
mentioned here briefly. Parents
will linger for a moment but many
others will read quickly over it.

On the flip side, I hope that the
88 read the implied financial
threat. Again, every so lightly
implied. At the moment, it is
directed towards the university
as a whole as action against a
subset of the faculty is difficult.

What I would love to see in the
press (or here if resources permit), is interviews with
parents and their feelings for
Duke and Durham. Or interviews
with prospective students that
have Duke on their list of
choices. Or even just parents
in general.

So that Duke could more closely
see the impact that this mess is
having on their potential future
revenue, and so that parents and
their children can get a better
view of Durham.

And employers too.

Google is considering setting up
a $600 million facility in NC
between Raleigh/Durham and
Asheville but they haven't made
up their mind yet. I imagine that
having a corrupt criminal justice
system in the state doesn't help
NC attract outside businesses.

KC Johnson could probably write
a book on what Durham needs to do.
I can't even begin to fathom the
changes needed there. Though it is
obvious as to what a good start
would be.

Cedarford said...

Hello, KC.

One area you and others may be interested in is the factors that led to the meltdown of Duke's English Dept back in 1998.

I've written you a private email with some of my thoughts on the following Faculty Forum editorial:

As you do your book, and future posts, you may wish to investigate the history of Gang of 88 members and which school of thought they were hired as exemplifying, and check with a couple of obvious names I put in the email but don't want to openly name on a Blog.

For others, I do recommend wading, and I mean wading, through the dense and nuanced and somewhat "within the shop" editorial. What is said is very interesting, and the Camille Paglia critique cited in the Editorial is now famous.

jpj said...

Hello Mr Johnson,

you wrote:

> Place yourself in the position of
> a prospective Duke parent—or, better yet,
> a prospective Duke student-athlete.
> (...)
> It would be nice to see some signs—even
> one sign—that members of the arts and
> sciences faculty at Duke are listening.

Indeed, if I were not a in the position of a prospective Duke parent, but a current one or even an alumnus, I would ask myself the question whether giving my hard-earned money to an institution that then uses it to fund the action of such staff was really a proper use of my means. I cannot see how a responsible parent or alumnus could continue funding such people, either through fees or donations, and keep an intact conscience.

Anonymous said...

1:38 hits the point near on. This is not a "Duke" thing. This group of 88 appears to be an unfortunately representative group of faculty on a national level.

All major universities seem to have their Group of 88 members, battling various ridiculous social pseudo-calamities. Others have mentioned that maybe the 88 will change thier tune now that more evidence is available. Doubtful. These particular individuals exist only to further their own worldview - even when the facts counter their beliefs and statements incontrovertibly.

The 88 at Duke are the same as thousands of far-left faculty across the country - they speak from an ideological basis, not a factual one.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

re 12:17, If one is to judge the Duke 88 by whether or not they atone is there a time frame? Do they get forever to atone? At what point is it so late that their atonement means nothing next to their rush to judgement?

Calvin said...

I think it would be very interesting to ask Coach K what he's telling prospective recruits to assure them that they don't have to worry about being subjected to the same witch hunt that the Duke Lacrosse team has endured this year.

HMan said...

I keep thinking of the infameous "Dreyfuss Affair" in France of about one hundred years ago. As I recall, the polarizations were not really healed when the transparently bogus conviction was over-turned - those who found the earlier guilty verdict to be irresistably satifying were not going to renounce such sweet pleasure just because of facts.
I have noticed that internet "debates" occasionally end with an obvious victory for one side. Strong facts and tight logic collide with their opposites and the weaker side gives up. But the form of giving up is very interesting because it rarely takes the form of the losers saying, "Yes, I am an idiot. You nailed me on this one." Instead, the nym starts quoting the better idea as if it were his all along, sometimes in a fresh newsgroup.
Human nature is what it is, I suppose, but that does not help he gang of 88 and the various pot-bangers at Duke. They did not use psuedo-nyms, as far as I know, when they slandered these kids by name. Richard Brodhead PhD. probably has a listed phone number, I bet.
I guess am saying that the signers themselves will never repent in public, no matter what. But this story is in the public eye, in a profound and unblinking way. Their block-headed stubborness can be used to make another club to smash the cult of PC.
I remember being appalled and fascinated when Nifong enablers in the early days described him as "stubborn" as an explanation for why he was pushing an already obviously bogus case. In my imagination,I saw a weasel pushing harder and harder to get deeper into a trap.

Austin said...

There is some truth in the idea of 1:38, cited with approval by 3:17, that “This group of 88 appears to be an unfortunately representative group of faculty on a national level.” But you are kidding yourself if you also buy its preface: “This is not a "Duke thing.” I am afraid this is very much a Duke thing. Duke is the site of this “perfect storm” partly through the inevitabilities of history but largely through conscious choices made by intelligent and highly educated men and women sitting around committee tables in meetings of the trustees and meetings of the faculty. In many prominent American universities you will indeed find likeminded groups of 88 or 188 or 888 for that matter. But rarely will you find a large group of faculty so explicit in their disrespect for and indeed apparent hatred of their own students. Duke is perhaps not alone in claiming this sad distinction, but it is a national leader. The antipathy toward their students, the predisposition to think the worst of them, is based not on empirical evidence but on a theoretical presupposition that most things in the world are best analyzed from the point of view of the mournful triad of “race, class, and gender”. An empirical event—a rowdy party, perhaps—is not the basis for the theory, though it can be made its confirmation. To most readers of this blog the idea that all of group X or Y should be punished “regardless” of the truth or falsehood of a particular charge will seem merely mad. But it makes perfect sense if you believe that groups X and Y are guilty by nature of their sociological status, and that a particular charge is merely a local and visible manifestation of a generic and often submerged reality.

HMan said...

To Austin
I am afraid you are right about the world-view of certain academics.
However, my take on the practioners of radical PC (and deconstructuralism while we are at this) is that they do not really believe any of this themselves. I mean, if their son or daughter was indicted for serious felonies on the basis of nothing more than their gender/class/race(which they sure as hell could be) would they nod their heads in approval?
As for deconstructuralists - ever wonder what they do when they get sick and need surgery? Do they expostulate about the various possible narratives of others or do they start studying the odds of survival at various medical centers?
At the end of the day, these people are all just bluffing (or bullshitting). Unfortunately, that fact does not help their victims.

Anonymous said...

to hman
Excellent points. This is very much along the lines of "Do as I say, not as I do". I have often medidated on the irony of the hostility toward "elitism" of institutions that brag about how hard it is to gain admission to the place, and how select and distinguished a faculty they have.

Anonymous said...

5:47: Your post was so good, I'd urge KC Johnson to highlight it in some way.

re "critical self-reflection": Geniuses are very good at this pursuit--LOL--the 88?

1:38, 3:17: "equates Maya Angelou with Shakespeare" [KC Johnson: please do not delete this post]

Along with such wonderful pursuits, such as white male bashing, these so-called "studies" pursue another agenda: I call it "affirmative criticism." Affirmative criticism is the practice of overrating mediocre work by minorities st that liberal buffoons will: 1) fund it, 2) teach it--get it?

Affirmative criticism exists in part because the "majority" is afraid to publicly point out, eg, that Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Toni Morrison, et al are not minor artists, never mind "icons."

The era of affirmative action is coming to a close. We have to STOP FUNDING ITS ACADEMIC INCUBATORS:

1. women's studies
2. black studies
3. Hispanic studies
4. Gay studies

If Duke were managed properly, this crap would have been flushed years ago.

And this "crap" was partially responsible for Collin, Reade, and David's railroading. Duke alumni, you helped railroad your own sons.



Anonymous said...

If any of the Duke 88 need a new home , they may not have to wander far. From what I hear , UNC-Chapel Hill would welcome them with open arms. Some Alumini are advising their children to CTC (Clep the Crap) because of the horrendous learning experiences thay have had in the Humanities Departments.

Anonymous said...


Loved your post.

Are you the real Roman Polanski?

You should be in jail. lol

Anonymous said...

to 7:18--

I should get Jason T to post a letter asking for the 88 to forgive me--LOL


Anonymous said...

Everyone should read "Roman Polanski's" letter to Shadee Malaklou. It's hysterical. He's a character. It's poted yesterday under Professor Johnson's "Delusional" thread, at 5:21am

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw that. Anyone have Shadee's email address, or would someone publish it in the Duke Chronicle? I'm sure it would help the "healing" process at Duke.

Laugh F'n Out Loud

RWS said...

Today's faculty grew up in the 60s. Their values are the last legacy of that mushy-headed era. Thank God it's a pendulum, and I look forward to the day when our universities are run by academics who developed their worldview during the Reagan years.

GPrestonian said...

8:43 Anon:

From Duke website:

Shadee Malaklou
+1 919 452 9292 (tel)

Postal Address:
Box 98964
Durham, NC 27708

Anonymous said...

Well, KC, my take here is that the root cause of this problem is tenure -- brainless professors can burrow into a niche and abandon all critical thinking skills.

Although you're an obvious exception, KC, (and keep up the good work!) I think the American academic environment at large would be well served by the abolition of tenure. How else could Duke hope to be rid of Lubiano et al.?

I've only had my Ph.D. two weeks, but I have been in university (twenty miles east of Duke) for the last ten years. Thank God, those ten years were at engineering schools, where even the tenured professors still know how to think.

Anonymous said...


here's another gem from the same era at Duke:

There's a link to Sokal's home page, which IIRC has more detail.

Anonymous said...


Get rid of tenure? Absolutely, but not for the reason you cite.

Lubiano et al should never have been hired in the first place.

Tenure should be scrapped because it allows even talented geniuses to get lazy. It therefore promotes incompetence, making it almost impossible to fire, say, out-of-control alcoholics.

Unfortunately--and I don't know why--academia attracts unskilled managers, from dept heads to university presidents.


Anonymous said...

Project: Think Different would like to thank you for making socially conscious posts in your blog and would like you to join our Electronic Community, a socially conscious network site that includes blogs, forums, podcasts, music, film and journalism.

The site is:

We look forward to your contributions.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am one of those prospective Duke parents. My high-school-senior daughter is well within Duke's SAT and GPA range, if not above it, is a fine athlete--a team captain, and a student leader. She visited the campus and it was once on her short list. But when my wife and I--and more importantly, my daughter--witnessed what the supposedly caring Duke faculty members did to their students, there was no way Duke was going to get any of our money or our daughter, their aggressive recruiting efforts notwithstanding. I'm sure there will be other families who don't care about such things. But we did, and my daughter rightly applied to and accepted an admission offer from a school every bit Duke's equal academically (if not better), and where faculty genuinely do see their students as something more than foils or shills. What a shabby and sorry institution Duke has become.

Anonymous said...


If I may be so bold--where is your daughter enrolling?

The 88 BS in ubiquitous, and Richard Brodhead is like God...



Cedarford said...

Anonymous 10:02 - I do remember Alan Skokol and enjoyed the story at the time. I'm glad you linked, though, because what I though as an engineer and management sort was he did it simply as a gag...but your article notes the controversy continued in Lefty academia with lit crit fans arguing post-mod deconstruction that operates off correctly seeing all physical manifestations in terms of race, gender, class and the problem of homophobia and white male privilege can deliver significant insight into math and the hard sciences.

Which I think is insane.

I will say the business community gives the advocates of gendernormative, repressed black genius in abstract business theory, queer theory as applied to derivatives the old (non-Stanley) Fish-eye.

And the same with most fields of knowledge that rest on objective, empirical, and testable theory.

It is unfortunately well resident in the soft sciences. Because that is where that strange trend cannot be challenged if all your profs are hired in conditional that they are true believers in post-mod rubbish and grade and publish accordingly.

The deliberate hiring under Fish, the fact that Crit Theory was new and fresh meant that people could publish just about any literary or historical analysis and get published, get accolades, get hired as a grad student "because no one had gone there yet - exploring Jim and Huck from a homoerotic perspective where the Mississippi was Hucks journey of sexual awakening and teachers could now uplift students from the social injustice of homophobia by teaching such."
Literature and history as tools of political progressivism, no matter where written, where actually done, or when.
The letters of John Steinbeck would certainly challenge the notion he was a crypto-fascist with an agenda of educated white male privilege, Twain if alive would have ripped a Queer Theory academic a new asshole about Huck and Jim as interracial lovers -- but if it can elevate society to adopting progressivism and diminish power of unentitled groups-- who cares, Crit Theory maintained.

Sokol correctly saw Duke Lit and arts as a perfect epicenter to launch his spoof. The English Dept collapse in 1998 gave the world a window into what was going on with Faculty due to keen academic interest in events.

If you look at the signers of the Gang of 88, most come from history or literature studies, or emenations of them of original hirees to staff new, growing departments (AAAS, Comparative Anthropology, University Writing Center - which is basically a jobs center for English Dept grad and post-doc students).

When you - or I should say KC if he goes into detail on the Gang of 88's background and orientation - how they were hired and paid to think a certain way about events - you can understand why denouncing "white male privilege" be it actually guilty or not - was as natural and correct for them as breathing air.

If you are trying to communicate this to a popular audience though, it is complicated to try and boil down 10,000 man-years of post-modern hetero, white, male bashing into a nice little half page blurb that fits the shortened attention span the masses are habituated to in modern times. Hopefully the in-house debate within academia will be substantial.

But on a macro level, the general public seems to get basic goals gone amiss. It's fine for police theoreticians for example, to have deep internal debates within their ranks as long as their behavior does not somehow change into what the public finds violent, oppositional actions to the public that pays their way. If for example by debate, police management theory determined that Asian privilege clearly existed based on low arrest rates and shooting and arresting Asians to bring up their stats for murder and rape, regardless of guilt because Asian privilege must be eradicated...we'd call in the National Guard and disarm and lock up that pie of crazy cops.

That, to the students and alumni - not so much the general public yet, I believe, is where they see Duke Admin and Gang of 88 now. Academic theory run so amok that it has boiled out of obscure publications and faculty lounges into activist groups and in direct attack on students for who they are, not what they did.

The public isn't yet enganged broadly, because they have been fed a diet that it is all about the accuser, the 3, and Nifong. But I believe they will soon realize that we are at a point were we accept the spread of class, gender, and race wars until we become a giant Iraq....or we roll that shit back and tell the bosses of purveyors of the poison in academia and progressive politics that it is absolutely unacceptable and will lead to loss of funds, jobs, and access if it keeps up.

Some ideologies are harmless or do perhaps some mental or social harm but are not threatening.

When they spill out of intellectal debate and genteel argument and peaceful change - and end up with planes crashing into buildings, Gulags, Krystallnahct, or support for arresting 3 innocents and locking them up for a good part of their lives for "crimes of their race and class" is when ordinary people like us have to say enough! Mean it. And reach for our wallets, our own solidarity as a group to defy and end the cancer. And if ignored by the small Elites running this - finally go for the shotguns if we remain targeted by menacing oppositional groups threatening our way of life or our kids in college. For what is worse than a place like Iraq now, is living several lifetimes with necks under ideologues bootheels.

Anonymous said...

Re: the op-ed on Duke's faculty.


Painting the whole faculty with one brush is just as unsound as painting the whole student body with one.

The LATimes writer is using the same convenient frame of simplification that marked so much of the original coverage of this case.

Fight the sin, KC. Not just a particular group of sinners.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Cedarford

Do you think Brodhead is scared?

I do. I think his reinstatement of Collin and Reade is his way of saying: I f'd up--bigtime.

He gave black studies departmental status--now the time to demand its demotion. Next step is defunding all the political crap.

Content matters. Goethe matters.

Not boobs plotting how to get back at privileged white men.

Found a quote:

As a white men, we'd like to apologize for our collective guilt making minorities' lives hell:

--Thomas Edison
--Anton Chekhov
--Johann Bach
--Sergey Brin
--Alfred Stieglitz

We sorry.


Anonymous said...

To Cedarford (2:17) - Fortunately, I don't think we're to the point of needing some sort of citizen's militia to keep these clowns at bay (and I know you weren't saying that), but I agree with your underlying points. Great post.

At the risk of being simplistic, I am increasingly convinced that the Group of 88 and their fellow ideological travelers (FYI, 2:29) would put the rest of us in camps if they had the power. Look at their history - not just with the Duke lacrosse players, but countless victims of campus speech codes and the like. Imagine if these people had real power as police, prosecutors, US attorneys, judges, school board members and lawmakers in more than the isolated circumstances we see today -- their ability to demand conformance, crush dissent and exercise total control would be absolute (as would their cruelty), all in the name of promoting equality, ending race/class/gender discrimination, protecting The Children, ending obesity, or whatever.

Having said all that, normal people in this country have a surprising amount of common sense and I believe we can stand up when it is truly needed. So to me the above is, fortunately, more of a thought exercise than anything else, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Anonymous said...

One of the most hilarious(?) aspects of the deplorable behavior demonstrated by The Group of 88 is that there are many among them who despise religion as an illogically stubborn belief used as an opiate by the masses.
What they have shown is that they adhere to the advancement of their own femi-nazi-anti-white-wealth agenda with the kind of religious fervor that even Crusaders and Muslim extremists would be proud of. Facts be damned! South Park did a nice parody of this; in the future, religion is replaced by various sects of atheism, which wage war against each other for ideological supremacy. This is what happens when pseudo-intellectuals are allowed to dominate intellectual discussions.

Anonymous said...

RP (1:21): William and Mary, early admission. Not immune from some of the nonsense that's present on a larger scale at Duke, but a place where faculty plainly cherish their students and invest themselves in them, in and out of class. There was no comparison, actually, after what we've seen of Duke. And other schools (Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, some of the Ivy League schools) simply didn't compare when it came to faculty-student interaction. (As opposed to what appears to be faculty ABUSE of students at Duke.) I think it's important that parents exercise their marketplace prerogative, in addition to the pressure alumni rightfully should bring to bear. But we hardly had to: our daughter and her Duke-material friends were disgusted by what she saw as much as we were.

Cedarford said...

Anonymous 3:09

I did not take your post as a thought exercise. I believe for some highly professional and top thinking people in law and academia it is extraordinarily important to fully understand the background, motivations, and ideology at now at work and negatively impacting their fields of expertise - to better work for change.

That is one reason I greatly admire KC Johnson for focusing on the intellectual roots that animate the actions of the Broadheads, Duke Law, PC forces, legal community, black activist groups, and Gang of 88.

It's probably enough for well- qualified professionals to belatedly realize that the post-mod, multi-culti, deconstructionist movement contains some incredibly dangerous aspects that would, I believe as you do, only riven our society into warring camps based on tribal indentity. Creating a giant Iraq out of America. As long as they work on fixing the danger and delegitimizing it, supplanting it with a more postive intellectual movement and era...I think we will be OK. It is not necessary for Joe and Sally Sixpack to understand that crazy Queer theory acting through analysis of Hawthorne's literary works jeopardizes the ability to get justice in a divorce case. As long as professionals in the field understand the public is now concerned and antsy about what they are concocting in their cloisters now dripping out into the open. For we in the Great Unwashed do not like the look and odor of their concoctions.

We have to watch it, as parts of Canadian and Euro society are showing signs of poisoning by the laws and regs of this movement suceeding in getting people in power in elites unaccountable to the Canadian and Euro masses.
[The Duke Rape case has generated great interest in Australia, NZ, Canada, and Europe because THEY TOO are affected, and many feel deeply threatened by a phenonenon that harkens back to the worst of communist and National Socialist identity politics that rejects individual merit and guilt or innocence as a predicate to reward or punish]

Fortunately for us all, the public here does not need to understand the full complexity of a problem stemming from very complex academic, even manufacturing processes - to notice the final product is bad. They can simply ignore the complexity of the creators, and simply tell the purveyors - hey, your product sucks, fix it. Or we won't buy it or support it.

With the Duke Rape case, they have already determined the product is bad - 3 innocent students lives partially wrecked, their player peers treated as de facto criminals by a pack of their own teachers, administrators, activist groups, rogue ideologically driven ambitious lawyers, and enablers in the PC community, police, and media.

What the general public does need to understand is that the problem they do see is bigger than the rogue DA Nifong...who is really just a middling nobody who has risen and failed badly attempting to opportunistically take advantage of post-modern PC forces for his own gain.

The public needs to know that Nifong is simply a manifestation.

Dealing with Nifong alone does not "fix the whole problem". It does not begin or end with a single unscrupulous lawyer arising from pre-existing conditions. If Nifong is "beaten" and nothing else is done and the same conditions persist in Universities, legal communities, towns, and media....all that is certain is that more innocent will suffer...perhaps at the hands of slicker, more adept new Nifongs able to get away with it.

It is also important that the public understand that the Mark Calls, Brodheads, Joyners, Nifongs, Victoria Petersons, Wahneea's, Houston Bakers are not sitting still. They want to dominate, they want power.

Anonymous said...

What's inescapable is that a bunch of jocks paid two women to do what and for what occasion? For that, alone, they should not be re-admitted to a Methodist university.
White male privilege is real. It's weak and cowardly to pretend that it doesn't. I speak from personal experience, a hillbilly who played football for a school even more competitive than Duke, I've benefitted from that little adventure my entire adult life.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Cedarford

Can you copy your post to the new thread KC just created?


Anonymous said...

5:01 --
You "played football for a school even more competitive than Duke"?

When it comes to football, isn't every school more competitive than Duke?

Anonymous said...

Oh my, what wealth of incredibly loutish, smug, pretentious, would-be IV league (yes, "IV") parents we have on this blog struggling to live, apparently vicariously, through the lives of their children to be something they (the parents) were not. The view is well typified by 1:21..dah, dah, dah...Are you permanently impaired by low self-esteem?

If you think for a bloody femtosecond that the faculty at some other "exalted institution" are somehow immune to the same self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-deception with which you are demonically inflicted, think again--if you can spare the IQ points.

Those students lucky enough to be at Duke are better off without your petty progeny pushing and shoving them for every marginal distinction your dog-eat-dog mentality can acquire.

Finally, we have identified a positive outcome to this fiasco!

Anonymous said...

As our institution undergoes the periodic re-accreditation process - and its attendant self scrutiny, I wonder if Duke (as an institution) has thought through the ramifications of avoiding and even blocking such self scrutiny on their accreditation.
Are the accrediting committees that different so as to leave room for the total lack of introspection?

jpj said...

The way the Duke faculty not only left their students in the rain when even outsiders recognised the fraud being perpetrated, but even piled on the unjust abuse is apparently not going unnoted. It is not just 1:21 whose daughter will choose a different institution.

In my view it is not hard to forsee the future of Duke: who is driven away from this institution, and who will still flock there? Quite obviously, all those who see themself potentially being subjected to the same abuse will go elsewhere: white successful students. No minority student would have to worry to find himself suffering the same ordeal as the lacrosse players did.

Duke will become a minority university. I wonder if the 88 and Durham's community leaders would mind, though.

Baillie said...

I consider that if the three young men are cleared of all wrongdoing - which appears self-evident to anyone with half a brain who has been following this story - that Duke owes them each a free four year degree course (retroactive time being included).

Justice must not simply be done, it must be SEEN to be done.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am writing from Canada. Every university in Canada has a group of 88. My son nearly failed his class for expressing his like of America in his first year. In fact, one professor ridiculed him in class. He is now completing his senior year as an engineer and is much happier. And he is still pro-American. Keep up the fight, folks, these pathetic leftists are not immune from criticism. Long live Castro! Barf.

Anonymous said...

Fred Battaglia is a graduate of NCCU law school. Got it?

somaie said...

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