Among the low points of the University’s response to the lacrosse affair was an April 20 “Conversation on Campus Culture,” President Brodhead’s first campus appearance after the indictments of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. At a gathering that Dean Sue told attendees would combat the campus “culture of crassness,” the only faculty member to speak was Mark Anthony (“thugniggaintellectual”) Neal, who describes himself as “the nigga that gonna intellectually choke the living s- -t out of you [his students].”
Most people might struggle to understand how such a figure could be uniquely qualified among the Duke faculty to combat a “culture of crassness.”
A few days ago, Liestoppers forums revealed that one of the students asked to speak at the panel seemed—like Neal—to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. Senior Dinushika Mohottige recalled that “throughout her undergraduate years, she facilitated and developed dozens of dialogues on identity and social-marker based oppression.”
Mohottige has a special role in the lacrosse case. She is, to my knowledge, the only person to publicly admit that, on March 29, 2006, she distributed the vigilante posters with the players’ photos around campus. She said she did so because
I’m so outraged by how heinous the crime was. But more than that, it’s the lack of compassion the lacrosse team has shown for the victim. I’m sure this incident will bring to light a lot of the privilege issues that exist on this campus. This story is a wake-up call for the university.
Most people might struggle to understand how such a figure could be considered someone whose guidance would be useful in improving “campus culture.” To reiterate: Mohottige had publicly admitted that she distributed the vigilante posters three weeks before she was invited to join President Brodhead at his first post-indictment campus appearance.
Mohottige has given no indication of reconsidering her opinion: a few weeks ago, she convened a panel discussing “the historical and modern-day experience of coercion that African American and
Mohottige distributed her poster at the “Take Back the Night” march at Duke. Last week, the Herald-Sun had an article noting that more than 700 people joined Mohottige at the 2006 event. But this year, fewer than 50 attended.
The decision of Mohottige and like-minded activists to convert last year’s march into an anti-lacrosse jihad obviously had consequences no one expected when the potbangers were riding high. But the Women’s Center official who coordinated the event, Sheila Broderick, refused to attribute the small turnout to a backlash against the group’s decision to back a claim that proved fraudulent.
Broderick offered other, more novel, explanations: an earlier-than-usual daylight savings time(!), perhaps. Or a rally then occurring to urge Duke women’s basketball coach Gail Goestenkors to remain at the school.
An ideologically charged event for activists who have refused to admit they got things wrong last year, or standing up for a women’s athletics program? It seems that Duke students last week made their choice.
In today's “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” category, Duke actually gives out a “Karla F.C. Holloway Award for Service to Duke.” The program does not indicate whether passing along fifth-hand, slanderous gossip about Duke students is considered “service to Duke,” though the 2006 winner, Wintta Woldemariam, was part of the rush-to-judgment minority of Duke students. In late March 2006, she announced, “I think this is very much a wake-up call, if not to the surrounding community, just to the people on this campus, that this type of thing is not acceptable.” Woldemariam did not define what she meant by the phrase “this type of thing.”
Another great column from Bill Anderson, calling for reframing the central question of the case: Since,
As he has throughout this case,
Kathleen Eckelt has a timely and thorough review of the newly released March 16, 2006 police photo of the accuser. The photo’s lack of bruises, she notes, forms part of a pattern in this case—a lack of evidence to confirm the accuser’s myriad, mutually contradictory tales. “You have to look at the type of rape that supposedly happened and exactly what occurred,” Eckelt argues, and the evidence that this case featured (the lack of DNA, for instance) didn’t correspond with what would have been expected.
“On the surface,” Eckelt observes, “it looks like a photograph of a normal, NON-INJURED female . . .
If she has been beaten around the eyes, you would expect to see redness and swelling almost immediately, no matter what race the person is. While bruising can’t be dated, it still goes through the normal progression of reddish to blue/purple to yellow/greenish in color. This can take days up to two weeks, depending on the type of bruise, where it’s at, and how deep it is. It’s not uncommon for bruises to take a day or two to start to show up.
Bruising at times may be hard to see on a dark skinned person. The key word is MAY. I’ve had plenty of dark skinned patients with bruises showing - often when they haven’t come in right away . . . Redness, however, shows up right away. I’ve never had any problem seeing redness on dark skinned patients. Due to the body’s inflammatory response syndrome, this type of injury should be apparent to the SANE examiner, if the patient came in early enough . . .
Two days after such injuries as claimed, I would expect to see more than just bruised, swollen eyes. In fact, I would not expect to see two identically bruised, swollen eyes - as was described by the accuser’s father.
I would expect to possibly still see some swelling and redness. I would expect to see abrasions and lacerations caused by fists. I would expect to see bruising start to develop. In the sane exam, I would have expected to see hemorrhaging in the white of the eyes and petechiae; probably a busted lip and eyebrow. If the fist (s) that hit the accuser wore a ring, there should have been a patterned abrasion left on the accuser.
. . . I see nothing, in this particular photo, that I would classify as an injury . . . I have not heard that there was any diagram sheet. This is important. No diagram sheet, no injuries!
Eckelt is on target, once again.
Salon brings unfortunate news of the latest hire by FOX News, Rachel Marsden, who, author Rebecca Traister suggests, made a false allegation of rape in the 1990s. Traister suggests that this record colored Marsden’s bizarre views to the Duke case. When asked by a colleague what should happen to the accuser, given her filing of fraudulent charges,
Marsden had jumped in with unusual speed, pooh-poohing possible repercussions for the woman who claimed she was raped by members of the
lacrosse team a year ago. “Charges are laid, charges are dropped,” said Marsden. “It happens all the time. Unless she can get charged with mischief and they can prove she lied, then no, [she shouldn’t be punished]. That’s the process and the process works.” But, argued [her colleague, Greg] Gutfeld, “Don’t you think that being accused of rape is as bad as being raped? Those guys’ lives were ruined!” Marsden bit back, “Let’s give it 10 years and see if their lives were ruined.” Duke University
FOX—especially Sean Hannity—has done good work on this case. It’s distressing to see the network bring on board someone who seems to have no problem with people filing false allegations.
I’ll believe it when I see it: Nifong’s tactics have suggested someone intent on carrying his case through to a disciplinary proceeding—and all-but-certain disbarment—rather than entering into some sort of plea deal.
There is an outside chance, meanwhile, that Nifong might not last as DA until his scheduled June 12 disciplinary hearing. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that NC Senate Democrats are moving forward with a bill to grant Governor Easley authority to suspend DA's that the Bar has accused of professional misconduct.
Having decided to go down with the Nifong ship, the Herald-Sun opposes the measure. It notes that the State Bar has called up Nifong on ethics charges, indicating that the system is working as it supposed to. So, in the H-S universe, the system is working well when one of the state's five largest cities has a DA that the State Bar has publicly accused of ethics violations, breaking three North Carolina laws, and violating the U.S. Constitution.