Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Roundup

“Shame,” “sleazy,” “appalling”—these are the adjectives that Cathy Davidson uses to characterize the lacrosse players in her impassioned apologia for the Group of 88’s statement. “Hooligans” is the noun she employs to characterize on-line supporters of Reade Seligmann. These people, she claimed, were “reverting to pernicious stereotypes about African-Americans, especially poor black women”—at least between March 29 and April 6.

About which Seligmann supporters was Davidson speaking? She doesn’t say. Could she have been referring to the earliest of the Seligmann supporters, those who publicly testified to his character beginning in mid-April, at a time well before Nifong’s case had imploded?

Davidson’s piece—in its most charitable interpretation—is a variation on “the lacrosse players are no angels” mantra. This line of argument has appeared with a frequency inverse to the declining strength of Nifong’s case. What percentage of Davidson’s students, I wonder, would generate comments such as those linked above? Maybe for her next N&O op-ed, Davidson can talk about the many students she’s taught that she considers morally superior to Seligmann.

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But before doing so, perhaps Professor Davidson can take time away from her administrative duties to read Susannah Meadows’ just-published profile of how this affair has affected Seligmann and his family.

The article leads off with a powerful photo: signs very different outside 610 N. Buchanan than those of the potbangers from last spring. The piece features the sweatervest-clad Duke student talking about what Meadows, correctly, describes as “nearly a year of purgatory for Seligmann and his family.”

Some of the events described in this piece are as powerful as anything to appear in this case: the story of how Reade told his mother that he had been picked in Mike Nifong’s “no-wrong-answers” lineup; how his youngest brother, Ben, reacted to the news; how another brother, Cameron (himself a talented lacrosse player heading to Bucknell in the fall), asked his teacher, “I need to know why bad things happen to good people.”

This blog has focused on the legal, procedural, political, and intellectual elements of the case. Reading Meadows’ beautifully written article is a reminder that these procedural debates have deeply personal consequences.

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Betsy Newmark's strong work on this case continues in her most recent column. As the case crumbles, she asks, “what can we expect from all those who were so ready to brand the Duke lacrosse team as a group of racist rapists?” doubtful. Instead, Newmark predicts, “we’ll hear instead calls for healing. The players will be urged to get on with their lives and not to focus on suing Durham or the D.A.”

Those for whom the “truth” had no relationship to the facts of the case—such as Wahneema Lubiano, will go on as if the facts remain unchanged from her heyday on April 6, with the appearance of the Group of 88’s statement. Expect no retraction from the Washington Post’s Lynne Duke, who asserted in June that “the Duke case is in some ways reminiscent of a black woman’s vulnerability to a white man during the days of slavery, reconstruction and Jim Crow, when sex was used as a tool of racial domination.”

“Well, no,” concludes Newmark. “Perhaps it’s just a sordid story of a woman making up a story about being raped and a white prosecutor using that story to win an election.”

What lesson should be learned from the case? For Newmark, it’s that “when a story seems to fit our stereotypes, law officers, school officials, the media and the public needed to be more skeptical.” And Nifong’s success in twisting procedure and misleading the court in such a high-profile case raises the question of what “might be happening in the cases that are not so high profile with defendants who can’t afford expensive lawyers.”

Newmark, as usual, is right on target.

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A Duke student did some research on what, exactly, members of the Group of 88 are teaching this semester. Several have either left Duke or are on leave. This chart excludes independent studies and other such courses.

Some courses appear to be both academically challenging and intellectually appropriate. Some, on the other hand, appear blatantly one-sided, almost caricatures of the race/class/gender approach that dominates the contemporary academy. Women’s Studies offerings include “Interpreting Bodies,” “Hook-Up Culture at Duke,” and “The Hip-Hop Aesthetic.” Other Group of 88 classes include “Cannibalism and Anorexia: The Anthropology of the Body”; “Marxism and Society”; and “Racism, Capitalism, and De-Colonial Thinking.” And for Wahneema Lubiano, spring semester will bring “Introduction to Critical U.S. Studies” and “Teaching Race/Teaching Gender.” Professor Lubiano declined a request from a DIW reader for copies of her syllabi. She no longer accepts emails from me.

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Kim Curtis is offering a course on the “Ecological Crisis and Political Theory.” Those who believe that she’ll be fairly considering the debate between development and environmentalism represent the kind of jurors Mike Nifong would like to see. The Dowd suit’s high profile has brought to light other instances of unusual conduct by Curtis.

For instance, in 2004 she taught a ROTC student named Brad Beaumont, who also played for Duke’s club hockey team. The course was a writing-intensive one, in which a student submitted a final paper, but also submitted two earlier drafts of the paper for informal peer and TA advising. By his own admission, Beaumont didn’t submit the first draft for peer revision, and was a day late turning in his final paper.

Such behavior is hardly rare among students, but Curtis elevated it to a disciplinary offense. Based on the disciplinary case file, to which I obtained access, Curtis alleged that Beaumont had lied when he said that he tried to pick up from her office the second draft of the paper. She based her claim largely on hearsay evidence from her teaching assistant (who didn’t supply a written statement to the committee) and another student in the class (who also didn’t supply a written statement to the committee). Beaumont, meanwhile, gained a first-hand exposure to the strange world of the college disciplinary process. Dean Stephen Bryan assigned him a faculty advisor who was on leave and a student advisor who had left the advisor program; he first met the person who ultimately served as his faculty advisor hours before his hearing. He did not have access to counsel. The committee accepted at face value Curtis’ claims of what the TA and the other student said, found Beaumont guilty of lying, and suspended him for two semesters.

If this sounds bizarrely complicated, let me boil it down: Curtis turned in a student she seems not to have liked very much, even though the student produced the final paper for the course. She was, it’s worth noting, acting within the letter of the law—unlike, from all appearances, her behavior in the Dowd case. And there certainly is no equivalent of her accusing Beaumont in writing—as she did with Dowd—of aiding and abetting a rape. But she also appears to have gone out of her way to bring a disciplinary case that most professors would have handled informally. It would be interesting to see the race and gender breakdowns of students that she has referred for disciplinary sanctions, as well as the gender breakdown of her grading patterns.

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The last time I was in Durham, I noticed a “for sale” sign outside former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler’s house. The Brodhead administration has, of late, claimed that it consistently upheld the presumption of innocence throughout this affair. But the forced dismissal of Pressler hardly was consistent with this belief.

The act certainly was seized upon by those eager to railroad the lacrosse players as confirming their worst suspicions. Take, for instance, the analysis from the time of Wendy Murphy: “Either [Pressler] didn’t tell [Duke administrators] the whole truth about what happened, he helped the guys cover up, or encouraged it.” Figures more responsible than the ready-to-slander Murphy echoed her sentiments, if in slightly more measured terms.

In fact, the Coleman Committee vindicated Pressler’s conduct, and the behavior of the lacrosse players over the last nine months testifies to Pressler’s ability to recruit students of high character. To my knowledge, the only employee of Duke University to have suffered for this affair is Pressler. Based on what we’ve seen in the nine months and two days since Pressler’s forced resignation, some people might wonder if this record is a fair one.

120 comments:

Anonymous said...

These meagerly articulated agendas are starting to pile up...

Anonymous said...

KC I am only a recent reader and wonder if there has been any discussion of the accuser's attempt to avoid being held in detox by crying rape?

Anonymous said...

"“Shame,” “sleazy,” “appalling”—these are the adjectives that Cathy Davidson uses to characterize the lacrosse players in her impassioned apologia for the Group of 88’s statement."

Let's see - hiring a stripper...drinking alcohol...railroading innocent people into prison for 30 years...

Um...which one of these is Shame, Sleazy, Appalling?

Anonymous said...

Yes, there has been discussion of all of the false accuser's varied stories, including the cry rape and avoid detox gambit. You can read past columns and blogs on D-i-W and Liestoppers. The latter has an excellent narrative.

Anonymous said...

After reading the Meadows article, I can state with conviction that I will not vote for any senior leader - Price, Easley, Cooper, Dole, unless I hear them speak up and influence whats going on. Why are these leaders not running point on this issue.

And for Mike Nifong...I hope that you get everything that is coming to you. You continue to disgrace your city, your state, and your nation. Do your job - if you have the capacity to do so.

It hits you in your gut to read about having to endure what the three LAX players and their families have had to endure. And although CGM has been villified in various blog responses, she is a victim as well and will wear this all of her days - due to a DA who did not do his job.

END THIS NONSENSE!

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

re 12:22 It is much disccused on FreeRepublic.com threads that:

1. Mangum's only motive was avoiding involunatry commitment.

2. Nifong's only concern was avoiding losing his first election he ever ran in and thus his job.

There are a few people who are looking for grander more complex conspiracies. But I would say most people believe this is a case of Occam's Razor working quite well.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

I now believe that Nifong will drag Mangum into court on 5 Feb. She will fail to ID Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann with certainty that day. He will drop the charges that day or the next hoping to blame Mangum.

Nifong won't get away with it for a number of reasons:

1. He has committed ethics violations as charged by the NC bar.

2. He has committed crimes by conspiring to and actually with holding evidence.

3. Mangum had already told several different stories and he made no attempt to pin her down or see how confident her ID was prior to seeking indictments.

But his attempt will be to lay this whole mess at the feet of Mangum.

Michael said...

Another article idea would be to round up the responses from politicians that have been asked to intervene in this case and then ask why they are so inclined to do nothing when the state is becoming a laughingstock around the world. And then perhaps another article on what readers here can do individually to help the three.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

BTW, the link to the Newmark column did not work for me. Here is a link you can cut and paste to get directly to the Newmark column.

http://www.examiner.com/a-489483~Betsy_Newmark__Racist_stereo
types_shaped_Duke_rape_case.html

Sorry I don't know how to make it a link.

Anonymous said...

Coach Presseler needs to be rehired by Duke( he may not want to return), At the least, Duke should buy his house if he wants to move on. I find it hard to believe that even blacks would be that interested in AAS to take these courses. Did the boy visiting Professor harmed ever graduate? Maybe the good of this is exposing the rot in Duke.

GPrestonian said...

KC & others:

Is it just me (or my browser :), or have all of the DIW sidebars (links to other DukeLAX blogs, KC's document links, etc) disappeared?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work KC. I'm a retired lawyer and now a part-time college instructor. Folks like Nifong, Cathy Davidson, Kim Curtis, Wahneema Lubiano, and Peter Wood, all of whom are birds of a feather in many ways, reflect very poorly on the lawyering and teaching professions. However, people like you, the defense counsel for the three accused players, and Law Professor James Coleman go a long way toward making up for the first group. I realize that the same politically correct, race/class/gender mindset that infects much of the humanities is also rampant in law schools, but it's shameful that the members of the faculty at the Duke University School of Law have been so silent.

Anonymous said...

Write to the Justice Department and demand an investigation of Nifong.

CF said...

What do you suppose would happen if their was a campus wide boycott of the classes taught by the 88 signers ?

Anonymous said...

Most of this stuff is a sideshow to what I believe Bill Anderson addresses in Duke: The Anatomy of a Hoax

The sideshow of enablers is important to understand because evil does not exist in a vacuum.

Thanks KC, Bill, Michael Gaynor and others for making a difference.

GPrestonian said...

KC:

Am I woefully mistaken, or have you backed off your original position that Pressler's firing was justified (or at least understandable).

If the former, please accept my apology & delete this post so as not to start any rumors; if the latter, 'splain me this Lucy. ;>)

Brain Dead Jock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brain Dead Jock said...

KC, based on Prof. Curtis's histryonics, I am guessing Beaumont had three characteristics going again him when she decided to ruin him.
1.) I'll bet he is a white male
2.) athelete, playing a "helmeted" sport
3.) ROTC, I'll bet you anything she protested against the military whenever she can.

One does have to wonder, when does she have time to write and do research since she appears at so many protest marches.

Anonymous said...

GPrestonian said...
Is it just me (or my browser :), or have all of the DIW sidebars (links to other DukeLAX blogs, KC's document links, etc) disappeared?


No it's not just you, but they haven't disappeared. What has actually happened is that one of the articles has gone beyond a certain width limit, so the links etc, have moved all the way to the bottom of the page. There's quite a bit of scrolling to get there, but they are there.

GPrestonian said...

Thanks, 2:45am, I discovered that about 15 minutes ago. I've almost finished scrolling down to the bottom now! ;>)

Gregory said...

K.C. Johnson, please keep up the outstanding work! Your constant probing has brought a lot of important information to light!

For instance, it appears this creature, the Gang of 88, has been under the microscope long enough now that certain characteristics have been identified, and the group may be, with some scientific precision, classified in its proper genus:

1. It is a GROUP of people;

2. espousing HATRED of others;

3. taking action;

4. to implement group objectives;

5. including the false imprisonment;

6. of individuals based on race or gender.

Yes, by George, I believe we may have a new order of hate group here. Since we have identified a new species, shall we inform the Southern Poverty Law Center of the discovery?

I suggest the following binomial nomenclature: <1>adversus natio-prodigus.

MOO

Anonymous said...

Thanks for publishing that list of courses those folks are teaching. With precious few exceptions (Roman History for example) I doubt I could even stomach sitting in the lecture-hall and listening to anyone babbling on about such drivel. What a load of B.S. After reading that roster, I now think every underclassmen at Duke oughta' be able to sue the school for pretending to be a center of higher learning.

james conrad said...

WOW, what i didnt realize until reading bill andersons timeline is this case was on its third judge before nifong was forced to turn over ALL materials to the defence in the fall of '06.then, during the dec 15 hearing it was learned that the meehan DNA report hid key findings that were discovered in the 5 or 6 inch thick stack of data supporting the report.now, lawyers dont work for free and lawyers forced to become experts in DNA data dont either. anyone got any ideas what the defence legal costs are going to be here? its just gotta be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars

Anonymous said...

I've long predicted that once the charges are dropped and Nifong et al. find themselves in the unpleasant role of defendant, the "we need a trial" mantra will be abandoned in favor of "let bygones be bygones, let's put this mess behind us"

Anonymous said...

Mike Pressler should sue Duke as well.

Anonymous said...

They are still racist, let's not forget that...any group of people that lies and says they are the track team to get a black stripper, well...

Doesn't excuse Nifong, but the situation is not as black and white as people would presume.

Anonymous said...

KC - I am curious. Did the lacrosse players, in seeking to hire, a stripper, specify that the stripper had to be black? Or were those the strippers who showed up?

You can be certain that if the strippers were caucasians, the postmodern group of 88 would have taken that as evidence of racism - excluding blacks.

bill anderson said...

In answer to the last post, the players did not request blacks. From what my sources tell me, they had requested white or Hispanic and relatively young. What they got were older and, let's say, "full-figured" women.

It is important to note that they had not requested black strippers, so this "plantation" stuff that the Duke faculty and others is pretty irrelevant. They got what the escort agency sent them.

As for Pressler, he was absolutely done wrong. Here is one of the best coaches in the country who had to drop down to Division II in order to get a job. That would be like Coach K. getting canned at Duke for something he did not do, and then resurfacing at Newberry College.

Brodhead's firing of Pressler -- and it WAS a firing, not a voluntary resignation -- was a scummy, vile act that has cost this man and his family plenty. It was done to satisfy the campus PC crowd, and it was done because one player had written a private email.

If Brodhead wanted to put a coach on notice because players OVER SPRING BREAK had hired strippers, then why was Coach K not put on notice when his players had a party with strippers DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR?

I can assure you that this is the sort of thing that could come up in a lawsuit. My guess is that Pressler will not sue, because if he were to sue, it would be impossible to get a better job in the future, as other college administrations would retaliate.

Also, Sports Illustrated, which still insists that "something happened" at the party, also took cheap shots at Pressler. The reporter, whose last name is "Munson," is even worse than what we saw at the NY Times, since the Times had direct contact with Nifong and the police and were reporting on what they were told. Munson, on the other hand, is acting on speculation and his own personal prejudice against the team and Pressler.

Anonymous said...

I feel especially sorry for Reade Seligmann.

1) As he stated on 60 Minutes, he didn't like the tone of the party that night, so he left early. Doing exactly what Davidson, Brodhead and Curtis would have wanted - shunning the underage drinking and other "sleazy" behavior.

2) He has a 100.00%, airtight, rock solid alibi and that disgusting piece of human garbage Mike Fifong won't even meet with him.

3) As with Colin, if he goes back to Duke, he'll have to deal with almost certain backlash from Professors and Durham police officers. Plus, he won't be safe from vigilant justice from the "community".

It just makes my blood boil.

Shouting Thomas said...

“Shame,” “sleazy,” “appalling”—these are the adjectives that I would use to describe Cathy Davidson.

I'm sorry, Prof. Johnson, but you are not really addressing the underlying reality. Incompetent ideologues like Davidson teach at every college in the U.S.

16 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, our college humanities departments are staffed with Marxist buffoons. How in God's name can then be explained?

Davidson should be fired, plain and simple. She was hired, obviously, as a result of the sexual quota system, and to promote a political agenda. She is not a professor of anything. She's a fraud.

Non-academic departments (women's studies, black studies, queer studies) should be closed and their personnel should be dismissed.

You can even see the corruption of this madness, Prof. Johnson, in your politics. You are obviously afraid to simply call yourself a Republican.

Anonymous said...

KC:

Thank you for your excellent post.

Recently, I have been thinking about Pressler. I understand that Pressler is now coaching at Division II Bryant College in Rhode Island.

How can Pressler get back what he was taken away from him?

Anonymous said...

Prof. Cathy Davidson is an American citizen fully invested with all the rights granted by our constitution, including the right to speak her mind as she sees fit in whatever medium she chooses. But as the Apostle says, though all things may be lawful, not all things are expedient. It is precisely because so many academics believe that professional responsibility is not sufficiently guaranteed by adhering to the law of the land that they have proposed or instituted supplementary local “honor codes,” “speech codes,” an “academic bill of rights,” and the like. Cathy Davidson is also a senior administrative officer of Duke University. I don’t know the details of her job description, but surely it must include promoting the welfare of all students within the University’s charge and promoting institutional excellence.

The statement of the “Group of 88” was perfectly lawful and protected constitutional speech, but it was appalling pedagogy. In substance it clearly supported the actions of a group of activists whose fundamental assumption was that several of their own undergraduate students, the names and numbers not yet specified by indictment, were guilty of rape. The document itself was of a genre suspect: a pretended list of grievances attributed to nameless student voices to which the signers were “listening”. In was equivalent in its inflammatory nature to those remarks of Mr. Nifong that have now invited the concerned scrutiny of the NC Bar. It is simply fantastic to imply, as Cathy Davidson now does, that signing that statement was compatible with an honest and open-minded assumption of innocence. Nevertheless, given the state of play in early April, the composition of such a document is at least historically explicable. The district attorney was making deceptive and inflammatory remarks. A local newspaper was writing irresponsible articles. High-minded, self-righteous pot-bangers were screaming into bullhorns that the infamous lacrosse players faced consequences from their “community” that would make the legal consequences they faced pale by comparison. (The legal consequences, apparently, were only thirty years of incarceration.) What is inexplicable, and in my view professionally unacceptable is that, knowing what we all now know, Cathy Davidson continues to insist that it is no problem at all that the manifesto of the Eighty-Eight bears the signature of an associate provost of Duke.

Among the very few public documents emanating from the Duke administration that really command my respect is the exasperated letter from Provost Lange to Huston Baker. While I cannot agree that the University addressed the issue in a timely and effective manner, it is quite obvious that the stated grounds for Baker’s loss of confidence in his leaders—the Administration’s failure to take the matter with sufficient seriousness—are absurd. What Provost Lange refused to do in that letter, as also in his surreal conversation with the pot-bangers who had invaded the grounds of his residence, was to make a definitive statement, as he waited for the completion or at least significant advance of the police investigation, that the students were guilty. This was not exactly robust support of Duke undergraduates, but it was at the very least professionally correct behavior.

The principal focus of discussion on this blog has rightly been the legal situation of the accused students. Under these circumstances it is probably appropriate that so many contributors are lawyers or at least legal buffs whose expertise has helped me appreciate various important points, obvious to them, that otherwise I would not have noticed. Let me try to reciprocate by pointing out an elementary aspect of the situation that might not be obvious to people outside the field of higher education.

I have had a long-term interest in American higher education and in the complicated role—or rather roles, for there are several, some positive, others less so—of organized athletics on our campuses. I first learned about the “Duke Lacrosse Scandal” sometime in late March, through the New York “Times”. The reported rape had to compete with the other front-page horrors, and didn’t think much more about it. The behavior of sophomores is often and unsurprisingly sophomoric. Boys will be boys. Ordinarily their boyishness doesn’t end up with seven to fourteen years in the state penitentiary. But there are times when it should and does, and it seemed that this might be one of them. In retrospect I did not at that time even realize that there was a fortnight’s gap between the event and the story in the “Times”, that the Durham police investigation had been sluggish and lackadaisical, and the Duke Administration’s response tardy and incompetent.

The “Times” article, I learn from this blog, appeared on March 27. Two or three days later there was in New York something billed as an “American reunion” of Oxford graduates. I had never been to such an event, but I decided to go, largely on the basis of the promise of the advertised panel discussions, one of which featured Nick Kristoff, who subsequently would write an excellent essay about “our” case, though on this occasion Iraq was the subject. One of our hosts was Lord Patten of Barnes, the Chancellor (or ceremonial president) of Oxford University. He made the kind of pithy, urbane, and scintillating little speech appropriate for the occasion, and he did it in the middle of a cocktail hour. Only a truly accomplished public speaker can capture the attention of an audience of several hundred lightly lubricated people standing on a ballroom floor; but we attended his every word. In some very peripheral way he mentioned that just come from the Duke University campus—adding in a facetious throwaway line words to the following effect “Not interviewing for the job of lacrosse coach, I assure you!” The room exploded in an odd growl of indignant and malign laughter. It was obvious that the Duke Lacrosse Scandal was something concerning which many of these folks knew more than I, and already had formed strong opinions.

Let me pause to say that if I were a trustee or administrative officer of Duke, I would have found the ripple of unfriendly laughter in that ballroom most discomfiting. It was a ripple of laughter that will require much more than presidential dog-and-pony shows before Duke alumni clubs to dissipate. Though the Brits were very slow to catch on to the fund-raising techniques of American colleges, they have now done so with a vengeance. Their “alumni relations” are now a well-oiled machine. This event at the Waldorf Astoria was one of the most socially pleasant, and certainly the most intellectually stimulating, I have ever attended. The American alumni of Oxford—or to put it another way, Oxford alumni who happen to live in America—include well over a thousand Rhodes Scholars, large numbers of winners of Marshalls and other prestigious awards, and a very large contingent of highly successful international ex-pats prominent in government, industry, finance, education, and the arts. This was unquestionably an Alpha Audience, momentarily unified in their disgust at the real or imagined evils at Duke.

Later on by chance I found myself briefly in a conversation circle with the Chancellor. Someone raised the Duke matter and his allusion to it, and he made a few more remarks. One of the talents of successful diplomats is an ability to give to utterances of the most cautious and discreet nature and air of intimate confidentiality. He neither claimed any knowledge not in the common domain nor expressed any personal opinion regarding the merits of the case. He spoke sympathetically, as though he knew that the whole business must be deeply painful and embarrassing to his American friends, which of course it was and is. But I inferred that at Duke “they”—meaning the sorts of people that the Chancellor of Oxford would be hanging out with on a campus visit—were sure that a vicious crime had been committed.

That was when I perked up and started paying a little more attention. A statement attributed to President Brodhead summarized my own subjunctive view of the matter. He said something to the effect that IF what was alleged to have happened at the party really happened, it was a most serious matter. What was alleged to have happened, as eventually published in the newspapers, was forcible rape, and not of the common or garden variety either. What was alleged was a gang rape. Several young men—the number varied, but the minimum claim was three—imprisoned a young woman in a bathroom, stripped her of her clothes, choked her, and raped her vaginally, anally, and orally. I was horrified, though one shadow of doubt did pass through my mind. It did occur to me that “oral rape” might be a rather rash undertaking, unless one made sure one’s victim was completely unconscious or had removed her dentures. Soon thereafter I discovered the blog “Durham in Wonderland”. I never before had “blogged” myself, and I have no intention of making a habit of it. It’s far too time-consuming, and searching for wisdom among the comments is like placer mining. You have to handle an awful lot of mud to find a few gold flakes. But this blog is unique in my admittedly limited experience, and I want to say that Prof. C. K. Johnson, whoever he is, is a teacher of rare talent

My field of expertise is American higher education. In an earlier post C. K. Johnson wondered how the Duke administration could let the Dowd complaint get to the state of an actual law suit. That is an excellent question, but one subsidiary another: how could they wait until the lacrosse party had already been transformed into a no-win institutional disaster before they took any part in framing its narrative? While it takes a particular kind of mentality to construct out of this incident the vast allegories of race, class, and gender that have been forthcoming from certain faculty members, any intelligent person had to realize the potential gravity of the episode and its potential for damage. Yes, it was spring break, and yes, a crucial vice president was off on vacation, but President Brodhead should have been informed immediately. By the time he got into the act the title to this hot property had been grabbed up by the DA and the local newspaper. Retrospective criticism is sometimes cheap, but it really is the case that at any university that had its act together the president would have learned about this episode within three hours of its appearing on the police log book, even if he had to be interrupted in the middle of a night’s sleep or amidst an important meeting of the board of trustees. Quite simply, the manner in which the incident was handled by Duke administration in the middle of March was so maladroit as to suggest serious institutional dysfunction. Is it really true that the only person to lose his job so far is the lacrosse coach?

The site has not been without its ironies. Many posters have rushed to judgment about how others have rushed to judgment. Speculation about the character and motives of the district attorney and various faculty members can be engaging or amusing, but it is not probative argument, and in my opinion there has been too much of it. Certainly there has been too much personal invective. It is also my opinion that many comments have lost sight of the distinction between legality and civility. Innocence of felony and innocence of boorishness are two quite different things. C. K. Johnson seems to object to Davidson’s word “sleazy” to describe the nature of the party and some of the behavior surrounding it. The word used by Reade Seligmann, who showed the admirable good sense to leave the party before the non-event for which he has been indicted, was "boring". Of the two, I think "sleazy" the more accurate, though “disgusting” would have been my first choice. Under different circumstances this case might have provided an opportunity for a discussion of what is really one of most serious social problems on our campuses: the mystique of alcohol. But the issues that have emerged here are very clearly civil rights and judicial abuse, and I congratulate Prof. Johnson for the clarity of his focus on them. These issues belong neither to the “left” nor to the “right”—insofar as those terms have much concrete meaning. We are often told that we live in a fractured, divided, antagonistic, “multicultural” world in which men are from Mars and women from Venus, where blacks and whites can never share the same “perceptions”, where the old and the young are culturally at daggers drawn, that we all are constantly about to fall into the abyss of the gender gap, the age gap, the race gap, the income gap, and doubtless numerous other vast chasms as yet unknown but soon to be discovered with the powerful optical instruments of contemporary theory. Under these circumstances we need to embrace such few common causes as we can find, beginning perhaps with the Constitution. It is unlikely that Prof. Davidson will advance the justice she eloquently longs for in the larger society by colluding with injustice on her own campus.

james conrad said...

re: 9:02 BRILLIANT post

AMac said...

Oxford Alum 9:02am --

You've contributed one of the longer comments, and as you write well and bring up relevant points, it's worth reading. Thanks for spotlighting the combined effects of the initial rush to judgement and the innate attraction of schadenfreude in describing the effects of the "Duke-Gang-Rape!" narrative on your alpha audience of NYC Oxonians last spring.

Truly, the phrase "social disaster" chosen by the Group of 88 is an apt one... in the manner of, "regrettably, what you said does not mean what you think it means."

Anonymous said...

Re 9:02
Freedom of speech does not excuse libel and slander. A subject of the Crown should be particularly sensitive to that, as in England, even truth is not a defense against a claim for libel.
It was only recently that newspapers received legal protection from slander lawsuits based on their having told the truth in a good-faith manner. Individuals have no such rights.
In this country's legal system, Prof. Davidson would very likely be subject to a suit for libel if her statements were made with a reckless disregard for truth.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to publish the email addresses of all those remaining at Duke of the Group of 88? As a Duke parent I think it's time we ask for an explanation/retraction of their stance. I certainly have no interest in my daughter registering for any of their classes.

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

9:02

It's KC

not
CK

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

Sorry abt the sidebar problem--it's been fixed!

On Pressler's firing--I fully admit to a rush to judgment here. In the very first posts I did in April, I said the firing was justified. Then the Coleman Committee report came out, which explained in considerable detail that anytime Pressler had been informed of alcohol violations by the team, he acted, and acted promptly.

I had assumed--as many people had, I think, based on Duke's action--that Duke actually had a reason beyond p.r. for firing Pressler. The Coleman Committee report showed that wasn't so.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10.10 (and of course Professor Johnson himself):

My apologies. I thought KC was some place in the Midwest. But I now see that there is as much difference between KC and CK as between an awful pretty girl and a pretty awful girl.

Anonymous said...

I just read KC's post about at first believing that firing Pressler was justified and then, based on new information, revising his view. That statement does nto reduce his credibility or make me think less of him. To the contrary, it confirms that his posts are part of a credible dialogue and that we can count on him to be honest, even if we disagree with him.

Davidson is unable to take that step. Any reader of the Group of 88 statement knows that the signers were not considering the possibility that the entire event was a hoax. Given that everybody who wrote and read that statement knows that truth, her efforts to write around it are not credible.

Also, her adjectives are not acceptable. First, when I went to Duke, the drinking age was 18 and Duke sold beer and kegs with meal cards. Even though the drinking age has changed, 18-21 year olds still drink regularly. So, drinking beer is hardly sleezy or appalling. As for the stripper, it was spring break and off campus and LEGAL. I did not know it was the university's business to pass judgment on legal, off campus, out of session, sexual activities. It is open season for such stuff? That is not to say that i approve of hiring a stripper, but my opinion as a professor about what my students legally do off campus, out of session, should not be the subject of pronucements. At Duke, as at all college campuses, some students are engaging in sexual activity that other people may find appalling, so what.


She should just come clean and say that she thought a crime had been committed and now she is not sure.

Anonymous said...

KC -- Did the Group of 88 address the McFadyen e-mail?

I think you're passing a lot of judgment out of context.

Michael said...

An interesting "rape" case in Portland where the DA did the right thing.

A night we'll never really know about

"That fact alone bars prosecution of this case, because identity must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

Anonymous said...

to 902 poster from a non-lawyer/retired professor: very thought-provoking. I particularly liked how you framed the issues of legality versus civility.

Anonymous said...

9:02 - One wonders how the students in the humanities can withstand the drivel delivered without alchohol. Also, reasonable definitions for "injustice" and "justice" are apparently difficult to understand when interpreted through a leftist, marxist prism.

Anonymous said...

"Hook up culture at Duke"? You get credit for hooking up at a bar?

What a GREAT SCHOOL!

I am going to ask my son if he pissed away my money taking this course or do you just check in after a night on the town with your "Hook up" quota and get a grade?

I guess they have this course, because some of the Womyn's studies girls are so butt ugly they don't know how to "Hook up".

Just a guess.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

"Mom, she picked me."

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer/retired professor: A few comments regarding KC's post at 1015. KC acknowledges that he changed his mind regarding the firing of Coach Pressler. KC demonstrates real integrity, openess, and the abilty to change one's opinion based on new information. Sadly these characteristics are lacking in Professors Davidson, Curtis, and the other idiot savants of the group of 88. Just today the Citizen Times in Ashville, NC apologized for their editorial of April 8 where they roasted the LAX players. To quote from the Ashville Times today: "We made a mistake..." Too bad others cannot also apologize for their rhetoric. P.S. The only negative I have regarding some of the comments posted on this blog is the race-baiting. It detracts from many of the conflicting opinions and ideas expresssed on this blog.

Anonymous said...

What do you suppose would happen if their was a campus wide boycott of the classes taught by the 88 signers

This might work with real students but I guess Duke has a race quota system and a lot of white far-left wackos who don't want to do anything but attend those classes.

Anonymous said...

11:02 a.m. -- I'm no fan of women's studies as an academic specialty, but Duke women's studies students are generally far better-looking than you're describing here. Trust me on this one.

KC -- You shouldn't be surprised that the G88 people aren't interested in talking to you. Read over your blog. It has become apparent that you're not interested in giving an objective look at the situation. You're crusading against everyone tangentially involved with the case. You're more generous than your commenters, who are trashing Duke to an extent that Seligmann and Finnerty's former teammates must surely resent. But even the NYT is making more of an effort to represent all sides of the story fairly.

Now you may argue that's not your goal. Perhaps the Duke Three deserve someone to make their case forcefully. That's fine. But then you shouldn't act shocked if your intended targets don't want to have a friendly chat with you.

These professors don't answer to anyone on this blog. They answer to Duke. Some will likely move on in a couple of years anyway and won't be missed -- if any in the African-American Studies department are like Michael Eric Dyson, referenced earlier, then good riddance. Many of them, as others have noted, are just instructors who have no tenure. And the classes they teach have scant enrollment -- the overwhelming majority of Duke students (say, 95-99 percent) skip the most egregious of the classes KC lists.

But if people like Peter Wood and Claudia Koonz -- distinguished scholars who may have made one simple mistake in judgment here -- leave Duke, then Duke has a serious problem. (Granted, I think they're both near retirement age, so they won't be around forever, anyway.)

Anonymous said...

SI is a rag that is read by millions and has the ability to influence broad segments in the sports community. When unfounded speculation in a case like this is put in the public domain by folks like SI’s Munson, perhaps it is time to put this individual under the spotlight and see what his win – loss record contains when it comes to sensationalizing – and then lamely defending his earlier comments when they are in error. Individuals in the sports world are routinely fired when their win – loss record, or losses in key games is too much for the parent organization to stomach. Maybe it is time for SI to take a hard look at this player on their staff.

Anonymous said...

to 1120 from a non-lawyer/retired professor: In the short-run, you reward them. Let me explain. If there is a boycott, they have fewer students to teach, fewer papers to grade etc. And they have more time to engage in their juvenile behavior.

Anonymous said...

KC (another from the 11:28 guy) -- I agree that the Pressler situation is perhaps the saddest outcome of this case other than the terrible years for those actually accused. Like you, I thought there was good reason for him to depart based on everything that was floating around the program, even though I doubted the rape claim from Day 1 as well.

I have no idea what can be done unless Danowski, Pressler and Duke strike a deal in which Pressler returns to the job next season. But that compels Danowski to seek a new job, which isn't fair to a man who's clearly loyal to all these guys.

CF said...

If I were a Duke student, angry about the failure of the 88 to apologize and the Administration to take appropriate action against them for their unethical behavior, I would organize a boycott of the 88's classes. Surely, some students would nevertheless enroll in their courses, but then it will be apparent that the costs of continuing them on their payroll far exceed the returns.
I also think it would be an effective way for the students to make their concerns about ideologues "teaching" and doling our grades known.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Davidson's parsing of "social disaster" as a technical term in the N&O editorial brought to mind the March 26, 2006 op-ed piece by Prof. Patterson in the New York Times ("A Poverty of the Mind"). It is very much worth reading, especially as a compare/contrast to Prof. Davidson's discourse on the "disaster". Google "Orlando Patterson New York Times" and you'll find the article.

PrincetonTownie

Richard said...

Michael 10:45

What an interesting article. It shows that when there is no rush to judgment an accusation of rape does not automatically lead to charges being filed. Of course the players in this instance were Black so I am sure that we didn’t have the NAACP demanding that they be arrested.

Anonymous said...

To kemp. For only 45,000$ a year your child can become an expert in Hook ups, and yet you complain?

Anonymous said...

To 11:28 PM-

"These professors don't answer to anyone on this blog. They answer to Duke."

They answer to themselves, and misuse their employment at Duke for credibility of their free speech. They are not speaking as private citizens, though they will claim it in defense when necessary.

On the table are 3 lives being railroaded into 30+ year prison sentences. Currently, right now, as we speak.

Meanwhile, the credibility of Duke employment is CURRENTLY being misused as a soapbox for personal agendas. That these agendas are a separate goal and the resulting corruption of the legal system is a mere side-effect is not their problem. Their 'free' speech through their employer is more important than others' freedom from false accusation and imprisonment.

How about basic protections guaranteed by the Constitution. Isn't that the basis for all we cherish in our society?

If they answer to Duke, then Duke is responsible for them as it's mouthpiece.

plymouthrock said...

If what KC says about why Pressler would not sue is so, does he think that Pressler will somehow get tapped for a top-rated job if he keeps still?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what these left-wing wackos are doing with elections..Vote early and often somehow comes to me mind..

Anonymous said...

At what point does the Group of 88's statement become akin to someone yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater? If someone would stand up and be accountable, it would make the act appear to be more responsible.

Anonymous said...

The earliier commenter is correct: Sports Illustrated's Munson deserves scrutiny. He has been terrible.

Anonymous said...

To 11:28:

You described Peter Wood as a distinguished scholar.

You're joking, right?

Anonymous said...

11:49

That's what he said he was learning at Prep School. Maybe he's getting an "Advanced" degree?

Do you think they would let us audit the course? or maybe do the course by mail? I am betting momma won't go for that!
Kemp

Anonymous said...

This group hides under the banner of Political Correctness. They have infiltrated our places of learning to the detriment of most of our students.

If one tries to take these tutors on frontally the lower courts who have been also been infiltrated by radicals use our laws to defend them .

If any one has an answer to these left wing agitators please advise soonest.

One can already see how NC AG Roy Cooper, Govenor Easley,Senator Dole and senior justice officials hide behind the "NOT MY JOB" syndrome to remove Nifong!

Nifong should be off the job and run out of NC tomorrow.

Bottom Line is that Crystal Mangum told a pack of lies to cover her sorry A** turning the lives of the 3 lads and there families into a living hell.

I truly hope she is punished harshly along with Nifong.

Wilt

Anonymous said...

10:43 "KC -- Did the Group of 88 address the McFadyen e-mail?

I think you're passing a lot of judgment out of context. "

G88 didn't address the McFadyen email in their 4/6 ad -- since the email wasn't available to the public at the time the ad was put together.

Please be specific about what exactly you think KC has taken out of context. I personally think the G88 now wants to take their own ad out of context to cover their own a@$es.

7:31 "They are still racist, let's not forget that...any group of people that lies and says they are the track team to get a black stripper, well...

Doesn't excuse Nifong, but the situation is not as black and white as people would presume. "

You're mistaken - the request, per Kim Robert's own statement, was not for black strippers. And, you're right, the situation was not black and white, at all, until Nifong failed to allow the investigation to determine what the situation really was. Nifong made it black and white.

Anonymous said...

The latest to recant is the Asheville Citizen-Times, whose editor today apologizes for being "played like a fiddle" by Nifong.

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200770105071

Anonymous said...

Given a wrongful termination under more common circumstances, it might have been in Pressler's overall best interest to eschew a lawsuit. I don't believe that to be the case here, though. The circumstances are truly extraordinary. For the rest of his life, Coach Pressler's hiring will be seen as extremely controversial, and prospective employers among "elite" universities will be reluctant to embrace him. Pressler's earning potential has therefore been grievously damaged, to his and his family's detriment. His best option, then, is to pursue legal remedies, for which he probably has many causes of action. He should definitely sue Duke University for wrongful termination. He should also sue Munson and Sports Illustrated for libel. Though I have not examined any program transcripts, Pressler probably has legal recourse against any number of on-air personalities and their respective broadcast outlets for slander. I expect that Coach Pressler will eventually come to realize that this whole travesty has denied him the opportunity to earn the living his skill warrants, and that he can be made whole only through civil litigation.

-- SteveDinMD

Anonymous said...

re 12:32 PM
Asheville Citizen-Times article

Anonymous said...

12:19
The boys had requested WHITE strippers. When the two showed up, the boys were already mad and tried to call "Bunny Hole Entertainment" Crystal's employer, which should get more attention, like who's behind CHE?, they could not get any one to answer the phone, so they were stuck with the two that showed up.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

11:28 AM,

You say of KC that "you're not interested in giving an objective look at the situation." Please provide a few significant examples of lack of objectivity. My impression is that KC's analysis has been very fact based (unlike your accusation), but if you list some examples and make a fact-based analysis, I may change my mind.

You also describe Peter Wood and Claudia Koonz as "distinguished scholars who may have made one simple mistake in judgment here."

I would respond with two questions:

(1) If the Professors' rush to judgment about an alleged GANG RAPE-not a speeding ticket, not drinking beer, and not looking at naked women, but BRUTAL GANG RAPE-by students at the University where the Professors teach was a "simple mistake" in judgment, what in in the name of decency would be a "serious and egregious mistake" in judgment?

(2)Let's assume it was a mistake in judgment (even a "simple" mistake in judgment, if you insist)how on earth can you now say it was only "one" simple mistake in judgment? As of today, when the students are still charged with a BRUTAL, SEXUAL ASSAULT (which is ruining the students' lives, which could send the students to prison for many years, and for which their is absolutely NO credible evidence, the Professors have never admitted the mistake or apologized, and at least some of their cohorts continue defending their actions.

Whatever you can say about Peter Wood and Claudia Koonz, "distinguished scholars" or not, what they have done, when combined with their continued silence, is not a "simple mistake in judgment." And Duke will not be harmed by losing such folks.

Anonymous said...

"Hooking up" at Duke, as it pertains to the Women's Studies Dept. is a mental image that I could have done without!

Anonymous said...

12:36
Asheville "apology" too little too late, and more importantly, they still don't get it. The damn devil made us do this, not our stupid PC mindset.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

The Wilmington Journeal reported;

..
It has been confirmed that at least one Duke professor, an African-American, has resigned from various on-campus committees in protest.
..

Anyone know who resigned in protest?

Anonymous said...

I would hope that dropping all charges against the 3 victims would be paramount for ANYONE interested in Justice, Constitution Law, Human Decency, etc.

Really, all else is secondary.

Silence over wrongdoing implies approval.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting how these moral scolds have zero integrity.

Richard said...

Anonymous 12:10

The earlier commenter is correct: Sports Illustrated’s Munson deserves scrutiny. He has been terrible.

That is an understatement to say the least. If you want to get an understanding of where Munson is coming from just read his SI interview.

Munson: They still face some serious charges. There is little doubt that something unsavory happened at the party on March 13. After the dismissal of the rape charges, it will be easier for the accused players to attempt to settle everything with a guilty plea on lesser charges. The likelihood of a trial on any of these charges is now greatly reduced.

http://www.tiny.cc/I29Sn

Why does he think that is the case? Just read his earlier interview.

Munson: The defense lawyers know they must be very careful in the presentation of an alibi. The disclosure of this evidence so quickly after Seligmann's arrest indicates we must be very careful and slow to evaluate it and its credibility. You don't see many alibis in criminal cases -- it's a very rare thing. Ordinarily, 99 times out of 100, the police have the right guy, and you'll find that most people arrested were involved in something. Getting the wrong guy is very unusual.

http://www.tiny.cc/XJvVE

So according to Munson 99 times out of 100 the police have the right guy. If that was the case why do we even bother to have a trial? It would be so much easier to just throw anyone who was arrested in jail.

Anonymous said...

1:03 PM
BINGO!

"So according to Munson 99 times out of 100 the police have the right guy. If that was the case why do we even bother to have a trial? It would be so much easier to just throw anyone who was arrested in jail."

Perfect lazy thinking for all who want and need the lies be true.

Anonymous said...

I believe Anne Allison teaches the course titled "Hooking up" at Duke.

Allison is prof of anthropology.

I am not saying that the titles below do not contribute to advancement of knowledge. Nor am I saying that these books do not deal with interesting topics.

Below are Allison's publications.

1) Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes) (Paperback)

2)Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (UC Press, 2000)

3) Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (1994).

Anonymous said...

What's probably holding back Pressler from a libel lawsuit against SI and Munson is the cost of hiring a lawyer. A lawsuit would force SI to explain Munson's awful coverage and ill-informed opinions. SI tends to be sloppy and inaccurate when writing about controversies. Otherwise, it's an excellent magazine.

Anonymous said...

I've got it. Son has same name as I do, I get him to register for course and I show up in his place. Now if I can figure out what color to dye my gray hair, and lose 30 pounds by Tuesday, I am in like flint!! Still don't think mom is going to buy this idea. Maybe another investigative trip to Tokyo?? Hmmm.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to 9:02 AM, and truly you deserve respect for the refinement of your mind, it took you 2200 words to say what could easily have been said in 200. What was your point? Talk about placer mining! The mud surrounding the gold flakes was especially thick and obfuscatory.

Bruce said...

This is a fascinating case. Thanks for your work in pulling so much information together.

The link for Betsy Newmark's piece, Racist stereotypes shaped Duke rape case, has expired, but it can be found here, at least for now.

Anonymous said...

Let's not be too harsh on 9:02.

9:02 should contribute more often.

Staples

Anonymous said...

Perhaps 9:02 was a bit over-eloquent, but as a student of Literature from the pre-deconstructionist days, I can well appreciate a beautifully turned phrase.
Having long been fed a pablum of sound-bites and newspaper-style writing, we should thank those whose are willing to contribute music to these pages.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Davidson is referring to Finnerty or Evans supporters as the problem. I haven't noticed a problem though.

There have been a few racists on both sides of this case but none that I know of are affiliated with any of the players families. Davidson is really reaching and she's lost all credibility.

Anonymous said...

To our very persistent Broadhead apologist aka 11:28A:

I find it amusing that you think that those of us who have exerted (successfully to date) considerable time and pressure to have this hoax reversed, must sign onto your pay-for-hire agenda.

We all have our own.

That's called freedom of speech, buddy.

I personally have no interest in protecting Duke University.

It needs serious change. First of all in its liberal arts faculty.

I agree with you that many of the G88 will leave - with a few helpful pushes from me, KC and others.

And that is a very good thing.

For academia everywhere. A bracing return to a minimal ethical requirement of professors to respect their students (_all_ their students) rights as individuals.

There have been lessons from this case all around.

For those of us in lacrosse, for Duke and...

-For the African-American community (nationwide). Who, as our friend Cash admitted yesterday, are learning that the slavemaster-slave narrative is losing its power.

-For white liberal paternalistic academics...that they gonna have to come up with another academic scam besides aping long-dead French communists in painting Marxism over everything in the service of "race and gender studies"

The Berlin wall came down everywhere except at Duke.

And now it has.

Anonymous said...

2:26 pm -- I'm the 11:28 guy, but I find myself in total agreement with something you mention -- the "slavemaster/slave narrative" is toast. And that's great.

I'm not sure what you mean by "pay-per-hire," though.

As far as the faculty goes -- remember that these trends have been going on for decades. Duke was loading up in African-American studies and women's studies 15, 20 years ago. It hasn't stopped Duke from remaining in the nation's elite. And it hasn't stopped the overwhelming majority of Duke students from deciding that such things are nonsense, and they're all going to take econ and biology on their way to law school, med school, etc.

As a whole, the comments here greatly overstate the real-world impact of the Group of 88 today. Most of the anger is directed where it should be -- at Nifong. When Duke is back in session, it'll be interesting to see what sort of second-guessing takes place, but most of it will be of interest to people already loyal to Duke and people who comment at this blog.

I don't know if I'd call myself a "Brodhead apologist." He could have done more to urge restraint on all parties, and I'm not sure what information he had before pushing out Pressler (I recall that it happened almost immediately after the McFadyen e-mail, but if McFadyen is back in good standing, then why not Pressler?). I'd give him a B-minus or C-plus for his handling of the situation, though I'd point out there's pretty much nothing he could have done that would get an "A." If he had let the lacrosse team play on and reprimanded each member of the G88, you'd better believe Duke would be taking a public battering to this day.

Since we're all getting litigious, perhaps Duke should sue Nifong? (As an aside -- though I think the lawsuits being bandied about here are hysterical, if I were in charge at Duke, I'd move to take care of as many of Seligmann and Finnerty's bills as I possibly could without jeopardizing their lacrosse eligibility.)

I am a Wood apologist in the sense that I don't see him as a guy holding up a sign that said "Castrate." You can't judge people simply by the cretins who hold similar positions. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to take a class with him. That's the side of Wood you're not seeing.

And it's the side of Duke most of you aren't seeing. It's the side that explains why most of the lacrosse team is still enrolled and ready to play this spring. They experienced the wrath of the G88 first hand, and they're still loyal to Duke. Does that mean nothing?

I'd be interested to see what KC has gleaned from conversations with current lacrosse players. I think we'd learn more from that than from half-baked interrogations of the G88.

Anonymous said...

I note from Clauia Koonz wikipedia entry

"Koonz has established that the leaders of German feminst groups were happy to go along with Gleichschaltung."

"Gleichschaltung is a Nazi term for the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control over the individual, and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce."

I'd go so far as to say that current American feminists look with approbation on Gleichschaltung .

Curtis seemed to be interested in establishing totalitarian control over lacrosse and ROTC students she came in contract with.

Anonymous said...

As far as the faculty goes -- remember that these trends have been going on for decades. Duke was loading up in African-American studies and women's studies 15, 20 years ago. It hasn't stopped Duke from remaining in the nation's elite.

Yes, but nobody knew about those wackos at Duke. Now these pseudo-science left-wing 9/11 conspiracy theorists jew hater gender/transgender activists have been exposed and their existence is known to everybody and therefore Duke's credibility is gone.

Anonymous said...

11:28P

Nifong is a red herring. He was a creation of the Duke-Durham worldview. Not its cause.

The Trinity Park Neighbors-G88 (they are the same people) were in fact the chief enablers of the Hoax.

They were Nifong's power base (not the black community) and had to be taken down before the Hoax could begin to unravel

As to the Prez' role. Dick Brodhead is a close personal friend of many of the G88- they were/are his chairs and administrators in many cases- and he implicitly supported their efforts in the spring.

Their letter was an essentially officially sanctioned Duke action.

And the role of the Duke faculty in this case has penetrated academia across the country to a greater extent than you ackowledge.

Dowd helped that a lot, since money is now on the table.

PS. I get that you like Peter Wood. But your insistence that Wood is a decent guy is belied by the article he commissioned his buddy Hal Crowther to write for the Indy. That was just a pure vindicative vanity project on Wood's part.

Anonymous said...

JLS says,

Re 9:02 Oxford Alum

1. I was just watching a video linked to another site [FreeRepublic] and came he to suggest to Prof. Johnson that he write about the measured reaction of Provost Lange compared to Brodhead and others at Duke. Both his response to Baker's letter and his response when protesters surprised him at his house showed him to be much more measured in crisis than Brodhead.

2. One thing you seemed to have missed in all of this is that no big stir was made of this early on at Duke and no one would have thought of getting Brodhead out of bed early the night it happened because the Durham Police Department clearly knew this was a lie early on. They treated Mangum's claim seriously and transported her to the emergency room, but they clearly did not believe her. They did not immediately go tape off the house as a crime scene. They told the Duke police this would blow over.

2. So while Brodhead made his errors later on, it is hard to know to react to something that seems to be nothing at first. I can not blame Brodhead for not anticipating a demagogue would jump on this case to save his election chances. I guess I would blame him a bit for not anticipating the gang of 88 on his faculty would react the way they did and for permitting hiring practices that led to such people being on the Duke faculty.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20 wrote...

This might work with real students but I guess Duke has a race quota system and a lot of white far-left wackos who don't want to do anything but attend those classes.

11:20 AM

I think you need to remember the old saying, "If you are not a liberal between the ages of 18 and 25 you have no heart. If you are not a consrevative after the age of 35, you have no brain."

:-)

AMac said...

anon 2:50pm / 11:28am --

[It sure would make following comments easier if well-spoken folks like you and anon 2:26pm would use pseudonyms.]

You wrote,

> As a whole, the comments here greatly overstate the real-world impact of the Group of 88 today.

It's hard to tell. From the Outside, the salient issues are:

-- G-88 style talking points (lacrosse team rapists, Oppression Narratives, contempt for Due Process) dominated the Duke Faculty response to the Case from March to December. Faculty who felt otherwise were mostly silent; about four (IIRC) spoke out publically during that time.

-- All of the G-88 have been completely unapologetic, preferring to tough it out rather take responsibility for their erroroneous and vindictive position or its consequences.

As has been pointed out in recent threads, calls to "heal the divisions" and "focus on the future" are the predictable next moves in the Hard Left's move to gain a Stalemate out of a board position that calls for a Checkmate (of one sort or another; albeit moderated by considerations of Academic Freedom).

Cedarford said...

9:02 AM was a nice vignette style post on how this played on an "Oxfordian " audience, but I do take exception to one passage of his/hers:

The word used by Reade Seligmann, who showed the admirable good sense to leave the party before the non-event for which he has been indicted, was "boring". Of the two, I think "sleazy" the more accurate, though “disgusting” would have been my first choice.

It starts out good, but ends bad with the "sleazy", "disgusting". Like others who have characterized the partying as "abhorrent", "beyond the pale", "depraved", "repellent".

Uh, exactly why????

And would such critics have the 'nads to condemn others in similar fashion?

Let us just say that Oxford has itself elevated the intellectual experiential of drunken partying to the pinnacles of Western culture in the poetry, songs, music, and club traditions created in tribute to the the debaucheries of vigorous youth.

And remember, this was on break, off campus. Equivalent to Oxfordians over the winter holidays cavorting in Ibiza or the Greek Isles not complying to the letter with local laws and called to account by the Dons for doing so.

As for all the negative adjectives from the legal act of hiring strippers, imagine how the collective reaction at Oxford, or Yale, or Duke would be to a "narrow-minded intolerant group of theocrats" condemning a Professor who was caught off campus at a S&M establishment? Or asked to sign a statement calling two Yale Administrators caught in a downtown New Haven hotel with a gay prostitite "disgusting"/"depraved"/"sleazy"/"repellent"??

It wouldn't happen.

9:02 AM with his experience in Higher Ed knows it, we know it.

Nor would a black student from Duke be ever called "despicable", "deplorable" "disgusting" if he misplaced a laptop found to have rape fantasies on it and pictures of really fat naked white women on it.

For the Left is far past hypocrisy into it's core intellectual and legal arguments for gay rights, sexual diversity and acceptance, even intoxicating indulgences on the basis of "consenting adults", "Constitutionally protected behavior", and "in areas where a reasonable expectation of privacy must be honored except by the "most fanatic and narrow-minded bigots".

For that matter, the Left's recent exhortations to blow off false rape accusations and consequences to them in the name of "Closure, healing, sympathy for the accuser's difficult life" fly in the face of Great Lefty Causes that stemmed from what they calim were false accusations. The Inquisition. The Dreyfuss Affair. Oscar Wilde's persecution. The Scottsboro Boys and derivatives like "To Kill a Mocking Bird". Joe McCarthy's false accusations. All the legal penalties the Left has proposed for false accusers, rogue cops, and dishonest DAs for "railroading" what they pronounce are "innocent black pesecutees" like their beloved Tookie and Mumia...

So please...Lefties

Don't argue a polyandrous coupling orgy of a coven of witches and warlocks University faculty smoking dope off campus with a paid "Master" presiding over ceremonies is called depraved and awful by only the most intolerant and bigoted...

While 10 million underaged students simply AT a party where booze & beer are present. Or those at a specific party and not drinking or anywhere near drunk (like Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann say they weren't) with legal entertainment far more banal than the lauded gay anal prostitute involved in Lawrence v. Texas ---are somehow as heteros the depraved, sleazy, unspeakable ones that shouldn't get the pass and acceptance "alternate lifestyle minorities" get..

Kilgore said...

"Mom, she picked me."

This short phrase encapsulates one of the main problems in this mess. On a woman's word alone a man can be accused of domestic violence, child abuse, rape, sexual assault, sexual harrassment etc and he will suffer huge consequences as a result. He will be put into a position where he will have to prove his innocence. Just imagine if there had been no DNA and no phone records or ATM cams. These boys would be going to jail. How many have we sent to jail already?

The problem with the 88 is their ideology claims that there is no such thing as a false accusation by a woman. This is what has been taught to judges and policemen with federal funds from the VAWA.

It will be very difficult to create fairness out of this sexist mess. Men are at risk.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

re: 4:26 Cedarford

Very well said, I thought in ready that section that a Britsh writer might have described the party as a bit tawdry. The adjective used "disgusting" sounded a bit American to this American ear?

And certainly as you say given that the academic left will often defend illegal behavior and generally avoids judgementalism involving deviant sexual behavior, it is odd to see this continued rush to judge as disgusting such mildy tawdry behavior.

Anonymous said...

A number of posters would like some kind of punishment exacted upon the G88. Why?

I believe we should assume Duke students for the most part will be "rational buyers" when it comes to making course selections. Do you really think they want a course called "hookup culture" on their transcript? Don't you think they understand which professors to take and which to avoid from talking to other students? And finally I would assume a Duke student would hardly be brainwashed from taking some course from a teacher with a leftist/socialist bent. It's not exactly like these profs are signing up acolytes from their courses.

Bottom line is whether or not the G88 stay or go will have little to do with Duke's identity over the next few years. I do have a problem with Davidson and other Duke administrators who have yet to learn that "being the problem" in their inability to grasp the enormous good will Duke has lost from the Hoax and "solving the problem" require an entirely different approach.

Any short term losses in applications for admission or donations can be easily dismissed in 2007 due to negative publicity generated by the Hoax. Unfortunately, any public or press mention of the 88's behavior will unlikely be accompanied by the statement of student support from the Econ department.

Thus by failing to apologize for the 88's spring statements Davidson has shown herself as one more administrator who has elevated her bias ahead of what's best for the University.

WEGL WEGL said...

Anonymous said...
There have been a few racists on both sides of this case but none that I know of are affiliated with any of the players families. Davidson is really reaching and she's lost all credibility.
2:21 PM


There have indeed been bigoted public statements made by both sides. This board has been no exception.

The difference I see is when racially biased statements have been made by apparent "Lax Supporters" those statements have been publicly rebuked by other posters. I am not aware of any G88/Pro-Nifonger rebuking in a public forum anyone on their side for their bigoted statements.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

What speaks volumes and will hurt Duke is that the 88 have not found the leadership to say something else about this case. They found the leadership to put out the original "social disaster" ad. And as you point out some of that leadership was from among the Duke leadership.

It is a shame that the same leadership could not get them to admit they rushed to judgement. They might admit that was based on their bias. They might admit they learned to better trust the American system of justice where a person is presumed innocent. They might say a lot of things, anything. Being silent now is far worse for them than being silent in March and April would have been.

Anonymous said...

To 5:01 PM

Leaders lead by example.

These are cowards in every sense.

AMac said...

anon 4:54pm --

Please don't fault readers at this site (or at pro-G88 sites) for not rebuking offensive commenters.

This is a long-standing issue at blogs, going back to the listservs of the 1990s.

Some people make a habit of intentionally contributing obnoxious comments, in efforts to derail a 'thread' they don't like into a "did-not-did-too" mode.

As far as D-i-W, that means that when "anonymous" contributes a stupid or offensive racist remark, that may accurately reflect what that person thinks... or it may not.

Because rebukes generate responses, the best solution seems to be for readers to understand the problem and develop more sophisticated reading habits. On this basis, we (most of us) pointedly ignore the stupidest of comments, focusing on the insightful ones.

Admittedly, not an elegant solution, and those who wish to trawl unmoderated comments looking for reasons to take offense are guaranteed to find them.

Anonymous said...

Get some old nicely landscaped buildings
Fill them with leftist marxist idiots
Expound into 3000 words what can be said in 30
Publish works that tell people what they already know in language no one can understand
Charge 40/60k per year for above trash
Bring in top 10% of students
Put out top 10% of students
You have the formula for an ELITE
university.
Other than science, business and a few others it truly is pathetic

3:25pm YOU ARE RIGHT...MORE THAN YOU KNOW

Anonymous said...

Peter Woods' comments about the lax players "in general" and R Seligman "in particular" are inexcusable and unfounded. -

I was in a P Wood class (his early Duke years), and played lax at Duke.

Wood's class was very very good - one of the more memorable classes I had - which makes his comments all the more dissapointing for me personally.

He appears to be the Duke employee most vulnerable to slander/libel charges - and he should get his ass fully roasted for it.

TW

Anonymous said...

Great post 4:26. I knew 9:02 had to many words not to have some bs somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I agree. 4:26 was a very good post.

But, I had to look up "polyandrous" - guess I've been sheltered from "low brow Mensa parties"

Definitions of Polyandrous on the Web:

"when one female mates with
two or more males"

Anonymous said...

3:25 Succinct; informative, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

4:40 P "Bottom line is whether or not the G88 stay or go will have little to do with Duke's identity over the next few years."

Depends on in whose eyes.

It has certainly affected my opinion of Duke University, irregardless of the fact that other Universities may have the same types of professors on their campuses.

I would venture to say I'm not alone in this assessment.

Anonymous said...

Let's contrast the Duke case with Harvard and Larry Summers. Summer said something that was entirely reasonable, although many faculty at Harvard either disagreed with it or were offended by it.

What was the result of such a pathetically paltry comment? Summers sanctioned the hiring of a whole horde of new female professors (read feminist) and the rad-fems millions of dollars for their favorite projects.

So, by the Harvard precedent, what should be the result in the Duke case?

Well, Brodhead should create 15-20 new faculty positions that are targeted for conservative/libertarian or just rational and sane professors (like KC Johnson).

Of course that won't happen. Duke's rad-fems and the African-American Studies professors will get more faculty lines and more money because, well, just because.

Anonymous said...

You all do realize, I hope, that the Arts and Sciences Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Sarah Deutsch, to whom the chairs of say Economics and Political Science report, signed the 88 ad last March. Last March she was Chair of History.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: Expect no retraction from the Washington Post’s Lynne Duke, who asserted in June that “the Duke case is in some ways reminiscent of a black woman’s vulnerability to a white man during the days of slavery, reconstruction and Jim Crow, when sex was used as a tool of racial domination.”

I LOVE this quote. In a single pen-stroke, it really captures the best of the worst of mainstream media. It so typifies cheap exploitation, race baiting, and denigration of the truth -- at the mere price of 35 cents. Anyone who genuinely cared about race relations would have investigated this story before leveling such condemnation. But I guess this is what Washington Post's editors have decided their readers want to read. No point in seeking the truth if it doesn't sell copy. Lynne Duke and the Washington Post will never change. But they, like the New York Times, will eventually go out of business because the Internet gives open minds a choice, and I choose the truth.

Anonymous said...

On the Harvard/Larry Summers matter, recall that Larry Ellison (Oracle CEO) withdrew his $115-million endowment to Harvard specifically because Summers resigned - which of course was a forced resignation pressed by a lefist faculty.

-"said Oracle spokesman Bob Wynne. "The reason is the relationship he had with Larry Summers who leaves this week. Larry Summers was the brainchild of this whole concept. With his departure, Larry reconsidered his decision."

An extreme example, to be sure. But, let's not kid ourselves - the Duke BOT should be nervous about future donations if this "88" thing spins out of control,

Anonymous said...

7:26 "You all do realize, I hope, that the Arts and Sciences Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Sarah Deutsch, to whom the chairs of say Economics and Political Science report, signed the 88 ad last March. Last March she was Chair of History."

No, 7:26, not all of us realized that the Chair of History at Duke University exhibited such poor judgement as to sign the 88 ad.

Thank you for pointing it out.

"Just goes to show ya."

Anonymous said...

The Internet has truly changed our access to not just information, but how it gets spun. Your own DIW has become a crossroads for SPIN analysis. The early clatter from the potbangers, which now bears so little resemblance to factual revelations, followed by an outcry from the blog hooligans, has finally come full circle as demonstrated by a few contrite MSM stories. But the neat thing is that you can compare all these stories at so many levels! Sites like yours make it possible to know when and what key information was available on a timeline and to whom. Early on, a tsunami of talking heads spit back every thing Nifong fed them with their added SPIN. Only a handful of MSM perversely cling to those original stories, sometimes merely by silence. But anyone with a brain can filter through the information you present or link and draw accurate conclusions as to what's going on here. We can all distinguish good investigation from self-serving provocation. BRAVO KC!

Anonymous said...

Hope Brodhead's staff is keeping up with the Blog Hooligans. Many of them are alums, and alums either do or do not donate. The Gang of 88 is indeed a Duke problem. Each day their continued arrogance in the face of the inescapable truth is another day that some alum DOES NOT DONATE. Each day their continued silence is another day a prospective freshman DOES NOT FILE an application. Brodhead, YOU NEED A STRATEGY OUT OF THIS MESS! Please, be a leader, not a follower. Please show conviction, not hesitation. Duke does not need flowery words, it needs action.

Anonymous said...

A "For Sale" sign in front of Coach Pressler's Durham home?

My new "New Year's" wishes: A "For Sale" sign in front of Richard Brodhead's home and his CV posted on trianglehelpwanted.com.

Shame on you, Mr. President. And the Board of Trustees. And your fawning, lackey administrators.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead has missed his opportunity to be a leader in this situation; he chose to be a follower.

However; he can begin following those who are doing the right thing now.

Hopefully he is attempting to do so.

Anonymous said...

To the 9:25pm poster.

So Mr. President should be shown as mr. president. A follower...not a leader.

Please inform mr. president I can send him the names and phone numbers of a couple of great real estate brokers who can help him on his way out of Duke and Durham.

Anonymous said...

2:50 pm said: "And it's the side of Duke most of you aren't seeing. It's the side that explains why most of the lacrosse team is still enrolled and ready to play this spring. They experienced the wrath of the G88 first hand, and they're still loyal to Duke. Does that mean nothing?"

SteveDinMD: It means that the LAX players in question were unable to transfer to other schools because the character assassination inflicted on them by the Duke administration and faculty rendered them unwelcome elsewhere. In effect, they're political prisoners of Duke University. Moreover, Duke is an educational "rotten borough." Though the decay process has been ongoing for years, only now has the end result become obvious to all.