Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekly Roundup

This weeks roundup was delayed one day for the release of the Gottlieb deposition; Liestoppers has a great cartoon on the sergeants . . . unusual . . . note-taking technique.

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Last week, Durham City Councilman Eugene Brown penned a superb guest column in the Herald-Sun addressing the departure of Mike Nifong: “It was a sad, painful, but necessary public hearing. Lane Williamson was exemplary in his role as a chairman. His commission’s findings and his closing comments . . . received overwhelming praise. The Bar’s conclusion was very succinct: Those who abuse their power forfeit their right to that power.”

Brown, correctly, also praised Judge Orlando Hudson for acting to suspend Nifong as DA, expressing his outrage that “someone who lied to the court and to the State Bar” and “who devalued the search for justice in our community would have enriched himself by another monthly paycheck of $10,000.”

Bluntly, Brown also touched on another critical reason why Nifong had to go: “Our former district attorney is facing additional civil and perhaps criminal charges. Indeed, it was announced on Monday that the three lacrosse players and their families would file a suit against him. In addition, Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith has stated that he is not through with Nifong yet. But in spite of the possibility of pending lawsuits against him, our former district attorney would have had free and easy access to all the files on this case. I can’t say for sure that would have presented a problem. But after watching the hearings last week, and seeing Mike Nifong trying to defend the indefensible, I didn’t feel comfortable with this situation. Files can be erased, information can be altered, papers can be shredded.”

As he has been so often in this case, Brown’s analysis was perceptive.

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The always penetrating Kristin Butler has another must-read column in this week’s Chronicle. Her question: “For all its timeliness, does this settlement sweep important questions under the rug? It would be a real disappointment to see some administrators (Brodhead included) get a free pass in the spirit of ‘closure,’ as there remains much to answer for.”

The questions that Butler include the “mystery” of Chauncey Nartey: how could the Brodhead administration appoint to both the Campus Culture Initiative and to a “Duke Conversation” slot a student that administrators knew had sent an e-mail leading to a Duke employee filing a police report for harassment? And then to keep him in both positions after the fraternity of which he was president was suspended for a period of not less than two years?

I asked CCI chairman Bob Thompson this question in April. He said that he had not heard of the Nartey e-mail before that time. But, of course, both CCI vice-chair Larry Moneta and President Brodhead had heard of the e-mail, in spring 2006. Why they did not inform the CCI chair of this information is not clear.

Says Butler, “Yet when asked about the inexplicable decision to reward Nartey’s behavior with student leadership positions, Brodhead offered no explanation.”

Other unanswered questions: whether Duke continues to approve of the separate-but-equal arrangement of the Durham Police toward Duke students, and how much the University spent to protect the Group of 88 and Peter Wood from legal liability.

Butler’s questions—as always—deserve an answer.

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In six days, Paula (“no to due process”) McClain will become chairperson of the Academic Council. McClain’s defiant response to the settlement with the three families—a claim that none of the faculty were legally vulnerable for their actions—fit with her general outspokenness in defending the Group of 88’s position over the past 14 months.

Despite President Brodhead’s oft-stated desire to “move on” without any examination of the faculty’s conduct, McClain’s new position makes this goal all but impossible. Take, for instance, the CCI’s de facto “Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative”—the proposal to require all Duke students take a class that engages “the reality of difference in American society and culture,” the vast majority of which are taught by . . . the Group of 88. As one of the Group’s most vociferous spokespersons, McClain would seem to have an obvious conflict of interest in handling this issue.

I e-mailed McClain, asking her whether, after assuming her Academic Council position, “will you continue your practice of speaking as a defender of the Group of 88’s statement, or will you view it as your duty to speak for all Duke faculty, including those who agreed with defense attorneys that the Group’s statement was highly prejudicial to Duke students?”

McClain had no comment.

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Group of 88 member Charles Payne—who chaired the African-American Studies program when the program (from all appearances, at least) sponsored and paid for the Group of 88’s ad—has left Duke to accept a position at the University of Chicago.

In announcing the appointment, U of C dean Jeanne Marsh praised Payne’s “authentic commitment to the intersection of theory and practice.”

Payne, meanwhile, joined Joy James—Group of 88’er Grant Farred’s mentor at Williams—as recipients of the 2007 Fletcher Fellowship, which carries with it a $50,000 stipend.

Meanwhile, the American Political Science Association has announced that McClain will receive the Frank Goodnow Award, given for “distinguished service to the profession.”

The juxtaposition of these announcements and the decline of Mike Nifong is jarring. At the very least, Nifong’s misdeeds had a consequence among his professional peers, who duly punished him. His academic enablers, on the other hand, continue to be rewarded.

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Final figures for the Duke Class of 2011 have now been released: the total was slightly larger than expected (around 42 percent, rather than the expected 41 percent) accepted the school’s offer of admission. More applicants than expected have said “yes” to Duke University’s offer of admission for the Class of 2011.

Christoph Guttentag, the dean of undergraduate admissions, wrote that “like last year, students with combined SAT Critical Reading and Math scores of 1500 or above represent almost a third of the incoming class, with this year’s total of 558 the second highest ever.”

The number of minority students admitted and accepted increased, to 44 percent of the incoming class; as John Burness had admitted to Don Yaeger, the number of applications from white students, especially from the Northeast, declined this year.

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A depressing—and ultimately unpersuasive—take on the Nifong disbarment by David Feige in Slate. Feige makes some good points. For instance, he notes,

Mike Nifong did what prosecutors almost always do when a complainant comes to them alleging a sexual assault: He took his complainant at her word and went full speed ahead with a prosecution. The fact is that few if any prosecutors wait for corroborating evidence or insist on more than one person’s say so before initiating a sexual assault prosecution. Indeed, they’d be vilified if they did. The cardinal rule of sexual assault complaints is “believe the victim,” and since anyone who complains is deemed a victim, even a semi-credible complainant can generate an arrest and prosecution in the absence of physical evidence, additional witnesses, or even a prompt accusation. This isn’t just the case in Durham; it’s true almost everywhere. The widespread support for this questionable practice is such that if the Duke case had gone to a jury and the defendants had been convicted, Nifong would not only still have his law license—he’d have been lionized for his dogged pursuit of rich white kids.

Yet Feige’s attempts to equate Nifong’s massive misconduct with the general behavior of prosecutors ultimately falls flat. He cites Josh Marquis of the National District Attorney’s Association and Wendy Murphy as two people who initially backed Nifong, only to turn upon him, from “a simple calculus . . . : If Mike Nifong’s conduct is commonplace, then the whole system is corrupt. If other DAs do what he did, then we have to face up to how widespread and corrosive prosecutorial misconduct really is—a discussion Marquis and Murphy and other prosecutors would strongly prefer to avoid.”

Marquis, however, never endorsed Nifong’s conduct: the quote from early in the case supplied by Feige is innocuous, and Marquis publicly and repeatedly criticized Nifong’s behavior in December and January, at a time when many prosecutors were still loath to speak out. And any portrayal of Wendy Murphy—who’s still busy spinning conspiracy theories about non-existent bribes to Crystal Mangum—as a Nifong critic is absurd.

As Judge Tjoflat pointed out in his recent address, this case has exposed the excessive power possessed by North Carolina prosecutors in general—especially the power to control court dockets (and effectively judge-shop) and to abuse the grand jury proceedings as a tool for bypassing probable cause hearings. But the claim that Nifong’s conduct in this case—where, after all, he not only withheld exculpatory evidence and made myriad prejudicial pre-trial statements but also engineered a rigged lineup, obtained indictments without probable cause, and orchestrated an ill-concealed frame with the December 21 “interview”—is routine among prosecutors both minimizes the degree of Nifong’s misconduct and trivializes the legitimate debate about prosecutorial power.

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An interesting commentary from a traffic court lawyer who dealt with Nifong, reinforcing the portrayal of Nifong’s Traffic Court tenure offered in Ben Niolet’s profile from last spring:

For several years I worked with Mike Nifong. Our sons played little league together. Still I find it difficult to understand how a man could so completely destroy his own life over nothing more than an over-inflated ego. But, if anyone was capable of doing it, Mike is the one.

For 2-3 years I negotiated with him every day, four days a week, month after month. I usually had 15-30 minor traffic/misdemeanors each day to talk with him about. Many times Mike would look for something to try and chastise me about. Other times he was the nicest person you could know. He is erudite and incredibly smart. Yet his bi-polar personality would repeatedly have him taking pleasure in his attempts to belittle other attorneys, including me. He would yell and curse at you over the smallest matter . . . In the end, this need to feel superior to other attorneys not only cost him his job, but, everything important in his life, outside his family, was destroyed.

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This week’s humor item relates Nifong’s new defense: “Michael Nifong’s only ‘crime’ in this case was doing his job—establishing a politically convenient scapegoat and pushing hard for a conviction contrary to the evidence. If the good people of North Carolina did not want political considerations to be the driving force behind decisions in the DA’s office, they should not have designated the district attorney position as an elected office in the state’s constitution in the first place. Change the law if you must, but do not hold my client accountable for the public’s fickle attitudes about due process and the rule of law.”

But, Ridiculopathy.com reports, some of Nifong’s critics will have none of it:

“Tell me somethin’, why is this guy not in jail right now?” asked Nancy Grace, arching her eyebrow so hard that it caused cracks in her thick kabuki makeup. “Anyone who would jump to a conclusion of guilt without first double-checking the evidence is a disgrace to the American legal system and a counterfeit human being. I say string his ass up!”

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Kathleen Parker argues that while Nifong’s disbarment “couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fellow,” his enablers should be held accountable as well. As she correctly notes, “Doubtless, many among Duke’s faculty and administration, as well as random race-baiters, campus feminists and various reporters, commentators and assorted armchair prosecutors would prefer that no one remember their roles in advancing the Nifong farce. But they shouldn’t get off so easily. All were participants in the scurrilous witch hunt that unfolded during the past year.”

Parker also joins the list of people observing that “a little self-examination would seem to be in order, beginning with Duke.”

She concludes,

The university recently settled with the three accused lacrosse players for an undisclosed sum in a move that insulates faculty from any claims of liability. Such is cheap grace. If the university really wants to redeem itself, a better remedy would be for university President Richard Brodhead to institute a new academic program to examine how totalitarian, politically correct groupthink is destroying America’s institutions of higher learning.

Duke can write the textbook.

123 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up - your link to Kristin Butler's article is actually a link to the 2nd page of the article.

KC Johnson said...

Thanks--changed the link.

Anonymous said...

"He [Nifong] is erudite and incredibly smart."

This comment threw me. Nifong is closer to incredibly stupid than incredibly smart. Or perhaps what passes for smart in North Carolina is simply average where I hang my hat.

Anonymous said...

This is a message for KC Johnson:

RE: Your upcoming book


Along with most of us here,I am eagerly awaiting your upcoming book. However, most of the readers of your book with have at best only followed part of this case (indeed, the only reason I have paid much attention is due to a friend who is a Duke grad).

I worry much of your good work/material/research/insights will be "left on the cutting room floor".

History will suffer if much of the smaller/less well known information is not published. Or the various clips you are showing here are lost/forgotten.

I am currently reading Bugliosi's book on the Kennedy assassination. He got around this problem by placing a disk in the back of the book with additional research/documents/etc. Perhaps you have thought of this, or its a bad idea for other reasons.

KC - I have 2 kids--> I want them to be able to know the truth in 20 years (thats a long time for the MSM to rewrite history).

Please seriously consider this idea.

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

12:25

Enough of your BS. It's not funny. I apologize if you're mentally ill.

Gary Packwood said...

KC said...

...I asked CCI chairman Bob Thompson this question in April. He said that he had not heard of the Nartey e-mail before that time. But, of course, both CCI vice-chair Larry Moneta and President Brodhead had heard of the e-mail, in spring 2006. Why they did not inform the CCI chair of this information is not clear.
::
I suspect that the attorneys are trying to contain the infection by limiting the number of people with knowledge so they can manage the response of plausible deniability for the President's office and the BOT. Especially the BOT.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
12:25

Enough of your BS. It's not funny. I apologize if you're mentally ill.

Jun 25, 2007 12:30:00 AM

======================================================================

???

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

JLS says....,

re: anon 12:23

Nifong is of an age where adopting a few enlightened views, particularly not being a racist toward blacks, might make some think you were smart. Of course if you are not smart and adopt PC attitudes, one can ultimately hang onesself as Nifong did.

So he might have looked enlightened to someone by not being openly racist towards blacks in traffic court. And of course he was only not racist toward Democrat voting blocks apparently and apparently not particularly smart or enlightened.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is obviously semi-intelligent, having matriculated from a damn good law school. He F'd up.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

What the h*** is Chicago doing hiring a clown like Payne? They have been relatively free from this sort of nonsense.

Perhaps he will find he is out of his league intellectually and move on after a year or two - hopefully back to Duke.

Anonymous said...

KC, you might want to fix this sentence:

The questions that Butler include the “mystery” of Chauncey Nartey: how could the Brodhead administration appoint to both the Campus Culture Initiative and to a “Duke Conversation” slot a student that administrators knew had sent an e-mail leading to a Duke employ filing a police report for harassment?

rrhamilton said...

I did wonder, watching Mike Nifong on TV, at the disconnect between what was happening to him and what was happening to the faculty that did no less than he did to create this mess.

There are over 100 "Professor Nifongs" at Duke (so there must be 1,000s nationwide), and it looks like they are getting ahead on this.

KC, maybe you should make a blog called, "American Academia In Wonderland".

Anonymous said...

Does the prosecutor have too much power?

Yes.

The judges?

The police?

Look here, the government
has too much power. Period.

rrhamilton said...

btw, Kathleen Parker is one of the best columnists in the country.

Anonymous said...

KC, you are so right that Feige is "unpersuasive."

He wrote that the Duke defendants "orchestrated" Mr. Nifong's downfall. This is so incredible--they were fighting for their freedom! Did he watch Reade's testimony? I think they really thought they were fighting for their lives.

In his last paragraph Feige writes that Nifong is a scapegoat. Wow! After reading and watching the hearings, this is such an amazing comment. A scapegoat does not deserve what happens to him--so I guess we can tell where Feige falls in this conversation.

Anonymous said...

KC,

I have to confess that I find some of your comments about the LAX case to be very strange. For example, in your Weekly Roundup this week, you state that Charles Payne, a professor at Duke and a member of the group of 88, is leaving Duke for the University of Chicago. You go on to state that Professor Payne has been selected as a recipient of the 2007 Fletcher Fellowship, which carries a stipend of $50,000. You also state that Paula McClain, another group of 88 member, is receiving an award from the American Political Science Association called the Goodnow Award, and then you make the very odd statement that while Nifong has been punished for his misdeeds, the people whom you have labeled as the enablers of the hoax continue to be rewarded. What is your point? The fact that Charles Payne is leaving Duke for the University of Chicago tells me that he must be a very highly regarded scholar because he seems to be having no difficulty moving from one top university to another. This is confirmed by his receipt of the Fletcher Fellowship, which is awarded to only eleven scholars nationwide each year who are selected by a committee consisting of distinguished professors from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton plus the President of the University of Pennsylvania. The same is true of Paula McClain, who must be a very highly respected figure among political scientists around the country if she is being singled out by the American Political Science Association to receive an award for distinguished service to the profession. Has the association of American history professors singled you out to receive an award for distinguished service to your profession? You and your little band of followers have spent a lot of time trying to tear down the group of 88, suggesting, among other things, that they have second-rate academic credentials, but the information set out above would seem to indicate that this characterization is not accurate.

I also find your comments about the incoming freshman class at Duke to be very odd. You state that 44 percent of the incoming class will consist of minority students and that the number of applications from white students, especially those from the Northeast, is down. Again, what is your point? Are you suggesting that the ultimate goal of the admissions process at Duke and other elite universities around the country should be to admit as many white students from the Northeast as possible? Are you suggesting that white students from the Northeast are smarter than white students from the Midwest or Asian students from California or Black or Hispanic students from other parts of the country? Out of curiosity, I checked the website of your alma mater, Harvard, and was not surprised to find them crowing about the fact that their incoming freshman class will include record numbers of African Americans (10.7 percent), Asian Americans (19.6 percent), Latinos (10.1 percent), and Native Americans (1.5 percent). In other words, 42 percent of the incoming class at Harvard this year will consist of minority students and 44 percent of the incoming class at Duke will consist of minority students. So, again, what is your point? Incidentally, Harvard did not bother to explain what percentage of its incoming class will consist of white students from the Northeast. I guess they do not attach as much significance to that fact as you do.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 4:42:

Paula McClain is a grown-up Chauncey Nartey.

Anonymous said...

4:42, I believe Prof. Johnson is observing that fewer students who fit the profile of the LAX wrongly accused wish to attend Duke. Got any guesses as to why that might be?

He is hardly claiming that white students from the Northeast are superior. In fact, 4:42, that's really quite an odd thing for you to have imagined.

Saul Alinsky said...

I guess Vanderbilt thought Houston Baker was a "highly respected scholar" too!

KC, God bless you...you are really keeping the heat on the PC fascists.

The internet is forever, G88...

Frank Himmelfarb said...

A comment from Slate anent the Feige article:

I'm all for disbarring Nifong, and for making it widely known that the case against the Duke players was bogus.

But, isn't calling them "nice innocent boys" a bit much? The fact remains, these are the kind of "boys" who trade "jokes" about hiring paid sex workers and then murdering them. Not funny. Not nice. If they hadn't been living the stereotype of the debauched, drunken, thuggish jock, they wouldn't have gotten into the situation that launched the bogus prosecution.

Wait, what's that you say? We shouldn't disapprove of their legal behavior, shouldn't say that they in any way invited their persecution? Well, maybe now you understand how millions of women have felt when told that their "slutty" behavior invited rape...


Eh, what are you going to do?

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:42:

Two things:

1. Getting a job at the University of Chicago or anywhere else is not always necessarily the same as being a highly regarded academic. (Highly regarded by whom??) There are lots of reasons for hiring faculty.

2. Ditto grants. Depends on what the grant is and who sits on the grant giving committees.

3. OF COURSE, Harvard has information on where its students come from. And, it is probably available. There are all kinds of statistics on all entering classes from most universities. You must know just about zero about admissions policies.

I assume Duke is happy enough to do house cleaning and get rid of some of these people. Unless someone wants to leave Durham for Chicago--the town for the city, I mean--that move is pretty lateral. And, what we don't know is if Duke matched the offer. If it didn't, that would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Correction: It was actually three points.

Don't you think the Duke administration is counting: as in, 2 down and 86 to go? Who is Kim Curtis' husband? Was he an 88er, too? I wonder if Duke will change its spousal hiring policy as a result of all of this?

Kilgore said...

So Niolet, after years of dealing with Nifong, thinks that he is likely bipolar? I wouldn't doubt it for a minute. So if the Fong is bipolar should we cease prosecution like what has been done for Ms Mangum? That would be the day. Bipolar or not CGM needs to be held accountable just as Nifong needs to be held accountable independent of their mental health diagnoses.

Boys and the Boy Crisis

Anonymous said...

Check out the links to the grants. It's not like the competition was huge. They're not ACLS, Fulbright, Guggenheim, NEH...or McArthur. Somebody's gotta get 'em.

Most good grants pay the entire salary. If he's off for a year, Chicago is covering the rest of his salary.

Anonymous said...

6:59 is correct.

What were the numbers of QUALIFIED applicants and what percentage the got the grant? And, again, who was on the grant competition committee. Not WHERE were the members from, but WHO were they?

Regarding Paula McClain, she can be well regarded in general and still have opened her mouth and stuck several large feet in.

Things will calm down when someone/s on the Duke faculty make some very clear statements of error. You don't railroad students or anyone else just because you don't agree with them. This is something that some of the posters on this list should also note!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding Feige's Slate commentary, he premise is flawed. He said, "[Nifong] took his complainant at her word and went full speed ahead with a prosecution." But Nifong didn't take the complainant at her word.
1) Nifong says he wasn't involved with the case until March 26, 2006. He couldn't have taken her word before then.
2) Nifong never questioned Mangum. He couldn't have taken her at her word based upon any personal interviews. In addition, there were no recordings of interviews with Mangum. The video of the April 4 powerpoint line up was hardly compelling evidence. In fact if Nifong had taken Mangum at her word, he would have indicted a person who never attended the party.
3) Taking Mangum at her word meant relying upon what Mangum told others. Mike "I don't read files" Nifong took the word of Himan, Gottlieb, and others. Gottlieb didn't take notes and didn't memorialize his interview with Mangum until after the indictments were handed down. Nifong would have literally had to take Gottlieb at his word.

If Feige is so big on people taking people at their word, then he should take Nifong at his word, under oath, at his hearing. In announcing his resignation Nifong said, "my presence as the district attorney in Durham is not furthering the cause of justice." One day later KC reported from the court house David Freedman's announcement prior to the panel's deliberations, "Nifong has accepted disbarment as the 'appropriate' penalty ... and waived the right to appeal."

As for "full speed ahead with a prosecution", Feige didn't get that right either. Nifong dragged this thing out as much as he could. Blame NC's case management system if you must, but Nifong's heel marks are quite evident. Nine months after the indictments a trial wasn't even on the horizon. If Feige had said "full speed ahead with the indictments", I would agree. After all, there was an election campaign going on.

Ralph Phelan said...

"A scapegoat does not deserve what happens to him--so I guess we can tell where Feige falls in this conversation."

OK, then the proper term is "fall guy".

Other folks who who really deserve to be prosecuted for misconduct:

Himan, Gottlieb, and their superiors all the way up the (frequently absent) chief of police.

Judge Hudson, who really doesn't desrve that much kudos for finally taking action against Nifong about a year too late.

Judge Stephens, for not doing his job either.

ADAs Cline, Saatch (sp?) and anyone else who helped in this case.

Nifong couldn't have run as long and as far as a he did without lots of help.

And while his behavior ma¥ not be "typical" many of the individual elements of it have to be pretty common or he would have gotten smacked down much sooner.

scott said...

I don't know a thing about Eugene Brown other than what I've read in this blog since the Baker / Chalmers "report" came out and he made a call for an investigation.

If his position on that matter and his comments in this editorial are consistent with his manner of thinking and acting, Brown is to be commended for having overcome the effects of Durham in Wonderland that grips so many of its residents.

Or is it simply that he is really one of them and temporarily ran out of the kool-aid the others are drinking?

Can anyone who is knowledgable about Mr. Brown's actions over an extended period of time educate me here?

Is he a good guy or not?

Anonymous said...

forget the number of white kids declining for a minute--break it down by the number of white males and females.
any white male who is an athlete must be out of his mind--and his parents too.

Anonymous said...

7:25

It's not just a gender thing. If you're from the NE and you've got a kid--male or female--who is thinking of Duke, you'd tell said kid to rethink, because there is a great deal of prejudice against uppity Yankees in Durham. If you've got a smart athletic kid, look at Stanford or Northwestern, where the cops aren't straight out of the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

7:28

And a school where some of the faculty has NOT declared war on some of the students. Duke really owes the greater public an explanation.

Ralph Phelan said...

"And a school where some of the faculty has NOT declared war on some of the students."

Not Chicago anymore.

It's really amazing to me the extent to which being on the wrong side factually but on the "right" side politically not only has been but also continues to be a career enhancing move in American academia.

Anonymous said...

4:42
An old friend once observed: "The problem with today's colleges is that too many students are becoming educated beyond their intelligence." I think 4:42's argument gives much credibility to that observation. In today's academe, awards such as he cites are essentially meaningless if they are awarded to poseurs like the Group of 88. And the UofC is and has been nothing more than a retirement home for worn out Marxists.

Anonymous said...

i know the smart athletic male kids at the local HS never gave Duke consideration. they chose stanford.
northwestern has gone crazy --the last thing they want is another white male kid from the suburbs from what I hear. vanderbilt is starting the same nonsense and now that the Bakers are there who knows what will happen.
At Duke, however, where are the working, productive alumni who fund the endowment which pays for all this pc nonsense?

Duke parent 2004 said...

To anon at 4:42 AM:

You are either naive or disingenuous. The American Political Science Association (APSA) has been politicized for decades. Years ago the APSA caved to the activists when it changed venues for its annual meeting--because the originally scheduled city happened to be in a state that failed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. This politicizing of organizations once devoted to scholarship is hardly unique to political science. How else does one explain the careers of Cornel West and Houston Baker--lightweights by all traditional measures who nevertheless continue being lionized and sought after by our elite universities?

I'm sure K. C. Johnson would acknowledge the efforts of others who have preceded him in exposing the degradation of the academy. Sidney Hook, Thomas Sowell, Victor Davis Hanson, Walter Williams, Harvey Mansfield, Jeremy Rabkin, Joseph Epstein--any one of these scholars I'd take over the whole crop of Fletcher Fellows. (Alas, Sidney Hook is no longer with us.) You challenge K. C.: "Has the association of American history professors singled you out to receive an award for distinguished service to your profession?" I consider it a badge of honor for K. C. that he has NOT been "singled . . . out."

I believe Sowell pointed out a few years ago that our "elite" universities were chasing a very small crop of able, black high-school seniors. Only a thousand or so of these kids across the country had scored a total of 1,400 on the SAT. So the best of these kids, when enrolled at MIT, immediately found themselves near the bottom of the class--at least when gauged by test scores. Sowell has been unrelenting in excoriating the big-name universities for touting their percentages of minority students but then not fessing up to how many of these kids fail to graduate in four years or, worse yet, drop out. And those who do not drop out often drift to those departments--such as African-American studies or women's studies--in which they stand a better chance of not being crushed by brighter or better prepared white kids. Ah, more fodder for the Lubianos and McClains of our time . . .

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you get your information on Northwestern, but I suspect you're incorrect. One thing that was true about private universities when I was a student (and worked in the admissions office interviewing propective undergraduates) was that acceptance was more difficult for kids from the local suburbs than from suburbs more distance. And, admissions is certainly not vetting the political views of 18 year olds. Liberal arts schools do, however, want a mix of backgrounds, and that includes geographic. Ergo: if you're from New Trier, you're probably smarter to apply to Columbia and Yale than to Northwestern. Conversely, if you're from Horace Mann, Regis, or Bronx Science, you might find it easier to gain admission to Chicago, Northwestern, Cal, or Stanford than to Columbia, Penn, or Yale.

Another point: kids from good academic schools in California--think Lowell--have often found it easier to get into Stanford than to Cal.

Anonymous said...

7:54

You do know that Jewish kids, many of whom score brilliantly on exams, were long subject to informal numerous clausus at some elite schools, precisely because they were so good? I believe that the California system discovered that straight scores benefited Asians rather than whites in gaining places at the universities.

Moreover, many students who after excelling in high school gain spots at elite universities are stunned then to find themselves after a semester at the middle or lower middle of the class. This is not a race issue. It is a competition issue.

And, come on: only 1,000 qualified blacks? Not likely.

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:54,

The AHA usually awards service recognition to people who have provided service over decades. If KC does that, he might be nominated/get an award. But this long-term service is usually multi-faceted rather than linked to one issue. The AHA rather more often gives awards for books/research. This is a function of what kind of prizes have been endowed.

Anonymous said...

Some of these so-called academics are paid or should it be paid off punks no one will challenge. As was seen at Duke University, they are academic frauds.

Anonymous said...

A person can be a great scholar in his or her field and a horrible teacher.

For an undergraduate degree, it's important to see who actually teaches: professors or TAs.

Anonymous said...

8:10

Some of the Group of 88 are certainly NOT academic frauds. They have had stellar careers in terms of publishing and teaching. And, I presume, service to their profession. That you don't agree with their signing the statement does not make all of them frauds. Can't you understand this?

Anonymous said...

Nancy Grace wants to condemn someone for not checking out the facts...string her ass up.

Chafe, et al.: “We need to demand accountability from every member of our community to maintain respect for each other, especially across racial, ethnic, sexual and gender lines. No use of racial epithets should be tolerated. Any denigration based on gender or sexuality should be equally unacceptable.”

Chafe et al are correct. Unfortunately, their blind trust of a crooked DA and a bipolar "victim" made them jump to a false conclusion. It was just the conclusion they wanted.

Anonymous said...

8:11

It's not that these professors SIGNED the statement. THAT could be viewed as a mistake. Imagine if Nifong, within a few days or weeks of his initial media blitz against the defendants, had realized his mistake and began winding down the case. In that case, his initial wrongful actions could have been forgiven.

The 88ers have never acknowledged what everyone recognizes was, at minimum, a mistake. Just like Nifong, they have thus moved from misfeasance to malfeasance.

jim2 said...

Early in KC's "Weekly Roundup" is the following:

"Brown, correctly, also praised Judge Orlando Hudson for acting to suspend Nifong as DA, expressing his outrage that “someone who lied to the court and to the State Bar” and “who devalued the search for justice in our community would have enriched himself by another monthly paycheck of $10,000.” "


It should be noted that Judge Hudson suspended Nifong with pay. Thus, Nifong will still be "enriched by another monthly paycheck of $10,000."

The effect of the suspension was therefore not to keep him from getting paid, but to keep him out of the office where he might exercise powers of the DA.

Anonymous said...

8:22

One wonders if these people weren't been instructed early on to keep their mouths shut. Certainly, they must now.l

My point is, however, that at least some of these people are NOT academic frauds. They're experts in their fields. This is the case even though they signed that stupid manifesto.

Anonymous said...

I just read that Guttentag (sic), Dir of Admissions at Duke, is taking a sabbatical at MIT to think about new ways of doing admits. According to his quote, they're still doing admits the same way as 15 to 20 years ago.

One can only imagine the possibilities! I suggest the gang of 88 chime in for creative ideas.

Anonymous said...

so Nifong is a fool for listening to Tiffany Cline (or C-lying). She was the initial driving force in the case. Mikey only saw the potential votes in it for him. She was only glad to turn it over to him. I believe she was shrewd enough to realize that the case had not merits but it suited her agenda. Why not let the bipolars party together? She won--at least for now. Is her day coming too?

Anonymous said...

12:25 --

I'd like to see someone go to Wikia.com and start a wiki for assembling documentation of the case in one place, and providing a resource for understanding who the people named in various updates are and their history in the Hoax. I would do it myself if not for some chronic health problems that are currently in a flare-up.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that this is a blog dedicated to the lacrosse case, but the posts this morning suggest that people need to get some perspective. For months, folks have been vigorously posting about how the lax case had reduced Duke's reputation to tatters and how the applications would reflect this. The fact, though, is that the numbers are good. Second highest applications in history. Highest yield in history. There apparently have been some shifts in terms of particular demographics and regions, but the unmistakable conclusion is that the posters who predicted Duke paying a heavy penalty in its college admissions apparently were wrong. My hunch is that, to the vast majority of kids and their parents, Duke and the Duke experience are far more than the lacrosse case. Yet many posters on this blog seem to continue to define Duke only through the lacrosse lens.

The reaction to the academic awards KC listed is similar. All 88 professors who signed the ad must be feckless, stupid frauds, so when they are given national awards it must be the awards, themselves, that are at fault, not your judgment.

The lax case has clearly been significant for Duke and has clearly had an impact on its reputation, but it neither has been nor will be the defining feature of a major university or its community members.

Steven Horwitz said...

7:43 writes:

In today's academe, awards such as he cites are essentially meaningless if they are awarded to poseurs like the Group of 88.

I now have a great classroom example of "a question begging argument."

The question is whether at least SOME members of the G88 have excellent records of publication and service to their discipline. The answer may well be "yes" even though their behavior in the Lacrosse Hoax was unforgivable. To assume that membership in the G88 equates to "incompetent scholar of his/her discipline" is to engage in exactly the same sort of "groupthink" that the G88 did about lacrosse players.

Do all those folks deserve those awards? I honestly don't know. But having signed the listening statement tells me nothing about the answer to that question.

Suggesting that those who you think are wrong about the Hoax are by definition incompetent at their profession is an odd argument for those of us who claim to be dedicated to the truth over politics.

Christy said...

High intelligence does not endow anyone with integrity or moral fiber. High intelligence only allows one to fake it more convincingly, to argue rings around the less intellectually endowed who, none-the-less, know opportunism and deceit when they see it. Even the highly intelligent of good will can have blind spots.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you, 8:48. One of the concerns I have about some of the people who post on here is their apparent inability to separate a serious error in judgement from a person's career. And, just because the 88 made a serious error, doesn't mean all of them are lacking in moral fibre. It's this kind of attack on the 88 that prevents/has prevented--I think anyway--any of them from speaking up/out.

Anonymous said...

If my kid weren't hugely athletic and had been applying to schools this past year, I would have suggested Duke, because I would have figured that an entire group of people (athletic males, esp. white ones from the Northeast) would have not applied in such large numbers. That break down. would be interesting to know.

Anonymous said...

KC,
I am suprised that you found the hero status afforded the likes of Paula McClain "jarring" in light of Nifong's fall from grace. One of the comical metanarratives that seeped into the lacrosse case is that the Group of 88 were outside the mainstream of the faculty and the faculty culture. A corollary of that metatheme is that faculty members who did not sign the "Listening Statement" disagreed with it. I submit that the sentiments of the 88 are at least the plurality view, if not the majority view, within the Duke faculty. McClain's ascent to the position of Chair of the Academic Council is proof enough of my belief. Don't hold your breath for any Duke administrator of faculty member(s) to call for a critical examination of the Group of 88's conduct or the faculty culture that enabled and encouraged it.

scott said...

From Jim2 at 8:28:

"The effect of the suspension was therefore not to keep him from getting paid, but to keep him out of the office where he might exercise powers of the DA."

Although it defies belief that a prosecutor who had just been disbarred would be allowed to continue for even one minute as a DA, and while his presence in the DAs office would be a significant conflict of interest, I wouldn't be as concerned about Nifong exercising powers of the DA as I would about him having 4 additional weeks of access to files and records that he could tamper with to try to eliminate any additional incriminating evidence that could be used in possible future criminal or civil cases against him and others in that office.

As to Hudson's actions, he, at first, declined to take any action in suspending Nifong, claiming the paperwork couldn't be completed before the 4 week period was up, so why bother? A few hours later, he changed his mind. No one will ever convince me that Hudson didn't receive a phone call or a visit from someone who essentially told him that if he didn't want to join Nifong in the unemployment line, he'd better take care of this immediately.

Hudson deserves no praise or credit for what he did; he was merely the latest participant in the notion that "if you make them feel the heat, they will evenutally see the light."

Anonymous said...

4:42

As a professional grant writer, I can tell you that what is written in a grant does not rely heavily on the academic credentials of the administrator. Yes, data is included in the application. I have often spent hours researching what to include in this section of the grant application.
From experience, I can tell you that a successful grant must take a good premise (or at least one that fits the requirements of the grant application). Once the preliminary research has been done, it becomes reduced to the best grant bull-shitter. Selection as chairperson of the Academic Council lends credence to the academic background of the applicant. One can only wonder whether the application received acceptance upon association of the applicant with the hoax case. I suspect reading of the grant took place well before reading accounts of their involvement in the case.

Anonymous said...

to 8:57
You wrote: And, just because the 88 made a serious error, doesn't mean all of them are lacking in moral fibre. It's this kind of attack on the 88 that prevents/has prevented--I think anyway--any of them from speaking up/out.

You categorize what they did as "serious error." Give me a break. Since you say not all are lacking moral fiber, tell us who are you talking about? They weren't cowards when it came to lynch the Duke 3, and now they have become timid? No. They are all evil.

Ralph Phelan said...

"And, just because the 88 made a serious error, doesn't mean all of them are lacking in moral fibre."

It's now only 87 lacking moral fibre. The one who was capable of recognizing and admitting a mistake has it.

I just hope she's not punished too badly by her fellow faculty for her defection.

Anonymous said...

It turns out that Charles Payne is joining Chicago's school of Social Service Administration. He will be in less of a position to do serious damage than he was at Duke. Still not great for Chicago, but perhaps a net gain for society.

Anonymous said...

"More than half of African American boys who start high school do not graduate, 40% of the boys in the U.S. are living in homes without their biological fathers, and boys
attendance at colleges is steadily decreasing."

This is taken from the Boys & Boy Crisis brochure and is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in the US today. As a society, we MUST increase the numbers of black males completing at LEAST a high school education. We need to increase that to more than 50% receiving a college education.
As to the 40% living in homes without a biological father, this is in large part a moral issue. The PC movement will tell you again that it is a woman's choice to become sexually active and become a single parent. Fathers must be REQUIRED to be a part of the child's life. This means the mother must identify the father (even if DNA evidence is requested by the father--provided that Meehan has nothing to do with the testing). Especially for boys, lack of a male role model seems to have devastating consequences. This one fact is a contributing factor to the rise of gang activity. It is a distorted view to believe that the gangs provide role models but sadly they do.
We as a society must do everything possible to remedy this situation. If you are a man, become a mentor. This can be your own child, a relative, or a stranger. We need more men who can demonstrate good moral values and model positive employment values.

Anonymous said...

9:15

Alice Kaplan & Claudia Koons.

Anonymous said...

Interesting posts today> esp> 9:02 re the grant system.
It's good to see some level headed people sifting throught the facts. Some of the g88 are bonified academics which is separate from being dishonest, racist human beings who wanted to deny due process under the constitution to their own students. I'll accept that. I still wait for one of them to mis-speak now that Duke has effectively put them on notice as of June 18. I think that line tells it all.
I also concur with poster 7:28 re: white males. and add that maybe Duke doesn't care if there is a decline in interest in the lax program. It may be a long term goal to end the program
Men in america are becoming an endangered species on campus where across the country there is on average a 60% male to 40% female population on campus. Men should be fighting for a 50-50 split. Different topic but close to this one.Part of the success of woman in academia is the push since the 70's for gender equality> it's now gone to far and as result you have a g88 moment where feminists overwhelmed any males who signed on to try and destroy these three men.

mac said...

"Educators who won't learn?"

Is that the epitaph of the 88?
(87)

mac said...

Kathleen Parker has - (until now) kept her powder dry on the Hoax.
Happy to see her finally using some of it.

Anonymous said...

9:34

Don't you mean the reverse? I think those numbers are mainly for small liberal arts schools, but not the Ivies, Stanford, and Chicago, which can control their admissions. That's been discussed elsewhere on this blog, I think.

I just hope that all of you who are so up in arms for the LAXers would also support other athletes--maybe black--who were accused of similar crimes. Ask yourself: woould you?

BTW, I've had plenty of grants & there are a host of reasons that a grant proposal is successful. Previous funding is one of them. So, too, is publication record. It depends on the kind of grant.

Anonymous said...

9:34

So, it's all the women's fault, eh? Do you know numbers of tenured, full professors in academe who are women? It's still nothing like 50 percent. And women make up that percentage--or more--of PhDs.

I hope you don't teach, because I don't want you near my kids. Any of 'em.

Anonymous said...

How many of the 88/87 are Communists?

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord for 12:25!

mac said...

9:40
I didn't rush to judge Marcus Vick
when he was charged - (the first time.) My gut said he was a creep,
but my sense of fairness said
give him a chance.
He later showed himself to be a walking, breathing, barely talking
stool sample.

Anonymous said...

What is Mr. Nifong doing today?

Perhaps, he will dedicate his life toward fighting abuses of those in authority.

rod allison, detroit said...

I see the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" is in the top 100 (75 yesterday) best sellers at Amazon.

Has to be a result of comparisons to the Duke railroading attempt.

Anonymous said...

I have had an email disscussion with Boyce....Apparently DNA that exonerates blacks is acceptable....DNA that exonerates whites is not....That is pretty much his argument...How he has a position at a college, I do not understand.

Anonymous said...

KC to do a consummate job, you should interview Ms. Magnum and get the full story.

mac said...

KC
If you interview "Samples,"
be sure to wear a HAZMAT suit.

Anonymous said...

to 8:06

You are wrong about Cal and limiting the Asian students because whites numbers were going south. If they accepted students on grades and test scores, more than 50% would be Asian, and since they make up such a small % of the California population, they saw what it would do to Hispanic or black students chances of getting in. I'm from that area. I went to USF - not much better.

Supporters of these set-asides also claimed that SAT and ACT test were biased against the non-white. Again, these test scores did not matter when it came to Asians. As a matter of fact, when my mother was a student 50 years ago and having difficulty in a math course, the annoyed professor said "I thought all you Chinese were good at numbers." She got in the old fashoined way, she earned good grades.

A few years after the special set-asides for minorities (interesting that Asians not born in US cannot be classified as minority students)no black students were graduating within 5 years. Look at yearbooks. The majority were on academic probation after their first semester.

Some Chinese students were trying to figure out a way of getting around this by changing their sur names--like the Jews had to many years ago. Did not work because their high school transcrips gave them away.

Look at stats for blacks and their SAT and ACT scores. They are a good indicator of success in college. Forget all the academics that wanted them to accept "eubonics" (sp?)as credit for a language.

Anonymous said...

If this were the John in Carolina website, John would just delete all of the comments up above that are favorable to the group of 88 and rationalize it by calling the people who posted the comments trolls.

Anonymous said...

8;11 AM

Frauds!

scott said...

10:00 AM --

How many witnesses would have to be in the room to buffer KC from a possible charge of rape by Crystal should he do the interview?

Obviously, 40+ isn't enough.

Anonymous said...

8:11

The 88r's don't have 'stellar' careers anymore!!!

They are now seen as they really are: race and gender pimps...

They lost all credibility, and I'm laughing about it!!!

mac said...

8:06 and 10:03
Good points, both, even though both are not in agreement.
(Who says posters on this blog have to act in lockstep or are attacked? Jack?)

In my hometown, a brilliant kid
was denied entrance into Harvard.
The excuse? No participation
in outside activities. So
it is said.

Right. Real reason? He was Jewish. Real reason he didn't
participate in "outside activities?"
Jews couldn't go to the same
country clubs, and they were harrassed in school.
I witnessed it. And not so far
back in time, either: in 1972
some nebbish kids were picked on,
and one of the country flubs didn't
admit Jewish members until the late 1990s.

Anonymous said...

If anyone want to let U Chicago know what you think about them hiring a guy like Charles Payne, the Provost of the university is Thomas Rosenbaum (t-rosenbaum@uchicago.edu) and the dean of the School of Social Services Administration is Jeanne Marsh (jmarsh@uchicago.edu). It might be a good idea to let the dean of the College John Boyer (jwboyer@uchicago.edu) know about his qualification to slander/teach undergrads should he have the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

rod allison

TKAM is my absolutely favorite novel of all time (I named one of my kids after one of the characters, and no, it wasn't Boo Radley).

While there are a few parallels, there are more differences.

1. Mayella Ewell was in fact beaten; there is no evidence that Mangum was touched by any LAX player.

2. Mayella invited Tom into the yard under the pretence of needing help but actually to seduce him (note: the one plot weakness is that Atticus didn't call the drug store owner to testify that the Ewell brood were there for ice creams that day to support Tom's version of events, but I digress).

3. The judge assigned Atticus to defend Tom in order to give him the best possible chance.

4. The Maycomb DA and sheriff didn't without any evidence. It's clear that the sheriff only arrested Tombecause Tom Ewell swore out a ccmplaint.

5. The jury's ingrained prejudice convicted Tom, not a "railroading" by the authorities.

6. There is no suggestion that even the people of Maycomb, regarldess of their bigotry, claim that Tom actually committed the crime.

7. The great irony is that Jem says afterwards that the problem was the jury and that they should be done away with; Jem has more faith in the righteousness of the authorities than present circumstances warrant.


gotc

Ralph Phelan said...

"I just hope that all of you who are so up in arms for the LAXers would also support other athletes--maybe black--who were accused of similar crimes. Ask yourself: would you?"

I have, consistently.

I am bothered by the comments I sometimes see around here about the OJ verdict. The jury didn't "ignore the science" on the DNA evidence, they just concluded the samples all matched because they were all planted by the same guy. GIGO applies to chemical and biological analyses as well as to computers.

Try looking at just the issue of the *verdict* and the *evidence the jury had* as opposed to the question of whether O.J. really did it. Remember everything you're recently learned about the trustworthyness of police, DAs and forensic labs. If you really care, read Dershowitz' book so you can know what the defense actually said to the jury, rather than the MSM-filtered version you think you know.

It seems to me extremely likely that:
(1) At least one cop carried a blood sample around in his pocket for a day (that part is undisputed even by the cop) leaving traces of it around the crime scene for his follow cops to find & document.
(2) At least one lab tech changed his testimony about how much blood he drew in order to not "out" the crooked cop.
(3) The prosecution team had all the information they needed to connect these dots, and knowingly presented falsified evidence in court.

Had I been a juror, I would have had no choice but to say "I've caught the prosecution team lying to me about the evidence. Now I can't trust *anything* they say. Looks like I'm gonna have to let that bastard go, even though I think he did it."

The *lack* of aftermath to the O.J. case was where I learned that cops, prosecutors and forensic lab employees can perjure themselves with impunity.

Clarke and Vanatter are why I was ready to distrust Nifong and Gottlieb from day one.

No justice, no peace said...

4:42 May be K.C.'s pointing out that Duke is inching into the lead in the race to the bottom through deconstruciton of what made it great? U. Chicago apparently is a late entrant.

My children anoint me Dad-of-the-Year every morning...a relativist would think that makes me great and places me on equal footing with other who are more deserving. I on the other hand realize there are many, many more who do much more than I and are more deserving.

Anonymous said...

9:40 If Vick is a "walking, breathing, barely talking stool sample," Nifong must be the whole MANURE pile!

rod allison, detroit said...

"And like last year, students with combined SAT Critical Reading and Math scores of 1500 or above represent almost a third of the incoming class, with this year’s total of 558 the second highest ever."

This is one of those little tidbits of information that Admissions people throw out so frequently - almost always meant to give a false impression.

Since when do you measure the SAT of a class by what "almost a third" got? He wants to give the impression the average SAT score was up. But it almost surely wasn't, or he would have just plain said so.

If he's going to give us data on the SAT scores, why not give meaningful, comprehensive data - such as the average for the entire class - or the average by race, for that matter (they would never, ever give that info, even though race and SAT are importantant enough to mention seperately).

My guess is, the acamemic credentials of this class are lower than recent Duke classes.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Frank Goodnow Award - I note from the site for the award that Mr. Goodnow was a "pioneer in the field of judicial politics." Hmmm - perhaps not so surprising that a Group of 88'er got the award.

All the best,
Brand

Anonymous said...

What is it with the herd mentality that permits you people to persecute an honest prosecutor who may have made a couple of mistakes?

None of us is perfect!

Anonymous said...

rod allison

Since the SATs were revised and renormed a few years ago, that factoid is truly meaningless.


gotc

Anonymous said...

"Jun 25, 2007 8:57:00 AM" said:

"One of the concerns I have about some of the people who post on here is their apparent inability to separate a serious error in judgement from a person's career."

A serious error? Anyone can make a serious error. Making it and then continuing to defend it months later after its erroneous nature has been thoroughly exposed -- that's something different. This very point was brought up in Nifong's trial, I believe -- Nifong did not simply make one, or a few, prejudicial public statements; he made repeated statements vilifying the accused and prejudging them as guilty. Nifong did not merely miss exculpatory evidence on one or a few occasions -- he repeatedly made efforts to conceal and obfuscate that evidence, ignored direct requests which spelled out exactly what kind of evidence the defense was looking for that he might have "missed" and even had the temerity to attack the defense for daring to suggest that such evidence might exist that he had not already turned over.

So it is with the 88. Yes, some of them may have merely signed the original statement -- one serious error -- and nothing more. However, this hardly describes Paula McClain, does it?

"And, just because the 88 made a serious error, doesn't mean all of them are lacking in moral fibre. It's this kind of attack on the 88 that prevents/has prevented--I think anyway--any of them from speaking up/out."

... You're joking, aren't you? ... aren't you?

Anonymous said...

I guess you ghouls are happy now. Judge Smith has scheduled a hearing on criminal contempt for Thursday, June 28.

Anonymous said...

Yet another example to show that Mikey and Cy will always have a home in a place like Durham:


We need a truth and reconciliation commission in Durham. How many more lives will be destroyed to proclaim that the three Duke lacrosse players who engaged in bad behavior are pure as the driven snow? Will Police Chief Steve Chalmers be declared guilty of crimes against the Duke boys for allowing Nifong to pursue the case?

When Duke President Richard Brodhead spoke at an NAACP dinner in November, he asked us to do for the Duke boys what hasn't been done for African-Americans who are dealing with the criminal justice system. How many slaps in the face do we need to stand up and demand truth and justice?

The Duke boys received an undisclosed settlement, adding to their riches. The Durham community got nothing from Duke for all the years of bad behavior associated with the houses for athletes. Duke owes the Durham community full disclosure of the settlement with the "Duke 3." Duke needs to declare an end to the reign of a privileged few damaging community relationships.

The whole world is watching. What will Durham leaders and the good people of Durham do to heal the open wounds? Will we dare to be powerful and act on our vision of justice? Time will tell.

Theresa El-Amin
Durham
June 23, 2007



Debrah

No justice, no peace said...

8:47 inre: admissions...it may be instructive to analyze:

1. Alumni children applications/admissions. In other words, those that are academically suitable, have historically been sold on Duke, but decide to enroll elsewhere. The long term destructive nature of this approach is self-fulfilling. At some point the music stops.

2. Alumni giving.

3. How much of the AAAs, gender studies, and especially the proposed CCI initiatives/publications are presented to those applying/touring Duke.

4. Other schools suffer from similar institutional frauds and problems.

The lack of transparency, governance, and leadership borders on fraud.

Gary Packwood said...

KC quoting ...

...Christoph Guttentag, the dean of undergraduate admissions, wrote that “like last year, students with combined SAT Critical Reading and Math scores of 1500 or above represent almost a third of the incoming class, with this year’s total of 558 the second highest ever.”
::
For those of us in the real world, Duke's super smart kids represent about 1/3 of the incoming class according to Guttentag who has the first name of Christoph! What's up with that? He must have been in the upper 1/16.

One Third!

Only 26% of the working population in America has an earned four year degree.

All of this verbiage about Ivy's and elite and Tiers diverts our attention away from the reality of bad cops, bad DA's/ADA's and a 'gaggle' of faculty/staff/students who turned on three Duke students like a pack of human wolves or their way to a lynching.

If we continue with the elitism talk, others in the real world will begin to think that Dookies brought all of this misery on themselves.

What are the alumni doing along with the citizens of North Carolina to help America understand that this horror began and ended in Durham, North Carolina.

And please tell us in simple sentences.

Not all of us are loitering around in the upper one third and behaving as if we are members of the American Monarchy.
::
GP

No justice, no peace said...

8:57 "...inability to separate a serious error in judgement from a person's career. And, just because the 88 made a serious error, doesn't mean all of them are lacking in moral fibre..."

The fact that the Gang of 88, potbangers, abettors, media, et al have shown no contrition, never apologized, tried to fraudulently clarify their meaning, which begs another question as to why professional teachers did such a poor job of communicating their meaning in the first place, and continue to support the notion that something happened does suggest a complete and total lack of moral fiber.

Anonymous said...

At least Linwood Wilson can go back to gospel singing.

Does anyone know where to get his records or cd's?

Anonymous said...

10:47 wrote:

"Guttentag who has the first name of Christoph! What's up with that? He must have been in the upper 1/16."

-----

He's German, as in, his parents are from Germany. I'm not sure that I (in fact, I'm sure that I do not) understand your point. Are you suggesting that Germans are smart? Or just that they have funny names?

Not that I'm defending his comments, nor his policies, which (he has admitted) include admitting woefully moronic rich kids in hopes that their daddies will contribute $$$$$ to Duke. But I don't read anything into his name. Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

The Duke Admissions Office indicated that Duke received a record number of applications this year from children of alumni and admitted a record number of those children, which suggests that those morons who posted messages stating that they would never allow their child to attend Duke did not have much of an impact on the decisions made by Duke alumni and their children.

Richard Aubrey said...

Brodhead is the winner of John Leo's "Sheldon Award".
Bad as things in academe are, there really was no competition.

No justice, no peace said...

10:45 inr: "We need a truth and reconciliation commission in Durham..."

Duke is next. The idea is to suggest everyone made mistakes, so everyone needs to come together...to reconcile, hold hands, and forget it ever happened.

Cookies and punch will be served in the community room after a short airing of grievances.

Anonymous said...

Crimal contempt charges......'bout freakin' time!!!!

It really is the gift that keeps on giving!!!

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Turley has a well-written piece in Sunday's Wahington Post.
"Lots of Prosecuters go Too Far. Most Get Away With It"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/22/AR2007062201654.html

It is very depressing.

Gives a lot of information on Nifong fan Nancy Grace. Makes the point that she was not disbarred, but rather got a tv show. Rewards for the evil.

Anonymous said...

This is a must-read:

Kim_Roberts_911_Call_was_ID'ed_early

Debrah

Anonymous said...

9:29

Are you insane? There is no way, given the feminist lynch mob attitude prevalent today, that I, a father of two grown sons, would ever get involved in teaching, mentoring, or otherwise trying to train the little brats that women raise on their own. My own life means more to me and I will not spend my money defending against false charges. As you can see on this blog, it takes a great deal of money to defend yourself, even when innocent. To hell with feminists, and to hell with the future of this country. It is not the place where I was raised and will soon go earn its place in the dustbin of defeated cultures due to the lack of real men.

Anonymous said...

Hey, all you Nifong fans -- tell him he can probably get a job at CNN. Call Nancy's agent.

In Turley's column:
In a blistering 2005 federal appeals opinion, Judge William H. Pryor Jr., a conservative former Alabama attorney general, found that Grace had "played fast and loose" with core ethical rules in a 1990 triple-murder case. Like Nifong, Grace was accused of not disclosing critical evidence (the existence of other suspects) as well as knowingly permitting a detective to testify falsely under oath.

No wonder CNN's rating are in the toilet.

Anonymous said...

"I just hope that all of you who are so up in arms for the LAXers would also support other athletes--maybe black--who were accused of similar crimes. Ask yourself: woould you?"

Yes. I didn't support the Lacrosse Three because they were white; I wouldn't withhold my support from other athletes based on race. (In the interests of full disclosure, I didn't start following the case in any detail until after Roy Cooper's declaration. However, even back when the case began, the reports that were coming out gave me strong flashbacks to the Richard Jewell case and how he got pilloried in the media with nearly no physical evidence, just allegations that he supposedly matched a "lone bomber" profile. Metanarratives aren't always race-based.)

Anonymous said...

Several comments:
As far as males (especially AA males) growing up in single mother households- you can thank LBJ for that w/ his "Great Society". When Government (and welfare) became "Daddy" the father was no longer needed. The introduction of the Pill also brought much looser sexual attitudes leading to more partners, more births out of wedlock.

On admissions- Berkeley and UCLA are the 2 most difficult CA state schools in admissions. They are 60%-40% female to male, 45% Asian, and 93% in state students. When the ballot issue was passed many years ago prohibiting discrimination based on race (and other markers), it also outlawed reverse discrimination. Ever since, the CA state schools have tried every trick in the book to impose quotas even though they are not allowed to do so. As you can see by the numbers, the cream is rising to the top pretty successfully- the Asian kids who have long been discriminated against in favor of blacks and Hispanics, are finally being admitted to the schools they deserve. I can only imagine the numbers if applications were truly race-blind!

On the 88- my son has had a couple of the G88 professors so obviously, his is a small sample. He said, though, that one of them was a flaming liberal and not a very good prof. (philosophy dept). The other, however, was a good teacher (Romantic studies) that he really liked.

It is interesting that Guttentag is taking a sabbatical at MIT. MIT recently fired their (excellent) 30 yr admissions director b/c it was learned that she had falsified her credentials when she first applied there. She had none of the degrees that she reported originally.

Lastly, I have read statements by admissions directors at elite schools that say that even if you took the entire accepted freshman class and pitched them- turned around and accepted the next group in line, that there would be no difference. In other words, the competition for spots at elite schools is so tough that you could essentially toss a coin between them. I suspect that though there may have been a decline in applications from the NE or from children of bloggers who state that "no child of mine is going to Duke!" that does not necessarily mean that the qualifications of the class of 2011 are any less than the classes pre-LAX hoax.

Anonymous said...

"What is it with the herd mentality that permits you people to persecute an honest prosecutor who may have made a couple of mistakes?"

It might be inappropriate to "persecute" an "honest prosecutor who may have made a couple of mistakes". However, we're talking about Mike Nifong, who is not an honest prosecutor and who did not make a "couple" of mistakes. The DHC already heard Nifong's defense that everything he did wrong was just "mistakes" and they didn't buy it; you can hardly fault the rest of us for not buying it either.

Anonymous said...

Here in Denver over the weekend, a city attorney killed himself b/c of pre-trial publicity. He was accused of stealing a laptop computer which he said he bought from a guy in a parking lot. He passed a lie detector test. Apparently, though, the laptop was full of pornography.
Two things- 1) was it wise to buy a computer from "a guy in a parking lot"? Can you say "stolen"?!
2) This guy was vilified in the press. They had a grand ole time stringing him up. He may have been guilty of everything of which he was accused but he never had a chance to defend himself. It was the above the fold headline or lead story for every media outfit in town.
So we have now a Harvard law school grad who was a judge and city attorney, basically lynched in the media, dead.
How are we going to reign in the media? Seriously? The 24 hr news cycle has lead us to "breaking stories" non-stop. Much of what is aired is speculative b/c they simply do not have additional information. They play the same loops of film over and over and bring in "experts". In the LAX case, they brought in "rape victim" experts, etc.

Anonymous said...

rod allison, detroit said...
I see the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" is in the top 100 (75 yesterday) best sellers at Amazon.

Has to be a result of comparisons to the Duke railroading attempt.


Probably not because of the Duke case.

That book probably did more to promote the metanarrative taught by the 88ers than any other. I know my kids are being forced to read it here in the public schools of Florida, where it is being taught as ... you guessed it! -- NON-fiction.

Anonymous said...

12:44
You are right when you say that CA state colleges have gone underground in how they defy the law on college admissions.

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, they state they do not just depend on grades, class rank, test scores for admission. Rather they use a system that includes other factors and it is applied in a objective format. They do not describe it. You have to trust them.

When my kids entered as freshmen (before the PC crowd), the average GPA for admission to the Business School was around 4.2 or 4.3. It is now in the 3.7 or so. But by golly, they have diversity.

Ralph Phelan said...

"How are we going to reign in the media? "

How about reining in their sources? The DA in that case made unnecessary, inflammatory statments to the press - as DAs routinely do, and get away with, unless they simultaneously get caught witholding evidence against defendants who can afford real lawyers.

The first step should be for the Colorado bar to punish that DA. Think that's gonna happen?

Christy said...

"I just hope that all of you who are so up in arms for the LAXers would also support other athletes--maybe black--who were accused of similar crimes. Ask yourself: woould you?"

My deepest regret is that racial hostility of this case precluded the traditionally persecuted from making common cause with those of us who suddenly discovered we, too, could be railroaded. Why didn't the joining of forces occur?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Why didn't the joining of forces occur?"

When white people were being railroaded by largely the exact same people who had in the past railroaded a lot of black people (DPD, Durham DA's office ...) the NC NAACP was faced with a choice:

(A) Use this as a "teachable moment" to get white people interested in cleaning up an out of control criminal justice system that threatens white and black alike.

(B) Side with their own oppressors so and help railroad some white people from out of state who had never done anything to them.

Bitterness and bigotry trumped self-interest, and they chose B.

Anonymous said...

kc writes about Kathleen Parker

Parker also joins the list of people observing that “a little self-examination would seem to be in order, beginning with Duke.”

She concludes,


The university recently settled with the three accused lacrosse players for an undisclosed sum in a move that insulates faculty from any claims of liability. Such is cheap grace. If the university really wants to redeem itself, a better remedy would be for university President Richard Brodhead to institute a new academic program to examine how totalitarian, politically correct groupthink is destroying America’s institutions of higher learning.

Duke can write the textbook.

Well, Duke does not have to write it. It was written about 16 years ago. Of course it was discredited as racist and alarmist. It was written by Dinesh D'Souza -Illiberal Education:The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus

Mr. D'Souza was kinda witty and very irreverant as an underclassman and the co-founder of the Dartmouth Review. He has never been "forgiven" for his early writings. Some bad.

Anyway, he wrote about 6 prominent universities and one was Duke. He argued that PC speech ends up producing intolerance. Because he is a person of "color" (born in India) he gained entry to these 6 universities and boy was Duke furious when his book came out. As far as Duke was concerned, one thing he faulted them for was trying to compensate for past injustices by race-based faculty hiring. At Cal he documents that 85% of black accepted under quotas (instead of grades, test scores)dropped out or funked out their freshman year.

Maybe now, poeple will begin to look around and see he was right. I think people could read it now in view of what has happened, and not be so "offened" with the statements he made.
Though I don't think his book is in a Duke library, I bet all the negative reviews on his book are there. To their dismay, it was a NYT best seller.

I'm on vacation and don't have the book right here, so some of my facts may be off a little. But you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

I heard someone on the radio discussing the sneaky ways that the CA state system is still getting their quotas satisfied for Blacks and Hispanics at Berkeley and UCLA. He said that if the admissions departments really wanted the under-represented groups to get an education, they would send those kids to Cal Riverside or other members of the system that are still fine schools, just not as competitive as Cal and UCLA. From Cal Riverside, they could graduate and live productive lives. From Cal and UCLA, they flunk out.
Typical liberal thinking: (essentially ) good intentions but with unintended consequences.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all sure you're correct on this post:

"Mike Nifong did what prosecutors almost always do when a complainant comes to them alleging a sexual assault: He took his complainant at her word and went full speed ahead with a prosecution. The fact is that few if any prosecutors wait for corroborating evidence or insist on more than one person’s say so before initiating a sexual assault prosecution. Indeed, they’d be vilified if they did. The cardinal rule of sexual assault complaints is “believe the victim,” and since anyone who complains is deemed a victim, even a semi-credible complainant can generate an arrest and prosecution in the absence of physical evidence, additional witnesses, or even a prompt accusation. This isn’t just the case in Durham; it’s true almost everywhere. The widespread support for this questionable practice is such that if the Duke case had gone to a jury and the defendants had been convicted, Nifong would not only still have his law license—he’d have been lionized for his dogged pursuit of rich white kids."

I know this is not evidence, but if you've ever read any novels of Linda Fairstein, you would have a different view on this. The author was the 25 year head of the Manhattan sex crimes unit. In her novels she gives many examples of how they investigated sex crimes and that many complaints were thrown out because of the implausibility of the complainants, many of whom lied to avoid getting into trouble with their parents or boyfriends over consensual affairs, not rapes as they first charged. No doubt about Mike Nifong deserving his fate, but I doubt you can use the same brush to paint prosecutors in general.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:45

I would add that they need to fix K-12 system as well. About 40-50% of CA freshmen have to take remedial English and Math courses. Also, CA has some 150 or maybe more, 2 year colleges. For students that are not academically prepared, students could attend there, save money, learn to pace themselves with less commpetitive students and be successful as junior transfer students.

Anonymous said...

I spent 6 years at De Anza, a CA JuCo. Another 2 years and I would have had an AA degree. I was that close! LOL!!!

Honestly, did love that school. Great teachers, and this was long enough ago that that they weren't all communists.

I did manage to have a great career in high tech for over 20 years, and made a big pile of money. Top that, you English major pukes!

Anonymous said...

RE: Jun 25, 2007 10:26:00 AM

Are you serious about OJ? Derschowitz's book? Read Bugliosi's book. Only an imbecile thinks the LAPD framed the guy.
2 dead bodies and you nitpick like some group of 88 member.

I dont mean to be disrepectful--but people like you are dangerous!

Ralph Phelan said...

I'll ignore the adhominem, which contains no facts or evidence.

Was Bugliosi talking to the jury? Dershowitz was. If Dershowitz could make it plausible to me, he could make it plausible to them. So they didn't "ignore the science." They distrusted the cops. After the last year in Durham, are you still so sure they were wrong to?

"2 dead bodies and you nitpick"
2 dead bodies or an alleged rape and I should turn my brain off? That's when it's most important to think clearly. And who do you feel the most personal danger from - OJ, college jocks, or crooked cops? For me it's the last, they're the ones who have the greatest opportunity to impact my life.

"like some group of 88 member."
No, if I was a G88er I'd be ignoring the details of particular cases and talking about race, class and gender. I'm not, I'm talking about a pattern of institutional behavior - e.g. that Nancy Grace gets caught putting an innocent guy in jail by witholding evidence, and instead of going to jail herself she gets a gig on national TV.