Monday, February 26, 2007

Chafe's Embarrassment

Just when it appears the Group of 88 and their allies among the arts and sciences faculty cannot embarrass themselves further, another episode appears. The latest? A Friday article in the Chronicle, calling for Duke to “move forward”—but with two important caveats: (1) The institution should act as if that the facts involving the lacrosse team’s behavior are unchanged from March 31; and (2) How the arts and sciences faculty responded to the lacrosse case should, at all costs, remain unexamined.

Six professors penned the article. The sextet included:

  • Group of 88 stalwart and civil rights historian William Chafe, who wrote on March 31 that the whites who lynched Emmett Till (even as he misidentified the year of the lynching) provided an appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players;
  • Clarifying professor Kerry Haynie, whose own record of responding to faculty critics of the Group of 88 is, to put it mildly, less than pristine;
  • Biology professor Fred Nijhout, co-author of a sophomoric spoof of Paul Haagen’s common-sense proposal for a faculty athletics associates program.

With that sort of record, no wonder the Chafe sextet is so determined to “move forward” and prevent any critical inquiry into the faculty’s past actions.

The article’s apparent purpose: to pave the way for adoption of the Campus Culture Initiative’s proposals, most especially the requirement that Duke students take a required class that engages “the reality of difference in American society and culture.” It’s just a coincidence, of course, that the vast majority of these offerings are taught by . . . the Group of 88. The CCI, in effect, is a glorified Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative, with the Group seeking to use the lacrosse case to force all Duke students to take their classes.

Chafe, et al.—mimicking the “Listening to Lubiano” approach of the Group of 88’s statement—choose the all-too-familiar pattern of Duke professors using anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students to make their points. They write,

The comments of one Duke student illustrate the larger problem. “I went to a fraternity party on campus last fall,” a first-year woman disclosed, “and was shocked to see a stripper there, and hear insulting remarks made about her.” After listening to numerous such comments, it is clear that the hiring of such dancers for organized parties is no anomaly at Duke.

“We are all guilty,” another woman student declared, “because we have never called to account those people who have engaged in date rape or sexual assault.”

Who are these students? Were they potbangers? When and under what circumstances did they make their revelations? To what extent are they representative of campus opinion? What evidence exists that Duke as a campus has “never called to account those people who have engaged in date rape or sexual assault”? In what way do their comments, which appear to describe actual events, relate to the lacrosse case, which most people now consider a fraud? Chafe, et al., don’t say: such inconvenient facts would weaken their arguments.

The Chafe group likewise takes an unusual approach to the lacrosse affair, highlighting only three issues, all of which, they falsely claim, are undisputed. It is undisputed, these neo-prohibitionists proclaim, that underage drinking was “encouraged.” Encouraged by whom? Encouraged how? The Chafe group doesn’t say. They also deem it undisputed that “racial epithets” were used by lacrosse players—but while it is undisputed that one lacrosse player used a racial epithet as part of a racially charged argument initiated by Kim Roberts, only Mike Nifong, the accuser, and, apparently, the Chafe group consider anything else undisputed.

In a poignant yet determined critique, Michael Gustafson correctly noted, "I have no choice but to believe that moving forward, to these six faculty members, means take the story DA Nifong chose to tell and then fast-forward to now as if nothing else had happened. I have no choice but to believe that these faculty members, in seeing that the reality of the situation in no way plays into the assumptions of white, male, athlete privilege that our (blessedly former) colleague Houston Baker championed want us to base our thoughts and actions on the narrative created in the first two weeks rather than the realities discovered over the past eleven months."

Some of the Chafe group’s proposals seem in conflict with the public positions and actions of many members of the Group of 88 and clarifying faculty.

Chafe, et al.:We need to demand accountability from every member of our community to maintain respect for each other, especially across racial, ethnic, sexual and gender lines. No use of racial epithets should be tolerated. Any denigration based on gender or sexuality should be equally unacceptable.”

On March 29, Houston Baker issued a public letter denouncing the lacrosse team. In the letter, he mentioned the players’ race and gender—in a denigrating fashion—no fewer than ten times.

No evidence exists that Chafe or his colleagues objected, then or now, to Baker’s remarks.

Chafe, et al.:Duke students who experience abusive or irresponsible behavior should feel confident that they can speak out and know that their concerns will be heard and acted upon.”

Kyle Dowd certainly experienced irresponsible behavior from Kim Curtis, and no evidence exists that Duke ever “heard,” much less “acted upon,” his concerns. And, as Physics Professor Emeritus Lawrence Evans noted last week. “One hears stories, many with the ring of truth, about classroom discussions and even instructor’s lectures on the subject that clearly assumed the worst and suggested retribution against the players.” Students subjected to such in-class harangues never had their concerns “heard and acted upon.”

No evidence exists that Chafe or his colleagues objected, then or now, to Curtis’ actions, nor privately rebuked colleagues who abused their classroom authority this past spring.

Chafe, et al.: “We should have no double standards in academics or admissions and should insist on full integration of academic life and athletic life.”

Who could object to such a statement? Certainly not the lacrosse players, more than half of whom made the ACC Academic Honor Roll even last year, amidst all the controversy associated with Nifong’s actions. Are Chafe and his colleagues suggesting that the lacrosse players somehow benefited from “double standards in academics or admissions” at Duke? If so, upon what evidence do they base their claims?

Moreover, if Duke is to have “no double standards in academics or admissions,” racial preferences in admissions presumably would need to be eliminated as well. Yet in Chafe’s “farewell” address as dean of faculty (2004), he enthusiastically celebrated using “diversity” as a factor in admissions. It appears that the article of Chafe, et al., needed a rewrite: “We should have quantifiable double standards that advance our political agenda in academics or admissions, but avoid alleged double standards that we find politically or ideologically unappealing.”

Chafe, et al.: “Students and faculty alike should pledge to uphold a code of mutual respect and of caring about each other.”

Over the summer, History professor Peter Wood went out of his way to appear to slander Duke students. In October, Literature professor Grant Farred penned an op-ed accusing Duke students who registered to vote in Durham of “secret racism.” In January, Karla Holloway resigned from her CCI subgroup chairmanship through a mass e-mail that passed along fifth-hand, unsubstantiated gossip about Duke students.

No evidence exists that Chafe or his colleagues objected, then or now, to the remarks of Wood, Farred, or Holloway.

On the Chronicle message board, one Duke alum lamented,

This is truly the saddest article I have read on this subject. To think that these professors still think that they can pontificate in this unsubstantiated way and be taken seriously is very depressing. Either the university is employing individuals entirely out of touch with reality or the campus environment has degraded to the point that this sort of behavior is normal. Either possibility is depressing beyond my worst previous fears of the situation.

Viewed as the third step in the Group of 88’s Rehab Tour, the Chafe, et al., article is as unimpressive as the “clarifying” statement or the “shut up and teach” forum. “Moving forward,” the ostensible demand of Chafe, et. al., will be possible only when those professors whose behavior violated tenets of professional integrity acknowledge their misconduct.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

excellent work... it has been a few days since I tuned in and it was great to see you never let up on the 88 rehab effort. I really can't believe these folks. Professors who pick (make up?) a quote every time they need one? They went to the make-it-up-as-you-go-along school of hand waving..

Q

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

Well Professor Johnson you certainly "deconstructed" that column and the rehab tour for the 88 gangsters.

Ultimately we are all intolerant in some ways. Those of us who have followed this case are intolerant of Nifong and the frame job and I bet many if not most of us have at times been intolerant with posters someplace else who have not followed this case as closely as we have.

The 88 gangsters claim to be tolerant but they would certainly agree that racism is a part of American culture. I wonder if they have called out for Duke to recognize the rights of racists and to tolerate their beliefs? Somehow I doubt is and as you have aptly pointed out, it is all about tolerance that enhances their world view and political agenda.

wayne fontes said...

I’ve been surprised to learn that so many of the professor's at Duke are teetotalers. My mental image has always been more Hunter S. Thompson than Jerry Falwell. I guess I was wrong. I take it all events at Duke are dry. Duke will probably grow to resemble Liberty University just with a strong gay, lesbian, transgender flavor.

Anonymous said...

sophmoric or sarcastic? The spoof of what you call a "common-sense proposal" was entirely justified. It was an empty (or i'll be generous... shallow) proposal whose only purpose was to serve up face-time of athletes with faculty who were just looking for a way to get tickets to a basketball game. It was the worst of both worlds - a waste of a faculty member's already limited time, and a waste of time the student-athlete should be spending either studying, or practicing. It in NO way served to address the fundamental issues on campus - issues you have little inkling of since you're not a member of the Duke community. but hey, have fun writing your book with all the pomp and circumstance and holier-than-thou attitude that you love on your blog.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12:42:

Thanks for the kind words.

There are 24 intercollegiate athletics programs at Duke: it is my understanding that, therefore, only 1/24 of the participants in the program would be assigned to men's basketball. I'm not sure how getting basketball tickets would motivate the other 96% of professors participating in the program.

Joe T. said...

Sorry for the lowly response, but all I can say about chafe's article is: LMAO!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read that article when it first appeared. I was seated in the cafe attached to Perkins library. As I read I involuntarily let out a series of protracted groans audible to the entire cafe. Then as I took a bite of my brownie, a little bit of vomit actually came up in my mouth. Disgusting.

When, oh when, will Duke be free of the ridiculousness of the 88 and their supporters?

Anonymous said...

you assume that only the faculty assigned to men's basketball would get tickets? That's a little naive, don't you think? The athletic department can give tickets out to whomever the please from their own allotment.

The faculty member who "advises" for the swim team, or field hockey, or whatever would certainly get some perks from the AD....you can bank on it - if nothing more than to try and build good will. In Duke Athletics, perks = tickets to men's basketball games...

You're a smart guy (and I mean that sincerely) - we just see differently on the value of your blog and opinions on this case...I can't imagine you didn't think of what I just said - which leads me to believe you're playing dumb to advance your own agenda

Anonymous said...

12:42 AM writes about "all the pomp and circumstance and holier-than-thou attitude that you love on your blog." What a sad joke: if you want sanctimony in its purest form, look no further than the 88. Hypocrisy as well -- I'd bet that even smarmy Bill Chafe did his share of underage drinking and drug taking in his younger days. Only as they age do radical lefties incline toward the neo-Puritanism of the true Marxist revolutionaries.

Anti-Leftist Liberal

Vivian Thomas said...

I suggest that we all go back to the way things were on the night of October 30, 1938. So, everyone let's all pull out our guns and hide in the basement from the alien invasion described by Orson Welles on that day.

Seriously, this is nonsense. I don't know what to say at this point.

Anonymous said...

Obviously ,these Orofessors can do what ever they want. They are supported by the BOT and the President,who appointed them to this committee. No one can stop them. Force students to take their class. I think the students are so glad to get into Duke, neither they or their parents will make any waves. To bad.

luke said...

"On March 29, Houston Baker issued a public letter denouncing the lacrosse team. In the letter, he mentioned the players’ race and gender—in a denigrating fashion—no fewer than ten times."
Baker's famous quote "white male privilege loosed amongst us" strikes me as more than denigrating, I believe it to be a racist term. It ascribes to a group a people a status or condition based solely on their race. Those white males suffering the lingering effects of abusive childhoods, those with physical disabilities, mental impairments, obesity issues, language difficulties, lack of education, drug and alcohol issues, shattered, impoverished, or homeless lives, etc., would surely take issue with the sweeping categorization that they are privileged. How many millions and millions of white males have I just described? How many other categories have I failed to describe? There is, however, one statement by Baker that I would agree with. He stated "[regarding the events at 610 Buchanan on the evening of March 13, 2006] A day that, not even in a clich├ęd sense, will, indeed, always live in infamy for this university." It will, however, not be infamous for the reasons which Professor Baker wrote.

eric said...

It appears to me that the group of 88 has wide support in the Duke faculty. The only dissenters are the Economics Dept, an engineering professor and a retired physics professor. The president and administration also support the group of 88. The administration with its overly long silence when the case fell apart and letting Curtis flunk 2 students. If the above is true. Then maybe more than just 20 or 30 professors dont like the majority of thier students ie middle class kids

Anonymous said...

KC,

OK, maybe I am a bit dense and not too good at reading between lines, but I really am having a hard time seeing how this article by the six in the Chronicle called "for Duke to “move forward”—but with two important caveats: (1) The institution should act as if that the facts involving the lacrosse team’s behavior are unchanged from March 31; and (2) How the arts and sciences faculty responded to the lacrosse case should, at all costs, remain unexamined."

I agree that the seemingly made up, and certainly unattributed quotes should not sway any thinking person, and just serve to weaken the case of the authors. But I just don't see the two caveats you seem to attribute to them in the original article. This seems to me to be doing something similar to the unattributed quotes--putting words in other people's mouths.

Certainly this is not a completely stellar group, but Aldrich, from what I have seen and heard from him in his academic writings, is pretty much a straight shooter. So, while this group of six has some questionable folks, it has others who probably do not march lock step with the group of 88.

It looks to me, once I get beyond the made up quotes, that these six are saying that there are some things we can do to get beyond where we are now as a campus divided, and here are few things for starters.

My agenda items for getting beyond the present situation would probably be different, but they did put out mostly reasonable ideas. I jst did not see anything that suggested that the A&S faculty actions should not be examined nor that Duke should act as if stuck at 3/31/06.

But then again, it is late, and my eyes are getting heavy.

Personally, I think that 87 of the original 88 should be on their knees begging forgiveness and to be once again admitted to the academy of critical thinkers (because that original Group of 88 statement/Ad proved that they certainly fell short as critical thinkers). That said, I do not yet see how the article by the six comes close to the group of 88's ad.

Convince me.
Could you clarify that a bit?

Len D'Amico said...

Diversity training is just another term for indoctrination. You cannot be a "champion of the oppressed” unless you maintain and nurture an oppressed class that will always require your services to help them.

Anonymous said...

You outsiders can deny, deny, deny, but Chafe's points are all valid. That they are is undisputed, as is illustrated by the statements of this one female student. She talked about diverse topics, but never once disputed Chafe's points. In fact, she never even mentioned them, as though they were too self-evidently worthwhile even to mention.

This alone speaks volumes...but hers is not just one opinion: I have also tracked down the big, black man who found it hard to walk anywhere at night, and not have a campus police car slowly drive by him.

He was kind of in a hurry, but damningly, he didn't dispute Chafe's points either.

Michael said...

What has been shocking to me is that highly respected researchers would sign something that wouldn't pass muster for a highschool english paper.

Would they write something this poorly researched in their own academic fields?

I'm glad the Professor Gustafson wrote that paragraph on reasoning in his note as their reasoning was glaringly suspect.

[Fortunately, my high school English teachers cared enough about their students to make sure we were armed against such false dilemmas and juxtapositional fallacies. I can know that racism exists while understanding that the primary element that needs our attention in the lacrosse case involves the due process being denied three members of our community. I can know that issues of underage drinking continue to be an important part of the discussion of campus life without relying on discussions of the lacrosse party to take the lead. I can know that rape and sexual assault are counted with the most heinous crimes and greatest evils that can be done to a person without believing that such a crime took place in this case. I can know that an individual on the lacrosse team got into a back-and-forth with a woman where both used language that is beneath them and hurtful without assigning those words of feelings to anyone else on the team or to any other white man or black woman in the world without cause.]

Anonymous said...

KC--I have found your reports to be of generally high quality. I do think that you are reaching a bit at times--maybe even to the point of hypocrisy. You say "Kyle Dowd certainly experienced irresponsible behavior from Kim Curtis, and no evidence exists that Duke ever “heard,” much less “acted upon,” his concerns." That may be true, but you don't know it as a "certainty" at this point. Let's manipulate your sentence a little bit: "The alleged victim certainly experienced rape from the Lacrosse team, and no evidence existed that the players were cooperating with the police". Although I initially believed the second statement to be true, I'm now sure that the players are innocent.

My point isn't that Kim Curtis is didn't act as claimed. I'm not saying that Kyle Dowd is lying. I just don't think you can be so certain (at this time) that she did what was claimed.

This is just one example.

Please, take the high road--there's still plenty to criticize.

Zombie said...

In the 1500's, I'm sure Martin Luther's contemporaries didn't like what he wrote either. But without the printing press (i.e. blogs) his thoughts probably would not have received a wide enough audience to cause change.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of hearing these professors continually accuse the Duke student body of being racist sexual predators.

The repeated accusations are sickening (not to mention indefensible).

Enough already!!!

Anonymous said...

KC, why are tenured professors allowed to do this? Why are they held above the law? You know as well as I do, that if they were in a private corporation they would have been fired. Can anyone explain this?

I have loved Duke all my life. And have always wished my kids would end up there. But not now. I can't see spending $40,000+ a year for them to be subjected to a faculty body so deliberately anti-student and selfish. And let's not forget the administration. I hope each and every one of the lacrosse players sue not only the Group of 88, but the administration as well, for slander. The Duke administration is as guilty as the Group of 88 because they have mostly been silent. No one spoke up until it was obvious (had to almost slap them in the face) that Nifong was on a political hunt at any cost.

Sheila, Sanford, NC

Anonymous said...

KC,

As long as the gang of 88 and their colleagues continue to write nonsense, you will continue to have plenty of material to keep this blog going.

I read the full letter and one thing that is disturbing is the clear call for the implementation of some kind of speech code. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has documented dozens of abuses of such codes that occur almost daily on college campuses.

One of the most serious problems facing college campuses is that there are significant numbers of faculty in influential positions who simply do not believe in free speech. For too many the first amendment stops at the university door.

There is no right to not be offended.

In the moral calculus of the six professors, putting three students in jail for thirty years for a crime that never even occurred is a less serious offense than underage drinking or using a racial epithet in response to a similar remark.

You can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

Is posting dopey letters that are published in the Chronicle considered peer-reviewed for in the eyes of the race/gender/class warfare crowd?

Why else would they consistently keep submitting this tripe?

I almost feel sorry for those that are enrolled in these classes. They will have an epiphany at some futute date realizing they were defrauded of an education.

Anonymous said...

12:42 said:

sophmoric or sarcastic? The spoof of what you call a "common-sense proposal" was entirely justified. It was an empty (or i'll be generous... shallow) proposal whose only purpose was to serve up face-time of athletes with faculty who were just looking for a way to get tickets to a basketball game.

So the Group of 88 and their enablers (this "proposal" being the latest enabling), these lovers of athletes, were all motivated by the desire for "tickets to a basketball game"? Talk about sophmoric reasoning!

Anonymous said...

The deconstruction continues. Get ready, next comes a reconciliation committee.

After a pre-ordained agenda is defined, and acted upon, leadership will form a stacked reconciliation committee to heal the wounds of the past. We're all guilty of the problems, therefore let's all reconcile and come together. It matters not that inclusiveness was not a part of the decisions that led to the dissent.

Except the committee outcome has already been defined and put in play; AAAs as a Department, CCI report, stacked Board, stacked committees, etc. Notice whom is placed upon the search committees for those in leadership positions.

Watch who is named the Editor of The Chronicle. I must say the existing fellow is the exception, but would look for not so subtle future changes in both tone and content. Watch the tone/nature of the articles in the alumni magazine.

A lack of dissenting opinion or of discussion at all will become the norm as it is bad for Duke, right? We’re all for Duke, so this family squabble need not be in public. It is time to reconcile and put it all behind us.

Those that don't accept the new world will leave, including those that created the institution in the first place and donated tremendous sums. The conversation will shift to what Duke does right – none of which is derived from the source of the original problem.

Those that have built the institution will fight bitterly, though privately, among themselves. The argument shifts from those that perpetrated the radical change to a fight among those big enough to reconcile and those that leave saying enough is enough. Conversations that the actions of a few really don’t impact us (Engineering, Fuqua, Law, etc…) are commonplace.

The goal of the radicals is too cull out dissent, and have the remaining participants reconcile that the solution (race/gender/class warfare) is best for everyone. It's coming, rest assured.

Can’t happen? It already has at many of the largest churches in the U.S.

John Kaiser said...

The left is all about narrative. There is nothing wrong with narrative in and of itself, however the left likes narrative regardless of its truth. For the left, if it sounds true (i.e. meets their preconceived prejudices) then no further evidence is necessary to prove it- and no further developments can disprove it.

Truth means so little to many of today's academic generation on the left.

Anonymous said...

These members of the Group of 88 should stop with their fabrications.

In the future, any claims to "whispers" about racism, sexism, classism, violence, etc. at Duke, should be backed up with real quotes from real people.

No one should take anything said by the Group of 88 seriously. These fools seem to have lived too long in a world in which powerless students had no recourse to challenge their nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Now that Chafe and his ilk are dead set on getting rid of segregated fraternities and too-white organizations and gatherings, does that mean they'll want to end all the Jewish, Black and Latino fraternities as well? Will they want to ban gay/lesbian clubs and black housing sections and dining areas?

If so, I'm all for it. Diversity is good. Make EVERYONE live together regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin and I buy in. Target only white males (one of only several minority groups on campus) and I call that racist and demeaning.

Is this group of professors aiming to make all students equal or do they just want to bring down one group?

Anonymous said...

Chafe and his cohort would appear to be more at home on the campus of Brigham Young, Liberty, Bob Jones, or perhaps Johnson Bible College.

As with so many Marxist politburo types, their strict standards regarding thought, alcohol, and sex apply to others, but certainly not to them.

sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

KC--Most of your points are valid, however I must take issue with your assessment of the academic and admissions standards. There are a number of groups that benefit from lower standards in admissions practices (athletes and minorities certainly included--with athletes especially often admitted with significantly lower SATs.) But the athletes continue to benefit from different standards AFTER admission. They get priority scheduling--and typically use that to schedule the easiest classes (often with professors who are known to be athlete friendly.) Ask any student--most consider themselves very fortunate to get a couple classes with the jocks over the course of their 4 years--those are their freebies. The athletes also get unlimited access to tutors. Preferential scheduling and unlimited tutors are not available to any other group. The GPAs of athletes really are not comparable to those of the general student population. They SHOULD have high GPAs.

Soobs said...

I have no words left. This is unbelievable; they are in their own, very little, world.

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.16:

It's not my impression at Duke that the overwhelming number of athletes (i.e., non-men's basketball players) have special access to tutors, and I know they don't have preferential scheduling (at least the men's and women's lacrosse teams do not).

That said, the situation you describe does, obviously, exist at many colleges.

Richard Aubrey said...

It is difficult to figure who the G88 and their sympathizers think they're fooling.
Either they believe what they say or they think the rest of us will.
Why on earth would they think that?
It's possible that spending a significant portion of your week in front of a bunch of kids who don't know better, or do but are too smart to let on, can lead one to the unconscious belief that all one has to do is say something and it will be believed.
That those not dependent on the prof for a grade would argue is a surprise.

Anonymous said...

KC,
Years ago,when I was young,I penned a short article,"The Importance of Being Fuzzy."Got into a fair amount of trouble ,too.)The gist of it was there was a group called ,what else,"Fuzzies",who called thewmselves liberals as a form of protective coloration.It's kind of like Viceroy and Monarch butterflies.I'm forcibly reminded of this by reading accounts of Mr. Early not being able to evaluate Mr. Nifong's competence and the sub group of 88.Their world view is such that it may be impossible for them to be honest.
Although,a physician,I'm not as shrink.nevertheless,I'm familiar with the basic testing of psych profiles.What,I wonder would a multiphasic profile show of this kind of hate and denial.And one of the most unhappy by products of reading your site is the realization th North Carolina NAACP is no longer a racial justice organization;rather it's a racial organization.Still,I hope your masterful scrutiny leads to some decreased polarization and more open talk in Durham.
COrwin

Howard said...

This faculty now sees very clearly what is looming just over the horizon for all of them; no students; then no jobs. Only way out is to make their classes mandatory. These are people that quite possibly are at the end of their respective roads; no respect, no audience for their so-called views, and ridicule. Desperate times mean desperate means. Problem is that these people shouldn't have jobs anyway; the reveal every day that they have no tools for critical evaluation of anything. Good riddance.

Kilgore said...

Great stuff KC. Thank you for holding them responsible.

I think a great cartoon for this might be a bank robber (Chafe) holding obviously stolen cash (marked "truth", "justice", "free speech", "responsibility", "maturity") saying to a crowd of onlookers and police outside the bank, "Nothing to see here, move along, let's all just move forward."

Gayle Miller said...

Unless you attribute a quote, it is worthless.

And unless you are dealing in FACTS, your argument is WORTHLESS.

This group of 88 numbskulls need to have their hands slapped good and proper - both out loud and often!

When I was a student (back in the dark ages of the late 50s and early 60s) something called FACTS were revered. TRUTH was sought.

What the Group of 88 is seeking is some sort of goofy validation of their harebrained and witless prejudices!

It occurs to me that the best outcome would be for the families of the three victims (Reade, Seligman and Evans) get such an enormous amount of money from suing Duke that the University can no longer afford the salaries of these 88 idiots!

Anonymous said...

Carolyn asks:

Exactly what does the Gang of 88 have to say before at long last Broadhead and the Board of Trustees finally say something themselves?

Anonymous said...

Regarding this Group of 88. Throughout society there has become a zero tolerance policy toward bias and the general improper treatment of people. These 88 teachers should be looked at in much the same way. They say that everyone is replaceable and these teachers certainly are. The administration should have a zero tolerance policy of acceptable behavior by students and by teachers. By those standards these teachers should be given a clear option of retracting their defamatory remarks about the lacrosse students or face immediate dismissal. Anything short of that is clear support by the Administration of these teachers’ actions.

To the person that pointed out the different standards for athletes and the general student populace, Duke is an exception to most colleges with top sports teams. I would agree that there are a certain number of scholarship athletes who enter based on their athletic talent and are not of the same academic caliber as their fellow students, but that is relatively small when compared to all other major college athletic programs. Most are at the same level including most of the basketball team. One example would have been Shane Battier who would have qualified for admission into Duke under the same standards applied to the rest of the student populace. I am sure Coach K could fill in the blanks here.

Anonymous said...

KC, I wrote about the preferential scheduling and the tutors for all subjects, and I know for an absolute fact that my information is true. I have first hand knowledge of this with respect to the lacrosse team.

I believe it applies to all athletes, but it was always a recruiting tool that Mike Pressler used. Plus, all you need to do is ask any student.

AMac said...

One of the persistent meta-narratives of the Hoax has centered on Stripper Parties.

Was the lacrosse team's evening a unique exercise in randy degeneracy, with the very invitation of the dancers highly suggestive that (to paraphrase campus wits Houston Baker and Shadee Malaklou) something happened?

Or, was the party an unexceptional if tawdry part of collegians' entertainment?

The quavering, anonymous voice in Chafe's letter gives us a hint: It's both!

Whichever best fits the storytelling of the moment--that's the answer.

AMac said...

A few years ago, Steve Sailer profiled Jane Elliott and her insights:

"An Unfinished Crusade

"Because we are still conditioning people in this country and, indeed, all over the globe to the myth of white superiority. We are constantly being told that we don't have racism in this country anymore, but most of the people who are saying that are white. White people think it isn't happening because it isn't happening to them."

If Ward Churchill isn't available to guide Duke's diversity training efforts, I hope that Jane Elliott can be prevailed on to accept a full professorship for this important task.

Anonymous said...

To 9:16

My daughter is an athlete and has never been offered tutoring services. Perhaps their are teams that receive such tutors, but the men and women's teams in my daughter's sport do not. In addition, my daughter must have missed the memo on what professors are "athlete friendly". The only consideration when deciding each semesters' classes are does it meet a general education or major requirement and does it conflict with her athletic schedule. Practice time takes up four hours of the afternoon, therefore, the athletes have a limited time frame in which to schedule their classes. In other words, they are denied the opportunity to take classes anytime during that four hour window. Because of those limitations, athletes are allowed to register before the general student body. The preferential scheduling allows the athletes to obtain the classes needed to graduate in four years. Even so, my daughter will be attending at least two summer sessions in order to graduate since overloading isn't permitted.
If you think it is easy being a Division I athlete and maintaining a high GPA at Duke, I believe you are misinformed. My daughter had top high school grades, top SAT scores, and was able to maintain an extremely busy athletic schedule in high school. However, the jump to Division I athletics (and the very competitive ACC conference), living in a dorm where other students stay up late because many don't have 8 o'clock classes, hosting recruits, traveling across the country, missing classes and making up tests/quizzes, and each semester having at least one professor that make her life miserable for participating in athletics is exhausting and stressful.
Don't misunderstand, she has grown and matured quickly because of the discipline it takes to become a successful Duke student athlete. In addition, she is proud to represent Duke, loves her team, and feels incredibly fortunate to participate in a sport she loves. However, there are many social sacrifices. Instead of attending a social or another athletic event, she generally attempts to study and get to bed at a decent hour. As an athlete, the students are encouraged to also participate in many Durham activities. In addition, to the athletic/academic obligations, she participates in Habitat for Humanity, Athletes in Action, worked two mornings a week last fall at a Durham elementary school, and this spring is working six hours/week at a middle school.
You also fail to understand the number of injuries these athletes often suffer. My own daughter has had numerous painful injuries, hours of physical therapy, surgery on both legs - try navigating Duke's campus on crutches and attempting to reach classrooms located in buildings with no elevators. In addition, try to study for finals and complete papers when your leg is swollen to three times its normal size due to infection following surgery and your body is loaded up with Oxycontin to manage the pain. Frankly, most of the public has no idea the amount of time, sacrifice, pain, and discipline it takes to both compete in a sport you love and suceed in the classroom.
Having attended college on an academic scholarship, my college experience was a breeze compared to my daughter's daily schedule. All I had to do was attend class and study. Her schedule is jam packed every single day from the time she rises until she collapses into bed at night. However, she has noticed her senior teammates have all received good job offers. Prospective employers recognize the difficulty of maintaining this schedule for four years and often reward them with good jobs.
To sterotype all 600 athletes at Duke as "jocks" attempting to enroll in the easiest classes is inaccurate and unfair.

Jim said...

1) Would there even be a CCI or any of its ilk if it weren't for an original, and false, prejudgment in this case? These Group Thinks are like learning arithmetic from the original premise that 2+2=7 and assuming everything that follows must be correct.

2) Since professors and administrators consider it a moral entitlement to maintain control over the extra-curricular activities of their (adult) students, how about considering a radical premise: Instead of Thou Shalt Not Watch Strippers, how about Thou Shalt Not Strip? Where is any mention- any- of the culpability and accountability of the accuser in any of this?

3) Where is the real world understanding of the nature of college students? Saying college kids must not drink, must not dislike, must be tolerant, must be homogenous, must not act irresponsibly, is like saying, "water can drown people, we must work to make it less wet."
Yes, don't break the law. No, George Orwell.

Anonymous said...

Eric, at 2:01am you wrote:

It appears to me that the group of 88 has wide support in the Duke faculty. The only dissenters are the Economics Dept, an engineering professor and a retired physics professor.

Your conclusion is not entirely true. Based on anectodes, we know the G88 members actually represent a minority view of the Duke faculty. The problem is the majority prefers silence. Having said that, 30 Duke professors already endorsed the letter co-signed by 19 Economics professors. That gives you 49 publicly dissenting professors, and the list is growing. Let us not be too pessimistic about Duke Faculty.


Duke faculty who do not agree with the G88 view of the lacrosse case

Anonymous said...

10:13 Avsolutly correct in your analysis. Any information on how the gangs enrollment has gone since fall?

KT said...

Prof. Johnson,

I haven't posted here before, but I have followed along your masterful blog entries for many months. I must commend you on your ability to communicate through the written word. I regret that I have not mastered the written English language as well as you, but I hold you up as one to aspire to.

Aside from this, I wish to ask the anonymous poster at 4:16 am to indicate if it was intended as a serious statement or a joke of sorts. Among other things, the poster said, "You outsiders can deny, deny, deny, but Chafe's points are all valid. That they are is undisputed, as is illustrated by the statements of this one female student." I find it difficult to understand the intent of a statement like this. At first, the poster tells us that there are outsiders who deny that Chafe's points are valid, yet in the very next sentence asserts that the validity of Chafe's points is undisputed. Then the poster attempts to support that assertion by bringing forward "the statements of this one female student." I realize that at times I am dim, but to which of the female students was the poster referring? There is much more about the post that I have difficulty with, so I am hoping that this was posted as a jest, and not serious commentary.

Anonymous said...

11:01 Show us the evidence. Your being "absolutly sure" and "ask any student" is heresay information. If this is true, show us where it is in writing - lets see the schedules - with over half the team on the ACC honor role, does not look like they need much turoting. BYW. the team has a 100% graduation rate. See, you can make this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

11:01 NO, NO invitation to dance. Hired to dance at a rate of $200.00 per hour. Hired for two hours ($400.00) and got four minutes of a strip show. As those women are not Gyspy Rose Lee, I am sure four minutes was enough. Tell us "What Happened".

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 9:16 AM

You made mention of professors at Duke who are known to be athlete friendly.

That begs the question of how many professors are NOT athlete friendly.

Good Grief. What on earth is going on over there at Duke?

Why do I have that sinking feeling that poor leadership at Duke is going to trigger another Sarbanes-Oxley (type) Act passed into US law that mandates oversight of university governance?

Do the trustees know that you have friendly/unfriendly professors for certain groups of students?

Anonymous said...

The joke in Las Vegas: what is the difference between athletes at Duke and UNLV? The athletes at Duke can read before they are admitted.
Bob Jones, BYU, etc are right wing - not left wing.
who cares if the school lets in some athletes? Just folk who always got picked last.

Anonymous said...

Re preferential scheduling: 11:01 is right. My daughter's roommate last year was a Duke athlete (not basketball, not lacrosse), and she was permitted to register for classes before non-athletes. There is a fairly benign reason for this that doesn't have to do with preserving access to the easiest courses: the athletes need to be able to get classes that will fit into their academic programs that don't conflict with their regular practice schedules. This, theoretically, makes it easier for them to be real student-athletes. Of course, just because the ostensible reason is not to allow athletes to choose easy courses doesn't mean that doesn't happen fairly often. I will say that, whether to get easy courses or just to get access to really popular courses (not all of which are easy, believe it or not) or courses that meet at the most convenient times, it is a valuable perk. My daughter, for example, had to sweat bullets last year while waiting to get into a stat class required for her major because she had the last sophomore registration window and all the sections were already full (thankfully, she did move up from the waitlist and took the class)--and such situations are not uncommon.

As for tutoring, Duke has a pretty good peer tutoring program for introductory level science, math, economics and foreign languages classes that's available to all students (of course, effectiveness can depend on the individual tutor), but they do have a separate program as well that is available only to student athletes. I don't know whether the program would constitute "unlimited availability"; its website instructs students to attend all classes and discuss their difficulties with the class instructor before seeking tutoring assistance. My daughter's roommate, as far as I know, did not use this tutoring program, so I don't have any inside info on how it really works.

Anonymous said...

"(1) The institution should act as if that the facts involving the lacrosse team’s behavior are unchanged from March 31;"



If racism and sexism are as rampant on Duke as is implied by the Group of 88 then it should be easy to document. Why don’t we get numerous examples instead of “Listening to Lubiano?” Why latch on a non-rape and non-sexual assault case if there is other stronger evidence?

dhd said...

Kilgore, at 10:35 AM, great cartoon idea. Pass it on to the Jonnsville News blog. There are cartoonists on staff.

dhd said...

Several commenters have noted that Brodhead and the Trustees support the Group of 88. No, they are afraid of them, and those 88 dogs can smell the fear. Duke needs to hire some dog catchers.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 9:16

Great comment and great summary.

Why don't you copy your 9:16 AM comment and be ready to comment again. People need to read what you had to say.

If I was your daughter’s professor, I would just sign her in to my class just as I did for the students who were working off campus. Sometimes I ended up with 2 or 3 more students than the computer said I should have but …life goes on. Not a problem.

I’m no longer teaching but that system worked quite well for athletes and others who needed classes at certain times.

I saw great similarities between the athletes and those who had to work off campus in 20-30 hour per week jobs.

They were highly organized, focused, good students and fantastic in team project work.

Anonymous said...

KC,
This G88 really gets me. They must truely live in a world smaller than thier department. Whatever the value of their contribution to the university it is long deminished. I didn't think it earier but I now believe they just don't see student athletes as "real" students or really part of Duke.

Anonymous said...

Prof Johnson,

On a lighter issue, The Durham Police Department promotes proudly that the deparment is internationally accredited by CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., CALEA.org). The city had to spend a fair amount for the certification process - seems if CALEA openned a review DPD would have to work hard to defend their actions and certification status.

Anonymous said...

Not to defend the overall tone of this letter, but saying that undisputed racial epithets (plural) were uttered on the night in question is a fact.

The first undisputed epithet came from Kim (referring to the sexual readiness of white men). The second came from a partygoer (and lacrosse player?) in response, showering her her grandfather with faux courtesy.

I do think that it's unlikely these were the undisputed epithets the letter writers had in mind.

Anonymous said...

Some of the Chafe group’s proposals seem in conflict with the public positions and actions of many members of the Group of 88 and clarifying faculty.

Since what they say is in conflict, maybe the Chafe group actually DISAGREES with actions of the 88, in some respects.

xyz said...

eric said...
It appears to me that the group of 88 has wide support in the Duke faculty. The only dissenters are the Economics Dept, an engineering professor and a retired physics professor. The president and administration also support the group of 88. The administration with its overly long silence when the case fell apart and letting Curtis flunk 2 students. If the above is true. Then maybe more than just 20 or 30 professors dont like the majority of thier students ie middle class kids

2:01 AM



It's more likely that the 88 have little support among other Duke faculty for their positions. What support there is has more to do with supporting personal friends of long standing who are receiving hostile emails and comments. Most faculty do not want to get involved in an increasing bitter argument as they are going to have to continue to work with people on all sides of it, like it or not.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 7:08 PM

SAID: Not to defend the overall tone of this letter, but saying that undisputed racial epithets (plural) were uttered on the night in question is a fact.

Yes, that is an important point however for many of us, the response was even more interesting.

All across this nation Angry Studies faculty are suggesting a standard reply to such epithets.

Learners are told to use the term, OUTRAGED and/or OFFENDED and to call 911 when they hear a epithet...if at all possible.

I hear that so often when I visit the universities here, I just roll my eyes.

It is an odd feeling for me to sit in a meeting where we are talking about solutions to the complete lack of primary health care for poor Moms and their children and hear young women in the room talk about being 'outraged' or 'offended' because they heard a racist or sexist epithet in the elevator on the way up to the meeting.

In response to this silly practice, I have asked that the first five minutes of the agenda for such meetings be turned over to those who wish to talk about how awful the world really is.

We now refer to the opening Awful/izing item for the meeting agenda. They have five minutes.

People glare at me :-)

GP

MTU'76 said...

TO Anonymous 6:42 PM who said: "...seems if CALEA openned a review DPD would have to work hard to defend their actions and certification status."

CLEA is a voluntary "accreditation" program that looks at process and structure. Outcome is not part of the program. It is mainly an internal process to reduce liability. In other words, they can have the best practice standards on the books, but measuring outcome and practice are not important. See link:

http://www.calea.org/Online/CALEAPrograms/LawEnforcement/lawenfprogram.htm

Re:
1:04 AM Anonymous said... I read that article ... I involuntarily let out ...groans ...Then ... a little bit of vomit actually came up ...
And 4:58 AM Anonymous said. The repeated accusations are sickening (not to mention indefensible).

I suggest you find Chafe et alii then puke on their shoes. (I'll help you look)

Anonymous said...

2) Since professors and administrators consider it a moral entitlement to maintain control over the extra-curricular activities of their (adult) students, how about considering a radical premise: Instead of Thou Shalt Not Watch Strippers, how about Thou Shalt Not Strip? Where is any mention- any- of the culpability and accountability of the accuser in any of this?

3) Where is the real world understanding of the nature of college students? Saying college kids must not drink, must not dislike, must be tolerant, must be homogenous, must not act irresponsibly, is like saying, "water can drown people, we must work to make it less wet."


Faculty at Duke face the classic dilemma: Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Students want faculty to stay totally, absolutely, and completely out of their business, and certainly not make value judgments, BUT, the want absolute complete loyalty and unlimited assistance whenever they get themselves in trouble.

GS said...

It is becoming to clear to all (except the Duke 88) that a great injustice has been rendered unto the 3 Lax players.

Expect to see more people dump on Nifong before the SPa drop the case.

I fully expect the SPs to drop the case before the 1 yr anv. If they do not realize that every news channel and media outlet (including print) will have a 1 yr anv of the Duke Hoax edition they are insane.

By the 1 yr anv even Nifong (mentally impaired) will know he is gone.