Friday, June 01, 2007

Duke's New Party Line

A year ago, Duke Magazine, an official university publication sent to all alumni, published a one-sided review of the lacrosse case entitled “A Spring of Sorrows.” Author Robert Bliwise interviewed only one Duke student—Nick Shungu, an African-American senior who fantastically demanded that the University issue “an acknowledgment of sympathy for the alleged victim.” Bliwise interviewed only four professors—the chairman of the Academic Council and three anti-lacrosse extremists (Houston Baker, Peter Wood, and Orin Starn). The article minimized the largely positive findings of the Coleman Committee report and didn’t mention that the committee had found Wood’s criticisms non-credible. Bliwise didn’t speak to Kerstin Kimel or to any students who had defended the lacrosse players; he went off campus to find a defender of the athletic program, Duke graduate Jay Bilas of ESPN.

One year later, much has changed, and Bliwise is back with another long article. This time, he spoke to both sides: he interviewed Group of 88 author Wahneema Lubiano, plus signatory Lee Baker, but also spoke with a critic of the Group, Michael Gustafson. He featured lengthy quotes from Jim Coleman. Bob Steel and President Brodhead himself rounded out the interviewees. For his 2007 article, Bliwise did not interview any students, although he did quote from a Stephen Miller op-ed. He peculiarly quoted from one blog comment (at this blog) but no blog postings.

With a more balanced group of sources, the article is unsurprisingly more balanced. And also unsurprisingly, as an official publication of the administration, the article places the administration in the most positive light possible.

Examples of Bliwise’s “spin” include:

Critics on Brodhead

Bliwise writes, “In letters and online postings, critics said that university officials should have spoken up for the innocence of the students more forcefully.”

In fact, the key blogs (Liestoppers, Johnsville News, JinC, Lead and Gold, La Shawn Barber, this blog) all adopted the position of Friends of Duke’s summertime open letter: that Brodhead had an obligation not to speak up for the innocence of the players but to demand that all Duke students be treated according to the same procedures as all other Durham residents.

Bliwise quotes Jim Coleman (correctly) noting that a Brodhead declaration of innocence would have been counterproductive. He does not appear to have asked Coleman whether Brodhead had an obligation to advocate fair procedures—as Coleman himself did throughout the case.

Presumption of Innocence

According to Bliwise , “The presumption of innocence was articulated in the first statement, last spring, from President Richard H. Brodhead, and repeated dozens of times.”

This statement is true. Bliwise doesn’t mention, however, that Brodhead minimized or dropped altogether references to the presumption of innocence at a key point in the case—between April 5 and April 20, 2006.

Duke Response

Bliwise concludes, “Steel and Brodhead alike say that lessons can be learned from the past year, but that it's time to move beyond a painful episode.”

Steel has said the same thing in several e-mails sent out this week. In effect, then, the Duke approach is: the lacrosse players should have been investigated; “campus culture” should have been investigated; the student judicial system should have been investigated; but the faculty’s rush to judgment and allegations of improper in-class behavior deserve no inquiry.

Contextualizing Group of 88

Though Bliwise quotes from the Group’s statement, he does not include the two items clearly presuming guilt: the assertion that something “happened” to Crystal Mangum; and the signatories’ affirmation “to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.” In the ten days before the ad appeared, of course, the two highest-profile protests had been the potbangers’ “Castrate” rally and the distribution of the wanted posters around campus.

The ad also contained such anonymous guilt-presuming statements from alleged Duke students as the following:

I am only comfortable talking about this event in my room with close friends. I am actually afraid to even bring it up in public. But worse, I wonder now about everything. . . . If something like this happens to me . . . What would be used against me--my clothing? Where I was?

No one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself [Crystal Mangum] central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us . . . she doesn’t seem to be visible in this. Not for the university, not for us.

Bliwise described the statements above as merely “decrying the campus climate,” not commenting on the lacrosse case itself. I suspect most readers would disagree.

Finally, he concluded that “the language in the ad . . . for a long time was largely ignored, until it became fodder for the blogging community.”

It is, of course, convenient for the Group and its defenders to pretend that the Chronicle doesn’t exist. The fact that the paper published an editorial and an op-ed within a week of the ad’s appearance—and, this summer, reported that the lacrosse players and their lawyers noticed the ad with horror as soon as it appeared—calls into question Bliwire’s description.

Group Signatories

Wahneema Lubiano rationalized the ad in the following way: “There are no circumstances under which any community wants to have racism, sexism, sexual violence. They’re horrible things, and nobody wants to talk about them.”

Nobody wants to talk about them? If we have seen nothing else over the past year, it is the dominance of the analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender among a large swath of the Duke arts and sciences faculty. Indeed, it seems as if many members of the Duke professoriate speak of little else other than racism and sexism.

Steel on the Group

The Bliwise article features the closest item to any rebuke of the Group from the Duke administration, if phrased in the mildest of language. Bob Steel: “My take on the Group of 88 is that they were speaking about issues they feel quite strongly about. I don’t think they purposefully meant to be impairing the students who were affected by the situation. But I think it did have the effect of causing those members of our community to feel unsupported.”

If Steel had read the change-of-venue motion or the summertime Chronicle article, he would know the ad had such an effect.

Unusual claims

“Critics of the campus see the Group of 88 as a threat to learning—even as [Professor Lee] Baker notes that the faculty members under attack attract large enrollments (including athletes) and earn positive evaluations from students.”

Duke’s faculty evaluation figures do not appear to be available on-line. No way exists, therefore, to independently determine the validity of Baker’s claims.*

In the event, it would be fascinating to know statement author Wahneema Lubiano’s average annual enrollment, and how many student-athletes she has taught in the past two years.

“Over the past year, the university has been the target of unrelenting scrutiny and scathing criticism—externally, from media ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Fox News.”

The ideological “range” from the WSJ to Fox News isn’t too far. The implication: only right-wingers (not, say, moderates such as Duke alum Dan Abrams) worried about the faculty’s conduct.

The Unmentionables

Three items relating to the faculty response received no mention at all.

  • First, Bliwise failed to deem newsworthy what appears to be a first in American history: defense lawyers formally claiming that the statements and actions of a University’s faculty prevented that University’s students from receiving a fair trial locally.
  • Second, Bliwise did not reference the highly public faculty rebuke of the Group of 88—the open letter published by members of the Economics Department.
  • Third, Bliwise overlooked the public criticism by Jim Cooney of the “number of people in Durham, some of whom teach for a living, who should have spoken up.”

Unusual Reference Points

Bliwise cited three comparable instances of a media/legal/academic conflagration: an ethics scandal at Stanford; the troubles with the University of Colorado football team; and the “water buffalo” case at Penn.

Stunningly, he portrayed the “water buffalo” case—one of the most embarrassing episodes in contemporary higher education—in terms sympathetic to the then-Penn administration.

After noting that the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz published a column strongly critical of how Duke handled the lacrosse affair, Bliwise obtained a quote from former Penn president Sheldon Hackney about a conversation Hackney had in 1993 with Rabinowitz. (The two talked just before she exposed Penn’s flimsy conduct in the water buffalo affair, helping to mobilize public opinion against Penn's attempt to deny even rudimentary due process.) Rabinowitz, Hackney declared, spoke “in a voice so chilling that I knew immediately that, like Dr. Seuss’ Grinch, she had garlic in her soul.”

It is odd that Duke Magazine would publish such a deeply personal attack on a Pulitzer Prize winner (for her work on bringing to light fraudulent child-abuse allegations) without, apparently, giving her a chance to respond.

To return to the start of this post: the 2007 Bliwise article is far more balanced than its 2006 counterpart. And it is to be expected that it would place the administration’s actions in the most positive light possible. But I don’t think the claim that Duke handled the lacrosse case as well as Penn handled the “water buffalo” case is one that reflects well on Duke.

*--modified

53 comments:

A Cog in The Wheel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

KC,

I had to laugh when you criticized Duke Magazine for spinning the LAX case in a manner which places Duke and Brodhead in the best possible light. You have been spinning the case every day for 15 months in a manner which places the LAX players in the best possible light. You are certainly in no position to criticize others for spinning.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that the 12:13 commentator waits around each night for the latest post so he/she can leave a nasty comment. This person is a gnat, waiting to 'annoy' each night. For some reason, he/she is angry with KC.

Anonymous said...

The G88 did do damage to the players. At least one of them practiced grade retaliation against lacrosse players.

wayne fontes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wayne fontes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"In effect, then, the Duke approach is: the lacrosse players should have been investigated; “campus culture” should have been investigated; the student judicial system should have been investigated; but the faculty’s rush to judgment and allegations of improper in-class behavior deserve no inquiry".

Brodhead swung into action pretty quick with a flurry of investigations and measures to combat racism and sexism in April 2006, before it had been established what, if anything, had happened in Durham. Now that the truth has been established... nothing.

If that doesn't spell "double standard", I don't know what does.

The three lacrosse players were the victims of judicial rape. That's ok... Let's move on. But the mere allegation of rape by three white students of a black woman and Brodhead is firing people, suspending people, setting up commissions of inquiry, condemning people.

The jury's in... Brodhead is no "honest broker" in all this. He took his stand with the wrong side and lost. Now he should GO. Duke Alums have to do that.

wayne fontes said...

A long account of the water buffalo affair can be read here:
http://www.shadowuniv.com/excerpts-wb1.html

To 12:13
Read that and tell me Bliwire didn't spin that incident.

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me just how many people were supportive of the hoax. I'm not going to even try to list them as they are legion! They are in journalism, public office, the Duke administration, faculty, the Duke Hospital and at other institutions. If it weren't for KC writing about them, I would have no idea and I have followed this case closely from the very beginning.
It is his thoroughness that continues to impress me. After AG Cooper declared the boys innocent, I thought this would all just go away (except for the civil suits). I could not have been more mistaken!

Jamie said...

Extremely lame, 12:13 - KC Johnson's criticism of Bliwire's distortions and omissions is actually far too mild.

For example...
'Bliwire described the [88's] statements ... as merely “decrying the campus climate,” not commenting on the lacrosse case itself. I suspect most readers would disagree.'

I Suspect...? How about "I would bet a million dollars"?

or, (Johnson again) "It is odd that Duke Magazine would publish such a deeply personal attack on [Rabinowitz,] a Pulitzer Prize winner..."

odd? How about "contemptible"? "Putrid, but not surprising"?

Far from constituting spin, this is incredible restraint, something Prof. Johnson has shown in the vast majority of his postings for 15 months.

Anonymous said...

KC,

You deleted a post that I signed as "Polanski."

Why do you loathe him so?

Not Polanski

Anonymous said...

I've never seen this posted and it is somewhat topical: there is a reason for students to take G88 classes. I don't think the enrollment is high in any case,
but this reason inflates the enrollment. In a way, there is already a G88 enrollment initiative -- even without the CCI.

Graduation requirements for nearly everyone except for those in engineering include credits that cover a number of areas, with couses listed as meeting the requirement for credit in these various areas. There are codes you can see in the course catalog that show all the requirements any given course meets.

Invariably, the more PC and G88 a course, the more of these codes it carries. This provides a strong incentive to take courses in certain departments. In addition, all first-years are required to take a "Writing 20" course and these tend to be oriented around a PC theme.

I guess this is what a liberal arts education means today -- even majors in the hard sciences, math, econ, etc. have to meet these requirements. You can avoid taking G88 courses, but it might mean taking more courses to cover the same core requirements.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Professor Johnson's extraordinary blog is under vicious attack. There is a deliberate campaign to divert and destroy. Do any tech experts know of available software that D-i-W readers could purchase to assist Dr. Johnson in filtering out these vile and malicious comments?

Anonymous said...

12:58

The comments are not "vile and vicious." They seem, rather, to be the utterances of someone stupid and pedestrian, with an agenda.

Someone like Wahneema Lubiano.

Anonymous said...

12:58 That is a nice idea. I would support the purchase. This ain't nothing to the attacks we have gone through in the past. Sad to write, but I think we are done the end of June. Herr Professor is on his way to Israel in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

To 12:13:

Telling the truth is not 'spinning'. Lying spins - as in the nasty spider's web of half-truths, evasions and distortions Duke Magazine spun last year as it tried to trap 3 innocent young men.

Anonymous said...

Spin is putting a face on an event that is to your own advantage.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post.

Thank you for critiquing Bliwise's article and Steel's comments. I especially enjoyed Lubiano's hypocritical comment about no one wanting to talk about racism, sexism, and sexual violence, and your noting that "it seems as if many members of the Duke professoriate speak of little else other than racism and sexism."

For all the pain and personal and financial cost of this rape hoax to many people, one good thing that has emerged is the public exposure of the political correctness that has been promoted in the liberal arts and social sciences curriculum by some very self-important and not particularly distinguished faculty who have achieved prominence and some power by pushing the "analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender."

These faculty members overreached when they thought they had a real life metanarrative right on their very campus that would give credence to all their social and academic theories and interpretations of the world. Like other famous overreachers who have disregarded or been oblivious to their pernicious effect on others, these Duke faculty members, I hope, will have their comeuppance, although it will not likely come from the current Duke administration or Bob Steel.

I was quite surprised to learn from a DIW blog yesterday that Sally Deutsch, chairman of the history department, and signer of the listening statement and clarifying statement, was promoted to dean of social studies. Duke would be wise to have at the top people who have broader visions and do not limit themselves to the "analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender," as unfortunately Professor Deutsch did gratuitously in class one day when "contextualizing" the gang rape accusation.

I'm sure that most faculty and students in liberal arts and social sciences are tired of being forced to view academic disciplines and campus life through the race-sex-class lens, and wish that the vocal 88 ilk would recede into their "academic" work and stop analyzing and politicizing student social life, pronouncing who and what on campus is good and bad. If the trustees and maybe a new administration care about the future of undergraduate studies in liberal arts, they need to start taking a hard look at certain agenda-driven courses taught by specific professors and make sure that students are not forced to take them, either as specific requirements or because there are not sufficient offerings by other faculty members to meet area requirements.

Someone asked on another blog,
"Why does Duke hire professors who are, objectively, idiots?" And I wonder why these idiots are the loudest voices on campus. And why their loud voices are allowed to attack Duke students specifically and generally.

I have very much appreciated this blog for exposing the ilk of the 88 through their words and deeds. Knowing a problem is the first step to resolving it. I fear, however, that it will be easier to remove the rot from the Durham Police Department than it will be to remove it from the arts and sciences faculty. The only hope for the short term is to avoid the rot, and I hope the Duke administration will have the good sense to make that easy for students to do.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
It never ceases to amaze me just how many people were supportive of the hoax. I'm not going to even try to list them as they are legion! They are in journalism, public office, the Duke administration, faculty, the Duke Hospital and at other institutions. If it weren't for KC writing about them, I would have no idea and I have followed this case closely from the very beginning.
It is his thoroughness that continues to impress me. After AG Cooper declared the boys innocent, I thought this would all just go away (except for the civil suits). I could not have been more mistaken!

Jun 1, 2007 12:37:00 AM

=============================
I'm sure I speak for many when I say this also sums up my feelings. Well said!

Anonymous said...

Dennis Prager, the well known LA based radio talk show host has said (I paraphrase):

"When somebody has a particularly silly/stupid idea I always ask what graduate school did you go to"?

I cant help but think of the gang of 88.

One Spook said...

As has been pointed in these comments, it is the job of the spin-meisters who pump sunshine for Duke in the Duke Alumni rag to put a positive spin on these events. In our assessment of Robert "Fly-by-wire's" piece, let's keep this in mind.

And, Let us also concur, at least for this discussion, that Professor Coleman's golden parachute that he handed up to the Duke administration --- the concept that Duke couldn't really "advocate" for the students lest they taint the legal proceedings and appear to be "buying off the justice system," is also the proper position for Duke.

As soon as Coleman advanced that concept, the Duke administration, eager to appear "correct," clung to it like a wet T-shirt to a breast ... tight and transparent. In reading today's statement, Duke remains clung to it.

Fine. But what COULD Duke have done?

Duke COULD have made statements concerning its students behavior in this matter; ie, that they were FULLY cooperating with investigators; that they had answered questions, even without counsel present; had submitted DNA samples; offerred to take lie detectors tests; and are innocent until proven guilty, period.

When the "Blue Wall of Slience" meme first appeared, Duke COULD have ordered it's spin team into full warp mode and proactively repeated those same facts, and then done it again and again.

And Duke COULD have made statements concerning the behavior of certain faculty members, and the President's absolutely outrageous "whatever they did was bad enough" gaffe.

Those are things the Duke administration COULD have done, and did not do.

The lack of proactive communication concerning their own students, faculty, and administration behavior meant that the only "Blue Wall of Silence" that existed was that wall erected by Duke's own administration.

This "new party line" is as transparent as the aforementioned wet T-shirt ... it hides nothing.

But beyond that, I spit an entire half-full glass of Pepsi on my keyboard when I read this unbelievable howler from the Duke Magazine.

Another signer of the ad was cultural-anthropology professor Lee Baker, who is completing his term as chair of the Arts & Sciences Council. He says every time the media mention what has come to be known as the Group of 88, e-mail messages fill the inboxes of professors—a phenomenon that has "a chilling effect" and has discouraged some from continuing to speak out.

The translation into English for Baker's expression of a "chilling effect" means that, for the first time in their lives, the Group of 88 and their pedantic prononncements and outrageous behavior have been criticized by people who have excellent critical thinking skills.

Unlike spending their time in front of scared students, like-minded professors in their mutual admiration society, and submitting a quirky paper to some in-house Anger Studies rag read only by their similarly-agenda-driven peers, they "went public" ... to the world.

A page I linked to this Blog was viewed by readers as far away as East Asian, Southeast Asia, and Finland.

This group of 88, whether its members realize it or not, is the laughing stock of millions of people ... it is a Blue Wall of Stupidity.

I think anyone who receives several thousand letters each telling them in effect that they're an idiot might well be "discouraged from speaking out."

That has to be "chilling" indeed.

One Spook

One Spook said...

And, oh ... Anon at 3:19 AM;

Your comment was one of the best I've read anywhere about this matter! BRAVO!

I did not read it prior to posting my loquacious bit, above. You, like KC, are an excellent writer; if you wrote about tying shoelaces, I'd read it.

Thank you.

One Spook

Richard Aubrey said...

It is not curious to see the water buffalo case and the Duke hoax equated as well-handled.
Many people think so.
It's not like comparing, say, ice cream with asparagus.
It's like comparing butter pecan ice cream with butter pecan ice cream.
Both good.
Bliwise and the folks with the G88 mindset think so.

scott said...

Bob Steel:

1. “My take on the Group of 88 is that they were speaking about issues they feel quite strongly about.

2. I don’t think they purposefully meant to be impairing the students who were affected by the situation.

3. But I think it did have the effect of causing those members of our community to feel unsupported.”

My take on Bob Steel's take:

1. My guess is you wouldn't be so casual if a group on campus held a rally to make Duke an all-white university, even if it could be demonstrated that they felt quite strongly about the issue.

2. Then you, sir, are too naive to be Chairman of the Board of Trustees of any organization except the Pollyanna Society.

3. Bob, you really are the master of the understatement, aren't you?

I wonder if Robert Bliwise were to write three or four more pieces about this case if he would ever get even close to reporting the actual truth of what happened from March 2006 to April 2007. I don't have to wonder about Bob Steel. That man is terminally hopeless in the get-a-clue department.

Anonymous said...

Of course the article is going to spin the water buffalo case in the best possible light...Duke has to in order to justify hiring Moneta.

rrhamilton said...

anonymous @ 12:37 AM said, It never ceases to amaze me just how many people were supportive of the hoax. I'm not going to even try to list them as they are legion! They are in journalism, public office, the Duke administration, faculty, the Duke Hospital and at other institutions.

anonymous @ 3:19 AM said, I was quite surprised to learn from a DIW blog yesterday that Sally Deutsch, chairman of the history department, and signer of the listening statement and clarifying statement, was promoted to dean of social studies.

As someone famous said, "He who controls the past, controls the future."

The Gang of 88 and their ilk control the past. They tell a lying Metanarrative about interracial rape in the 19th century and earlier. What happened to the Lax boys in 2006-07 is comprehensible only when we understand the power of the Metanarrative.

Who here will be surprised when in 150 years, college students are taught that the early-21st century saw a holocaust of white-on-black rape, and that the sparsity of legal actions against savage white rapists of innocent black maidens, circa 2007, is taken as proof that America did not take white-on-black rape seriously?

Ladies and gentlemen, if we don't take on the Metanarrative, then we're wasting our time here.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

from Bliwise's piece...
"One response was especially grating. Shortly after news of the party broke, eighty-eight faculty members signed a full-page Chronicle advertisement. "

Why aren't all the Duke Department's that signed onto the ad mentioned? This ad is supposed to represent the thinking of many Duke academic departments not just 88 individuals.

These last few months i have been starting to think that the Group of 88 is getting way too much focus.

I think a better target and avenue of investigation should be the academic departments and programs that are thanked for "... signing onto this ad". When you read over the ad, at the bottom all these prominent Duke departments are listed.

From what i have read here on the blog...BUT NO WHERE ELSE... is that the listed departments didn't actually sign onto the ad. Why hasn't all hell broken out about that? Wouldn't lying about univerisity departments actions in an ad in the campus paper raise red flags?

One would think universities wouldn't like individual professors to publish lies that claim departments are signing onto ads published in campus newspapers?

What do you think KC and others?

To me at this point, one could hold even aside the content of the ad, and a scandal could be revealed... Did these Departments authorized their names being placed on the ad? And as it seems they didn't... Doesn't anyone think this is a problem?

Anonymous said...

Their comparisons to Penn's water buffalo debacle highlights the underlying problems with the political atmosphere at American universities.

The Left-leaning status quo is debilitating to the credibility of higher education.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 12:37 said...

...It never ceases to amaze me just how many people were supportive of the hoax.
...If it weren't for KC writing about them, I would have no idea and I have followed this case closely from the very beginning.
...It is his thoroughness that continues to impress me.
...After AG Cooper declared the boys innocent, I thought this would all just go away (except for the civil suits). I could not have been more mistaken!
::
I completely agree and I feel like I am back in undergraduate school where I learned that it took 50 years before the real truth emerged about the Trail of Tears and the Cherokee Indians.

This is not so much about SPIN as it is about truth telling.

It won't take 50 years this time to get at the truth. The 'record' is right here on the INTERNET for anyone to read and study...thanks to KC and all of us who have formed our little community where we search for the real truth.

Our community connectiveness will soon be a story itself that need analysis by professional historians.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

12:13 --

KC documents how the Duke Magazine article only achieves its positive spin by omitting major, clearly relevant portions of the affair: mentioning the Group of 88's statement, but omitting the portions of it which show that it was about the "something" which "happened" to "the young woman" rather than about the vague and non-disprovable "campus climate"; quoting Lubiano's preposterous claim that "nobody wants to talk about [racism, sexism, sexual violence]" and omitting the fact that Durham and Duke were talking about it so much and in such frankly prejudiced terms that it became the basis for a nearly unprecedented change-of-venue motion; leaving out entirely any mention of the very serious incidents of grade retaliation.

Now, you can accuse KC of "spinning" things in favor of the lacrosse players in a similar fashion "for 15 months". However, in order for that accusation to mean more than a wet fart in an elevator, you would have to actually provide evidence to support your claims, such as KC has been doing for 15 months.

Anonymous said...

"... every time the media mention what has come to be known as the Group of 88, e-mail messages fill the inboxes of professors—a phenomenon that has "a chilling effect" and has discouraged some from continuing to speak out."

One Spook --

Oh. My. God.

Is Lee Baker actually trying to assert that the prospect of someone possibly disagreeing with them is an unjust restraint on the free speech of the 88ers?

Just when you think the worst idiocy has been drained from the boil, some new clump shows up to turn your stomach.

don t. said...

You know, I have been riding the feckless stumblebum brodhead pretty heavily form the outset for his inept handling of this affair. But I am beginning to believe that he is even more stupid and incompetent than I originally thought. Steel is more likely the principal culprit here. He is primarily responsible for hiring this Wally Cox clone and probably provides a script for him.

Duke needs a good purgative.

trinity60

Anonymous said...

12:50 AM--
It's true that a lot of PC style courses have curriculum codes that meet various requirements. And it seems likely, since professors or departments request the coding, that sometimes codes are requested with a view to making classes more attractive to students.

But it's also quite possible to meet these requirements without having to go too PC.

For example, you can get a "Cross-Cultural Inquiry" class by taking an upper-level foreign language class (one that includes literature and/or history as well as speaking and grammar), a comparative religion class, or many history classes (including the history of ancient Greece and the history of Britain).

Classes meeting the "Ethical Inquiry" requirement include Primate Conservation, Urban Economics, Human Development, Abnormal Psychology, and Air Force Leadership and Management.

The other topical mode of inquiry, "Science, Technology and Society," is met by almost every class in the Markets and Management Studies program, as well as by numerous science classes.

As for Writing 20, it's true that many of the topics are a little on the PC side--but others are not. I think the program does a good job of offering a pretty wide range of topic focuses to meet the needs of students with a diverse range of academic interests. In the fall, for example, sections will cover topics like the forensic investigation of death and crime scenes, the nature of biographical writing, and copyright and intellectual property. And based on my own children's experiences with Writing 20 (one took a more "PC" section, the other did not), the focus usually is much more on teaching academic writing and research than on imposing some required dogma that must be spewed back in written work.

wayne fontes said...

If a "chilling effect" includes forcing people to consider whether positions they publicly take can be supported by logic and facts sign me up.

In earlier times this quality would have been called prudence or rectitude. Superheated emotions and childish belief aren't adequate substitutes for sober reflection.

At one point I had hoped that the majority of the G88 would review the listening statement, realize they made a mistake and resolve to do better in the future. Now, after some sober reflection, I know that was a childish belief.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting in his assessment of the "water buffalo" case that he states that the Penn students claimed that they were called "black water buffalo". I have read quite a few articles on that case and that is something new. The word "black" was not used in anything I have seen. The crux of Penn's case against the freshman was a dictionary that unlike most dictionaries, mistakenly said that water buffalo were found in Africa, not Asia. THAT was the connection of the innocuous term "water buffalo" to racism.
Also, he states that "other slurs were used". What other slurs? If that's the case why were they making a case out of the non-slur "water buffalo"? I'm guessing that other slurs, if true, would have made a more legitimate case. Why not mention them?

Anonymous said...

I saw a snippet of Lee Baker of the Faculty88 on O'Reilly the same day Fox went to Durham and caught Nifong in his bathrobe, and it's easy to tell that Baker is on the dumb side. Even the way he talks is so pedestrian.

gwallan said...

Primer for passing any G88 course.

1. Study the instructor

2. Parrot said instructor's ideology straight back at her/him.

3. Watch the credits roll in.

No reason for their lightweight courses to not be popular.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes feel that I've been watching Duke's own remake of the 50's sci-fi horror movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Duke's 88 Pod Professors seem intent on creating a student body totally devoid, not of emotion, but of critical thought. They want students who look as diverse as possible but who think exactly alike. It's easy to tell what students have been "snatched" when they start seeing everything in the world through the Pod party prism of race/class/gender. Just think Shadee Malaklou.

The CCI recommendation that all students be required to take a diversity course is an integral part of the Pod Professors plan to
take over Duke.

I only wish that what I see happening at Duke was science fiction.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the reference to the Colorado football scandal:

Interestingly, after EVERYTHING had been investigated, thoroughly, over a two-year plus period... the only violation of law found was the use of a cell phone by a very low-level assistant coach to call an escort service.

Also, interestingly, the reason the media showed up early for various hearings and had excerpts from a transcript of a deposition of a female DA, was because the PR firm for the plaintiff's attorneys in the civil lawsuit had worked them to make sure they would be there. According to the book "Buffaloed," university officials privately described the entire ordeal as a "shakedown" attempt by the plaintiff's attorneys.

The book was published privately, reportedly because the publishing houses backed off after threats of litigation by... you guessed it... the plaintiff's attorneys.

But keep in mind the one thing... after everything was reviewed... the university and everyone associated with it, save one low level assistant coach ... did.not.break.any.laws.at.all.

All the best,
Brand

rrhamilton said...

anonymous @ 11:48 AM

I like your analogy of the G88 with the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (great movie, btw).

But I think the better analogy is with "The Matrix", with the G88 as the "Agents", most of the undergrad students as the "coppertops", and the PC grad students and others (media types?) as "sentinels".

Anonymous said...

ii:48 a.m., I wish what I see happening at Duke were happening only at Duke. Someone could come up with a great film parody of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," changing the setting from Small Town, USA, to a university campus. Unfortunately, this invasion is not sci-fi.

mik said...

Thanks, KC. I don't remember hearing about the water buffalo incident before so I read the article you linked. Imagine my surprise to see Duke's own Larry Moneta's name as the point man for UPenn during this debacle.

It quotes him saying, "both the behavior and the grounds for the behavior are among the most serious issues the University can face." Also from Moneta: "The issue is also, you know, language in my mind is neutral. It's a question of the context in which is language is used." (THE THOUGHT POLICE!)

Had anyone noticed the Moneta connection between the two cases?

Anonymous said...

A great comeuppance for the Gang of 88 would be for Duke to hire Dorothy Rabinowitz and grant her tenure. She would not remain part of the silent faculty, who have quietly endured as the 88 spout out their "truths" and metanarratives.

E-mails may have had their chilling effect on the 88 (for the time being), but more flesh-and-blood faculty on campus to counter them would be a more effective chill, especially since the administration is either too wimpy or supportive of these PC promoters at the expense of other parts of the university.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The 'chilling effect' of emails on G88 is their twisted resentment of criticism reaching them inside their cloistered cells whilst they chill out reading their favorite revolutionary drivel.

Always play the victim, learned Professors, you'll get better press that way. And it sure beats overexerting yourselves thinking up actual responses to the criticism. Could any of G88 survive if they had to defend their chairs by reasoned debate?

Their positions are the spoils of the trashed campuses of the 60s, whose Administrations cravenly surrendered and refused to defend their precincts against MSM-supported student barbarians.

Gosh, a lot like the present.

anon said...

To deny that the actions of the Duke faculty deserve no examination is to confirm explicitly that faculty have complete, unfettered disgression to exact judgement and punishment upon students for issues that have no context within the classroom.

e.g. Student is rumored to have supported an unpopular political cause --> Teacher spends a week outlining an opposing political agenda, chastizing the student and ultimately failing him/her. That's OK with everyone?

I completely disagree that Crystal Gail Mangum humanity is not being held central to any discussing of this case. You may as well say that the sun is not being held central in any discussion of agriculture or that gravity is not being held central in any discussion of construction. Her humanity, regardless of how it functions or what caused it to develop the way it has, exposed all the issues which are now central to this discussion. Crystal Gail Mangum's humanity is why we are discussing these issues at all.

Anonymous said...

Every time I think the idiots running Duke into the ground couldn't do more damage the Brodhead/Steele/G88 crew strikes anew. I mean, even these morons can't possibly think that the latest Duke Magazine piece will matter one whit. Who actually reads those magazines, anyway (except those inclined to unblinkingly write annual fund checks).

Candidly, I care not one whit what happens to Duke. But I'm increasingly transfixed at watching a veritable train-wreck unfold in real time. It's not every day you get to watch a university harm itself like this. Fascinating stuff.

rrhamilton said...

"Chilling effect"?

Didn't the 88 initiate the chilling effect by putting out an ad that "chilled" the voices of many of their students who wanted to support the lacrosse boys?

And KC has had his e'mailbox filled, and been called things like "blog hooligan" and worse -- Shouldn't the real concern be for the chilling effect on the voices of bloggers who were attacked by the faculty and their allies in the big-guns media?

R.R. Hamilton

Gary Packwood said...

mik 12:26 said...

...Thanks, KC. I don't remember hearing about the water buffalo incident before so I read the article you linked. Imagine my surprise to see Duke's own Larry Moneta's name as the point man for UPenn during this debacle.

...Had anyone noticed the Moneta connection between the two cases?
::
Oh Yes.

Larry Moneta's group has a $10M annual budget.

Within that group is the Women's Center (Safe Haven), Sexual Assault Support Services and their Take Back The Night program (rape prevention) and there is apparently no dotted line connecting these services to the Duke University Hospital Behavior Health Section.

The fact that there is very little sexual assault on the campus of Duke University is becoming a problem for Larry, I would imagine.

All of the Ph.D's in Larry's shop seem to be desperately trying to find that hot button issue with the students to justify their existence and help them with that one BIG program on campus that will cause them to earn the position of president of a small liberal arts college...somewhere in the South probably.

The action work and phrase for Larry's group is 'Diversity' and "Building a Sense of Community."

Building a 'Sense of Community' is essentially the job of the President of a Small Liberal Arts College.

The lacrosse team was not at all helpful to these efforts at 'Community Building' as the lacrosse guys refused to be victimized.

Larry needs to try again to 'Build a Sense of Community' without victims this time when they ramp up again this Fall.

Perhaps the students can build that 'Sense of Community' by taking on the problem of stay dogs, cats and water buffalo, et al...in Durham.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

The Colorado football gig is like Bill and Hillary with Whitewater. In the District, we would say "how do we get Ken STarr out of towm?" Over fifty million bucks spent and all the Republicans accomplished was forcing Newt to resign.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 12:13 said...

...KC,
...I had to laugh when you criticized Duke Magazine for spinning the LAX case in a manner which places Duke and Brodhead in the best possible light. You have been spinning the case every day for 15 months in a manner which places the LAX players in the best possible light. You are certainly in no position to criticize others for spinning.
::
How on earth could anyone 'spin' Dave, Reade and Collin?

They are great student athletes from wonderful families who are responsible for their own reputations.

Their lacrosse team has a 100% graduation rate and they have been active in their community since elementary school.

How do you spin that?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

that is so much spin. these men may have been innocent of rape but they were not saints. kc has done nothing but spin this whole time and initiate blog/email attacks on anyone who did not carry his partyline which is:

KC partyline:
1.the lax team are white angels beset by a mostly black city; everything they have ever done is exemplary

2.the defense attornies involved are absolute truth tellers even though they are some of the biggest liars on the east coast and anyone living here knows they have defended the scum of the earth on a routine basis before this

3.that CGM and the blacks in durham are not human beings and have no rights a white person should respect and therefore can be vilified, disrespected, etc and denied a chance for evidence to be heard in court.

4.jim coleman is the one black person worthy of respect as he is quick to try to white wash the lax players(see point #1) even though his own report noted that 36 of them were in trouble with duke or the police since 2003 and that the team had more problems of this sort than any sports team at duke. They were hardly angels collectively. Evans had alcohol charges and was the mastermind of the lesbian sex show for the team, Finnerty's DC escapade in which he threatened and assaulted a stranger while calling him a faggot was hideous and showed a poor character(i do not care that the conviction is vacated; that is political and he still was convicted by a JUDGE and no one can deny that it did happen) and Seligmann comes from the center of an SAT cheating scandal, Delbarton( which gave Reade a gold medal recently even though last time i checked most catholic schools would not reward attending an underage drinking lesbian sex show with racial epithets but i guess times have changed.)

5.the G88 professors have no right to free speech nor a right to even have diversity and feminist areas of study exist, period

6.Nifong is the prince of darkness

and did i leave anything out?

oh yes,
7.anyone not carrying the partyline publicly should be routinely attacked on this blog and by vile emails.

too bad a lot of people in Durham still disagree with you and these bloggers. Cooper's declaration of innocence(which is itself unprecedented and illegitimate as only a judge or jury can declare innocence)and then his sketchy report did not convince everyone. The opposition on the city council is just the tip of the iceberb.

mac said...

2:14 am

See? Except for me, no one's even
bothering to respond to your
ridiculousness.

As someone said before: what you
just did was let a wet fart
in a paper bag.

Might as well have said, from
your classroom parapet:

"I fart in your general direction!"
(Monty Python's "Holy Grail.")