Saturday, June 02, 2007

Only in Durham

The Durham City Council voted yesterday to approve an investigation of the police department’s conduct in the lacrosse case. Chairman Willis Whichard will be joined by four police chiefs, three of whom are white males; the fourth is a black female.

The Council members will choose the remaining seven members according to a hard quota system: two white females, two black men, and three black women. The panel makeup automatically prevents any Council member from choosing a white male, seeming to fly in the face of ensuring that the best available people are selected.

[Update, 8.41am: The H-S reports that the hard quota idea came from none other than Councilwoman Diane Catotti, who remarked, "This case raises so many race and gender issues it's important to have that parity." Does it make any sense to have the one member of the Council who opposed any inquiry at all be the guiding force on such an important issue?]

For instance, this inquiry desperately needs to include the perspective of defense lawyers. The North Carolina Bar website does not contain a demographic breakdown of its members, but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67 percent of lawyers in the United States are male, and just under 90 percent of the nation’s attorneys are white. Assuming that North Carolina’s breakdown is fairly similar to the national average, that would mean that a majority of the defense lawyers in the state are white males.

An ideal person for this commission, of course, would be Jim Coleman; and North Carolina obviously has many first-rate female or African-American attorneys. But, as City Councilman Mike Woodard noted, “I want us to find the best seven people we can.” With that as a goal, does it really make sense for Durham to eliminate the majority of the state’s attorneys simply because they are white and male?

This hard quota arrangement is disturbing in a number of ways. First, it fails on its own terms. According to Durham’s population figures, more than 11 percent of the city is neither white nor African-American. Under a hard-quota philosophy, that 11 percent total entitles citizens from other races to one member (8 percent) of the 12-person commission of inquiry.

Second, one of Mike Nifong’s critical contributions to the lacrosse case came in his injection of race into the case. The disgraced DA took over personal command of the investigation on March 24, 2006. That’s the same day that Cpl. David Addison began his campaign of public slandering against the lacrosse players. Then, on March 27, when Nifong joined the publicity barrage, he repeatedly played the role of racial demagogue. The police and Nifong even elected to mislead the public to highlight the alleged racial angle of the alleged crime—as when Nifong and Kammie Michael suggested that someone other than Kim Roberts made the first 911 call, thereby creating the public impression that the lacrosse players hurled racial slurs at two innocent black women who just happened to be walking by the house.

By calling for a committee evenly divided along racial lines, the Council has effectively endorsed Nifong’s reasoning that the case should be examined primarily through the prism of race. As Brad Bannon told the H-S, "I always thought race was inappropriately injected into this case from the beginning by the district attorney with his comments. Race didn't need to be the factor it became."

Third, the purpose of this inquiry is not to retry the lacrosse case, although it appears that one Council member, Diane Catotti, is eager to do so. Catotti vehemently opposed even having an inquiry, and also denounced her colleague, Thomas Stith, for demanding that Mike Nifong resign.

At the council meeting, Catotti announced that she would use her selection power to name someone from the Durham rape crisis center, since the lacrosse case itself dealt with race and gender issues. Of course, there isn’t a scintilla of evidence to suggest that the police improperly treated Crystal Mangum because of her race or gender.

What’s the mindset of people who work at the Durham crisis center? On March 16, in an interview with ABC’s Law & Justice Unit, one such figure, Leah Ottinger, spoke out.

Ottinger, who had just left her job at the Durham Crisis Response Center, dismissed the possibility that Mangum’s myriad, mutually contradictory stories suggested that Mangum was lying. Assault victims, she declared, “don’t clearly remember the event right away. It’s not unusual and it doesn’t mean they are lying . . . When people have been through a trauma—a car crash is a good analogy—it can take them time to reconstruct the facts in their minds. Plus, sexual assault is uncomfortable for anyone to talk about.”

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the AG’s inquiry, Oettinger asserted, “that doesn’t mean a crime didn’t happen that night.”

Does Oettinger reflect the general mindset at the Crisis Response Center? It sure appears that way. The lead page on the center’s website contains a press release responding to the announcement of “Attorney General Roy Copper [sic].” Its conclusion?

It is always the prosecutor’s perogative [sic] whether or not to move forward with a case. The circumstances from which these charges arose – a party where women were hired to gratify young men – only served to denigrate men and women and further reinforce harmful stereotypes. The fact that underage drinking took place at this party highlights the reality that alcohol is a well-known aggravating factor in sexual assault, especially on college campuses.

There’s a rather significant problem with that statement: there was no rape. So how does the presence of alcohol at a party where no rape occurred highlight “the reality that alcohol is a well-known aggravating factor in sexual assault, especially on college campuses?”

The Attorney General has publicly stated that no rape occurred. So has City Manager Baker. So has Police Chief Chalmers. So, even, has Mike Nifong. Yet Councilwoman Catotti is determined to appoint a representative of an organization that still appears to believe that a rape took place? Does Catotti understand that the purpose of the inquiry is to determine what the police did wrong in producing the indictments of three innocent people without probable cause—or does she think that the inquiry represents a last-ditch effort for the “something must have happened” crowd?

There is an alternative. In 2004, Darryl Hunt, who was wrongly incarcerated for almost two decades, was freed after DNA tests revealed that another man had raped and killed a 25-year-old woman named Deborah Sykes. In response, the city of Winston-Salem set up a seven-person commission to look into what the Police Department did wrong in handling the case. City Council member Vivian Burke, the driving force behind setting up the inquiry, had a basic criterion for the commission’s membership—according to the Winston-Salem Journal, she wanted “clear-headed individuals with no baggage who are able to evaluate others.”

The City Council should go back to the drawing board, and call for a commission peopled by figures with diverse backgrounds and experiences relevant to investigating the issue of police misconduct. Every effort should be made to make the committee diverse on racial and gender grounds, but hard quotas should be rejected. And every member of the committee should be willing to start from a basic premise: no rape occurred.

82 comments:

William Jockusch said...

Sorry, KC, I'm gonna have to differ with you on this one. In general, I don't like quotas either. But the purpose of this commission is to tell the city that its police and prosecutor behaved unconscionably in an attempt to pander to the black vote. I think it's better the black folks get told that by a group that includes a lot of black folks than by one that doesn't, becuase they will be more likely to be believed.

William Jockusch said...

Also, I suspect this commission will take its job very seriously. But if they don't, I'm sure you will have no trouble shredding their work, be they black, white, purple or green.

Anonymous said...

The commission is part of a well-planned stall. Keep appearing to investigate and prevent the feds from coming in.

Joe T. said...

Isn't it funny how the "something must've happened" crowd tries to hang on to that "hope" so so so TIGHTLY ?

Anonymous said...

Some further suggestions for the makeup of the committee :

3) Have someone familiar with prying into police cover-ups. To that end, I would suggest getting someone from the ACLU.

4) As well, to give the public an eye on the inner doings, get someone from the working press, from OUTSIDE of Durham (in order that the Durham media can still report on the committee without a conflict of interest). Preferably, an investigative reporter who has covered this kind of story before.

Thirdly, have someone from a Durham citizens' group which is critical of the courts and the police (the low bails; the revolving-door at the jails for some drug dealers and gang members; the high crime rates; the long delays before trial) and who has been a leader in calling for DPD reform.

These persons might actually develop a good report, instead of being placed on the committee for a kind of 'ornamental' purpose.

Gary Packwood said...

William Jockusch 12:09 said...

...But the purpose of this commission is to tell the city that its police and prosecutor behaved unconscionably in an attempt to pander to the black vote.
::
The purpose of this commission is to get at the truth.

Pandering to AA Black voters may be part of the truth. Probably a very small part.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

My God! When are the lawsuits coming?? This is all just a horrible joke, a fraud, and a sham. DIshonest, unethical, corrupt pols, stalling for time. Disgusting.

Chicago said...

What in the world does someone at a rape crisis center know about investigating police procedure?

If the City of Durham Finance Committee needed to be investigated, would they start by looking for someone with a Zoning Department background?

Chicago said...

Meant to say Finance department, not committee. Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

How come we are just hearing about Oettinger and the Center now? butch Williams looks like a good bet. Who is to say the ratio can not include the best folk possible.Trying to micro manage the commission from the blogs is not helpful to Durham.

Anonymous said...

Duke case: Deplorable Duke still deplorable

http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/gaynor/070601


Michael Gaynor Michael Gaynor
June 1, 2007


When the rest of the mainstream media had it so very wrong, Stuart Taylor, America's top legal commentator, wrote in National Journal: "Something is rotten at Duke, as at many universities. I don't think it has much to do with lacrosse."

Mr. Taylor was right about that too.

Kerstin Kimel, the coach of Duke's women's lacrosse team, neither reflexively defended the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team nor demonized them.

Coach Kimel: "They made a very bad decision in hosting the party and hiring strippers. But I will tell you they are great kids. There is a strong camaraderie between our teams, and my players — being smart, savvy young women — would not associate with them if they felt on the whole, there was an issue of character."

Coack Kimel did NOT condone what happened at Duke to the lacrosse men after the bogus gang rape claim: "Being at an elite university, where every side of every issue is debated, my kids were shocked, disillusioned, and disappointed that their professors and the university community were so one-sided in their condemnation of the lacrosse players."

As one who deplored the media calling the unidentified complainant a victim instead of an accuser and an exotic dancer instead of a stripper in April of 2006 and the indictments of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans as deplorable politically-motivated persecution in May of 2006 (as well as stripper parties, engaging in or facilitating underage drinking, inappropriate words by a few at the party and unfunny language in private email intended to be funny), I deplore the way the authorities in North Carolina and at Duke University have (1) characterized Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong as an overzealous/bungling prosecutor who is the ONE responsible for an ill-considered, instead of carefully calculated, prosecution that could not have proceeded without plenty of cooperation, (2) excused false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum as a delusional person not responsible enough to be prosecuted for making a false report, so that a Durham County jury could decide whether she was a criminal disgrace or a mental case and (3) treated the outrages of the Group of 88, including flagrant punitive grading by perennial visiting Professor Kim Curtis, as either fair comment or too trivial to be sanctioned.

Duke has not repented. Instead, it settled the Dowd punitive grading suit under a confidentiality agreement and scheduled Professor Curtis to teach this coming fall.

Brooklyn College History Professor Robert K.C. Johnson is not looking for a job in Duke's History Department.

That's bad news for Duke history students.

Would Duke hire Professor Johnson?

Perhaps as a pinyata for the shameless Group of 88.

Professor Johnson's article entitled "The Deutsch Files" exposed the situation at Duke: "My Cliopatria colleague Ralph Luker recently attended an academic conference at Duke, where he encountered Group of 88 member Sally Deutsch. Luker recalled that Deutsch 'seemed to think that I should know better than to be found blogging with KC Johnson. She bristled noticeably when I said that, after all, he'd turned out to be correct about the lacrosse case. "You mean about the charges being dropped?", she asked. I started to say: "No. Read my lips: 'There was no rape.'" But the hairs were already standing up from the back of her neck up over to her eyebrows and her eyes were flashing. It's a good thing that KC and I are not looking for a job at Duke. Professor Deutsch has just moved from chairing Duke's history department to dean of [social sciences of] the college of arts and sciences."

Professor Johnson added: "For the record, as Ralph pointed out, neither he nor I are seeking employment at Duke."

Then, if there was the slightest chance of Professor Johnson being hired by Duke the way it is being run now (and I doubt there was), Professor Johnson obliterated it:

"Some members of the Group of 88, of course, fit the caricature of faculty extremists. Take, for instance, Grant Farred, who has ridiculously asserted that by loud partying that bothered their predominantly white, upper-class neighbors in Trinity Park, 'at the heart of the lacrosse team's behavior is the racist history of the South.' Or the statement's principal author, Wahneema Lubiano, whose 'books' appear to be in the perpetually 'forthcoming' mode and whose prose is virtually impenetrable, except when she reports that she will press ahead 'regardless of the "truth."'"

What Professor Johnson wrote next might seem like pandering:

"Deutsch, on the other hand, casts a more moderate persona. She has published two well-reviewed books with a prestigious press (Oxford). She isn't inclined to intemperate public statements of the type we have seen from Farred or Lubiano. She has had fellowships at mainstream entities, such as Harvard's Charles Warren Center; the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.; and the Huntington Library. And, as Ralph pointed out, Deutsch is a figure of considerable influence at Duke — dean of the social sciences within Trinity College."

But it simply set up Deutsch for a dressing down:

"Deutsch's affiliation with the intellectual mainstream only goes so far, however. Given her status as both a Group of 88 member and a signatory to the clarifying faculty statement, it should come as little surprise that Deutsch adheres to the race/class/gender worldview so pervasive among Duke's arts and sciences faculty. A member of Duke's 'Working Group in Feminism and History,' she describes her research interests as 'the United States from 1870 to 1940, focusing on issues of [naturally] class, race, gender, and ethnic differences.'

"Ralph, for understandable reasons, was taken aback that a figure such as Deutsch — someone who doesn't cut an extremist profile — could appear unwilling, even at this late stage, to admit the obvious: that no rape occurred. Those who recalled her activities last spring, however, might have been less surprised.

"Unlike some members of the Group of 88 — Lubiano again comes to mind — Deutsch had actually taught lacrosse players. In fact, last spring, several lacrosse players were in her class. The week after Mike Nifong began his pre-primary publicity barrage, Deutsch deviated from the syllabus and announced that she would use class time to discuss how white men, especially in the South, had disrespected and sexually assaulted black females.

"'We all knew what she was doing,' one lacrosse player later recalled. 'A couple people asked questions to try to get her off track, but she persisted. It lasted a half hour. She clearly wasn't sympathetic.' After the class, several non-lacrosse players came up to team members and told them how inappropriate they had considered Deutsch's behavior.

"I contacted Deutsch several weeks ago to ask whether, in fact, she had taken such an approach. She said that she had — but didn't see anything wrong with her behavior. She asserted that because her course spent 'extensive time on [naturally] race and gender relations,' it was appropriate for her to use class time to contextualize the incident, thereby helping to 'explain why people were so upset.'

"At that point, of course, the only information about the incident was supplied by Mike Nifong and his underlings, such as Cpl. David Addison. Deutsch does not appear to have considered whether it was appropriate for a college professor to accept Nifong's word so uncritically that she would deviate from the scheduled topic of the lecture and instead conduct a guilt-presuming discussion of the case in her class, especially since several of the affected students were at the receiving end of her lecture.

"Indeed, the type of background she elected to explore reflected a presumption that a crime occurred. When asked whether she had also had adjusted her planned topics to examine the case through the equally relevant historical legacy of race-based prosecutorial misconduct in the South, Deutsch did not reply.

"Despite Deutsch's claims, the course that she taught was not described as focusing exclusively on issue of race and gender, calling into further question her decision to deviate from the syllabus. The course, instead, was a survey: U.S. history from 1870 to 1914. Here is the course description from the Arts&Sciences Course Bulletin (which is, for the record, considered a contract between a student and the University): 'Industrialization, immigration, westward migration, and increased United States involvement in world political and economic affairs. The resulting political upheavals and the efforts of various groups to promote, control, or alter change. Not open to students who took History 129B.'

"For a professor intent on providing context to the charges, nothing in that description would have suggested ignoring the long Southern tradition of race-based prosecutorial misconduct, and instead choosing to focus on a context identical to that offered at the time by Mike Nifong.

"At the end of the semester, another surprise greeted the players in the class: each noticed that their marks were one- or two-thirds of a grade lower than they had expected, apparently due to the subjective 'participation' component of the grading.

"That a figure such as Deutsch still seems unwilling to admit that no rape occurred is not surprising. That, however, she could — months after the fact — continue to justify her decision to use class time to effectively present Nifong's preferred foundation of the case against the players is depressing. It's no wonder that the Duke administration never investigated allegations last spring of improper behavior by professors toward lacrosse players."

Playing lacrosse at Duke under Coach John Danowski may be an irresistible attraction, but having Deutsch as Dean of Social Sciences engaging in punitive grading (albeit not as blatantly as Professor Kim Curtis) is a big negative.

It's a pity that the Dowd punitive grading case was quietly settled by Duke under a confidentiality agreement.

The Duke administration obviously is not interested in ending the politically correct excess at Duke.

Which takes me to a comment by Dan Collins posted on The News & Observer's Editors Blog way back on July 25, 2006:

"Ms. Sill:

"I do not live in the Durham, NC area, but I have been following this case very closely and have been reading anything and everything I can find on line, including the articles in the N&O.

"Just so you know I am one of the people that thinks this case that your DA is going to bring to trial is an outrageous abuse of power. But I still read all the articles no matter which side the writer supports. If you read or see something from Georgia Goslee, Cash Michaels, Nancy Grace, Jesse Jackson, or the Black Panthers you can get the 'facts' on a rape that definitely took place. If you see something from Sean Hannity, Dan Abrams, Bill O'Reilly or Michael Gaynor, you can expect to read about the obvious 'hoax.'

"The problem I have with your newspaper is that your reporters DEFINITELY supported the stripper's story, especially early on. The examples have been pointed out to you many times, such as calling her a 'victim' right from the start, and then bragging about being the only newspaper to be granted an interview with the 'victim.' During this interview you made sure that you kept the victim label intact, you asked NO provocative questions that would put a little pressure on her or anything that might result in another lie that would come out later, you wanted your readers to see her as a soft-spoken fragile baby, you wanted your readers to see her as so scared that night that all she could do was cry. (my opinion of the few strippers I have witnessed in my lifetime is that they are fearless and as tough as any linebacker in the NFL, but that is only my opinion) No questions such as: Did Kim Roberts REALLY join in the sexual assault and rob you as you told the police? Did you REALLY go back into the house AFTER you were raped for your shoe or to make more money? No, the picture is of a virtuous 'lady' that is only stripping for the oh-so-virtuous reason to 'feed her children.' If you want to believe the strippers story like the others I mentioned above, that is fine, but what is so insulting are your ridiculous denials, you keep telling your readers that you are 'proud' of the objective reporting that your newspaper put out, it is as if you think your readers cannot read... we know what we read. Your reporters were either selective or very unprepared to write about such an important issue.

"The best example is the writing of Ruth Sheehan, I know she has been pounded in here over and over, but she deserves it. I don't know if she just doesn't know what she was talking about or is she just lying? How could she write an article that is headlined 'Silence is Sickening' that starts out 'we know you know.' Every other newspaper in the country has reported from the very beginning that the 3 players that lived in the house went to the police the next day to offer anything the police asked for, including polygraph tests. ALL the players and their lawyers have been pounding the door of the DA's office down to give ALL the information as to what happened that night, but there was zero co-operation from the DA's office. It is painfully obvious that the 'objective' Ruth Sheehan had already decided that they were silent to cover up for the 'rapist.' Then Ruth Sheehan has the gall to portray HERSELF as a victim of the media frenzy when she writes another article, 'Duke Case Hard to Unclutter.' She tries to explain how she tried to sort all the 'facts' to write the stories about the case, and she gave us a lecture, 'life is not always that simple.' She is so philosophical the way she implies that it was so difficult to sift through all the 'facts' while weighing all the evidence as it trickled in. (please read the article again, I promise you it will make you ill).

"Its your newspaper, you can print what you want, just don't insult me by telling me I don't understand what you wrote. Why don't you just come forward and admit it.

"We know you know."

I was convinced the Hoax was a Hoax while Ms. Sheehan, a rape victim, innocently believed Mr. Nifong could not behave that way unless the players really were rapists.

To her credit, Ms. Sheehan eventually saw the light, did what was right, and apologized.

Duke needs to see the light, do what is right, and apologize, instead of buying silence and going back to business as usual.

I don't expect that during the presidency of Richard Brodhead.

I urge Duke donors to time and condition their donations wisely, so that Duke becomes the place they want it to be, instead of a crazed politically correct enclave where truth and fairness do not matter as much as the preferred political agenda..

Anonymous said...

RE: "What in the world does someone at a rape crisis center know about investigating police procedure?"

Just don't you worry, because they know plenty.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Oh, that's rich. A commission chosen to judge if Dave, Reade and Collin were persecuted on the basis of their race and sex is itself chosen on the basis of ITS race and sex.

Anonymous said...

I think the bigger problem is having four police chiefs on the committee. IMO, the chiefs will be inclined to find ways to justify the DPD activities. I don't think they will be interested in exposing problems with the department.

They will also be the PD experts on the committe, and are used to being leaders. So I think they will control the direction the investigation goes.

-- RD

Anonymous said...

William Jockusch said...
Sorry, KC, I'm gonna have to differ with you on this one. In general, I don't like quotas either. But the purpose of this commission is to tell the city that its police and prosecutor behaved unconscionably in an attempt to pander to the black vote. I think it's better the black folks get told that by a group that includes a lot of black folks than by one that doesn't, becuase they will be more likely to be believed.

=====================
This kind of thinking is why OJ was found not guilty.

Anonymous said...

Does Durham actually have 7 ethical clear thinking honest people?

It seems not.

Anonymous said...

Many of the bad female writers who crucified these guys, claimed to be rape victims. Who knows if that is true. Men have a tendency to believe this stuff. Woman are more suspicious? What difference would it make in their articles anyway? I have worked with over hundreds of woman in my career - never met one who claimed she had been raped. How come so many female writes claim "victim"

Anonymous said...

I would say to Ruthie "Sometimes, apology not enough." She and her paper inflamed this issue and gave NIfong permission to perpetrate the hoax. Not only that, she is a terrible writer.

Anonymous said...

1. Its one thing to take into account gender/race/religion when forming a committee. Its another to have a quota.

2. Am I the only one who is certain that the policies of the gang of 88 and some rape crisis workers will not only INCREASE the chances of sexual assaults but also increase the chances of guilty rapists going free? And you can bet those jokers will be nowhere to be found to explain.

3. Anybody who still believes Mangum at this point or does not have some sympathy toward the Duke 3 (and is not outraged by Nifong) is either a racist or an idiot.

Anonymous said...

OT - DOJ has just announced that they will start an investigation of the
City of Austin (TX) PD for possible excessive use of force. They were asked to do so by city leaders and the NAACP. Austin PD replied, "Bring it on, we have nothing to hide". Why is the DOJ investigating one of the most liberal, laid back PDs in the country? Is it because the case deals with a protected class? I guess the DOJ doesn't investigate Durham because the victims of its PD are not protected? What a country we live in.

Anonymous said...

"At the council meeting, Catotti announced that she would use her selection power to name someone from the Durham rape crisis center, since the lacrosse case itself dealt with race and gender issues".

This is not a case about rape, as there was no rape, according to the state Attorney-General. It is a case about false accusations in which the victims are all white males.

It isn 't often that you see the police wanting a commission into their alleged misconduct to be as black as possible. A case full of such delicious ironies.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, KC, I'm gonna have to differ with you on this one. In general, I don't like quotas either. But the purpose of this commission is to tell the city that its police and prosecutor behaved unconscionably in an attempt to pander to the black vote. I think it's better the black folks get told that by a group that includes a lot of black folks than by one that doesn't, becuase they will be more likely to be believed".

It seems more than a touch naive to think that's the message such a commission is likely to send out.

Anonymous said...

"Also, I suspect this commission will take its job very seriously".

But it is DURHAM!!

Anonymous said...

12:46:00--

Would you please post only LINKS, and not the whole 150,000 word text to articles please? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

RD--

"I think the bigger problem is having four police chiefs on the committee. IMO, the chiefs will be inclined to find ways to justify the DPD activities. I don't think they will be interested in exposing problems with the department".

A very good point. They will be disposed to close ranks with their brethren. The commission is already hopelessly compromised.

Anonymous said...

"... the purpose of the inquiry is to determine what the police did wrong in producing the indictments of three innocent people without probable cause..."

Way too optimistic. The professed purpose of this inquiry is to see if the police did anything wrong; the actual purpose of the inquiry is to get an "objective", outside group to declare that no, the police did not really do anything wrong. Oh, there will be some "minor" problems revealed, but all in all, DPD did its level best during these tough ol' times. They need more funds if they're to do better. Any bets against that?

Forget Catotti's rape center proxy: as we have seen throughout this atrocious saga, race trumps gender trumps sanity and decency and even logic.

Who knows? Three of those appointed police chiefs may, against all of their own instincts and self-interests, criticize another policing effort (it's not very likely, though). I'm going to make the wild, wild guess that the fourth will not.

William Jockusch said...

I understand the cynicism, but I
believe the cynics commenting will be proven wrong. Based on the way people were talking in the previous city council meeting, I believe that with the exception of one fruitcake, they want to get to the bottom of this.

William Jockusch said...

I have now blogged a bit about my opinion on this quota. For once, my opinion is different from Mr. Johnson's.

http://greeneggsandbacon.blogspot.com/2007/06/disagreeing-with-kc-johnson.html

Duke parent 2004 said...

The Durham City Council has given new meaning to Will Rogers's dictum that no man is safe while the legislature is in session. "Safe" now must include "free from hernia-inducing laughter."

It is time, Professor Johnson, to begin canvassing votes for this year's winner of your Lewis Carroll Prize. I hereby propose that you open the forum to suggestions on what the prize itself should look like. Hint: perhaps a mural for the council chamber (how can the Durham City Council not win?) that calls to mind the drawings of M. C. Escher. Even if R. R. Hamilton is correct (and I think he is) that someone might short-circuit the fun by successfully challenging the constitutionality of a commission composed explicitly by race, we should nevertheless recognize the City Council's determination to amuse us by its pretending not to have noticed that it was, after all, bowing to the holy triad of race, class, and gender that dunked some of Durham's finest officials and educators in the pickle jar in the first place.

It is time, as well, for posters here to propose an "aptness" prize for KC himself, who could not have chosen a better name for this blog.

Anonymous said...

It is stunning and sad that commenters actually think this strict racial quota system will be valuable. The fact is the denial crowd is not going to listen to anyone regardless of skin color, any more than Liberals would trust a verdict by Clarence Thomas as opposed to Ruth B Ginsberg. For a Liberal there is no white/black/jew etc. only Liberalism .. they merely use these convenient labels to work their agenda. KC I hope you are seeing the total bankruptcy of Liberal thinking. And yes KC Barrack Obama is a Liberal.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 7:04:00 KC is still conflicted. He wants to be a liberal so bad that he is afraid pull his nose away from the very detailed picture he is drawing.

But do forgive him. He may have tenure but he still needs to get along in academia.

Anonymous said...

re quotas

This case keeps getting weirder and weirder.

bill anderson said...

Let us face it. The last thing anyone in authority in Durham wants is the truth. The Duke and Durham hard left already puts "truth" in its "proper metanarrative" and we see that again in the insistence of the "rape crisis" crowd.

The purpose of this committee will be to stave off a real investigation. I have seen this done so many times on the federal level that I cannot count it. These people know what they are doing. Since their version of "truth" can only be spoken in a race/sex context, the entire thing is meaningless.

Eugene Brown is heroic, but he is a hero surrounded by cowards and worse.

Anonymous said...

From Vince:
I am in full agreement with Mr. Jockusch re the commission's races/quotas. Actually, it seems to me that opposing positions are naive. KC has said that Chairman Whichard is respected; accepting that is so, he will presumably not want to be associated with an effort that is either incompetent or a sham. I do have some concern that he is a former legislator but let's give him the benefit of the doubt. I am more concerned with capability than motivation -- abilty to take testimony, accessibility of previously gathered evidence, budget, staff etc. Two obvious requirements should be that no residents of Durham or its county should be members and no people (other than Whichard) should be permitted if they have run for office or have obvious political aspirations.

Shouting Thomas said...

To quote Henry Miller:

"Against stupidity, we are helpless."

john dengler said...

A quota system misses the boat entirely. This investigation should be about identifying improper and possibly criminal conduct by the DPD. That's it. NO RACIAL AGENDAS. Don't be surprised if at least one of the hoax enabling Group of 88 decides to politic to be included on the commission. Unfortunately, introducing an explicit quota system guarantees that this investigation will be tainted. Let's hope anti-hoax heroes such as Mayor Bell and Eugene Brown can keep the investigation on the right track. Keeping my fingers crossed in Durham...

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Bill Anderson. Basically, a city is going to try to police itself. This is wrought with the potential for fraud right from the start. There are too many potential conflicts of interest and political motives for this to be meaningful.
THe only real way to investigate police or political corruption is for an independent outside agency to do so. In this case, the USDOJ would be the best agency to do so. For reasons that are unclear to me, they have been reluctant to do that.
Whether one is White, Black, Republican, Democrat, Left, Right really should not matter. The issue is that in this country, people MUST be treated fairly in the justice system, and when someone is not, it needs to be dealt with.

BDay

mb said...

KC, this doesn't surprise me one bit. Feminists have been forcing their way into the halls of law enforcement and justice so that they can "educate" police, DAs and judges that "women never lie about rape." To me what this represents is just another feminist intrusion into the system. I predict that the woman from the Crisis Center will be there to ensure that the investigation concludes that the police and DA were correct when they steadfastly believed Mangum, despite her incredible, ever-changing stories.

This is simply more of the same femi-fascist stuff they've been foisting on us for decades.

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

"The panel makeup automatically prevents any Council member from choosing a white male, seeming to fly in the face of ensuring that the best available people are selected."

Careful, KC. We know what you meant, but that one sentence is so structurally awkward as to invite interpretive exploitation by mendacious bats.
-------------------

Ho hum. So the willfully obstructive get to emote while performing their fictional drama. Who cares? Their audience will never be dissuaded from just loving the play. More interpretive dance, I say.

The truth is largely out. Its yet festering nuances will be exposed during civil discovery. Loose the hounds.

NDLax

Michael said...

I think that I'd prefer Cash Michaels to a rape crisis center employee. At least he recognizes that he was conned and has admitted it.

My guess is that the folks at their rape crisis center still believe a rape was committed.

Anonymous said...

Durham DESERVES all the misery it gets. Sadly a city run by fools for a city of dolts and fools!

Anonymous said...

The Chairman "... will be joined by four police chiefs....The Council members will choose the remaining seven members...."
Who chooses the police chiefs?

Chairman Whichard seems to lack the power to select any of his members, the key factor in determining a group's thrust and direction. He will be herding cats. This will be a mini UN panel, awash in conflicting and likely corrupt agendas. It is destined to fail as an investigative body.

Tom

luke said...

A government entity forms a government commission based upon racial quotas? That cries out for an Equal Protection challenge. They better run this through their attorneys first.

Gary Packwood said...

Duke parent 2004 6:49 said...

...City Council [is determined] to amuse us.
::
So True.

I think Will Rogers's dictum that no man is safe while the legislature is in session...assumed that the anointed ones would produce a record of their deliberations.

Should we expect a document to be produced by these folks that can be studied?

Perhaps Duke Parent 2004 has a point and the final result will be one of Escher's drawings of an impossible reality.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Is Cototti black or a dyke?

Anonymous said...

10:59:00 AM

Maybe all of the above and very confused?

Anonymous said...

Profile: Diane Catotti+photo


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Catotti

Gary Packwood said...

luke 10:45 said...

...A government entity forms a government commission based upon racial quotas? That cries out for an Equal Protection challenge. They better run this through their attorneys first.
::
Now there is a new thought for me!

This whole Dog and Pony show never produces a report because of an Equal Protection challenge.

And, alas, funds are not available to do it again.
::
GP

Eric said...

Let's see. Three white males are damn near lynched by a racist, sexist, leftist mob, aided by unethical police and led by a corrupt prosecutor pandering to the racists. So the obvious group to investigate what went wrong is a group composed along racist and sexist lines, with a few cops thrown in. Of course don't allow any white males that aren't cops. How did they miss getting a prosecutor on the panel?

The panel will come up with a couple criticisms in order to throw a bone to the crowd, but then lurch off on a tangent to blame white males for somehow being a the root of all evil.

Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Why does the setup for this "investigative committee" remind me of the setup of the CCI?

It looks like people in Durham love to have foxes guarding their henhouses.

Brand

Anonymous said...

I just read the press release from the Durham Crisis Response Center that KC linked to in his blog and if this is the "official" statement from the group no member of this group should be on the commission. Their bias runs deep.

Aurelia Sands Belle, Executive Director, makes no attempt to hide the fact that she still clearly believes that a rape occurred but acquiesces to AG Cooper's "prerogative whether or not to move forward with a case." There is no mention of Cooper's finding in this case that NO credible evidence ever existed to support bringing charges and she asserts that the dehumanization of rape "is further emphasized by THE differences in race, gender, and class." It sounds to me like she is talking about a very specific non-case.

She goes on to express her concern that this "situation" (she can't bring herself to even use Cooper's "I" word)) has made it more difficult for "other" victims to come forward.

What part of "Innocent" does Ms. Belle not understand? Crystal Mangum was NOT a "victim". In fact she was the Rape Crisis Center's worst nightmare and Ms. Belle is still asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

In theory, a rape crisis center employee might contribute a balancing perspective along the lines of evaluating whether police appropriately gave the accuser the benefit of the doubt (which should, of course, be different from "believing" her absolutely and without question), and whether that might have led them to do some wrong things for the "right" reason.

In fact, of course, if the rape crisis center employee is an extremist (which some are), the result could well be a perspective in which any police action in support of any rape claim, no matter how dubious, is considered justifiable and appropriate--or worse, as some commenters have speculated, a perspective that posits that the now definitively-answered question of whether a sexual assault occurred should be reopened. While I doubt the latter approach would gain much traction, it could certainly significantly hamstring an investigation.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson is absolutely correct. This already is a sham investigation by a sham commission. The former supreme court justice should refuse to serve as head of such a group. This is all a stall. As long as there is an appearance of someone in North Carolina "doing something about the hoax" the feds will stay out. Can some attorneys advise Wonderland readers how to bring more legal and political pressure on the failed justice system. And where is Governor Easley's leadership? This is an embarrassment to the whole state of North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Race should not be a factor here. I would look for individuals with a demonstrated ability to ferret out the truth and commitment to social justice, irrespective of race. Coleman, a black law professor from Duke and color-blind in the pursuit of justice, sure fits the bill.

Anonymous said...

Race is always a factor with the leftist ideologues.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, race is also a factor with ideologues on the far right.

Legal Eagle said...

"Legal" remedies in this case depend entirely on political will, as signaled by NC/AG Cooper in his ritual washing-of-the-hands regarding Durham.

Beyond Cooper, the next step is the federal, and I wouldn't assume they're not involved, although this may be wishful thinking on my part.

Unfortunately, Cooper's investigation was, by design and intention, restricted to a single issue; the conduct of the DA in the LAX case. It's seems very unlikely extraneous notes would have been taken, particularly regarding evidence reflecting a wider pattern of official misconduct. Politically, a see-no-evil approach.

Without the evidence bypassed by his investigation, Cooper could and did legally claim no cause
or statutory obligation to pursue further action.

A serious investigation by the Durham panel will include, first and foremost, questioning Cooper's investigators -- cites and objections notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Why were all the comments taken off the Deustch Files thread?

Anonymous said...

I nominate Victoria Peterson. The diversity of the group should be based on race, class, gender and opinion. For the sake of diversity, our society's only moral imperative, it is critical that we include someone who believes this actually happened.

by including Peterson we get 3 for 1 on the diversity chart. one female, one black and one fool.

WINDBAG

don t. said...

Absolutely incredible!! Durham makes Wonderland look like the personification of logic, truth and reason. I sure is glad I don't live there no more (I DID learn the language).

Carolyn at 1:13am is right. This whole exercise is ludicrous. Someone ought to pull the plug on this cesspool (together with the administration at Duke and 20% of the Duke faculty).

trinity60

Anonymous said...

2:13:00 PM (Deutch comments) They were taken off because someone started connecting the dots. KC started this blog to draw dots. He didn't think they could be connected the way there have been being connected.

KC still has to work in academe. Do your own dot connecting.

Gary Packwood said...

Perhaps this case is just following the WW I precedent ...whereby the allies turned over the alleged German war criminals to the Germans...to prosecute...which of course ...they didn't.

We learned our lesson by the time WW II came along.

At the close of WW II the allies convened the Nuremberg trials to be sure that at least some of the truth came forward for others to study.

Perhaps we are waiting for Duke and Durham to take out an entire white male fraternity several years down the pike.

Then we can do the Nuremberg ...thing.
::
GP

rrhamilton said...

I was thinking that it would be nice to have some input from students, because this case involves police and students, and because all the victims in this case were students. Then I realized that though Duke Student Government President Elliot Wolf is ineligible due to race, the quotas would embrace NCCU student government leaders Chan Hall and Solomon Burnett.

Look for Hall and Burnette clones to fill all the black male quota spots. Meanwhile, Linwood Wilson clones for the police quota. I'm sure justice will be served.

rrhamilton said...

to "duke parent 2004" @ 6:49 AM:

Thanks for the nod regarding the unconstitutionality of the quotas for the coverup-commission. But I hate to say, it wasn't Will Rogers who said, "No man's life, liberty, or property are save while the legislature is in session." I myself thought it was Judge Learned Hand, but I checked and it turns out to be from a New York state court decision of 1866. The judge was Gideon Tucker and he was repeating what was apparently a well-known saying at the time. See, e.g., http://www.bartleby.com/73/1041.html

You also said, "It is time, as well, for posters here to propose an 'aptness' prize for KC himself, who could not have chosen a better name for this blog."

As I have realized after five months of reading this blog, this case happened only because of the Metanarrative, which I have likened to the Matrix of movie fame. And I think it is peculiarly "apt" that the movie even contains a reference to "Wonderland":

Morpheus: "You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."

Now it is true that KC will not show us "how deep the rabbit-hole goes", for reasons articulately expressed by other, anonymous posters here today. KC has been instrumental in saving the lives of three innocent men -- an accomplishment few of us can or will match. But KC is not going to be Jesus Christ and get crucified over this. KC is not going to be even John the Baptist, who lost his head due to an exotic dancer. But KC has revealed the hole, and now it is up to us to "take the red pill, stay in Wonderland, and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes".

R.R. Hamilton

becket03 said...

Only a federal investigation, run by experienced, ideologically neutral US attorneys and the FBI, ever had even a whisker of a chance of fully revealing the corruption in Nifong's office and the DPD.

NC police chiefs are not going to put the hammer down on fellow police officer Chalmers and his boss, Patrick Baker. It's hilarious to contend otherwise. The commission is an exercise in window dressing.

Aggressive litigators for the boys will have to investigate as best they can, gaining as many rulings in their favor as possible in a court of law.

The Duke 3 must sue.

beckett

Anonymous said...

Read these comments and understand why Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton left town so early. The hoax started a long time ago, and it continues. There were people in Durham who have known the reality of this all along. Jackson and Sharton knew or were told and left town. Crystal Mangum was a known quantity. This case has devolved into a pissing contest of several deplorable and ignorant groups like the Group88 none of which seems to care a whit about justice before agenda. At the very least, the Duke3 are free of most of it. Thank goodness.

Duke parent 2004 said...

To R. R. Hamilton at @ 5:33 PM:

In proposing an "aptness" prize for KC Johnson, I'm far from suggesting he take on the sins of the world or in any way redeem us. What is all this talk of crucifixion, these hints of dark places he dare not or should not go? Has he been receiving death threats? Will his book come out under a pseudonym?

The follies of the Durham City Council have pinned my sublimity meter. They deserve hoots and horselaughs. I leave it to others to drive moralizing stakes through them--at the risk of according them a gravitas they otherwise never could attain.

mac said...

When someone - (an actor, perhaps) - is
asked to name their worst attribute,
they usually name something that's
relatively harmless:
"I have a mole right here..."

That way, they avoid revealing their
biggest liabilitites.

Durham may be doing the same, with
regard to naming their worst offenses
in this case: admit anything, as
long as it is innocuous.

Anonymous said...

re deletion of the Deutsch thread:

Blame RR Hamilton. He made a persuasive argument about the overreported crime of slave owner rape of black slaves.

Anonymous said...

8:40pm

Ah hah. So that's what happened. It's a shame that even here the truth cannot come out for fear of chipping away at the exaggerated tales of the so called victim class.
KC's afraid of the truth I guess. What would America be without black victims who have discovered an excuse for everything?

Anonymous said...

8:40pm

Ah hah. So that's what happened. It's a shame that even here the truth cannot come out for fear of chipping away at the exaggerated tales of the so called victim class.
KC's afraid of the truth I guess. What would America be without black victims who have discovered an excuse for everything?

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

actually,

rrhamilton had his ass handed to him on that thread by numerous posters who exposed him to be in denial on the level of a holocaust denier and to have racial attitudes circa 1915 and out of Birth of a nation. the capper was a link to an article on dna studies showing a threefold increase of white male y chromosomal dna compared to white mitochondrial dna( which would be from white mothers) in the genomes of black studied. the rate of white male chromosomes was found to be 28% in the blacks studied. this blew rr hamilton's contention that there was no white male rape of black females at the time out of the water as if further proof was needed when historical archival evidence also states this was a common occurance in the antebellum south. rrhamilton was not the only reason that thread was deleted; some of the posters were on there alleging that enslaved women who could be sold or beaten into submission were the sexual aggressors and the cause of miscegnation not the white men. They also added that coerced sex is not a form of rape. KC deleted as anyone looking on those posts would surmise his blog readership is composed of the KKK.

Anonymous said...

They also added that coerced sex is not a form of rape. KC deleted as anyone looking on those posts would surmise his blog readership is composed of the KKK


Based on the comments of people like Polanski, rrhamilton and several others such surmise would not be incorrect.

Anonymous said...

5:13...

"rr hamilton's contention that there was no white male rape of black females at the time"

"KC deleted as anyone looking on those posts would surmise his blog readership is composed of the KKK."


If your opponent's arguments are as weak as you claim, there's really no need for lies or reductio ad absurdum. In doing so you become that which you despise.

Anonymous said...

that was no lie, that is what rr hamilton stated on that thread and also he stated that there were more black male rapists at the time than white male rapists which is ludicrous on its face. The most absurd part was when he tried to post a link talking about a black lynch mob in 1887 that lynched a white rapist as if that one instance invalidated all the historical references in archives that the vast majority of lynching victims( in the thousands) were black and that lynching actually accelerated after Reconstruction. Talk about reductio adsurdum; as if one instance proved what he was saying was true. Now that was really absurd.

To the poster who said that someone would surmise that many of KC bloggers were members of the KKK based on that thread, I am forced to argee with you but it is important to note that not all of the bloggers felt that way and many people other than myself were telling rr hamilton off on that thread. He routinely comes off like the grand wizard and D w Griffith's script writer and this is the 21 st century!

Anonymous said...
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mac said...
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Ralph Phlean said...
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Anonymous said...
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mac said...
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