Monday, July 16, 2007

Seligmann in Brown Daily Herald

A nicely done article by Daily Herald spots editor Stu Woo profiles Reade Seligmann on the verge of his arrival at Brown, introducing Seligmann to Brown readers. Woo conducted a lengthy interview with Seligmann, and noted,
Tonight, all Seligmann wants to talk about is Brown, where he will enroll this fall as a transfer student and lacrosse recruit. He asks several questions about the open curriculum, the faculty and the history department, where he will be a concentrator. He says, half-jokingly, that he would quit his internship on the spot if he could start the semester the next day. After a nightmarish year spent in the national spotlight, hounded by the media and the thought of spending the beginning of his adult life in prison, the 21-year-old Seligmann now has a destination, and he's ready to be a college student again . . . he wants everyone at Brown to know who he really is. "I hope that anyone who's not supportive takes the time to meet me, because I want to meet them," Seligmann says. The line may be rehearsed, a by-product of spending a year under scrutiny and giving interviews to 60 Minutes, The Today Show and Newsweek. But Seligmann looks like he means it.
I think that Woo's interpretation is correct.

The article also features the first significant interview with Brown coach Lars Tiffany about Seligmann's decision to come to Brown. Woo reports that Tiffany, before considering recruiting Seligmann, spoke "with many in the lacrosse community who knew Seligmann. He heard the same from everyone he spoke to: If you know this kid, then you know he couldn't have done it."

Tiffany also shared an amusing vignette about the recruitment process, recalling that he asked Seligmann to share with him every possible negative event that might come up. The response? "Coach, my freshman year, there was a party in my hallway, and all of us got written up for it." (That's the record that led Wendy Murphy to compare Seligmann to Hitler.)

As to Seligmann's talents on the field, Tiffany observed that "he's got a strong, accurate shot, and because of his frame, he can power dodge you, just run over you."

From the other side, Woo spoke to a lacrosse player who had quit the team before Seligmann's recruitment. The former player, ironically a North Carolina native, made a hooded theat of protests against Seligmann's decision to attend the school. Brown, of course, has a reputation as an unusually activist campus. But I somehow doubt that many students at Brown, or anyplace else for that matter, are going to take up the "something happened" mantra of the discredited Mike Nifong.

77 comments:

Richard Aubrey said...

You don't need many students to make a stink.
The point is not the facts. The point, as with the 88ers, is to make themselves feel important.

Gary Packwood said...

Reade said...

"They'll be watching me anyway," he says.
::
If I was a faculty member @ Brown I would remind those students watching Reade that he is watching them also.

And it is Reade and not the students watching him who will get published someday soon.

If Reade will just focus on (1) probable cause (2) innocent until proven guilty and (3) truth telling in his proposed Innocence Club, he will be fine.

Brown students have a theoretically understanding of those concepts...and they will debate those concept into the ground while Reade sails through the curriculum as a student athlete and great older brother who will of course, invite his younger brothers to campus often.

Leave the watchers alone and let them watch.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Duke -> Brown

In terms of political correctness... from the frying pan into the fire.

Antaeus Feldspar said...

K.C., unless you are privy to evidence that you did not mention here, I think I must disagree with your characterization that Kris Udekwu, the other lacrosse player you mention, "made a hooded theat of protests against Seligmann's decision to attend the school." I find nothing in that article to support that contention. Here is what the article says about Udekwu's views on the lacrosse case:

"Udekwu, who is black and grew up in Raleigh, N.C., just a half-hour from Durham, probably understands the Duke case better than anyone at Brown. He has been closely following it and wrote about it for the College Hill Independent, of which he is now a managing editor.

"He believes that when Seligmann gets to campus, the skeptics will pounce.

"'Historically, what Brown has been known for is making a meal out of things like this, as far as student activism goes,' he says. Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question."

I believe more than one poster here has said "Seligmann's going to Brown?? That school's even more politically correct than Duke! There's going to be someone protesting when he gets there, mark my words." That's a prediction; only time will tell its accuracy. But why are Udekwu's words, which contain no signs of approving the theoretical protests, considered a "hooded threat" of protests?

I have tried but cannot find anything Udekwu has written on the case. Perhaps if we were to see his writings, they would make the scenario of the hooded threat seem more plausible. Yet suppose for the sake of argument that Udekwu was one of the stubborn denialists who still insisted that "something happened". Why then would Woo say that Udekwu "probably understands the Duke case better than anyone at Brown"? I find it highly unlikely that Woo would be treating Seligmann's innocence as a known fact (which it is) and yet describe someone who thinks that Seligmann deserves to be protested as having a superior "understanding" of the case.

Inman said...

What is a "hooded theat?"

KC ... sorry, couldn't help myself. Perhaps you could correct and then delete this comment.

"veiled threat" perhaps

Anonymous said...

K.C., if what antaeus feldspar at 10:19 writes is correct and Udekwu is more innocent than portrayed by you, I hope you will edit/update the section in your post that makes him sound anti-Seligmann and therefore anti-truth. What matters for the long-term survival of humanity is not the left or the right but the truth.

Gary Packwood said...

Antaeus Feldspar 10: 19 quoting KC ...said...

...K.C., unless you are privy to evidence that you did not mention here, I think I must disagree with your characterization that Kris Udekwu, the other lacrosse player you mention, "made a hooded theat of protests against Seligmann's decision to attend the school." I find nothing in that article to support that contention. Here is what the article says about Udekwu's views on the lacrosse case:
..."He believes that when Seligmann gets to campus, the skeptics will pounce.
..."'Historically, what Brown has been known for is making a meal out of things like this, as far as student activism goes,' he says. Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question."
::
I agree with KC.
The kid is sending a message to the wolves...who no doubt, are his wolves.
::
GP

inman said...

I disagree with your conclusion and believe that under the circumstances a statement such as

"Sign-waving and protests[, he says,] are not out of the question."

clearly indicates a belief that the wood has been laid for a fire. Given Udekwu's soapbox position, it is not a leap of faith to believe that the gas cans were listening -- and that he knew they had their ears perked.


Sounds like a veiled threat to me.

inman said...

My previous post was directed to Mr.Ms. Feldspar

Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic, but canot find the answer and I know someone on this board will be able to enlighten me.

I have reviewed the available video of the state bar hearing and I cannot find this information. As Doug Brocker pointed out in his closing argument, the very existence of a report (made by Meehan omitting the DNA results that 4 unknown men's DNA was present) and not containing all his findings constitutes a violation the rules attorneys are governed by.

Was Nifong ever directly asked how such a report came into existence in the first place? I know Meehan says that Nifong instructed him to include only matches to the samples he was given. But I never saw Nifong asked how this report came to be made at all. I assume he would use privacy as his excuse or say Meehan misunderstood him, but I'd like to know exactly what his response was.

Does anyone know if Nifong was asked this direct question and what his answer was? Also, does anyone know where I could find video of this?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

All our best at your new school. You DESERVE the best. I'm sure you will give your best.

Antaeus Feldspar said...

Gary --

"The kid is sending a message to the wolves...who no doubt, are his wolves."

Why "no doubt"? Sorry, but it sounds like he's making an observation about what can be predicted to happen in the future, based on observation of the past. God help us when you can't make any educated guess about what will happen without being accused of wanting it to happen or trying to make it happen, with "no doubt" in the minds of observers even though there's no actual reason to jump from "prediction" to "hooded threat".

inman said...

"Sign-waving and protests[, he says,] are not out of the question."

A bit further analysis of that statement --

If the quote is correct, this is a statement of belief and not a prediction. But what would the signs and potesters say.

Given that the subject matter of the interview was (as I understand it) confined to Reade Seligmann and the lacrosse team and the pervious year's events, Udekwu's comments are clearly juxtaposed with the brutal attack made by Nifong and CMG on the justice system. So will the protesters be focused on that aspect of the Hoax? Perhaps that is what Udekwu's comments were intended to mean.

But, that strains credulity. No, I think the protests and signs would replicate the pot bangers and the Group of 88 and the Anger & Hostility merchants. And it is my (perhaps less than considered) opinion that Udekwu intended that meaning. Or, instead of an opinion, you can call it a juror's vote.

Finally, if this wasn't the veiled threat, it was the voice being given to another group's veiled threat.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I agree with KC.
The kid is sending a message to the wolves...who no doubt, are his wolves. "

One could as easily see it as a warning to Seligman to watch out for the wolves. I read it as a preemptive criticism of any outbreaks of PC madness that may occur at Brown, exactly the opposite from the way KC took it.

"Given Udekwu's soapbox position..." What soapbox position? A reporter called him up to talk to him.

Given the ambiguity I agree that KC should remove the language accusing Udekwu of making veiled threats until and unless some other information is found.

inman said...

RP

The reporter called the occupant of the soapbox, "...managing editor" of the College Hill Independent. (see 10:19 above)

But you make a good point -- it is ambiguous...perhaps someone should call Udekwu for clarification. Otherwise it is clearly subject to debate and interpretation from various perspectives.

Addendum to prior post @ 11:29 -- and if it was not a veiled threat of another group (to which he gave voice)...then it is the description of an IMPLICIT veiled threat of that other group.

Anonymous said...

I agree with antaneas feldspar, even tho I can't spell his name.

KC, "hooded threat" goes to far as a characterization of what was said. Use "dark prediction" instead.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

RRH asks, Which sounds better?


1. "The former player, ironically a North Carolina native, made a hooded theat of protests against Seligmann's decision to attend the school."

2. "The former player, ironically a North Carolina native, made a dark prediction of protests against Seligmann's decision to attend the school."

Ralph Phelan said...

I just skimmed the Independent website.

Udekwu has written a lot about sports (often obscure ones) and a bit about hip-hop. The only article of his mentioning politics was a pox-on-both-their-houses piece on the 2006 Virginia Senate race.

I could not find a single mention of the "Duke LaCrosse Burning" in the entire paper.

The understandable assumption that anyone involved in a college paper would be a kneejerk PC type seems to be wrong in this case.

The start of his quote:

"Historically, what Brown has been known for is making a meal out of things like this, as far as student activism goes,"

sounds to me like a well-intentioned warning along the lines of "We've got nasty PC leftists here too, so be on your guard."

Anonymous said...

Reade will do great things in his life and he is not going to allow racists and hatemongers to take anymore away from him. He has matured into a fine young man who has learned some of lifes hard lessons very quickly. It has been proven worldwide that the Duke 3 were the victims of a severely mentally disturbed person, a corrupt DA and police department and all those other looneys.
To any Brown student, professor or otherwise who think that waving a sign or making derogitory comments abut Reade will bring them attention, it will only be negative attention on their part and show their ignorance and racist views. It's old news, the hoax has been diseccted and exposed. Brown is lucky to have an outstanding person like Reade to attend. Maybe, other students and professors will learn from him the integrity, honor and character that he posses yet doesn't flaunt. The qualities of a good son, great brother, excellent student, outstanding athlete, and a caring person who can come out this hell without hating or becoming a racist says alot about the person. Those people who would disbarrage him now are not fit to wipe his boots.

Anonymous said...

The fact that any disruption of this young man's being at Brown would be considered in an example of the difficulty he has in getting his life back. This kind of political correctness is a fraud. It is an attitude foistered on the majority of people trying to live and get on with their lives. It is dishonest in many if not most of its assumptions finding facts unneeded and pursuing a constant litmus test of what people think or say or do. In this way, it is not unlike radical Islam watching people at prayers making sure that they are facing the proper way in the proper way according to their dictates. Like Nazi Brown shirts pursing Germans to make them good Germans, the politically correct crowd has its own agenda, and it has long since become a tiresome one.

Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see how Brown's president handles any issues which may arise....knowing the spotlight is aimed at Reade's post-Brodhead student rights and safety.

Anonymous said...

I would love it if they had a protest, and the vast majority of signs read something like "what part of innocent are you too stupid to understand?" I would think many of the athletes would join in.
Bill Alexander

inman said...

ralph phelan ...

Following your lead, I too skimmed the College Hill Independent website.

I couldn't find any reference whatsoever to Duke (other than sports) or Durham or the Hoax. Maybe my browser is broken.

But given the lack of any paper trail (no pun intended), I've got to agree that this may not have been a veiled threat.

You've convinced me.

Anonymous said...

@ KC

Like many others, I think the following comment of yours is unsupported:

the "former player ... MADE a hooded threat of protests against Seligmann's decision to attend the school." (Emphasis added.)

Many of the people who read your blog regularly are committed to principles of fair dealing. What is said in the article is not sufficient to justify an accusation of a threat, which requires intent. It is just as possible to read it as a simple prediction based on the writer's knowledge of Brown and its nut fringe, which is sizable. Of course, it may have been a threat, which depends on intent, but I think basic fairness precludes being as definitive as you were on the basis of what was reported, which I quote in full:

"'Historically, what Brown has been known for is making a meal out of things like this, as far as student activism goes,' he says. Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question."

On its face, it is a prediction. Without knowing something about the speaker's past actions, I cannot conclude from his words that the speaker is (1) trying to incite or (2) approving the predicted actions.

You may be correct that his prediction is wrong (let's hope so.) And you may be correct that his prediction is cover for a threat, but you have not provided evidence. It would be fairer to say, "made a prediction, which may have veiled a threat," of __." It would be fairest of all to quote the speaker without speculating on his motives.

JeffM

Anonymous said...

Mangum made her biggest mistake during the 4/4/06 photo lineup when her "mental dart," by chance, landed on the picture of Reade Seligmann.

After more than 16 months of the most vigorous examination possible, not a single flaw was found with his character. He is handsome and a great communicator.

Moreover, Reade's father made the exraordinary effort of dropping everything in his life to protect his son by traveling to Durham and gathering all of that crucial alibi evidence.

I believe that it is quite possible that without Phillip Seligmann's extraordinary actions, the Duke Hoax would be going to trial next Monday.

It was, in fact, the rock solid-est alibi in the history of, well, law, a lot better than Judas' "I was in Galilee, fishing, just ask Caiaphas."

The alibi changed public opinion about the possible veracity of the false accuser. There, on television, was tangible proof of a false accusation.

Moreover, Mike Nifong's efforts to rebut the alibi's timeline led to many of his most outrageous statements and actions -- statements and actions that focused further harsh light on his prosecution.

Best of luck to Reade, his family, and the rest of the Duke Lacrosse players!
_______________

As for Udekwu, why even bring it up? Is it now de rigeur for the PC crowd to protest Non-Racists, who have been proved to be Innocent of any Crimes, and who have had their Lives and Freedom Threatened based upon demonstrably False Accusations?

I think the problem for Udekwu is the evil-ness in his underlying assumption about others at his school. What does that say about Brown and the surrounding community?

______________________

Social Scientists and pshychiatrists have discovered the common denominator in the break-up of marriages and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships on the "Jerry Springer" show and think their breakthrough may have world-wide application. All of the men and women on that show are "Johnson-obsessed." Reuters wire story, 7/15/07. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

"But given the lack of any paper trail (no pun intended), I've got to agree that this may not have been a veiled threat."


That could depend on WHY the paper trail no longer exists. If it's noted that Udekwu wrote about the case, but the articles are no longer archived, you have to wonder if they were deleted in the wake of the AG's proclamation of innocence and Nifong's disbarment.

AMac said...

I concur with JeffM's view of 12:20pm (and thus with other, earlier commenters). In the Daily Herald article, Kris Udekwu appears to be responding to reporter Woo's request for a comment on the activist community's possible activities.

In the absence of a declaration or implication of ill intention, there can be no threat.

In the absence of evidence, the "hooded threat" descriptor is unwarranted, and should be removed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the spirit of U's "hooded [good call Inman; sic] threat.


Brown is PC Central, and I certainly would not be surprised if there Affirmative Action Problem parroted Duke's Affirmative Action Problem.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

oops--there sb their

inman said...

anon @ 12:44

Good point!

I hadn't thought about the destruction of evidence or, in this case, the deletion of previously written articles.

But would they or could they (whoever they is) have done that? And to what end?

rrhamilton said...

There's a right Brown University and a wrong one. The right one is here: http://www.jbu.edu/

Fair disclosure: One of my nieces is a recent grad and another nieces is a current student there.

Anonymous said...

1 more usage issue

It is not "ironic" that U hails from North Carolina.

Polanski

One Spook said...

I'm going to hold my hands and make the "T sign" for a "time out" here.

As I read it, author Woo opines that Udekwu believes that "... when Seligmann gets to campus, the skeptics will pounce." That is not a quote from Udekwu.

The only quote attributed to Udekwu that Woo provides is this, "Historically, what Brown has been known for is making a meal out of things like this, as far as student activism goes,"

That is an opinion that Udekwu offered to Woo, and I do not believe this can in anyway be construed as a threat --- veiled, hooded, or otherwise.

And then Woo further opines, but does not quote Udekwu, by paraphrasing (not quoting) Udekwu with this statement, "Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question."

I might be peeing off the porch into the wind, but let's allow the folks at Brown to begin the class year with an "A" and allow them to earn a lesser grade by their own acts.

We have enough egregious acts committed by members of the Duke faculty and certain student-lemmings who follow them to deal with on this Blog.

Let's not get whipped into a frenzy and identify any more villians until they clearly surface or, put another way, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!"

inman said...

one spook @ 1:33

Regarding the statement, "Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question."

If the statement was not intended as a quote, why are there quotation marks? I understand the the attribution clause [he says] is awkwardly inserted and delineated by commas. A direct and intentional quote could appear as:

"Sign-waving and protests..." he says "...are not out of the question." Perhaps he intended for the commas to be interpreted as quotation marks, instead of as commas.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION: "I think the problem with Udekwu's STATEMENT is the evil-ness EXPOSED in the underlying assumption about others at his school. [END CORRECTION]

Is Brown also a perfect politically-correct system?

___________

As we all know, classic "Pathos Theory" establishes that a true politically correct system is not driven by reason, logic or justice. Rather, it is emotion-based, and therefore the outcome of any given action will be random and pathetic. The degree to which the intended and unintended consequences of an action in such a system is random and pathetic depends upon the actors' variance from true just-ness.

Now that "Pathos Theory" has been extensivly peer-reviewed on K.C. Johnson's Durham in Wonderland messageboard and is generally accepted in the medical, psychiatric and social sciences communities, it is time to explore the "BILLY MUMY POSTULATE."

Billy Mumy, of course, was a delightful child actor in the 1960s known chiefly for his impressive portrayal of gullibility to Dr. Smith's snake-charmer in the television series "Lost in Space."

He also played a role in a classic "The Twilight Zone" episode entitled "It's a Good Life," dealing with telekinesis and mind reading. The basic plot of the show involved a child with telekinetic powers who could also read everyone's minds. If other people thought "bad thoughts" about him, he would punish them using "mind bullets" or such, turn them into a dog or potted plant, or revoke their license to exist.

Now, if, in the normal course of life, you get pissed at a pre-teen and call him a name or attempt to discipline him, you are potentially subject to some form of egg or toilet paper-related retaliation. In the worst case, you might have to deal with a flaming bag of poo.

This is enough to keep some people from disciplining a pre-teen. But, when the pre-teen can shoot "thought rockets" at you, your courage quickly takes a pass and strolls over to the nearest pub for a Guinness.

The "BILLY MUMY POSTULATE" provides that the amount of "Fear" generated in a politically-correct system is the product of the "Number" of PC-driven individuals by the amount of "Power" they control. That equation is reduced mathematically to this:

(N x P) = F

In the classic "The Twilight Zone" episode, the Billy Mumy character had unlimited power, therefore, the "F" quotient was very high.

In Durham and Duke University (and possibly at Brown?), the number of PC-driven individuals is staggering, comprising almost all of city government, the police department, the district attorney's office, University administration, the G88 faculty, and the entire corpus of the local media (except Joe Neff, who must be studied very carefully, as he appears to be immune to the "BILLY MUMY POSTULATE").

The power they wielded was also very ... um ... powerful. Thus, I propose, based upon the postulate, that the "F" factor in Durham and Duke was correspondingly high.

______________

"K.C. Johnson won a research grant AND a fellowship in History from another planet's government." News of the Cosmos Wire Service (July, 2022) MOO! Gregory

Ralph Phelan said...

one spook:
Hear hear!

I'm particularly disgusted by 12:44's suggestion that the Independent's website has been "cleaned up" to cover for Udekwu. It makes no sense on either practical grounds (Google cahce) or motivational grounds (if he's making a threat becasue he's a "something happened" type with a history of anti Duke Lax writings, he'd be proud of them and leaving them up. The is getting into the realm of probablity stretching usually associated with attempts to claim good intentions for Nifong.

And let's distinguish a couple of questions about Udekwu:

(1) Is he expressing approval of possible pot-banging at Brown, or merely making a cynical prediction? If we have absolutely zero evidence for the former, we should assume the latter.

(2) If it's just a cynical prediction, is his cycnicism justified by the actual nature of the Brown student body? This question will answer itself with time.

I strongly urge KC to remove both the "hooded threat" language and the "from the other side" language.

I think maybe the reason many are assuming Udekwu is "on the other side" is that his quote appears at the point where newspaper articles usually put in the obligatory "but on the other hand" opposition quote. In this case they couldn't even find a representative of the "other side" and had to make do with someone who speculates that the other side exists.

Anonymous said...

1:33 Good advice. No one in this school is out to get Reade.

Anonymous said...

Re:"Brown is PC Central, and I certainly would not be surprised if there Affirmative Action Problem parroted Duke's Affirmative Action Problem"

It's probably even worse at Brown as part of the university's original endowment came from money made off of the slave trade. It has made Brown feel guilty ever since and affirmative action is one way that institutions apparently try to assuage what they consider to be their guilt.

KC Johnson said...

A couple of points:

1.) I didn't interpret Udekwu's comments as dispassionate predictive analysis because, as such, they make no sense.

Last spring, before the AG completed his investigation, the Daily Herald revealed that Brown was recruiting Seligmann. To my knowledge, there weren't student protests then, much less extreme events with students carrying signs.

So is Udekwu the dispassionate analyst actually claiming that a campus that didn't protest while the inquiry was still alive would protest now that the AG has publicly declared Seligmann innocent while revealing the accuser's last story to be that the rape occurred while she was levitating; and now that the prosecutor in the case has been disbarred and publicly deemed a liar?

2.) It wasn't my sense that someone who offered, as Ubekwu did, a mixed but largely positive review of Louis Farrakhan's role in American life would have a tolerant view of the lacrosse case.

KC Johnson said...

A point on the response of the Brown administration:

It's my sense that the administration--from President Ruth Simmons, a remarkable figure, on down--was strongly supportive of Seligmann's coming to Brown.

I would, therefore, be extremely surprised if his arrival was met with anything but expressions of support.

rrhamilton said...

KC, this is one of the few times that your argument is unconvincing. Your argument is, as I understand it, "Because there were no protests upon the announcement of Seligmann's enrollment, there should be no reason to expect any protests upon his actual arrival on campus." In my experience, people who want to protest, say, a Klan rally, usually don't do so on the mere announcement, but wait for the actual rally.

I think you should give this guy the benefit of the doubt -- that he's predicting possible protests, but not "threatening" them.

Anonymous said...

If the PC crowd at Brown has not learned anything from the Duke slugs, they are really stupid. Even the 88 have generaly been quiet for a long time.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC:

(1) "So is Udekwu the dispassionate analyst..."
He might just be the snarky smartass mocking Brown for its PC reputation.

(2) " mixed but largely positive review of Louis Farrakhan's role"
Like many other totalitiarian leaders, would-be or successful, Farrakhan would never have gotten anywhere if he hadn't had something of substance to offer. Because of the way he leavened his fascism with messages of self-reliance I genuinely believe he's accomplished more good for black Americans than Sharpton, Jackson, and the last twenty years' worth of NAACP activity put together. Not that that's hard.

The guy who wrote the below does not sound like a standard PC type:
"all calls signal for their beliefs to fall in step with the reconciliatory and progressive hopes of a country. Blame and isolationism are just as destructive ... "

One Spook said...

Inman @ 1:47 writes:

"If the statement was not intended as a quote, why are there quotation marks?"

Those were my quote marks used in quoting what Woo wrote. Re-read the Woo report and you'll see that he did not use quote marks there ... he was paraphrasing what Udekwu said.

One Spook

Ralph Phelan said...

One SPook

Ihich words are Udekwu's and which the reporter's paraphrase isn't that important. No matter what, we've got an statement that usually-sensible people have variously read as a threat, a friendly warning about a dangerous situation, and a snarky joke about Brown's student body.

Probably the only way we'll ever know what he really meant is for someone to ask him.

Until then, I think it's safe to say that the situation is genuinely ambiguous.

Anonymous said...

@ KC

If you have evidence that Udekwu is not describing what he believes to be true of Brown, then you have a point. My son went to Brown, and his report is that there are plenty of PC nut jobs at Brown. So the statement looks truthful enough.

Moreover, you are mischaracterizing what was said: "would" is hardly the same as saying "not out of the question." This is the difference between "will and "may."

Perhaps well before your time, an historian called Hexter discussed the "historian's modes." Hexter was talking about the past and distinguished among "may have done" and "must have done" and "did do." When discussing the future, the third option is eliminated, but the difference in modals between "may" (or "might") and "will" (or "would") is still applicable.

JeffM

PS I do NOT recommend Hexter's self-indulgent book on what is history. But that little piece of it is pretty solid.

inman said...

one spook

Thank you for that clarification. Perhaps everyone could start using colored punctuation marks -- red = mine; blue -- somebody else -- for the addled of this group such as me.

But nonetheless, unless his paraphrasing was a significant departure from U's intent and meaning, I interpret it to be less of an (color="red") " (color="black") opinion (color="red") " (color="black") about what was said and more of a statement of what in fact was said -- with the obvious implication that the reader could form his/her/its own opinion.

Anonymous said...

Addendum: I tried to use the HTML tag for red, but it wasn't accepted

Anonymous said...

ralph...

"Probably the only way we'll ever know what he really meant is for someone to ask him."

BINGO...we've got a winner.

Ralph Phelan said...

" "Probably the only way we'll ever know what he really meant is for someone to ask him."

BINGO...we've got a winner."

And I think it only fair that if KC is going to leave up his "threat" interpretation he should be the one to do so.

inman said...

ralph phelan said:

"And I think it only fair that if KC is going to leave up his "threat" interpretation he should be the one to do so."


Reading between the words and the lines, this sounds like a soft but clearly written veiled threat.

Anonymous said...

Judging from the tone of U's writing, I get the distinct impression that he's a non UBUNTU dancer kind of guy.

Just a guess.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

KC, don't back down! You are damned right to confront Udekwu's 'hooded threat' for exactly what it was! Udekwu pissed ME off with his gutless refusal to come out and say what he thought. Instead, he pulled a Gang tactic by hiding behind the words of anonymous others. I can just see Udekwu whine in the future that he wasn't really threatening Reade - he was merely 'listening' to the statement of others who wanted their 'voices to be heard'.

Udekwu, you coward!

Anonymous said...

Is telling the truth cowardice?

Sounded like Brown to me.

JeffM

Anonymous said...

OK, if we can't get a consensus on whether "threat" is the right word, can we at least agree that the spelling should be corrected? :)

Anonymous said...

In looking at the actual source material, it provides, in relevant part, and with only the author's original quote marks in place, but my ellipses:

[SNIP]

Udekwu, who is black ... probably understands the Duke case better than anyone at Brown. He has been closely following it and wrote about it ....

He believes that when Seligmann gets to campus, the skeptics will pounce.

"... Brown has been known for ... making a meal out of things like this ...." Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question.

QUESTIONS I HAVE:

1. If Udekwu "understands the Duke case" so well, why did he say that there could well be (i.e. "not out of the question") sign-waving and protests?

2. Doesn't he then know that the protestors would be protesting a non-Racist, innocent person who was victimized by a false accuser?

3. If he knew the threatened actions had no justification behind them, why did he bring them up?

4. Why didn't he say something along the lines of, "But in this case, protesting activities would be stupid because there is nothing to protest"?

5. Is a threat only a threat if the threatened action may come from the speaker or does this also constitute a threat: "My daddy is bigger than your daddy, and after my daddy beats up your daddy, he's gonna kick your [censored]"?

6. Why didn't the author of the piece mention the race of "[o]ne of Seligmann's new teamates"? Three paragraphs earlier, the author specifically described Udekwu as "black."

7. Why is Reade Seligmann's new teammate so "fearful"? Is it the "BILLY MUMY POSTULATE" of the "Pathos Theory" come to life in front of our eyes?
_______________

"When signs keep you or me out of a yard, room, or nuclear missle silo, know this: K.C. Johnson is always 'authorized'" The History Channel (7/04/07). MOO! Gregory

Ralph Phelan said...

"Reading between the words and the lines, this sounds like a soft but clearly written veiled threat."

The problem is when I and others read between the lines we saw something totally different, more akin to a complaint about the number of PC loons at Brown.

When different readers get different messages it's clearly bad & ambiguous writing. The bad writing should probably be blamed on the author of the piece. One thing we should all have learned in the past year is that a second or third hand report filtered through a policeman or reporter does not necessarily correspond precisely to the truth. We'll all be guessing about Udekwu's true position until someone asks him.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Phelan @ 4:39:

When you write "author of the piece," are you describing K.C. Johnson or Stu Woo? Or, were you refering to yourself or inman, whom you had just quoted above?

The reference was too vague for me to formulate an opinion on your intent.
__________

"K.C. Johnson dabbled in the 'Black Arts' for decades so he could destroy the witches and warlocks who were ruining the country. Been turned into a newt lately?" President Obama: Speech to a Grateful Nation (7/4/10). MOO! Gregory

Ralph Phelan said...

4:35-

Possible answers to your questions (I'm not saying this is the case, only that it's one possible hypothesis.)

1. Because he's not talking about the case, but about his low expectations of Brown students.

2. Yes.

3. Because he expects them to happen anyway (see 1).

4. Maybe he did, and the reporter cut that part of his quote for reasons of space.

5. Yes, that constitutes a threat. What about "Psst - hey new guy! Watch out for Joe. He'll beat you up for the fun of it he catches you alone." Is that a threat or a helpful warning?

6. I don't know, but doesn't that indicate you should maybe be aiming your scrutiny at the reporter at least as much as at Udekwu? One thing we should all have learned by now is to expect reporters not to tell it strait.

7. Because (my hypothetical anti-PC) Udekwu is right about how PC his fellow students are?

Ralph Phelan said...

4:46 -
I meant ambiguous writing by Woo.

If Woo's piece was at all well-written we wouldn't be scratching out heads trying to figure out whether Udekwu's anti-Seligman or anti-potbanger.

Antaeus Feldspar said...

K.C., in response to your 2:25 response --

Udekwu's comments may have weaknesses as "dispassionate predictive analysis" but it hardly seems that "hooded threat" is the only other explanation.

By your own statement, Brown's recruitment of Seligmann came and went without student protests or sign-carrying. Isn't it therefore possible that it came and went without Udekwu noticing? (Surely we don't believe that all students must be aware of everything going on at their schools?) We might say that Udekwe's analysis "makes no sense" given all the available information (though I believe it is an exaggeration to say so) but if there's no reason to think he must have had all the available information, there's no reason to think he must have been making a "hooded threat".

As for the relevance of Udekwe's commentary on Farrakhan stepping down from the Nation of Islam (not really a "review of Louis Farrakhan's role in American life") we'll have to agree to disagree. When I read Udekwe laying at the feet of Farrakhan and the NofI "schism, strife, conspiracy and audacity", "radical black isolationism and nearly heretical interpretations of the Qu'ran" whose "days ... seem numbered", the four words that come to mind are not "mixed but largely positive" so much as "damning with faint praise".

Gary Packwood said...

If Udekwu is a good guy and understands the Duke case so well, why didn't he make the point that he would be there for Reade to help him be successful at Brown?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

The most important word in the direct quote from U is "believes."

He's speculating based on his perception of notoriously PC Brown. Shit, I would have said the same if I were visiting Brown's campus. And you dooduses would be accusing me of inciting a riot.

Chill out. U's the messenger, not the UBUNTU dancer.

Polanski

AMac said...

Projecting from what little I know about Brown, I suspect Woo could have quoted me as saying, "Sign-waving and protests are not out of the question" by activists. Kris Udekwu's other quotes are in the same vein.

When Woo quotes Kris Udekwu as saying such things, I have a hard time seeing a threat. Although I suspect Udekwu does have warmer feelings towards activists. If his hypothetical threat is so muted that most of its audience can't perceive it as such, then it isn't much of one.

Anonymous said...

@ GP

Obviously you have not dealt much with reporters.

First, they ask specific questions: such as how do you think the local PC activists will react?

Second, they may ask you 50 questions and use the responses to just two of them. This is not necessarily quoting out of context. I can complain of being truly quoted out of context only a few times in literally dozens of interviews. But it is silly to assume that the quotes selected by the reporter represent the entire thought of the person being interviewed. They represent what the reporter thinks fit into his story. I have often wondered why a reporter chose to use quote Z instead of quote A, but they get to choose. It's why blogging and permitting relatively free flowing comments is so much more interesting.

JeffM

Anonymous said...

To Mr. R. Phelan @ 4:50 --

LOL (your number 7)!

I think your hypothetical warning about "Joe" is obviously a warning. I will assume it was "friendly" as well, as typed words don't pick up sarcasm and tone of voice very well. Additionally, I had heard that about Joe, so I believe you.

The big issue for me is that he mentioned possible protesting in the first place.

Given his stated knowledge of the Duke case and his stated knowledge of Brown's penchant for protestation (a very interesting twin set of "expertises"), his statement, intentional or not, came out as a veiled threat.

Whether he is going to perform any of the threatened activities or not, I don't know. But, to me, he very obviously threatened that someone would.

Also, he made this statement BEFORE Reade got to Brown. Jeez, that almost sounds like the Sheriff in Dodge City: "If you or your kind darken this street again, Imma gonna hafta kill ya."

P.S. I wanted to note that your view of the situation seems to be even darker than my own. :)

_____________

"Jefferson was wont to include a fair too many "like's" and "for sure's" in the main body; thankfully, K.C. Johson exercised a fair and discrete editorial hand." Drafting the Declaration, Doris Kearns Goodwin (2012, Scholastic) MOO! Gregory

Gary Packwood said...

JeffM 5:47 said...
...@ GP
...Obviously you have not dealt much with reporters.
...First, they ask specific questions: such as how do you think the local PC activists will react?
...Second, they may ask you 50 questions and use the responses to just two of them. This is not necessarily quoting out of context. I can complain of being truly quoted out of context only a few times in literally dozens of interviews. But it is silly to assume that the quotes selected by the reporter represent the entire thought of the person being interviewed. They represent what the reporter thinks fit into his story. I have often wondered why a reporter chose to use quote Z instead of quote A, but they get to choose. It's why blogging and permitting relatively free flowing comments is so much more interesting.
::
No doubt.

I will check Brown publications quarterly for the next several years and learn how Udekwu and his friends were helpful to Reade.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

What may make Udekwu seem anti-Reade or something may be the fact that he *quit* the Lacrosse team. Why did Wu interview him specifically and not any current member of the team who will actually play with Reade? This seems to imply Wu feels Udekwu might express an opposing opinion when he sought him out to interview. Wu does state Udekwu quit *before* Reade's recruitment. It doesn't state he quit before the hoax case came up. There is a possible implication that Udekwu quit playing lacrosse in response to the incident. Of course, that's merely an assumption. Udekwu may have quit for any number of reasons; and simple time constraints may be more likely. A Brown player is probably more likely to quit than a player for a school that hosts a scholarship for a sport. Either way, if this case taught us anything, we should be very careful about assuming what a news article may seem to imply and what a particular person's background implies about his actions or intentions. Ultimately, until this young man actually says something unambiguously negative about Reade or takes some action against him, I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

inman said...

Polanski,

Are the UBUNTU part of the Masai of Kenya?

Phelan,

Was your reference to Joe in #5 above another thinly veiled threat targeting my brother? huh?

and finally, Gergory,

Please don't bring cousin Tom's collaboration with KC into this.

Thanks all!

Anonymous said...

Inman

Yes, the Masai have reputation of great warriors. The Ubuntu reference is to the dancers at the pot bangers demonstration. I presume they were dancing an authenic African dance. It was hysterical. I believe you can view it on youtube.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

hahaha...

I just noted a Freudian transposition error ... "Gergory"... me behaving like the dog I am, viewing Panties so-called dancing: "grrrrrr gory"

sorry .... my bad

haskell said...

“Boys 18 to 25 are natural warriors: bodies have wildly outgrown reason, the sexual imperative outranks everything. They are insurance risks. They need (and crave) true leadership, genuine order. But left alone, granted absolute power, their deeds can terrify. The imperative to win, and damn all collateral costs, is not peculiar to Durham—and it is killing us.” -- Garganus

Could someone tell me why he dragged gangs and Black Panthers into this??

===================================
A true intellectual knows full well that Sincerity is not a virtue.

haskell said...

I have no idea how I totally dislocated [sic} the above post. Should be under Garganus.

Anonymous said...

Udekwu quit the team before Reade had publically made the announcement he was attending Brown. He quit the team for other reasons than Reade attending Brown and playing for the team. The press is trying to make a tie in her to sell papers and churn the pot of lies. To make sure the lines of communication are clear, Udekwu should make a statement now before his name is dragged into the cesspool of the Duke 88 and their followers. Udekwu if you are going to make a stand for or against Reade don't be ambiguous, show a little courage and state exactly why you quit. And lets stop second guessing.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Udekwu if you are going to make a stand for or against Reade don't be ambiguous, show a little courage and state exactly why you quit."

I can't blame him for being ambiguous when it might be Woo's fault.

I suspect his lack of response so far is not an issue of "courage but of more likely related to not knowing/caring what we here think.

Why he quit the team, if not related to Seligman, is not our business (the Independent artice makes.

However, I agree that to the extent he cares about his reputation here it's in his interest to clarify.

Ralph Phelan said...

Forgot to preview. Trying again.

"Udekwu if you are going to make a stand for or against Reade don't be ambiguous, show a little courage and state exactly why you quit."

I can't blame him for being ambiguous when it might be Woo's fault.

I suspect his lack of response is not an issue of "courage" but of not knowing/caring what we here think.

Why he quit the team, if not related to Seligman, is not our business.

However, I agree that to the extent he cares about his reputation here it's in his interest to clarify.

Anonymous said...

Check out the portrait of Nifong as victim at the "Leave the Man Alone" blog
http://www.leavethemanalone.com/search?q=

- July 16 post. The "man" seems to think Nifong was disbarred because he called some lacrosse players a bad name.