Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Group of 88's E-Mail Canard

In the last two months, the Group of 88 has adopted a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand, they have (with the sole exception of Math professor Arlie Petters) defiantly refused to apologize or to even consider the possibility that their April 6 statement might have been ill-considered. On the other, they have fashioned themselves as besieged by “thousands” of anonymous racist or sexist e-mails. Duke administrators, including President Richard Brodhead and Provost Peter Lange, have accepted the second allegation at face value. Both issued statements condemning the e-mails—while also suggesting that such racist and sexist remarks occurred on blogs. (Neither Brodhead nor Lange, however, identified even one blog post that they considered unacceptable.)

In recent articles in the Chronicle and by AP, the Group has become dramatically more expansive regarding their e-mail claim. To the Chronicle, one Group member suggested a conspiracy to silence them. To the AP, Group member Lee Baker claimed “the white supremacists sites have our names and e-mails.”

Such assertions are hard to accept at face value. A conspiracy—an organized campaign—to send harassing e-mails across state lines targeted at African-American faculty could be construed as violating federal civil rights statutes. If the Group had any evidence to substantiate their new, expanded claims, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t have filed a complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s office.

What, however, of their claim to Steve Veres of the Chronicle, who reported that they had received “thousands of vitriolic, misogynist and racist e-mails”? This case, however, has featured a record of Group members defining hostile e-mails in a way that few people would recognize.

Take, for example, Group member Alex Rosenberg. In an October 27 interview with the New York Sun, the philosophy professor explained that he had signed the statement to protest the prevalence of alcohol on campus (the statement had no mention of alcohol) and because of his outrage at “affluent kids violating the law to get exploited women to take their clothes off when they could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds.” Moreover, he added, I had sent him a hostile e-mail accusing him of prejudging the case.

Yet I had retained the e-mail, and it said nothing of the sort. Instead, I told Rosenberg, “I noticed that you signed the so-called ‘listening’ statement; I also noticed, in looking through a recent motion, that you taught Reade Seligmann, who, it seems to me, is the one indisputable victim in this whole mess. I'm curious as to why you haven't spoken out on Seligmann's behalf; and whether, now that you've seen the way the investigation has proceeded, you have reconsidered your endorsement of the ‘listening’ statement.”

The Group’s assertion of hostile “e-mail campaigns” directed against them likewise stretches credulity. I know of only one e-mail campaign directed at the Group, from Friends of Duke organized late last December. That campaign, however, wasn’t targeted at African-American members (as the Group now alleges), and FODU spokesperson Trumpbour went out of his way to say FODU wanted to reach out to the Group. He 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.

As with my e-mail to Rosenberg, few, if any, people outside the Group of 88’s bubble would consider Trumpbour’s words to be hostile.

Then there’s Group of 88 leader Wahneema Lubiano. Yesterday, a DIW reader, and Duke alum, sent her the e-mail below:

I have read again that you regret in no way the ad placed in The Chronicle last year. I also know that you most likely received hateful e-mails because of it and your continued stance that it didn't play a part in condemning 45 young men. I do not condone hateful remarks being sent to you. However, I also disagree with you and other professors who signed onto the ad, not because I do not believe there are issues that should be dealt with at Duke, but because all of you used these young men and the rape hoax to do so.

After it has become absolutely clear these young men did not commit a crime, I am surprised you and your peers can not simply apologize for the timing of the ad and the efforts you made to capitalize on unlawful, absurd, hateful charges against these young men. So many more would take your overall efforts at Duke seriously if you and others would simply do that. Just say you're sorry. You are kidding nobody but yourself (and others incapable of admitting a mistake) if you maintain that you did nothing wrong and your efforts will suffer because of it. The very issues you hold dear and want to repair in this world are shining brightly into the eyes of these young men...racism, sexism, profiling...and they are every bit the victims you and your peers want to support. Please do so.

It would be hard to consider this e-mail “vitriolic,” or “misogynist,” or in any way improper. Lubiano, in her pose as a “public intellectual,” had adopted a position, and a Duke graduate was challenging her to defend her views.

But Lubiano interpreted the matter quite differently. She wrote back tartly,

I do not agree with you or your characterizations of my / our actions as you list them below; therefore, I am not going to apologize. You do not need to waste any more of your efforts in this matter.

Now that I've responded to you, I am placing your email address in my email filter so that I do not receive any more email messages from you.


We did not capitalize on unlawful, absurd, hateful charges against these young men.

It was difficult to miss the message in her postscript that she did not consider the charges “unlawful, absurd, [or] hateful.” But, taking at face value the Group’s pronouncements that they wanted dialogue, the DIW reader wrote back:

While you are at it you can place this address in your filter as well I guess. It baffles my mind how an educator of your stature would not engage in some kind of dialogue with an alum of the very University you work for. We are in absolute disagreement over your actions of the past year, there is no doubt about that. However, instead of taking the opportunity to discuss this fact you invoke a childish response of "nah, nah, nah, nah, you can't e-mail me anymore". Fine, instead of coming across as a reasonable person with the ability to, in the very least, TRY and see someone else's point of view, you have simply cemented the argument, with me at least, that you are so far out there the impact of your personal efforts to make real issues better will be minimal at best.
The Lubiano response?
What part of "I do not agree with your or your characterizations of my / our actions" do you not understand? I am not engaging in a dialogue with someone who insults me. A number of insults followed by a demand for apology when I do not agree that I have done wrong is not an invitation to a dialogue; it is the beginning of verbal fisticuffs. Find another friend to stalk.

If forced to describe any of these e-mails as hostile, I suspect that almost everyone would point to Lubiano's. And the Group of 88 leader certainly demonstrated a tendency to make baseless charges. The first e-mail contained “insults”? The second suggested “verbal fisticuffs”?

I have no doubt that Group members have received anonymous racist or sexist e-mails. I, too, have received nasty anonymous e-mails, and more than a few equally nasty anonymous comments in various comment threads.

The Group, however, appears to have adopted a strategy of defining hostile, or misogynist, or racist, or engaging in “verbal fisticuffs” in a way that stretches these terms beyond recognition--with the apparent purpose of deflecting any and all criticism that comes their way. Such deception, sadly, is what we have come to expect of the Group.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone have more on the e-mail that appears to have been fraudulently sent by police sometime before 4/17/06?

Police enter Edens for interviews
Lawyers question legitimacy of e-mail from player's account

The weekend was also marked by confusion about the origin of a suspicious e-mail sent from one of the player's accounts and by defense lawyers preparing for District Attorney Mike Nifong to present his evidence to the Grand Jury as early as Monday.

The e-mail sent from a player's account, which read "sorry guys" in the subject line, contained a brief message:

"I am going to go to the police tomorrow to tell them everything that I know," it said.

Ekstrand said the player denied sending the message-he said he was in class when the time-stamped message went out.

Defense attorneys for the players have speculated that police are attempting to entrap the players.

The DPD has e-mail account information for some team members from earlier in the investigation, Ekstrand said. DPD officials did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.

It occurs to me that the frame presented to Duke officials early on may have been put in very strong terms. Given that the police were apparently willing to engage in planting false evidence, can there be any doubt that in private communications, people from Duke were told that there was no question as to innocence? This would make Duke’s dropping all presumption of innocence at least a bit easier to understand. If this “evidence” was presented to the Grand Jury, this would seem to be an offense of the highest magnitude.

Of course the irony here is that had Duke not discouraged the players from seeking council in the early days, it is unlikely that they would have turned over their e-mail account passwords – making it difficult to send this e-mail and avoiding disclosure of the non-racial American Psycho e-mail that seems to have had a powerful effect on early opinions about the case. In fact, the lawyer they did provide could be in trouble if he did not make very clear to the players who he was representing or that they might want to consider hiring their own lawyers. Duke has to have known that there were at least some members of the DPD who were criminal in their treatment of Duke students and the Nofing had every political motivation and was actively exploiting things in a very anti-Duke way. Maybe if Duke had had a better lawyer present in any such meetings who would have made it clear to Nofing he was playing with fire, he might have been less reckless. There are a great many bullies who might have been somewhat more restrained if only someone in some position of authority had stood up. As I see it, the greatest offense the players committed was that they trusted those in authority – now this is something truly tragic.

This is where the G88 and other professional malcontents really seem to have had an effect: they distorted reality to the extent that people were willing to suspend their own critical evaluation of the facts in evidence. Again, Duke administrators should have known better. After all, there are plenty of prior acts one can easily find that should serve to make the highest levels of skepticism indispensable in any sort of consideration of a “case” of this nature. The same goes for the editors of the local press that had such an effect in taking the fraud national.

Duke went through a 10-year strategic hiring initiative specifically focused on hiring and retaining AA faculty, with an emphasis on female AA faculty. This was and still is seen as a major strategic priority. Another great irony here is that in seeking to be politically correct and “diverse”, they brought in the instruments of so much of the damage that has been done to themselves, not to mention to the so-called angry studies (deservedly so). Instead of enhancing their reputation, they have tarnished it.

Who can find fault in those who call it weak to not stand up to either the corrupt Durham public servants or the hate-mongers who have done so much harm here in the name of what is supposedly right? Perhaps it does take more strength to turn the other cheek, realizing that Duke exists in Durham and that faculty are more highly valued than students, but there has to be a balance.

I think if Duke were to make it clear that the DA was not only going around making all these statements in public, but that, in private, he went much further – so far as to fabricate what amounts to an admission of guilt – there would be more sympathy. Along these same lines, I think that they might state that there have been some in the Duke community who went too far and did actually harm innocent students, but they were misled and have learned from this – in fact, all sides have learned from this and are working together to ensure a stronger and wiser Duke emerges from the crucible of the last year. They could make the point that this has been hurtful all around – but the greatest harm has been done to innocent students. Is it so hard to say the word: innocent?

One obvious problem here is that both the public servants and the hate-mongers continue to operate against Duke’s interests. Duke should get a competent lawyer and PR advisor and figure out how forceful a statement they can make without exposing themselves to legal action or further bad PR. They should prepare such a statement and then figure out how to temper it just a bit by holding out the hope of everyone learning and moving forward in a constructive way. If they lose some AAAS faculty over this, I don’t see this as a bad thing. Hire replacements with some diversity of thought, those will actually do some good for race relations or solving problems that have a racial dimension to them. Or (imagine this), hire some to study Africa, rather than the AA end of things. I have to assume such people can be found – somewhere (hint: hiring those with degrees in AAAS may not be the best choice).

The day charges are dropped against the Duke 3, they should release the statement. They should do the right thing and apologize and try to make things right. If they don’t, it becomes very clear that they are incapable or either learning, acting, or both.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

If any of the 88 gangsters continue to trade e-mail with fellow gangster Houston Baker, they have naturally received hateful illiterate e-mail. From what we have seen in this case, that is his specialty.

Gprestonian said...

I wonder how the 88 would charaterize the Houston Baker email to a LAX parent (Mrs. Dowd, was it?)?

GPrestonian said...

LOL, JLS, that we both immediately thought of Houston Baker...

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

I suspect many here immediately think of Baker when they hear claims of hateful e-mails.

AMac said...

I interpreted Lubiano's emailed postscript very differently from Prof. Johnson.

She wrote:

"We did not capitalize on unlawful, absurd, hateful charges against these young men."

I think this is an example of what Royalty ("we are never wrong") thinks a Royal Apology should look like. That Lubiano is, in passing, distancing herself from Nifong's sinking ship. She's saying, "We've always recognized that the charges against these young men were unlawful, absurd, and hateful. But we did not capitalize on them."

While inconsistent with the language and the context of April 2006's Listening Statement, this reading aligns with the puzzlement (faux-puzzlement) of the January 2007 Clarifying Statement.

Lubiano is cleverly being opaque in her statements, I would guess because evidence of clear thinking would lead to unwelcome demands for intelligible responses to questions about the Listening Statement.

wayne fontes said...

KC, are you so cruel that that you must strip away the G88's victim status? Once that has been removed they have nothing left.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

I can't believe it. If Lubiano got any more infantile, she'd be whacking her rattle against her crib.

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you, these 88-er's need to be enrolled in 'Anger Management Class'-

I think it would be a reasonable minimum requirement to any civil penalties.

Anonymous said...

How long will Duke allow itself to be humiliated by the behavior and writings of these professors? The fraudulent e-mail needs to be investigated by the Justice Department.

Cedarford said...

I'm adding a link to the Sept 1992 edition of "Heterodoxy" in which is a tedious, but informative article on the state of critical syudies. Perhaps of interest to KC and other academics as a refresher snapshot of the same ol' issues as they stood 15 years ago.,%20No4.pdf

But what makes the article great at the beginning and near the end are two minor items:

1. Great centered and highlighted statement by Camille Paglia on the deplorable status of Woman's Studies in 1992 on Page 12.

2. Notation that PC is nothing to do with correctness and everything about it's proponents using all tools of emotional blackmail, racist allegations, and self-proclaimed victimhood to gain power. It was formed from watching Stanley Fish operate.

But the masterpiece of Treason of the Clerks" is the opening describing the life and times of Houston Baker. That part of the article centered on Bakers campaign to have a Center created for him, and when he got that - his war to Mau-Mau guilt trip, intimidate and shame the Psychology Department into surrendering control of the building's only bathroom and kitchenette to Baker's people.

Baker changed locks on the bathroom, wrote accusatory letters charging unprofessionalism and "unconscious bias" when a Psychology Prof used "his African Center's refrigerator" for storing bag lunch. It would be considered pathetic, juvenile...and Baker would be spanked soundly for his antics elsewhere.

But this was academia. It was about assertion of Will, and power accrual from showing your faction can get other faculty to knuckle under. Which translates into greater power in University to intimidate Administration, grow Departments, immunize them from being held to account for unproductive research and publication performance, and even start to control or heavily influence all hiring and student selection......

That meant months of lawyers and escalating demands by Baker to take over the whole building from the bewildered Psychologists, who feared that like U of Pennsylvania's Adult Ed Department that Baker got booted, they'd be next. So they hired their own lawyer. An apparant interim agreement to share the bathroom fell through when Baker had his minions deny the Psychology staff and students use of the bathroom outside the hours of 9 to 5 M-F, since the Psychology side had not gotten "Prof Baker's specific agreement to that".

In negotiations, Penn's lawyer confessed - not just the bathroom power struggle, but from many more controveries he created - Houston Baker Matters consumed 1/5th of the university's legal time.

The solution was classic cowardace. Penn caved to Houston's exclusive claims to the bathroom over the Psychology Department (in the building for decades) usage. A wall was built separating the African Center from "distractions" on the Psychology side, and a new bathroom was built for the Psychologists and their staff from an unused room on "their side" at a cost of 20,000 dollars.

KC has mentioned off and on that the Group of 88 seeks to advance their interests. IMO, they, like Baker, do not care in the slightest about the innocence or guilt of the accused, or the "correctness" part of PC. Anyone that writes them from that quaint notion it is all about logically persuading Wahneema, Karla, Chafe, and Thugniggah to see the errors of their ways is deluded.

It is all about advancing their power,

The Lacrosse "listening" scam blew up in their faces and made them look like assholes. So their response of course is not contriteness but more arrogant assertions and lies, and oh so predictably, wrapping themselves in the mantle of victimhood from "hateful racist emails" no one has seen.

And its working! They got control of CCI, got Departmental status for AAS. Are suceeding in Duke selecting students on race rather than performance (25% of incoming class is of minority background, they celebrate!)

The Group of 88 are just another platoon working the battlefield in a far bigger war than just for Duke's future.

hman said...

I really do not understand why Lubiano did this. Her response was devoid of content beyond, "Can't you hear what I said? I told you once already I did nothing wrong now remember your place and keep your mouth shut!"
Like,we are so impressed with the force of her intellect. If her goal was to avoid confessing she could have ignored the email alogether. Instead, she added another layer to the impression being formed that she and her cohorts are simply out of their comfort zone when a serious debate is taking place.

becket03 said...

To the AP, Group member Lee Baker claimed “the white supremacists sites have our names and e-mails.”

There was a case at Claremont University some years back where an adjunct professor of psychology, a 38 year old neophyte prof looking to make her bones in victimology, claimed that white supremacists vandalized her car in order to intimidate her. They wanted her to stop speaking out for the disadvantaged, she said, to stop speaking truth to power!

After a few days, as witnesses came forward who'd seen her in the act, she was forced to admit she'd trashed the car herself. The posture of brave and determined casualty in the culture wars was too appealing for her to resist, it appears.

Why do I get the feeling that Lee Baker craves that posture himself? Far be it for me to suggest that he trashed his own in-box (sock-puppetry, as it's known in the blogosphere), but unless he can provide proof that these white supremacist websites collected his name and email address, for me the faint but nutty odor of Claremont's erstwhile psych prof will forever waft around his name.


Bakerman said...

Regarding the Gang-of-88, certain definable pathologies come into play: Affirmative Action, the Peter Principle, the Bell Curve, and unfettered cognitive disorder.

Still, I would urge tenure for each and every one of them; bright students always learn more from the mistakes paraded before them.

Cedarford said...

Anonymous 12:01AM

Given that the police were apparently willing to engage in planting false evidence,

I wouldn't take it as a given, and I wouldn't even call it "planting evidence".

Police are allowed to lie, to use misdirection...(the fake - your friend is squealing and cutting a deal, you best too!! - gambit is almost a cliche) but with qualifiers in the ethical area. Such schemes should not spill out and involve, disrupt, and provoke backlash anger against police by targeting innocent civilian populations. Lying to drug dealers or the 5 guys in a credit card forgery ring or corrupt white collar guys on the fringes of a real estate scam or a pile of child molesters on the Internet is one thing ---lying to a group of non-criminal women at a luncheon to find "the one" who may have done a hit and run is another thing. Same with going in and disrupting a student population not suspected overall of criminal activity with similar lies.

Another great irony here is that in seeking to be politically correct and “diverse”, they brought in the instruments of so much of the damage that has been done to themselves, not to mention to the so-called angry studies..

For all the criticism of Dick Broadhead, much of it just, he was handed the deck of cards assembled by Nan Keohane, Stanley Fish, and a guillable Board of Trustees convinced that their new hires added enormous luster and prestige. And all the high-ranking Critical Theorists and Minority Studies high muckety-mucks ceaselessly flattered them for doing.

Anonymous said...

Wahneema Lubiano is perhaps the worst of the worst.

Like Cash Michaels, this glutton feeds at the table of victimhood and hyperbole.

Both have learned a few standard phrases read in books from the 70's and have made them into predictable screeching mantras.

Both never seem to learn that lies catch up with you.

Both never seem to learn that outside of uneducated black people who need a few clowns mugging for them as they attempt to turn all white people into the role of "oppressors", neither have the clout to sustain themselves among normal, decent, and fair-minded people.

If I see one more loudmouthed, overweight, eyebrow-raising-in-the-hopes-of-looking-"intellectual" black racist slandering the lacrosse players and who are unwilling to face the childishness of their behavior......

......I might strongly suggest publicly that there is a free barbecue and potato salad dinner out on the Chapel Hill Blvd. ......

.......and these utterly undisciplined gluttons will race to the finish to be first in line at the buffet.

One must deal with reality regarding this year-long hoax.

People like Michaels and Lubiano will go with the job offering the most free meals on the expense account.

If only Brodhead had known that reining in these loony clowns could be so easy.


Anonymous said...

I have seen this strategy many times before. Someone with a weak/indefensible position contrives to put themselves in the position of "victim" by describing an otherwise innocuous (albeit critical) message as "abusive" or "threatening" (or worse). This bully's strategy is meant to reverse the situation so that Lubiano is now the "victim" and the person who wrote to her is thrown on the defensive. Classic. I call this "the abuse of abuse". It is a weapon used frequently in workplaces now, capitalising on the political fear of charges of abuse, offence, racism or sexism. It's vile... and often effective. The likes of Lubiano and her ilk in the Gang of 88 (-1) have made careers off of this kind of cultural pathology of ours.

Anonymous said...

Tiny correction:

neither has the clout.....

Debrah :>)

(latenight in the oasis)

Anonymous said...

ALWAYS assume the position of VICTIM. The you are automatically in the right.

Falsely accused white men (particularly if they are well-off) can NEVER be victims in the minds of Lubiano et al. Even if they are not guilty of rape, then are guilty by virtue of who they are. That is the mentality that prevails with the Lubianos of this world. It is folly to try to reason with it. It is PURE ideology.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Cedarford - your 1:09 post was pretty incredible.

Anonymous said...

The existence of the hateful e-mails should be considered to be highly suspect. This claim, which seldom if ever has any supporting evidence to back it up, is just another classic McCarthyesque tactic by the PC types like the G-88. For example, this tactic has been used by Michael Bellesiles, Ward Churchill, and their apologists. Remember, when someone tried calling the police and Emory University to verify Bellesiles' claims of threatening and harassing behavior, it was proven to be non-existant. I suspect that the same applies here. Unless you accept their argument that a politely worded e-mail like the one Professor Johnson sent constitutes harassment. If it does, then that is the end of rational discourse as we know it.

Come to think of it, that's really the point, isn't it? The G-88, Chafe, and the rest of the crowd ganging up on the Duke 3 have stopped using emperical, rational data. Unfortunately, this problem is a lot bigger than just Duke. David Horowitz is a sloppy researcher, but his arguments for forcing some sort of intellectual diversity on higher education become much more credible each day this continues.

Anonymous said...

David Horowitz is a prince.


Anonymous said...

Although an aging, short little prince.


Anonymous said...

Lest we forget, it is DUKE UNIVERSITY that hired and promoted these people. It conferred status on them, and has given them a forum. The faculty and administration of Duke has created the monsters that are discrediting it. Now they fear them. Duke is architect of its own misfortunes.

AMac said...

Many of the rush-to-judgment faculty are productive academics; William Chafe is the oft-cited example. For good or ill, the protection of the tenure system is designed to insulate him from the effects of his unpopular opinions.

But a substantial proportion of the Group of 88 appear to be faux scholars, with publication records in their fields that would barely credit those at the graduate student level.

It would be interesting and, I suspect, embarrassing to identify the low-performing associate and full professors, and ask a simple question: who served on the committeess that promoted (or recruited) these individuals to the elite ranks of the tenured? Are they instances of promise-gone-unfulfilled, or was this a case of The Emporer's-New-Clothes writ large, with tenure committee votes cast in favor of obvious underperformers?

I would have thought that to be an outlandish proposition, until learning that Ward Churchill was a controversial fraud at the time that he was recruited to the University of Colorado. And his lack of accomplishment was no obstacle at all.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I can tell by your erudite comments that most of you are professors, albeit hiding behind nom de pleurs.

Let me put it straight for you who love academia:

Someone, I think it was Lubiano, said of this case, "White innocence equals black guilt". This is not true, but is half-true. The innocence of the lacrosse players equals SOMEONE'S guilt, but it is not blacks (outside of the Durham electorate). It is the Gang of 88.
"Lacrosse innocence equals Gang of 88 guilt." This is true.

It's true not just in this case but in the grander case.

The dancer's accusation against the lacrosse players is a perfect replica, in miniature, of the Gang of 88's accusation against American society. IT IS THEIR META-NARRATIVE WRIT SMALL.

In fact, w/o the lying meta-narrative of the Gang of 88 and their supporters throughout academia, this hoax is impossible to imagine.

For instance: the dancer KNEW that she could prove rape against someone -- she had enough DNA in her for a fertility lab. So, WHY did she CHOOSE to say it was "the WHITE boys"? Because she knew of the lying META-NARRATIVE and how it would support her.

What about the intake nurse, who asked her -- NOT, "Did something happen to you?", as she was instructed -- but "Were your raped?" She was a product of "Womens Studies" at the Univ of Maine -- in other words, another product of the lying meta-narrative.

Ladies and gentlemen of academia: You have a huge mess to clean up.

Anonymous said...

This blog is making my reading list too long. Thanks for the suggestion of Duke's Strategic Plan from Anonymous at 12:01 and for Cedarford's suggestion of "Heterodoxy." Below is Chapter 3, section 6, of the Strategic Plan found at

This section of the plan bows before the trinity of race, ethnicity, and gender.

Chapter 3 - Duke's Enduring Themes

Over the past two decades, Duke has worked hard to prompt and promote opportunities for faculty and students to engage deeply and genuinely with ideas and with each other. We have affirmed diversity as fundamental to our research and educational goals and have undertaken significant efforts to transform the campus into a more vibrant and inclusive community. Recognizing the importance of faculty as intellectual drivers, mentors, and role models, we have sought to tap into the widest range of talent by diversifying its members. These steps have included the Black Faculty Strategic Initiative, which more than doubled the number of African-American faculty over ten years (1993-2003); and the subsequent Faculty Diversity Initiative, which maintains our commitment to the growth of African-American faculty, but also broadens the scope of our efforts to encompass a wider range of cultural, ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds and to focus as well on underrepresented groups such as Latinos/Latinas and women in science.

We have also sought to diversify our undergraduate, graduate, and professional student bodies and provide them with depth of understanding of themselves and the world that equips them to become better scholars, leaders, and citizens. Our percentage of African-American undergraduates is among the highest among our peers, and the 2006 entering undergraduate class will represent over 40% students of color.

Finally, we have sought to provide both spaces and university-wide programs and events to promote greater understanding about the many expressions of cultural identities, to nurture new sensitivity to and respect for difference, and create an enriched teaching and learning environment for all.

Too often faculty members from underrepresented minorities are faced with extra burdens in their roles as citizens in our community. There remain significant lost opportunities to hire minority faculty and to retain them once they arrive at Duke. And our programs of research do not fully capture the opportunities represented by the expertise and interests of our faculty and students.

We must continue to diversify the faculty through the Faculty Diversity Initiative, supporting the expansion and retention of African American and other underrepresented faculty members and assuring the appropriate resources to further this goal.

We must continue to diversify our student body by pursuing aggressive admissions policies and offering as strong a program of need-blind undergraduate financial aid as our resources permit.

We must work both toward an enduring change in campus culture and toward inclusion through programming on campus and beyond.

We must seek opportunities to support disciplinary and interdisciplinary research programs on issues of race, ethnicity, and gender in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the professions.

Anonymous said...

Cedarford said: "For all the criticism of Dick Broadhead, much of it just, he was handed the deck of cards assembled by Nan Keohane, Stanley Fish, and a guillable Board of Trustees convinced that their new hires added enormous luster and prestige. And all the high-ranking Critical Theorists and Minority Studies high muckety-mucks ceaselessly flattered them for doing."

I agree that the Board of Trustees was gullible or naive, as most of them probably are not aware of the current climate in academia. I often wonder how the events of the past year are filtered up to them.
Where can more information on the role of Keohane in creating the climate that resulted in the campus turmoil over the hoax be obtained?

Anonymous said...

I think Lubiano is right: all this clamor for an apology is a waste of time.

I think she totally agrees that the "listening" ad capitalized on the fact that the allegations against the players had been made, but:

1. She disagrees that she thought they were "unlawful, absurd, hateful charges" when the ad capitalized on them, and

2. She won't apologize for the fact that the ad capitalized on the charges to anyone who accuses her of capitalizing on "unlawful, absurd, hateful" charges, even if that's how it looks when she keeps defending the ad after the charges have imploded.

Even if she could find a way to directly admit simply that the timing of the ad was unfortunate because the charges that they capitalized on (justifiably at the time, or so she thought) turned out to be false, sometimes the symbolism of an apology just makes it impossible to do.

We all have times when we do things we regret and we know that the right response is a direct apology. But there are other times when we do things we regret and we know it, but we're not about to prostrate ourselves over it if we think the ultimate cost of such an act is higher than the cost of just setting it aside and trying to do better next time. I'm not saying she's done that calculation correctly here, but I do think that's the calculation that has been made.

I may be alone on this, but I'd like to think there's a chance that, even with all this defiant-sounding language where the tiniest hint of an apology would really be nice, some of these people actually might understand the importance of trying to do better next time.


Anonymous said...

The arrogance of these Duke members of the Gang of 88 is astounding.

It brings back memories of school days in the teacher consistently took the position of "I, the teacher, and always right, while you, the student, are wrong, until I say otherwise".

A corollary of the above position is, "I, the teacher, never engage in true debate with my inferiors, which includes all students".

Lubiano, Rosenberg and their ilk are a disgrace to Duke University. They should resign their positions and move on.

Anonymous said...

I would not be surprised if evidence was planted. The players should thank their lucky stars that the guy in charge never got around to planting DNA.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating - truly. Bet I know why he wanted bathroom private esp after 5pm.

Anonymous said...

A very good post that needs to be made as public as it can be made. Three points:

1. Lubiano's "Social Disaster" essay of April 13, 2006, if read closely, is actually a call to those pushing social agendas to shift tactics from potbanging about rape to more generalized, but more "mundane," charges of misogyny and racial exploitation. That essay actually suggested that the members of the lacrosse team be homogenized so it became "team" misogyny and exploitation.
2. Those persons have also switched to the tactic of using anonymous, and therefore unverifiable, quotes, as a means of declaring there are still "victims."
3. Lubiano and the Group of 88 also started, late last year, referring to emails they were receiving, as "hate mail" or "racist" or "threatening," AGAIN without example. From what I've read here, the examples we now know of seem, putting it charitably, to be overinflated.

Prior to your post, no one has challenged her at all on her "create a victim" strategies. I'm glad to see it starting.

I would absolutely love to see ALL of her emails. I would also love to find out how many of the quotes she's been using are from her star students, grubbing for A's.

Short of a lawsuit, I know of no way she could ever be compelled to show what I believe would be a flimsy and fabricated backup to her statements to the light of day.


Anonymous said...

As students of Life in the Real World we all know that generally 'The Cover-Up' is worse than 'The Crime', whether it's in the Political Arena, The Business World etc. and now Academia.
'The Group of 88', in order to survive or regain a shred of credibility and decency, should admit their errors, exchange their hubris for humility offer an apology and ask for discussion and understanding. The great irony here is their failure to recognize that they are more of the problem that they are supposedly fighting against and are clearly not a part of any solution. In fact their behavior and rhetoric is Intolerant, Rigid, Anti-Intellectual and clearly about using perceived societal ills as leverage in their grand extortion schemes. History is filled with examples of their behavior.
Sadly the Duke Administration allows this charade to continue and the tarnish on our great University's name will continue for years; we are becoming the whipping post for the ills of higher education !

gak said...

I read the article that KC posted about Dr. Lubiano's "forth coming" books. The article states that she is tenured. If a professor is tenured and has posted what could be interpreted as lies or tried to doctor up her own credits, can Brodhead terminate her? I don't completely understand tenure. Could somebody please explain?

bill anderson said...

One has to realize that all too often, the most racist things that supposedly happen on college campuses are hoaxes, too. Think of the many incidents -- which I have labeled "Reichstag Fires" -- and see how these hoaxes were manifest and how people who are like Lubiano took advantage of them.

To Lubiano and her friends, any criticism of them is a hateful racist, sexist, homophobic, and whatever-ist act. People like her cannot stand any criticism.

Now, can you imagine what their classes are like? If they simply cannot dialog with anyone else, especially when they were part of a verbal lynch mob, then you can imagine how they treat students who don't agree with them.

The Kim Curtis business looms even greater. By the way, one lacrosse parent told me that some faculty members still are harassing lacrosse players. You have to understand the mentality these faculty members bring to the table. And there is no "dialoging" with them. Their entire academic lives are built on the self-monologue, so why should they change now?

Anonymous said...

The question of intimidating emails is relatively easy to resolve.
Simply put, emails are sent to a server which in turn send them to the appropriate account. A copy is retained (until deleted by the system administrators) at this server level.
Duke (Broadhead)can validate the allegations by checking the server level copies all emails sent to the Group of 88. It's time consuming and labor intensive but it can be done. Of course this validation can also disprove the allegations as well. Additionally, any evidence of a crime can be identified and tracked to the originating email account. This is not rocket science.
Mike Rayfield
Spring TX

AMac said...

Mike --

You allude to Sherlock Holmes' Dog that Didn't Bark.

The Group of 88, supported by Duke's top administrators, has been complaining for months about the volume of harassing and threatening emails they receive. There are technical approaches that can alleviate most of this problem. Blacklisting, whitelisting, IP tracing, Baysian spam-filtering, University Police screenings and referrals, etc.

If the problem as described (threats and harassment) is the core issue, surely progress in these areas would be well underway. On the other hand, if the opportunity is enhancement of victim status, such efforts are irrelevant at best.

What email initiatives have you heard about?

Anonymous said...

So if WL filtered the senders emails after the first email, why did she respond to the second. It is obvious why she does not want to engage in dialog: the more she speaks the more the weakness of her argument is revealed, as attested to by her second response.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I've heard "much ado about nothing". There appears to be no technical effort ongoing to identify the source of the abusive emails.
It seems to an outsider that the object of this miserable exercise is to validate "victimhood". Is that a word?
There is a remote possibility that a DPD or Duke University PD computer crimes expert is working on this aspect of the case.
What do you think the odds are? Say comparable to spending a cold day in a very HOT place!
Mike Rayfield
Spring, TX

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

Response to 8:57--The only reason WL responded to me the second time around is to create the story that she was being stalked. After the first e-mail (and probably before I sent it) I knew there would be no talking to this person. I used a second address simply to state what a shame it was she would not engage in conversation in any way. If my intent was to "stalk" I could have kept going...I have other e-mail addresses. ; )

Anonymous said...


Is it officially 8th grade in here now? There is no reason to provide more ammo to the narrow minded progressives on campus. That sort of comment has no place here.

Anonymous said...


I agree with you completely.

Anonymous said...

3:10 You could not have the scene at Durham Access more wrong. It was an intake CLERK who asked "were you raped?". A minnium wage employee - The Nurse to whom you refer with the Womens Studies worked at Duke University Hospital. The question is "Why are you here?"

Anonymous said...

What is, perhaps, most sad is that after a few years the Duke LAX controversy will only be followed by we who are the most interested and intrigued by its injustices. Nifong may become a verb, but these professors, and so many like them, will continue to do what they always have done on campuses across the nation.

Anonymous said...

88 village idiots = 88 severe personality disorders.

Anonymous said...

I don't completely understand tenure. Could somebody please explain?
Mar 15, 2007 8:06:00 AM

The tenure system in the U.S. evolved as a way of dealing with faculty being fired without good reason. The tenure system is one that requires an institution to give a formal warning of unsatisfactory conduct, and then to state the reason explicitly if a faculty member with tenure is fired, and to afford the opportunity for a hearing on these reasons. In the end the person still can be fired, if the administration so chooses and is willing to bear whatever publicity, likely embarrassing, that comes along with it, and every year tenured faculty are fired, generally for very good reasons, e.g., frequently showing up drunk. The strength of the tenure system comes only from its strong tradition at major American universities, which have found that it is better to tolerate some dissenters than to keep everyone following the administrative line at that moment.

People who are critical of tenure generally assume that without it everyone who disagrees with that person's viewpoint will be fired, but otherwise everything will be unchanged. That's unlikely. What has happened when a "no tenure" system has been tried is that the institution winds up with a weak faculty, since strong faculty prefer a place with a strong tenure system.

Anonymous said...

There's a pattern here:

- Want to make a point in an authentic voice? Make up some anonymous quotes where a student says just what you like and publish them to your target audience.

- Want to obscure your reprehensible acts? Make up some vile racist e-mails and either send them to yourself or just claim to have recieved them.

- For extra credit, spam the blog sites that expose you for what you are with actual racist posts of your own creation, to the point that the discussion boards have to be moderated.

The G88 has zero credibility at this point.

Gary Packwood said...

Re: The e-mail from the student...

"Sorry guys, I am going to go to the police tomorrow to tell them everything that I know," it said.

As Mike Rayfield of Spring, Tx 8:23 has been trying to tell everyone, if the police need to know anything about e-mails they go to the IT Department at Duke and ...ASK!

Mike is correct. This is not rocket science and it is not at all difficult for an employee of the IT department to seize an e-mail account and send out e-mails.

Also, young people don't usually send short e-mails, they send text messages to cell phone via the phone itself or AIM!

You remember AIM? Dave told the world he surrendered his AIM account to the police.

AIM = America On-Line Instant Message

More importantly, the e-mail itself makes no sense. What could he tell the police that the group would not already know?

The e-mail content tells me that someone was sending out an e-mail concerning a party that was supposed to happen but didn't. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the e-mail sender.

Along that line ..."Someone said The players should thank their lucky stars that the guy in charge never got around to planting DNA."

How do you know that they didn't plant DNA? Is there anyone on that campus that knows how to harvest and store DNA? Like people in the Med School?

Re: The screwy professors

Someone last week used the phrase 'unsuspecting normal people' when discussing the real world. I love that phrase!

In the very near future the thousands of 'unsuspecting normal people' in the USA who are reading about the G88 here, are going to ask for a national investigation of universities if ...sane faculty members don't take action soon to clean up their own house.

Duke has a fine business school and medical school and those faculty need to come forward with a Brillo Pad and start scrubbing. And they need to do that soon.

Succisa Virescit

Anonymous said...

The key reason that there is no arguing with the 88 is that, for most posters on this blog, the battle is one of ideas. For the 88, the battle is between blocs of people.

If you come to the battle as part of an "oppressor" group, you are assumed to be the enemy. Once you disagree, you ARE the enemy. The only path to acceptability with these people is self-abnegation almost to the point of self-destruction.

The bottom line is this debate is between the products of the Enlightenment vs. the products of petty, narrow-minded tribalism. For them, postmodern would seem to be a misnomer since they appear to be centuries short of achieving even "modern".

It is probably a waste of time to send emails to these people except to occasionally confirm how deluded and angry they are. The best way to deal with them is to engage them and their "thought" publicly. They can shut off their email but they cannot shut off challenges in the public square.

Public challenges will be a tremendous problem for them. If they are silent, this speaks volumes. If they say something, they hang themselves because they are put in a position of defending the indefensible.

Hopefully, their overreaching on this Duke case will be their undoing as well as the undoing of lockstep think-alikes throughout US academia.


Lesser Idiot said...

Oh, my god. Is there no way to fire these people?

xutag77 said...

Duke does NOT have a fine business school and medical school if those students are required to take classes from the Gang of 88.

Anonymous said...

They cannot really be fired. Technically, it's possible. Practically, impossible. The point is not to HIRE them in the first place. THat was DUKE's doing. Now it pays the price for its folly. Shed no tears for Duke University over all this. It created this mess when it chose to promote political correctness. The Gang of 88 is a creation of Duke University.

Anonymous said...

A propos of identifying the origin, receipt, and content of email, universities and commercial Internet Service Providers differ widely in policies and procedures for retaining both (a) logs of date, time, and origination / destination information, and (b) contents of the email messages. Some keep no record at all of message content after delivery, for example.

In addition it is comparatively straightforward to falsify the apparent origin of an email message. Neither the user name nor the host name appearing in an email header is necessarily trustworthy.

Finally, it should be noted that university students (and some faculty) routinely use off-campus email services (AOL, Yahoo, HotMail, Gmail, et al.), so Duke University policies on email server administration may or may not be relevant to determining who may have sent or received a particular message.

Anonymous said...

These clowns, the group of 88, are going to get sued. They have no constructive protection from/by Duke for making the statements they made. Take their money. Sue them for libel and slander. The way to force the issue is hit their checkbook.

Anonymous said...

Lubiano is infantile; a child posing as a grown woman. One of the things I have learnt about American life is that all the victim-posturing stories of "disenfranchised," minorities, women, and the gender-differentiated can be refuted by the non-activism of people with an identical demographic and social profile, who simply want to live their life and succeed. The individual man or woman is the honorable human. NOT the herdable creatures of dogma.

More than anything else written here, this set of email exchanges convinces me Wahneema Lubiana is personally empty of ethics. In that, I heretofore will consider her representative, if not significant, of her peers.

Extrapolating a larger understanding from this exchange, there seems little doubt the courses she teaches have no relation to life as a majority of Americans-- taxpayers and university students-- live it, but are simply extensions of a personal prejudice that limits any construct of "justice" to certain privileged groups; the very phenomenon it would seem her discipline originated to refute.

My understanding is that the "narrative of the West," is reflexively considered inherently racist, sexist, and anti-gay, and that this is the jumping-off point for educators like this. No wonder, then, they considered this case opportune, howsoever their theories about it, made large, are contradicted by the mass of law made to protect certain classes of Americans, and the desire I have observed, only anecdotally of course, of most Americans to act with fairness and compassion.

Alternative realities are good for the exercise of the intellect. Maybe Wahneema Lubiano should get outside the box and breathe a little different an atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Most of the hiring of the angry studies profs as well as larry monetta {student affairs head}occured during Kohaen's nine years as president.Ironicaly Chafe was dean of the faculty of arts and sciences faculty during the same time and was the chief recruter of A&S foculty.
BTY,useful illustrations of g88 behavior can be found in the Tawana Brawly hoax as well as the great white defendent in Bonfire of The Vanities and the disgusting prof and student journalist in I Am Chrolette Simmons.

Anonymous said...

You should remember, the angry studies faculty are a necessary part of the university. You must come to this conclusion if you assume there is pressure or desire to reach some sort of racial balance on campus. I work (non teaching) for the physics department in a small college, and our last 4 (or more, I can't remember back that far) faculty searches yielded NO minority or female candidates who were even minimally qualified (phd physics, some teaching experience). I would expect it is true for most / all campuses trying to hire minorities, when you can't offer industrial sized salaries and benefits. There just aren't that many minority / female graduates who want to take the pay cut to teach. At least, not in the sciences. Hence, the need to create areas where you can find "qualified candidates".
B. Alexander

Gary Packwood said...

Wahneema Lubiano... said...

'We did not capitalize on unlawful, absurd, hateful charges against these young men'

I missed that the first time I read this posting. Eyes are tired I guess.

Wahneema said ...WE.

I thought of her as a member of the G88 but it never occurred to me that she thinks of herself as a member of the G88.

Suppose the G88 is a member organization of the Teamsters? Nah. They would not meet the admission criteria for the Teamsters.

Anonymous said...

Seeing all of these pseudo Profs whining about the blogs expressing their contempt for them and now trying to don the mantle of victim, one can only wonder what would happen if people were running around campus banging pots and carrying signs urging that the gang of 88 be castrated while the DPD was putting out the word that they were in a conspiracy of silence to cover up a heinous crime....

Anonymous said...

you guys have got to be kidding! all the main blogs have had had racist posts. Cash proved that in his articles and the professors being targeted have saved all the hideous emails they have been sent. Nifong also saved his and he had search technology on his computer so he has some senders' email addresses and id's as well; i have heard that some of the group of 88 also had similar technology so they have some identites of their tormentors as well. The blogs have published their email addresses and several posts have advocated other bloggers sending them emails, etc. you guys are stupid if you think Brodhead and the group of 88 are not going to use your own racist, hateful emails againist you. They are engaged in a pr war and this is a big weapon againist you as many bloggers are guilty of writing racist and harassing emails. They will now use this to conflate the idea: pro duke blogger=internet racist. The term blog hooligan was the first step. You have seen nothing yet. The sheer volume of hate email the professors have recieved is the talk of Duke and that will be publicised next.