The professors do not really understand the outpouring of anger. One cited a conspiracy. Another cited the misinterpretation in the media.Statements in the article reinforce talking points common to the Group of 88 Rehab Tour.
They were just "listening" to students--as if professors routinely take out ads containing anonymous quotes from alleged students.
Professors had between 6 and 48 hours to make up their minds on whether to sign the ad--though the reasons for the rush have never been explianed, it appears that organizer Wahneema Lubiano wanted to ad to appear before the players' DNA tests came back.
Their African-American members have been targeted by mass e-mail campaigns of racists and misogynists--though the Group can never identify any of these campaigns. Indeed, the one and only mass e-mail campaign of which I know came from Friends of Duke, in which Trumpbour explicitly urged people to employ respectful language, adding,
We are committed not to forgetting the past, but learning from it and making Duke a better place going forward. The best way to do that is by encouraging the Group of 88 to live up to our best expectations for them rather than our worst and by looking for common ground with them. Also, there is yet a chance for them to make amends by speaking out at this critical time. Let us never forget that the one who has done the most damage to Duke and who has created the divisions within our community is Mike Nifong.Finally, Group members continue to issue statements that, to put it mildly, creatively interpret the past:
- Diane Nelson: "The lacrosse players' voices were being heard… our sense was that these other students who have an equal right to be heard were not at that moment." The gestation period for the ad was between March 29 and April 6. Daily potbangers protests were occurring. At the time, when and where were "the lacrosse players' voices . . . being heard"? Nelson, of course, doesn't say.
- Pedro Lasch: "I don't think it's worth responding to the bloggers' e-mails because they wanted [the discussion] to stop. They wanted all those questions, all those debates, all those discussions to stop right there. 'It was all a fabrication, you are making it all up,' they say. It's not true! And to say that is just utter self-deception." Lasch never quite says what "it" is--essentially confirming Richard Bertrand Spencer's point that "it is through [their] inarticulateness that the Group seeks to stake out a position that cannot be criticized or even rationally assessed."