Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Farred's Secrets

Members of the faculty expect Duke students to meet high standards of performance and behavior. It is only appropriate, therefore, that the faculty adheres to comparably high standards in dealing with students . . . Students are fellow members of the university community, deserving of respect and consideration in their dealings with the faculty.

--Chapter Six, Duke Faculty Handbook

Yet another tape of anti-lacrosse extremist Grant Farred has surfaced—this one from a September address he gave on the Duke campus. In these remarks, the Group of 88 stalwart touched on some of the same themes he raised in his Williams talk last month. But three critical differences existed between the two talks.

  • First, Farred much more explicitly denounced Duke students beyond the lacrosse team.
  • Second, Farred approvingly quoted from the March 29, 2006 letter of Houston Baker, who advocated the immediate expulsion from Duke of the entire lacrosse team.
  • Third, while Farred claimed at Williams (after all charges had been dismissed) that he was indicting the lacrosse team for its pre-March 13 behavior, the main thrust of his September talk was the team party and the resulting charges. Nor did he make any mention of “perjury” or “hate crimes”—the two offenses with which he specifically charged lacrosse players in his Williams talk.

The tone, and in some cases, the words of the two talks were the same. But the offenses differed. It appears that Farred has flexible criteria for denunciation, as long as he could continue to denounce the “privileged white boys.”

As at Williams, Farred littered his talk with bizarre non-sequiturs. For instance, he deemed it of critical importance that “lax” is the common shorthand for lacrosse. (Audio clips of Farred’s words are in red.)

He mused, “L-A-X, as if it cleverly constructed—forgetting, of course, that the cost of the abbreviation if the salience of the X, that historic signifier of the American unknown. The unknowable sign that demands, naturally, an accounting for. Among these thoughts—the buried genocidal history of Native American founders of the game of lacrosse, their disenfranchisement, and, of course, the anger and resistance of the most famous “X” in American popular and political history, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (or, simply, Brother Malcolm X).”

Whoever came up with the abbreviation “lax” rather than “lac” knew not his great power. But this is, of course, the same Grant Farred who fantastically claimed that Jeff Van Gundy(!) set in motion a series of events that would reveal Yao Ming(!) as “the most profound threat to American empire.”

More seriously, Farred became the second Duke professor—joining Peter Wood—to link his own institution’s students with the deaths of Native Americans.

Whereas “the other” was the favorite item in Farred’s Williams talk, in his Duke remarks he went to great (if barely comprehensible) lengths about “secrets.” Noted Farred, “The damage that the secret, precisely because it operates as a secret, on and under conditions of secrecy, can do is operative only because the secret is presumed to be unrevealed, unrevealable.”

Actually, of course, the lacrosse players protested their innocence to anyone who would listen, and without hesitation “revealed” the truth about the evening to the special prosecutors.

The lacrosse players actually telling their story, it seems, was the last thing Farred wanted, since it would prevent him from speculating on evidence that might exist—“or not”—in the case. In his Duke talk, he wildly suggested that even if no rape occurred, prostitution did:

The political imperative to understand the precise, or even imprecise, nature of the exchanges that took place, that made the transaction from the Duke players and the black Durham women over money. The exchange of sexual favors. Or not. Or any other form of gain, loss, or sacrifice has been made necessary.

An obsession with team members’ sex lives has formed a recurring theme of Farred’s case commentary. “The secret of Duke lacrosse came,” he stated, “and continues to be burdened, arguably (overly so, we might argue), with its own history. The arrest and prosecution of lacrosse team members from Durham to Washington, D.C. A tendency toward misogyny and arrogant sexual prowess.”

Farred seems to have missed the Coleman Committee report, which definitively established that no “tendency toward misogyny” among team members existed.

The Group of 88 stalwart used the phrase “arrogant sexual prowess” in referring to 46 Duke students at least three times—in his Duke talk, in his October Herald-Sun op-ed, and in his Williams talk. Does anyone think that the Brodhead administration would have failed to enforce the provisions of Chapter Six (quoted above) if a white Duke professor thrice publicly denounced 46 black Duke students for their “arrogant sexual prowess”?

As he did in his October H-S op-ed, Farred also faulted the Duke students who wore “Innocent” armbands—and whose judgment has been wholly vindicated. At his Williams talk, the Group of 88 stalwart faulted AG Roy Cooper for proclaiming the players “innocent,” since such a declaration could not absolve them of their past behavior. Yet, in September, Farred made clear that his concern revolved solely around the definitive statement of innocence regarding the charges brought by Mike Nifong:

Blue Devil blue armbands, with white inscriptions, proclaim, ‘Innocent.’ No question mark. Simply a declaration. The stating of a truth. A truth that will not exceed its own secrets. That will not acknowledge that there is another party to the secret—a party now easily despised, ridiculed, named ‘stripper,’ ‘single mother,’ and yes, even occasionally, ‘N.C. Central student,’ and, who knows what worse. There is no recognition that this secret—it, instead, it is as if those lacrosse jersey numbers, the numbers of the ‘innocent,’ have no history of transgression, individually or metonymically.

What “history of transgression, individually” was Farred referring to regarding Reade Seligmann? Farred didn’t say on September 27, and he has never said since that date.

Farred did not confine his attacks to Seligmann, the other accused players, the other members of the lacrosse team, or even those Duke students who wore “Innocent” armbands. In a mirror image of attitudes prevalent among racist Southern whites of the civil rights era, he lashed out against those Duke students who sought to change the system from within by registering to vote:

Is this drive to register as putative, enfranchised citizens of the good city of Durham, this drive to impact the Durham political [process], driven by innocence, one wonders—the most widespread mobilization of the Duke campus since the campaign against Nike sweatshop labor.

To vote against Mike Nifong. To make the oldest “X,” the sign of the white male franchise, itself overridden with the mark of privilege, oppression, slavery, racism, utter contempt for black and native bodies. [emphasis added] To make that sign in the history of this country, to extend into the presence the deeply troubled past, to make the “X”—whether it is acknowledged as such or not—against women or, more specifically, against black female bodies. All that, one presumes, all that written into the “X” to ensure that the secret is kept secret, that the secret is kept in-house, where it belongs.

How, possibly, could this attack on the integrity of hundreds upon hundreds of the students of Farred’s own institution—linking them with privilege, oppression, slavery, and racism—be reconciled with the obligations imposed on all Duke faculty by Chapter Six?

Farred also criticized the response of the Duke Athletic Department.

Like the players, as we all know, the black woman’s secrets have been made public. But unlike them, she’s a recidivist, because she’s devoid of the Joe Aveya [sic] rationale—and I quote, ‘Boys will be boys.’ By which the Duke AD means, of course, privileged white boys should remain privileged white boys because they are, after all, white boys.

A powerful indictment of AD Joe Alleva, whose name Farred seemed unable to pronounce. Only one problem existed with Farred’s assertion—Alleva never said the quote that Farred attributed to him.

A Lexis/Nexis search of “Alleva” and “boys will be boys” revealed one match—a March 29, 2006 article in the N&O. Yet the quote in question came not from Alleva but from Amina Turner, executive director of the transparently pro-prosecution state NAACP. Turner’s assertion: “Our concern is because of the confluence of race, class and gender to make sure it doesn’t become another ‘boys-will-be-boys’ situation.”

When the facts don’t fit the argument, it appears, simply make up the facts.

Farred closed his Duke talk by foreseeing the end of the case, when

we will have nothing but our numbers. Those on the back of a jersey—three jerseys in particular. The amount of Duke students who changed, and perhaps even now are changing, their voter registration [to] Durham, to defeat the law, to make their politically critical “X’s” in a city they have historically marked themselves off from. [emphasis added] Other numbers? The length of sentences or not, in years or months. The vast sums spent on securing top-notch attorneys and glitzy, ruthless P.R. firms.

Exactly what were these “glitzy, ruthless P.R. firms”? Farred doesn’t say: it must be a secret. And how could Duke students seeking to oust a D.A. who would less than two months later charged by the Bar with breaking three laws and violating the U.S. Constitution be aiming “to defeat the law”?* Again, Farred doesn’t say: it must be a secret. And why should people who were factually innocent worry about “the length of sentences”? As with Reade Seligmann’s alleged “transgressions,” Farred doesn’t say: it must be a secret.

It seems as if—for someone who so denounces “secrecy”—Farred has a lot of “secrets.”

*--modified for clarity

134 comments:

rrhamilton said...

And yet according to President Schapiro of Williams College, it's you, KC, and not Farred, who must be confronted and criticized.

Anonymous said...

The board of trustees' worst nightmare--

Discovery at Grant's place.

This will be too funny.

Polanski

No Tellin said...

Sure seems like Farred has a lot of pent up hate. You really have to hate yourself and the world to be so warped and vindictive.

If your goal is to make the world a better place, incoherent vitriol won't work.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we can talk Williams into keeping this excuse of a human being up north for a few more winters.

Anonymous said...

KC - Beyond words. Was he always like this or has he gotten crazier as the years have advanced? What is really amazing is that folk make a living with this stuff.

Anonymous said...

As a former student, with whom he flirted, AND as a Native American, it is very difficult for me to not despise Farred.

However, I never found him an enviable human being.

His life seems droll, and apparently he's stuck at Duke, the Mecca of racism: how apropos.

david m. brooks said...

That will not acknowledge that there is another party to the secret—a party now easily despised, ridiculed, named ‘stripper,’ ‘single mother,’ and yes, even occasionally, ‘N.C. Central student,’ and, who knows what worse. There is no recognition that this secret—it, instead, it is as if those lacrosse jersey numbers, the numbers of the ‘innocent,’ have no history of transgression, individually or metonymically.

Ok, I had to learn and look up a new word; "metonymically." And after I did, this made even less sense.

And these smug lefties call themselves the "reality-based community?"

Bella said...

I hope all of those Duke students who registered to vote in Durham to "defeat the law" now start a petition to "defeat" the outrageous LIAR that is Farred. Anyone who clearly hates students as much as Farred does should not be allowed to educate anyone.

scott said...

This man is mentally ill and a danger to himself and others (the latter not to be confused with "the other", which Farred refers to incessantly).

I couldn't care less if he does something to himself, but he either needs to get some serious treatment and get well or be confined so that the rest of the people he could come in contact with, if left free to roam, are not injured.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine listening to this crap for an entire semester? I agree with anon. 12:17: Grant, stay at Williams!

Gary Packwood said...

K.C. said...
...It appears that Farred has flexible criteria for denunciation, as long as he could continue to denounce the “privileged” white boys.
::
This sentence brought back memories of my time in graduate school where I spent weeks reading the transcripts from the Nuremberg Trial (1945-1946).

This particular statement brought back memories of the Russian prosecutor who said something similar along the lines of ...the defendants (Nazi Generals) had flexible criteria for denunciation, as long as they could continue to denounce the "privileged" Jews.

The Allies provided the condition of 'due process' whereby the Generals could defend themselves in open court.
Perhaps we should do the same for Professor Farred.
::
GP

Tyler Hissey said...

It is funny. Grant Farred, who is supposed to speak out and teach against racism, could be one of the most racist people I have read about regarding this case.

When discussing secret racism, Farred should take a long hard look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

david m. brooks:

"Metonymically" applies to the numbers of the lacrosse jerseys representing both "just numbers" and the players who wore them. Farred used the term correctly.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

"Bizarre" is the perfect word to describe Farred's presentation.

I listened to the webcast of the Sept. forum and started to count how many times he used the word "secret." I eventually lost count. He just droned on and on as he read from his prepared paper and probably thought he was quite clever since he could reveal so many "secrets."

I just kept wondering how Duke ever hired him and hoped that maybe Williams can woo him away permanently.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Professor Johnson, I believe you should change this part:

And how could Duke students seeking to oust a D.A. who was charged by the Bar with breaking three laws and violating the U.S. Constitution be aiming “to defeat the law”?

of the end of your post.

Since you were talking about something Farred said during his September speech at Duke, Nifong was not yet ...charged by the Bar with breaking three laws and violating the U.S. Constitution.... Thus I think your rhetorical question makes an unfair ending to an excellent post.

A better ending would be to say something like, And how could Duke students seeking to oust a D.A. by legally registering to vote and legally voting be aiming “to defeat the law”?

Anonymous said...

Farred is just another Duke embarrassment. Do the trustees have no shame?

KC Johnson said...

Modified the sentence in the next-to-last paragraph for clarity.

Anonymous said...

DOes this mean that the City of Los Angeles needs to change the FAA Identifier for its airport?

What are going to be the costs of such a change? What is going to be the costs of updating the Software systems, retraining all of the Travel Industry personel, and upodating all of the advertising literature.

Oops, are these economic concerns really secret racism?

hman said...

This is not complicated, really. Farred is just very stupid. He talks and argues like a stupid person. And for some murky reason he is called a professor - some places anyway.
I would pay good money to watch him try to do long division. I do have a bit of a cruel streak. I could enjoy watching a gang of cripples trying to out-run a pack of dogs, for example. Same thing as watching Farred undertake completing any of the truly challenging tasks that the modern world offers.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see how he would do in a basic Freshmen level Computer Science course that requires the students to think with discipline and solve logic problems.

I would also suggest like to him take a basic technical writing course so that he can attempt to to put his thoughts down on paper in clear and concise language without excess verbiage (gobbldeygook).

On the other hand, can his thoughts be placed on paer in precise and clear language?

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

The only thing dumber than Grant Farred is the university that hired him.

Anonymous said...

OK ok, come on now Farred isn't that bad. After all he hasn't been named as the defendant in a lawsuit (which has been quietly settled to the plaintiff's satisfaction) for failing a student just because he was a lax player.

And remember, Farred didn't pen a public letter that was outwardly racist denouncing white male athletic privelege, violent drunken white males who caused harm, and calling for the entire team to be expelled before any facts were known.

In the "faculty making themselves look like complete idiots category" he barely makes it into the top 3.

I'm sure that Chafe, Lubiano, Holloway, Davidson and others have said and done things far more embarrasing to themselves and Duke than Farred. Actually he may not even be in the top 10.

I am still trying to figure out how Kim Curtis is still listed as a member of the faculty on Duke's website. In fact, not a single member of the faculty or administration has said one critical word about the good Professor Curtis.

As a member of the Duke faculty, what exactly does one have to do in order to be criticized, much less lose their job?

Let's face it. At this point Duke's faculty and administration are a complete and total embarrassment and disgrace. I just feel badly for the majority of the good, sensible, professional Duke faculty that have now had their reputations besmirched by these clowns.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs, KIM CURTIS IS A DISGRACE!!!
How can you continue to employ her???? What is going on at Duke??

Anonymous said...

broadrot will only terminate students...show me any professor let go ...he manages like a commie

Mike Lee said...

The Dowd settlement and its confidentiality have left some unanswered questions.

"It makes me wonder if we've gotten the full story about who allowed Dowd's undeserved grade. Were there others present who actually carried out the grade retaliation and are being protected by everyone else who was there? How do we know who was there"

Kim Curtis is an absolute disgrace and yet Duke continues to employ her. The most spineless disheartening aspect of this whole sordid affair.

Joe T. said...

Farred sounds like such a nonsensical clown.

Gary said...

KC, you got it all wrong!

Here's a web page that spews out content-less but grammatical postmodern articles (with citations!):
http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo

Refresh the page to get ever new yet content-less post modernism. Understand that web page and you understand Farred. Understand Farred and you will not bother to argue with him.

They are both Logorrhoea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logorrhoea) machines.


SERIOUS COMMENT: These post-modern types seem to think reason and rationality are the "white man's" culture and so they instead promote emotion and passion as authentic communication. Somehow passion is supposed to be deeper and therefor uniting. But it's just the opposite: Reason has much more hope of finding common bonds than emotion and passion which tend to focus on "us vs. them".

H. Hatwater said...

I wonder if these various "88" characters would want to play themselves in the upcoming TV mini-series... using their own words.

Also, I can't shake the image of Nifong fetching the morning paper dressed in a bathrobe.

But sadly, it seems unlikely he would make himself available for the role of the lead villain - then again, I wouldn't put it past him, especially if it violates some provision of his current office.

I'm also trying to imagine who would play Brodhead's part, and Reade's (Matt Damon?).

In any event, Durham in Wonderland may be the biggest thing since "Roots."

Wait... I know who could play Nifong; Al Franken! Easy, too, just plaster Bush's kisser all over the studio...

"CUT, CUT, CUT!! FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME, CUT! Jill, wipe the foam off Mr. Franken's face!"

Anonymous said...

This weekend I was reading a book that discussed the Arabic language as "lacking clarity," Carmichael, J., The Shaping of the Arabs, Macmillan, New York, 1967. In the book, he states that part of the problem of their acceptance of Western society is that their language is not conducive to a modern life of machines and scientific thought. I think the same could be said of Farred.

Anonymous said...

KC,the ability to ignore reality or make up your own reality or myth and is very powerful. Farred is just trying to retain power.
This resonates in certain circles I'm sure. What do you think of this?
from The Birmington Times
by Hazel Trice Edney
NNPA Washington Correspondent
Originally posted 5/8/2007

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Millions of students who attend America’s public schools are being indoctrinated with “Eurocentric” curricula that diminish their history and cause them to feel less than their White counterparts.

That is the contention of Carl Noldon, a senior honor roll student at the Bronx High School for the Visual Arts, in a speech written for a Black History Month program, which, amidst controversy, was never presented.


“What I have to say is designed for the enlightenment of those who suffer from a school system that hypocritically manipulates Black history in a way that causes a disconnection from Black students and their history,” Noldon writes in the speech. “If you try to make a Black child co-exist with a racist school system or a Eurocentric school system, then you are basically putting that child back into slavery, perhaps mental slavery…There is something wrong with the educational system and the country. I believe the parents should take an active role in challenging the school system and even the curriculum of this school so that any residue of Eurocentrism is gone.”

Noldon continues, “All the history teachers I ever had were White and from every last one of them I never received the link to the genius of Africa. Those teachers always taught European history with a much stronger emphasis. The result was I was brainwashed. I was brainwashed because I thought genius equated to White people because the teachers talked about how much a genius a person like Einstein was or the Greeks.

“Later on I had to realize that those people that the White history teachers talked so greatly about were used as devices to implant a slave mentality in me and an inferiority complex. But, what the textbooks never taught me was how Europe took a lot from Africa and how Africa precedes Europe with thousands of years of philosophical, religious, mathematical, scientific, artistic, and medicinal knowledge. The African represented a genius so powerful that advanced civilizations flourished even before the concept of Europe was thought of.”
There is more in the article.

Anonymous said...

Most watched video on Fox News is the Duke LAX success!

bill anderson said...

And yet according to President Schapiro of Williams College, it's you, KC, and not Farred, who must be confronted and criticized.

May 16, 2007 12:12:00 AM


Yes, K.C., it is YOU who is at fault for not recognizing Fart-Head's brilliant rhetoric and not appreciating the Greatness of Grant Fart-Head.

By the way, in my conversations with other Duke faculty members (who will be unnamed), I can tell you that they think this guy is a nut case and a disgrace. My guess is that Duke hired him for Angry Studies precisely because of his nuttiness.

But, if the president of Williams College stands behind this guy, then it tells me that Williams simply has gone over the deep end.

wayne fontes said...

It's been a tough month for the G88. First the Duke three not only have the charges against them dropped but are declared factually innocent by the AG. Then the Reverend Jerry Falwell whose philosophy has been such a touchstone for the G88 as they focused on the drinking habits and sexual prowess of the Lax team passed on. Perhaps some of the G88 will go to Liberty University to help fill the void left by Falwell.

The video of Farred's talk can be viewed in it's entirety Here

I wonder what Farred thinks the significance of X is in the phrase "Have a Merry Xmass"?

NDLax84 said...

Jennings: Teaching is just a way to pay the bills until I finish my novel.
Boon: How long you been workin' on it?
Jennings: Four and a half years.
Pinto: It must be very good.
Jennings: It's a piece of sh!t. Would anyone like to smoke some pot?

Anonymous said...

Alia sez:

Nearly immediately after the "episode", some fnord journalist attempted to link what (never) happened at Buchanan street to author Tom Wolfe's "My Name is Charlotte Sims" -- wherein the athletes are all knuckledraggers -- as proof, no less, that CGM's stories *must* be true. I mean, if a fiction writer has said it is so, it must be so in re CGM's stories.

Life, obviously, imitating art...

Anonymous said...

tom wolfe, a priviledged white man himself, wrote charlotte simmons after his daughter attended duke and he did research at duke. it is notable that lacrosse players are depicted as sexual predators in the novel many months before the scandal. you have to wonder why a fellow white elite would depict them so. i think it is not a coincidence but an example of the truths in the novel;wolfe started his career in nonfiction and is famous as a writer/interviewer and he definitely spent most of his time researching and interviwing kids at duke.

As for farrad, once again individuals like kc and bill anderson are attacking someone at a more elite institution than they are. at the end of the day, farrad teaches at duke...and you two do not. besides which, farrad gave an excellent deconstruction on the historical/social aspects of this case. he is not a racist;he has no pent up hate. discussing racism and racist actions and denouncing it does not a racist make. this trying to turn things around and declare a black person a racist because they criticise white racist actions is not going to work because people can see it for the transparent lie it is; your attempts to do this are laughable. the players are guilty of racist actions and verbal abuse and farrad is corect in saying so. he is also correct to bring up finerty's problems in dc; just because that was vacated does not mean the conviction did not happen. it did happen and the type of person calling a person faggot unprovoked while underage drinking and then trying to assault that person is very likely to try to beat up a woman who is just a stripper; it goes to the man's overall character or lack of it. the dc judge stated he did not believe the testimony of the witnesses or the bought priest and found him guilty.

bill anderson said...

7:35 presents comic relief.

Yes, no doubt K.C. and I fret every day that we do not get to teach at a place where the administration bows down to the radical faculty members who cannot spell or write complete sentences.

At the end of the day, you are right, Fart-Head is at Duke and I am not. So what?

By the way, other Duke faculty members have their own Grant Fart-Head stories, and they are hilarious. At one meeting to debate the war in Iraq, a faculty member who was against the war nonetheless agreed to give a rhetorical argument for it.

Within a couple minutes after he began his talk, Fart-Head started screaming at him that he was a "war criminal" and so on. The guy is a joke on campus, but the Angry Studies people are the only ones who seem to recognize his "brilliance."

I also find this person's post interesting in that he or she alleges that Collin Finnerty beat up Crystal. There is no evidence, but as you can see, Marxists don't need evidence. I would like to say they need only rhetoric, but as one can see from the spelling and sentence construction that this Marxist does not even do that very well.

I surmise that the poster either is Houston Baker or Yolanda Carrington or one of their allies. No one else can be so articulate while at the same time thinking of himself or herself as being "brilliant."

bill anderson said...

By the way, lest anyone think that Marxism is just a harmless set of thoughts, see how the Marxists in the Duke case have expressed their views on law. As they see it, if one is "politically incorrect," then that person is guilty of a crime against the people.

Please remember that the people who held the views of Holloway, Baker, and Fart-Head also murdered and slaughtered more people than any other set of heads of government in world history. These people are the political allies of Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot. By the way, if they had power, real political power, they would then kill millions. I am not exaggerating when I say that.

For example, Pol Pot and his allies concocted their plan to eradicate most of the population of Cambodia while they still were graduate students in France. In other words, they were approaching the issue as "intellectuals," and we see what happens when "intellectuals" like them actually gain power.

gak said...

anon @ 7:35 said "the players are guilty of racist actions and verbal abuse and farrad is corect in saying so.

to anon @ 7:35
Why is it you will hang the players for verbal abuse to this day when Kim Roberts clearly admitted on 60 minutes that she started it? What racist actions are they guilty of. The police and public have tapes to 911 and witness statements saying the girls started it and yet they are as pure as the driven snow. Why is it ok for these girls to work in the sex industry, but not ok for the boys to hire them? I mean....Grow up!!!

mac said...

Wayne Fontes:
Leave Jerry out of this; have some
decency.

7:35 am
Huh?
If you exhanged a couple of words
Farred used about "sexual prowess,"
you could think it was a piece
written by white supremacist groups
like "Christian Nation" (NOT
"Christian," actually)
or The Order (a misspelling
of "The Ordure.")

Farred's screed is not original,
in other words: he's plagiarized
it from white supremacist nutballs.

Here are a couple of other
hypothetical explanations for
Farred's interesting behavior:

It (his behavior) has it's Secret
roots in his "Other"-other,
which is the white man is
trapped inside Mr. Farred,
hurling itself against his
black exterior.

Perhaps Grant Farred has a secret
fantasy about white men and black
women?

gak said...

Can somebody explain to me why a professor like H. Baker would jump ship at Duke to go to Tenn. to Vanderbilt? (sp)

I still find it humorous that he would be so outspoken on the subject with his history of sexual abuse

Anonymous said...

I realize I'm dating myself here, but Farred's speech pattern reminds me of Hank Kimble, the County Agent on 'Green Acres'.

mac said...

It's interesting that Farred
would spend so much time trying
to seek out "secret racism" in others
and his own overt racism is so
clear.

No doubt about it: if he were
white, he'd be named David Duke,
or he'd have authored the infamous
"Turner Diaries."

P. Rich said...

There are, I think, three Duke Universities (ignoring all those pesky students for the moment):

1. Angry/Stupid Studies faculty, which encompasses the Gang as well as sympathizers and True Believers who did not sign the infamous missive but secretly wanted to. I expect there are a number of the latter also lurking about in the arts, humanities, education, anthropology, history, sociology, psychology, nursing, etc.

2. The administration, with its stalwart leader Brodhead the Brave.

3. Actual professors in the medical, business, engineering, physics, hard sciences , math, etc. disciplines - as well as holdouts elsewhere. Some of these might even vote Republican.

Lumping that third group in with the rest as "Duke" isn't exactly fair. By and large these folks aren't interested in making spectacles of themselves outside of their respective fields. They quietly get up in the morning, go to work, teach a bit, maybe do a little research and writing, and go home. They are intelligent, rational and capable (for the most part) - all of which clearly separates them from groups 1 and 2. I think they deserve better treatment.

Anonymous said...

For Bill Anderson:

The whole diatribe from people like Farrad reminds me of the book and Movie Dr Zhivago.

The phrase that sticks in my head goes along something like this:

"As the military battle comes to it's conclusion, the ideologcal and political battle will intensify. Everyone will be judged by their political and idealogical purity reguardless of their of previous military contributuion."

This was after the partisans had kidnapped the Dr from his daughter and Family because they needed a Dr for the wounded. They were debating whether to let the Dr. from his military obligation.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty cynical about management pinheads everywhere, including at Duke, but I again predict that Kim Curtis will be shit-canned.

Her spousal attachment notwithstanding, "Visiting Associate Professors" are disposable as Kleenex, and this one has cost her employer cash-money with her unlawful and plain stupid conduct. (Note: not just stupid words, but stupid conduct.)

Kim Curtis will be quietly disposed of. Good riddance.

bill anderson said...

8:29,

I have used that line often in discussing how Marxists think and act. People like Grant Fart-Head fit right into that mold.

I will be the first to admit that my mathematical modeling skills are not at the level that many Duke economists have, and I did not receive my doctorate until I was 45, which pretty much would have kept me from being able to apply for jobs at more elite places.

But I knew that when I went to graduate school, and did not care a whit. I enjoy where I work and do a pretty good job, and have a good academic publishing record. In fact, I can assure you that I have a better academic publishing record than many of the G88, so I do not apologize for teaching at Frostburg State University.

In fact, I am glad to be here.

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassing, ignorant fool this Farred is. Why is he teaching anywhere?

Anonymous said...

"LAX"--semiotics is great and all, but the X is a very simple symbol--a crossed letter to substitute for "crosse." The reflexive search for additional deep hidden meanings is a product, no doubt, of graduate training in the liberal arts that requires "original" scholarship from every PhD candidate in already heavily worked fields and thus encourages ever more abstruse and precious thinking.

As for "metonymically," RR Hamilton's explanation makes sense given the meaning of the word--but then the implication of Farred's original statement is that the numbers themselves individually (distinct from their representing any person or the team) were not innocent or were harboring secrets, which doesn't make a lot of sense. Perhaps Farred didn't think this point through fully, or maybe he meant something involving a combination of metonymy and syndecdoche (the part representing the whole)--so that the numbers simultaneously represented the three individual players and the team as a whole. Either way, not the clearest delivery.

Bill Anderson--whoa, I don't think President Schapiro of Williams explicitly supported Grant Farred. His criticism of K.C. related to K.C.'s claim that Duke and Williams were similar institutions in their balance of strong academics and strong athletics. Schapiro denied the similarity, calling Duke's sports program much more big time.

Technically, of course, he is right, because it's a major DI program, where Williams' athletic excellence is in the context of DIII sports, which theoretically do not provide athletic scholarships (though they can and do offer need-based scholarships to athletic recruits). But his rush to make the distinction, and the words he used, were rather ungracious--implying superiority and greater academic "purity" and seriousness for Williams. Athletic scholarships aside, the impact of athletics on elite DIII institutions like Williams and the impact of athletic recruiting on their admissions processes has been well documented.

Anonymous said...

Dr J:

Dr Farred is an example of what happens when a community, in this case Academia, loses all sense of accountability for words and actions.

Sir, your field is broken. Fix it or the American people will fix it for you. Note: When they do it will be from a sense of righteous indignation that has become so intense that the resultant will lead to over reaction.

the pendulum will swing both ways you know.

Anonymous said...

In the film "Once Upon A Time In America" there is a scene where a young, maybe 12 year old boy has purchased an eclair with which to seduce the neighborhood slut. She tells him she can't see him right away and to wait for her in the stairway. As the boy waits he examines the eclair. He then tastes just a bit of the filling. Then a bit more. Finally, he can't wait any longer and devours the eclair. When the girl is finally ready,the boy says he no longer needs her- his appetite for her was satisfied by the eclair. This is pretty much what happened at the lacrosse party. The boys bored quickly of the weak show and left to get something to eat. So much for "arrogant sexual prowess".
Mr. Farred's argument about the "secret" seems to be that only the players and the dancers know what happened that night. That is the "secret". And yet the accuser was often labeled with unflattering monikers like "stripper" and "single mother". These labels, he suggests, are an attempt to deny the humanity of the accuser and also are an attempt to deny the fact that maybe there is a legitimately wounded human being beneath them. However, there is good reason to doubt that
"the secret" was operating in full secrecy back in September. There was plenty of evidence to suggest that the secret was that nothing happened that night. So while Crystal may have been branded "stripper and single mother" the potbangers and G88 branded the lax players "rapists." Imo, "rapist" is a far more scarlet label.
Brant Jones

Anonymous said...

The 7:35 comment manages to insert two blind appeals to authority without ever mentioning any detail about what KC argued, or any quote of what Farred said, or any specific fact about the supposed rape case.

His argument goes:

1) Tom Wolfe wrote something about Duke lacrosse players in a fiction novel. Therefore that means something about the 3 accused lacrosse players in real life this exact year. In fact, it means whatever the commenter of 7:35 wants it to mean about the real-life players.

2) Farred teaches *literature* at Duke as an associate professor, whereas KC (according to his bio, went to Harvard for undergrad and PhD, visited as a professor at Williams and Harvard, and remains established at Brooklyn by choice and is quite prolific) doesn't. Therefore, without looking at anything specific Farred said, or what KC argued, we can summarily dismiss everything KC argues and accept what Farred says. Unless someone who is tenured at Harvard disagrees with Farred, I guess, in which case the commenter at 7:35 must then blindly switch his beliefs to suit those of his new supreme authority.

Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Modern academia deserves itself. Farred, Baker and Curtis are all welcomed with open arms by the Leftists that run institutions of so-called higher learning. (Note the fawning all over themselves and self-congrats handed out based on "diversity" hires/retentions). No accountability for credibility or credentials at all; employees are screened for acceptable skin color and political ideology. Apparently all three of these jokers pass the only relevant tests.

It is no wonder then that they end up with people who fail to demonstrate any leadership, maturity or responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Kim Curtis's teaching assignment for Fall 2007 includes no regularly scheduled classes. Instead, she is listed as the instructor/supervisor for internships and various levels of independent study and research in the political science department. At the moment, none of these offerings show any registered students, though given their nature they may involve later sign ups than the regular offerings.

Chicago said...

I think it is official, Grant has schizophrenia.

Anonymous said...

This guy's rambling sounds like something from a mentally ill person.

While I don't share the same level of disgust at the explosion of maginal and useless minority studies program, I can't imagine how this guy ever got a book published.

Is he on peyote during these speeches or what?

He needs to be fired. Here is an example--like Houston Baker--of someone who has gone far, far beyond the idealization of minorities or the cloak of white privilege and is an out and out RACIST. There should be no place for obvious racists of any stripe in the college classroom.

Anonymous said...

after reading Farred's comments, I am suddenly ashamed of my chosen nic for these discussions: Mr X

Anonymous said...

If anyone doubts that "Big Humanities" and "Angry Studies" have become nothing more than a minstrel show, one need look no further than the entertainment value produced by those who work there.

Anonymous said...

Further research reveals that Curtis's regular teaching load seems to be one course in the spring semester and supervision of internships and independents studies both semesters; going back to Fall 2005, I found evidence of one student enrolled in an independent study with Curtis (in Spring 2006) and no supervised interns.

So I guess we won't be able to tell whether there is any difference in her role at the university until we see if she is assigned a class in the Spring 2008 semester.

wayne fontes said...

To Mac:

Falwell was discussed by myself and others months ago. No one had a problem with it then.

To 7:35

Tom Wolfe also had something to say about the faculty at Duke. I Quat's willingness to turn a blind eye to his principals in order to score a political point closely resembles the G88's willingness to trust the DA and forget about the presumption of innocence. Karla Holloway's comments during 1999 on the police's behavior in regards to a black student are exactly opposite of her 2006 statements regarding the Lax players.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Anon. at 9:18:

"...Curtis's regular teaching load seems to be...supervision of internships..."

What kind of supervision would THAT be?

"Okay, dears, now bend your wrist, just so, and bang that pot, just so. Good, good. Now, all together, can we yell 'CASTRATE'? Oh, wonderful! Now, tomorrow I'm going to teach you all how to dance with Ubuntu. Raise your hand if YOU want to be the land orca."

Gary Packwood said...

Don't you think that Grant Farred is the poster child for professors and staff members at Duke who court persecution?

If that strategy works, they have job security and the respect of student groups who also see themselves as persecuted.

But first, they need an enemy, and of course the enemy is always going to be privileged white athletes.

Should we create a small booklet for student athletes titled - What to Expect - from faculty, staff and students who are building their careers on the hope that student athletes will do something - anything - inappropriate?

What To Expect ...from those on campus who Court Persecution.

Available on-line and ...hardback copies available in the campus bookstore.

duke 85 said...

I have a AB in English/Econ from Duke and a masters in English from another "elite" liberal institution. Can someone please explain to me what "arrogant sexual prowess" means (nevermind all the other incomprehensible mess coming from Farred)? I must have missed the class on "Gibberish in the Modern American Dialogue".

duke09parent said...

Gary, thanks for the postmodernism language generator. That will be fun.

Farred's paragraph on the meaning of lax reminds me of Farrakan's numerology discussion in his million man march speech of a couple of years ago. Even his followers were scratching their heads at that nonsense.
I'm almost surprised that Farred didn't try a numerology analysis on the jersey numbers of the three defendants.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone think that the Brodhead administration would have failed to enforce the provisions of Chapter Six (quoted above) if a white Duke professor thrice publicly denounced 46 black Duke students for their “arrogant sexual prowess”?"

Of course, you are right. Indeed, Brodhead's quick denunciation of innocent students contrasted with his non-responsiveness to faculty outrages (which did and continues to happen) shows his moral/intellectual/leadership voids. The trustees...more of the same.

Also, GARY has summarized the TRUE, best meta-narrative depicted by the case, as follows:

"SERIOUS COMMENT: These post-modern types seem to think reason and rationality are the "white man's" culture and so they instead promote emotion and passion as authentic communication. Somehow passion is supposed to be deeper and therefor uniting. But it's just the opposite: Reason has much more hope of finding common bonds than emotion and passion which tend to focus on "us vs. them". "

Besides, emotion is easier than reason, which requires hard work and intellectual honesty.

Ed

Anonymous said...

What an intellectual charlatan. The British satirical magazine "Private Eye" has an amusing feature called "pseud's corner", where each issue they profile that week's leading BS-artist. I nominate Farred. He just heaps over-interpretation on over-interpretation until he (and his hapless audience) are neck-deep in pseudo-intellectual BS. He's not a historian. He's not a philosopher. What is he? Many words spring to mind, but they would not make it past this site's administrators.

Anonymous said...

"This man is mentally ill and a danger to himself and others (the latter not to be confused with "the other", which Farred refers to incessantly)".

Just too easy, too neat, and too convenient to dismiss him as "mentally ill". He's not. He is just severely deluded. It happens a lot in universities.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:39 wrote, "Kim Curtis will be quietly disposed of. Good riddance."

While that's all well and good, why hasn't she been publicly and immediately disposed of? Clearly there was some merit to the Dowd suit or Duke would not have quietly settled and given Dowd the P he requested.

Any respectable University (it would seem to me) would tell her she had 24 hours to leave campus as was done to Mike Pressler.

Disposing of her quietly says to me that she is guilty, they know it, and they want anything involving her swept under the rug.

Kim Curtis is without a doubt the biggest disgrace in this whole mess. And yet her picture and bio sit on the Duke website as a proud faculty member. It's the saddest thing I can think of for a University with the repytation of Duke to employ someone who committed such an ethical breach.

Kim Curtis makes me want to vomit.

Anonymous said...

"The only thing dumber than Grant Farred is the university that hired him".

Touche (can't get my accent aigu to work over the "e").

Anonymous said...

It seems the more G88 members say and do, their bigotry is revealed. Since the DUKE trustees and administration are silent and do not speak out against them, then by simple omission, the university is supporting their actions. Seems like a very hostile environment.

At some future date, Duke is going to be liable for a big chunk of money to the defamed LAX players. However, this will be mere chump change because at some point, a clever law firm is going to grab onto this issue and file a class-action. How many disaffected students and former students are there, that would join claiming discrimination? Also, if the lawyers were really clever, they would enjoin other universities as well, in a defendant-class-action. For example, Williams allowed Farred to speak. They did so without offering a contrary view and in fact, the President of Williams criticized folks who were critical of what Farred had to say. Thus, they are supporting his bigotry.

Seems like a clever law firm will stand to make a bunch of money and once any law firm gets into the game, many others will join. For lawyers, it is all about the money and the Duke Hoax could be a catalyst.

Duke will not be the only one in the hot seat.

mac said...

Wayne Fontes:

Dive the dead some respect,
if you will. Falwell wasn't
dead then.

Anonymous said...

"And yet according to President Schapiro of Williams College, it's you, KC, and not Farred, who must be confronted and criticized".

How do you know this? What is your source?

Anonymous said...

The utterances of Farred are really hilarious. Metonymically speaking, Farred isn't exactly up to the role of a Kampus Klown, rather, he may be more properly cast in this Keystone burlesque as "'Farred, the Flimsy', Faculty Farceur".

mac said...

"Give" the dead some respect, I meant. Hard to type standing
in front of a computer with
nothing on but a towel covering
my alleged "white-boy's...prowess."

Grant Farred has Prowess Envy,
apparently.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:09 wrote:
"Interestingly, Kim Curtis's teaching assignment for Fall 2007 includes no regularly scheduled classes. Instead, she is listed as the instructor/supervisor for internships and various levels of independent study and research in the political science department. At the moment, none of these offerings show any registered students, though given their nature they may involve later sign ups than the regular offerings."

That's all well and good, but what does it say about Duke that she is on the faculty for Fall 2007 in any capacity?

Apparently Duke has no problem with Curtis' actions. Apparently it's A OK with the Duke admnistration to engage in grade retaliation if you don't like the student. Apparently even being the co-defendant in a lawsuit against the Professor and the school in which the school agrees to change the student's grade as he requested is just fine.

Duke is sending everyone a very clear message, here it is:
We have no problem with anything Kim Curtis has done.

This woman would have been fired at any respectable elementary school, yet Duke is happy to have her continue to be a member of their faculty.

Attention Duke students, alumni, and parents, your University is broken.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, lest anyone think that Marxism is just a harmless set of thoughts, see how the Marxists in the Duke case have expressed their views on law. As they see it, if one is "politically incorrect," then that person is guilty of a crime against the people".

What has Marxism got to do with it? The frequent references here to "commies" and Marxists are embarrassing. Right-wing drivel to match Jarred's left-wing drivel. He sees racism/sexism everywhere. You see commies everywhere. Meanwhile, in the 21st century...

Anonymous said...

I used to think that clowns like Farred and Lubiano were jokes. Not any more. They waste the resources of universities and promote racism.

Bob Wilson said...

Seems to me Kim Curtis is the litmus test for political correctness at Duke. If Duke doesn't cashier this woman, we can draw two inferences:

1. The Brodhead administration doesn't have the brass to fire a radical feminist ideologue who broke a cardinal rule of teaching.

2. The Brodhead administration believes what Curtis did was, at some level, acceptable extreme prejudice toward students.

And, I should add, if the Duke Trustees remain silent on this issue, they must be regarded as accessories to injustice.

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

What has Marxism got to do with it? The frequent references here to "commies" and Marxists are embarrassing. Right-wing drivel to match Jarred's left-wing drivel. He sees racism/sexism everywhere. You see commies everywhere. Meanwhile, in the 21st century...

May 16, 2007 11:12:00 AM


Farred and a number of others in his group call themselves Marxists. This is not red-baiting on my part. The application of Marxist thought into academic disciplines like English, Anthropology, and History, not to mention the Identity Studies, is very, very common.

Furthermore, if you read the various Marxist sites, they still are claiming that the three students actually raped Crystal, and if they back off, they nonetheless give us the usual Marxist claptrap about "oppression" and the like.

No, we are not treated to things like the "Relations of Production" and "Reserve Army of the Unemployed" and the like, but the analysis still is the same.

In other words, my dealing with this aspect of Farred's work is relevant to this discussion. I have seen Marxism at work in many areas, and I can tell you that it is singularly destructive.

Anonymous said...

A survey by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education in 2002 ranked Duke as the best university in the country in regards to the integration of African American students and faculty.


This is irony -- there was a solid basis for this ranking but unfortunately, we can see the reward. The good works of the many are spoiled by the radical.

It is just plain wrong that being radical is a better way to earn a living than being good or being right. That there are no consequences whatever, despite the massive damage done and the obvious fraud that has been foisted on those of goodwill who actively worked to bring about positive things is deeply disturbing.

There really needs to be institutional learning. It is the essence of wisdom to learn from the mistakes of others -- people would do well to seek objective truth in the study of history, sociology, politics, the press, and so on. This means not allowing those with such extrodinary bias to dominate the discourse. As segments of society follow leaders such as this, the damage becomes so much greater.

Not having diversity of thought is exactly what has led to this disaster. Those represented by Farred have been responsible for killing off diversity. Failure to learn this lesson only dooms others to similar fates, as the stakes rise.

Anonymous said...

"In other words, my dealing with this aspect of Farred's work is relevant to this discussion. I have seen Marxism at work in many areas, and I can tell you that it is singularly destructive".

He seems like a very ordinary, run-of-the-mill postmodernist to me. Nothing particularly Marxist about him. Talk of "oppression" doesn't make him a Marxist. There is very little of his obsession with gender, sex, and race in Marx's "Capital". Indeed, I would much prefer it if he WAS a Marxist, if the alternative is postmodernism. If Farred is a Marxist, then I'm a Zoroastrian.

Anonymous said...

I hate to sound John Dean-ish, but there is a cancer growing on Duke University.

mac said...

Dear Zoroastrian 11:42,

He may not be a "Trotsyisk
version of a Marxist," but
he's a Marxist just the same.
A devout follower of Grouncho.

Anonymous said...

In order to improve Farred’s respectability I would recommend two things:

First that he use a translator to convert his gobblygook to English.

Second that he use a laugh track.

mb said...

Wow - Grant Farrad seems to be nothing short of a complete lunatic. This would be perversely funny if it weren't for the fact that this loon is a tenured(?) professor at what is purportedly (but likely not for long) a first-tier university. However, sadly, Farrad seems typical of members of the Angry Studies departments at universities across the U.S. and elsewhere.

It occurs to me that Farrad is not only in blatant violation of Chapter 6, but also is clearly creating a hostile environment on campus for Duke students. IMHO this exposes Duke to legal action for not effectively dealing with this situation.

I will be anxiously watch how the lawsuits pan-out re. Duke's inaction vis-a-vis their out of control staff (e.g., Levicy), faculty (i.e., G88) and administration. I sure would not want to be on the Duke Board of Trustees right about now.

Anonymous said...

Farred a Marxist?

International Gramsci Society Online Article--August 2002--Antonio Gramsci and C.L.R. James: Some Parallels and Similarities
Frank Rosengarten


Gramsci figures prominently In John Martin’s unpublished 1995 dissertation American Class and Race Relations: An Intellectual History of the American Left, and in Grant Farred’s What’s my Name? Organic and Vernacular Intellectuals, soon to be published by the University of Minnesota Press. Martin devotes the fourth chapter of his study to James, where, like Bogues, he tries to situate James in the context of "Western Marxism." He credits James with having helped to revive "a long-submerged expression of Marxism" embodied in Hegelian idealism and in the early writings of Marx. Basically, he wants to show that, although James had no direct knowledge of "Western Marxists" such as Karl Korsch, Gramsci, and Gyorgy Luk√°cs, "his perspective shares with these writers a strikingly similar reading and application of Marx’s method" (124). [5] Among features of his thought that James had in common with a figure like Gramsci was his faith in "the self-governing capacity" of ordinary people.

Farred’s study utilizes Gramsci’s ideas on intellectuals as a "template" for looking at two "organic" intellectuals, James and Stuart Hall, and two "vernacular" intellectuals, Mohammed Ali and Bob Marley. What emerges most strikingly from Farred’s commentary on various facets of the Gramsci-James connection is that he sees a powerful affinity between "Gramsci’s organicism, and James’s conception of self-movement, of emancipatory initiative, in opposition to all forms of mechanicism and bureaucracy" (112). Also worthy of note is the way in which Farred locates Ali and Marley as popular vernacular intellectuals quite conscious of culture as "a terrain crucial to ideological struggle." Farred thinks of his own work as informed by Gramsci’s democratic discourse (11), by which he means, among other things, Gramsci’s belief that "all men are intellectuals," inasmuch as he felt that there is an inherent need in all human beings to form a more or less coherent picture of the world, whether one is a highly educated systematic thinker or a plain person with commonsensical notions about what is important and what isn’t. As far as his view of James is concerned, Farred considers him from a Gramscian point of view as

. . . .the site where the "traditional" and the "organic" intellectual confront each other, recognize their points of intersection and divergence, and comprehend how such an encounter complicates their position in relation to their community. (32)

Anonymous said...

It is a bit outrageous that Brodhead was quick to criticize the players but has made no comment about the Dowd suit.

Anonymous said...

Damn. Here's the link

Anonymous said...

Here's another secret:

According to a 2006 evaluation conducted by the NCAA, Duke's student-athletes have the highest graduation rate of any institution in the nation.

Kgun5 said...

Two things:

1) I hate this being described as a "leftist" problem. This is not a leftist problem, it's an extremist problem. When politcal dogma or idealogical bias supplant reason and logic, you end up with this type of situation. It doesn't matter what direction one leans.

2) I'm not sure that the administrations are entirely to blame for "these people getting hired". It seems to me that college administrations (like the one at Duke) have been walking on egg shells for years, and still are consistantly being protested or sued for some sort of "injustice". Calling the administration at Duke "weak" is one thing (that I fully agree with), but to imply that they are necessarily happy or "standing behind" some of the outlandish things being said by the faculty is premature. There are legal implications here, and to up and fire someone like Kim Curtis immediately may weaken their position in some manner. In short, we've railed on them for acting too quickly before, why are we advocating their doing it again?

Anonymous said...

7:35 tries to overlook the obvious absurdity of trying to derive from the fictional behavior of fictional lacrosse players at a fictional university in a work of fiction some sort of meaningful information about actual real people by asserting that Wolfe "definitely spent most of his time researching and interviwing kids at duke." The problem for 7:35 is that this is not the only weak link in his chain. Even if Dupont University was directly based on Duke (something which Wolfe specifically denies) what would Wolfe learn by "researching and interviwing [sic] kids at duke"? He would learn what kids at Duke thought they knew about the lacrosse team. Saying that a prejudice has been deeply researched says nothing about the prejudice possessing any merit. Anyone following the issue has already seen that Duke professors (Peter Wood just one notorious example) have several times voiced their own prejudices against the lacrosse team, prejudices for which neither they nor the Coleman Commission could find any factual support. Why would we expect that anonymous unnamed students would be less prone to inaccurate stereotyping than their professors are?

7:35 also brings up the issue of school affiliation. "once again individuals like kc and bill anderson are attacking someone at a more elite institution than they are. at the end of the day, farrad teaches at duke...and you two do not." What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?? What doth it profit an academic, if he should teach at the most elite of institutions but still sound like a street-corner paranoid when he speaks? It is as though Farred believes that anything he can dress up enough in fancy if bizarre rhetoric will be transformed into truth -- a desire by Duke students to be represented in a legal system that could turn their lives upside-down on the shakiest of evidence, for instance, can be alchemically transformed into a malign desire to "defeat the law" by musing on the secret mystic connections between the "X" in "LAX" and an "X" on a ballot and the "X" in "Malcolm X". This bizarre meandering has about the same relationship to actual sane thought as a cargo-cult plane has to a real airplane: it is an attempt to somehow magically create the inner substance of a thing by imitating its outer shell. Strip all such blather away from Farred's talk and I wager you will find a majority of unsupported assertion and a minority of actual fact -- and how much of what is even presented as actual fact is, like Farred's purported quote from Alleva, absolutely false?

Anonymous said...

You wrote, "In short, we've railed on them for acting too quickly before, why are we advocating their doing it again?"

The Dowd suit is over and has been settled. Dowd has been given the P he requested. How would firing Curtis now be premature?

Unless there is an investigation going on, (which I cannot believe the administration would allow after their willingness to quickly and quietly settle the suit itself) Curtis needs to go and she needs to go now.

Here is where Duke is getting into trouble. They are allowing too many grey areas with regard to their actions, positions, and policies. This was a lawsuit. An allegation was leveled. It was either true or false, no in between or grey area.

So now we need an answer and that answer needs to be the truth, no grey area. Is Curtis guilty of what the suit alleged? Yes or no?

If she is innocent, scream it from the rooftops and let her go on teaching. If she is guilty, what is she doing employed by the University?

Unfortunately like so many other situations, Duke chooses to let things fester and not address the issue head on.

This is how problems are resolved. You address them head on and take action. Instead Duke simply makes the statement that the suit has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties and leaves it at that....grey area.

Duke deserves better. Either Curtis is guilty and should be gone yesterday or she is innocent and she acted in a manner befitting a Duke professor.

The lawsuit is over, now it's time for the University to be honest with its alumni, students, and parents.

Gary said...

May 16, 2007 6:10:00 AM said. a book that discussed the Arabic language as "lacking clarity," Carmichael, J., The Shaping of the Arabs, Macmillan, New York, 1967.

Part of my glee with the ending of this case is it's exposure of folly of post-modernist thought. I don't want to become what I despise however. That language frames thought is in fact another post-modern bobble with no support. That is, Eskimos with a barren language (and who in fact have no more words for "snow", probably less, than English) are nevertheless fully capable of scientific thought.

The conjecture is wrong. What really frames thought is metaphors that one may employ and metaphors themselves come from early experience. If you deprive a person of some types of experience, they really can and do show deficits in thinking but people are amazingly good at bending even sparse language to their needs.

What's "wrong" with Arabs (who test well for native intelligence) is that they are embedded in an "honor" culture that demands willingness to employ violence to save face at all cost. Hard to have productive new thoughts when standing out may bring a violent response. Though to a lessor extent, the South had and still has an honor based culture though less so now and less over time. Such cultures aren't very productive scientifically.

Finally, before you laugh heartily at the post-modernist, make sure you note that the "intelligent design" people grow from the same tree of content-less twisting of language. A laugh at one is a laugh at both. I laugh now at both though both are destructive: "Har har harm harm harm!"

Anonymous said...

An anagram of “Houston Baker Grant Farred” is “The broken arrogant frauds” thus revealing the secret message behind their writings and lectures.

If they don’t use linear logic and reason then why should we?

Anonymous said...

Bob Wilson, I want to take your comments one step further. The Dowd suit is over, finished, settled. Dowd has been given (as publicly stated in the settlement) a grade of P in the class for which he was originally failed.

So, we're left with two possibilities, either Curtis is incompetent and gave Dowd the wrong grade or she is evil and flunked him intentionally.

Which one of these would you rather the administration at Duke tolerate?

Either Duke has no problem employing Professors who are unable to calculate grades properly, or they are happy to employ dishonest Professors.

President Broadhead said that he believed it would take between 2 and 5 years to repair Duke's reputation. I don't see how any repairing of image can occur while Duke happily employs incompetent or dishonest professors.

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

Anonymous @ 11:12 AM said...
"By the way, lest anyone think that Marxism is just a harmless set of thoughts, see how the Marxists in the Duke case have expressed their views on law. As they see it, if one is "politically incorrect," then that person is guilty of a crime against the people".

What has Marxism got to do with it? The frequent references here to "commies" and Marxists are embarrassing. Right-wing drivel to match Jarred's left-wing drivel. He sees racism/sexism everywhere. You see commies everywhere. Meanwhile, in the 21st century...


Count the number of times the 88-of-Hate use the word "Marxism" in their syllabi and writings, THEN try asking "What has Marxism to do with it?"

Kgun5 said...

The Dowd suit is over and has been settled. Dowd has been given the P he requested. How would firing Curtis now be premature?

I can think of a few reasons...

First, we don't know the specifics of the case's settlement. The Duke administration may have made concessions on both ends to do their best at damage control.

Second, and more importantly IMO, is that the legal portion of this circus has probably not ended. Duke's administration, being the umbrella under which many of the possible litigants reside, still may be judged on (and be held accountable for) any action they take until this entire process is over. A civil case may use the firing of someone like Curtis as an admission of guilt. I'm no lawyer, so I don't pretend to know the exact ways in which something like that could be used. All I'm saying is that I'm sure that anything the administration does from here on out (concerning the LAX case) is from Duke's lawyers first and the administrators, themselves, second.

Gary said...

As for farrad, once again individuals like kc and bill anderson are attacking someone at a more elite institution than they are.

Quite a Medieval outlook! Authority and status matter, not facts. I, however, suffer to work the lowly fields of engineering, partly at lofty Stanford. But in my field, all papers go through anonymous review and so status buys little (well, the pool of top end students is larger than average and it's easier to get grant money).

However, when a guys like David Lowe up in Vancouver or David Nister out there in Kentucky come up with better ideas, I listen. See, smart people sometimes settle where they do for reasons of family, community, cost of living or just personal taste
AND location just ain't what it used to be thanks to the web. Regardless, my first prejudice is to listen to the smart people and not to where they are speaking from.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

If Duke had no problem firing Pressler, why does it have a problem firing Curtis?

rrhamilton said...

What did Kim Curtis do wrong? She gave a student a lower score based on race? So? That's what Duke does every year through its affirmative action program, isn't it?

Duke can't condemn Curtis for taking race into account when grading students. It's exactly what Duke does every year at admissions time.

Recent events have made clear that whites are the lowest caste of students at Duke, so how can Duke condemn something done to a single student what it itself does regularly to thousands?

For anonymous @ 11:03 AM who quoted my 12:12 AM posting,

"And yet according to President Schapiro of Williams College, it's you, KC, and not Farred, who must be confronted and criticized".

How do you know this? What is your source?


There was an article about Farred's speech at Williams in the Williams student newspaper. I read it. There, after Farred has spouted some of the craziest shit ever heard from that podium, President Schapiro had criticism only for KC, who had told the reporter that both Williams and Duke have in common "high class academics and high class athletics".

Btw, the reporter said that Farred "courteously declined to answer questions" following the screed. I was a journalism major and grad and worked for several years at newspapers. I have never read a refusal to respond to questions described as "courteous". So, even the reporter was intimidated; he or she is probably of the lowest caste on campus.

Anonymous said...

1:24

you're on the money: lawyers will advise Duke not to do or say anything that will imply that Duke acted improperly.

the fun will begin at discovery

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's my own fantasy but I would love to see Dave, Collin or Reade or, for that matter, any of the lacrosse players, confront Farred.

Farred "courteously declined" to answer questions from his audience and I just wonder how he would defend his outrageous position if forced to speak extemporaneously without a paper to read from.

Somehow, I think he would wither in the face of the truth.

I agree with 12:38AM ..."When discussing secret racism, Farred should take a long hard look in the mirror."

Anonymous said...

As someone has already pointed out L-A-X is the FAA Identifier for the airport here. I've lived in LA my entire life and before this case the only thing LAX meant to me was the airport.

Thanks to Farred I now have a whole new take on those three letters. L-A stands for Los Angeles but what of this 'X' at the end? What meaning are we to derive from this? Obviously something that is secret and sinister and does not wish to reveal itself is occurring at Los Angeles International Airport. Disenfranchisement, genocide - the possibilities are endless. And I thought the worst that happened there was delayed flights and lost luggage. How little I knew. I view everyone associated with LAX with the deepest of suspicions.

Anonymous said...

You wrote, "Second, and more importantly IMO, is that the legal portion of this circus has probably not ended. Duke's administration, being the umbrella under which many of the possible litigants reside, still may be judged on (and be held accountable for) any action they take until this entire process is over. A civil case may use the firing of someone like Curtis as an admission of guilt. I'm no lawyer, so I don't pretend to know the exact ways in which something like that could be used. All I'm saying is that I'm sure that anything the administration does from here on out (concerning the LAX case) is from Duke's lawyers first and the administrators, themselves, second."

I can't disagree with any of this. But if we accept these facts as true, it means that Duke is now so concerned about potential lawsuits that the University is willing to do the wrong thing and continue to employ a professor who has committed the worst kind of ethical offense.

If Duke is so concerned about lawsuits they are willing to betray their principles, the University is truly lost.

Anonymous said...

"A civil case may use the firing of someone like Curtis as an admission of guilt. I'm no lawyer, so ...."

---------

Well, I am a lawyer. And while I can't say I am familiar with NC law in particular, it seems to me that Duke's retaining of (or, certainly, Duke's promotion of, or any salary raise given to) Kim Asshole Curtis could be legally deemed as the University's endorsement of her conduct, and as an admission that when Curtis committed her despicable acts, she did so as an agent of Duke U and not merely as a rogue employee.

If Duke's lawyers think they can save Duke by backing Kimmy up all the way to Hell where she belongs, they'd better think twice, and take another look at the evidence, and at what happened the last time her conduct was ruled upon by an objective tribunal, i.e. the arbitrator.

Kim is a huge anchor around Duke's neck, and they ought to ditch her pronto (which might mean, whenever her current contract runs out).

Kgun5 said...

...if we accept these facts as true, it means that Duke is now so concerned about potential lawsuits that the University is willing to do the wrong thing and continue to employ a professor who has committed the worst kind of ethical offense.

If Duke is so concerned about lawsuits they are willing to betray their principles, the University is truly lost.


I think "wrong" (as emphisized above) is subjective in this case. For instance, even if the LAX players had been guilty of rape, I still would have considered the university's behavior of presuming guilt "wrong", even if the actions they undertook turned out to be appropriate.

Ignoring the fact that the Duke administration is going to have to walk a legal tightrope for the foreseeable future, it's still important to use prudence when making decisions that affect people's lives and careers. We may not think Curtis deserves it, (as she clearly didn't show it for the LAX kids,) but that doesn't mean we should stoop to her level and pretend we know all we need to know in the matter.

That said, if Duke continues to employ her once this is all over without offering some response to the accusations leveled against her, I'll be the first one screaming.

Anonymous said...

I think "wrong" (as emphisized above) is subjective in this case.

Dude, that's the problem. The objective notions of right and wrong have been tossed out of American universities.
These days, it's all "fair" and "unfair" (playground words), which require subjective analysis, and whoa be unto him on the short end of it.
If a thinking person cannot come to the objective conclusion that what Kim Curtis did was wrong, we are in serious trouble.

mac said...

12:26

The picture of Farred as a
cargo cultist is just too funny!

Gayle Miller said...

The Group of 88 and a lot of their "fellow travelers" need to be gotten onto lithium - and right quick.

What kind of life is it that a person leads when they are so CONSUMED with hatred and class envy? Is that a life worth living? Is being a hater what their parents brought them up to be?

Farred is despicable, it is true. But to live inside the head of Farred or any of the Group of 88 may well be punishment enough for their unabated and unjustified bile.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:08am

You say: "Unless someone who is tenured at Harvard disagrees with Farred, I guess, in which case the commenter at 7:35 must then blindly switch his beliefs to suit those of his new supreme authority."

Would a tenured prof. at Duke do? I am curious to see who or what this higher authority could be...

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:18am

Good research. It begs the question: What does she do with her time? No teaching, no publishing...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Let's see...if AAAS were a business what would it sell?

How does 1 package resentment?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

AP and Polanski,

Both of you are despicable racist losers. GFarred is a RESPECTED published author--what have you published?

Blacks as a group are crucial for the future success of the United States experiment. And geniuses like Houston Baker and Grant Farred will be at the vanguard.

Peace be unto you.

Anonymous said...

Farred is not respected by me. Hilter was published, as well...

Ed

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, and Houston "farm animal Baker? Yeah, right...

Anonymous said...

Anon at 4:13--
Thanks for the nod (I'm 9:18). I don't know the answer to your question, but I sure would like to. I know it's been reported earlier on this blog that she is married to a prof with better credentials (don't remember who it is), so it seems likely her employment is primarily part of her husband's compensation, since one course a year and, apparently, one independent study supervised every 2-3 years doesn't seem like a very big teaching load. At the state school where I am a lowly adjunct, that would garner about $3000 a year (though I presume the "visiting assistant" title increases the going rate).

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 3:33 said...
...Kim is a huge anchor around Duke's neck, and they ought to ditch her pronto (which might mean, whenever her current contract runs out).
::
Because it is summer time and undergraduate students are not around to be harmed, Duke may be waiting to get all the characters lined up and properly spaced.

Line 'en up like Bowling Pins and take down the whole gaggle of goof balls with one ...straight down the alley shot. A strike as it were.

Broadhead can be the Pin Boy.

Anyone old enough to know what a Pin Boy was?
::
GP

rrhamilton said...

LOL. Look at http://thefire.org/index.php/case/685.html

I didn't know KC was such a scamp. He even had his own "Gang of 34"! :)

But what I really want to know about is this: "Robert KC Johnson is a tenured professor of history at Brooklyn College - and how that came to be is a story in its own right - but his current dispute is with the School of Education there." How can we get that story?

R.R. Hamilton

KC Johnson said...

For those interested: the Ed School controversy involved a new criteria called "dispositions," in which two of my students (among others) were targeted.

After some unfavorable publicity, the policy was repealed.

Anonymous said...

I think KC clicks on "find Polanski" and deletes--LOL

Polanski is such a loser.

Anonymous said...

KC,

I hope you don't mind that I put that up there. I found it entirely by accident when I was looking through the "FIRE" index of universities at http://thefire.org/index.php/case/

I think it's helpful to know that KC is not a johnny-come-lately to the issues of academic integrity.

I'm surprised my own University of Texas at Austin wasn't on the list, given that it has professors who belong to the International Socialist Organization (I think that's the title), and of course, the well-known Robert Jensen, professor of (moan) journalism.

R.R. Hamilton

Deklan Singh said...

So, this is all really simple.

1). You are racist and misogynistic even if you don't know you are.

2). Nobody can tell you why you're racist and misogynistic because it's a secret.

3). Under no circumstances are the people who assert 1 and 2 racist bigots themselves.

4). Only those who assert 1 and 2 know why they are not themselves racist bigots.

5). Those who assert 1 and 2 cannot tell anyone why they are not racist bigots because it's a secret.

Yeah, I got it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Deklan,

Your prose is erotic.

Grant Farred

Anonymous said...

This Farred guy....wasn't he the poet laureate of New Jersey?

mac said...

KC (re:7:35)

Just got around to reading
your article on "dispositions."

The concept reminds me of
the Committee for Public Safety
(French Revolution) and
Robespierre's prattle about
"virtue." By way of reply,
Danton said something about
practicing virtue every time he,
Danton, made love to his wife -
(his own, I presume.)

BTW, the movie "Danton" was pretty
good.

colagirl said...

The reflexive search for additional deep hidden meanings is a product, no doubt, of graduate training in the liberal arts that requires "original" scholarship from every PhD candidate in already heavily worked fields and thus encourages ever more abstruse and precious thinking.

A fascinating insight, and probably on the money. As for Farred, his little diatribe itself just reeks with the scent of intellectual decay. There is scarcely a fact to be found anywhere in his entire screed; it's all just him gratifying himself intellectually and assuming his audience will be interested (someone needs to slap him on the wrist and tell him he really shouldn't be doing that sort of thing in public). This is prevalent in the humanities, unfortunately.

mac said...

Colagirl,

I was reading an article on
schizophrenia, and the author
stated that there was a tendency
for schizophrenics to assign
meaning to everything, and for
them to need to identify a meaning
for everything.

This is probably - in part -
another of those psychiatric
crapolas that want to label
religious feelings as delusion
etc.

On the other hand, liberal arts
educators try to symbolically
parse the "p" out of the word
"piss." - (hence Grant "Prowess
Envy Farred's obsession with
the letter "X")

Now I'm beginning to wonder
how widespread the symptoms of
mental illness are, with regard to
educators in the liberal arts?

Anonymous said...

Mac, my first thought upon reading Farred's remarks was that he displays elements of schizophrenia. In addition to the self-ascribed meaning and importance attached to all things great and small, he also exhibits somewhat of a manic, "word salad" style of writing/speaking. In my humble opinion, he is not a well person.

His ideology is very disturbing to me personally, but my greater concern is that he is allowed to teach emotionally and physically vulnerable children. I would be alarmed to find my child enrolled in one of his classes for fear that his issues might overcome his restraint if someone were to seriously challenge this man.

The points he attempts to make are quickly dismissed by any mature adult with half a brain (and without a similar extremist agenda). His ramblings are truly incoherent for the most part, thus rendering him more a pathetic and laughable figure than anything else. Any credible points he might otherwise make are lost in the midst of his INcredible remarks.

Sad, really, that some are so desperate to further an agenda that they're willing to cling to the words of someone such as Farred.

mac said...

Farred's not the only one:
there's apparently a whole wing
of these types in this unit.

Question is: what does Duke
do about it? Do they wait for
someone to "go Cho?"

Anonymous said...

I am a Williams alum who is extremely disturbed to hear about Schapiro's comment (not to mention the initial speech by Farred). I don't think the article you cite is online (most but not all articles are). Would you mind retyping the portion of the article that quotes Schapiro? Many thanks.