Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fact-Checking Brodhead

If a crime had actually occurred last March 14, the Duke administration’s response to the lacrosse case would be considered a model for other universities to follow when high-profile students were charged with crimes. The basic message that was conveyed to alumni, donors, and the local elite: the administration has done everything it could to separate the University from the team, so that once a conviction occurs, no one can use the development to tarnish Duke.

In a slightly different context, this is the same strategy that the Atlanta Falcons employed in the Michael Vick case. In statements issued before Monday’s plea bargain, Arthur Blank never came out and said that he thought Vick was guilty. And he made formulaic references to the presumption of innocence. But no one reading Blank’s statements would have failed to understand exactly what the team owner believed.

There was, of course, only one problem with this strategy in the lacrosse case: no crime occurred. So the administration’s decision to go out of its way to avoid saying or doing anything that could be construed as favorable to the lacrosse players—while saying or doing lots of things that could be construed as hostile—has failed to stand the test of time.

A good example: President Richard Brodhead’s November 18, 2006 address to the Durham NAACP. (The text of this address wasn’t immediately available after delivery; I encountered it recently while looking through the Duke News website.) Brodhead opened his remarks by hailing local leaders who attended the banquet, appropriately condemning Duke’s past history of excluding African-American students, and (of course) affirming his commitment to diversity. He then spent four paragraphs on the lacrosse case. He began,

Let me now speak about a subject you may be wondering if I am going to touch on. There was an event of some fame that erupted last spring on the Duke campus on the borders of Duke and Durham. I will not, on this occasion, say anything about the facts of that case, and I will not, on this occasion, say anything that relates to any person who was a party to that case. But that case has been a burden to us all and I do, in part, know why. I do understand that, not what factually happened—we don’t know that—but what was alleged to have happened had a special emotional charge because the idea of white men commandeering black women for their pleasure has a painful history. It has a history one could not ignore, and that history was activated. In the spring, it became part of my work to remind people of the presumption of innocence. More than one person from this city asked me if I thought, if it had been a black man and white women, would that person have enjoyed the same presumption of innocence? If they’d asked me if they would enjoy it from me, my answer would have been, “You bet they would have.” But I understand why people asked that question because, in truth, in our history, among the other unequal advantages people have had, some people have not had the same benefit of those presumptions that others have. And I understand that that is part of the situation we have lived through.

It is, of course, important to place events in context, to understand how the past affects the present. But political, media, and academic leaders also have a responsibility to exercise leadership, thereby ensuring that their communities aren’t governed by the passions of the mob—especially on an issue that, as Brodhead noted, involved a “special emotional charge.”

In the months before Brodhead spoke to the NAACP:
--local “activists” had held protest marches outside of the lacrosse house, carrying a “castrate” banner;
--local “activists” had distributed “wanted” posters around campus;
--members of a nationally recognized hate group had made death threats against a Duke student;
--the co-chair of the DA’s citizens committee had screamed, outside 610 N. Buchanan, “Burn it down!”

Surely such acts couldn’t be rationalized or excused “because the idea of white men commandeering black women for their pleasure has a painful history.” And perhaps an address before the NAACP was not the appropriate time for Brodhead to exercise leadership and condemn those who—even if motivated by a “special emotional charge”—went overboard. But Brodhead never publicly condemned any of the acts above. Indeed, in April 2006, he actually shared the stage with the only Duke student who publicly admitted distributing “wanted” posters, Dinushika Mohottige.

As for Brodhead’s claim that “in the spring, it became part of my work to remind people of the presumption of innocence,” this was, after all, the same man whose 2377-word April 5, 2006 statement (his last before the first arrests) didn’t even mention presumption of innocence. And on April 20, he informed the Durham Chamber of Commerce, in his first public appearance after the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, “If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.”

Brodhead continued,

At the same time, I saw a quote from someone—I never knew who, it was quoted on TV—who said last spring, “I don’t really care if the accused people are guilty or innocent. I would just be happy to see them convicted.” I saw that quoted by a reporter. (I actually found these sorts of quotes were much more common on TV than in reality.) I saw that statement quoted to a student leader from North Carolina Central University. And you know what he said? He said, “What a stupid thing to say.” He said, “I don’t know anyone who thinks that.” He said, “Everyone I know thinks we should have the truth be established and then let’s have justice be rendered.”

The insinuation: most NCCU students didn’t rush to judgment; the media exploited the situation to make it appear otherwise; the comment came from a stray person a TV reporter probably picked up strolling across campus.

In fact, the comment (student Chan Hall “said he wanted to see the Duke students prosecuted ‘whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past’”) appeared not on TV, but in print—in Newsweek, no less. Even if Brodhead couldn’t track down the name of the student, surely his press office could easily have done so. Far from being unrepresentative of campus opinion, Hall seemed to reflect it—as the comments of other NCCU students from the April 11, 2006 forum suggested. And the unnamed student government leader quoted by Brodhead? It’s hard to see how the student could say “I don’t know anyone who thinks that”—given that Hall himself was an NCCU student government leader. (He was head of the Government Affairs Committee, and a candidate for speaker.) A Lexis/Nexis search of U.S. newspapers; TV and radio broadcast transcripts; wire service reports; web publications; and blogs found no record of the quote provided by Brodhead, attributed to an NCCU student government leader or to anyone else.

Perhaps, it could be argued, NCCU student opinion had tempered by the time Brodhead made his speech. Not exactly. As late as February, when Mike Nifong’s case had been exposed (even to Brodhead) as a fraud, a Baltimore Sun article jarringly opened in the following manner: “Seventeen North Carolina Central University undergraduates in a communications class were asked to think like a jury: Raise your hand if you believe the accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case fabricated her story. The students in the cramped cinderblock classroom looked at each other and at the reporter posing the issue. Not a single hand was raised.”

In the Yaeger/Pressler book, N&O columnist Ruth Sheehan admitted that she rushed to judgment in part because Duke officials—contrary to her expectations—failed, in any way, to “spin” the story to their students’ benefit. Why, then, did Brodhead feel compelled, months later, to “spin” on behalf of NCCU students, by suggesting their response to the case was more moderate than (at least) the media record suggested?

Brodhead concluded his case-related remarks in the following way:

That’s another community value that we have between us, because the world of due process and of justice based on evidence, that’s a world we all need. The day it’s us up there, we’ll need the benefit of the law and due process. We’ll need the benefit of the presumption of innocence. We’ll need the benefit of waiting until the facts are in before judgment is rendered. We all need that. But I must say, people who have not had the full benefit of the law have as much or more to lose as anybody from the opposite world: a world where prejudice is allowed to make decisions through prejudgment, a world in which you can decide whether someone is guilty by deciding what category of humanity they belong to, or a world in which people feel free to reach conclusions without taking the trouble to establish the facts.

Brodhead was, of course, speaking to a group whose statewide website featured an 82-point, error-riddled memorandum of law that was a classic example of “where prejudice is allowed to make decisions through prejudgment, a world in which you can decide whether someone is guilty by deciding what category of humanity they belong to, or a world in which people feel free to reach conclusions without taking the trouble to establish the facts.” Surely, if Brodhead meant what he said about not rushing to judgment, he would have been compelled to make some mention of this document? Instead, the president ignored the NAACP’s memorandum of law.

Brodhead’s remarks about due process, meanwhile, are worth considering in context. Between April and December 2006, the president essentially claimed that due process required people to suspend judgment about all aspects of the case until a trial occurred, in which (as he stated in a July 2006 letter) “we are eager for our students to be proved innocent.”

But, of course, due process extends beyond the presumption of innocence (and certainly beyond an argument that trials exist for people “to be proved innocent”). Due process also requires the state to follow its own rules and regulations. By the time of the president’s NAACP speech, Mike Nifong’s improper public statements were documented (indeed, the Bar had already drafted up an ethics complaint). So too was Nifong’s decision to order the police to violate their own procedures and confine the April 4 lineup to lacrosse players. Surely, if Brodhead meant what he said about upholding due process, he would have been compelled to make some mention of such behavior? Instead, the president remained silent.

In his contemporaneous article about the speech, Cash Michaels reported that the NAACP leaders greeted Brodhead’s remarks with gushing applause. It’s not hard to see why.

[Update, 9.26am: Friends of Duke spokesperson Jason Trumpbour adds some important insights:

The Duke News and Communications Office usually dutifully posts every single public remark made by the president including sneezes and yawns. I was very surprised that I could not find a fairly significant address such as this one. I thought it telling that Duke wanted to maintain good relations with the local NAACP, but did not want to play that fact up because state and local NAACP officials were among the biggest hoax enablers. In addition to that libelous memorandum, there was also the William Barber sermon in Duke Chapel trashing the players, Irving Joyner’s “expert commentary,” funding the Our Heart’s World website and the huge screech they put up when the defense filed a motion for a change in venue.

President Brodhead’s speech seems to have been added to the site much later. Compare this page from today to this one from archive.org retrieved on April 7, 2007. The November 18 item is not there in the latter. I cannot tell when they added it because archive.org’s list of retrievals stops in May for some reason and there is a glitch in the internal links pointing to that same page after April 7. However, that archive index for 2006 page appears to be unchanged for all of early 2007.

Why did Duke add this item months later? Is it because President Brodhead gave some mumble mouthed tribute to due process and this somehow brings his word total on this subject up? I have to say that he did talk about due process and the presumption of innocence a little more forcefully than he ever did elsewhere, more forcefully being an entire paragraph on the subject which, as KC points out, he qualifies in other paragraphs.

The problem is that President Brodhead’s idea of due process meant making sure the case went to trial so that no one could say that Duke was behind any dismissal and having the case go to trial was exactly what the local NAACP wanted, because a guilty verdict would allow them to do an end run around all the evidence and impose their own version of reality by clothing it as the product of legal process, essentially Nifong’s agenda. Does Duke think people are unaware or have forgotten about all this?

Indeed, his urging his audience to wait for the legal process to run its course at a time when Nifong and the police were doing everything in their power to corrupt and pervert that process without any sort of recognition of this fact by him is positively sick. In any event, if this is all President Brodhead said when given the chance to speak to some of the biggest hoax enablers in defense of his students, then he should be embarrassed not proud of these remarks.]

225 comments:

1 – 200 of 225   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

What happened to the NAACP? Was it not long ago that many - myself and I suspect many who post comments here included - would have called that organization heroic? Its leaders of a past generation would have dismissed such pandering and would have sought truth and justice.

Heartache.

Debrah said...

To 12:16AM--

The NAACP has been an obsolete organization for many years now.

The lacrosse case just highlighted that fact.

Debrah said...

I can't take anymore of this Chan Hall person.

It's hard to understand how someone like that could be a university student.

Debrah said...

Why, then, did Brodhead feel compelled, months later, to “spin” on behalf of NCCU students, by suggesting their response to the case was more moderate than (at least) the media record suggested?

Because he lives in Durham and he thought it might be safer that way.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Were I a professor in the study of ethics or jurisprudence, I could not think of finding a finer example of a case study for a week's worth of classroom discussion. Though I might worry about the sizes of the factions that would arise to defend Dr. Brodhead's positions, for no other reason than the races of the participants...

hman said...

A short, brutal, accurate description of this whole evil saga would be this: a lot of highly credentialed "smart people" took on the task of arguing the same points as the mob of painfully, obviously stupid people who were howling for vengeance against those who caused them to experience intense sexual jealosy.
The concept of sexual jealosy is the key to understanding this. Forget the minor forces. Murderous hatreds do not come from trivial issues. Try to conger why a short, impotent, little monster like Nifong(or M. Gottlieb) would risk everything to try to harm a couple of random LAX athletes. This is the lodestar; the Rosetta Stone.

Anonymous said...

hman:
"Try to conger why a short, impotent, little monster like Nifong(or M. Gottlieb) would risk everything to try to harm a couple of random LAX athletes. This is the lodestar; the Rosetta Stone."

So . . . Nifong was always picked last on the kickball team or was teased because he threw like a girl so he wielded his power against scholar athletes?

Anonymous said...

A paraphase that reads like an obscene parody:


"Congratulations on your sucessful lynching, accomplished despite that fact that it was based on lies, given life by hate.

I'm not going to say anything that was done was wrong, because I don't expect you to act reasonably or responsibly. I'm not going to piont out the monumental hypocrissy -- in fact I'm going to help to re-write history for you, bending it more to your liking.

Please note that I'm kissing your $%^, right down the middle, while telling you exactly what you want to hear. I'm part of a system that denies equal rights to people who are quallifed, just because the way they look is overrepresented or people who looked like them were in a certain position in the past.

There's no rational explanation for any correlation between merit and status; your people are victims of a system that holds them down to this very day and this system is an evil, imposed by white men like me -- but I'm different. In fact, how you look determines how you identify and this is who you are. You can change it, but we're going to change the world and distort reality in order to accomidate you.

Thanks you.

AF said...

a world where prejudice is allowed to make decisions through prejudgment, a world in which you can decide whether someone is guilty by deciding what category of humanity they belong to, or a world in which people feel free to reach conclusions without taking the trouble to establish the facts.

What a statement! Boardhead, in this statement, solidifies his position as #89. Grovel on over to NCCU and confess to being a white male, the lowest form of life on the face of the earth. Bow down to women, especially angry ones. Accept responsibility for all the ills of the world.
Acknowledge that you are from Venus.
Can you get your arms out of your straightjacket? Scum of the earth you are !
No wonder the Klan dominates the faculty at Duke. They are only following the lead of an insignificant president.
The BOT has some serious issues to resolve. If they are unwilling to deal with their problem, then Duke will not even be a good institution within NC much less the country.
Twelve months--if the BOT cannot straighten out the mess by then, that will be the end of Duke.

The clock is ticking.

Anonymous said...

to 12.16

I guess time flies when you are having fun. I think you have lost track of time.

NAACP has not been heroic for the last 30-40 years.

cp

Anonymous said...

KC,

You have gone over the edge and I feel sorry for you. I know that some of your colleagues and "friends" have tried to intervene, but to no avail. Take a vacation, get a hobby, get a partner, get a life. Better yet, why don't you apply for a job at Duke.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

You are a coward and ignorant idiot of the first order. I send people to this site to read your "contributions." Can anyone verify that this thing is a real being?

Carolyn said...

Boy, the players sure called Brodhead right. At the very beginning of this Hoax, the players instantly put him at the top of the list of people who'd betrayed them the worst.

And every utterance, every action of Brodhead's since then has only confirmed what the players instantly saw then and what the rest of us are still seeing now.

Brodhead is a betrayal of everything honorable.

Debrah said...

Well, let's see.

Anonymous poster @ 1:36 and 1:39 attacks KC and then moi.

Since you bring up the word coward, why not stop being one and identify yourself?

This blog has many contributors and many eyes....you among them.

The stellar work that KC has done in exposing this enormous travesty for what it was has many uncomfortable with themselves.

Witnessing anonymous lurkers such as yourself gratifies me endlessly.

Carolyn said...

Excuse me, 1:36/1:39: Could you bang your pot a little louder, please? I'd like to follow the sound to discover which Gang of 88's basement you're currently hiding in while you type on the keyboard borrowed from your mom.

Debrah said...

" I send people to this site to read your "contributions."

Please note that the price of admission will soon be going up.

LOL!!!

rrhamilton said...

Anonymous coward said...
Debrah,

You are a coward and ignorant idiot of the first order. I send people to this site to read your "contributions." Can anyone verify that this thing is a real being?

8/22/07 1:39 AM


When _I_ call someone an idiot (usually "moron" is my word of choice, as most morons who call people "idiots" don't know the definition of the word), I prove it. The last time was yesterday when some diversity-racist moron claimed that civilization began earlier in Latin America than in Europe. I showed with objectively sourced evidence that civilization in Europe predates any in Latin America by 2,000 years, and thus justified my calling the diversity-racist a moron.

Which brings us back to the coward who posted about Debrah: If you want to call her "a coward and an idiot", put up! Show where she has been either one. She's already pointed out that you are too cowardly to print your name when you attack women.

Say, are you the same diversity-racist moron that I had to spank the other day?

Joe T. said...

Broadhead talking to that group: nothing but a clown talking to clowns. Irrelevant sillies all pretending along together. Thank God their enemies, those they call the "privileged", really ARE running this country. Imagine Broadhead and that group in true power? The U.S. would function about as well as.... Haiti, for instance.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that K.C.'s post for yesterday, which did not refer to Duke faculty or administration, collected no responses from argumentative nit-pickers or condescending, self-proclaimed Authorities of All Things? Yet, that very group already has appeared for the attack today. What a surprise.

Really, 88-ers, you should learn the art of subtlety. At least, learn something.

Anonymous said...

Deabrah

What's all this BS about cowards and morons? Geez Louise!

I mean--what's either cowardly or moronic about posting comments?

I must be getting old.

rrhamilton said...

Debrah, let me handle this one.


Anonymous said...
Deabrah

What's all this BS about cowards and morons? Geez Louise!

I mean--what's either cowardly or moronic about posting comments?

I must be getting old.

8/22/07 2:15 AM


It's "moronic" to post comments which assert as facts things that are demonstrably untrue.

It's "cowardly" to post anonymous comments that are nothing but a name-calling attack on another commenter. I've asked KC to ban such anonymous and unsupported personal attacks, but he has not done so.

Anonymous said...

And it was just a week or so ago that the head of the NAACP in Georgia, while begging for keeping an open mind about Michael Vick, acknowledged that the North Carolina NAACP was wrong in their rush to judgment over the Duke case. WRONG I say, to which Eric Cartman would add, "Sweet."

Debrah said...

To RRH--

With the Gang of 88 and Ubuntu, there's always low hanging fruit readily available.

:>)

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Ms Mangum been held accountable? Social prophylaxis, I'll bet. To prevent the looting, property damage and bad mojo that would occur should she lose a civil suit. The LAX boys ought to request that Durham's city fathers and local insurance companies provide some disincentive compensation. So true healing can begin. Between the races. No one wants to see sections of Durham burn.

Anonymous said...

Dear RRHamilton,

I am the so-called "moron" you "showed" yesterday. I was commenting that not all developments in civilization have been the invention of "white men" by demonstrating that there were early civilizations outside of Europe. Among those I mentioned were the Tigris Eurphrates and Latin America. I could also have mentioned Indus Valley. In the context of the Agrarian Revolution, Mezoamerica, ie, today's Latin America, and the Middle EAst, are the earliest places we find evidence of settlement. You attacked me about Mezoamerica, so I mentioned to you a rather later settlement in Latin America, one I found interesting because it developed without the use of pottery, which is often a measure of civilization.

You seem to be so eager to assert your (in my opinion) racist and sexist "White men did it first" a genda that you didn't pay good attention to what I wrote. Please remember that race, like gender, is a constructed category.

I think you're amusing in your stupidity. If you didn't rush so fast to assert your claims and attack others, you might learn something. But, that would require an open mind. Or even a mind at all.

Anonymous said...

To everyone who posts here:

For those of you who go on about cowardice and anonymity. Only KC Johnson & perhaps Horwitz are "known" quantities. As regards comments by "named" participants:

I think that Inman probably talks about his family and himself more that I find necessary. His comments, althought I disagree with most of them, show a thought process.

Debrah for the most part makes comments I find both inane and ignorant as well as OT. Her discussion of her music lessons in a post several days ago is a case in point.

Some of the named posters demonstrate opinions I find racist and sexist. Hamilton's claims for white men, if not a bad joke, are an example.

I also send people here to read what I consider dangerious mob mentality comments. Sort of what some posters assert the 88 & others have encouraged.

As far as using names, "Debrah," is anonymous except within this list. We don't know who she is, do we?

Call me

Not Debrah

Jason Trumpbour said...

The Duke News and Communications Office usually dutifully posts every single public remark made by the president including sneezes and yawns. I was very surprised that I could not find a fairly significant address such as this one. I thought it telling that Duke wanted to maintain good relations with the local NAACP, but did not want to play that fact up because state and local NAACP officials were among the biggest hoax enablers. In addition to that libelous memorandum, there was also the William Barber sermon in Duke Chapel trashing the players, Irving Joiner’s “expert commentary,” funding the Our Heart’s World website and the huge screech they put up when the defense filed a motion for a change in venue. President Brodhead’s speech seems to have been added to the site much later. Compare this page from today http://news.duke.edu/2006/archive/index.html to this one from archive.org retrieved on April 7, 2007 http://web.archive.org/web/20061212045723/dukenews.duke.edu/2006/archive/index.html. The November 18 item is not there in the latter. I cannot tell when they added it because archive.org’s list of retrievals stops in May for some reason and there is a glitch in the internal links pointing to that same page after April 7. However, that archive index for 2006 page appears to be unchanged for all of early 2007.

Why did Duke add this item months later? Is it because President Brodhead gave some mumble mouthed tribute to due process and this somehow brings his word total on this subject up? I have to say that he did talk about due process and the presumption of innocence a little more forcefully than he ever did elsewhere, more forcefully being an entire paragraph on the subject which, as KC points out, he qualifies in other paragraphs. The problem is that President Brodhead’s idea of due process meant making sure the case went to trial so that no one could say that Duke was behind any dismissal and having the case go to trial was exactly what the local NAACP wanted because a guilty verdict would allow them to do an end run around all the evidence and impose their own version of reality by clothing it as the product of legal process, essentially Nifong’s agenda. Does Duke think people are unaware or have forgotten about all this? Indeed, his urging his audience to wait for the legal process to run its course at a time when Nifong and the police were doing everything in their power to corrupt and pervert that process without any sort of recognition of this fact by him is positively sick. In any event, if this is all President Brodhead said when given the chance to speak to some of the biggest hoax enablers in defense of his students, then he should be embarrassed not proud of these remarks.

Ethical said...

27 comments and I'm the only one who noticed the mistake in the first line?

Don't you mean March 13, not March 14?

:)

Debrah said...

To 4:47AM--

I know who you are and what your challenges are.

You have been trying to bite at my braceleted ankle since you came to this place.

A few have tried to water everything down as the facts about the Duke professors--their brothers and sisters in the academy--emerged in all their glory.

Posting with a name some of the time....and then coming in here to attack and make nasty comments to KC ---and always to me because you have never been able to beat me--anonymously in a futile attempt to direct traffic on someone else's blog reveals more than a bit of ENVY.

Please don't make me call you out. That would be too embarrassing for you.

Just run along.

Post Script: Here's a useful tip for the next time you want to "play act" and attack: Don't be so forceful with your comments toward the one who has "gotten your goat" so often. People always see through the petty hatred.

You let a woman beat ya.

Anonymous said...

I am still shocked that Brodhead was not forced to resign. KC, another mind-blowing post. Thanks.

Bourgeoisophobus said...

4:12 AM --

1. The many civilizations of the area between the Tigris and Euphrates (which I suppose is what you mean by "Tigris Eurphrates" [sic]), as well as the Indus Valley civilizations, are considered "European" civilizations in that their populations were ethnic Caucasians. The Huang Ho civilization might have been a better example of early agriculture in the Old World by a non-Caucasian group.

2. It's spelled "Mesoamerica."

3. Pottery existed quite early throughout Mesomerica, well before 3000 BCE. You may be thinking of wheels.

4. What does this have to do with the Lacrosse Case again?

A. Peter Allan said...

As an alumnus, I would forgive Brodhead's sloppy performance, if it had been a strategic defense of the institution given the uncertainties at the time. That seems to be KC's opening thesis, but not well supported in the post.

Instead I think Brodhead's public statements throughout the crisis added "food" to the media feeding frenzy at every cycle, and encouraged the media to believe that there was some substance to the allegations. A competent president could have worked, mostly behind the scenes, to persuade the media that a rush to judgment would likely prove embarrassing to them. A competent president would have prohibited the 88 from publishing their ad, or at least repudiated it immediately afterward, not try to tell us that we don't know what it says. A competent president would censure the 88 now, and call for the media to correct their errors.

The fact that this blog even exists is Brodhead's failing and he should resign now. Is that pathetic Duke Conversation finally over?

Anonymous said...

5:42 am--

1. This was in response to 2:08; it is part of an on-going (in my opinion, racist) discussion on this list of the superiority of white males and their civilizational/civilizing achievements.

Thus,

1. I am glad you were able to figure out a typing error.

2. These may be considered "European" civilizations, although I believe the term, "Indo-european" is also applied. This has little or nothing to do with the understanding of modern "white European male" identity.

Think about the construction of a. the nations/peoples of southeastern europe as white,
b. of the Jews as white
in 19th-century American history.
Or remember the huge movements of population throughout history,
c. including the Asiatic people into Europe, from whom the Magyars (good white Europeans!!) claim to descend.


3. It is spelled both "Mesoamerica" and "Mezoamerica," thank you very much! I should think with the "s," you'd've remembered the accent over the second e.

4. The point was not that pottery did or did not exist quite early throughout Mezoamerica. The point was an early, developed a civilization in the region that happened not do use pottery.

Much of what is discussed on this blog has to do with race, class, and gender, even as many poster reject the use of this trinity for academic analysis. Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

mac said...

Brodhead, Nifong et al fanned the flames of race, then acted as if they hadn't set the fire; both of them told the accused to avoid legal representation (i.e. "your pants are equal to your rights: drop 'em to your ankles, bend over and await the administration of justice.")

The fact that one is twiddle-dee and one is twiddle-dum should have told someone that President Brodhead isn't fit for office.

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Anonymous said...

12:42 AM

Wipe the spit off of your mouth and get yourself under control. You will be alright someday. Calm down. Hold on and sit down. Re-read your post and try to make sense of it all. In the meantime, there will be other lynchings in which you can positively participate or participate positively . . . I don't know. I need to re-read your posting.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

6:17 AM

Thank you very much for your numbered listing of your thoughts on this matter. You have so many even I can count them.

Atilla the Hun (more or less)

beavis said...
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AF said...

1:36 & 1:39

To which of the Anger Studies departments do you belong? KC would make a fantastic colleague (but not for a potbanger)!

mac:

Are you saying that Broadhead et al are arsonists? Like the situation in much of NC now, they did light the fire. Unfortunately, they suffered from an enlightenment drought and the fire is like the fires that are popping up in drought-stricken areas of NC now.

To the anonymous poster trying to tie in posters to the ancient civilizations:
Be civil. We are talking about the incivility in Durham not some ancient worlds. Unfortunately, this case will probably be known throughout history. The Anger Studies have served to remind us of the perverse nature of those who espouse them.

Anonymous said...

6:50,

If you mean me, I am trying NOT to tie white (European) males to ancient civilizations.

Sign me,

Civil

Anonymous said...

In re: 1:36 and 1:39,

I think many of the posters on this blog belong to a huge, formerly all-powerful Anger Studies Program: cranky white guys who can't stand the competition when it's not fixed in their favor. Oh, and you, Debs, the cranky white guy wanna be.

Anonymous said...

I learn much by reading Mr. Johnson's posts - while his comments include his opinion, almost always he backs up what he says with evidence.
I think the comment makers should emulate Mr. Johnson in reasoning well and acting civilly. Not doing so diminishes this outstanding blog.
Please.
Thank you. JLJr.

Anonymous said...

Is Brodhead a Communist?

Anonymous said...

I so love it that KC and his Sunshine Band of Fools are still so agitated! Little Debbie is my favorite. I identify with her plight. The colored people took my job and my welfare too! Don't worry Debrah, we shall overcome, someday.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Brodhead has been auditioning for a position as CEO of the Durham NAAPC chpt? Allow him to work-off all that white liberal guilt without taking down Duke. The NAACP and Brodhead deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

Debrah spews, "Because he lives in Durham and he thought it might be safer that way."

That's right, Debrah. Whites who live in Durham are afraid of blacks and their henchmen, the NAACP.

Go back to your inane, insane, probably drunk ramblings. Your racist bullsh*t is starting to turn on RRHamilton.

Professor KC sure does attract the top students, doesn't he. And in this post he seems to confirm why. He seems to think that Brodhead's response would be justified if the lacrosse players had been guilty. The point, Historian KC, is that his response should be consistent irregardless of the outcome of the legal process. You don't write history this way, do you?

Anonymous said...

I will not, on this occasion, say anything about the facts of that case...

I do understand that, not what factually happened—we don’t know that—but what was alleged to have happened...

In other words, the facts don't matter, only the race, class, gender meta-narrative matters as expressed in the statment,

...the idea of white men commandeering black women for their pleasure has a painful history. It has a history one could not ignore, and that history was activated.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Debrah,

The price of admission is going up? I didn't realize that inflation had hit the white sheet and dunce cap markets!

Anonymous said...

The Duke/LAX settlement only covered the K-88 up to a certain time, didn't it? So are the 1:36s who post here members of the K-88 who don't dare open their mouths for fear of another suit? This must be the only place they can vent and do so by attacking the opinions of other bloggers.

Anonymous said...

The reaction to today's post is so strong I am convinced that the 1:36/1:39/etc poster must be none other than Mr. Brodhead.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the ones who was encouraged to stop by here to get a daily dose of Debrah. She uses her first name only (if that is her name), but criticizes others for remaining anonymous?

I will use several of the entries from this blog in my class this Fall. This is great stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:42, if it is the threat of law suits that is keeping the group of 88 from revealing themselves, WHAT IS IT THAT IS KEEPING YOU AND THE REST OF YOU CLOWNS FROM COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET AND PUTTING YOUR NAME AND FACE TO ALL OF THE "TRUTH" YOU SPEAK?

You guys crack me up! I love your brilliant insight and analysis.

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

6:46/Atilla, That's one of my favorite Magyar names!

TaterCon said...

Excellent, Mac.

Trifling name calling is such a sign of immaturity. Too bad so many take the bait and join right in....

Anonymous said...

Hi Mac,

I'm one of several people who has been "throwing" stuff at D. today. But, she called me out. So, I think it's warrented. She's a big kid and can back her words...

I'm concerned that KC lets racist remarks stay up; I should think that would get in the way of his blog being taken seriously.

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

Mac, that's sweet. Glad KC has your important input on how to monitor the comments.

But perhaps the tone of the comments is itself a problem with the main entries of the blog. KC attracts a certain type of pro-KC commenter, and the quality of KC's work and the content of his posts are what keep them coming back.

Anonymous said...

Mike Nifong once reveled in a "hug around the neck" from Victoria Peterson.

Dick Brodhead now revels in a "gushing applause from the NAACP".

The two men are birds of a feather. Each equally dispicable.

mac said...
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mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Mac,

Are you for real? You guys spend days frothing at the mouth while writing all sorts of attacks, often using "facts" that are at best imagined. Not only are you stupid, you are a hypocrite (this is not name calling, these are professional opinions). You ignorant cowards say you want a debate and a discussion, but apparently this is not true. Now that you have been engaged, you run crying to daddy KC.

The enemy is in retreat!

mac said...
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mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Hyperventilating 7:31, "irregardless" ??

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

I first I came here to respond to KC's arguments. When I realized that KC had no arguments--merely rhetoric, misdirection, and ill-concealed hatred and contempt--I came to continue reading the comments section. The KC Chorus typifies the mindset of those who find their fantastic fears about the world 'confirmed' by paranoid visions of academia. It was frightening--now it's just sad and comic in its derisive parroting back of each of KC's posts.

Perhaps Debrah can now tell us something about clothes and academia or RR Hamilton can explain once again how black people are keeping the white man down? I'm sure you all will explain how black folks have been getting a free ride for too long, how the Duke rape charge confirms that, or how talking about the painful legacy of the spector of black-on-white rape (you all have seen Birth of a Nation, haven't you?) is just a smoke-screen for the real violence that black men are commiting on our unsullied White Women!

I guess it would be comic if it weren't so contemptuous and painfully sad.

Anonymous said...

Very good post, KC.

Much of the commentary today is ad hominem, OT and what might be called "background noise."

The more I read about this the more I conclude that Brodhead is trying hard to let this whole embarrassment blow over. That fits the quite consistent failure of the 88 Haters to apologize, to the point one wonders if the "administration" has not forbidden an apology (or strongly discouraged one that few of the Haters wanted to have to make in any event) in the reasonable hope that without the commotion generated by a too-little, too-late, insincere apology the entire controversy will die.

Many of those most responsible for the humiliation heaped upon Duke, like those "academics" profiled by KC, may appear to get away with their uncivilized and unprofessional behavior under the "No snowflake ever felt responsible for an avalanche" concept.

If we had the power to know truth, it's entirely possible the BOT has already been shamed enough to begin the long process of restoring Duke to a more intelligent and productive scholarship rather than the bilge produced in the Anger Studies fever swamp. The next president of Duke can then begin the skilled art of removing the unproductive Haters and their enablers.

It is likely that Brodhead is being encouraged to find other work or will be soon. He is clearly damaged/dented goods and those with the demonstrated inadequacies of Brodhead who have so publicly soiled their nest generally head to Washington DC to a foundation post or retire. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat. Eventually most of us will move on and the massive endowment of Duke will have provided the rinsing required to begin to restore Duke.

Anonymous said...

Is professor Horowitz still alive? Didn't he play out about 15 years ago? Is he sayning anything new?

Mac, we know that you are one of those whose time has come and gone. The world and the university have changed, deal with it brother!

Anonymous said...

"irregardless"

Yuuuk!

Anonymous said...

The G88'ers consider trolling this blog and composing some inane "turd" posts "scholarship." Given their CVs and "academic" records to date, candidly, this is a step up, if you know what I mean.

Press ahead, KC. Ignore the "white noise." That it emerges reveals only that you're getting close.

Anonymous said...

8:40 (Debrah/Inman/Mac/AMac) Just because you disagree with us doesn't make us trolls or G88ers. Can't you accept that yours may not be the only opinion in town?

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Mac, Professor H. provides a centrist, sometimes, liberal, sometimes not, view. More often than not, I find him right of center.

mac said...
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Ralph Phelan said...

Hey KC this comment thread has the worst signal to noise ration I've seen on your blog in a really long time. Please come in and clear-cut the crap.

If it were me over half the posts would be removed.

mac said...
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mac said...

Ralph,
There was my contribution to cleaning up this page.

Mac

Anonymous said...

8.43 wrote: "... Just because you disagree with us doesn't make us trolls or G88ers. Can't you accept that yours may not be the only opinion in town?"

I certainly know that mine is the "only opinion in town." I also know that you are a hapless idiotic troll. Good luck teaching at Duke this year, especially after KC's book reveals to the world all the crap you try to pass off in your so-called "classes." Maybe some *real* Duke students will take your classes just to reveal you morons as AA frauds, wanna-be scholars, and poseurs.

Ralph Phelan said...

8:29

"If we had the power to know truth, it's entirely possible the BOT has already been shamed enough to begin the long process of restoring Duke..."

It's equally possible that they have not.

They have given us no reason to trust them.

They have given us many reasons not to trust them.

I will need to see at least some tiny sliver of evidence that things at the BOT level have changed before I change my default assumption that they haven't.

As they say "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, ... uuuuhh ... won't get fooled again."

Anonymous said...

The poster is probably a reporter for one of the local newspapers. He's jealous that more people read KC's blog than his column. Is that you Cash?

Anonymous said...

"I think the comment makers should emulate Mr. Johnson in reasoning well and acting civilly. Not doing so diminishes this outstanding blog.
Please."



DITTO

Ralph Phelan said...

Speaking of non-sequiteurs - I find it striking that the single most adept defender of the value of African American Studies was not a professor of same, but a self-described "hose humper" using the handle 'fdny engine'.

He actually used evidence and argument. Unlike the faculty, the fireman must have had some experience arguing with people who disagreed with him and who didn't fold instantly when accused of racism or anti-intellectualism.

That really says something about the quality of the faculty in those fields, and of the fields as a whole (*cough* citation-circle *cough*).

Anonymous said...

Is it a fact that some Group of 88ers visit this site? I don't doubt that they are all aware of its existence, the influence it had on the hoax and the pending release of "Until Proven Innocent", but I really find it difficult to believe that their egos would allow them to view the site.

mac said...

KC,

Thanks for the link to the 82 "points" of the NC NAACP (only recently removed from their website.) Apparently, President Brodhead was of the same opinion as the authors of the material, believing that there was a "mountain of evidence" against the accused.

The point is: if he (Broadhead)didn't believe it, why did he act as he did? And if he did believe it, how can he ever be considered credible - in anything requiring considered thought and analysis?

Anonymous said...

9:02 writes: "Is it a fact that some Group of 88ers visit this site? I don't doubt that they are all aware of its existence, the influence it had on the hoax and the pending release of "Until Proven Innocent", but I really find it difficult to believe that their egos would allow them to view the site."

You underestimate their sheer stupidity.

mac said...

9:02
It is very likely that some of them show up from time-to-time, since they apparently are under order to keep their mouths shut as part of the settlement. About the only way they can be heard is to shout loud noises anonymously on blogs like this. Many of them likely do spend more time whining on sympathetic sites than they do here, where they don't engender much sympathy.

I suspect that they do show up, however, like someone might wish to hear what others would say about them at their own funeral.

AMac said...

This post contained the partial transcript of an important speech by President Brodhead. It's therefore one more of Prof. Johnson's significant contributions to memorializing the systems failures that contributed to the Hoax/Frame. Duke as an institution hasn't been obligated to confront how the actions of its Faculty and Administration contributed to its current problems. Setting the record straight is an important step in that process.

Since Prof. Johnson imposed comment moderation, the content has improved significantly. There's still a high noise-to-signal ratio, with off-topic, me-too, inane, and (yes) racist and sexist remarks in the mix.

Johnson lets a lot of people have their say, though much of what's written isn't worth reading. But thanks to this approach, some real gems have been published at DiW. In particular, there have been some thoughtful discussions that include defenses (half-defenses?) of the Group of 88 (see, for example, Below-the-Radar Members after about noon on 8/13/07). Given the commonness of the Group's perspectives, it is perhaps surprising that more apologias haven't been written on their behalf at other sites. (Academic blogger who've stepped up include "Tenured Radical," A.G. Rud, Prof. Ho, "Southern SemAntics." There's also 88'er Cathy Davidson's memorable N&O Op-Ed.)

The problem with anonymous ad hominem attacks, such as the bushel of insults unleashed this morning, is that it's difficult to ascribe meaning to them. For instance, this thread has numerous anonymous hoax enablers expressing delight at the racism and sexism expressed by anti-hoax commenters. But are enablers/potbangers adding ghost-written inanities to the mix, in order to be "shocked, shocked!"? Are angry 88-opponents offering up parodies of easily-offended Leftists as grist for their own mockery?

Who knows?

The insights of Jason Trumpbour (4:49am) and a few others excepted, this thread ranks among the worst at DiW. Perhaps KC will clean it up, or perhaps he'll leave it as a monument as to what happens to civil debate when people press "Publish Your Comment" instead of "Delete" after listening to their Inner Dope.

Anonymous said...

What is most stunning to me is that Brodhead alledges that he tracked down the NCCU student who made the ignorant comment about the lacrosse players being guilty whether they did it or not. He spent the time tracking down a NCCU student (who believes this), but he didn't take any time to track down McFadden and ask him about the email which cancelled a Coach's career and a championship team's season. The fact that Brodhead brings this up after it was clear that nothing happened proves his complete lack of sensitivity and humanity. He does not care one bit about his own students-those who are not diverse and downtrodden. He cared more about saying that a student from NCCU could not possibly make an ignorant statement.

Poor Duke-it is so sad that one man could successfully and throughly drag a stellar University through the mud and basically ruin its reputation which took so many years to meticulously build. We don't want to be Yale-we want to be Duke before you got here.

Please leave!

Anonymous said...

Floyd sez: get back to your classes 88ers. stop harasssin' the good folks on this blog!

Steven Horwitz said...

Professor Horwitz is still around (and good to know I'm worthy of a snarky remark) but I:

1. am not descending into the sewer that this thread has become

2. Have actual, real work to do, unlike so many others it would seem.

And for the record, I'm a libertarian, which is why sometimes you'll get things you call "liberal" and sometimes things you call "right of center." Maybe that's a false binary that could be deconstructed, no?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Anonymous said...
Is Brodhead a Communist?

8/22/07 7:23 AM"

A little googling found the bibliography of Brodhead's 1994 book "Cultures of Letters." Most of the 100 or so works listed are contemporary (19th century) primary sources. Of the very small number of modern secondary sources listed, one is "Politics of Letters" by Richard Ohmann, described by Publishers Weekly as "a Marxist critic who teaches English at Wesleyan."

Brodhead is, at the very least, sympathetic to the cause.

Any further information would be welcome.

Steven Horwitz said...

Did folks see that the NAACP has called for people to stop "piling on" Michael Vick? I guess an 82 point memo that's most wrong doesn't count as "piling on."

KC Johnson said...

A few points:

I have cleaned up this thread and will go through it again later. Please avoid personal insults, tangential issues, etc.

To the 1.26:

I try to respond to people who critique the posts; if you'd care to point out any specific problems you have with the post, I'd be happy to respond.

To the 7.31:

"He seems to think that Brodhead's response would be justified if the lacrosse players had been guilty. The point, Historian KC, is that his response should be consistent irregardless of the outcome of the legal process."

I'd urge you to re-read the opening paragraph. I did not give my opinion on Brodhead's response in that p'graph: I spoke of how it would be viewed by administrators at other universities.

Administrators--as, perhaps, you are unaware--have a wide array of powers, many of them informal. Beyond the extremes (taking out an ad in the N&O saying the players were guilty, taking out an ad in the N&O saying they were innocent), the administration had considerable freedom to manuever. Its actions appear to have been based on a presumption that "something happened." That presumption turns out to have been incorrect. Had that presumption been correct, I suspect, as I noted in the post, that the Brodhead approach would be used as a model by other administrations in comparable situations. As it is, it appears that it's being used by other administrations as a model in how not to proceed in comparable situations.

mac said...

KC,
Thanks for arriving and cleaning up. Seems the kids keep acting out when no one's around to monitor 'em.

Professor Horwitz,
Sorry to label you a "liberal," when you would classify yourself as a Libertarian. My mistake. Agree with you about the low level of discourse - which is why I had hoped you'd arrive here: you always seem to offer some good insights.

I wonder what NCCU students think and are being fed now - with regard to the Hoax? I wonder if you asked those 17 students in the Communications class how many of them still believe the accuser? I wonder how many of them still believe that "something happened?"

I think the answer would depend upon whether or not they were alone when they answered the question, and who was doing the asking.

As it stands, President Brodhead did nothing to mitigate nor ameliorate the racialist components of the Hoax: what Nifong did was bad beyond description; whatever Brodhead did was bad enough.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's non-specific, sterile discussion of the presumption of innocence is revealing. He sets up his remarks ("I will not, on this occasion, say anything about the facts of that case, and I will not, on this occasion, say anything that relates to any person who was a party to that case.") in a way that immunizes him from acknowledging the immense personal suffering that the Duke Three suffered as a result of not being granted the constitutional presumption of innocence. Brodhead engages in the "let's reverse the race roles" analysis, but only to suggest that he would have been more supportive of black Duke students faced with a similar rush to judgment under similar facts. If this saga had, indeed, involved black Duke students falsely accused of gang raping a white woman, I have no doubt that Brodhead and the Duke faculty would formally proclaim the black students institutional heros and dedicate courses, resources, and holidays in memory of their suffering. We would also know, in intricate detail, the personal biographies of these hypothetical victims....what they ate for breakfast, what bedtime stories their moms read to them, and their favorite civil rights heros. Brodhead's refusal to address, in very personal terms, the anguish and suffering of the Duke Three speaks to his true construction of reality.

Anonymous said...

Dizzying: Bad-enough Brodhead shared the stage with a Duke student who admittedly distributed “wanted” posters. Bad-enough ignored outrages like the NAACP’s execrable law memorandum, remained silent about all those vile threats and abuse from the mob and the NBPP, and — aware that going to trial in Durham was going to bring a special flavor of “justice” to the LAX players — Bad-enough nevertheless advocated it.

Bad-enough patronized the blacks by all his fawning; really, it was contempt dressed as respect, just the sort of thing Nifong did, and the same sort of thing slaves must have done, way way back. At least the latter had an excuse.

Bad-enough’s consistent, anyway. He was suckering them then just like he’s trying to sucker everyone now. And he’s still President.

inman said...

I regret that I showed up late today, for it's clear that I missed some sophomoric and banal chatter. Was there also a food fight, Bluto?

In a serious vein, it occurs to me that my understanding of the English language is not the same as others' understanding, especially as it relates to certain concepts pumping up the verbal volleyball being bounced around.

So, questions: What is "racism"? What is "sexism"? And what are all those other tags being tied by the verbal victors and victims to the toes of their foes?

Are "racism" and "sexism" accurately definable only when viewed from the inside looking out? (And please lets leave the obvious things like lynching, etc. out of this.)

In particular, was Brodhead's presentation to a group defined by a notion of race, a "racist" act?

Anonymous said...

Did we set a record here for deleted posts?

no justice, no peace said...

What makes you happy?

This may explain the anger of those in the Klan of 88, the admin, and the abettors. Maybe they should spend less time with kindred spirits in the faculty lounge and support a Boy Scout meeting or Youth League Lacrosse game?

Sitting at the knee of professors isn't on the top of this MTV poll asking the open-ended, "What makes you happy?" ...

It also builds upon what we saw regarding the character of those students/families that were thrown under the bus by Duke and specifically Brodhead.

no justice, no peace said...

Mac, inre: "...I wonder what NCCU students think and are being fed now - with regard to the Hoax? I wonder if you asked those 17 students in the Communications class how many of them still believe the accuser? I wonder how many of them still believe that "something happened?""

One hopes that if they were the evidence were presented, anchoring the question(s), then they would repond in a just fashion.

Unfortunately the information supplied is anchored throught the academic, MSM, and race/gender/class warfare industry filters.

Isn't it beautiful that the failures of the sixties marxist mush have led us to:

1. Don't trust anyone in academia...

2. Beware the race/gender/class warfare industrial complex...

Anonymous said...

11:43 -- I think there was a record set today. The K-88 and their supporters are so angry that the truth about them is out that they are speaking in tongues.

no justice, no peace said...

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts... I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —Patrick Henry

This speaks to the fundamental absence of leadership at Duke. Brodhead was unwilling or intentionlly ignored the truth, his worst case was that the boys did not rise to the narrative he desires, and his lack of accountability does not provide for these mistakes. Instead those that built Duke pay for it directly in financially and in an eroded brand.

Anonymous said...

My observation is that people either value truth and pursue it, or they mouth allegiance to truth, while manipulating it to suit their agendae.

Why do people keep thinking that Duke Administration and Gang of 88 and MSM are going to "fess up"?

It ain't gonna happen.

Because their agenda is self-serving and NOT honest.

Unless they have a heart change they aren't gonna have a mouth change.

That's it folks.

It's about the heart.

And some of these folks show pretty selfish and ugly hearts.

Furthermore, I think it is equally tacky for bloggers on this "otherwise intelligent" site fall into the same pit.

What's the matter with just evaluating facts?

What's all the childish competition and desire for the last word about?

Debrah said...

To 11:37AM--

Very, very well said.

Anonymous said...

At this point I think the only criterion for determining whether Duke has learned anything is whether Brodhead and the G8x still have jobs at Duke. Even if Brodhead were to repudiate everything he has said and done since 3/06, I wouldn't believe it; the test is not what you say after the dust has settled, but what you do when it really matters. Brodhead can't go back and un-fail that test, nor can the G8x.

Anonymous said...

I think Professor Horwitz is correct when he argues that the G88 should not be lumped together.

I have seen no evidence on this thread that G88 supporters are criticizing Professor Johnson. Am I wrong?

If you posters want to criticize the signers of the listening statement, why not criticize their individual ideas?

After all, we are not Communists.

Steven Horwitz said...

Anon at 1227 writes:

At this point I think the only criterion for determining whether Duke has learned anything is whether Brodhead and the G8x still have jobs at Duke.

Then you will continue to be disappointed and convinced they haven't learned anything because none of the faculty in question will lose their jobs over this, nor am I convinced they should, even as poorly as they behaved.

Whatever one thinks "should" happen, university administrators do not have the ability to fire the tenured G88 folks for anything but the most egregious of behavior, and this is hardly that. Pretty much the same holds true for those in the tenure track but not yet tenured.

As for the visitors and misc. adjuncts and the like, yes the administration could fire them perhaps, but the political firestorm on campus would be enormous, esp. with many of them being spouses/partners of tenured faculty. It's just not going to happen. Period.

So 1227, prepare to be permanently disappointed that Duke didn't learn anything, because your criteria for learning will never be met.

A more interesting test of whether Duke has learned anything will be to see how the administration reacts should something vaguely similar happen again. (I can predict what the faculty will do - they'll not go public with their concerns then complain that the PC forces of the Right have censored them into silence after the LAX incident. Sigh.) If Duke has learned anything, the then-president and dean of students will behave quite differently than they did with the lax hoax.

Anonymous said...

NP, NJ

Most faculty don't spend time in faculty lounges, assuming there is one. Most of them are too busy.

What makes you think that some group has a choke hole on certain kinds of voluntary activities? While I wouldn't spend time with Boy Scouts (homophobic & authoritarian in organization), I certainly have spent time on my children's external activities and doing other kinds of volunteer work.

And, NP, NJ, although I'm not a G88er//don't teach there & never met any of 'em// I find much that is said on this list really vile and in some ways worse than what they did--they haven't repeated vile comments over and over and over. (General remarks on here about so-called Anger Studies//Assumptions about racial superiority//Assumptions based on the way people look//Attacks on ideas different than that of the commenter, etc.

I'm not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. Based on this remark and numerous others you've made, you really do believe this nonsense you write. REading your three comments makes me believe you're angry. Far more than those you denigrate as the Klan of 88. I can't imagine you don't understand that as racist when you apply it to people who are African American. But, maybe, "it's not that klan."

Ralph Phelan said...

Anon 12:28:

"I think Professor Horwitz is correct when he argues that the G88 should not be lumped together."

Yes and no. They are all individuals, but they do have something in common: unrepentant participation in a spectularly stupid and evil act.

And as I've argued elsewhere, from a failure analysis perspective it's worth trying to figure out what else they have in common - and "leftist" [for brevity - it's really a more complicated cluster than that] politics is one of the most obvious common features.

"After all, we are not Communists."

A strikingly large proportion of the 88 signers are.

Debrah said...

In skimming some of the posts--the ones that were not so bad that they had to be deleted--I see a palpable degree of fear and frustration.

One might not like KC's clean and swift dissection of the players in this travesty, but unfortunately for them, his detractors cannot dispute the facts. Consequently, childish spitballs are loosely emitted...which, invariably, have to be cleaned up.

There are, no doubt, some posters here who know me....and also know my history...which was once laced with more than a scant essence of liberalism.

I fear that many people in the black community whom I have known are a bit angry with me or perplexed.

That's quite OK.

I have been more than a bit perplexed that, as the entire country has witnessed, so many of those who have preached "equality" and have made a cottage industry out of civil rights mantras......turn out to have a very selective and insular view of the aforementioned.

I didn't leave liberalism...nor my support for real victims in the black community or any other community. They left me. Double standards will not stand the test of time.

And those who fought so hard to railroad the three innocent Duke lacrosse players have left us all in this country who really believed in equal rights.

Lastly, I must reveal that I literally laugh out loud, audibly, when some disgruntled system-tethered bottomfeeder uses the word "racist" on anyone who disagrees with a certain segment of society receiving free passes through life.

The promiscuous use of the word has resulted in its impotence. Only fools still use 20th century cartoonish caricatures in hopes of silencing the truth.

One Spook said...

I thankfully missed the bloodletting earlier, also.

What I fail to see from any of the persons who come here to argue on behalf of the Group of 88, Broadhead, et al is any semblence of cogent discourse. In what was supposed to be a "dialogue" that was the genesis of the so-called "listening statement," there is none.

Instead, what we get from the 88 and their enablers are ad hominem attacks, no discussion, presentations where "no public recording is permitted," no notes or records kept, a paucity of definitive "scholarship," and "forthcoming" publications that are never published.

Nothing I have seen here attempts to explain or define what the Group of 88 was all about, or why they chose to implicate their own students and not defend their right of due process --- the very action that was the reason this Blog was started.

Nothing I have seen here attempts to justify or explain the 88's overt emphasis and focus on race, class, and gender and how that focus became the engine that drove this Group of 88 to invent a crime where no crime had occurred, and to attempt to punish three students they viewed as "perfect offenders" for an offense that never happened.

Why? Why can't anyone of you who has even a modicum of sympathy for this Group of 88 and the Duke administration present any reasonable argument?

Why are you so afraid to engage in discourse?

One Spook

locomotive breath said...

Brodhead continues to complain that he couldn't know what was going on, but at the same time, explains that he couldn't find out by talking to the lacrosse team because that would be "interfering" in the investigation. His admitted ignorance didn't prevent him from taking strong action. This is bad leadership.
-------------
I've said the following elsewhere:

The classic definition of "chutzpah" is killing your parents and then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you're an orphan.

Brodhead has given us a new one.

Helping to set your own house on fire and then asking for everyone to understand that he had no choice but to throw his kids out the window.
---------
Don't you mean March 13, not March 14?

Almost everyone else here but you knows that the rape was reported to take place sometime after midnight, i.e., very early in the morning of March 14.

Debrah said...

Along the lines of this thread, an article in yesterday's N&O quotes Gang of 88's Mark Anthony Neal inventing excuses for why black nightclubs in Raleigh have been closed down so often.

It's THE MAN'S fault.

....even as many in the black community are asking for them to be closed because of the violence.

True Gang of 88 mentality:


Thugg Intellectual Weighs In

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson writes at 11:08 "As it is, it appears that it's being used by other administrations as a model in how not to proceed in comparable situations."

What would be an appropriate response by a university to a student charged with a violent sex crime? To any criminal charge involving violence? To a charge involving illegal substances and/or a firearm? I am NOT a defender of Duke's response - from the administration or the faculty - but I am curious as to the balance that a university must strike between the due process rights of a student accused of a violent crime or any crime that could threaten the safety of others and its duty to provide a safe environment to the entire student body and its staff. I know there is legislation in most states and I believe even federal legislation requiring universities to alert its students of crime statistics/safety issues on campus, but I don't know what that means as far as how a university should address a student accused of a crime and if there is a difference between private and public universities. (I've only started recently reading this blog (LOVE IT and have already pre-ordered the book), so if the issue I've raised has already been addressed, I would appreciate anyone directing me to the post).

Many thanks.

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.26:

There are certain things that I believe any university would do in a comparable situation--namely, suspend the indicted students (as Duke did in this instance) with an accompanying statement mentioning the presumption of innocence. That's standard practice.

That, normally, would be about all a university would do. In this instance, of course, Brodhead also gave a number of statements that implied that his students were morally beyond the pale ("whatever they did was bad enough," the lacrosse team had a history of racist behavior) and seemed to go out of his way to appease the team's most virulent critics.

There are, it seems to me, five approaches a university can take: (1) certain the students are guilty; (2) certain they're innocent; (3) have absolutely no idea one way or the other; (4) think they're probably guilty; (5) think they're probably innocent.

In most cases involving students charged with crimes, the approach is (3). In this instance, Duke acted as if administrators believed the students were probably guilty (framing virtually every statement and action in the most negative way toward the players possible)--even though, as we know now, there was good reason to believe the students were most likely innocent.

Anonymous said...

I have learned an interesting lesson from this blog. I do not plan to let anyone record anything I say without my express permission and a signed document from the recorder that s/he will not play any recording of my voice--or let it be reproduced in any way--without my permission.

I don't like the idea that snippets of what I say can be misrepresented and used against me.

And, no, Debrah, I'm not scared or angry. I've lived in a communist country and I don't figure I'm less intelligent you or even KC. I am not at all concerned that you--or your ilk--can cause me to lose my job.

Debrah, I'm mot surprised you don't see racism in any of the comments posted here. I would be surprised if you did. You don't strike me as very self-aware.

I would as KC if he thinks it's reasonable for him, a full professor, to go after tenure-track faculty, however. (This in the context of some of your descriptions of people's work.)

Anonymous said...

KC,
Very good post. From the beginning, Brodhead infuriated me with his public statements. In my opinion, some of his initial statements were extremely damaging to the players. I remember watching one of his press conferences and literally screaming at the television because his statement dripped with the insinuation that the players were guilty. I will never forget the day Coach Pressler was fired after the McFayden e-mail. The firing screamed to the world that the Duke administration had decided the team was guilty. The coach's firing and the McFayden suspension just added fuel to the fire as far as scorn from the media and turning the public against the team.
The administration's handling of this case was disgraceful. The remarks made by the administration and Brodhead furthered the mob mentality on campus and caused students such as my daughter to fear for her safety. I also will never forget repeatedly calling Duke when the Black Panther Party threatened to march on campus and "interview" the players. (They also refused to promise they would not carry weapons.) It wasn't until the day before the march that Duke finally agreed to keep them off campus. The students were taking finals, so they didn't have the option to remain in their rooms or leave campus. Yet it wasn't until the day before the event that the administration finally decided to keep the Black Panthers off the campus. I will never understand the constant butt kissing that this administration repeatedly displayed toward the Black Panthers, the city of Durham, CGM, NCCU, the Group of 88, etc. versus the horrific treatment of their own coach and student athletes. Having a student athlete at Duke, the administration's and faculty behavior came as a great shock and disappointment. For some stupid reason, I kept expecting them to apologize at some point. However, it is now evident that while the players were expected to apologize for a stupid spring break party, the adults at Duke don't hold themselves to the same standard.
While my daughter has had several outstanding professors at Duke (and a couple who were terrible), I will not consider sending my youngest son there. Frankly after reading this blog, the college selection process will be difficult. However, your blog has been helpful in learning what to research. Perhaps we will avoid liberal arts schools - too many general studies requirements that involve the race, gender, sex trilogy.
Thanks, KC, for all the many hours you have spent on this blog. While I read your blog faithfully, I seldom have time to post. However, please know there are many Duke parents who appreciate your hard work. I will miss the daily updates. Your ability to dig and uncover the facts of this case have been amazing. Your students are extremely fortunate to have you as their professor. Thanks again!

AMac said...

Anon 12:28pm --

You wrote a good riff, "After all, we are not Communists."

Indeed, many of us have found good reasons to abandon the collectivist ideologies that we admired from afar when we were more impressionable and less worldly. Some of today's outwardly-ardent Marxists might even be traveling a similar road. Who knows?

You also said, quite properly, "If you posters want to criticize the signers of the listening statement, why not criticize their individual ideas?"

Comments like yours make a review of the Listening Statement worthwhile. After all, the decisions to sign/not sign, Clarify/not Clarify, repudiate/not repudiate, and apologize/not apologize are expressions of individuals' ideas.

Here's what these faculty members said, and--for the most part--as far as we know--continue to view as a justified, correct perspective:

The Statement was run because "we [the sponsoring professors] are turning up the volume in a moment when some of the most vulnerable among us are being asked to quiet down while we wait."

Its points include:

* thanking protesters "for shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman"

* mirroring concerns about keeping "the young woman herself central to this conversation"

* applauding the claim "that the disaster didn't begin on March 13th and won?t end with what the police say or the court decides"

The Statement ends with

* "To the students speaking individually and to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard."

The closing point is a clear reference to the "potbangers" and their banners "CASTRATE," "GET A CONSCIENCE NOT A LAWYER," and their signs reading "Don't Be a Fan of Rapists" and "Men's Lacrosse: Are You All Liars? Do None of You Have Honor?"

Videos at http://tinyurl.com/37a76f and http://tinyurl.com/2wts2j . Duke Chronicle report at http://tinyurl.com/2gn29s .

Professors entered the Group of 88 by choice, and remain there by choice. Their privileged social status does not make these individuals' ideas immune from criticism.

Anonymous said...

KC,
It might be useful and revealing to know where the evidence stood at the time of Brodhead's NAACP chat.

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.37:

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "go after."

In this blog, I have critiqued the comments and work of tenured and tenure-track faculty who signed the Group of 88's statement or took other rush-to-judgment actions. If there are any specific critiques I've made that you consider incorrect, please point to them, and I'll respond.

inman said...

KC...

May I suggest a point of clarification, in your last sentence @ 1:33

The last sentence should read: "even though, as we know now, there was good reason to believe the students were most likely innocent as early as April 2006 (or 'at the time')."

Or something comparable. Otherwise, the implication is that there is still some doubt.

TruthHurts001 said...

Debrah, I'm mot surprised you don't see racism in any of the comments posted here. I would be surprised if you did. You don't strike me as very self-aware.

I completely agree with Debrah. The knee-jerk auto-response accusations of RACISM to any statement that either dissents with "popular black thought" or condemns "popular black behavior" is tired and trite.

Jordan said...

Broadhead made his comments in the context of Nifong's lies. You can't forget that. Given the fact that Nifong left no doubt that a crime did occur, it's not fair to go back and criticize Broadhead for reacting to those statements.

It's easy to look back now and say that Broadhead should have placed more emphasis on the presumption of innocence. But I think that it's more realistic to say that Broadhead should have had no reason to think that a public official would so blatantly misrepresent the actual facts of the case.

Gary Packwood said...

Jason Trumpbour 4:49 said...

...Does Duke think people are unaware or have forgotten about all this?
::
Yes, the PR people were advising Duke that ...This Too Shall Pass!...and in fact, the hoax was an opportunity for Duke to brand itself as the advocate for 'Advancement' for African Americans in the South.

PR people see history as 'manageable' and in November of 2006 the African American Community needed to wiggle out of and then manage the 'hoax hole' of their own making.

Duke obliged.

Why did Duke add an item to their web site ...months later?

Because they believe, apparently, that history is manageable via the addition, deletion and scrubbing of content.

Be prepared for the members of the BOT and their President to fall on their collective swords...if the historians dig up the truth as the bloggers have been doing for now these many months.
::
GP

Debrah said...

A just-relayed MSNBC soundbite:

The NAACP is working hard to try and save Michael Vick's football career.

TruthHurts001 said...

Along the lines of this thread, an article in yesterday's N&O quotes Gang of 88's Mark Anthony Neal inventing excuses for why black nightclubs in Raleigh have been closed down so often.

It's THE MAN'S fault.


In a similar vein, last night on O'Reilly, black professor Mark Lamont Hill blamed WHITE RACISM for the fact that most of Michael Vick's condemners are white, while most of his defenders are black.

Of course, it occurred to me, that if lots of whites were NOT condemning Vick, the black professor would have likely blamed WHITE RACISM, perhaps because whites don't bother to get outraged when the victims aren't white.

So there you go, no matter WHAT happens, it's always due to white racism. How nice.

Debrah said...

"You don't strike me as very self-aware."

That is an ongoing challenge of the human condition; however, I'm working on it.

One Spook said...

Anon @ 1:37 writes:

I have learned an interesting lesson from this blog. I do not plan to let anyone record anything I say without my express permission and a signed document from the recorder that s/he will not play any recording of my voice--or let it be reproduced in any way--without my permission.

I don't like the idea that snippets of what I say can be misrepresented and used against me.

And, no, Debrah, I'm not scared or angry.


No ... you're not scared; you're petrified almost to the point of total disfunction!

KC has offered many times to post communication from folks who wish to comment, in their entirety, unedited.

In fact, when one posts here, the entire posting my be deleted by the Blog owner, but it has to be posted in its entirety, or not posted at all; the Blog posting cannot be edited by the Blog owner.

My goodness, what is it that you and others are so afraid of in posting here?

One Spook

wumhenry said...

Judging from the excerpts published here, it seems to me that Brodhead's last-November speech to the Durham NAACP was artfully designed to convince anyone who needed convincing in his audience that the racially-biased condemnation of the Duke 3 exemplified by Chan Hall's remark was, indeed, stupid. Great tact was required for him pull that off, as he seems to have done. Chastizing the NCCU administration and student body would have disserved that commendable didactic purpose.

Anonymous said...

1:49:

Yes, you have "critiqued" the work of other academics, including those in fields admittedly not your own. You haven't had anything nice to say about any of their work that I recall. You have taken bits and pieces of people's work and subjected them to ridicule. This is your right. I call it "going after" people.

In any case, it seems to me very much a power issue when you--a full professor--"critique" the work of an untenured faculty member. I just wondered if this made you slightly uncomfortable.

If you subjected junior faculty in your department to this kind of "critique," would it be well taken?

I look forward to your review of Professor Chaffe, whose work you can critique with real knowledge of the subject at hand.

Anonymous said...

"I completely agree with Debrah"

I completely agree.

Anonymous said...

K.C. at 1.49 wrote: "I'm not quite sure what you mean by "go after.""

What he means, K.C., is that your painfully objective and responsible airing of the G88's "CVs" has caused (and will continue to cause them) them untold yet well-deserved humiliation and shame. These AA morons and their ruse can only exist with the benefit of darkness. Once the world sees the abject absence of any even remote semblance of scholarly merit associated with these wackos, their sham ends and the end-game begins.

Anonymous said...

Envy is one of the 7 deadly sins.

Locomotive Breath said...

Broadhead [sic] made his comments in the context of Nifong's lies. You can't forget that. Given the fact that Nifong left no doubt that a crime did occur, it's not fair to go back and criticize Broadhead for reacting to those statements.

The code of professional ethics requires the DA to NOT make the kind of statements that Nifong was making. The NC Bar noticed and filed a complaint against Nifong on March 31, 2006.

Dick Brodhead, and/or his lawyers, had every reason (many others besides Nifong's PR campaign) to reach the conclusion that Nifong's motives were impure.

Therefore his blind faith in Nifong was knowably unjustified and it's perfectly fair and, in fact, mandatory that Brodhead be criticized.

One Spook said...

jordan @ 2:08 writes:

Broadhead [sic] made his comments in the context of Nifong's lies. You can't forget that. Given the fact that Nifong left no doubt that a crime did occur, it's not fair to go back and criticize Broadhead for reacting to those statements.

You have not considered the entire "context" of Brodhead's comments.

Brodhead was ALSO aware that the students had denied all of the allegations; that there was not a single witness to the allegations; that the players had given DNA samples; and that the players had volunteered to tke lie detector tests.

While we can't "forget that" Brodhead made his statements based on Nifong AND the Group of 88's actions, he also was fully aware that his own students denied ANY illegal contact with the accuser.

He even made an oblique reference to that fact, saying on March 25, 2006: "The facts are not yet established, however, and there are very different versions of the central events."

"You can't forget that."

One Spook

no justice, no peace said...

The term racist, among others, has been officially dumbed-down.

What's racist about demanding transparency?

What's racist about pointing out a woeful lack of leadership?

What's racist about pointing out an inexcusable level of scholarship?

What's racist about challenging fields of questionable study?

What's racist about demanding accountability?

What's racist about suggesting the funding that support race/gender/classwarfare frauds could be better spent?

How is the behavior exibited by the racist faculty different from that of the Klan?

The 88 voluntarily signed the Listening Statement, the Clarifying Statement, and have had plenty of time to recuse themselves from those associations. They voluntarily have chosen not to disassociate from their position(s).

That list has grown, in spite of the evidence that the young men were innocent.

It still makes me chuckle everytime I consider that English professors - the experts evaluating and conveying meaning - needed to put forth a clarifying statement and yet continue to be misunderstood.

I think most that link the actions of the Duke abettors and Klan of 88 to communism derive from the fact that the intellectual basis of the race/gender/classwarfare positions are similarly fraudulent. In addition the efforts to mask language, distort meaning, hide motives and throttle dissent are similar.

Go yell from a street corner, just don't ask me to pay for this nonsense through subsidized student loans, grants, and tuition.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1:26 said...

...I know there is legislation in most states and I believe even federal legislation requiring universities to alert its students of crime statistics/safety issues on campus, but I don't know what that means as far as how a university should address a student accused of a crime and if there is a difference between private and public universities. (I've only started recently reading this blog (LOVE IT and have already pre-ordered the book), so if the issue I've raised has already been addressed, I would appreciate anyone directing me to the post).
::
Yes, the legislation you are looking for is the Jeanne Clery Act and all colleges and universities file an annual Clery report.

There is a central repository of campus crime statistics which can be found here http://www.securityoncampus.org/crimestats/index.html and the Duke University Clery report can be found here http://www.duke.edu/web/police/cleryreport/


It is helpful to note that even alleged crimes are listed on the Clery report.

You should also know as a new blogger here (Welcome!), that we have been through this issue many many times and the bottom line is that Duke has very little crime and what crime they have on and off campus is similar to other Tier # 1 universities.

Unfortunately there are staff members at Duke who talk incessantly about the forty (40) sexual assault case per year at Duke yet those forty (40) sexual assault cases are not mentioned in the Clery report.

Over the years sexual assault has become a crime that happens to poor young people - mostly under the age of 18 - in their poor community with the victimizer being another ...poor person. For some reason Duke staff members just ignore that reality.

Concerning how universities address crime, that is a much different issue and since this is not communist China there is NO central command and control rule for American universities to follow.

There is a university judicial process for students at Duke who are caught smoking on campus; parking illegally and other high crimes and misdemeanors and you an read about that here http://www.dsg.duke.edu/content/constitution/judiciary_bylaw.php
::
GP

no justice, no peace said...

I'm actually very optimistic that radical sea-changes can and do occur, even abruptly.

When employers are forced to either spend enormous amounts educating their new hires or go off-shore to find talent then things will begin to change.

When consumers of education begin to realize what they are getting for their money, things will begin to change.

When the cost to educate rises above everything else, including healthcare, things will begin to change.

When people measure India, China, and other emerging market's economic growth against ours, things will begin to change.

When people realize that other's education systems are neither steeped-in, nor taxed with race/gender/class warfare studies, then things will begin to change.

Oh wait, that's already happening.

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.27:

"Yes, you have "critiqued" the work of other academics, including those in fields admittedly not your own. You haven't had anything nice to say about any of their work that I recall. You have taken bits and pieces of people's work and subjected them to ridicule. This is your right. I call it "going after" people."

You're free to call it what you like, I suppose, but it would be worthwhile to point out specific quotes or items that you contend were taken out of context. Even reviews in the most prestigious academic journals take "bits and pieces" of profs' work. Whenever possible, I have linked to on-line copies of the profs' work: people can judge for themselves.

"including those in fields admittedly not your own." As I've noted before, the Duke personnel policy has a committee composed solely of profs outside a candidate's field that has a role in deciding whether a junior faculty can continue to teach at Duke. All I've done is to read some of the Group members' scholarship and describe it. It seems to me you should direct your criticism on this point to Provost Lange and President Brodhead, and have them eliminate the APT committee at once.

"In any case, it seems to me very much a power issue when you--a full professor--"critique" the work of an untenured faculty member. I just wondered if this made you slightly uncomfortable."

This is an intriguing point. The untenured profs who signed the Group and clarifying statement injected themselves into the public square. The document was a public one--committed to "turning up the volume" and "printed in the most easily seen venue on campus." Your comment implies that untenured profs should have the right to inject themselves into the public arena, but should be shielded from any critique of their actions or motivations (except, perhaps, by other untenured profs?). That strikes me as a wildly unrealistic arrangement.

"If you subjected junior faculty in your department to this kind of "critique," would it be well taken?"

I fear the comparison is a flawed one. I do not have a vote on the tenure or promotion of any untenured Duke professor; I could have a vote on the tenure or promotion of any untenured person in my department. If, therefore, I commented publicly about them, I would ethically need to recuse myself from a tenure or promotion vote (as I would do).

"I look forward to your review of Professor Chaffe, whose work you can critique with real knowledge of the subject at hand."

His name is spelled Chafe.

Steven Horwitz said...

KC's distinction between the power he might hold over untenured folks in his department vs. untenured faculty at other schools is RIGHT on the money.

There is nothing the least problematic about a tenured or full professor offering a critique of the work of untenured faculty. In fact, most schools have outside review of scholarship as part of their tenure process. That is, tenured faculty from other schools do precisely what KC has done here. I've served in that capacity for colleagues up for tenure and promotion at other schools.

Seems to me some of KC's critics are looking for high-hanging fruit.

mac said...

Jordan 2:08
Apparently with President Brodhead's acquiescence...

Somehow, the DPD gained access to private student records; somehow, student's email accounts were made vulnerable; for some reason, the Duke administration insisted that the accused students avoid seeking or obtaining legal counsel.

That's only a small part of it.

If you will look back at KC's documentation of the events, you might find it helpful, and you might find President Brodhead less of a sympathetic character. More pathetic, perhaps, but less sympathetic.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

"Broadhead [sic] made his comments in the context of Nifong's lies. You can't forget that. Given the fact that Nifong left no doubt that a crime did occur, it's not fair to go back and criticize Broadhead for reacting to those statements."


Agree with Locomotive Breath 2:43. And furthermore:

Brodhead is speaking for the University. He's a professor, an intellectual, and knows the language of civil rights. Here and there, under the radar, he has even dropped the ringing phrase 'presumption of innocence' in referring to this case.

So being all these lofty things, he had no excuse relying on Nifong's mendacious PR campaign. His job was to seek the truth and weigh the evidence, applying all the tools of a smarter-than-thou University President. Evidence available to him at the time that contradicted the 'blue wall of silence', and revealed the 'don't-get-lawyers' advice from Duke itself, and also revealed the illegal access given to the DPD into the players dorms and email accounts.

And this towering intellectual just parrots Nifong, knowing all these other facts? Sorry, but Brodhead's deniability is far from plausible.

Anonymous said...

Though I have found the faculty posts to be very interesting and revealing, I am not looking forward to the post on Prof. Chafe. Though I am over 10-years removed from my college years, I still recall reading an "Unfinished Journey" in an elective class (not race/class/gender I,II and III). I'm sure Prof. Johnson will have many positive publications to discuss from Prof. Chafe, but he will, inevitably, site to Prof. Chafe's embarrassing comments regarding this case. Will Prof. Chafe's poor choices in this case really cast that dark of a shadow over his entire body of work? Can a body of work spanning decades be undone in one instance?

More heartache.

Anonymous said...

7:31 A.M.

Where did you learn the psuedo-intellectual word "irregardless"?

Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

Mike in Nevada

AMac said...

On a completely unrelated subject, blogger 'Jon' offers this strategy for defending bad behavior:

1. We did nothing wrong!
2. Well, you're guilty too!
3. Move on already, that's old news!

There's certainly a taste of #2 on this thread.

And--given open comments--there's grist for that mill, if mainly from angry or faux-angry anonymous commenters.

Anon 2:27pm took the more interesting Route #2, questioning Prof. Johnson's motives, and implying he lacks proper standing to criticize faculty work.

Fair enough. But as One Spook has been at pains to repeat, Anon's arguments have to be equipped with specifics if we are to tell whether his or her points have merit.

Prof. Johnson has earned respect because he has opened himself to a barrage of criticism by offering specifics. Each time he posts, on each subject he writes about!

By comparison, generic whines are thin gruel. To mix metaphors.

C'mon Friends of the 88, especially those of you with faculty appointments. Offer substantive critiques. Illustrate your points with examples. Provide hyperlinks.

Give us some arguments worthy of careful consideration.

inman said...

Just compared the April index with the August index.

One item was deleted: July 17 entitled "Today's Menu for the Faculty Commons."

One item prior to December 11 was added -- The Brodhead NAACP speech.

Twenty nine items dated December 11, 2006 through December 29, 2006 were also added. These included: (1) Brodhead's 60 Minutes Interview (which was aired August 28, 2006) in which he makes the astounding statement that:

"The facts kept changing. Every day we learned new things that no one knew the day before. Every day we were being urged to speak with certainty about facts that were full of great uncertainty at that point. Our policy all along was to act on the basis of the things we knew for sure and to withhold action and decision on the things we didn’t know for sure."

WHAT? The facts kept changing? That is impossible. Facts are immutable. And regarding policy, one can only infer that the language of his April 6 letter was based on what they knew "for sure"!

There was also Brodhead's Statement regarding the December 15 court hearing at which the DNA conspiracy was revealed. A very terse one paragraph.

There was also Brodhead's Statement regarding the dropping of the rape charges -- a terse two paragraphs versus the multi-page April 6 inflammatory letter!

_________________________________

I am stunned at the extent to which Duke University appears to be rewriting history. Absolutley stunned. I especially like how they slipped the August 28 interview into the December additional items rather than at a more visible August 28 date. Brodhead & Co are moonwalking the truth!!!!!

Oh and how much would you like to bet that the '88 were the one's "urging?"

inman said...

3:29

The answer is yes. Just look at Nifong.

mac said...

Debrah 1:14
I agree with those who completely agree with you; I also agree with One Spook @ 1:16. Lots of others have made valuable points, too - though it's a shame that the day started so poorly. (see, Prof. Horwitz? I told you it'd get better!)

On Debrah's note: I shudder to think of a society led by the mobs who cry "racism" loudest. We've seen this, historically, when the cruelest of the cruel take power, as evidenced in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, in Cambodia (under Pol Pot) and in Mao's China.

I also shudder to think of living in a society where everybody is judged by their race, as sometimes occurs, in times that no one should remember warmly nor welcome back: only an idiot would remember those days fondly, and yet, that is what the "nouveau racialists" intend; they mean to upend Dr. King's words, and they mean to overthrow the meaning of his words; they prefer violence and denigrating cacaphonies to reason and rationality and...even civilization itself.

It's funny that someone posted today that I would enjoy "Birth of a Nation" and would agree with it.
But then, that's an argument from one of those who prefer cacophony to critique.

A case study of a cacophonous pudendal vessel is illustrated as a self-described, self-characterized (and perhaps self-caracatured) "thugganiggaintellectual." The component parts of such a beast neutralize the concept of the whole: one cannot be a thug and an intellectual simultaneously, and if one happens to have that multiplicity of symptoms, they are profoundly in need of Thorazine or something that may address MPD; perhaps it would require something even stronger.

Perhaps these persons and their buds should watch "When Keepin' it Real Turns Wrong."

Anonymous said...

Debrah said... at 1.25
Along the lines of this thread, an article in yesterday's N&O quotes Gang of 88's Mark Anthony Neal inventing excuses for why black nightclubs in Raleigh have been closed down so often.

:::::
I found it telling that Neal is described as an expert in black relations. Okay, I'll buy. Then he makes statements comparing the tolerance of white violence while intolerant of black violence. He decides to use sports to advance his theory on the black clubs. Okay. Then I see a person(Neal) who uses numbers and makes statements that would cerainly be called racist, except that only whites can be racist.

In the artcle you mentioned, he talks about the National Hockey League and how since it is mostly white, no one (I asume the press) makes a big deal out of their violence, but they do of the NBA, which is mostly black.

A few problems:
1) What is intolerant is when NBA players go out into the audience and beat up patrons. I'm not aware that any hockey players are leaving the ice to attack the other teams' fans. Unlike soccer fans, hockey fans want to see fighting on the ice, not out of it.
2) I'm a basketball fan, and not aware that it is considered a major violent sport. Since Neal gives no examples, I'm left to guess what he is referring to.

3) He is right, hockey is a violent game, and mostly white. The NFL is also very violent, and mostly black. His analogy would fall if he had used the NFL. It is the most popular of all pro sports, closely followed by NCAA football. In football, athletes are applauded for all the players they can crush. Ever see all the hash marks on NCAA helments for all the tackles made? The whole idea is to crush your opponent. It's very violent. All ready in the pre season games we have athelets that will be out for the whole year due to injuries by another player. Do people quit watching? Do parents quit sending their kids to college so they can join the NFL? Why there is an outcry in the black community to save Vick's career! Maybe you did not use the NFL because most of the participants are black? You preferred to find a white sport so you could advance your theory of black against white. This is clearly a racist move.
4- Who cares what happens in the NHL? The NBA is # 2 in popularity and the NHL is #8 just after the WWE. How many people, white or black can name 5 current NHL players? How about 3, or 2 or even
1? A spokesman of the NHL was moaning that re-runs of Little House on the Prairie get more viewers than they do. On some of the Nielsen ratings, their viewership is so low that it registers 0. Now tell me Mr. Neal, who would care what happens in the NHL? It isn't that people are racists and tolorate violence, no one watches the games to be aware of what happens.
5) I'm vaguely aware that more that one hockey player has had criminal charges pressed against him. The same with NFL. Not with NBA.

So, if Neal wants to save the black clubs, he needs to figure out another way. He has not proved his case by using violence in hockey as proof that white tolorate white violence.

As I was writing this I was watching one of the Little League play off games. Most of the American kids are white. And I was surprised that the kids are now so namby pamby, they are not permitted to do chanting. When my son played 25 years ago, all teams chanted to distract the batter. Now they cry if someone chants.

So, I would have to hear other examples from Mr. Neal to believe that whites are more tolerant of white violence and less of black violence.

inman said...

Errata to my post at 3:57 -- the interview was recorded August 28, 2006 and aired on October 15,2006.

inman said...

I just reread the December 18 statement and I am absolutely flabbergasted...No...I am insulted. There is no way that Brodhead can reconcile the statement:

"In the meanwhile, as I have said before, our students must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise."

with the tone and language of his April 6, 2006 letter.

This has got to be the work of Duke's public relations folks trying desparetely to repair image. But it tells me that Brodhead is intellectually dishonest, since it went out under his name and as his statement.

Locomotive Breath said...

Can a body of work spanning decades be undone in one instance?

Yes. Ask the man who lived the life of a saint but then, from a failure to be diligent, ran over a neighbor child in the driveway.

Steven Horwitz said...

Do those commenters critical of the jargon of the G88 and modern academia in general find this passage too jargony?

"Similarly, the destructive, mimetic drives in man transformed into the universal medium of language - which is evaluated not exclusively as a technique, an operational instrument, or a mere means of communication but rather as a liberation from 'the loneliness of a closed consciousness,' the autochthonous necessity of satisfying the pristine human desire for the expression of his consciousness - indicate that potentially predatory energies in man tend toward reconciliation."

That's a 68 word sentence by the way.

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Dear Professor Johnson,

Again, you create strawpeople. I wasn't commenting about Duke's evaluation system. Rather, I was commenting on your decision to discuss the work of a variety of people outside your own field.

IS Duke is unlike any other university in the country--and it may be--and those people who make decisions on the junior faculty do NOT depend on outside letters that are the evaluations of people PRECISELY in the fields of the people up for tenure and promotion? Do they not consider the vote of the faculty?

When people go after other people in reviews, it's pretty clear they're doing it. They employ/misemploy snippets of the work of the person in question. This seems to happen quite often when cranky older professors attack the work of younger professors. Laudible that you provide links to the work of the people you "critique." More laudible would be if you could find it in yourself to say something good about any of the work of those you "critique."

Chaffe/Chafe--Not being in your field, I had never heard of him, so I got the spelling wrong. I hope you can make the review interesting, because the field of study seems to me to be relatively dull.

Finally, while I'm at it: I think you misrepresented when you gave the impression that political historians had difficulties getting jobs. Perhaps, American political historians in certain fields do. I can't think of a single history department in the country, including Duke's, that doesn't have several political historians on faculty. Most history departments in the country are heavy on American historians in any case.

Anonymous said...

After things settled down, some pretty good dialogue today.

Debrah said...

To Mike in Nevada--

Your point regarding the use of "irregardless" drives me nuts. I can't stand when someone uses it in place of regardless.

Another example is the phrase: "I could care less."

Of course, it's "I COULDN'T care less."...because if someone could care less it would negate the point they are trying to make.

LIS!

Anonymous said...

4:34pm--No, not at all. Do you read foreign languages? German sentences are often at least that long.

Anonymous said...

SH

Some sort of trick question?

Anonymous said...

To: My dear KC
Re: The last line of your 3:00 PM post

I love you. A lot.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwitz:

"Then you will continue to be disappointed and convinced they haven't learned anything because none of the faculty in question will lose their jobs over this, nor am I convinced they should, even as poorly as they behaved."

What about the ones who, in addition to behaving poorly are also poor scholars - why should they be kept? How about the ones who violated the faculty code of conduct by disrupting Professor Horowitz's speech? Should they be allowed to continue to ignore the rules that others are expected to follow? What about the ones who not only signed the statement, but helped organize rallies? How about those who publicly harrassed lacrosse players in their classes?

Are you willing to state explicitly that you believe that miriam cooke deserves to keep her job?

You remind me a lot of the lawyers who think disbarment is enough for Nifong and he doesn't deserve jail. Or the police who think Gottlieb deserves maybe a reprimand, but should keep his job.

Or, unrelated, the doctors who so rarely think one of their own deserves to lose a license, then kvetch about how badly the courts handle medical malpractice issues. If they did a better job of regulating themselves they wouldn't have outsiders doing it for them in ways they dislike. Which seques into ... if an apparently reasonable person like you doesn't think any of the bozos KC has highlighted deserves to leave academia, then I am now convinced that the academy is not competent to regulate itself, and legislative intervention is needed.

Ralph Phelan said...

One Spook said...

"What I fail to see from any of the persons who come here to argue on behalf of the Group of 88, Broadhead, et al is any semblence of cogent discourse."

See my 9:02.

I miss fdny engine - he actually made me sweat a few times.

Debrah said...

To "mac" (400PM)--

This thread has been way too negative today. When you dig down deep....you lose good sleep and it makes you heavy company.

That's why I have revisited Rakim's version of "Truth Hurts". And since I know that some of the Gang of 88 and their loyal janissaries come here to drink from the cup of Wonderland, I know they'll get down with the message.

Come on in Professor Neal. I know you're solid.....as a rock, but I'm thinking that you might need to shower Orin with some of your insights so he can understand exactly how we feel about our brotha KC Johnson.

Come on, now.....give it up!

He's so contagious!

bill anderson said...

The comments of 2:27 are just plain silly. When people sign something like the "We're Listening" ad, they do so knowing they are making very harsh public statements.

Thus, they should not be shocked, SHOCKED when they are in the cross hairs of others. Hey, when one chooses to write something in a public forum, the criticism comes with it.

These professors and their supporters believe that we should be in such awe of their High Moral Status As Victims that all we can do is to bow down in reverent worship. Anything less is sexist/racist/homophobic/specist/whateverist.

The damage these people did was incalculable. They gave Nifong the green light to abuse his powers, and made it abundantly clear that they were NOT interested in due process, or even the truth. After all, they KNEW the truth, and anyone who said differently was racist/sexist/homophobic/specist/whateverist.

Anonymous said...

The angry left in this country has dug its own grave. They hate all things white male and love all things anti-white male.

It amuses me that so many of them are employed to teach history; a subject they clearly don't understand.

Which honest reading of history would indicate that it is wise to cast your long-run lot against white males?

Ralph Phelan said...

KC:

"There are, it seems to me, five approaches a university can take: (1) certain the students are guilty; (2) certain they're innocent; (3) have absolutely no idea one way or the other; (4) think they're probably guilty; (5) think they're probably innocent."

I'd say Brodhead's response looked more like a (1) than a (4) but be that as it may. Either way, given how many onlookers assumed (5) as soon as Nifong went into blatant campaign mode it's odd that Brodhead continued to act according to (4).

There are situations where common sense may lead you to follow (4) or (5) but to do so you must have common sense that matches reality. Brodhead & the 88 made decisions that backfired because their ideology leads them to believe things that are in conflict with objective reality.

AMac said...

Steven Horwitz 4:34pm --

I'll bite. Too jargony? Yes.

Perhaps the author means something akin to:

"Humans can harness their destructive drives in constructive ways. This comes to pass because man yearns to escape from loneliness, and isolation is can be confronted through the medium of language. Communication with others makes empathy possible, which in turn can redirect aggressive energy towards reconciliation."

Absent context, my 46-word guess might have missed what the author meant to say. But does the grammar and the use of terms like mimetic, operational instrument, autochtonous, pristine, and predatory add to many readers' understanding?

I doubt it--whether the author is Derrida, Shakespeare, Camille Paglia, KC Johnson, or anyone else.

Anonymous said...

"inman said...
I regret that I showed up late today, for it's clear that I missed some sophomoric and banal chatter. Was there also a food fight, Bluto?

In a serious vein, it occurs to me that my understanding of the English language is not the same as others' understanding, especially as it relates to certain concepts pumping up the verbal volleyball being bounced around.

So, questions: What is "racism"? What is "sexism"? And what are all those other tags being tied by the verbal victors and victims to the toes of their foes?

...

In particular, was Brodhead's presentation to a group defined by a notion of race, a "racist" act?"

Inman --

Definitions of terms is an excellent idea. I'll start with what "racism" means to me, and what I know it means to others in the world (and perhaps to some who post here.)

To me, racism is when you use race as an inappropriate factor in assessment or decision-making. (Allotting more money to treat sickle-cell anemia in blacks than to treat it in whites? Not racist because provably blacks suffer sickle-cell at higher rates than whites. Allotting extra crime-prevention money for a primarily black inner-city neighborhood? Not necessarily racist because provably inner-city neighborhoods have higher statistical rates of crime. Allotting extra crime-prevention money for a primarily black suburban neighborhood? More than is being spent on comparable primarily white suburban neighborhoods? Unless there's evidence that neighborhood is experiencing an excessive crime rate that warrants such additional spending, that's racism.)

Note that this simple definition of mine applies no matter who the beneficiar(ies) of the inappropriate consideration of race are. Those who presumed that the accused lacrosse players must be guilty because they were white and their accuser black were just as guilty of racism as those who presumed the Scottsboro Boys guilty because they were black and their accusers white.

Some I have spoken with reject this definition of "racism" on exactly the point of the irrelevance of the races involved. I have had it argued to me that "racism" is not just racial discrimination, but specifically racial discrimination as backed by the dominant power structure; thus no black person can ever be racist (unless of course they're an Uncle Tom in the white man's power structure, merely carrying out the racist wishes of their white masters). To me this paradigm is so completely wrong-headed it barely deserves to be described, let alone granted rebuttal. However, since provably some out there in the world can't spot the inherent problems for themselves, they are at least two-fold.

The first is that this essentially sets up a "separate-but-equal" system for racial discourse, and as anyone who knows their civil rights history knows, "separate-but-equal" systems never fulfill the "equal" part of their promise. Has any group in history ever given up an advantage that was theirs, just because they knew it not to be legitimately theirs? I welcome any examples, but I doubt I need to hold my breath. So "racial discrimination", as exactly the same thing as "racism" save for the race of the practitioner, should be equally as reviled as racism. In practice, however, I have no doubt that those who see "racial discrimination" as something different than "racism" also think it far more forgivable to slip and indulge in the former, especially if you can convince yourself you're doing it in the cause of battling racism (hey, it's fighting fire with fire!) or because you've just endured so much racism from a racist society that surely it won't hurt for you to engage in something that, after all, isn't racism.

The second problem with the "racial discrimination isn't racism unless backed by the dominant social power" paradigm is that it makes tremendously simplistic assumptions about "power": it only comes in one form; it is monolithic; it is entirely binary -- in short, one never has to ''think'' about whether one is wielding power, unless one is of a single particular race. The fallacies of this can be seen in the lacrosse case: the black community of Durham had the power to swing the election into Nifong's lap, and Nifong made sure they did just that by pandering to their prejudices about the way those "white boys" treated "our sisters". (To be perfectly clear, I am quite aware that the black community of Durham included many who looked at the case either without such prejudices, or perhaps even more meritorious, looking past such prejudices, saw that Nifong's case was only smoke and mirrors, and rejected it accordingly. I deeply appreciate all these fine individuals, but I believe the election record shows clearly that as a whole the demographic of black voters responded to Nifong's racially charged message with votes as no other demographic did.) How can the power to give a demagogue an election be considered an insignificant amount of power? I wonder if those who advocate the "racial discrimination is not racism" paradigm have ever stopped to work out that if we ever reach a day that the social power they think is the only one that counts is equally shared among all, they will have been making themselves unfit to wield that power, by refusing to be responsible for what they do with power.

Finally, we come to the question "was Brodhead's presentation to a group defined by a notion of race, a "racist" act?" To my mind, no it is not. To acknowledge race is not to automatically be practicing bias based on race; even if we were to stipulate that the NC chapter of the NAACP had made itself a "racist" organization in the lacrosse case by hosting the defamatory "82 Crimes and Torts" document, merely to speak to such an organization is not, inherently, a racist act. This does not mean that Brodhead's act was not wrong by other measures.

Anonymous said...

TO:
"To: My dear KC
Re: The last line of your 3:00 PM post

I love you. A lot."

I had the same reaction to: "In other words: Race/Class/Gender: I, II, and III."

Anonymous said...

To the G88:

"Do as I say, not as I do!!!"

you are pathetic.

AMac said...

Anon "Again, you create strawpeople" 4:47pm --

Since you care enough to make arguments, why not pick a pseudonym so readers can follow them from comment to comment.

> I was [criticizing] your decision to discuss the work of a variety of people outside your own field.

So professors publish their work in the belief that people outside their narrow specialty have no right to offer criticisms. Anon, have I paraphrased correctly? Do you think this view widely shared among American academics?

> More laudable would be if you could find it in yourself to say something good about any of the work of those you "critique."

1. Can you interpret your use of sneer quotes?

2. In most profiles, much of Johnson's work is description of the subject's scholarship. Concerning people, yes, Judith Martin would agree that it's nice to be nice. Must this obtain on ideas and scholarly publications as well?

Anon, you could benefit from a quick read of One Spook's earlier comments. Flesh out your arguments with specifics and links, and they will gain in stature.

Steven Horwitz said...

Ralph asks in response to my argument that none of the Duke faculty should lose their jobs "over this," where "this" clearly referred to what happened during the Lacrosse Hoax:

What about the ones who, in addition to behaving poorly are also poor scholars - why should they be kept?

Separate issue from the lacrosse hoax. Those who have tenure are not going to get fired and, given that they came to Duke with tenure as part of the institution, whatever process produced tenure has done so. Thus there's no grounds for firing them. You can say the tenure process sucked, and it's also possible they have other contributions beside their scholarship, but if we fired faculty for not publishing after tenure....we'd be pretty busy.

How about the ones who violated the faculty code of conduct by disrupting Professor Horowitz's speech? Should they be allowed to continue to ignore the rules that others are expected to follow?

Again, not the lacrosse case. I find that behavior to be abhorrent but in and of itself it's not grounds for dismissal. At most jobs, if you break the institution's rules, you don't necessarily get fired. Depends on the severity and whether it's a first offense. If I were the dean, I'd like to think she'd hear from me with some sort of reprimand and whatever consequences I could create, but fire her? No way.

What about the ones who not only signed the statement, but helped organize rallies? How about those who publicly harrassed lacrosse players in their classes?

Now at least we're on topic. See above. Depends on the severity of the offense and the frequency. Signing the statement and organizing rallies is an exercise of free speech, if irresponsibly. Not a firable offense in my book.

Harassing students is different. Faculty who did so should be reprimanded and consequences of whatever sort should follow, but I wouldn't want them fired unless it was the latest in a line of similar offenses. No different from other kinds of jobs.

Understand that it is VERY hard to fire tenured faculty even when they do really bad stuff. Most schools have a procedure for "termination for cause." The dean or the president normally can't just cut them loose for anything short of criminal behavior (and even then!).

Are you willing to state explicitly that you believe that miriam cooke deserves to keep her job?

Yup. I find her views odious but she has published a hell of a lot more than many of the G88. Her cv is here.

She might also be a very good classroom teacher. She might also be very involved in the university community. I'm not interested in firing people whose substantive views I find troubling. (Again, if so, I'd be very busy!)

And this is why academic freedom is so important and it's the best, and maybe only good, argument for tenure: it protects faculty from being fired for having unpopular views. The reality, as one commenter pointed out awhile back, is that these days it protects conservatives and libertarians far more than radical leftists.

For a tenured faculty member who appears to be doing what faculty members are expected to do, the only reason to call for their dismissal is a pattern of egregious violations of university policy or conditions of employment. Whatever I think of her views, there is no evidence that mc has done any of that.

Most of the non-academic workplaces I have been around have not fired people on the "first offense" and not for lower-level offenses.

Finally, none of the faculty, and not the G88 as a whole, had the power of taking away freedom in the way that Nifong did. He was a man with the power of the state behind him who grossly and repeatedly violated the rules and an almost sacred trust. No faculty member had the power to do anything to students than to make their lives subjectively miserable or to discriminate against them in a course. That's a far cry from 30 years in jail.

Nifong's offenses were firable, the faculty's were not.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson:

Just a scheduling question; when will you be shutting down this blog? I assume you will not continue from Israel but hope you will keep it up to post news about the book release (i.e., radio, tv appearances, etc) before you leave.

On another off topic note; will you be completing a research project while abroad?

Steven Horwitz said...

amac -

I more or less agree with your rewrite of that passage. Yours is clearer and I think more or less captures the meaning.

It's none of those folks. It's from a chapter in a collection of essays from 1949. It's written by a woman who was offering a fierce defense of the very "traditional" family.

My point is that academics use jargon all the time and have for years and years, and it's hardly the province of "Angry Studies" and post-modernism. I would even argue that jargon is an efficient form of communication among specialists.

Whatever the case, I just thought it was interesting to come across a passage that seemed as jargony and obtuse as some of what we've seen from the G88 but from almost 60 years ago and in service of a very conservative argument.

Mike Lee said...

Anyone who is asking themselves or waiting to see if Duke has learned anything from this entire fiasco should keep one thing in mind-

Kim Curtis is still employed as a Professor at Duke University. Case closed.

She doesn't belong serving sloppy joes to third graders. Yet, Duke is pleased to remain her employer. In my opinion this along with the fact that DPD continues to employ the disgrace Mark Gottlieb, is the most pathetic aspect of the entire case.

Anonymous said...

5:12

There is a logical reason many leftists loathe white men. They blame them for not becoming socialists. Have you ever noticed how well socialism works in certain countries?

Mike Lee said...

One more comment while I am at it-

I'd like to say how much I am enjoying this wonderful conversation (minus the personal attacks and occasional asinine comments that need to be weeded out) about the lacrosse case and the way each of the cast of characters behaved.

It seems to me that at some point a group of Professors made some noise about wanting to engage in a dialogue about this. Alas, I only see one (2 if you count Horowitz, and I do!!) who has put his money where his mouth is as they say. Thanks for that KC.

One of the lessons I try to pass on to my students is to do what you say you're going to do. Still waiting on 88 others to join the dialogue. I won't hold my breath.

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.45:

In September, the blog will transition into a shutting-down phase: I'll have posts on the top 30 quotes of the case, some of the heroes of the case, and a final case summary. The final post will be in late September; I leave for Israel shortly thereafter.

Anonymous said...

Not too many readers of this blog understand the point KC and Horwitz make over and over again, namely that "Duke" doesn't hire faculty, departments do through the dean. Departments identify "needs", try to convince the dean or deans (McClendon and divisional) they should have the money going forward to hire a new person at a particular rank (tenured or not, senior or not) in a particular area of specialization, and if the dean says "ok", then the department can go ahead and write the advertisement for the position and proceed to screen applicants according to their own preferences. Final candidates come to Duke to visit and meet the department and deans, and then the decision about whom to hire is made at the department level.

If a department wants to hire a person to fit its perceived needs, the only check on this process is by the deans and to a lesser degree by the Provost (unlike Harvard or Williams, etc. the President plays no role at all in any of this). The university committee that KC talks about that reads all cases from all units is mostly a procedural check for fairness of arguments across disciplines, and to catch the occasional departmental snow job (or hatchet job) and point this out to the deans and provost.

So if someone like those KC features leaves, that person may be, and failing some extraordinary decision making by the deans to go against departmental "expertise" will be, replaced by someone pretty much like the one who left.

Steven Horwitz said...

Let me add to this point I made earlier:

Nifong's offenses were firable, the faculty's were not.

Nifong's offenses were not only cause for termination of his job, they may well be sufficiently bad to warrant jail time. I'm not one of those who think firing him was "enough."

JeffM said...

Thanks KC

You attempted what an historian is supposed to attempt: to tell the story "wie es eigentlich gewesen." Too bad so many have forgotten what return is due for their privileges.

Debrah said...

"Yup. I find her views odious but she has published a hell of a lot more than many of the G88. Her cv is here."



Do we really need another dose of e. e. cummings' crazy aunt?

I mean, really.

This is it. This is an example of what is so ridiculous about some who try to provide an emollient for the Gritty Gang of 88 by highlighting the few who have produced some work that might be considered decent.

Fine.

This is not a place to tout their CV's as if to recommend them for some award.

KC has been the one to present their work....with an understanding and the professional expertise that has cut through the layers which universities design around their talent.

Like most professions, there's no great mystery here.

The point is....what these professors did with regard to the Listening Statement and what they continue to do (nothing admirable)....is bad enough to overshadow all else in the minds of most observers.

If a man spends his life doing good work and raising a successful family...then one day decides to actively assist in bringing false felony charges against his neighbor--(and later his actions are outed)--not much else will be significant when assessing the kind of person he is.

haskell said...

Steven Horwitz 5:47 and 4:34.

Steve, I disagree. Bad writing is bad writing. We are simply talking form, not substance.

Anonymous said...

"Too jargony?" Yes, by intent. They muddy their waters to make them appear deep. (Credit to Nietzsche.)

I wouldn't appeal to German sentences as paradigms of clarity. Kant and Hegel are notoriously impenetrable -- so much so that German graduate students in philosophy read English translations of Kant so that they can try to understand him.

Duke Prof

One Spook said...

Professor Horwitz writes @ 5:47:

My point is that academics use jargon all the time and have for years and years, and it's hardly the province of "Angry Studies" and post-modernism. I would even argue that jargon is an efficient form of communication among specialists.

Honestly, I didn't think your example was that difficult to parse at all. It didn't even compare to the poor writing we've seen from some of the Group of 88 samples.

And, I believe that even those of us who are not in the academy can accept that "edgy" ideas should be a part of academic pursuit and that tenure does have value in protecting some of those in a profession dedicated to the free exchange of ideas.

However, the point I see KC making in examining the works of these so-called "scholars" is that their "work" has an overt focus on the trilogy of race, gender, and class to the exclusion of any other measurement of a subject.

In short, not all of American History, Latin American History, Mideast relations, and any other social science subject you can name is exclusively viewable through this prisim.

Those "favored three" elements arguably can be a part of some of those subjects, but they do not stand alone as a "silver bullet" worldview that is the panacea to all explanation of history and social science matters.

Due to the events at 610 Buchanan, the leaders of the 88 advanced the obsession with their beloved trilogy beyond mere "theory and discussion" and attempted to make a concurrent validity study of this incident. Nowhere was this more apparent than in Thavolia Glymph's woeful, pathological comment in "The Chronicle": "since the DNA results were returned Monday, we [have been] moving backwards."

She said the results have given the community a false sense of vindication and that students now feel issues such as race and gender no longer need to be examined.


She was not only disappointed that the Duke students might not be guilty, but she was piqued that their vindication might interrupt the 88's planned worship fest and sacrifice to the 88's gods of race, class and gender!

Her outrageous comment is tantamount to having an "edgy" professor of biology at Duke who had a pet theory that any and all injuries to the human body could be successfully treated by submerging a person in horse manure for 30 years. This professor then attends a football game, kidnaps a player who sprained an ankle during the contest, submerges him in horse manure, only to be discovered. The player is freed, taken to a hospital and the professor then complains that things are now "moving backwards."

When an "edgy" focus in academics becomes dangerous and potentially harmful to others, it is the obligation of the academy to investigate it, expose it and eliminate it. If the academy cannot police itself, it is the obligation of a university to do it.

One Spook

mac said...

Professor Horwitz 4:34,

I thought I'd seen the quote before, but now I'm pretty sure I hadn't. It reminds me of an author - Theodore Dreiser - who wrote prose so heavily laden with multisyllabic words - (requiring frequent trips to the thesaurus and dictionary) that I find a natural aversion to such language.
On the other hand, it doesn't look as if the author was intentionally hiding her meaning. As with Dreiser, there may be a difference between hiding meaning in jargon
and hiding hot, wet doggy poo in deliberately obfuscatory language (there's a great word: obfuscatory!) I don't believe that Dreiser was being obfuscatory: I think he was trying to be precisely descriptive, even at the expense of readability.

Amac did a credible job of interpreting the quote you posted, though, didn't he? And you likewise did a service in providing it as an example of when jargon might not be sinister.

Now for my example, a hypothetical question I've posed in the form of a summary:

Type VI collagen is sometimes found to bind the patellar ligament to the tibia (as a consequence of trauma and/or inflammation) - resulting in a condition known as arthrofibrosis, and may or may not be related to the collagen binding of the inferior aspect of the capsular ligament of the glenohumeral joint - (inferior to the glenoid fossa) - resulting in adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder: the two may be essentially the same types of fibrous tissues, causing changes in ROM as well as proprioception. (Note: these are self-asssembled bits of information derived from The Physician and Sportsmedicine, BTW)

The difference between jargon and junk is whether or not they illuminate or hide their point: when jargon hides the relevance of the point, one has to wonder why it was written in the first place?

mac said...

6:47
KC has mentioned in the recent past regarding Cornell's recent hires, that they may be overly weighted with teacher/instructors/(indoctrinators?) who have interests/specialties in gender studies, ethnic studies, gay studies, lesbian studies, transexual bisexual etc studies...

I don't believe KC was stating that diversity wasn't welcome - (he took pains to explain that diversity is a good thing) - but that the appearance of so many of the same interests and studies at the same time are not exactly a study in diversity!

Some persons have also made the point that not all of those who flee the good ship Duke need be replaced. Small numbers of students in some of them, anyway (which might be expected in higher-level courses, but these...?)

Steven Horwitz said...

Debrah wrote:

The point is....what these professors did with regard to the Listening Statement and what they continue to do (nothing admirable)....is bad enough to overshadow all else in the minds of most observers.

Then you go right ahead and believe that. I was asked whether I'd fire miriam cooke. I gave an answer supported with evidence. I do not deny that she and the others made a huge mistake in their response to the hoax. I do not believe that it rises to the level of being grounds for termination, not by the letter of the law nor ethically.

I also believe deeply in the principle of academic freedom and that those who are doing the job they were contractually hired to do should not be fired for a mistake in judgment, even one that involved leaving three students to the wolves. It was a mistake and it was a violation of what I think is an obligation toward one's students.

But people make mistakes and keep their jobs elsewhere and this one does not rise to the level of termination for cause. Not even close.

Those who believe that the Listening Statement and the consequent refusal to apologize constitute grounds for termination, especially of faculty who have no record of similar behavior and who have otherwise done their jobs and more, are the internet equivalent of a gang looking for someone to mug just to satisfy their ideological blood-lust or some misplaced desire for street justice.

Debrah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Horwitz said...

Mac writes:

The difference between jargon and junk is whether or not they illuminate or hide their point

Yup, agreed. We might disagree on particular uses of language that fall on one side or the other, but I think this is fair way to characterize junk: jargon that obfuscates rather than illuminates.

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz said: "Nifong's offenses were firable, the faculty's were not."

In the special case of Kim Curtis, I have to agree with the 5:50 and very strongly disagree with SH.

Duke University made a de facto admission of (so-called) Prof. Curtis' guilt last year when they changed Dowd's grade from failing to passing (over Curtis' objections). Just because the University later settled out of court with the Dowd family for Curtis' egregious crimes against the Academy (and, arguably, humanity, or at least human decency) does not mean that any school anywhere should forgive or forget what she did. She is less than human, and a disgrace to decent educators (and humans) everywhere.

Anonymous said...

8:12 AM

Please, there you go again. Make your comments shorter . . . you know like tiny . . . little ittybitty parts of speech . . . say a four letter word.

Steven Horwitz said...

Anon at 850:

Yes, I forgot about Curtis. Given that she doesn't have a permanent appointment, the standards for termination would be lower. And if one assumes that she's been hired primarily, if not exclusively, to teach, then her work in the classroom would be what mattered.

In such a case, demonstrated grade retaliation would be enough for me, as an administrator, to not renew her contract. So yup, Curtis's grade retaliation would clearly cross the termination line for me.

Anonymous said...

Steve H: Re your 8:48 post, how, exactly do you define "academic freedom" (emphasis on academic)? What was "academic" (in the AAUP sense) about the comments/conduct of the 88? Are there limits to academic freedom?

Debrah said...

To 8:48PM--

And I can live with that.

Justice for these human bits refuse who are old enough to be the grandparents of Reade, Collin, and David thought nothing of their horrific actions.

All is well in this mecca of WalMart-drive-thru-scholarship.

Here's what the is......is:

Most members of the academy will predictably bring forth the view that what the Gang of 88 did was a minute deviation from otherwise stellar work...or at least work that fills in enough blanks required by the quota police.

But there is a whole other world out here full of very accomplished and multi-faceted people and who make the wheels turn in this country.....and when they become sufficiently concerned, repulsed, and pi$$ed off by the kinds of scholars KC has illuminated here....

.....the veils of academic freedom without responsibility which drape their existence will begin to be peeled away.

In this scenario, KC Johnson is a prince.

The academy is his home and he has exposed the cancer within.

The future of the status quo among such people as the Gang of 88 is far from being decided.

mac said...

9:26
I would like to add to your comment: is there a question of what constitutes academia, much as there is a question of what constitutes art? Some of the 88 were aptly compared to "performance artists," and this was not in the least a compliment.

I would agree with Professor Horwitz that academic freedom is critical, but there has to be a line where the word "academic" can be defined, however broad that definition.

Otherwise, someone from the NAACP might infer that Michael Vick was engaged in nothing more than a barely scientific version of vivisection - (don't laugh - they've already compared the dog-murders with hunting.)

Michael Vick, PhD! In dogfightology!

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