Monday, January 01, 2007

Baker: In His Own Words

The Vanderbilt Register is the “paper of record for Vanderbilt University.” An official publication, it appears once every two weeks.

It recently published a profile of one of Vanderbilt’s new professors, Houston Baker. The article highlighted Baker’s telling of his past achievements in “typically self-effacing fashion,” and offered a fawning tone throughout. The chair of the English Department, Jay Clayton, hailed Baker as “one of the most wide-ranging intellectuals in America today in any field of the humanities. He is prolific and writes to an audience far broader than academic specialties.”

Here’s how the article described Baker’s behavior last spring, in a tone and content that suggested admiration for his activities: “He also was the leading dissident voice inside Duke University regarding that administration’s handling of rape accusations against members of its lacrosse team.”

How did Baker become the “leading dissident”? The paper doesn't actualy tell people at Vanderbilt.

In late March, lamenting the “college and university blind-eying of male athletes, veritably given license to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech, and feel proud of themselves in the bargain,” Baker issued a public letter denouncing the “abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us.” To act against “violent, white, male, athletic privilege,” he urged the “immediate dismissals” by Duke of “the team itself and its players.”

Has Baker adopted a more tolerant attitude between last March and the penning of the Vanderbilt publication? It appears not. A mother of an unindicted lacrosse player recently wrote him, “asking for your help.” She noted,

Over the past eight months, much of the evidence has revealed that the three falsely indicted young men have been the victims of rogue DA Nifong. They have been denied due process and are the victims of a possible conspiracy. Whatever you believed in March, I am sure you must be questioning the actions of DA Nifong. Therefore, I respectfully request that you join Pres. Brodhead in asking for a special prosecutor. In addition, I respectfully request you petition Pres. Brodhead to allow Collin and Reade to resume classes this spring.

Our paths may have been different, but I am sure all of us seek the truth and justice. This can only be accomplished with an impartial prosecutor. Collin and Reade, along with Dave, have had to put their lives on hold due to a false accusation. I trust that with the filing of ethics charges by the NC State Bar and the Conference of District Attorneys calling for DA Nifong to recuse himself, we can all agree that justice can best be served with Nifong’s removal.

Here is the full text of Baker’s reply:

LIES! You are just a provacateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to get credit for a scummy bunch of white males! You know you are in search of sympaathy [sic] for young white guys who beat up a gay man [sic] in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like “a bunch of farm animals” near campus.

I really hope whoever sent this stupid farce of an email rots in .... umhappy [sic] new year to you ... and forgive me if your really are, quite sadly, mother of a “farm animal.”

So speaks “one of the most wide-ranging intellectuals in America today in any field of the humanities.”

135 comments:

bill anderson said...

I think we can let Baker speak for himself. After reading his words, there is not much one can say except that Vanderbilt must be a citadel of fraud if this guy is one of Vandy's "leading scholars."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. The president of Vanderbilt is Gordon Gee. What an amazing response from this member of the academic elite. It's time for some new universities.

Anonymous said...

KC, I'll ask you the same question I asked Bill Anderson:

What are your sources for the alleged email from Houston Baker and the earlier email to which Baker was supposedly responding? I'm no fan of the despicable Group of 88, but the alleged Baker email is so over the top that I find it hard to believe any one would write it.

GPrestonian said...

Geez, KC, I really hope you're being extra-careful here. The email allegedly from Baker sounds like it was penned by a crack addict 4 hours past their last bowlfull.

Baker seems far more eloquent in his previous writings (not that I agree with them), and this one just smells funny to me.

Please tell us that you are sure that this email came from Baker.

BTW, the way to tell is to get a copy of the email headers - you would have to have the DukeLAX mom recipient copy the header into another email to you (or Bill).

Email me if you need more info.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Can you share with us the chain of custody for these emails? Can you share with us why you have confidence in their authenticity? Otherwise, it seems like you and Bill Anderson are the victims of a hoax.

gs said...

Why is the email not attached to your article? Did you receive a copy of the email? Did you contact baker to ask for a confirmation of the email?

Victim in Massachusetts said...

KC lets see what or if Baker will reply to a true rape victim. I will let everyone know if he does. If Baker is the true author of that e-mail then he is a sorry fool.

Anonymous said...

April fool, April fool!

Anonymous said...

Talk about newspeak. Orwell could not have written this tale. Too bizarre.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog KC, but this one really seems like a hoax.

GPrestonian said...

KC & Bill:

Everyone who has posted thus far on this entry are your friends here at DIW (w/ the possible exception of 5:43 :).

You know that the only reason we are questioning your entry is that we are concerned about DIW's & your reputations.

We are deathly afraid of the repercussions to you & the 'Duke 3 movement', if you will, if this email exchange turns out to be a hoax.

Anonymous said...

At this point, there are many disillusioned Nifong Hoax enablers who would do ANYTHING to regain the "high ground" they so proudly railed from in March. You need to be extremely cautious that you are not victimized yourself by some vicious pot banger. I would pull the so called Baker response until you can unconditionally source it because you WILL BE TARGETED.

YIKES!

KC Johnson said...

The email, with its headings and trace routes, was directly forwarded to me.

Actually, this is pretty run-of-the-mill for Baker-like responses.

Here's an excerpt from an email that Baker sent to me on Nov. 25:

"Who but those who are seeking drunkenly to concel [sic] engages such behavior? I know you are
suggesting Roberts did not reprot [sic] her "hired relationship" to the drunken, peeing off the porach [sic], sex toys demanding, and broom handle waving young
white men assembled."

In another email sent to a DIW reader over the summer, Baker suggested that the lacrosse players were guilty of more than one rape.

bill anderson said...

I have the emails and the headers. They are authentic, and you can email me if you want to see them. Go to any of my Lewrockwell.com pieces and get my email at the bottom of the page (the "send him mail link).

For obvious reasons, I don't give my emails on this list. But the headers are there. This is NOT a fake, believe me. The people behind it are honest people, not like the Gang of 88 or Michael Liefong.

GPrestonian said...

I wholeheartedly agree with 5:50's suggestion.

GPrestonian said...

Thank you for your assurances, KB & Bill!

KC Johnson said...

Ditto on Bill's point--I'm happy to forward the emails to any regular reader that wants them (as well as the earlier correspondence with Baker).

Anonymous said...

If this e-mail really is from Baker - and I see no reason to doubt that - I find it interesting that in his littany of accusations against the lacrosse players, he no longer includes the alleged rape. Now, according to Baker, the entire team deserves vilification for being white, drinking alcohol, and because one player on the team allegedly assaulted a "gay man." Uh, what about the rape charge, Baker? Suddenly not so comfortable making that accusation anymore? Apparently, even if the players are innocent of rape, they're still guilty in some greater, metaphysical sense.

Anonymous said...

If you say it is real I am inclined to believe you. I have been following this blog for only a few weeks but am most impressed by your integrity.

It is just almost unbelievable that a person in the position of Baker would send such a vicious and poor quality e-mail.

Anonymous said...

I agree with KC that was a garden-variety insane (misspelled) rant from Houston Baker.

He sent me one as well a few months back.

The only difference was its intended target.

Houston Baker is at the far extreme of racists.

bill anderson said...

Here is the copy I received. I am not going to clean up the >>> signs and all that, but you can see the headers:

From: "Baker, Houston A" houston.a.baker@Vanderbilt.Edu
To: "BEN DOWD" bensportz@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Duke Lacrosse
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 21:59:03 -0600 (CST)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Received: from mailgate04.smtp.vanderbilt.edu ([129.59.1.75]) by
bay0-mc1-f19.bay0.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.2444);
Sun,
31 Dec 2006 19:59:04 -0800
Received: from smtp10.smtp.vanderbilt.edu (smtp10.smtp.Vanderbilt.Edu
[129.59.1.11])by mailgate04.smtp.vanderbilt.edu (8.13.7/8.13.7) with
ESMTP
id l013x3si004260(version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA
bits=256
verify=NOT)for bensportz@hotmail.com; Sun, 31 Dec 2006 21:59:03
-0600
Received: from smtp10.smtp.vanderbilt.edu (localhost [127.0.0.1])by
smtp10.smtp.vanderbilt.edu (8.12.11/8.12.11/VU-3.7.9C+d3.7.9) with
ESMTP
id l013x3QG022487for bensportz@hotmail.com; Sun, 31 Dec 2006
21:59:03 -0600 (CST)
Received: from vuwebmail.vanderbilt.edu (webmail3.mail.Vanderbilt.Edu
[129.59.1.25])by smtp10.smtp.vanderbilt.edu
(8.12.11/8.12.11/VU-3.7.9.3B+d3.7.9) with ESMTP id l013x3oj022484for
bensportz@hotmail.com; Sun, 31 Dec 2006 21:59:03 -0600 (CST)
Received: from 69.245.57.189 (SquirrelMail authenticated user
bakerha) by vuwebmail.vanderbilt.edu with HTTP; Sun, 31
Dec
2006 21:59:03 -0600 (CST)
X-Message-Info: LsUYwwHHNt3660MmjhEvYg2f34OAemlK3oXsmRrh6gU=
References: BAY103-F104A614117A9BF6AD02254B6BB0@phx.gbl
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signatures=0
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Return-Path: houston.a.baker@Vanderbilt.Edu
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 01 Jan 2007 03:59:04.0303 (UTC)
FILETIME=[2D8EEFF0:01C72D59]



LIES! You are just a provacateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to
get credit for a scummy bunch of white males! You know you are in search of sympaathy for young white guys who beat up a gay man in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like "a bunch of farm animals" near campus.

I really hope whoever sent this stupid farce of an email rots in .... umhappy new year to you ... and forgive me if your really are, quite sadly, mother of a "farm animal."

To the Group of 88,

I am the mother of the Duke Lacrosse player who wrote most of you in April and asked for your response to some of the questions I had in regards to the ad you signed in the Chronicle. I received one very thoughtful response back in May. Those questions still exist, but I have come to realize that I will need to make sense of the silence myself.

However, I am again asking for your help. Over the past eight
months, much of the evidence has revealed that the three falsely indicted young men have been the victims of rogue DA Nifong. They have been denied due process and are the victims of a possible conspiracy. What ever you believed in March, I am sure you must be questioning the actions of DA Nifong. Therefore, I respectfully request that you join Pres. Brodhead in asking for a special prosecutor. In addition, I respectfully request you petition Pres. Brodhead to allow Collin and Reade to resume classes this spring.

Our paths may have been different, but I am sure all of us seek
the truth and justice. This can only be accomplished with an impartial prosecutor.

Collin and Reade, along with Dave, have had to put their lives on
hold due to a false accusation. I trust that with the filing of ethics charges by the NC State Bar and the Conference of District Attorneys calling for DA Nifong to recuse himself, we can all agree that justice can best be served with Nofong's removal.

Sincerely,

Patricia Dowd

Anonymous said...

I hope you will devote separate chapters to some of the more illustrious frauds when you write the book. Or at least a section with the bios and cv's of some of these geniuses.

Might as well get them all at once.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: I am willing to bet that Vanderbilt graduates would be interested in Baker's views.

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.56:

I find this interesting as well. What prompted me to write him was the two-part post I did several weeks ago on Duke's early response, which included a discussion of the March 30 faculty meeting, where Baker stated, without equivocation, that the accuser had been "harmed."

I got back, in part, the reply that I quoted in an earlier comment.

Baker is the most extreme example of this pattern (William Chafe is another)--comments at the time that implied rape, but once those allegations fell apart (months ago), followup remarks that were equally denunciatory for a variety of other offenses, all of which used "facts" that flowed out of a rape allegation to which they no longer were admitting.

bill anderson said...

As for hoaxes, I really try to make sure that I am on top of things. I generally know much more about a situation than what I address in my writing, because I don't want to be guilty of throwing in false information, or even taking that change.

The truth, and the unvarnished truth at that, is not hard to find in this sorry case. That is the reason that so many people have joined in the effort. They could see that Nifong was lying, and that the lies were transparent. They could see that the Duke Gang of 88 was just plain wrong, and that what was happening was a travesty of justice -- and occurring in broad daylight, too.

That is why I got involved, and why so many people have taken it upon themselves to write letters, make phone calls, and the like.

Rumors, lies, and innuendos have been the staple of Nifong's side. I have no desire to contribute that kind of stuff on our side.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

KC please check your e-mail I just sent you an e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Wow, as an alumna of both schools (T'97, MBA '03), I'm embarrased even further for Duke ever hiring Baker, and sorry that Vandy brought this man on to the faculty and with quite a bit of fanfare.

Anonymous said...

Baker gone, one less crackpot remaining at Duke. We know damn well he and his wife left Duke for more moolah at Vandy. Everyone probably read the article in the WSJ this fall outing the fact a lot of pot was smoked at Vandy Prez Gordon Gee's house. From reading Baker's emails I would have to think he's spending a lot of time visiting Gee.

gs said...

What's sadder, if the email is true:

That he would think such and say so.

or

That he would not care that his comments are documumented. Does he believe he is safe from rebute? Some how protected?

GPrestonian said...

6:07 Bill Anderson:

"I have no desire to contribute that kind of stuff on our side."

Nor did we think you do, or were, Bill.

FYI - tracert run to several of the URLs / IPs in the headers Bill provided look like this [forgive me for redacting the IP of my remote server]. Hops 12-15 tell the tale:

Tracing route to webmail3.mail.Vanderbilt.Edu [129.59.1.25]

over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 1 ms 2 ms local.gateway [10.0.0.2]

2 17 ms 13 ms 18 ms bras21-l0.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net

3 17 ms 14 ms 14 ms dist1-vlan130.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net

4 17 ms 14 ms 14 ms bb1.10g5-0.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net

5 17 ms 13 ms 15 ms bb2-p4-1.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net

6 13 ms 12 ms 15 ms ex1-p2-1.eqdltx.sbcglobal.net

7 10 ms 14 ms 12 ms asn209-qwest.eqdltx.sbcglobal.net

8 16 ms 14 ms 14 ms dal-core-02.inet.qwest.net [205.171.225.6]

9 40 ms 36 ms 37 ms cer-core-02.inet.qwest.net [67.14.8.22]

10 39 ms 36 ms 38 ms cer-edge-02.inet.qwest.net [205.171.139.86]

11 46 ms 45 ms 45 ms 65.114.65.254

12 50 ms 45 ms 46 ms webmail3.mail.Vanderbilt.Edu [129.59.1.25]

13 48 ms 46 ms 44 ms webmail3.mail.Vanderbilt.Edu [129.59.1.25]

14 50 ms 44 ms 46 ms webmail3.mail.Vanderbilt.Edu [129.59.1.25]

15 50 ms 45 ms 44 ms webmail3.mail.Vanderbilt.Edu [129.59.1.25]

Trace complete.

Anonymous said...

Could it be Baker has a drinking problem? Sure seems like it.

This is more evidence of the fraud these elite universities have become. Their only value seems to be perceived.

KC and Bill, You are relentless! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

My 10 year old daughter can write better than Baker. This man seems very hateful and twisted in his thought process. Incredible he would be considered a scholar, let alone be allowed to teach. Such a tainted mind will definitely taint some of the impressionable minds he is teaching. What was Vanderbilt thinking. Add it to the list of "stay away from" colleges.

Anonymous said...

Since Nifong is going to be sworn in tommorrow, will he be standing in the middle of his pentagram and have his hand on the book of Satan?

GPrestonian said...

6:19 Anon:

"Could it be Baker has a drinking problem? Sure seems like it."

The header indicates that the email was sent at ~11pm EDT last night -

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 21:59:03 -0600 (CST).

Perhaps a few too many adult beverages?

Tho as I said earlier - The email allegedly from Baker sounds like it was penned by a crack addict 4 hours past their last bowlfull.

Anonymous said...

Even the-mail did come from Baker's e-mail account that does not necessarily mean he wrote it. Short of Baker admitting he wrote it, it would be better to identify the e-mail as "apparently written by Baker, since it came from his e-mail account"

don t. said...

Is there some way to bring this drivel to the attention of responsible authorities at Vanderbilt (if there are any)??

Trinity60

Anonymous said...

BTW
Lubiano has added yet another forthcoming masterpiece to her oeuvre -

W.H. Lubiano. "Hurricane Katrina and Race." This article has been accepted, proof-read, and will be published in the forthcoming spring issue. Transforming Anthropology forthcoming (2006).

Sounds like "the dog ate my homework"

GPrestonian said...

Damn, my 6:28pm should read:

The header indicates that the email was sent at ~11pm EST last night...

And I don't even have an excuse, I know I didn't have any aldult beverages last night (my 19th sober New Years, by the Grace of my Higher Power)!

Bourgeoisophobus said...

Don't drink and diatribe.

Anonymous said...

Of course there is.

An email forward of Baker's email to a number of his colleagues in the English department and to the deans usually does the trick.

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/english/administration

Schadenfraude is big word that English professors like.

(Also Baker was reviled at Duke so I am sure he has already worn out his welcome at Vandy. Let's see how many other schools are willing to hire a drunken, venomous racist primadonna AAS prof--unfortunately I bet there are others)

Anonymous said...

Since dissident means one who disagrees; a dissenter, why is Baker called that?

Anonymous said...

6:13 Anonymous poster again --

I remembered that Baker came into Vandy with a group of other bally-hooed black professors, and it would seem another Group of 88 signer/new Vandy Prof is Charlotte Pierce Baker. I would assume, given their joint move, the two are married.

Her most prominent publication -- "Surviving the Silence: Black Women's Stories of Rape." Apparently, it includes Pierce Baker's account of being raped by two men, while her husband and child were tied up in the next room.

Not that I am apologetic for his atrociously rude behavior, but perhaps, just perhaps, for him, this case hits "close to home," so to speak.

A little civility could be due on both ends, and perhaps a little leeway?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what color the (Baker) rapists were.

Anonymous said...

Not a chance.

Houston Baker is a malignant SOB, by everyone's account.

White, black and in-between

Michael said...

If a parent wrote it and that parent received a reply and the writing is
similar to other verified
emails then I'll give Bill
and KC the benefit of the
doubt.

These guys are careful and
restrained and are not going to put their reputations on the line over a hoax.

From what little I've read from the guy, it's not out of character.

Anonymous said...

Scary that Baker is an educator. Apparently he is also an actual adult.

What kind of person sends that sort of response to a sincere and reasonable e-mail?

gs said...

Baker may have been:

“He also was the leading dissident voice inside Duke University regarding that administration’s handling of rape accusations against members of its lacrosse team.”

He may have wanted Brodhead, the compassionate, to execute the 3 Dukies. lol

lol

Anonymous said...

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2006/04/rhbletter.html

Most of the answers to the question "why do people accuse President Brodhead" can be found in this letter. It is true that the entire truth was not known at the time that that letter, groveling in front of the "community" for an INVENTED guilt, has been written. It is also true that there is an extraordinary, abysmal discrepancy between the two Richard Brodhead's. A discrepancy between Richard Brodhead's willingness of THEN to act AS IF the rape allegations were true and proven, with unstoppable, damning-the-students eloquence, and the timidity of Richard Brodhead of NOW. Now, he's barely found it in himself to utter, in the thirteenth hour, a couple of sentences delicately questioning Mike Nifong, but NOTHING even BARELY as passionate and articulate as back in the spring, when he made himself the false accuser's and Mike Nifong's advocate, condemning with stupefying certitude his own students, students falsely accused, students who contributed with their tuition money to Richard Brodhead's huge salary.

For these reasons, among others, Richard Brodhead has to go. The sooner the better. Let the "healing" start afterwards.

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2006/04/rhbletter.html

Anonymous said...

HOUSTON, I think we have a problem.

GPrestonian said...

6:51pm Anon:

Were you perhaps referring this related Houston, we have a problem?

dl said...

This depressing episode has exposed the sad state of academia in this country. The fact this man is considered a scholar is mind boggling.

One aspect that has surprised me is the silence of the Duke basketball coach. Coach Pressler was a colleague, who at this point in the case we can safely say was unjustly terminated.

Has anyone read anything that indicates that Coach K has commented on this case one way or the other? If someone of his stature had stepped forward early in this process much of this debacle could have been avoided.

dl said...

One other thing that has surprised me is the "shock" expressed by people that college kids actually drink and act rowdy. It's as if this type of behavior is not part of the culture in colleges all across America. Also Nifong's few remaining defenders seem to think that this completely typical behavior is reason enough to railroad three innocent kids into a prison sentence.

I graduated college in 92 (not Duke) and from what I can see it has not changed that much from when I was in school. College kids were drinking to excess long before this case and will continue on long after this episode is in the history books.

Anonymous said...

On deadline, but I have an email from Gordon Gee re Baker. I'll post later.

In the meantime, I urge all posters to Google "Houston Baker + Terry Teachout." Teachout rips his "scholarship" and compares him to the infamous Leonard Jeffries. Believe the Teachout piece is in either "Commentary" or "The New Criterion." It's a must-read.

re Jason T's "can't we still be friends post": Sorry counsel, but don't you think you are being a bit patronizing to the 88? I mean, if I did what they did, would you want me to continue to be on Duke's gravy train? Just asking, counsel.

another issue that has to be addressed is race norming at elite institutions--will try to post on that tomorrow

Gotta go

RP

Anonymous said...

Transcript of Baker on Nancy Grace:


PROF. BAKER, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Well, because the behavior of that has been continuous with this team that a number of faculty members, Nancy, have noted, recorded, taken to the athletic director, taken it to the deans of the university, as behavior that signals an out-of-control unit, predominantly.

I think if you go 46-1 white to black, you`re talking predominantly white team. It`s egregious. It`s against all the standards of ethics, community citizenship that are bandied about by administrators at Duke and many other universities.

And it seems to me that disbanding the team clears a space for us to reconstruct a culture of citizenship, and community, and ethics, and responsibility, and accountability at Duke University and, hopefully, become a national model, Nancy.

GRACE: Professor?

BAKER: Yes.

GRACE: I guess I`ve prosecuted so many rape cases and represented so many sex assault victims, white, black, Asian, rich, poor, educated, non- educated, I`ve seen so many lady victims that I think of it as crimes on women. I have not been factoring in the race element to this.

But you`re right; I`m not arguing with you. My question to you is: What`s your response to the coach resigning? And you say that faculty has recorded other lacrosse incidents in the past, such as what?

BAKER: Well, there was a university council meeting, Nancy, a little over a week ago or maybe just a week ago. And at least four faculty members stood up at that meeting.

And one of them, the imminent historian, Peter Wood, internationally renowned, said that he had reported to the deans that these members of the lacrosse team, or the members of the men`s lacrosse team, were people who had urinated on people`s houses, who had used racial slurs, who had disturbed the community of neighborhoods in and around the university, and that he had carried this information to the athletic director.

Another professor stood up and said the members of the men`s lacrosse team had been given special privileges so that they could make up courses in the summer and that they had showed up at these courses drunk and indifferent.

It doesn`t seem to me that a great university that prides itself on academic excellence and a safe space community of citizenship can tolerate such a culture of, in this specific instance, Nancy, lacrosse, all right?

I think the question that was asked out of New York was a good question. I`d like to answer. You know, I can`t out-answer you, Nancy. You`re great. But I`d like to say this is very much a class-inflected event. Otherwise, there would not be 11 lawyers on board. I take it that the alleged victim has one representative, and that would be the district of attorney.

I want you to know, as well, that my family and I were a party to a home invasion in Philadelphia. And, yes, Nancy, I have sat through two years of the prosecution of specifically the multiple rapes of my wife in our house. She`s written a book called "Surviving the Silence: Black Women`s Stories of Rape."

So I`ve got some idea about the discourse of rape, but I can`t talk about what happened in that house. I can talk about what happened outside of it, when there were three -- at least -- black women who were assaulted by words. Words are actions, and there`s testimony to that, albeit eyewitness testimony, but pretty good, since the news has continued to play it and the person who says he heard it has stuck by his story.

Also, there`s a 911 call that`s recorded with the police and in the police archives of Durham. This is an out-of-control unit. It doesn`t have any place on a campus that says it is predominantly interested in academic activity.

GRACE: Professor?

BAKER: Yes, Nancy.

GRACE: I`m very tempted to say I`m sorry for what happened to you, but having been a crime victim and hearing your story, I know there are no words that will make it feel any better.

BAKER: Nancy, thanks for saying something about that. My wife and many, many, many women, black, white, Asian, South Asian, on the campus of Duke University this evening are afraid to walk across campus. No statement by anybody this late in the game, which is three weeks along the way, is going to allay those fears.

GRACE: The only statement that would mean anything at this point, Professor, would be an indictment.

BAKER: I could not agree with you more.

GRACE: Professor, quickly, if it can be done quickly, why was this allowed to fester? I mean, I can`t imagine; I was so happy and felt so lucky to even be going to college.

BAKER: Me, too.

GRACE: I can`t even imagine...

BAKER: ... absolutely.

GRACE: ... somebody showing up to class drunk and not getting thrown out.

BAKER: Exactly. Well, Nancy, let me be clear. I`ve taught in the academy, fortunately, for the last 38 years. When I went to Yale in 1968, there were parties called masters` beer parties. It was an all-male institution.

Women were bused in from Barnard and the seven sisters schools. They were dragged off of buses like cattle. They were doused with beer. They were dragged drunkenly off the floor -- God knows what happened then -- showered and put back on the buses on Sunday.

The University of Pennsylvania had fraternities right down the middle of the campus where we all had to walk. On Friday afternoon, you took your life in your hand and you certainly took your racial and gender dignity in hand if you walked down that locust walk, because it was a violent assault of culture of white males. Yes, white males.

I`ve taught in many places. In tier-one, traditionally all-white universities across this country, administrators know that a culture of violence, a culture of rape, a culture of gay-bashing, a culture of racism and misogyny exist. Duke is no different in that respect.

When this event showed a kind of culmination and intersection of those cultures, people who were responsible in athletics and in the administration building stayed resolutely silent.

Michael said...

New Criterion article on Jeffries that also talks about Baker.

Houston Baker

Sarah D said...

You are wise to have checked this out so thoroughly before you published it.

You and this blog will be a target for people who want to bury this story (if they can)and you need to be careful that you are not being fed false information in order to undermine you.

However, it seems this is genuine, and it is a gem!!

bill anderson said...

In reading the interview with Nancy Grace, all I can say is that Houston Baker is evil. Evil.

Austin said...

May a sympathetic observer suggest that the focus of this impressive blog is becoming blurred? You have diagnosed, addressed, and very probably stymied a serious miscarriage of justice in the making. The issue was, and is, a very dubious prosecution for felonies that almost certainly did not happen. There are indeed many other matters of interest here, but Prof. Baker, Prof. Baker’s opinions, and Prof. Baker’s allegedly lamentable prose are not central issues. Concerning that last—the prose, I mean—I’d drop it if I were you. There is not a jury in the country that would convict. It is inconceivable that a Ph. D. in English could have possibly written the e-mail attributed to him, let alone the public letter to the Duke administration widely circulated under his name. What you crime-stoppers ought to be doing is sleuthing out the clever enemy who is besmirching his name with such diabolical effectiveness. This is a man, please remember, who has performed a remarkable feat in American higher education. By moving from Duke to Vanderbilt, after all, he raised the cultural level of two institutions with a single stroke.

Anonymous said...

KC,

A suggestion: perhaps at this time it would be best to amend your initial posting and add something to the effect "that in good faith you believe that the email in question was forwarded from Mr. Baker's email address, that in the event that the email is not in fact from Mr. Baker that you will remove it from this blog". Even if most of the hoax enablers would never do the same, it is best to demonstrate you act in good faith and will not engage in similar behavior.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Duke response to Baker is actually at the heart of the hoax.

Duke administrators pressured Baker secretly to leave rather than confront this vile racist openly.

Out of cowardice.

So they passed him on down the road to the next school to abuse his next group of students.

Another classic episode of Broadheadism.

GPrestonian said...

7:47pm Austin

Good one, Austin. I was going to post the link on Duke's site to Baker's 'public letter to the Duke administration widely circulated under his name' until I saw your last line! ;>)

Anonymous said...

As a suggestion, sending both the email and reply, as well as a copy of Baker's letter, to the Vanderbilt newspaper, would seem to be called for. If it doesn't publish them, we'll know for sure what the Vanderbilt paper is (or rather, is not) made of.

Clarencedarrow said...

VU A&S '73 - I took a look at some of the student publications. It appears that no one has called the student body's attention to Baker's history. A little nudge-nothing more than say- he was at the center of the Duke 88 should get the ball rolling - With the large number of kids from very conservative deep south backgrounds-it should be an interesting thing to watch. Gee is ultra liberal but I can tell the Board of Directors is anything but..This sort of publicity they don't want. As I said before the head of the board had a sit-down with Gee over his wife's behavior (a faculty member at Peabody) and laid down the law. Nashville is not Durham and that is a good thing. Lay out only the provable facts and let nature take its course.

Anonymous said...

His wife and many, many other women afraid to cross the Duke campus at night due to the violent lacrosse rapists that are just looking for racial victims....

Unbelievable...what this case has exposed. First, the justice system and now elite academia. Frightening.

Anonymous said...

If Baker and his family were the victims of a home invasion in Philadelphia, the odds are pretty high that the perpetrators were black.

E said...

Austin - Respectfully disagree.

The issues being discussed with Baker are relevant to the Duke situation. Nifong may be the public and obvious problem here but the incident has been fueled by allowing hatred to be expressed towards certain groups and not others. Baker is a fine example of that.

This case is a potent reminder that we need to truly treat all people with dignity and respect whether they are white, black, male, female etc. At this point it is clear from this case that some animals are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Mr. Baker actually earned admission to Yale, or if he was the beneficiary of "affirmative action." From the quality of his writings, my guess would be the latter.

Anonymous said...

Once confronted by publicity about his intemperate email, I believe that Baker will claim that he was simply having some fun with what he beleved was a fraudster posing as a Duke lacrosse mother. Note that he left this pseudo-defense open in his email by questioning the authenticity of the message he was responding to. I further predict that the Vanderbilt administration will readily accept this explanation, since the alternative would be so unpleasant, and any others who hesitate in accepting it will be accused of not dealing with Baker in good faith, presumably due to their racial animus.

Baker will easily win any confrontation over this email. For further elaboation on why, I highly recommend reading the book "White Guilt", by Shelby Steele.

luke said...

I find the response to the email to be perfectly horrible.

Anonymous said...

The E-mail needs to be coupled with other E-mails, letters, Nancy Grace transcripts, etc. I'm sure quite a bit could be assembled. Then E-mailed as, u-m-m, a body of work.

james conrad said...

lol, WOW, i find it odd that many posters on this blog seem stunned that kids today must wade thru a lot of dead wood teachers in order to learn, this has been going on for at least 30 years. the sad fact is, the focus on teaching has been corrupted by a focus on POLITICS!!! it shouldnt be surprising that roughly 25% of the delegates to the 2004 democratic presidential convention were...uuummmm.....errrrrr......... TEACHERS

Anonymous said...

Politicized hacks like the Duke 88 cadre are actually relatively rare in the top schools (although they infest the state schools lib arts departments).

Virulent racists like Houston Baker are (fortunately) even less common.

Let's not go overboard here.

Anonymous said...

The civil suits which most assuredly will be filed against Duke and some of its employees and former employees, collectively and individually, should be most revealing, particularly if filed in federal court where broad discovery will be permitted. Multimillion dollar verdicts
for compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys fees will be sought with a high probability of success. The war against an irresposible and unjust accademy has just begun.

Anonymous said...

I am both tenured and a former department chair. All I can say is that if this email is legit, Baker is very lucky that he is no longer at Duke. Any faculty member in my department would run into serious, I mean really serious, trouble (even with tenure) for responding to a parent like that. College deans and presidents know in their hearts that parents pay the bills we send out. At my last school, we even had an inservice on how to deal with upset parents relative to FERPA regulations. Treating a mom as rudely as he seems to have treated her would definitely land me in the dean's office and tenure would not be a place I could likely hide.

Every time I get depressed, though, about the state of the academy because of the 88 and their ilk, I think of KC and Bill and have hope.

Finally, to 7:02. I graduated a good bit before 92. There are things I did while drunk in college I would not want my mother or my wife to still learn about. Boys get drunk and act stupid in college. At least when I was in school that was one reason we were probably all stuck together in dorms away from the girls...

wayne fontes said...

I still question the authenticity of this email. I can see where others have traced it's origin but I think "something might have happened". Of course even if he didn't write it "whatever he did say was bad enough".

Anonymous said...

The Great Cornel West (Black Studies' Premier Scholar) on "The Tavis Smiley Show":

"Anton Chekhov: he's the John Coltrane of modern drama"

I don't have time to elaborate, but would someone please tell me if there is an "agenda" in that statement?
RP

Anonymous said...

8:43

Cornel West is a university Professor at Princeton?

This crap is at all elite liberal arts universities.

RP

TombZ said...

Bourgeoisophobus - Outstanding! I just wish I'd never been guilty of that crime. I hate exposing the fact that I'm a lightweight too.

Austin - Wonderful! You had me going to the end.

WayneFontes - Keep 'em coming, dude! I'm glad you've finally found your calling.

All 3 are excellent examples of the black humor to be found in the midst of horror. (Is that racist of me?)

PS. Brodhead must go.

Anonymous said...

Beyond believing in Academic Freedom and the process of evolving knowledge and educating students in an environment populated by a diversity of views, I have come to the realization that at least part of the reason elite Universities put up with much of this nonsense is as a defensive measure against charges of elitism. It is abundantly clear that a number of things are deeply wrong and I am left wondering why this is so. It is very telling that more and more, “diverse views” cannot be allowed to include those that do not pander to some special interest. It seems that most individuals are either misled into agreement or cowed into silence by extremists who have learned to be deafeningly vocal and to argue nonsense until no one dares or cares to disagree.

It also seems a successful strategy for getting ahead in an academic career in some fields is to be more radical than anyone else. I really can't figure this one out except that such views attract a following and there is fear of the trouble that some could synthesize if any sort of corrective actions were taken. Granted, it may be hard to take such actions but, at some, point, there must exist boundaries. This really crosses any frontier I could imagine. At the same time, it is abundantly clear that the fear is well founded. Doubtless there are those who would spin any sort of discipline or even criticism as proof of some irrational system of beliefs that they are invested in and doubly disturbing, very large numbers of people wait to enable, to support, and to be eagerly taken in.

Perhaps the saddest thing in all of this is that the whole affair exists precisely because it is polarizing and very divisive -- it is also entirely false and there was evidently no other suitable situation that didn’t have this inconvenient but easily overlooked attribute. If my field was trying to help some group understand itself and overcome whatever problems accrued just because of membership in the group, the sort of hypocrisy, double-standards, group-baiting, and worse that runs throughout this whole sorry affair would absolutely infuriate me (it does anyway) -- because it is destructive, and disproportionately so to those groups whose leaders were so ready to uncritically welcome the truth they wanted to believe and have been so reticent to admit that the actual truth is so very different.

This divisiveness increases group cohesion and separation, preempts any internal examination, and precludes any responsibility. It makes things worse all the way around. It does not help to further any honorable cause. Why then are many of the most outspoken so unwilling to admit any sort of mistake? Perhaps there are a few who have so far removed themselves from reality that they may yet maintain delusion. Some must be so ashamed that they hope silence will help their role to be forgotten when they should be seeking forgiveness. Doubtless, there are some who are unable to bear to admit they are wrong, choosing to continue to try to make things to fit their own agendas, no matter what this takes, knowing there will still be a following.

I find two things here particularly disturbing: 1) there is so much conditioned response that colors how so many people perceive things and it is very widespread among the academic intelligencia and certain other segments of society (MSM, etc.) – to me this suggests a deliberate and sustained attempt to promulgate such beliefs; 2) the leadership of some groups acts to deepen divides, rather than to heal them – to me this says that they would rather have the power that comes from an angry mob and a motivated, unified pool of voters than to contribute to understanding, lowering any barriers, reducing conflict and inefficiency in society, healing wounds of the past, and addressing real and readily apparent problems. I could easily be wrong but nothing else makes sense to me.

Michael said...

re: James Conrad

Yeah, but we're paying
$40K these days so that's
expensive deadwood.

You have to check every
prospective teacher and class these days.

Anonymous said...

KC, If this e-mail response is true and it looks authentic, I suggest you send your blog as it was posted today to the letter to the editor section of the "Vanderbilt Register". It would be interesting to see if the Vandy paper has the journalistic and academic integrity to print your counterpoint to their article. The academic arrogance of Baker is laughable in light of the fact that his e-mail, albeit a weak on, is full of spelling and grammatical errors.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
james conrad said...

re: michael ...i hear you, one would think at those prices, one wouldnt have to check every class. has tenure outgrown its usefulness? or are administrations so handcuffed they simply stumble from crisis to crisis?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the email trail, KC. The words of the email are so incredulous, it's difficult to believe. That said, the academy, tenure, and the concept of academic freedom have gone way too far in this particular example. In the early days of colleges and universities, their survival was dependent upon the ability of the faculty to teach students, who in turn would recommend other students to attend and provide financial support in later years. It is clear that many in the Group of 88 as well as others in similar positions at similar universities have chosen to smirk at the concepts of student satisfaction and customer service. The rapid rise of tuition in the past twenty years without a noticeable reduction in enrollments has reinforced the smugness of the academic proletariat. Just as President Broadhead should have done when the Group of 88 released its letter, Gordon Gee should rebuke the comments of Houston Baker. At the schools of America which are dependent on tuition revenue and not the largesse of enormous endowments and research grants, this behavior would clearly not be tolerated and it should not be tolerated at any institution.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I dont really know if it is relevant at all, but because Baker and people here discussed his wife's rape, here is the story (and it is tragic)

http://www.pandys.org/escapinghades/survivingthesilence.html

More to the point of Baker and racially charged accusations:
Baker was the advisor to the student accuser in the water buffalo case at Penn. Also, Larry Moneta (Vice President for Student Affairs) played a similar role at Penn during the incident. Here is a link to the chapter in the book:
http://www.shadowuniv.com/excerpts-wb1.html

Anonymous said...

The problem is that since Hispanics passed blacks as the 2nd largest population in the US, Jessie Jackson and other extremist black leaders are losing their power.
So, they and people like Baker look for situations like these to spur some attention. Wait until Hispanics comprise 35% of the population like they are predicted to in 2020. I think you see more outcry for reverse discrimination from this black group.

Hopefully this comment did not come-off as racist.

Anyway, Black, white, green, or blue these kids need to return to class. Nifong will end up in jail. Families and sympathic Duke alumni said behind closed doors they would not let-up until this happens. Nifong brought this on himself, but hey he won the election. I wonder if he will pin-up his election results on his cell wall?

Anonymous said...

By the way KC, your blog is awesome. I happened to find it in a google search after Nifong dropped the charges. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Does Baker ever take a position on the goings on in Tulia Texas, where corrupt law enforcement rounded up African Americans. Was that okay?

by the way, the racist comments should really stop, it degrades the moral validity of the objections

Anonymous said...

Regarding 10:12 - Yes, it's relevant. As a result of that truly horrific experience, Dr. Baker clearly has no patience or tolerance for accused rapists. I suggest we cut the man some slack.

And in that same vein, I'd urge everyone to stop escalating the racial rhetoric. A person who is paranoid about angry white racists would likely find plenty here tonight to confirm his fears.

Anonymous said...

Did Baker leave Duke because of the sexual assault charge filed against him by a former student in NYC? That's the real story. Check it out. Duke knows this. Has Vandy discovered his reason for the hasty exit from Duke?

roper said...

My wife and I have both written to Vanderbilt Chancellor Gorden Gee concerning our objections to the hiring of Houston Baker.

To date, we have received nothing but rationalizations for Baker's past erratic behavior, and testements to his "towering intellectual capacity".

Houston Baker is clearly a hate-filled person. He does not deserve a position of influence at Vanderbilt, or any other institution.

Please contact Chancellor Gordan Gee at Vanderbilt with your recommendation that Houston Baker be removed immediately from the Vanderbilt faculty.

Anonymous said...

I just reread the email Gordon Gee sent to me. They are not worth posting.

They were sent early on and both are suffused with smugness.

Maybe he's more concerned now.

Anyone know?

RP

Michael said...

I'd appreciate seeing the letter. Our kids are teens and headed for college and I'd like to see how college presidents think.

Anonymous said...

Follow the NYC story. It is accurate. Somebody know how to investigate this? Duke was fully aware of the charges. Vandy? Who knows.

duke09parent said...

10:12

Thanks for the link to the Bakers' story. It supplies a missing link for me on why Houston's letter was so angry. It doesn't excuse the letter or his behavior in this case, but helps in understanding it. His wife's rape, with him being tied up, occurred in 1981 (from the description of her book on Amazon.com).

I had forgotten about his role in the Penn "water buffalo" case. Based on what we've seen him write about the Duke case, it would be a safe bet that he was not a conciliator there.

I was amused by the comment that his move to Vanderbilt improved it and Duke at the same time.

I understood Baker had the Vanderbilt appointment nailed down before he laid his turd letter. Perhaps his slide down the ladder of academia will continue Penn, Duke, Vanderbilt....?

KC Johnson said...

To the 10.48:

absolutely on the rhetoric; have deleted comments that seemed to cross over the line.

On the past history: the problem is that Baker, for months, has been attacking the players not because he suggested a belief in the rape claim, but for other reasons.

bill anderson said...

As I posted on the Liestoppers page, Baker was accused of sexual assault by a graduate student, and the case was heard by a committee headed by Karla Holloway. I am trying to get information on what happened after that.

The sexual assault accusation was a big reason that Baker was never named chair of the English Department, a title he coveted. It also was a reason that the English Department at Duke did not sign on as a whole department to the Gang of 88 statement.

Here is the text of another email that Baker sent someone (who then emailed me):

Who is really concerned about whether a woman was actually raped or not? Are you a perfect idiot? I mean the fact is that a team of 46 white (and ONE) black men were underaged drinkers, racial epithet hurlers, urinators in public, beat up people who were gay before they were admitted to the lacrosse team, and were reported as bad actors in 2004. i never said anyone was raped, but the record is clear that Duke men's lacrosse players write emails about killing and stripping "bitches" and they are a herd of bad actors. Are you white? If you would really want your son or daughter or brother or sister to act in this fashion and join the team, I pity you. Maybe you should go to Badjocks.com. Do some research and get the BIGGER picture before you fire off idiotic emails like this one, ok? ALL of "official" American history is a lie, Pal!!

Where did YOu go to school??? Read Howard Zinn, for goodness sake. Good lorad, all you people think you an go "ah hah," and the polar caps will not melt, or the levees will hold. You live in a white supremacist fantasy land, and sometimes even get paid for doing so. Whew! Have you read recently? Anything?

At GOGGLE, punch in "Men's Lacrosse at Duke" and see what a perfectly horrible leader in egregious behavior Duke and its 46 white men have been.

And, get over yourself, buddy. Get smart before you write to a professor, OK. Read SOMETHING.

madder than a hornet said...

My husband and I had several letter exchanges over the summer with Chancellor Gee about his new proud addition to Vandy, Houston Baker and Mrs. Baker. We have a daughter at Vandy and don't want her exposed to Baker's special brand of hatred.

Chancellor Gee's pride is rooted in Baker's numerous degrees and recognition within academia/barf bag time.

We expressed our concern that Baker was a racist and would cause trouble wherever he went. Gee assured us that he had had dinner with the Bakers and they were lovely people. To misquote Wendy Murphy; I bet Hitler was lovely at dinner too.

Gee also cited Mrs. Baker's assault as reason for HB's rush to judgment. HB's ugly quotes didn't mention being a victim.

We know about the party scene at Vandy. It looks a lot like Duke. How will Gee handle the inevitable?

The email from Baker is valid and he is a sick man~filled with racial hatred.

If you have a connection with Gee, please write him. It matters greatly.

Anonymous said...

undergraduate student.

Anonymous said...

During the anthropology hoax some years back, when the author of "Darkness in El Dorado" blamed, falsely it turned out, an American anthropologist for the spread of disease resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Amazon natives, I corresponded with an eminent academic at the University of Hawaii who was deeply involved in the case. In his replies to me, his writing skills, temperament, and reasoning ability closely resembled Prof Baker's. On other occasions, I've encountered similar examples of literary and logical incompetence among academics.

Fancy letters after your name, and success in academia, are not a reflection of superior intellectual ability. With only a few exceptions overall, very average people populate university faculties, even at so-called elite universities.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Baker's email is truly a shame. This man teaches.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about this case, the more I'm convinced that:

1. passive, weak leaders like Brodhead are the most responsible for the meltdown at Duke. The Brodheads at Duke are also responsible for giving preferences to upper-middle class minorities and the flourishing of the victim studies ghetto. Nifong, Precious and the 88 were all empowered by the feckless incompetence of these buffoons.

2. Duke alumni are also to blame for the above. Hate to say it folks, but your passivity added to the railroading of Collin, Reade, and David.

Are you gonna post, or do something about it, Dukies?

My brother-in-law recently passed away--he was a Dukie and if he were alive he'd be strategizing about how to make things right at Duke.

In a sad, sick way, I'm glad Crystal Mangum viciously lied about your sons. Maybe it will urge you to action.

RP

John K. said...

As a formerly proud Vanderbilt alumn, I can say this with certainty. As long as Houston Baker is on the Vanderbilt faculty, they will never get a red cent from me.

Anonymous said...

This lacrosse fiasco has ripped the cover off many flaws in academia; however, this strange urchin Houston Baker is one for the books.

His maniacal childishness is both comical and stunning.

The one positive thing about this case is the nationwide interest in what really goes on amongst university faculty.

Everyone has always known that affirmative action produces many negatives, but this Houston Baker thing is just mind-blowing.

How in G/d's name does someone so wacky and so unable to construct a sentence without misspellings of simple words come to be called a "scholar"?

All this attention toward the Gang of 88 is a good thing. Each of them should be scrutinized.....then held up in public for ridicule the same way they have behaved when they tried to ruin three young student athletes.

Debrah

Hman said...

Re: Is Baker Drunk?
In my humble opinion, the charge that being a little wasted is an adequate explanation of poor word-craft is completely crazy.
Whoever lost eloquence after a few glasses? Whose grammatical sense went away after a few more?
I have this friend (cough) whose experience in this area has been that his quality of language often gets better even as his judgment as to whether or not he should say it gets worse.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gee,

I write to you as a concerned citizen, and fellow academic. I have in past worked as a full time faculty member in the medical profession, and continue to serve as a community based preceptor. As such I have been very interested in the goings on at Duke University in the past nine months, and have followed both the mainstream media, and blogs very closely. I incorporate below the text of a blog post from the website "Durham In Wonderland". (http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/). While I cannot speak directly to the authenticity of the email messages included in this post, the response from English professor Houston Baker is very disturbing if it is indeed authentic. I would encourage you and your office to look into the veracity of this post, and take appropriate action based on what you find. What follows is a cut and pasted copy of the post dated January 1, 2007, and titled "Baker: In His Own Words".


(inserted copy of blog post here)


I think you can understand why I would find this type of communication concerning.

Thank you for your time,
(signature block)

Anonymous said...

In late March, lamenting the “college and university blind-eying of male athletes, veritably given license to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech, and feel proud of themselves in the bargain,” Baker issued a public letter denouncing the “abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us.” To act against “violent, white, male, athletic privilege,” he urged the “immediate dismissals” by Duke of “the team itself and its players.”

African American Pro Athletes behavior anyone? Pretty much Houston is an idiot and the unbalanced weird email is a sign of a self aware fraud...much like many Leftists.

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned that there is insufficient evidence of the authenticity of the email from Baker. Even if it is from Baker, and I agree it seems likely, what defense does the blog have if he denies he sent it?

Even if Baker were the beneficiary of affirmative action, that would not explain the quality of his prose. One would expect an affirmative action beneficiary to write less well than who was not, but one would not expect him to write like a grade school student.

The general rule of evidence is that the more unlikely claim the greater the burden of evidence required is. Here, the claim would be perceived as very unlikely: that a tenured faculty member writes like a rude teenager. Therefore, the evidence needed to support its authenticity should be fairly strong before publishing it.

My recommendation would be the following:
1. Note in the post why you think the email appears to be from Baker, and
2. Have someone, the mother for example, file a complaint with the chair. That might elicit whether Baker denies writing it.

On the other hand, it's important to maintain the focus. This case is important for the insight it gives the public into two distinct kinds of corruption: law enforcement in North Carolina, and academic statism. (To some extent it has also underscored media complicity in the corruption).

The corruption of academia and of law enforcement has to do with public, harmful, evil acts: trying to destroy the lives of three innocent young men; suspending them for no reason; and supporting protesters who harassed and threatened them.

A rude and illiterate email, however, is not a direct sign of corruption, or at any rate is unlikely to be viewed as persuasive by those not already convinced. So although the email is interesting I would be carefuly and cautious about its provenance - I mean about what can be proven about its provenance - and how it is supposed to be used.

Anonymous said...

Just rereading my last post it's also worth noting how sometimes awkward or poor interfaces can cause someone - me - to make grammatical errors where he would not otherwise do so!

Anonymous said...

RP and Anon 10:12,
Thank you very much for the links. They were MOST interesting. I had missed the absolutely stunning water buffalo case entirely--I guess it was a busy year for me that year. Mr. Nifong's antics echo somewhat those of the Penn administration, but his were undertaken in a judicial system that IS bound by the Constitution and with much more serious charges and consequences. The impulse to railroad a kid (or kids) for political purposes seems much the same, however.

As the parent of a high school senior, I am very interested in college suggestions (quickly since most college applications are due NOW or in the next couple of weeks), and my interest in these hot, expensive schools is waning. ARE the public institutions like this too?

Does anyone know what Houston Baker was like before the horrific experience in Philadelphia? It is noteworthy that both Profs. Baker and Holloway have had extremely bad experiences from entirely different perspectives with rape in the family.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Baker sounds like a heavy alcoholic. His email adventures read like those of a heavy boozer.

Anonymous said...

Baker is obviously an unvarnished racist hater. There should be no place for him at any university, yet we find far too many of his ilk at some of the finest schools in the country.

I guess they're not so fine after all.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man, what a fraud Baker is! He spouts all this crap to Nancy Grace about his wife being raped and uses innuendo to imply she was raped by whites. In fact, she was raped by two black men!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Observer,

You should pick a school that meshes with your daughter's interests and personality.

Don't know what her grades/SATs are, but I'd strongly recommend the following:

U Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Davis), North Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Boston College, Georgetown, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Emory, U Maryland, Mount Holyoke

RP

Anonymous said...

In response to 10:48:

Baker strongly implied in his dialogue with Nancy Grace that the perpetrators who assaulted his wife were white when, in fact, they were black. That is exactly the kind of race-baiting rhetoric that escalates the tension.

When Baker and his ilk stop lying, then I'll consider cutting them some slack. Until then, he's nothing more than another run of the mill race whore who needs to be slapped down and knocked off the public gravy train he's riding.

People like Baker don't work for a living; they hate for a living.

Anonymous said...

10:32

Great point, but don't you think Baker is more cognitively prepared to teach at an historically black institution than Duke?

The principal problem is that weak andinistrators at Duke, combined with a content alumni, engineered the entire fiasco:

1. a top-notch administration would have defunded the 88's welfare state a long time ago, resulting in more prestige for Duke ("diversity" and excellence are about as related as farts and Chanel #5)

2. an excellent President would have never fired the coach, cancelled the season, not supported the accused--but most importantly, an intelligent, savvy Duke President would have publicly bitch-slapped Nifong AS SOON AS it was obvious that the allegations were a hoax.

The 88's immoral power grab was not an aberration: the Duke administration and the "preoccupied" Duke alumni "empowered" the 88 to run amuck.

Think about any elite corporate entity--eg, Google. What do you think Sergey Brin would have done if he were Brodhead?

Isn't just super-peachy that some of the most unintelligent, undeserving members of the Duke shadow faculty were gung-ho to railroad your "privileged" children?

Anyone with a pair want to defund that academic welfare fiefdom otherwise known as ethnic studies?

Let me know.

RP






hanel #5

2

Anonymous said...

RP,
Thanks for the input! We have a couple of your suggestions on the list already, and I think I/we will add a couple more...at least those with later application deadlines.

Ob

Anonymous said...

Another point:

Read Jason T's recent post at FODU about reconciling with the 88.

Just think about what he is "saying" to them.

Jason T, that letter would have gotten you fired in my universe.

This situation calls for strategists, not Neville Chamberlains.

RP

Anonymous said...

O,

Let me know which schools. May be able to get a friend to write a recommendation for her.

RP

CF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CF said...

Let me give a better cite--Trying to do my part.
wide-ranging intellectual,

Anonymous said...

CF,

wonderful article in AT. 1 cavil: before the link, I would have added the "brilliant critic Terry Teachout"; I would have also mentioned that Teachout's article is arguably the most devastating indictments of "black studies" ever written. The irony here is that Teachout's principal reputation is as a jazz critic--yep, he must be a racist.

Did you attend Duke, and do you intend to cover the defunding issue? If this defunding issue gets some momentum, I'm sure I could get The Sundance Channel to use it as subject matter for a documentary.

Have 4 days' growth, slept about 18 hours in 4 days--time to go to a bar.

Adieu.

RP

Have you seen my overlooked masterpiece, "Cul de Sac," with the brilliant Donald Pleasence?

RP

CF said...

Anon:"wonderful article in AT. 1 cavil: before the link, I would have added the "brilliant critic Terry Teachout"; I would have also mentioned that Teachout's article is arguably the most devastating indictments of "black studies" ever written. The irony here is that Teachout's principal reputation is as a jazz critic--yep, he must be a racist."

CF--Thanks. Probably should have, but at least I tried to give the readers a looke behind the academic curtain to see what they are funding--and what they are paying big tuitions for.

"Did you attend Duke, and do you intend to cover the defunding issue? If this defunding issue gets some momentum, I'm sure I could get The Sundance Channel to use it as subject matter for a documentary."
No. I went to the University of Wisconsin on very generous scholarships. Out of gratitude I always contribute to the school, but as it, too, is playing games on admissions etc I know direct my contributions exclusively to small projects there which are not administered out of general funds. I also contribute to FIRE which fights for free speech on campuses.


"Have you seen my overlooked masterpiece, "Cul de Sac," with the brilliant Donald Pleasence?"
No. I'll certainly look it up.

duke09parent said...

African American Studies is a legitimate field, although I have argued it ought to be part of the History Department.

For the real deal, consider Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., AAS scholar at Harvard. Here is a link to his biography and selected works:
http://www.gale.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/gates_h.htm

An excerpt:
Gates decries any type of education that focuses on only one culture. He believes that schools set up to teach only an Afrocentric curriculum merely perpetuate racist cultural attitudes. "Bogus theories of 'sun' and 'ice' people, and the individual scapegoating of other ethnic groups, only resurrects the worst of 19th-century racist pseudoscience — which too many of the pharaohs of 'Afrocentrism' have accepted without realizing," Gates explained in Newsweek. He also condemns the belief that only blacks can teach or write about black culture. "I think that's ridiculous," he told Time's Clarke and Tifft. "It's as ridiculous as if someone said I couldn't appreciate [writer William] Shakespeare because I'm not Anglo-Saxon. I think it's vulgar and racist whether it comes out of a black mouth or a white mouth."

Anonymous said...

You people are pathetic. If you don't want your precious children "exposed" to teachers like Baker, there is a very simple solution: don't send them to places like Duke and Vanderbilt. There are a few thousand other colleges that will be happy to take your kids and your money, and give them good education. Or are you really just interested in the window sticker and the bragging rights at the country club because your spawn got into a prestigious school??????

Anonymous said...

CF,

like how you allocate your money

I went to U Wisconsin as a graduate student. Madison is a wonderful town.

RP

Anonymous said...

It is fascinating to look at the sample text from Baker's wife's book (google "Surviving the Silence: Black Women's Studies of Rape" and follow the book results link, text sample begins with page 17). Read in light of the Duke case you can only shake your head; it describes with sadness the fact that a women's word was not sufficient for the legal system to find a defendant guilty.

Anonymous said...

Uh,

I go to Duke. Dr. Baker is correct in saying that the Lax team has a bad reputation and there have been allegations of rape with them before and they have been hushed up. That is why the women on campus were so quick to have a march, put up posters, etc. You people on this blog do not know the real history of the team.

pjgoober said...

"I go to Duke. Dr. Baker is correct in saying that the Lax team has a bad reputation and there have been allegations of rape with them before and they have been hushed up."

Got more details? You don't just pass off a bombshell like that and leave it unsubstantiated.

michael schrage said...

if you haven't read terry teachout's vivisection of baker's 'scholarship' - well, it explains a lot

http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/12/sep93/baker.htm

Anonymous said...

Looks like Houston drinks - typical rants and raving of a non tea drinked.

Anonymous said...

10:48 - "Regarding 10:12 - Yes, it's relevant. As a result of that truly horrific experience, Dr. Baker clearly has no patience or tolerance for accused rapists. I suggest we cut the man some slack.

And in that same vein, I'd urge everyone to stop escalating the racial rhetoric. A person who is paranoid about angry white racists would likely find plenty here tonight to confirm his fears."

I do agree with you that Dr. Baker has been through a particularly traumatic experience with regard to the rape of his wife. I also agree that the "racial rhetoric" has gotten out of hand. Playing the race card in comments about Dr. Baker is simply stooping to his level of racism. But I am disappointed that one of someone regarded by a major university as a premier intellectual has taken such a low road. He does need to keep in mind that, simply because the victim is black and the accused are white, does not mean a crime took place here. The fact that these kids played Lacrosse, were possibly favored by the University, or partied more than they should have does not automatically prove their guilt. If he is such a believer in justice for all, then he should subscribe to the "innocent until PROVEN guilty" standard. But it doesn't appear that he seeks equal justice...and that is unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Baker was raped by two black men, one of whom held a gun at her head. They can't deal with it. Baker says he would have to hate himself.

Beantownguy said...

Hello,

I am new to this blog.

I've read everything here and it is very interesting. I would like to identify myself as an African-American male born in the USA. There is something very scary going on here. African-Americans I feel are jumping on any white-on-black perpetration whether true or false for their personal gain or unresolved issues. I was disappointed with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on their behavior on the run-up to the possible but inevitable exoneration of the "Duke 3". Mr. Nifong clearly played to the black racists and nearly won. I feel so horribly bad for those guys. Time will tell how they fare. This is not to ignore or forget the many black men who are incarcerated for crimes they did not commit due to a “framed prosecution”. This country has perpetuated such a substantial emphasis on race that we can no longer see straight. I am completely disillusioned with the reaction of the black clergy, the liberals (all ethnicities), the judicial system, the universities and promise of "justice served". Baker and the rest will only survive in academic circles. If he truly wrote that e-mail, no matter what his vicissitudes, shame on him. He has no right. I am sorry to learn of his wife's experience which was indeed traumatic, but it would not give him license to judge those guys before proof of involvement or guilt. I would like to add something to this. Just an idea. Maybe Baker is upset with himself because he so wanted to be right and look, he’s so wrong. Nothing is going to change that fateful day of his and his wife’s trauma and he must come to terms with that. However, he rushed to judgment and must now and probably forever suffer the consequences. It would be in his best interest to apologize for the "Group of 88" letter and move on. Sorry is sometimes the hardest thing to say.

To the "Duke 3", Stay Strong!!