Friday, February 23, 2007

The Piot Principle

Academic freedom rests on a basic principle: professors’ specialized training makes them qualified to have control over academic matters, such as evaluating scholarship, making new hires, setting up curricula. It’s hard for the media, or the general public, to challenge the evaluation of academics about the quality of a professor’s scholarship, or the appropriateness of personnel decisions.

The lacrosse case, however, has shone a light into the thinking of an outspoken minority of the arts and sciences faculty at one of the nation’s finest institutions—on an issue where the media and the public are perfectly capable of evaluating academics’ opinions. And the academics’ performance has not been impressive.

The pattern started early on. Citing the “abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us,” Houston Baker’s March 29 public letter demanded the “immediate dismissals” of “the team itself and its players.” Two days later, Bill Chafe, a nationally esteemed civil rights historian, suggested that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided an appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players. Chafe’s column, ironically, misidentified the year of Till’s lynching, a critical event in the development of the civil rights movement. (The lynching occurred in 1955, not, as Chafe informed Chronicle readers, 1954.) Last fall, another Group of 88 member, Grant Farred, alleged that Duke students who registered to vote in Durham were projecting their “secret racism” onto the city.

No specialized academic training is necessary to determine the intellectually dubious nature of the arguments presented by Baker, Chafe, or Farred. Are their analyses of academic matters, outside the public spotlight, of equally questionable quality?

---------

At the so-called “Shut Up and Teach” forum a week ago Monday, AAAS chairman Charles Piot tackled the issue head-on. Then, a few days later, he expanded on his defense in an e-mail to John in Carolina. Celebrating the talents of the Group of 88, Piot asserted:

[Wahneema] Lubiano and others are deeply committed faculty, brilliant teachers, folks who love Duke and love their students (whether left or conservative). They are also complex nuanced thinkers, who don’t just toe an ideological party line.

I take Piot’s words at face value: I have no doubt he truly considers Lubiano a “brilliant” teacher and a “complex nuanced” thinker, someone who treats all students fairly (“whether left or conservative”) and doesn’t “just toe an ideological party line.”

1) “Brilliant” teacher

Commenter Locomotive Breath, who attended the forum, responded to Piot:

If her lecture that night was any indication, Prof. Lubiano is a terrible classroom instructor. She read as fast a she could from a prepared text, barely pausing to take a breath, and never even made eye contact with the audience. Twelve minutes was torture and I cannot imagine a full hour of that. More importantly, she left me with nothing identifiable to take away from her remarks.

Was LB exaggerating? You be the judge. An audio recording of Lubiano’s remarks at the event has surfaced, at this link. Her comments begin at the 7:40 mark. (A continuation is here.)

I encourage those with a few minutes to spare to listen to her presentation. Would you consider either the quality or the style of these remarks characteristic of a “brilliant” teacher?

2) “Complex nuanced” thinker

Lubiano recently sent in a letter to the Chronicle accusing Brendan McGinley of “actual lies”—not disagreeing with her, not misunderstanding her opinions, but lying—about her “perfect offenders” essay.

The Chronicle comment thread featured several perceptive rebuttals, which included the following:

The McGinley article neither misrepresents nor distorts Lubiano’s essay. It does call the Duke students “perfect offenders.” Lubiano’s central point seems to be that ALL acts of racism and sexism—most of which, she says, are “banal and routine”—should nonetheless be treated with the utmost gravity and societal outrage, EVEN IF they (unlike the Duke case) don’t feature “perfect offenders” (i.e. white, male, well-off athletes), or a “perfect victim” (poor but upstanding, black, single mother, honor student, as the accuser was initially represented as being), or a “perfect crime” (an alleged violent gang-rape accompanied by racist abuse.) Lubiano doesn’t criticize the use of the concept of the “perfect offender;” she advocates it. And she emphatically does place the Duke lacrosse players in the category of “perfect offenders.” Her essay did not (as her letter now implies) urge people to stop demonizing the lacrosse team as “perfect offenders” and to stop glorifying the accuser as a “perfect victim.” Far from it. Rather, it urged the reader to find and condemn racism and sexism everywhere—not to wait for golden opportunities such as that presented by the “perfect offenders” on the Duke lacrosse team.

Lubiano’s approach seems to be to write in dense prose that can be interpreted in different ways, and then to accuse those who disagree with her of lying. Those are not the habits of complex or nuanced thinkers.

3) Treats all students fairly (“whether left or conservative”)

Lubiano once deemed it her “privilege” to seamlessly blend her political activism with her teaching. This approach defies the AAUP’s 1915 and 1940 guidelines on academic freedom and tenure, which require professors to keep unrelated political content out of their classrooms. Reflecting her approach to the job, Lubiano’s two spring courses are: “Teaching Race/Teaching Gender” (which explores such issues as, “How do you overcome the reluctance of male undergraduates to avoid anything with “gender” in the title? . . . Within the terms of a heteronormative culture that has made individual aesthetics the bedrock of sexual relations, how do you introduce the idea of the social to questions of relationships?) and “Teaching Critical U.S. Studies.” Not exactly the most inclusive descriptions for students who don’t share her ideology.

In any case—as JinC observed—Piot unintentionally provided a glimpse into how he really feels about those who disagree with the Group. The Group’s academic critics (like me), Piot fumed, should “shut up and teach.” If he responds in this manner to faculty who criticize him, imagine how he treats students who challenge his worldview.

4) Doesn’t “just toe an ideological party line”

In recent years, Lubiano has:

  • opposed the war in Afghanistan, urging instead a “just peace” based on “dismantling the unquestioned commonsense of capitalism, and dismantling the unquestioned commonsense of market religiosity.”
  • advocated reparations for African-Americans, citing “activity of the state in the aid of theft” of free labor from slaves.
  • walked out of class to protest the war in Iraq.
  • participated in DRAGnet (Duke Radical Action Group), which, according to the Chronicle, featured professors “running around campus dressed from head to toe like drag queens” performing political skits.
  • opposed increased campus security measures, lest Duke “produce students as the future gated community citizens of the nation and the world.”
  • demanded that Duke divest from companies doing business in Israel.
  • served as closing speaker at a 2001 conference called “Black Queer Studies in the Millennium.”
  • called for an international tribunal to explore the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • petitioned New York University to recognize a graduate student union.
  • deemed the government’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina “cover for other forms of class warfare on the part of the powerful and cover for the work of dismantling, one disaster or crisis at a time if necessary,” the welfare state.
  • spoken at gatherings of the “Triangle Vegetarian Peace Society.”

Piot doesn’t consider that record toeing an ideological party line. How many people outside academia, do you think, would share his judgment?

(At the forum, by the way, Piot fused his anti-lacrosse activism with his academic credentials in one other way. He has, to date, refused to release a transcript of remarks, although some of them can now be heard here. Piot has claimed that they will appear in an (unnamed) academic journal, thereby suggesting that the Group’s anti-lacrosse quest constitutes an “academic” effort in and of itself.)

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The ramifications of this case will continue long after—as seems increasingly likely—charges are dismissed. Events of the past 10 months, including the recent forum, have exposed an unimpressive quality in the insights of some Duke arts and sciences faculty.

If a program chairman like Piot considers Lubiano an example of a “brilliant” teacher who’s open to all ideas, how confident are you in his overall academic judgment?

Hat tip: L.B.

96 comments:

GS said...

I don't trust any "public" forums for discussion where they do not want any recordings.

Soobs said...

"opposed increased campus security measures, lest Duke “produce students as the future gated community citizens of the nation and the world.”

How could she possibly oppose increased security, when there is all that gang raping going on?

MTU'76 said...

Thanks again.

Jamie said...

Wahneema's prose is sometimes dense, alright, in the sense of being obtuse.

Let us say Wahneema wants to ask how to get males to stop avoiding gender topics. How does she put it?

“How do you overcome the reluctance of male undergraduates to avoid anything with “gender” in the title?

The "reluctance to avoid"?

Unless Wahneema is saying she wants to keep males out of gender studies -- and maybe she does -- she shouldn't be discussing how to "overcome... their reluctance... to avoid."

dhd said...

I do hope that the ramifications of this case will continue at Duke long after the case is dismissed and will expand to the many fine universities and colleges that are wasting precious funding on agenda-driven professors. Administrators have been too fearful for too long to invoke standards on academia and have been bullied by agendas and their promoters.

Administrators also have spent so much time on instilling political correctness in their students that they have neglected to instill in them common sense, decency, and respect for others. There seems to be more emphasis, a programmatic emphasis, on their differences (class-gender-race) than on their common humanity. Such emphasis creates divisiveness.

The Group of 88 and their antics represent only a sampling of what's happening around the country.

becket03 said...

Thx KC for cutting out the off-topic comments. It was becoming very burdensome to wade through the threads looking for offerings of interest.

beckett

Michael said...

John In Carolina was pretty self-effacing, courteous and polite in his letters but I didn't see a response to his hard questions.

And I think that it might be hard for Mr. Piot to provide a written form of a response knowing that it would be posted at LS and the blogs in instant. And then parsed, researched and analyzed.

I would encourage John to have lunch with the Professor with the option to take notes or, if possible, to record the lunch.

I'm listening to the SU&T2 podcast and would encourage others to download it and listen to it. It is interesting to hear the tone and voices of the speakers along with the nervous laughter of the audience from time to time.

Out of curiousity, how was this recording acquired?

AMac said...

As far as Prof Lubiano's complaint about Chronicle/Princeton op-ed writer Mcginley relaying her description of the lacrosse players as "perfect offenders":

She writes, "McGinley quotes two word (sic) from my writing and then surrounds those with lies."

The dispute is over Perfect Offenders, Perfect Victim: The Limitations of Spectacularity in the Aftermath of the Lacrosse Team Incident. In one of the clearer passages in this semi-inscrutable essay, she wrote (emphasis added):

"...this group [the alleged offenders who are the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy] has been responsible for extended social violence against the neighborhood in which they reside. In short, by a combination of their behaviors and what they represent in terms of social facts, and by virtue of their relation to the alleged victim, for those who are defenders of the victim, the members of the team are almost perfect offenders..."

and

"As part of this dynamic, the young woman, black and non-wealthy, made even more vulnerable by virtue of being employed by the perfect offenders...

If Lubiano was speaking as a defender of the "victim"--and she obviously was--then Mcginley properly recounted what was written.

In this case, Prof Lubiano, the hyperlink is not your friend.

KC Johnson said...

The recording was not in my position. I was only informed of its existence on the internet.

It's my understanding that someone who attended the event recorded remarks until being explicitly told to stop.

GF said...

Lubiano and others are deeply committed faculty, brilliant teachers, folks who love Duke and love their students (whether left or conservative). They are also complex nuanced thinkers, who don’t just toe an ideological party line.

Given that Mr. Piot and the 88 seem to live in a world where you can make things true just by saying them, I have no doubt he believes the former wholeheartedly.

After all, if there's any evidence to the contrary, it must simply be a delusion brought on by our subconscious refusal to accept the truth.

--GF

Jamal said...

This is typical of most of the professors I had at Duke. Most of the credit taken from all my essays and tests were cited with "LIAR" in bold red ink with a circle around it.

Of course, I am only kidding. I never took a class from Waheema Lubiano.

There are these things we had when I was at Duke called "History Books" and "Actual Black People Who Haven't Been Coddled By A PC-Frightened University Their Entire Adult Life And Allowed To Carry Along Their Charade Of A 'Forthcoming' Career In Perpetuity".

We also had beer, dormitory hallways and positively loads of free time to talk through everyone's life experience. Moving towards a more progressive society is part and parcel of developing a better understanding of all types of people with all types of experiences.

Rage-fill, university-coddled hermit is not exactly an interesting type of person.

Gary Packwood said...

After listening to the recordings I was transported back to graduate school where we all listened to the Watergate Hearings on our little radios.

I listed tonight as I did years ago to people who are trying to convince themselves that they have done nothing wrong and are, as a result of their training and positions, functioning above the ability of average people to understand the complexities of their motivations and commitments.

All that we did...we did for a higher calling.

Sad. No wonder the Dude students make fun of them.

Jim Clyne said...

Does anyone know if this "perfect offender" term is commonplace, or did Lubiano coin it?

HumboldtBlue said...

Sheesh, It's nice to see KC able to respond to the comments. BTW Professor, nice bowtie

Anonymous said...

The McGinley piece is excellent.

Anonymous said...

To: KC Johnson
From: Duke Prof.

The new policy is a very smart move. Over the last three-four days the comment section had degenerated. As I mentioned in previous posts, such excesses keep people like me away from the discussion.

I have no doubt that some of your critics actively sought to provoke silly and overblown reactions -- and unfortunately succeeded. The low quality of too many of the recent comments IS used at Duke and elsewhere to try to discredit your work.

You are raising important issues and asking questions that are at the heart of the academic mission. If your work helps engage the general public into a constructive discussion of the state of the modern university, it would be something, perhaps small, but good that comes out of this mess that Duke finds itself into.

I cannot imagine the players and their families finding any consolation in this. Yet, it would be something that could benefit us all in the long run.

wayne fontes said...

I listened to Lubiano's talk and agee with LB's statement that you can't pull a coherent theme out of it.

Lubiano tells us all we need to know about her by listing what constitutes a perfect offender.
1) White
2) Male
3) Privilege
4) Dominate sexuality (straight)
5) Dominate social group (athletes)



I look at the dates and conclude this was an attempt to distance herself from the listening statement.

Anonymous said...

If you are a white male Duke student who participates in sport and you're about to select which classes to attend, I predict you'll avoid more than just classes with the word 'gender' in the title. You'll avoid every course offered by a Group of 88 signatory. I still cannot fathom why members of the Group can't simply say, "we were wrong about this individual case, and for that we apologize to Duke Lacrosse, and the individuals we judged too quickly. We continue to work toward fostering dialogue concerning Duke University's real and continuing problems concerning race, gender and class." Is that so horrible an admission? Can some lawyer explain, how perhaps such an admission may be legally unwise, and thats why the Group isn't offering it? Surely by now they are receiving independent legal advice? I always thought a prompt apology lessened your legal exposure.

MTU'76 said...

Lubiano had a surprisingly pleasant voice. She read her contribution because none of it was in her own words. Reading news and announcements on community access TV might be just the ticket for her talent.

Newyorkstateofmind said...

KC,

I'm sorry to see the demise of the open forum this blog has represented for so long now. I have to say, my own view on public speech--I hesitate to use the phrase "free speech" because I hold the traditional civil libertarian view that only government coercion--directly or by proxy--constitutes an arena where one can legitimately object to having speech curtailed--is that the more wide-open the forum, the more full-bodied will be the discussion. Lots of chaff when a forum invites commentary with few and open-ended restrictions...absolutely. But plenty of wheat too because a wide-open forum has the potential to draw so much commentary that a synergy is created whereby ever more and influential commentators will be drawn to it because its very status and stature reside in part from its surfeit of commentary.

I will add by way of qualification that this blog, your blog, KC, has attained the state of credibility it has in large measure due to your own probity and thoroughness and applied intelligence in presenting your daily coverage and crafting your commentary and attendant arguments. There are "yahoo" blogs out there--by which I do not here seek to impugn by pun Yahoo blogs BTW--which all the commentary in the world cannot make worth reading or posting to.

Your blog does draw off-topic and even at times inane commentary--into which I would not BTW place the subject--qua subject anyway--of IQ and race; nor will I digress however to elaborate at this point.

Notwithstanding the lack of apparent relevance anyway of many of the postings heretofore to your blog, your blog rarely draws the profusion of not just inanity but pathetic juvenile delinquency which clogs the pores, so to speak, of so many other blogs whose purpose or object is political or social commentary. That this is so is all testament to your own energy KC, and I commend you for this, and for the open forum you have provided up until now.

Regardless...I will continue to add my commentaries now and again, because you have served a tremendous public service through the provisioning of this blog.

I shall nevertheless close this post by noting that your blog became the international presence it did not least because of not just the quality, but the veritable quantity of the commentary on it. And far from being unrelated these two--quantity and quality--they are intimately connected, the former in all its detritus and errant paths and by-the-way commentary a precondition for the brilliance and depth and broad and deep public audience for the latter.

Anonymous said...

I am having trouble understanding why Duke is always referred to in this blog and in other sources as an institution of the highest prestige.

I mean, yeah, I do agree that Duke's a prestigious institutions with some excellent faculty and students, but I think Duke is way overrated, partly due to US News College Rankings which place it way too high. The yield rate of Duke for admitted students (undergrad) is less than 45% according to my understanding. Compare this to the undisputably prestigious institutions such as Harvard (80%), Yale (72%), Princeton (70%), etc. There is a HUGE difference in terms of preference.

So what I'm saying is that if Duke wants to actually be an institution that is truly of the same quality as the above top institutions, it should immediately get rid of the unqualified idiots like the G88 (especially Lubiano and Holloway) and actually hire excellent teachers/researchers.

Keeping on calling Duke an extremely prestigious institution just helps the G88 in their quest to railroad the three innocent players and to advance their slimy agendas by giving the G88 credibility.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the pressure by bringing light to the actions of the group of 88. They really should apologize to the Duke three, the student body and the academy.

Alum8284 said...

Well listening to that recording is revealing. I can see where she has enough clarity to fool some people for a while. However, the lack of a comprehensible sentence in 90% of her ramblings is really inexcusable for a college professor. Even the nerdiest computer science geek of a professor should be expected to be able to speak in a way that can be understood by reasonably well educated people.

If her comments were written down, I would swear the period key on her keyboard was broken.

Zombie said...

What are the actions coming out of this meeting? As a project engineer for 20+ years, in order to produce a product we had a list of actions that, when completed, finish a project and produce something our customers need, and thereby adding value to our shareholders. What do these profs produce? They are so self-absorbed and talk about things that happened in the past, but to what effect? How could they function in any job where they had to produce a valuble product? I went to grad school, but never heard anything like this unless it was over a beer late at night...

Howard said...

I would like to know just how it has been determined that Duke University is "outstanding" or upper echelon, or prestigious. Nobody outside of the old South enclave of North and South Carolina would think that. The only thing outstanding or upper echelon about Duke is their basketball program. On the contrary, most of the rest of us have always thought of Duke as a pretentious backwater college constantly telling the rest of us how good the place is without offering so much as a dust spec of proof. I think the reprehensible activities of a hell of a lot (not just a few) of the Duke faculty has placed Duke firmly in the tier of just ordinary universities with pretensions not accomplishments, and one that I would avoid if I had the grades to go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

David Horowitz has been attempting, through his Academic Freedom Campaign, to blunt what many see as rampant ideology and indoctrination espoused by some in the Academy.

About David Horowitz

His debates with some of the critics of his Campaign and Academic Bill or Rights are on-line and accessible to all:

Various Debates Over the Academic Bill or Rights

In short, Horowitz believes that students should be protected from, and have a grievance procedure for, those professors that would penalize a student for his/her viewpoints.

We have seen it happen to Mr. Dowd at Duke, and it has happened to others (as documented by Mr. Horowitz) including yours truly.

It's refreshing that Horowitz and some of his critics do not hide behind a veil of intellectual pretension, but rather engage in public debate.

Diane Nelson, a professor at Duke, disrupted a speech Mr. Horowitz gave at the school concerning the Academic Bill or Rights, and asked students to take off their shirts during the forum in protest (Fortunately, none did.)

Note to the G88: You still don't get it; reasoned discourse trumps secretive forums. If you have the courage of your convictions, publish your ideas for all.

--Lumpy Gravy

Anonymous said...

One can only imagine the browbeatings such narrow minded idealogues as Piot and Lubiano must dish out daily to their students.

I am sure that they live in a world in which no one (including Brodhead) ever has the temerity to call their hand.

No wonder that no male in his right mind would want to take a course with the word "gender" in it from someone as arrogant as Lubiano.

"Nuanced"... no... just irreparably dense.

And KC... thank you for applying the additional screen to the comments. The commentary section of your blog had been one of its most valuable elements, as many thoughtful contributors added insight to the topic at hand. Thank you word weeding out the clutter.

james conrad said...

WOW @ comments this morning, the first thing i noticed, no anonymous comments and no stat charts on this, that and the other thing.

Locomotive Breath said...

I confirm that this is a recording of the actual event. Unfortunately, it's truncated and choppy. The real even lasted about 2 1/2 hours.

Anonymous said...

Due respect, Professor Johnson, the six professors respectfully requested no recording devices be used during the event.

I will not comment on whether I believe this tactic is fair or unjustified, but it seems that, however we might disagree with them, it remains unethical to sit in a room with previous knowledge that recording devices are prohibited and to continue recording. It is additionally reprehensible to publish this material on the Internet.

I must say, respectfully, that it is disappointing that charges of professorial misconduct (dishonesty and other) are issued by people who themselves refuse to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Top of the fold Dallas Morning News story this a.m.: DA Joins Fight to Clear Man

Exculpatory evidence

"...Mr. Giles, his attorneys contend, spent 10 years in prison for a crime their investigation shows was committed by another man with an almost identical name who was a known associate of the two attackers identified by DNA evidence.

Evidence that identified James Earl Giles as the true rapist was given to Dallas police before James Curtis Giles' 1983 trial but never disclosed to his trial attorney, a violation of laws requiring exculpatory evidence to be produced...

...Mr. Giles' case would bring the county's total DNA-related exonerations to 13 over the last six years, all but two of which were prosecuted under District Attorney Henry Wade. No other county in the nation has more..."

KC you really should be considered for a Pulitzer, because the writers (more than one), certainly will for their on-going expose.

For to the point - this hits close to home. I grew up within walking distance of where this crime occurred - a middle-class neighborhood that went south when Section 8 housing was built. And my father use to work for the DA - he quit twenty years before this happened. My son, with a few slight changes, could be one of the boys involved at Duke.

You think all of this has changed my views? You bet it has.

On another point. Am I disappointed that some Amanda Marcotte wannabe came on this blog and shouted down everyone? You bet I am. When someone comes into the house and starts breaking your furniture, you end up with broken furntiture. Thanks pal.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the newly elected Dallas DA is black, and a Democrat. The one who has the most, to date, DNA exonerated prosecutions was a white Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, K.C. I hope, if anything good can come from the Hoax, it will be a reevaluation of the practice of awarding tenured sinecures to mediocre and unproductive enemies of freedom and intellectual inquiry.

By the way, I believe Locomotive Breath and JinC are PhD's, are they not? I respect your assessment, and their own as well, of the 88 and their many shortcomings and inconsistencies in areas of classroom demeanor and scholarship. sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

KC, Lubiano is NOT, by her own admission a teacher. She is a "knowledge worker".

Orwell was right; what an observant man and true knowledge worker he was.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to listen to the tape because among other things it makes clear the importance the organizers of this forum place on preventing the outside world from hearing what they have to say. While I am sure they would claim this is to prevent their words from being misinterpreted, in reality it is based on a fear that outsiders will understand only too clearly what is being said and simply will disapprove of it.

Some things stand out.

1. Their absolute unwillingness to discuss the specifics of the lacrosse case or confront honestly their role in encouraging the prosecution of the accused players.

2. The contradiction at the center of "identity" studies. Its supporters want people to talk about race and gender but are afraid about what people might actually say about them.

3. The complete lack of attention to the arguments of their critics. Whether it is the defenders of the lacrosse players or the critics of identity studies, their defense is to attack their critics rather than to debate their criticisms.

4. The organizers of the forum are spoiled. They have never been held accountable for their statements or their demands and it shows. For this group, criticism of their actions or words should be banned as offensive speech and they on the other should be entitled to make outrageous and unsubstantiated accusations of racial and sexual violence without any fear of rebuttal.

What one hears in the recording of the forum is a reprise of what goes on in meetings of faculty senates, university committees and college forums that touch on the subjects of diversity or multiculturalism.

Duke is the tip of the iceberg. It is particularly hideous at Duke because of the absolute lack of humanity displayed by their attitude to the falsely accused players and their families. But the problems posed by the group of 88 and similar clones on other campuses will be with us long after this case is over.

Anonymous said...

dhd at 12:50 a.m."...and will expand to the many fine universities and colleges that are wasting precious funding on agenda-driven professors. Administrators have been too fearful for too long to invoke standards on academia and have been bullied by agendas and their promoters...."

The trustees and leadership certainly do NOT see it the same way...

AAAs awarded Departmental status

Jan/Feb 2007 Duke Alumni Magazine.

"The board of trustees has approved elevating Duke's African and African American Studies (AAAS) program to departmental status..."

Anonymous said...

12:51 "Out of curiousity, how was this recording acquired?"

The same way bibles and other banned books were taken into the communist bloc countries. Surreptitously.

A true freedom fighter, whomever captured the audio. God bless that person.

Anonymous said...

KC - thanks for enumerating Wahneema's not-so-party-line activities... In fairness to her, she does lend a 'special' meaning to the concept of diversity.

Anonymous said...

"Regardless of the 'truth' established in whatever period of time about the incident at the house on N. Buchanan Blvd., the engine of outcry in this moment has been fueled by the difficult and mundane reality that pre-existed this incident and that continues to occur in everday and non-spectacular life in this place. Whatever happens with the court case, what people are asking is that something changes."

Well, Ms. Lubiano's discussion of perfection and spectacularity in the Duke case is complex and nuanced. The essay seems to be the work of someone who perhaps already has doubts about the case itself, but who does not want to miss this opportunity to bring up long standing grievances at a time of highly unusual vulnerability in the Duke community and especially in its administration. Ms. Lubiano and cohorts wanted to and did hitch their agenda (which probably includes legitimate grievances) to the LAX case in hopes the case could draw heightened interest and positive attention to their own issues, but they did not want the actual facts of the case (which may have begun to look dubious, even to Ms. Lubiano, at the time of her essay) to detract from that agenda. I think this is the proverbial and cliched case of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

Because (1) Ms. Lubiano and her co-signatories rushed to embrace this case as if it were a long awaited chariot sent from on high to carry their grievances straight to the bosom of the high priest in the holy of holies (where, by the way, it is difficult to hear from the inside), (2)thereby causing the defendants, their own students (and probably their own agenda and themselves), great and irreparable harm, and (3) have emphatically refused to acknowledge the misjudgment and apologize for any harm thus caused, they have received an enormous amount of well deserved criticism which they deeply resent. For the sake of (1) the legal system still paralyzed by the politics of this case, (2) the cause of social justice they purport to further, but in fact have undermined, (3) their own reputations, Duke's reputation, Durham's reputation, and North Carolina's reputation, I urge the signatories to the "Listening Ad" and the "Open Letter" to acknowledge openly the flaws in those documents, the imperfections in the timing of their publication, and the damage the texts and the professors caused, presumably inadvertently, while creating a "spectacle" vying wildly and carelessly for Mr. Brodhead's attention.

Observer

becket03 said...

jim clyne:

Lubiano cites a fellow named Crenshaw for using the term "perfect offender," so she's definitely not the coiner, and without a little more research it's not possible to say whether Crenshaw is either.

beckett

Anonymous said...

du75 said:

The recent Shut Up and Teach session amounts to no more than performance art, presented in an echo chamber. Piot and his G88 colleagues continue to lack the courage of their convictions, and their refusal to engage in an open debate in which they would have the opportunity to substantiate their point of view says all anyone needs to hear about the group's motivations and rationale for both their listening ad and self-serving follow-up letter.

It is clear that the longest-lasting damage from the rape hoax and its aftermath (apart from the personal grief caused to the defendants) has been caused by the actions and words of the G88.

Anonymous said...

After listening to the recording, two things came to mind;
1. No one is saying the G88 aren't free to speak. What is being said is be responsible for what you speak. If your message is wrong, be responsible and correct it. Failing to correct it, cover it up or alter its meaning will bring questioning and attacks -regardless of the source or topic.

2. If you want to get your message out, then restricting who can ask questions and banning recordings is a fast way to desolve credibility.

Anonymous said...

(Whether left or conservative)

What about right or liberal.

Anonymous said...

KC Your posts and this case will certainly shine a light on the way the State of NC conducts legal affairs in the name of justice. The whole apparatus being hijacked for personnal gain and fulfilling others revenge fantasies and the lack of recourse or oversite of the process is a real eyeopener for me. The grand jury system in NC seems especially suspect. How many other states have such a slap-dash system? Also how many mass checks of DNA have been ordered in the American court system fishing for matches. IN Durham its a"just us, baby" system (from Richard Pryor).

Anonymous said...

What I like so much about KC's post here is that to reasonable people the issue presents itself not one as liberal versus conservative, but rather that it is vital to the academy that it cherish critical and balanced thinkers - that is - ones who engage and cause others to engage in inductive and non-conclusory thought, relying on evidence and data in so doing, and being aware of, and will to persuasively argue against, competing views using data and a sound analysis of the same. What emerges from Lubiano's statements (I am not sure there is a body of scholarly work to examine, another question in an of itself) is an overwhelming rush to indoctrinate, rather than truly educate and engage in critical thinking. Witness her concerns about the "reluctance of male undergraduates to avoid anything with gender in the title" (sic) - the best way to overcome perceived reluctance (other than to cease being hostile to male students, which might just really be the answer) is to present a compelling, persuasive, data driven and balanced course of study. This likely holds little interest for those inclined to merely indoctrinate rather than educate, because contrary to the assertion that these types are cherish nuances, that is exactly what they avoid in not teaching truly critically oriented classes. Issues of race and gender equality (or lack thereof) raise all sorts of complex issues, and often relate to the choices people make as well as challenging cultural factors, and well, a fair and balanced treatment of these factors would run contrary to the simplistic, binary and oppositional notions held by these professors that all issues can be reduced to race, gender, and similar neo-Marxist notions of power.

By the way, although anecdotal, I do have professor friends that are in a sense very liberally politically, but they bear no relation to the Lubiano's of the world. First, they clearly like students as people and individuals, and really appreciate it when students give a good effort in their classes, irrespective of their political views (or their athletic careers). Second, they have a sense of getting things "right". This, of course, means at some level they ascribe to the concept that there are objective truths, not something that Lubiano's of the world seem to grasp. And finally, they really do seem to understand that evidence and data, notwithstanding the biases that exist in all of us, should drive the results and conclusions. In the working world, this is called "professionalism". And to many in the Gang of 88, it is one piece of virtual clothing where one size can it all. It would be better for all if they would try it on.

Anonymous said...

It might be illuminating to analyse the IP addresses from some of the recent "zoo" attacks in these forums. It seems quite plausible that there was a deliberate attempt to damage the blog and it seems clear there are those with motive. On the internet, virtually everyone has opportunity and means, of course.

Recall that the episode where the Duke Chronicle put up a survey related to the LAX affair and found that one faculty computer was accounting for a very large number of votes (and some inflamatory forum comments)...


I presume the IP addresses are recorded (but not posted with the comments). I am including a short tutorial on how to map these addresses to trace the source and would be quite happy to do this if a list of IP addresses were to be made available.


On a Windows XP system (as an example), the first thing to do is "start/Run...", then type "cmd" and click "OK". This will bring up a window with a prompt. Type "tracert <IP addr>" and then "Enter", substituting the actual address for "<IP addr>". To interpret the data, think of each entry that prints as a point along the path taken from your computer to the source, so the last lines are the most interesting. When posting any of this data, only include the last few lines -- the first lines relate to your computer, not the IP address your are researching.

John Kaiser said...

I received a rejection letter recently from Duke in response to my application to their graduate program. Somehow, I am not all too sad about that. (BTW I got in elsewhere).

Law School class 72 said...

Perhaps none but the self appointed chosen are qualified to judge the worth of their academics, but guess what folks we do it every day and it is hurting Duke as well as all higher education. As senior parter, all job application letters come to me. Based on experience I have learned that those who have concentrated in areas of victim studies are so poorly educated and their thinking so narrowed by ideology that they are unable to even understand let alone effectively advocate a client's position. (Not to mention also are uniformly pains in the butt to get along with in the office especially for the support staff -Rule One- piss off my secretary and you are out of here no matter how smart or socially concerned you think you are)They are useless in the real world and as such don't even get a reply much less a shot at the job. Sad that a degree even from Duke is no longer impressive on its face, but I guess higher education too is subject the the truth that we reap what we sow.

Anonymous said...

Have any of the Duke Board members commented on the Duke 88 and their stand with them. I simply can't understand how they can sit by and watch this agenda driven group spew lies, racism and hate and not do anything about it. Free speech is very important especially on a college campus, but slander and twisting and distorting the truth to help their cause is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:29 am

Ahh, "knowledge worker" does take me back to when I knew a number of people whose minds had been totally rotted by Marxism.

In Marxist lingo, "workers" are good, and others, e.g. children, the elderly, etc., are parasites. But the propaganda aspect of Marxism tended to focus on unskilled labor, e.g. hammers and sickles and Stakhovinite steel workers with muscles the size of grapefruits; so it was very important ideologically to rope the very people who constituted the "dictatorship" half of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" into the category of "workers." Hence, "knowledge workers" is code for "I am not a manual worker, but am still worthy of Marxist approval."

And so Lubiano is a self-proclaimed "knowledge worker." Why am I not surprised?

JeffM

Anonymous said...

Just about every elected official
in Durham County has sat back
and allowed or actually assisted
in this criminal railroading and
electoral fraud for 11 months now,
and you still waste too much time
paying attention to a bunch of
loonies who have really very little
to do with the REAL crimes.

Anonymous said...

I've been responsible for some of the flame posts... and I won't do it anymore.

But in my defense, let me say that I came here to support these falsely accused boys, and have listened to a barrage of comments about how the Group of 88 somehow represent me as a left-leaning American, and about how the corrupt Nifong is representative of all Democrats in America.

One thing I will caution, however: It is very dangerous from a liability standpoint to post IP addresses and publicly ID posters. Its also likely a violation of the board host's Terms of Service.

I was hoping to feel welcomed on this board as a supporter of the boys, and maybe this "on-topic" policy will help keep me from spinning of the topic, which is all too easy for me when I feel my integrity is attacked merely because Nifong and the G88 have demonstrated that they have none, and because using overbroad labels like "liberal" and "conservative" would have me under the same broad heading as them, though we are very, very different, ESPECIALLY with regards to this case!

Anonymous said...

Colleges require high school transcripts as part of their application processes, so I tell all job applicants who interview for a job with my company to bring their college transcipt.

Here in the real world, it really helps in the selection process by separating the serious applicants from the others.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Newyorkstateofmind, generally, but acknowledge the comment section may be more effective (which is the goal) with the discipline brought to bear by Professor Johnson.

To Anon 7:37--a most interesting comment and well stated list of issues with the "Shut Up and Teach" forum.

Observer

Locomotive Breath said...

Even the nerdiest computer science geek of a professor should be expected to be able to speak in a way that can be understood by reasonably well educated people.

I took classes from the nerdy computer science geek professors at Duke. In that realm, as in most other technical fields, lack of ambiguity and clarity is paramount. Of course the comp sci guys speak clearly and precisely. Can you imagine Lubiano trying to communicate a complex technical subject?

What are the actions coming out of this meeting? As a project engineer for 20+ years, in order to produce a product we had a list of actions that, when completed, finish a project and produce something our customers need, and thereby adding value to our shareholders. What do these profs produce?

In the realm of the 88 it's not what you accomplish but how you feel. They organized a meeting with their acolytes and they all got to go home feeling good because not a dissenting voice was heard.

Due respect, Professor Johnson, the six professors respectfully requested no recording devices be used during the event.

Having been there I'll have to listen to the recording to confirm my memory, but I believe that they asked for no video or still photos to be made. Maybe a failure to specifically prohibit audio recording was an oversight but precision matters. I'm happy to be corrected by someone who has listened to the audio as I don't have time at the moment to go back and check.

Furthermore, the Duke Chronicle reporter had an audio recorder out and clearly visible to the organizer of the event, Sally Hicks, who asked me to remove my video equipment.

http://dukenews.duke.edu/aboutus/#hicks

Duke media policy states that all media be given equal access implying that event organizers don't get to pick just the media who favor the event organizers. The Chronicle also had a still photographer there which means other media should have been able to take still photos. Unless they don't consider the Chronicle media!

Besides, people like the panelists like to brag about "transgressing the boundaries". I guess it all depends on whose boundaries are being transgressed.

By the way, I believe Locomotive Breath and JinC are PhD's, are they not?

This is correct (for me, John is quite capable of speaking for himself). And my BS, MS, and PhD are from Duke. Although I am now in the private sector, I also have 14 years experience as a tenure-track and then tenured faculty member at a large land grant university. That includes teaching both undergraduates and graduates. I was also for three years the Editor in Chief of the premiere journal in my field. So, thank you, yes, I do feel qualified to comment on academic matters.

The value of my Duke diplomas is depreciated every time these people open their mouths. I guess I should be thankful for their media lockdown.

Anonymous said...

Decades ago,when I was young a sci fi short titled"Slow Tuedsday Night' by R A Lafferty captured the type of scholarship Dr. L does.In Tom Sawyer,Twain quotes some horrid poetry-supposedly written by a young Hannibal woman at a hs commencement as "more perfect than any I could construct".It's sad this type of minjd is graced with a Ph. D.her job seems to be a sinecure of sorts.I don't think Duke need be embarasseed for offering substnce free classes,but I'm surprised the "Harvard of the West" supplied this woman with a doctorate.
PS:KC,I have a couple of friends who went to Palo Alto and they sat the correct designation is Harvard is the "Stanford of the East"
Corwin

Happy said...

Lubiano is the poster child for the tenure abolition movement.

Duke academia needs a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

Each time I read the garbage that permeates today's universities, even the top echelon such as Duke, I thank God my two daughters opted not to attain "higher" education. They are both successful in their chosen fields, one is an electrician and the other is an independent real estate broker. They associate with people who are, on the whole, much more intelligent than many so-called college graduates. I have concluded that many people are educated beyond their intellectual capacity.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to add to this mix of comments but to straighten out the one comment that wondered why Duke was highly rated. Duke till just this year has with great consistency been placed among the top 20 uyniversities in the country. Now you can argue that those "placing" or citing such things are not alway sirhgt, but then who decides or deals with such issues?

Anonymous said...

KC.

You wrote: 'I will not restrict comments based on viewpoints, but will restrict any off-topic comments.'

Could you be more specific regarding the basis on which you will determine "off-topic?"

Anonymous said...

"Due respect, Professor Johnson, the six professors respectfully requested no recording devices be used during the event."

To which I say that these are the same professors who urge their students to "shout down" conservative speakers on campus. They are entitled to nothing.

james said...

What is missing is equal application of the law in a University envornment. State run institutions can not legally prevent a citizen's public speech or selectively grant the right of assembly. Many of the colleges are attempting to do just this. All that is required is a firm application of existing law.

Jamil Hussein said...

The board of trustees has approved elevating Duke's African and African American Studies (AAAS) program to departmental status..."


This statement tells it all.

Trustees had a choice to make and they decided to stand by with Gang88 and New Black Panthers. I guess the next step will be hiring more AA "knowledge workers" and giving even more authority and committee positions to the AA department so they can "educate" Duke community

Clearly, Duke learned nothing from this fiasco.

This has been a social diasaster for Duke as it has exposed the biased, academically incompetent Angry Studies department and the real world consequences of having it. Earlier nobody cared about couple of pathetic low-IQ wackos in academic chambers but this episode showed that there are real life victims (like 3 Duke students, their team mates and the coach).

Gary Packwood said...

Perfect Victim

I think the phrase "Perfect Victim" is one of those phrases that tracks back to physics...where variable resistance is zero.

Here in Houston we sometimes talk about disaster planner in terms of preparing for the Perfect Storm coming in from the Gulf of Mexico.

KNOWLEDGE WORKERS however are not burdened by the constraint of actually measuring variable resistance.

Len D'Amico said...

Anonymous 7:37 wrote:

"3. The complete lack of attention to the arguments of their critics. Whether it is the defenders of the lacrosse players or the critics of identity studies, their defense is to attack their critics rather than to debate their criticisms."

Dr. Patricia Santy at the University of Michigan has written extensively on this matter:

"Multiculturalism and political correctness are two of the fundamental pseudo-intellectual, quasi-religious tenets-- along with a third: radical environmentalism--that have been widely disseminated by intellectuals unable to abandon socialism even after its crushing failures in the 20th century. These tenets have been slowly, but relentlessly absorbed at all levels of Western culture in the last decade or so--but primarily since the end of the Cold War.

All three have been incorporated into most K-12 curricula and all other learning environments. They have been at the forefront of attempts by leading academics and academic institutions to rewrite most of history and undo thousands of years of Western cultural advancement. And further, as the culture has been completely saturated with this toxic brew, any attempt to question the tenets' validity or to contest their value is met with hysterical accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, imperialism, bigotry, or--worse of all --intolerance or insensitivity."


She goes on to state that nothing - not facts, not observable behavior, not the use of reason or logic, or their own senses will make an individual in denial reevaluate their world view.

If anyone would care to see her arguments for the genesis of the closely related BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), follow this link:

Dr. Sanity

Anonymous said...

"Two days later, Bill Chafe, a nationally esteemed civil rights historian, suggested that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided an appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players. Chafe’s column, ironically, misidentified the year of Till’s lynching, a critical event in the development of the civil rights movement. (The lynching occurred in 1955, not, as Chafe informed Chronicle readers, 1954.) "

Scary thing is, I'm willing to bet KC didn't have to look that up!

duke09parent said...

Anonymous at 6:39 said:
"[I]t remains unethical to sit in a room with previous knowledge that recording devices are prohibited and to continue recording. It is additionally reprehensible to publish this material on the Internet.

I must say, respectfully, that it is disappointing that charges of professorial misconduct (dishonesty and other) are issued by people who themselves refuse to be honest."

LB pointed out after that post that the organizers did not ban audio recording.

But suppose for the purpose of argument they had so banned audio. What is "dishonest" about surreptitiously recording it anyway, unless the recorder expressly agreed with the ban. What would be dishonest is misreporting what was said, not publishing what was actually said. I don't see how a forum such as that would be proprietary to the forum sponsors.

Steven Horwitz said...

Just one quick observation:

When we talk about the problems with faculty who "toe ideological lines," I think we have to distinguish between those who have clear set of political beliefs and who bring them to the classroom with them, and those who evaluate student work by its agreement with that set of beliefs.

I bring my politics into the classroom with me on a regular basis and I'm involved with political activities and groups outside of the classroom, but I'd like to think, as another post noted, that when I evaluate student work, I am looking for good arguments, well-supported with good communication skills and evidence of critical thinking. I'd much rather read a really well-done paper that disagrees with me than a crappy parroting of what they think I believe. And I'll grade the first much higher than the second.

That's what a good education is about, not turning out "Mini-Me's".

And, again, teaching at a small,highly selective liberal arts college, I can report that many/most of my colleagues are both on the left and view their teaching in precisely this way. Not all of them of course, but most/many.

Len D'Amico said...

Steven Horwitz 11:44 -

Your attitude and approach are nothing less than what one should expect from the Academy.

Unfortunately, there are some who must indoctrinate in order to validate their own ideology - I have seen it as has David Horowitz and the commenter at 6:16 am.

Many feel tenure is the source of the problem at all levels of education. Regardless of the cause, I feel it's an epidemic that must be addressed.

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was a young teen, I would sit patiently with her and try to get her to think through the risks and potential consequences of one questionable activity or another, and she would argue about why it was so important for her to do whatever it was, without indicating that she had even heard what I was trying to convey to her, and gradually it dawned on me:

She had a radio that couldn't be tuned to my station.

That revelation came back to me when I listened to the Lubiano audio last night. (Thanks, LB!) That speech and the "perfect offender" piece confirm and even describe the process of so-called critical studies, which is all about applying the same preset formula to every set of facts -- something that is easy to do when the list of facts that you are listening for is preset as well, and all the facts you aren't listening for just sail by unnoticed.

How can you criticize someone for failing to listen to you when they're listening to the only things they can hear? And how can that person apologize for failing to consider something that wasn't heard then, isn't heard now, and won't ever be heard unless somebody fixes the radio?

I only use my daughter as an example because she is now not only an adult, but a teacher who puts these people to shame every time she steps into her classroom. Her fifth-grade classroom.

Dave

Anonymous said...

As far as not toeing an ideological line, I do think that her opposing increased campus security measures is probably at odds with the average women's studies prof, if not the AAAS.

--M--

Jamil Hussein said...

I bring my politics into the classroom with me on a regular basis and I'm involved with political

I think this is something that teachers should avoid at all costs.

Students are not likely to challenge the worldview or political opinion of the teacher
who gives their grades (many teachers, not just as Gang88, have standard policy of punishing
those who have "wrong" political opinion). In fact, many teachers openly state that there is
no freedom of speech for those who disagree with them (e.g. critisising race quotas
or illegal immigration have serious consequences on campus nowadays..student group is expelled, your grade is F etc if you try to do that). I believe that you may be an exception and you do not punish students
who have different (conservative)political opinions but I would be very hesitant risking my grades.

I think teachers should totally avoid revealing what their political opinions are in the classroom.
In their spare time they have free speech right.

Cedarford said...

Quibble time with KC Johnson -

Item #1 - The recording was not in my position. I was only informed of its existence on the internet.
I know what you meant, but you may wish to revise if you send those two sentences out to someone else.

Leading to item #2 - Any time a person whose livelihood depends on their reputation is challenged by a fellow professional in the same field "in public" - be it academia, law, journalism, medicine, etc. - the expectation exists that the person whose reputation is attacked as a quack, charlatan, racist professor is furnished a transcript on request.

Professor Piot has not done that with his 10-minute diatribe on you, KC, and I hope you are either being forceful in not letting Piot (a)dodge with the notion that all his public remarks are off-record until they are published for money, or (b)allowing time to set the hook deeper in the race card-flashing fish.

*********************

Also well done KC, on going to moderating comments. The quality of the posts following your announcement has gone up exponentially, and I see some of your more thoughtful (and objective) posters are again making comments.

*********************
Thanks again, Locomotive Breath, whoever you are! You made a real contribution in reporting on the meeting and a few other "insider" observations about Duke and Durham you have made available to interested parties at Liestoppers and DIW.

I do know from my own "sources" that Faculty at Yale and RPI are pretty interested in this Group of 88 saga. It has stimulated debate in the context of the danger of faculty warring within itself, the wisdom of a portion striking out against students or external parties, and how to handle yourself once it is clear you were dead wrong. In a "lessons learned" mindset - "There but for a little more brains and prudence could we be in a similar situation as the poor progressives at Duke......" With RPI of course harsher than Yale on the missteps of Duke faculty. And Yale of course convinced that Yale is so good that the Group of 88 or the Larry Summers/Faust debacles would never happen at dear old Yale.

Anonymous said...

7:29 "Knowledge Worker" These people have no shame. I was just reading the Adobe annual report and a significant portion of their revenue is derived from supporting "knowledge workers."

The meaning of knowledge workers derives from the concept that those workers; actually work, create something of value/proprietary, that is important to others, so much so that it may need to be secured, easily exchanged so that others with approved trust levels may participate, etc. It generally refers to intellectual property protection, high-value assets, and the like.

To bastardize the meaning and use for something as useless as the race/gender/class warfare provides ANOTHER example of their sense of self-importance and how wide the gap is between what they think they provide society and the reality. Self-proclaimed knowledge worker...it would be funny, were it not so terribly sad.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:39am wrote: I must say, respectfully, that it is disappointing that charges of professorial misconduct (dishonesty and other) are issued by people who themselves refuse to be honest.

I respectfully submit to you that academic honesty and integrity on a college campus demands that such recording be permitted. Who gave permission for such a recording restriction? My donations to Duke helped pay for the heat and lights in the building where the "forum" took place. I want to know what went on...

For gosh sake, anon 6:39, what are you trying to hide? A "forum" with restrictions on recording? I can think of no "honest" reason for the duplicity.

BRODHEAD: Release the full recordings!!

Duke Alum 80

Steven Horwitz said...

Jamil,

I find it interesting that you assume I am a leftist/liberal and that those with different opinions from me are conservatives.

In fact, I'm a libertarian and I teach economics, so the students who disagree with me are usually on the left.

And, frankly, I think it's fine to offer my views on important matters of the day in the classroom, as long as I'm clear about what my standards for evaluation are. After all, faculty should be engaged with the world in all of those ways and we shouldn't try to hide it.

The key is not to evaluate students on that basis.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Boy, I had trouble scribbling down the rapid speak of Professor Lubiano but I'm pretty sure I wrote down two of her phrases correctly: (1) "our goal is to produce a new knowing as well as to unproduce what knowing as produced" and (2) "(Black Studies) can't rest on conventional knowledge and mastery".

In other words, (1) To know what we know, you have to forget what you knew; and (2) Our knowing is not based on anything factual.

Pardon me, but hasn't Professor Lubiana just given the classic definition of "propaganda"?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Prof. Horowitz. I've had mostly liberal, but some conservative (no surpise, mostly econ) professors.

Some would come right out with their political beliefs, some wouldn't. I went to a small liberal arts college where students had the opportunity to speak a whole lot in class.

I never had a professor who would punish a student for being conservative. As a matter of fact, I had this one professor who taught a class called "Human Rights and the War on Terror". This guy was beyond the pale. I'm pretty liberal, and I mentioned that -- yes, it is appropriate for Americans to look inside and criticize ourselves when we do wrong, because we can actually change what we do -- but why doesn't this class ever talk about how horrible the Taliban was, and how terrorism creates unique issues regarding treatment of prisoners, etc.?

The guy -- though he often sounded like Ward Churchill with some of his very critical statements of US foreign policy -- thanked me for being the first student to actually make a statement that would lead to classroom debate.

Look, colleges aren't trade schools. If you take a courseload with Poli Sci, Sociology, History, etc., it is going to be hard to find a professor who isn't passionate about their beliefs... and it is hard to imagine a learning setting that doesn't involve a back-and-forth with the professors and students.

So long as there is no punishment for diversity of thought, I have absolutely no problem with professors speaking their beliefs on an issue.

Gary Packwood said...

TO: Anonymous 7:37 AM

I think you put your finger on the central truth about this case with your observations about the G88 and their absolute lack of humanity.

When Reade for example, is a father himself someday, his children will ask him if he recalls details about his professors at Duke. Reade should say that there were many professors who were and are, in his memory, a comfort to him.

Unfortunately, Reade will say to the children that in his youth, there were 88 professor at Duke who were, and are in his memory, perfect examples of people who demonstrated an absolute lack of humanity towards young people and their families.

It will be instructive to learn what actions the Duke Alumni and the Board of Trustees are going to take to insure that this never happens again.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly my daughter asked me this morning what affirmative action is as she was preparing to go to school. This really caught me off guard since she is a Junior and is beginning to seriously consider schools.

I very much would appreciate comments on how to respond to her. We did visit briefly, but now that the door is open, I want her to fully understand the travesty of AA. Any and all help appreciated.

Though I'm not sure why she asked, I will spend time in expanded form this weekend to learn why she has interest.

Unfortunately she will likely not get into her first two schools of choice because of AA. Others are taking spots that student with her academic record historically earned.

She by the way will have about a dozen Advanced Placement classes under her belt and graduate from one of the top public high schools in the country. The competition is brutal and I must constantly reminder her that her peers are some of the best and brightest, and not to fixate on class rank - a tough chore.

AA is nothing more than reverse descrimination and a dumbing down of what use to be institutions of HIGHER learning. Duke has taken the lead in the race to the bottom as far as I'm concerned.

I must say that she will likely apply to Duke, but I'm going to have a difficult time writing a check for the application fee and at this point in time will stongly encourage her elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't glean a thing from what Lubiano was saying - and I was actually trying.

She sounded like she was in a speed reading contest. She seemed completely detached from what she was reading and there was no emotion in it whatsoever.

Her entire presentation would fit in well on the LSAT reading comprehension section. They give you a God-awful, tortuous passage to read and you have to quickly wade through the mess and decipher the point. I always wondered where in heck they dredged up these passages. I think I have the answer.

Anonymous said...

KC:

Please read Anon's 3:49 posting.

Again, I like posting here... but posts like this (whether by trolls who want to make this blog and its readers look bad or genuine) make me want to respond.

I'm trying to be a good boy!

Soobs said...

"As far as not toeing an ideological line, I do think that her opposing increased campus security measures is probably at odds with the average women's studies prof, if not the AAAS"

Unless you read back over the "listening statement" and come away with the quote about a "big black man" always being pulled over by the police. Then it seems to fit, IMO.

Gayle Miller said...

When someone's entire premise is based upon ZERO truth, the premise fails.

That's Gayle's law!

Anonymous said...

I just read the linked story regarding Hurricane Katrina and racism described by Lubiano and am appalled. Not so much by the poor arguments, but by the basic misunderstanding of syntax. If her persona was a parody made up by an acolyte of George Lincoln Rockwell, it could not have been more masterfully done. Shirley Q. Liquor has no humor advantage on Lubiano.

Tall T

Anonymous said...

4:09, 3:49 inre: AA, so what would you tell her? I'm open...to listen, but based upon your past comments, not likely to act on your advise. How's that for full disclosure?

The problem with intolerance, is intolerance.

Anonymous said...

4:09 Thank you for your kindness.

By the way as a father who has one in college and two to go, the question is bona fide. One would assume you do not have a teenage daughter or you would immediately acknowledge the oddity of one engaging dear ole dad with a thought provoking question. They are rare at this age.

At $46,000 per year...it is relevant. At a minimum it will cost me to fly to Durham, get a hotel, take the tour, pay the application fee, etc. Not an inexpensive proposition.

Further I'm paying for those attending Duke via subsidized Federal loans and grants. So if he slot is conceded to someone else I want to know how the process works.

It would also be interesting to understand how one Dept. analyzes applications vs. another, if at all. She has no defined academic path at this point.

Further, my father-in-law, sister-in-law, and wife all are Duke graduates. Given the behaviour of the Gang of 88 and the lack of leadership, I've got plenty of heavy things waying heavy on my mind.

Did you or do you attend Duke? Are you on the faculty? Care to offer any advice?

Kilgore said...

Thanks for the link to the Lubiano talk. I think LB nailed it. It's hard to imagine having to spend an hour listening to her. Twelve minutes was painful in a zen sort of way. I never got a sense of her actually teaching something...it seemed more like an audio version of the Sokal article. Filled with words that simply didn't connect and certainly didn't build ideas into a point that might be made. Null set seems to be a good descriptor. All of this didn't diminish the applause she recieved from an obviously partisan crowd.

I listened to both of the recordings and came away with a couple of impressions.

1. They seem to believe that they (academes) were the intellectual elite and also responsible for "enlightening" the public.

2. The listening ad was not about the lacrosse case.

3. The listening ad was not about the lacrosse case. ;>)

4. The silencing of academics has been a serious problem in the past and now they are victims of KC Johnson and others who are trying to silence them.

5. They are victims in solidarity with those who have been murdered, raped, lynched and otherwise tortured unfairly in the past. Together they can make a difference.

It reminded me of people living in a bubble. A bubble that simply filters out most of the real world. A bubble that was based on victimhood and suffering. A bubble that helps them maintain a fragile identity based on their perception of having been mistreated. It's a weird bubble and I am very thankful I am not in it with them.

Someone needs to call their cards.

Gary Packwood said...

TO: 3:49PM

Affirmative Action Defined

A program that became law with the passage of the Equal Economic Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1972, whereby employers, labor unions, employment agencies, and labor-management apprenticeship programs must actively seek to eliminate discrimination against and increase employment of women and minorities.

The phrase 'Must Actively Seek' is your discussion point for young folks.

Anonymous said...

How do you overcome the reluctance of male undergraduates to avoid anything with “gender” in the title?

If the CCI is any indication, it appears that Lubiano's proposed answer is to require them to take those courses whether they want to or not.

Only a few businesses, generally those possessing monopoly power (e.g. Microsoft, the old AT&T, the cable company) can get away with treating their customers like this. Of course, I realize that students are not merely customers and that universities have an obligation to uphold standards. But it appears in this case that they are instead allowing eccentric employees to abuse their paying customers. I am strongly in favor of unions and worker's rights, but this goes way too far.

-Firebug

dhd said...

Ah, Stanford, from whence Wahneeba hails. In 1996 a friend of my son, a red-headed young man of Irish descent, was placed in the Chicano-theme residential house there his freshman year. He emerged unscathered a red-headed Irishman.

An Afro-American department was forced onto Harvard in the seventies.

Duke is in its infancy as far as political correctness goes.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely abhorrent to me that the administration and faculty of Duke let harm come to their students. Through malice or from those timid professors that decided to stand on the sideline while the group of 88 did everything in their power to see harm come to the defendents. From the protests and inflamation of the criminal element NBPs that threatened Reid's life in court. No matter what dense prose Lubiano et. al. use, no matter what excuses they profer, no matter what obsfucation they offer to defend their words and actions, the bottom line is that they created great harm to their students and put their lives in mortal danger. Since when does a political agenda pushed by these professors equal a student's life ? I really don't care what their excuses may be, but the result is even if the defendents are judged to be innocent, the group of 88 at the very least has aided in the destruction of the defendent's futures. If the end truly justifies the means as it seems the Group of 88 believes, then Duke is truly located in the wrong country.

Anonymous said...

6:17 inre: AA advice - thanks GP

dukie said...

Hi, Im a duke student (07) and my comments have been erased off of another blog about the lax scandal (john in carolina). I do not know if you will erase this, but I have to at least try to enter this conversation. I notice that no other students have. I want to say say that I know Professor Lubiano and a good many other of the 88, and they are fantastic teachers. In fact, Lubiano, Piot and others get some of the highest evaluations here at Duke, and for good reason: they care about students. I know a good part of this blog is dedicated to critiquing that, so I dont expect you to agree with me, but it seemed wrong that you do not hear from students on these blogs. WHY IM WRITING: I have recently seen my profs attacked by hate mail, much of it extremely racist really ugly stuff. I would like the blog o sphere to know that the majority of us students - right and left - are horrified that this mail has been sent in our names. We are also really down that our classrooms feel policied -- thought-policed, if you will -- no, not by PC stuff, but by opening ourselves up to the same anonymous intimidation and threats that have been waged in emails at our profs. In such a state of fear we cannot talk about or get over any of the big issues surrounding the lax scandal if we feel we cannot speak freely about these issues. Ironically, the 88 that have been so sensationalized are precisely the profs who encorage debate about taboo subjects in our classes. I know that not everyone in the blog-o-sphere is into these kinds of intimidation tactics, but some people are using your debates to justify letting lose their inner racists. So, I ask that you here on this blog, no matter what your politics, please take a public stand against the racism and hate speech now being directed at my teachers. We can stop this behavior, I think, if we disown it. Im thinking of a petition or a op ed statement in the chronicle that distances yourselves from such behavior... it would really help here at Duke. Thank you.

dukie said...

Hi, Im a duke student (07) and my comments have been erased off of another blog (john in carolina). I do not know if you will erase this, but I have to at least try to enter this conversation. I notice that no other students have. I want to say say that I know Professor Lubiano and a good many other of the 88, and they are fantastic teachers. In fact, Lubiano, Piot and others get some of the highest evaluations here at Duke, and for good reason: they care about students. I have recently seen them attacked by hate mail, much of it extremely racist really ugly stuff. I would like the blog o sphere to know that the majority of us students are horrified that this mail has been sent in our names. We are also really down that our classrooms feel policied -- thought-polieced, if you will -- no, not by PC stuff, but by people who might scare us with hate mail. None of us can talk about or get over any of the big issues surrounding the lax scandal if we feel we cannot speak freely about these issues. Ironically, the 88 that have been so sensationalized are precisely the profs who encorage debate about taboo subjects in our classes. I ask that you here on this blog, no matter what your politics, please take a public stand against the racism and hate speech now being directed at my teachers. Im thinking of a petition or a op ed statement in the chronicle... it would really help us here at Duke.

Georgia Girl said...

What is so farfetched about Lubiano's definition of the "perfect offender". And is it not true that a group of perfect offenders (athletic tems and fraternities) operate no differently than a street game with a pack mentality?

Nobody forced the lax team into an explosive situation that would ultimately create waves of criticism and condemnation. They set themselves up! They invited a stripper over to gyrate her naked body, and things got out of hand. Why are people shocked that they are now suffering the consequences of stupidity, regardless of innocence? And they want an apology? The penalty of nationwide exposure is a harsh one, but life isn't fair.

Same goes for the accuser, regardless of innocence or guilt. What woman in her right mind would take her clothes off for a bunch of drunks? Nobody deserves rape, but isn't there a line to be drawn somewhere? Shouldn't women everywhere have a responsibility to protect themselves? This woman voluntarily chose a potentially volatile situation under the worst possible safety conditions. And she wants justice? She was NOT a perfect victim and that's why Nifong took extraordinary measures trying to prosecute a group of perfect offenders with a less than stellar reputation.

I have no empathy for anyone other than the parents of the accused, because I am a

Perfect Victim
(georgia girl)