The Vanderbilt Register is the “paper of record for
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
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
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