Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Path Not Taken

Provost Peter Lange’s response to Houston Baker’s open letter represents a path not taken in the lacrosse case. The Lange letter—released on April 3, 2006—suggested that the administration might be willing to confront the extremist voices among the faculty. The aftermath of the letter, meanwhile, revealed deep flaws within the African-American Studies movement nationally.

Ten times, the Baker letter mentioned in a derogatory fashion the race of the lacrosse players. And it demanded the immediate dismissals from Duke of: “Coaches of the lacrosse team, the team itself and its players, and any other agents who silenced or lied about the real nature of events at 610 Buchanan on the evening of March 13, 2006.”

Lange’s response was equally forceful. “I cannot tell you,” the provost wrote, “how disappointed, saddened and appalled I was to receive this letter from you. A form of prejudice - one felt so often by minorities whether they be African American, Jewish or other - is the act of prejudgment: to presume that one knows something ‘must’ have been done by or done to someone because of his or her race, religion or other characteristic. In the United States our sad racial history is laced with such incidents, only fully brought to light in the recent past and undoubtedly there are uncounted numbers of such incidents not yet, or ever to be, known.”

In line with previous announcements by President Brodhead, Lange promised examination of “the deeper issues that are revealed by those known events and what they say about the values in our community.” (Of course, as Mike Nifong’s case collapsed, the administration demonstrated no enthusiasm for examining “the deeper issues that are revealed” by the faculty’s rush to judgment.) But for the most part, Lange made clear his distaste for Baker’s heated rhetoric and intemperate proposals. Repairing Duke, he wrote, “will take less rhetoric and more hard work, less quick judgment and more reasoned intervention, less playing to the crowd, than entering the hearts and lives of those whose education we are charged to promote and who we must treat as an integral part of the community we wish to restore and heal. Sadly, letters like yours do little to advance our common cause."

At Duke, Lange’s letter fell on deaf ears. Three days later, Baker joined 87 colleagues in the highest-profile example of faculty prejudice, the issuance of the Group of 88’s statement. For months thereafter, the African-American Studies program hosted the Group of 88’s ad on its official webpage—prominently, in black. And the English professor—holder of an endowed chair during his time at Duke—continued his pattern of inflammatory statements. On one occasion, he suggested that the lacrosse players had committed additional rapes; on another, he informed the mother of a lacrosse player that her son and his teammates were "farm animals."

Off campus, however, Lange’s letter attracted notice. In June 2006, 15 African-American Studies professors sent Lange what they termed an OPEN LETTER ON DUKE’S ‘TEACHABLE MOMENT.’” [caps in original] The list included some of the country’s most prominent professors African-American Studies and related fields. Manthia Diawara, Director, Institute for African American Affairs, New York University; Dwight A. McBride, Chair & Leon Forrest Professor of African American Studies, Professor of English and Communication Studies, Northwestern University; Thadious Davis, Segal Professor of American Social Thought, University of Pennsylvania; Robin D. G. Kelley, William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies, Columbia University; Farah J. Griffin, Professor of English, Columbia University.

The signatories lectured Lange about his temerity in responding to Baker. “You seem,” they wrote, “not to understand that the tone of that letter assumes a lofty and condescending position of White authority over the insufficiencies of minority reason, thereby exemplifying one of the problems at Duke. The offense that Professor Baker might justifiably take to this display of paternalistic rhetoric is shared by those of us who search for racial harmony in our society.”

In other words, the “search for racial harmony in our society” requires allowing racist screeds like Baker’s to stand unchallenged. “What we have not heard,” the signatories continued, “in your response to Professor Baker is an acknowledgment of the complex demands of this situation, with an eye towards deep structural amelioration.”

Their demand: that Duke “first recognize[e] that the academics and departments that work assiduously to impart the best ethical and intellectual wisdom of their disciplines, which are always race, class, and gender inflected, are the most marginalized and under-appreciated among high administrative personnel and traditional disciplines across all academic domains.” [emphasis added]

They also demanded that Duke coordinate a coalition “of major universities and colleges in a campaign of active, enlightened strategies to reduce the huge structural, material and social inequities in our society”—in other words, that colleges and universities take positions, as institutions, on controversial political and socio-economic issues.

I asked each of the signatories whether—in light of events that unfolded in the past year—they would, in retrospect, reconsider their actions. One, Manning Marable of Columbia, essentially said yes, in a witty fashion: “To paraphrase Hillary Clinton about Iraq, had I known then what we know now, my actions might have been different.”

But for the other fourteen, reconsideration did not seem to be in the cards. Maryemma Graham responded sensitively, but continued to maintain that Duke should have rededicated itself to a “diversity” crusade; and that Lange’s rebuke of Baker was ill-conceived. Thadious Davis went much further: channeling Mike Nifong, the Penn professor asked, “And so you really believe ‘nothing happened’ that night?” (Actually, the state Attorney General, the special prosecutors, and the SBI believe that.)

In her presentation at the “Shut Up and teach” forum, Group of 88 statement author Wahneema Lubiano offered an explanation for this reluctance to examine new facts. Black Studies, she theorized, engaged in the process of “blurring the line historically drawn between intellectual work as such and everything else that is recognized as ‘political.’"

Lubiano and her colleagues, therefore, essentially define Black Studies as a vehicle for professors to mask their political views as academic production and shield them from public criticism. In her mind, Black Studies professors can make any statement, no matter how outrageous, on any non-academic issue they want: but anyone who criticizes them for such statements is engaging in McCarthyism, since the critic is attacking Black Studies “scholarship.” How convenient.

The embarrassing performance of African-American Studies programs in this case extended beyond the Duke program, 80 percent of whose members signed the Group of 88 statement. This past spring, Williams College’s Africana Studies Department hosted a talk by Group of 88 extremist Grant Farred. In the address, Farred accused unnamed lacrosse players of “perjury” and “arrogant sexual prowess.”

But perhaps the most remarkable item about the talk came in the flyer distributed by the Williams department:Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

This is a photoshopped item: no actual photograph exists of a “Crime Scene: Do Not Cross” overseeing the lacrosse field. Who created this photograph? Farred? Williams College? How did the creator obtain the photo of the lacrosse players to use? Was the creator implying that numbers 19 and 38 had been investigated for a “crime” committed on the lacrosse field? Did Farred—a Duke professor at the time—have any evidence that a crime was committed on Duke property, by the photographed lacrosse players?

The flyer prominently identified Farred as a Duke professor—and clearly stated that two academic departments at Williams College were sponsoring the talk. Is it customary for these departments to distribute official documents containing photoshopped pictures suggesting that students at another university committed a crime?

Farred has since departed Duke for Cornell, where administrators have raved about his arrival and appointed him a full professor, a step up from his Duke rank. Cornell president David Skorton recently e-mailed a DIW reader, “We are very pleased that Grant Farred has joined the Cornell faculty.* He has already made a significant contribution to intellectual life here at Cornell.” Added English Department chair Molly Hite, author of Class Porn, “We are very enthusiastic about Professor Farred, whose work everyone in this department has long admired.”

To paraphrase Lubiano, such a reaction blurs “the line historically drawn between intellectual work as such” and reality.

*--modified for grammar

175 comments:

Anonymous said...

KC,

As a Duke grad and long-time DIW reader, I am anxious to see the video from the Page Auditorium talk last night. What's the timing looking like for posting that?

duke09parent said...

I always admired Lange for his letter to Baker. I am depressed, once again, at the "Open Letter" you described. Is the full text available somewhere?

Anonymous said...

That picture is, of course, a prime example of 'false light'; creating an image that portrays someone in a 'false light' (frequently done by a tabloid!); and is actionable at law in most states of the union. (It is similar to 'defamation'.)

Willie Gary, of all people, happens to specialize in that kind of litigation.

Anonymous said...

Of all KC's posts, this may be the shot heard round the world.

Anonymous said...

Is Farred a Communist?

Gary Packwood said...

KC quoting Lange...

...Lange’s response was equally forceful. “I cannot tell you,” the provost wrote, “how disappointed, saddened and appalled I was..
::
I feel the same when I read what they write and compare their contributions to those on the left during the conflict in South East Asia during the late 1960's.

The left back in those days had ammunition in their words and we listened.

These characters, like a bunch of hyperactive zoo animals, have run out of ammunition and are tossing about their own filth.

They don't even have a Joan Baez to make a concert of hope for us to appreciate.

Sad.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Duke and Cornell should be ashamed. And when will North Carolina launch a criminal investigation of the corrupt Durham police department? Gov. Easley? Attorney General Cooper?

Anonymous said...

Prof Johnson,

Hi. I have been reading your blog for quite a while and learned a lot about the case from it. I also read your book. Well done! Thank you for your efforts. Hopefully Duke will find a way to benefit from them.

The fact that a few of us have ben posting the last few days tells me that people are thinking about the significance of what happened over the last 18 months. As I said in a previous post, it's hard to tell where this will take us. But the fact that people are questioning the actions of the administrators and of some of the faculty is very important.

I have one point to make concerning tonight's post. I do not think that Provost Lange's letter fell on deaf ears. Quite the opposite. Lots of people took notice. Some behaved in line with what he was suggesting and did not contribute to the hysteria. Others ignored (or reacted to?) the wisdom of his suggestion and turned up the volume.

I understand that because of the low profile of those of us who did not engage in theatre one might get the impression that Peter's letter fell on deaf ears. Not so. It was noticed. And much appreciated by many.

A Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, a new Barnes and Noble bookstore was opened yesterday in my home of Florence, South Carolina. I went there this evening and asked an employee at the information desk about your book. He checked the computer, found that they didn't have it in stock, and offered to special order it for me. It seemed that the gentleman had never heard of your book.

rrhamilton said...

In light of tonight's blog subject matter, a comment that I left for Steven Horwitz on a different thread seems more appropriate here:

I can't stress this enough, Prof. Horwitz: Talk is cheap. We know college faculty think they are qualified to pass resolutions on everything from the Patriot Act to the overthrow of Saddam to divestment from companies doing business with Israel (("Yes!", according to a 25-2 vote at Howard University). So, let's see if your colleagues will do more than make you feel like they are "nice guys": See if they will support a faculty resolution that will condemn the Group of 88 -- specifically, not with some mealy-mouthed and general "support for student due process rights".

We'll be waiting to hear how far you can get with that.

RR Hamilton.

9/12/07 11:12 PM

[Note: Links are on the other page.]


It's like Prof. Lino Graglia says: Every problem of race relations on campus today is directly traceable to affirmative action in admissions and hiring.

Anonymous said...

This is precisely why, after financing 12 years+ of private school (great experience) both my kids opted for large public universities. Less PC, less faculty domination, more diversity of ideas and background.

Michael said...

"And those who made a rush to judgment based upon an unquestioning faith in what a prosecutor had told them were made to look foolish and many still do look foolish."

"A Lot of People Owe A Lot of Apologies To A Lot of People"

I don't believe that I've read that exchange before. Thanks for the article on it. Perhaps Lange should replace Brodhead.

Jim in San Diego said...

Wow.

There should be a tenured chair of Blogging. And K.C. would be the first occupant.

Bella said...

Along with Duke grad at 12am, I'm also eager to see the video from the event at Duke.

Regarding the topic at hand, I recently wore my Duke lacrosse sweatshirt on the very diverse campus where I am working on a masters in mental health. The shirt sparked debate in a cross-cultural counseling class. Particularly interesting was a colleague's belief that only those in the majority can be racist. Further, my wearing it, especially because I've never even set foot on the Duke campus, was seen as a sign of "white solidarity". Funny, since I'm not actually white (pale, yes...Caucasian, no). I see racism run rampant in my own race, in my own family. Only when people like Houston Baker, and others who used "whiteness" against these three men, acknowledge that ANYONE is capable of racism will there be the opportunity to understand one another instead of stand against one another.

Anonymous said...

At attendance for your speech, you reported "several hundred," some one who comments and obviously doesn't like you much said just over a hundred, someone at LS estimated around 500, and the newspaper said Page was approximately 1/3 full which might be about 400. Whatever the actual crowd was, I'm very disappointed that more Duke students either don't seem to realize or care what is at stake. In my opinion what's at stake is their rights and the future of Duke. Perhaps I'm expecting too much and the members of the lacrosse teams, some of the Chronicle staff, the students I have come to admire and respect, really are not representative of Duke. Duke's future may be bleaker than I had imagined and I had imagined a future resembling the fate of Antioch College.

Anonymous said...

Lange should have been applauded and supported, obviously that didn't happen. Wasn't he also the one, on the Potbangers video, who when confronged by the mob, made reasonable comments?

Anonymous said...

Scary thinking. Something out of Soviet Russia ot N Korea.

My only hope is that someday these people will look as silly as Bull Conner, Lester Maddox, and others do today.

Allie

Anonymous said...

In spite of their superhuman efforts to convince us to the contrary, I, for one, resolutely refuse to accept the position that the contents/thoughts expressed by the 15 African-American Profs' OPEN LETTER prove that Blacks at large are to be presumed to be in any way inferior merely because of being Black.

J.P.

TaterCon said...

Help me out of a little confusion, KC -- by referencing the Grant Farred talk at Williams College of "last spring", do you mean the spring of 2007 or the spring of 2006?

Surely to goodness these folks weren't putting out a fresh poster proclaiming a "crime scene" a few short weeks after AG Roy Cooper's declaration of innocence. Yet, was Farred already a visiting prof at Williams during the Spring of 2006? Wasn't he still at Duke when he signed the 88 Gang ad?

Maybe I'll go pick up your new book from the bedside table and look for the answer ... I haven't gotten to the chapter on the 88'ers yet.

Jamie said...

Maddening! So the 15 signatories of the Open Letter on Duke's Teachable Moment saw fit to lecture Lange, did they? “You seem,” they wrote, “not to understand that the tone of [your] letter assumes a lofty and condescending position of White authority over the insufficiencies of minority reason."

Actually, what's lofty is to call whatever faculties Baker summoned when he wrote his screed 'insufficient reason'. Baker's response to the LAX charges was trashy, clownish, racist garbage, ugly ill-thought out invective that was a veritable mockery of reason, an indictment of its author, yes - but insufficiently reasonable? Not so much.

Neither was 'secret racism's' Grant Farred insufficiently reasonable, unless by 'insufficient' one means not reasonable at all.

Both of these figures and many others involved in this case betrayed an absolute incomprehension of justice, equality, and sense - and an apparent shamelessness about it -that was nothing short of astonishing.

Perhaps it would be condescending to point out to the 15 signatories that it's not such a great idea to use Baker, Farred, Lubiano and their ilk as exemplars of 'minority reason'... and to advise them further that while the Duke LAX fiasco was certainly an extended 'teachable moment', they shouldn't be pleased at all about what it taught.

Anonymous said...

It appears that those in the African Studies seem to be suffering from an inferiority complex, as if those in the White community see them as still eating termites with a stick. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, the classic "Class Porn." According to Amazon.com, "12 used & new available from $0.01."

gwallan said...

I would agree with Baker's demand to sack ... any other agents who silenced or lied about the real nature of events at 610 Buchanan on the evening of March 13, 2006.

mac said...

What "the signatories who lectured Lange" really wanted...was surrender. Otherwise, what do they want? Something fuzzy, general, not measurable, not observable, not quantifiable.

It's liek the directive from Warden Walker in "Holes":
"You'll do as I say..."
as Tim Blake Nelson's character (Dr. Pedanski) asks "Mr. Sir" in response:
"What'd she say?"

So what did (do) Lubiano and the others want from Duke? Who knows? To "do as they say?"

Yup. More holes.

james conrad said...

it could be that college admins., having invested so heavily in bogus "diversity" now find themselves in a corner where there are only painful remedies.

AF said...

Who would have thought that Far-red himself would have called for the resignation of the Klan of 88:
Ten times, the Baker letter mentioned in a derogatory fashion the race of the lacrosse players. And it demanded the immediate dismissals from Duke of: “Coaches of the lacrosse team, the team itself and its players, and any other agents who silenced or lied about the real nature of events at 610 Buchanan on the evening of March 13, 2006.”

As for Cornell, just give them time before the good name of another "reputable" university is sullied.

KC, I too anxiously await the release of the tape of the Page lecture and Q& A session. Hopefully, Amazon will hurry with their restocking. Like a nut, I thought there would be sufficient copies of UPI in NC. Obviously not.

Anonymous said...

Another post hit out of the park! Another great post! Thanks, KC!

North said...

excellent post. You describe "southernism" very well.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

K.C., you have done this nation an invaluable service by showing once and for all and beyond any question that prejudice can come from either side of the political spectrum, and that the far left is quite capable of a particularly vicious form of it -- cloaked in political correctness and spewed by the persons many would least expect to unfairly stereotype. I believe that will be your legacy. What your work has exposed saddens me greatly, but underscores our need to remain vigilant to judge each accused and each accuser by THE FACTS, not their color or sex. We don't say this enough: thank you.

bill anderson said...

In reading this post, the analogy that comes to my mind is the "storming of the Winter Palace" by the Bolsheviks in 1917. Yes, the lacrosse accusations were to provide The Moment for all of these faux intellectuals to take over and politicize whatever was left of the curriculum that had not already been politicized to the hilt.

These people are academics what Stalin and Mao ("Seeds are happiest when grown together") were to agriculture. Whenever they get their way, what follows in the wake is the equivalent of an academic famine.

Once again, K.C., you have stood up to the academic barbarians just as you did in 2001. Good work.

NDLax84 said...

“You seem,” they wrote, “not to understand that the tone of that letter assumes a lofty and condescending position of White authority over the insufficiencies of minority reason, thereby exemplifying one of the problems at Duke. The offense that Professor Baker might justifiably take to this display of paternalistic rhetoric is shared by those of us who search for racial harmony in our society.”

Gee, I thought Provost Lange's spot-on rebuke chastised only the insufficiency of reasoning that presumes guilt before factual proof. They just eat different food.










Wise Shoulder Chips.

haskell said...

Looks like Black Power is moving from the streets (burn, baby, burn) into white-collar crime -- Intellectual Blackmail. Those who dare disagree with the privileged position of these figurehead academics are outed as insensitive racists or sexists. The lesson these folks need to learn is that shameful behavior originates from an individual (e.g., Baker) and those individuals should be answerable to standards of civility, responsibility, and accountability. It is racist to generalize such actions to a group at large, as they choose to do. No one will criticize good scholarship -- hell, the Ivies on down bend over backwards to support these people. Yet their attitudes and statements are often so outrageous that they undermine their own efforts to be recognized as legitimate members of the academy.

Giuseppe Fortaleza said...

When "prominent" professors of African-American Studies collaborate on such a pompous and sweatily-worded letter, it makes the whole discipline look even less impressive than it did before.

Maybe there are some real scholars in AA Studies...but this case has given me the impression that AA professorships are, for the most part, nothing more than sinecures for black mediocrities...which assuage the white guilt of the administrative bien-pensants.

The mediocrities receive large incomes, and fawning (paternalistic) treatment...but is there any "there" there?

Is it really all a scam?

Anonymous said...

This exchange between Peter Lange and Houston Baker has long fascinated me. I could not be more interested in how the AA scholars responded to what I consider the Provost's accurate and temperate reply. Nor could I be more interested in Cornell's grand welcome for Grant Farred (very similar to the enthusiastic embrace of Houston Baker last year at Vanderbilt for what now seems to be a very short stay). By the time I clicked on Hite's book "Class Porn," though, I had had just about had enough. Good grief--this is the English Department at Cornell!! I guess this new age "feminist" thinking on porn is behind the proliferation of school sponsored porn magazines at a number of the nation's most elite schools--completely galling to this old-style feminist.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Duke is still engaged in selective editing. It is my understanding that many flyers mentioning the Page Auditorium event were removed from the Duke campus. I believe I heard that mentioned at the end of the discussion. As for Baker and Farred they continue to act in a way that is not in any way to be considered responsible. Their behavior is patently dishonest, but that behavior is the point of their behavior. It's not about the truth has become the black intellectual community's mantra. It is sad they can't see the irony in their behavior . . . a behavior that harms all of the community.

Anonymous said...

The Hard Left IS its own punishment. Why they insist on weighing in on major intellectual issues is beyond me. They might as well take all their Prius' down to Lowes Motor Speedway and take on the big boys. In both serious political debate and stock car racing, they are woefully out of their league.

To paraphrase Peter Griffin (in speaking to his wife Lois, on the show THE FAMILY GUY):

"I know you're a feminist honey, and I just think that is adorable, but politics is for big people time so run along now."

miramar said...

“You seem,” they wrote, “not to understand that the tone of that letter assumes a lofty and condescending position of White authority over the insufficiencies of minority reason, thereby exemplifying one of the problems at Duke. The offense that Professor Baker might justifiably take to this display of paternalistic rhetoric is shared by those of us who search for racial harmony in our society.”

These are prominent professors? They don't even know how to write!

Anonymous said...

to 12:27
Of course he's not a communist! We would'nt have a moronic scumbag like farrad in our party. We would have him doing exactly what he is intellectually qualified to do---a janitor in the gulag-- licking toilet bowls clean.

Anonymous said...

Duke 09 Parent at 12:07



The letters of Lange and Baker in their entirety if you Google :


houston baker open letter



Another Duke Parent

Engineering Prof said...

I understand that because of the low profile of those of us who did not engage in theatre one might get the impression that Peter's letter fell on deaf ears. Not so. It was noticed. And much appreciated by many.

I second that.

Anonymous said...

As a relative new-comer ( 3months) to this blogsite, I am THRILLED to learn that ANYBODY at Duke had the guts to challenge this runaway train in the early stages of its race to destruction.

Provost Lange gives me a tiny, tiny, tiny window of hope. Is he still at Duke?

Was Baker invited or encouraged to feed in other cessponds, thus his move to Vanderbilt Univ (Are they ready for him?) ?

These so-called scholars are the inevitable result of at least two generations of downhill slide in American education. Where did they get their ideas, anyway? American Universities, right?

If the scientists responsibile for the knowledge in physics, mathmatics, etc. that made it possible to land on the moon had been taught that truth did not matter, that accuracy was relative, we would have men lost in space instead of landing and returning.

The whole ( IMPORTANT) body of knowledge in that segment of history and sociology called Women's Studies, African-American Studies ( perhaps some studies on British Colonialism???) has been hijacked by people whose purpose is not truth and the lessons we can learn, but revenge and validation of their pseudo-intellectualism. Their reasoning defies logic, so they spew their disdain for logic and invent their "own truth" ( Try that on gravity!)


I know this is a hot subject, KC, but I wonder what your thoughts are at this juncture on the issue of tenure.

The fact these people can hide behind the sanctuary of tenure renders them almost untouchable and unaccountable.

In business, people enjoy or suffer the consequences of their decisions.

Not so among the tenured.

Why is there such a fear of "free market" economy in education?

"Professional privilege", whether in education, medicine, or law, seems to me to protect a lot of people who have moral and actual ineptitude and scewed values. It creates a class of people who are virtually "above" the law.

Is it time to revisit the role that tenure has to play in the protection of those who do not deserve it?

It seems to me that Higher Education is the only place where idiocy is protected and irresponsible behavior has no direct impact on your pay check.

Steven Horwitz said...

rrh:

Your challenge is an empty one. Faculty at college X are not about to adopt a public resolution condemning (some) faculty at college Y for something they did 18 months earlier, and probably rightly so.

For those who claim that the silence of some made them complicit in the railroading of the students, I would only say that sometimes silence is the right response, at least when you are unsure of the facts. As we've seen in the comments here recently, many profs at Duke were following events and trying to sort out what was happening. Given the "theatre" of those who rushed to judgment, the reasoned silence of other faculty might well be seen in a more positive light.

And you cannot fault faculty across the country for not following the details of this case with the fervor that many here do. Saying that they should have known by April 2006 or whenever that this was all crap assumes that they were following the case closely and getting their info outside the MSM. Unlikely, for a variety of reasons. Following the mainstream coverage would have meant no real reason to disbelieve until at least last fall if not later. By that time, no faculty member at another school was going to see any point in condemning faculty somewhere else for events of months earlier.

Again, sometimes, in the face of a rush to judgment, silence when the facts are unclear is the reasonable position to take.

Anonymous said...

These "prominent" profrssors remind me of my kids...When one of them lies, the others all swear to it.

no justice, no peace said...

What is ever so important as the Klan of 88, Brodhead, Burness, Moneta, Alleva, and others who abetted this hoax hope time makes the story more fuzzy is the timing of events.

They just want the detail of their actions and inaction to be forgotten.

Some revisionists will attempt to muddy the water regarding the timing of actions/inactions. For example, the tepid responses by Brodhead will NOT be compared to events and facts that preceded the tepid response.

The NYT and Herald articles were especially egregious in this regard.

When one considers when facts were known, or when questions were being raised, the administration, faculty, and abettors marched on.

The complete and total lack of response by so many who are in positions of trust, especially those at Duke will forever be the defining moment for those that abetted this hoax.

They have become the racist, intolerant, bigoted, frauds, they despise.

Everyone should challenge any defense by considering the timing of events and knowledge of the facts.

Steven Horwitz said...

anon at 912:

I share your concerns about tenure, but don't drag the free market into this. Tenure is a contractual arrangement between colleges and faculty and completely consistent with the notion of a free market. It's one contractual form that an organization might take. It might be a bad one, but it's not inconsistent at all with a "free market."

So says the economist with tenure. ;)

Anonymous said...

To 12:24 am-- "false light" is not an action at law recognized by Nirth Carolina.

Anonymous said...

9:05,

You fell for it. 12:27 is an example of "bot trolling", the most mechanical form of trolling, in which the same words are posted every day. You can find other examples elsewhere in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

From the WSJ:

This just in: According to Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, a blog on comings-and-goings in legal academia, UC Irvine, which recently got approval to start a law school, reached an agreement with Duke’s Erwin Chemerinsky (pictured), a prominent constitutional law scholar, to have Chemerinsky be its inaugural dean — and then rescinded the offer yesterday because of his political views.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/09/12/the-oc-law-school-edition/

Seems the right doesn't hesitate to fire people based on their politics.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said:
"Following the mainstream coverage would have meant no real reason to disbelieve until at least last fall if not later. By that time, no faculty member at another school was going to see any point in condemning faculty somewhere else for events of months earlier."

So first it was too soon to comment, then it was too late, but conveniently it was never the right time.

"Faculty at college X are not about to adopt a public resolution condemning (some) faculty at college Y for something they did 18 months earlier, and probably rightly so."
Even though Duke is not going to criticize itself, nobody else is going to criticize it either.

So we get total insulation from accountability from within the academy. Accountability will have to come from without. When it does you will complain about the loss of "academic freedom." And I won't care, as you'll have had your chance and missed it.

Anonymous said...

8:02 "I guess this new age "feminist" thinking on porn is behind the proliferation of school sponsored porn magazines at a number of the nation's most elite schools--completely galling to this old-style feminist."

Amen. I have a daughter and I'm trying to teach what our country's first - and true - feminists stood for. It's hard with this nonsense!

TaterCon said...

KC, thanks for clearing the confusion by tweaking your post to say "This past spring..." for Farred's "Crime Scene" poster at Williams.

The question is begged, of course -- by the end of April, 2007, hadn't the real "crime scene" shifted to the DA's table in Judge Smith's courtroom during the previous court sessions of October and December, 2006?

no justice, no peace said...

After reading of the book, one thing bothers me. That is the discounting of the victims of the Innocence Project crimes referenced. Their stories and the impact on their circle is NOT sufficient.

Of course, that is not the point of the book.

The point of the chapter dealig with this issue, may be to lead people to question the righteousness of the death penalty. My take-away was different.

Certainly those unjustly put behind bars should never have to go through the ordeal. And certainly the standard for death cases should be much higher. We as a society can do better - we must do better.

KC and Stuart have done much by raising the exposure.

However there is a special place in hell for those who have committed heinous crimes, allow an innocent to be incarcerated, and especially commit other crimes.

Those that knowingly allow the guilty to roam free to possibly repeat their crimes also have a place in hell.

Did the Duke administration and faculty knowingly allow a rapist to roam free? A campus rape occured after the hoax, did it not? They refused to consider the known facts of the lacrosse players.

Of sorts, since CGM was carrying someone elses DNA around with NO effort to determine the donors, the abettors and actors in this hoax are sub-human.

They, the Duke administration, were offered many times to see the evidence files and chose not to do so. They were not asked to deny justice, but they did have an opportunity to slow the bus down. They did not.

Let's consider IF CGM had been raped after the party, the innocent men had gone to prison, and the actual rapist roamed free continuing to rape, who is culpable? Everyone who abetted the hoax and ignored evidence that was available for public consumption and in the case of Brodhead the review of the entire defense file.

Certainly the Klan of 88, the media, DPD, DA, AG, NAACP, and the one person who has been most dogmatic about letting the judicial system work itself were abettors. Richard Brodhead, the person of influence who would NOT consider any of the evidence that would exonerate or raise questions which would have slowed the bus did anything to determine who the real rapist(s) were.

Brodhead was in a position to act and instead threw the men under the bus. Though it is not the same as being one who committed a crime and watching other innocent people be incarcerated, it is uncomfortably close because he and others were in positions of power that would allow the process to slow down.

Ironically the point made in the book about guilty parties remaining free while innocents are unjustly incarcerated reinforces the need to have a death penalty. Any who commit heinous crimes against their fellow man, sit idly as others go to prison/death row, and then commit other crimes should not be a part of our society and should be put to death. They are sub-human.

In many ways those that deny the facts of the lacrosse hoax are similarly sub-human.

Anonymous said...

University and colleges have no one to blame but themselves for allowing these race/gender victim hustlers to entrench themselves in academia. They are toxic blots that are incompatible with higher education. They are a farce.

The only thing that is going to reverse the rot is hitting colleges in their wallet by withholding tuition by choosing schools that are least offensive and withholding alumni donations to the like of Duke. Shaming them won't work, they aren't ashamed.

Encouraging more lawsuits for First Amendment violations via FIRE would help too. Outside of the sciences, higher education has been in decline.

After the publicity surrounding Ward Churchill, the LAX affair, and now the shenanigans with Dartmouth's anti-democratic administration I can only hope that tuition paying parents are finally catching on. There are too places that are simply toxic to your 18 year old's mind, places that do not respect your values.

Jim in San Diego said...

To Duke Prof 12:38; Engineer Prof 9:12, and Steven Horwitz 9:14.

Silence when the facts are unclear is a good idea, in general. However, there are other, competing good ideas.

That an accused is innocent until proven guilty has turned out to be a good idea. Fewer vigilante lynchings that way.

Therefore, what to do when some are not silent while the facts are unclear? When vigilantes are circling the accused with torches and a noose?

At that time, silence is no longer a good idea. It is necessary to speak up as strongly and as loudly as the vigilantes. Otherwise, the accused swings from a tree, before we get all the facts.

When we are silent while awaiting the facts while others are not silent about attacking really good ideas like innocent until proven guilty, we surrender the field to the bigots. Way too many, other than Provost Lange, watched from the fringe of the pyre.

There are general principles we can follow - "no hangings until the facts are in" is one. Silence while vigilantes yank on the rope is not a good idea.

wine country dude said...

The arrogance of these people--the ones who criticized Lange's response--is beyond measure. I agree with a prior post that Lange's letter is one of the very few positives I have seen.

As to Grant Farred and Cornell's reaction to his arrival: we know in an instant what the reaction would be on campus to a white professor who had uttered the type of racist inanities that Farred has given us.

Steven Horwitz said...

Fair enough to several commenters who pointed out that silence need not include silence about the presumption of innocence. Duke faculty, in particular, could and should have followed Lange's lead.

But to expect that faculty at other institutions were going to speak up about an event at Duke? Come on. And to expect that they would do so now, 18 months later? For what end?

rrh's original challenge was for me to call for my faculty colleagues to pass a resolution condemning the Duke faculty today. That's empty rhetoric on his part.

Asking why more Duke faculty, seeing the events in their own backyard, didn't speak up for the presumption of innocence is a very reasonable question and my endorsement of silence in the face of uncertain facts should be qualified accordingly. A simple "we don't know for sure what, if anything, happened, and we should presume innocence until we do" would have been just dandy.

duke09parent said...

Someone gave me the reference for the Baker and Lange letter, but I would like to see the whole text of the so called open letter to Lange from the AA academics.

Anonymous said...

Re:9:37 AM
Seems the right doesn't hesitate to fire people based on their politics.
.......

You've dishonestly posited a red herring. The facts aren't known and politics is likely involved, but we don't know who did it or the real reason why.

I suggest you read the following for an educational perspective on general conservative reaction to the mess UC Irvine has created:

http://instapundit.com/archives2/009263.php

Note Steve Hayward's comment: "We don't want to "get" Chemerinky; we want to argue with him, frequently and publicly. To his credit, he is happy to engage us, which is why the likes of Hugh Hewitt and John Eastman (my graduate school roommate at Claremont) support his appointment."

Unlike the H88 and their ilk, conservatives want real debate in the public arena. Frankly, conservatives lately (25 years+) have gotten the better of college radical/liberals in the marketplace of ideas. Conservatives have more experience at articulating and defending their positions. Rad/libs make accusations and use rhetoric built on foundations of sand.

TombZ

Gary Packwood said...

Steven Horwitz 9:13 said...
...rrh:
...Your challenge is an empty one. Faculty at college X are not about to adopt a public resolution condemning (some) faculty at college Y for something they did 18 months earlier, and probably rightly so.

...For those who claim that the silence of some made them complicit in the railroading of the students, I would only say that sometimes silence is the right response, at least when you are unsure of the facts. As we've seen in the comments here recently, many profs at Duke were following events and trying to sort out what was happening. Given the "theatre" of those who rushed to judgment, the reasoned silence of other faculty might well be seen in a more positive light.
...
...Again, sometimes, in the face of a rush to judgment, silence when the facts are unclear is the reasonable position to take.
::
That will work if you are sure that you personally are not AIDING and ABETTING or ACCESSORY TO ...criminal acts such as environmental workplace harassment...which of course IS ...a crime!

Think...Castrate banner...wanted poster ...for starters.

I predict that in the future Castrate Banners; Wanted Posters; A SAFE HAVEN for women on campus; an out of control CLERY campus crime report or retaliation against students will end your federal grants ON THE SPOT.

Either the professorate are going to adopt a public resolution or the public will adopt a public resolution.

Your choice.
::
GP

Steven Horwitz said...

Yes, 937 should read the conservative and libertarian legal blogs (e.g, Volokh Conspiracy) where law profs there are very upset at UCI and will say publicly that Chemerinsky would have been a great hire and that his liberalism was not an issue.

Mike Lee said...

So, after reading Baker's letter and then Lange's response, these prominent black educators wrote to Lange to tell him that his letter was racist. WTF????? Are you kidding me?

Wait a second, this happened in Durham....ok now I understand.

It's been said before....this case was far too important for any facts to matter.

Anonymous said...

9:37 a.m.:

Off topic for this thread, but since you raised it:

UCIrvine's rescindment of it's offer to Duke University Law School Professor Erwin Chereminsky to become the dean of its new law school is hardly the action of "the right" (as in, "Seems the right doesn't hesitate to fire people based on their politics."-- 9:37 a.m.)

UCI's Board of Regents (a largely leftist herd if there ever was one) is responsible for this, not "the right." And, sadly, this is but the latest scandal to UCI under this Board's oversight. There are already calls on Governor Schwarzenegger (probably "extreme right" by your lights) to rescind the rescindment.

The "right," in fact is NOT happy about this. Take a look at townhall.com's blog, for example (Hugh Hewitt right enough for ya?). Some of us are able to make intelligent distinctions between someone's leftish politics and his professional qualifications. Professor Johnson considers himself a man of the left. I consider him to be the most highly-qualified historian/commentator on the Duke scandal there is.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I had never heard of this open letter of june 2006 until now.

DukeProf

Anonymous said...

To "Observer" at 8:02--

Why is Baker's time at Vanderbilt likely to be brief? Is there any chance that this esteemed university has come to its senses? Or has he been lured to another venue?

Inquiring mind

Anonymous said...

To Steven Horwitz:

By the middle of April 2006 it was public knowledge - widely reported - that the DNA results showed no matches to the Duke boys.

For the first month of this "case", I paid no attention to it. To me it was only a headline about another sports team's misbehavior. Kobe Bryant II - yawn.

But the DNA news caught my attention because of its evidentiary position in rape cases. It was a red light with a siren that could be missed by only those who were asleep.

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz at 10:22 wrote: "Asking why more Duke faculty, seeing the events in their own backyard, didn't speak up for the presumption of innocence is a very reasonable question and my endorsement of silence in the face of uncertain facts should be qualified accordingly. A simple "we don't know for sure what, if anything, happened, and we should presume innocence until we do" would have been just dandy."

Perfect.

So glad your back Steven. You always provide reasonable and thoughtful commentary.

no justice, no peace said...

Peter Lange's response to the pot bangers outside his home was great. He was one of a very small few at Duke who exhibited any sense at all.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Come on. And to expect that they would do so now, 18 months later? For what end? "

To the same end as disbarring Nifong 18 months after the fact: to say "This is not typical of our profession, this is not tolerated in our profession, this is not normal in our profession." Or at the very least to say "Send your kids to Saint Lawrence University, we'll treat them better than Duke will."

It appears that in this case "collegiality" is trumping institutional ambition.

When a self-governing profession performs no internal corrective action after obvious misbehavior, outsiders will quite rightly start to wonder whether the unremarked-upon behavior is considered normal and acceptable by that profession. In this case, if other schools don't go on record saying "That was wrong, we don't do that, and we no longer consider Duke 'one of us,'" much of the public will quite understandably conclude that the problem is industry-wide. As to me it seems to be.

You've given some good arguments why this sort of thing is much more likely to happen at a research university than a teaching college. So why isn't your segment of the industry agressively advertising its comparative advantage?

no justice, no peace said...

For those needing an gift item ideas, I would encourage the following:

17.5" x 12" U.S. Constitution, ideal for framing

At $8.25 it is a real bargain.

Professors, administrators, or your favorite radical leader all would surely appreciate receiving one to remind them that even if they didn't quite get it right we understand that they had the best of intentions.

The proceeds go to support the U.S. armed forces. I'm certain most all would especially love the gesture.

And if they didn't care for it, they couldn't do much other than grade retaliate...

No harm, no foul, right?

no justice, no peace said...

inre: "...very small few..."

Lol, what I meant to say was mo betta very small tinest of few...

rrhamilton said...

Steven Horwitz said at 9:13...

rrh:

Your challenge is an empty one.


No, perfesser, what's "empty" are your colleagues' (and your) protestations of sympathy for the victims of the Hoax. At best it's "faith without works".

The always-right Ralph Phelan has already, at 9:40, told you what's coming. I will only say that your response made me feel one word hanging in the air ... "craven".

Your description of American college faculty makes them out to be like the "good Germans" living near the camps, who claimed, "Ve knew nothink, nothink!"

RRH

Ralph Phelan said...

TombZ says (rew: Chereminsky)
"Re:9:37 AM
Seems the right doesn't hesitate to fire people based on their politics.
.......

You've dishonestly posited a red herring. The facts aren't known and politics is likely involved, but we don't know who did it or the real reason why."

It's suspiciously close to the release of KC's book.

My theory is that someone read UPI, noticed Chereminsky's conspicuous absence from an important civil-rights related case happening right under his nose, and decided they didn't need the stink of the cowardly pussies of Duke all over Irvine.

Whatever Chereminsky's merit as a scholar, his silence last year speaks to his value as a man.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz at 10:22 wrote:

"A simple "we don't know for sure what, if anything, happened, and we should presume innocence until we do" would have been just dandy."

But it didn't happen. As an industry outsider I find that odd. As an industry insider what's your perspective?

Is the silence in this case something odd that you think reqyuires a Duke-specific explanation, or would you expect the uninvolved faculty at any institution to react the same way?

Either way, why did people who are quite willing to comment about injustices in the third world, the middle esat, or America's inner cities clam up about an injustice in their own back yards?

Anonymous said...

Whatever Chereminsky's merit as a scholar, his silence last year speaks to his value as a man.

This is rubbish, and frankly, offensive.

Steven Horwitz said...

Now that rrh has brought Godwin's Law into play, it's time for me to get back to work because rhetoric has replaced reason.

There's all kinds of ways faculty at other schools could send the message that they would not throw their students under the bus. A public statement condemning 88 faculty at another school for behaving atrociously in an incident that the majority of Americans know little about is an extraordinarily ineffective way to do so. It will please the red meat crowd around here, but your need for public displays of condemnation is far, far greater than that of the public at large. You dramatically overestimate the degree to which this hoax is in the conscious awareness of parents of college-bound kids. I'd bet they are much more concerned about the issues raised by VT than this, if they even are more than dimly aware of it.

Back some time later.

Anonymous said...

To RP:

Rather harsh, I think; and the name's spelled Chemerinsky not Chereminsky.

The UC chancellor's account, in today's LA Times, is that when Chemerinsky signed up for the job he was told that as dean he'd have to be less politically partisan. Editorialize more about things like legal education and less political stuff. And he supposedly agreed. Then a few days later he came out with a strong article in the LA Times lambasting Alberto Gonzales' tenure, Bush's policies re civil liberties etc. So the chancellor had second thoughts. Craven though it may be, I reckon this makes more sense than your "cowardly pussies of Duke" theory.

Anonymous said...

Its too bad Lange wasn't 'front & center' during this fiasco.

Beginning with his comments confronting the pot-bangers (when they walked to his house), he has been the only 'adult in the room'.

-Thanks for posting the letter - I feel better (as an alum) for reading it

Duke parent 2004 said...

I reproduce below the text of an e-mail I sent this morning to President Skorton of Cornell. I encourage others here who have ties to Cornell (and even those who don't) to let Skorton know how Cornell has sullied itself.


Dear President Skorton:

Because my first-born excelled at Cornell (she's now a lawyer in Washington, D.C.), I'm especially sensitive to any news about Cornell that might cheapen her degree. And because my son won a Marshall Scholarship (and just about everything else) while at Duke (he's now pursuing a Ph. D. in computer vision and robotics at Cambridge University), I've been especially attentive to the shame that Duke has brought upon itself in that sad story known at the "Duke rape hoax." So perhaps you can imagine my chagrin when I learned recently that one of the prominent scoundrels at Duke--namely, Grant Farred--has not only found refuge at Cornell but has also been lionized by its president!

This morning at KC Johnson's remarkable "Durham-in-Wonderland" (see "The Path Not Taken" at http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/09/path-not-taken.html ), I read the following about Professor Farred:

Farred has since departed Duke for Cornell, where administrators have raved about his arrival and appointed him a full professor, a step up from his Duke rank. Cornell president David Skorton recent [sic] e-mailed a DIW reader, "We are very pleased that Grant Farred has joined the Cornell faculty. He has already made a significant contribution to intellectual life here at Cornell." Added English Department chair Molly Hite, author of "Class Porn," "We are very enthusiastic about Professor Farred, whose work everyone in this department has long admired."

Have you been quoted accurately? If "yes," did your praise of Farred follow your own vetting of this disreputable racist? Did anyone at Cornell challenge, or even bother to consider, the many disturbing revelations about Farred developed over many months by Professor Johnson? Can it be true that, according to Professor Hite, "everyone" in the Cornell English department, the faculty of which numbers in the dozens, "has long admired" Farred's work?

Five summers ago, on Independence Day, a friend of mine, arguably America's greatest living essayist, wrote me the following as he neared the end of his thirty-year career in the English department of one of Cornell's "peer" institutions: "[A]part from what goes on in the scientific departments and medical schools, all universities are, so to speak, no fucking good . . . " Why does this man's judgment seem more persuasive to me today than it did in 2002?

By the way, a year ago this week I offered to send you Peter Wood's "Diversity: The Invention of a Concept." You politely declined, replying that you'd get the book on your own. Did you ever get the chance to read it?

Cordially,

Anonymous said...

"These so-called scholars [Baker, the 15 A-A, OPEN LETTER Profs, etc.] are the inevitable result of at least two generations of downhill slide in American education. Where did they get their ideas, anyway? American Universities, right?"
anonymous, second 9:12am. post above

No, they got them from Head Start, imo, which apparently really does embody a "progressive" ideology, in a diseased sort of way. So perhaps they can sue Head Start?

[Now taking half-tongue out of cheek.]

J.P.

Anonymous said...

Prof Horwitz-

I appreciate your engagement and alternative points in this blog - it adds value.

One point, "to what end" would be an 18 month after the fact denunciation of demgogory/bigotry? We (and especially the 88's etc)still denounce slavery, the Scottboro boys' trial, etc., many years after the event - saying it provides historical context/effect to today's (sometimes perceived) injustices. I think that there is value in denouncing bigotry, even after the fact, especially when those of that ilk still seem to stand by their indefensible behavior.

Ed

PS to KC - it wud be nise iff thes blogg had spel chek :)

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
"Now that rrh has brought Godwin's Law into play, it's time for me to get back to work because rhetoric has replaced reason."

Repeating myself from another thread:

Three people almost went to prison for 30 years for the crime of being of the wrong sex, ethnicity and class.

A witness (Elmostafa) was harrassed by police and arrested on trumped up charges because he refused to change his testimony from the truth to what they wanted.

Police and government officials lied in court to acheive this goal, almost all of them with total impunity.

Judges made rulings in direct opposition to the law to support this goal, all of them with total impunity.

Easily identifiable people who made death threats in open court were not punished.

Street thugs (the NBP) were allowed to threaten the lives of students on to the Duke campus.

A man who threatened to rape the daughter of a political enemy was rewarded for doing so (Nartey.)

People were driven out of their homes and lived in their cars because they feared for their physical safety.

Look at the above list and tell me again that it doesn't look like the early stages of the descent into tyranny.

When I see politically driven physical intimidation, I think "Brown Shirts," and I
stand by the analogy.

By injecting themselves into the real world of criminal law and credible threats of violence, radical faculty have gone from being an embarrassment to being a genuine danger.

rich said...

very good email duke parent 2004

Jim in San Diego said...

to Steven Horwitz

Please do not leave.

The internet is noisy. Bloggers may or may not be articulate.

In the long run, ideas will win out over rhetoric.

They must.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anon 12:11 PM writes:

"The UC chancellor's account, in today's LA Times, is that when Chemerinsky signed up for the job he was told that as dean he'd have to be less politically partisan. Editorialize more about things like legal education and less political stuff. And he supposedly agreed. Then a few days later he came out with a strong article in the LA Times lambasting Alberto Gonzales' tenure, Bush's policies re civil liberties etc. So the chancellor had second thoughts. Craven though it may be, I reckon this makes more sense than your "cowardly pussies of Duke" theory."

My reactions:

(1) Why do you say "craven?" If the job offer was made contingent on an agreement that Chemerinsky "shut up and teach" and Chemerinsky did not adhere to the agreement, withdrawing the offer was entirely proper. Especially considering that Chemerinsky would be taking a job as a public employee, and the public is understandably reluctant to pay someone to be a partisan political activist.

I think that if in general professors were to spend more time involving themselves in education and less time involving themselves in politics both education and politics would be improved.

(2) I admit that my theory is probably driven by wishful thinking. The Duke brand certainly deserves to have its value diminished, and employment at Duke deserves to become a "resume stain," but sadly there's no evidence that those things are happening.

(3) If Chemerinsky is indeed known for making public comments on political issues of the day, it becomes even fairer to ask:
Where the hell was he during the Duke Lacrosse Burning?
cough*pussy*cough

Anonymous said...

"If Chemerinsky is indeed known for making public comments on political issues of the day, it becomes even fairer to ask: Where the hell was he during the Duke Lacrosse Burning?
cough*pussy*cough"-Ralph Phelan

What are you, in high school?

Would you be willing to ask him this question in public? Or are you just as much of a pussy?

One Spook said...

Steven Horwitz at 9:13 AM writes:

"Saying that they should have known by April 2006 or whenever that this was all crap assumes that they were following the case closely and getting their info outside the MSM."

Steven Horwitz at 10:22 AM writes:

"A simple "we don't know for sure what, if anything, happened, and we should presume innocence until we do" would have been just dandy."

OK ... back to KC's post.

The point of the post was, if I read it correctly, that In June 2006, 15 African-American Studies professors sent Provost Lange what they termed an "OPEN LETTER ON DUKE’S ‘TEACHABLE MOMENT.’”

Even if they weren't "following the case closely," just what did they know?

They knew some lacrosse players had been accused of rape.

Why did they write to Provost Lange?

They wrote to Lange because someone (I'll leave you to guess who that was) informed them that Lange had written a letter to Houston Baker admonishing him for the letter he had written. They no doubt saw the letter Lange wrote, but I would venture a guess that they might not have read Baker's inflammatory, libelous letter. But, I am certain they heard Baker's "narrative" of "what happened."

Either way, all they really knew was that there was an accusation of rape. Judging by their response, they immediately presumed that Baker's letter was acceptable, and Lange's letter was not.

And their response is yet another example of the theme that runs throughout this entire episode ... that the truth does not matter, rights of the accused do not matter, traditions of the academy do not matter --- only the narrative matters; in this case Baker's racist, sick narrative.

These "prominent professors," rather than refusing to comment until more facts were known and totally ignoring the concepts of innocent until proven guilty and due process for the accused, joined the rush to judgment just as the Group of 88 did.

Marable's reply to KC, " ... had I known then what we know now, my actions might have been different.”
is pathetic. All she needed to know was what she did know, --- that some young men had been accused of rape.

Lange's letter to Baker was one of the few reasonable responses anyone made to these events.

The lack of temperance on the part of the authors of this "OPEN LETTER ON DUKE’S ‘TEACHABLE MOMENT.’” is absolutely shocking and disgusting. They owe Lange an apology, but we'll have to wait until Lubiano's "forthcoming" book is published before we see any apology from these academic imposters.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Re: Mike Lee 10:50 AM
"...Wait a second, this happened in Durham....ok now I understand."

I want to note that the 'open' letter originated outside Durham (NYU; Northwestern; UPenn; Columbia.)

As I'm sure you know (from my reading of your previous posts), the infection of politically correct, mediocre* thought and argument is wide-spread in academia. It ain't just Durham (though it may bloom fullest there.) It's also rarely held to account.

So, thank you again, KC.

* I say this as a connoisseur and all-too-often purveyor of mediocre-ness. (Not politically incorrect, though.)

TombZ

Anonymous said...

12;44 I concur. Mr Horowitz, you are a genius and a voice of reason. Please do not leave.

duke09parent said...

Horwitz linked Godwin's Law above, but for those who didn't bother to look, here's the Wiki entry:

Godwin's Law . . .states:

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a caution against the use of inflammatory rhetoric or exaggerated comparisons.

The rule does not make any statement as to whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

Michael said...

For those looking for video, there was some put up on a Liestoppers post. It's pretty grainy but you can hear it pretty well.

bill anderson said...

Whatever Chereminsky's merit as a scholar, his silence last year speaks to his value as a man.

This is rubbish, and frankly, offensive.

9/13/07 11:52 AM

I'm not sure this is rubbish. We know that he made no public statements last year during the height of the crisis, despite the obvious abuse of the law. James Coleman did speak out, and many in Durham called him an "Uncle Tom" for it, yet he had the courage of his convictions.

Prof. Cherminsky, who is willing to speak out on many political matters outside of Durham, nonetheless said NOTHING when his word might have meant something. Indeed, that does speak volumes to me. He has the status and stature not to have to worry about being attacked by the faux intellectuals of the G88, yet he decided to be silent.

I cannot know why he made that choice; I only know he made it. Others were forced to take up the fight in part because he would not.

Michael said...

Went to one of the Nashua, NH B&Ns this morning. No sign of UPI. Checked the computer. Out of stock. The computer (from home) indicated that they had the book this past weekend so I guess that they sold out.

They had two other Lacrosse books (Pressler's and another one) on an end display of the True Crimes section. So it appears that it's a supply issue.

One other little note about B&N: Wendy Murphy has a new book about victims not getting justice. Looks like a pretty recent publication. I had a look through the index for lacrosse, nifong, duke, etc. and there I saw nothing related to the Duke lacrosse case. I guess that it would have been pretty inconvenient for her book.

At Borders, I didn't see any copies of UPI so I checked the computer. Their computer said that the book hadn't been published yet. Looks like Borders has a few computer problems.

Saddened Big Red Alum said...

KC -
I only discovered your site in the past couple of weeks, I thank you and congratulate you. Your book arrived yesterday from Amazon and I look forward to reading it. I've wondered over the past year, what has to be the silent majority of Duke Alum or parents of current Duke students, really feel about this tragic lack of leadership at their university. As a Cornell alum, I was saddened to learn on today's post that Prof. Farred is now in Ithaca and President Skorton's glowing endorsement. And Baker at Vanderbilt where my son is a sophmore.. what's a parent to do?

Anonymous said...

off topic

Erwin Chemerinsky was just "fired" after just hired for UCI law school dean.

Does anyone know what his early positions on the Duke case?

cindi

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 1:02 pm asks:

"Would you be willing to ask him [Chemerinsky] this question [Where the hell were you?] in public?"

If not for the travel involved I would be at this talk waiting for the opportunity to do so.

Since I can't make it, I implore anyone who can to ask the question for me.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Anonymous said...
12;44 I concur. Mr Horowitz, you are a genius and a voice of reason. Please do not leave.

9/13/07 1:22 PM"

That's Horwitz with just one "o." It's a common error; I've made it myself.

Anonymous said...

Re 9:12. Would anybody else out there care to comment on the role of tenure in the decline of the quality of Higher Education and the skirts behind which the "pseudo-studies" are hiding?

Anonymous said...

Houston Baker is a racist and a bigot. He and I corresponded and he said he is preparing a class action lawsuit against those he claimed defamed (ironic, since it was his own words that people repeated!) him. Simply put, Baker is a racist.

Anonymous said...

KC your book is not at the Harvard Book Store. Are they applying some standards here? Isn't this your alma mater? Please explain!

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.12:

The Harvard Bookstore is actually a private store, on Mass. Ave., whose sole connection to Harvard is its name.

I don't know if the Harvard Bookstore has a policy of granting preference to alumni of Harvard College or people with Ph.D.'s from Harvard. I would rather doubt that it does.

Did you ask at the counter whether the book was out of stock? The first printing sold out, and the publisher has ordered second and third printings, which are supposed to be getting to bookstores next week.

Anonymous said...

To 1:02pm

I think it is fair to say that Chemerinsky had more than a year to make a statement about the hoax and the behavior of his colleages. He did not. I fault him for his choice.

Michael said...

I think that the Harvard Coop is run by B&N.

Anonymous said...

1.57 reports: "Houston Baker is a racist and a bigot. He and I corresponded and he said he is preparing a class action lawsuit against those he claimed defamed (ironic, since it was his own words that people repeated!) him."

Can anyone confirm this? This would be a wonderful--indeed, fantastic--new development in this travesty. Somewhat incredibly, Baker must be *even stupider* than his initial "thoughts" suggested.

Before I get too excited over the specter of Baker having to submit to depositions and, perhaps, take the stand--all under oath--it would be nice is anyone might be able to confirm. If true I, for one, can't wait!

Duke 76 said...

The 88 all still have their jobs and significant and hefty raises since last year. Three of your favorite departments are in a newly renovated and very snazzy building (Cult Anthro, Literature and African and African American Studies)with loads of lovely offices and spaces designated for their use and discretion. Each department also has new faculty lines for searches to expand their numbers. They are teaching exactly the number of students they desire (small seminars for some, undergrad classes for others) and going on fully paid sabbaticals, and even leading alumni trips to exotic places--all costs paid in full.
So, in terms of "punitive" measures KC called for...I don't think so--and this even after a Duke visit with an audience of merely a few acolytes.
Game over. And the 88 winners all have brand new toys. You, on the other hand have a book, that by Halloween (timing does indeed mean something here) will be on the remainders shelf. That's what you get for being a one-strike player. Too bad there is no staying power. But such is the case with yesterday's news.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC wrote:
"The first printing sold out"
Congratulations!

LarryD said...

The most "nuanced" response to Chemerinsky's firing is from Patterco who doesn't have as high of opinion of Chemerinsky as Hugh Hewitt does. And even he starts off with:

It is — at a minimum — very weaselly to sign a contract with Chemerinsky and then withdraw it. I think the reason given is complete nonsense; anyone who doesn’t understand that Erwin Chemerinsky is going to arouse conservative opposition is a numbskull. Nor do I agree with the premise that a law school dean cannot have strongly held and expressed political views. If that is the reason for rejecting Chemerinsky, that is not a valid reason to back out on a contract. I agree with John Leo, who says:

"If the blog report is accurate, the treatment of Chemerinsky is a test case for conservatives who support free speech and argue vehemently against political tests for faculty and administration appointments. Do these principles apply only to conservatives, or do they protect liberals as well?"

Leo is absolutely right. As Laurie Levenson notes, Ken Starr and John Eastman are deans of their respective law schools, and they have strong conservative views. If it’s OK for them to be law school deans, then it’s OK for a leftist partisan to be a law school dean too.

I agree with all that. Entirely.

And I have spoken to U.S.C. grads who took classes from Chemerinsky and said he was a good teacher.

I also think that Chemerinsky would have been good for the U.C. Irvine law school in many ways. He would have brought prestige to the school, along with, no doubt, a number of talented scholars.

But . . .

Anonymous said...

KC, I'm not sure why your "Book News" entry, about Stuart Taylor's talk for the Cato Institute, does not allow a "Comments" section.

Regardless, I just finished listening to Stuart's 1-1/2 hour presentation, and it was terrific. Like KC, Stuart has an absolute command of the facts, and cannot be intimidated by questions.

OK, so the Cato Institute did not assail Stuart with the kind of hardball (and/or inane) questions that KC exposed himself to (at least potentially -- we haven't seen KC's webcast) at Duke that same day, but the download at Liestoppers is a very worthwhile watch for anyone who wants to understand the facts, and certainly appalling, like garlic to a vampire, for anyone who prefers to deny or forget the facts.

Anonymous said...

To Stuart and KC: "The first printing sold out, and the publisher has ordered second and third printings, which are supposed to be getting to bookstores next week."

Excellent!

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.16:

The Harvard Coop and Harvard Bookstore are two different entities. The Coop, yes, is run by B&N.

To the 2.24:

"So, in terms of "punitive" measures KC called for...I don't think so--and this even after a Duke visit with an audience of merely a few acolytes."

Could you please point to anywhere in the more than 1000 posts on this blog where I have used the word "punitive" to describe a response to the Group of 88?

Indeed, in my talk at Duke, I went out of my way to say they should not be punished by the administration, but merely that Duke should have a university version of a truth-and-reconciliation commission.

Carolyn said...

In other words, black professors says you can't call a black person a racist because of his race. But you CAN call a white person a racist because of his race.

Got it?

Dave, Reade and Collin almost did. For 30 years.

duke09parent said...

Anon 1:57

Can you give us a date that Baker wrote that to you? Did you save the email and can you quote it to us?

I'd love to see him saying in print that a sole plaintiff suing a bunch of defendants is a "class action". A class action is one where someone as a plaintiff files suit on behalf of a class of aggrieved people.

Gary Packwood said...

james conrad 5:21 said...

...it could be that college admins., having invested so heavily in bogus "diversity" now find themselves in a corner where there are only painful remedies.
::
That is about the size of it.

Perhaps they need an office building for professors of any kind who have reached their maximum level of incompetence.

The Duke University Attic, as it were.

It is probably illegal to place Thorezine in their drinking water! Darn.

Premium salary is paid to faculty who just stay at home.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Ralph, you are usually a voice of reason who I enjoy reading. But today you have missed the mark. You seem to have forgotten that we leave it for our enemies to stretch and distort the truth, so that we will retain the strength of the moral high ground.

I refer to this claim:

"A man who threatened to rape the daughter of a political enemy was rewarded for doing so (Nartey.)"

Nartey's e-mail to Pressler was vile and stupid and yes, ONE of the possible ways it could be interpreted was as a threat. For purposes of public safety, erring on the side of caution and treating it as a threat was the correct thing to do.

However, this does not mean that this was the only correct interpretation or even the most likely interpretation. A far more plausible interpretation is that Nartey assumed (as many did) that there was a crime and that Pressler knew something he wasn't telling. In his arrogance, Nartey decided that Pressler (a man old enough to be his father) either didn't understand 'the seriousness of the situation' or had insufficient empathy for the victim. In his arrogance and phenomenally poor judgment, Nartey took it upon himself to 'cure' Pressler of his purported lack of comprehension; asking Pressler to picture his daughter as the victim of a crime such as the one alleged was supposed to make Pressler say "oh my God! Crystal Gail Mangum is someone's daughter too! Even I, a privileged white, can see this now that this undergraduate student with the wisdom of Solomon has lifted the scales from my eyes! I must make full confession!"

Arrogant. Stupid. Vile. Disgusting. But ... not intended as a threat. If Nartey had asked, instead, "What if your daughter had been the one dancing at that house on March 13?" then it wouldn't have been possible to take it as a threat at all, but merely as a counterfactual. To reduce it to "threatened to rape the daughter of a political enemy", as if this was not one interpretation but the only possible interpretation, is unjustified.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that the publisher order at least 10 more printings!

Gary Packwood said...

Carolyn 2:59 said...

...In other words, black professors says you can't call a black person a racist because of his race. But you CAN call a white person a racist because of his race.
...Got it?
...Dave, Reade and Collin almost did. For 30 years.
::
Ah. A un-graded 30 year internship for white boys paid for by Duke and Durham.

Such a deal. Anyone else want to sign up? Don't be bashful! Your professors will help you apply.
::
GP

Jim in San Diego said...

We see the Duke 88 and their departments promoted and rewarded since March of last year.

What has happened to Provost Lange during this time?

Anonymous said...

1:57 "he is preparing a class action lawsuit against those he claimed defamed (ironic, since it was his own words that people repeated!) him"

How many of him are there? Perhaps he thinks he is in a class by himself.

-RD

Anonymous said...

9:32
We did'nt fall for anything. Those of us in good standing of the United daughters of the Red Army Chapter 11 have grown tired of, day after day, having it implied that these piles of human excrement are associated with the Communist Party.

9:26
"false light" is not an action at law in Nirth (sic) Carolina.
Is Williams College in Nirth Carolina? Must be in the far north.

Anonymous said...

As one who screened THOUSANDS of applications for employment at a major corporation - one has to implement screening tools to reduce a stack of 100s of applications to a stack of perhaps dozens....

Tossing out all applications listing more that one or two classes from the Department of African-American Studies was one frequently used..

Apparently with frequent and current justification.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

"That's what you get for being a one-strike player. Too bad there is no staying power. But such is the case with yesterday's news." Duke 76, as he signs himself, could be more aptly called "Group of 88-Lite." We see where your sympathies lie, "76." Why not just come out and announce that you think Crystal was telling the truth? That would be the more honest thing to do. As for "no staying power," long after Halloween, in fact long after everyone has forgotten about your 88 icons, and you, the words "Duke lacrosse case" will be a shorthand for the inappropriateness of rushing to judgment merely becuase it is the politically correct thing to do. K.C. played a very important role in helping to bring that about, and he will always be remembered for it.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "The first printing sold out..."

Congratulations.

Isn't it a shame that many in the Klan of 88 have a publishing record similar to mine..."forthcoming".

By the way, for those donating the book to the library, be sure and ask for a donation receipt.

One wonders what estimate to use regarding the value of the donation given the impact of the book and the lack of supply.

Anonymous said...

To:
Duke 76 2:24

Remainders table, eh?

I'm a Capitalist and a betting man. If UPI is on a remainder list by 11/1/2007, I'll donate $1,000.00 to your favorite charity - or the IRS. Whichever you prefer.

Otherwise, I'll get the satisfaction of being right.

Please identfy yourself and your favorite charity.

Anonymous said...

3:27pm

The Presslers saw it as a threat.

I understood it to be a threat.

It was a threat.

Anonymous said...

KC,

I told you 13,000 was too low. I thought Stuart was an experienced author. Did the publisher tell y'all that it would print only 13,000 copies? The final sales total will be a whole lot closer to 130,000 than 13,000.

RRH.

P.S. Thanks for censoring my comments about Pf. Horwitz. But sometimes you just want to grab him by the lapels and shake him awake.

Because of the attitudes of academicians, within a decade or two gov't funds will be tied to standardized testing in universities just like they are to such tests in primary and secondary school. Have fun with "No Child Left Behind -- College Edition".

Anonymous said...

3:55 writes: "As one who screened THOUSANDS of applications for employment at a major corporation - one has to implement screening tools to reduce a stack of 100s of applications to a stack of perhaps dozens....

Tossing out all applications listing more that one or two classes from the Department of African-American Studies was one frequently used..

Apparently with frequent and current justification."

Bingo. You see (Brodhead, G88ers, Duke), you *think* you're going to skirt your ass-clown antics without consequence. At the individual level, perhaps, you just might. (That said, I would humbly submit through your actions, inactions, and words through out the Hoax all of you have effectively written your obituaries.)

Nevertheless, the damage you've unleashed on the Duke brand is difficult to calculate. Such difficulties asides, they are painfully real and, candidly, obvious.

Just ask yourselves the following: Now that we have at least one "major corporation" making quite clear how they--and will continue to--"dispose" of applications from Duke grads with too much "affiliation" with skanky AA courses, how many other employers (and graduate schools admission committees) who won't admit to such a practice but nonetheless do precisely the same thing?

BOTs, Steele, is this the type of "leadership" that you're getting for more than $1/2M per year for Brodhead? I thought Steele was supposed to be financially astute or, at the very least, not a total idiot. Face Steele, Brodhead (and his enablers) just rolled you.

scott said...

In June 2006, 15 African-American Studies professors sent Lange what they termed an OPEN LETTER ON DUKE’S ‘TEACHABLE MOMENT.’” [caps in original] ...

The letter stated:

"The offense that Professor Baker might justifiably take to this display of paternalistic rhetoric is shared by those of us who search for racial harmony in our society.”

This one sentence speaks the lie to their entire enterprise.

Under no circumstances are these academic freaks in search of "racial harmony in our society."

Their every waking moment is spent in plotting ways to engender racial strife.

There's an expression -- worthless as teats on a boar hog.

These professors are more worthless than that.

Anonymous said...

Duke 76, as familiar as he/she is with the Group of 88's new digs is most likely one of them. They have, I suspect, left droppings here before.

UPI is a hideous rebuke for them. For as long as there is an internet, they can be served up in an instant with Google. KC's book would be the least of my concerns if I was one of them.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 3:44 said...

...Is Williams College in North Carolina? Must be in the far north.
::
'Tis located in the Berkshires.

Afternoon Tea for their Royalists is served daily in the Women's Center Safe Haven.
::
GP

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 3:55 said...

...As one who screened THOUSANDS of applications for employment at a major corporation - one has to implement screening tools to reduce a stack of 100s of applications to a stack of perhaps dozens....
...Tossing out all applications listing more that one or two classes from the Department of African-American Studies was one frequently used..
...Apparently with frequent and current justification.
::
Now that is funny and so appropriate.

Those who watch our economy grow and prosper are most appreciative our your effort to prevent rot from the inside.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

To sum up the Chemerinsky sidetrack on this thread, it began as a red herring, intended to divert attention from the subject of one of KC’s most important posts to date.

9:37 a.m. opined, offering no evidence whatsoever, that UC Irvine rescinded an offer to Duke Law School professor Erwin Chemerinsky to be dean of UCI’s new law school because: “Seems the right doesn’t hesitate to fire people based on their politics.”

This bigoted assertion was refuted in a cluster of comments that followed, ALL of which cited evidence that “the right” (libertarian and conservative) was not at all pleased by the action of the UCI Board of Regents, much less involved in the decision. (See TombZ (10:39 a.m., links Instapundit); Steven Horwitz (10:48 a.m., links Volokh Conspiracy); anonymous (10:50 a.m., cites Hugh Hewitt at Townhall. Com).

The introduction of Professor Chemerinsky as a subject then sparked a round of comments speculating on his behavior at Duke during the lacrosse team scandal. See 11:47 a.m.; 11:52 a.m.; 12:11 p.m.; 12:55 p.m.; 1:02 p.m.; 1:38 p.m.; two at 1:48; and larryd’s additional refutation of 9:37 a.m., citing another ambivalent blogger on the “right,” Patterco.

Ironically, the Chemerinsky commentary has served to highlight the striking contrast between the nationally-recognized law professor’s silence during the persecution of the Duke lacrosse team and the plain-spoken decency of Provost Peter Lange in his response to the racist comments of Houston Baker on the subject (followed by the racist reply of assorted AA studies professors and others to Lange), which was the original subject of KC’s post.

Which shows that there’s more than one way to fillet a red herring.

Anonymous said...

I have been to about 10 bookstores in the Tyson's Corner/McLean/Vienna area of Northern Virginia and none of them have Until Proven Innocent. Most of the people I have asked knew of the book and mentioned that others had asked about it, but none had it available nor could they tell me when it would be available.

I'm open to suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the 1:57, Houston Baker is a racist. I cannot understand how our society got to a point where black on white racism is not just excused, but cheered. It is not only acceptable, it's celebrated.

The saddest thing of all is that Baker's supporters in the academy think they are valiantly fighting to end racism. They have no idea that they have become what they detest so much.

inman said...

5:52....

That was a fascinating analysis. Whether I agree or not***, you have displayed a model of how one can analyze comments on an internet blog.

Good work


***I do.

inman said...

You know ... I have communicated with Houston Baker and found him to be a very reasonable person ... with the qualification -- when the subject matter and result conformed with his agenda. He is clearly a brilliant man. His CV speaks to his contributions. I have a visceral sense that he truly wants racial equality, but unfortunately, he does not seem to know how it can be achieved. His silence since the March 2006 open letter speaks volumes. My belief: Houston Baker, at that time, thought that the event of a lifetime had presented itself ... good God, the initial reports evidently conformed to every stereotype consistent with his hoped for or even ingrained view of the world.

So he wrote the letter. He labeled the now-found-innocent using his gift for barbs and calumny. "Farm animals" ... "...loosed among us..." ... I need not quote for the words are memorialized in many forums.

Houston Baker made a bet. He thought that he could put the chips accumulated over a lifetime of scholarly work on the line ... he was "all in" ... and one can imagine the accolades if he had been right. But he was wrong. Very wrong.

Houston Baker, in this event, was a loser.

No chips.

Anonymous said...

2:39 says...

"If the blog report is accurate, the treatment of Chemerinsky is a test case for conservatives who support free speech and argue vehemently against political tests for faculty and administration appointments. Do these principles apply only to conservatives, or do they protect liberals as well?"

Leo is absolutely right. As Laurie Levenson notes, Ken Starr and John Eastman are deans of their respective law schools, and they have strong conservative views. If it’s OK for them to be law school deans, then it’s OK for a leftist partisan to be a law school dean too.


The treatment of Cherm is a test case for conservatives to determine if they know the difference between private dollars and tax dollars. The taxpayers have a right to expect that the people they pay to hold influential positions will be in the mainstream of political life.

Note that Starr and Eastman are deans at private universities. John Leo is wrong because he fails to distinguish the different standards applicable to privately-paid prestigious positions and publicly-funded ones.

RRH

Debrah said...

"He is clearly a brilliant man. His CV speaks to his contributions."

This is a joke....right?

Anonymous said...

KC:

I have to say this is a good post. But I also must say that this comes as a surprise only to you and like minded people who have refused to see what black studies and the "civil rights" movement are all about. there is nothing about truth, justice or fairness. Its only about elevating black over white. You don't have to like it, but your post is one of the best articuted arguments for the point.

I hope you come around soon and see that at the end of the day Barack Obama is with them.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

Duke 76 said...
"The 88 all still have their jobs and significant and hefty raises since last year. Three of your favorite departments are in a newly renovated and very snazzy building (Cult Anthro, Literature and African and African American Studies)with loads of lovely offices and spaces designated for their use and discretion. Each department also has new faculty lines for searches to expand their numbers."

That's quite an indictment . . . . of Duke. Imagine a doctor who prescribes more of the very poison that caused the disease.

Please stop disparaging the G88's "forthcoming" works. Better "forthcoming" than adding to the academy's intellectual pollution.

Duke Prof

One Spook said...

njnp @ 4:15 PM writes:

By the way, for those donating the book to the library, be sure and ask for a donation receipt.

One wonders what estimate to use regarding the value of the donation given the impact of the book and the lack of supply.


I just picked a number out of thin air that I felt I could justify for the receipt ... I used $88.00.

One Spook

AF said...

2:24
Be very careful. Your jealousy of KC is showing.
He has more class accidentally than you do on any day at any time. You think he's a one-shot wonder????? Why do you think so many of us are praying that he will continue his blog from Israel? Don't for a minute think that we would ever consider you as an alternative (that would be akin to accepting peepee for Pepsi).
Get a grip, take a reality pill, and settle into Durm. Wonderland awaits you. Maybe you can hook up with Precious and write your own book. It would be interesting at the least. You could call it Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire or Where in the World is Crystal DNAgo.
Leave the Green Eyed Monster alone. KC rules and You can't touch him. Not even in Wonderland!

Anonymous said...

One of the things that really bothers me about this case (and many other cases) is that the justice system is considered completely inadequate. Just catching and punishing the guilty is never enough.

Everyone in the community (everyone not of the correct color that is) has to be reeducated. Classes must be taught, people not remotely connected to the event must apologize and give up rights or privileges.

It is opportunistic justice, a chance to enhance and propagate the myth of collective victim-hood which requires payment after payment of reparations from people who are not guilty to people who have not been harmed.

Disgusted.

Anonymous said...

RRH writes "P.S. Thanks for censoring my comments about Pf. Horwitz. But sometimes you just want to grab him by the lapels and shake him awake."

Why, why the animosity toward Steven Horwitz? I was glad to see that he returned to the blog commentary; he adds so much to the discussion.

Prof. Horwitz - please don't leave us again.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: One Spook, "...I just picked a number out of thin air that I felt I could justify for the receipt ... I used $88.00...."

Very nice, wouldn't that also equal 8,800 red cents?

Debrah said...

( 2:24PM) spews...leaving puddles of saliva rolling down a long-withered chin.....

".....going on fully paid sabbaticals, and even leading alumni trips to exotic places--all costs paid in full."

Said like a boastful bum.

But we've known for a long time the lifestyle of the Gritty Gang of 88. No news here.

What putrid people! Yuck!

Anonymous said...

To Inquiring Mind:

I do not have any inside information on Houston Baker's status at Vanderbilt (and I may not have the up to date public information, either), but my understanding is that after only one year at Vandy, Mr. Baker is on a leave of absence. Also, Chancellor Gee, who so enthusiastically welcomed and likely would have protected Mr. Baker, has departed Nashville for Ohio. Surely, by now the BOT at Vanderbilt has some sensitivity to the problems Mr. Baker caused for Duke. The Duke BOT after all came to its senses long enough to settle with the former defendants in an agreement that covered potential damages for Mr. Baker's comments. Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but that settlement plus Mr. Baker's plain and passionate self-published racist rant ought to jar the VU powers into some kind of efforts at self preservation. No need for Vanderbilt to follow Duke over the cliff.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Asheville, NC B&N has NO UPI books because their massive order of 2 was sold out. Their computer shows NONE in the warehouse.

I tried to fuss at the very nice manager about having KC's book in obscurity, but he said B& N tells whem what to order and which tables to put it on in the stores!

Hmmm.... anybody got any pull at Corp.B& N? After all, this is NORTH CAROLINA, and we want access to this book!!! Publicly!!! Not stuck on the bottom of the shelf under the "True Crime" section... while William Jefferson Clintons's smirkey face greets us from 25 volumes on the stand beside the front door.

inman said...

Dearest Debrah @ 8:03,

"He is clearly a brilliant man. His CV speaks to his contributions."

Nostradamas anticipated Godwin's law when he identified "Hister". So I shall not proceed with an analogy.

But, yes, one cannot belittle Baker's past accomplishments. And a lot of people do consider him to be brilliant.

Jack-the-Ripper was a brilliant killer of ladies-of-the-night. Pool Pot was a brilliant leader of the Khmer Rouge. Jesse James was a brilliant horseman and gunfighter. Karl Marx was a brilliant advocate for a failed economic theory. Attila the Hun was a brilliant butcher of those he opposed. Neanderthals achieved extinction at the hand of the brilliant Cro-Magnons.

'nuff said.

Gary Packwood said...

RRH 4:50 said...

...Because of the attitudes of academicians, within a decade or two gov't funds will be tied to standardized testing in universities just like they are to such tests in primary and secondary school. Have fun with "No Child Left Behind -- College Edition".
::
I think the change that you are talking about will be much sooner and much more comprehensive.

Last week I began to draft several proposals for private foundations and the federal government to evaluate universities using a consolidated statement of cash flows as you would see in the corporate 10-K or 10-Q reports submitted annually to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

That statement of cash flows would cover risk management and non-performing academic areas.

In the University Clery Crime Report suggests the campus is a sewer of crime; the university risk management reports shows 'settlements' with students and/or there are non-performing faculty...the grant application is stopped.

Yes. Much has been learned as the result of the Duke lacrosse case.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

(N x P) - L = Fear

rrhamilton said...

I didn't expect that one to be censored. All I said was that when it comes to misconduct by lawyers, Horwitz is like Lane Williamson on steroids, and when it comes to misconduct by professors, he's like Richard Brodhead on valium.

It's pithy and accurate, and it's an answer to a question directed to me above.

Anonymous said...

10:50 One can only hope that you are correct. Good analysis

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Ralph, you are usually a voice of reason who I enjoy reading. But today you have missed the mark. You seem to have forgotten that we leave it for our enemies to stretch and distort the truth, so that we will retain the strength of the moral high ground.

I refer to this claim:

"A man who threatened to rape the daughter of a political enemy was rewarded for doing so (Nartey.)"

Nartey's e-mail to Pressler was vile and stupid and yes, ONE of the possible ways it could be interpreted was as a threat. For purposes of public safety, erring on the side of caution and treating it as a threat was the correct thing to do.

However, this does not mean that this was the only correct interpretation or even the most likely interpretation. A far more plausible interpretation is that Nartey assumed (as many did) that there was a crime and that Pressler knew something he wasn't telling. In his arrogance, Nartey decided that Pressler (a man old enough to be his father) either didn't understand 'the seriousness of the situation' or had insufficient empathy for the victim. In his arrogance and phenomenally poor judgment, Nartey took it upon himself to 'cure' Pressler of his purported lack of comprehension; asking Pressler to picture his daughter as the victim of a crime such as the one alleged was supposed to make Pressler say "oh my God! Crystal Gail Mangum is someone's daughter too! Even I, a privileged white, can see this now that this undergraduate student with the wisdom of Solomon has lifted the scales from my eyes! I must make full confession!"

Arrogant. Stupid. Vile. Disgusting. But ... not intended as a threat. If Nartey had asked, instead, "What if your daughter had been the one dancing at that house on March 13?" then it wouldn't have been possible to take it as a threat at all, but merely as a counterfactual. To reduce it to "threatened to rape the daughter of a political enemy", as if this was not one interpretation but the only possible interpretation, is unjustified.

9/13/07 3:27 PM

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

1. Very silly thinking here--> very soft headed given the atmosphere during that time.

2. Nartey should have been suspended---> and would have if........he were not somehow protected.

3. Where was the outrage in Durham?? Why was the McFayden email joke instead so highly publicized?

4. One hates to be nasty but this is perhaps the most useless thinking Ive seen in quite awhile.

Allie

Ralph Phelan said...

Gary Packwood said...
"Last week I began to draft several proposals..."

As sson as you have somethig ready to go I'll eagerly write my Congressthieves in support.

I'll be sending you my email address offline.

Steven Horwitz said...

If KC doesn't let this one go, so be it.

Go to hell Hamilton. Bottom line: I've been called a lot worse by a lot better.

I have *repeatedly* pointed out and criticized the misconduct by the G88 for violating the Duke Faculty Handbook and throwing their students under the bus with the implicit and explicit allegations about the LAX players. I have also, google it, said that if department funds were used, or if the sponsoring departments never voted on sponsorship of the LS, this was also a violation of faculty rules that needs to be addressed and punished. To say that I'm not interested in faculty "misconduct" is just blatantly false.

*I* have called them out on this as any reasoned DIW reader knows. Because I am not interested in having my own faculty colleagues, nor do I think it's likely that they would do so, make a public statement on the behavior of faculty at another school, suddenly *I* am no better than Brodhead? That's just absurd and insulting.

I do not, however, see crappy scholarship as "misconduct," nor do I think their scholarship is as uniformly crappy as folks around here do. And I don't think that firing most/all of the G88 over what they did is either possible or just.

If you want to disagree with me fine, but get my position right. And I could do without the images of physical violence as well.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saved the Houston Baker Email, with all it's threats. If you wish, you can drop me a note @ propagandaisnotnews@yahoo.com

His transmittal was most illuminating. He is impotent in his use of language. Without his ability to call someone a racist, there is nothing else he can do.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said:

"Because I am not interested in having my own faculty colleagues, nor do I think it's likely that they would do so, make a public statement on the behavior of faculty at another school, suddenly *I* am no better than Brodhead?"

No at all, but it does raise in the public's mind the perfectly reasonable question "Is all of higher education like this?"

You seem to agree that there was professional nonfeasance and malfeasance by identifiable individuals and institutions.

What do you think should be your profession's response?

You've told us numerous times what things they are unlikely to do, and what things they shouldn't be asked to do. Now I want to hear the positive:

What actions should your industry take to deal with this large, public and possibly systematic failure?

If your answer is "nothing" please say so clearly.

If your answer is not "nothing" please state succinctly what you think should be done.

Duke 76 said...

13,000 copies?! No wonder this appeared on the Reader's Digest List. Of course, you may have noted that yesterday's USA Today's top sellers mentions NO lacrosse related book at all. OMIGOSH! But, then, after all, that's a wider reading audience survey than that accomplished by the esteemed Reader's Digest. By the way, the Harvard Coop, has no Stuart Johnson/KC book either. (Lots of 88 publications on the shelves though). Seems there's a standard being applied someplace. But we must all be thankful for the dependable Reader's Digest. The publication that edits the text down to the most readable for the common reader...and leaves all that other stuff that might challenge out. Good location. And let's hope the next 13000 are similarly snapped up. I stand by my October surprise prediction. A Halloween night bargain on the remainders shelves.

KC Johnson said...

To the 10.33:

The book is currently #26 on the New York Times bestseller list.

With the Coop: I'll repeat the question that I asked previously: did you ask whether the book was out of stock and on order, or whether the Coop had made an editorial decision not to stock?

Since the Coop is B&N-owned, I suspect it's the former.

Perhaps you would share with us the "lots" of Group publications you saw on the shelf, with digital photos to vouch for the authenticity of your claim.

duke 76 said...

KC, I believe you doth protest so much that it seems your oh so thickened skin (too much time at the computer perhaps?) gets you a bit riled.
So, the plan now is if you don't want to believe it, then let's have photo evidence? Check it out for yourself. (Or might you be too worried to see whether some of your other (ahem) publications are there and be disappointed when you find the only historians are those of note, like, say William H. Chafe?
But, let's not be thin-skinned. You know as well as the rest of us, that if it ain't NYT top ten, it's a footnote. That's the rule of the game.
By the way, the answer to the question for *both* the Harvard Bookstore and the Coop was "we haven't ordered that, you can special order it if you like--but it won't be in our regular stock."
Ouch!

duke 76 said...

KC,
You know, the real question is why are you so obsessed with some of these Duke faculty. It seems a bit envious to have spent this much time and attention on them.... Your motives begin to emerge as the more interesting topic the more you harp on the 88. Is it institutional envy? I mean I love Brooklyn College, but NYU and Columbia are also in New York. Maybe you could go on the market with this book and find a way to feel better about yourself so that you don't have to go looking over the publication histories of those who have done some better than you, professionally speaking that is.

Anonymous said...

KC wrote:

"Indeed, in my talk at Duke, I went out of my way to say [the faculty] should not be punished by the administration . . ."

With all due respect for your unparalleled analysis, this does not make sense. And it is inconsistent with your prescriptions for others who have behaved badly in this sordid affair.

For the following examples, let us ignore the validity of the underlying claims and the severity of the penalities.

Don Imus was fired for violating certain standards of professional conduct. The New England Patriots were fined and lost draft picks for essentially the same reason. We all know the nature of Nifong's actions and of his well-deserved punishments.

And, yet, you and others are unwilling to hold faculty to the same standards of justice. Justice demands evaluation (they acted unprofessionally and unethically), and *action* (they deserve to lose values).

You are admirably correct (and courageous) in your *evaluation* of the G88's disgusting actions. But your view that "they should not be punished" makes the evaluation rather toothless. If there are no consequences for bad behavior, then there is no justice. And if there is no justice, then the guilty will cause more destruction in the future.

Practically speaking, what penalities have the G88 earned? Since most of them have shown no remorse and no understanding of what caused their bad behavior, the punishments should be severe.

Some deserve public censure. Others deserve to be fined and removed from the classroom for at least a semester. A few deserve to be fired, tenure not withstanding.

I realize that many in academia believe that they are "beyond good and evil," that there are no standards, and that they should have a blank check to do and say whatever they want. (It's rather amazing that these same academics are so quick to condemn the actions of, say, student-athletes and corporate executives.) However, it is precisely this (one-sided) moral agnosticism that encourages G88-types to run amok.

I hope that no one responds with the childishly ad hominem attack that amounts to: "Who died and made you justice dictator?" Such a statement is, of course, self-refuting.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz - good to have you back - a voice of reason is always welcome - dangerous in a rabid mob.

Steven Horwitz said...

Ralph,

I don't think it's a systematic failure. I think there are problems of the sort you believe might be systematic. I'll give you a few thoughts, although I think I've posted these before, but perhaps not all at once.

1. I am a tenure skeptic. I understand its value but I am very well aware of its costs. I think the academy needs to take a serious look at those costs and benefits and see whether there aren't alternatives. For a good discussion of the issue, and from a left-wing college administrator, go here.

2. A problem on my own campus is the proliferation of majors and programs. I would like to see academia ask whether or not, and especially at small schools like mine that cannot afford the opportunity cost, the various "studies" can't be reintegrated into the older disciplines. I think this makes administrative sense and might well help address concerns about sub-standard scholarship. At larger schools, I'm more willing to allow for trans-disciplinary indulgences, but tenure and review committees need to be extra vigilant.

3. Faculty who violate faculty handbooks should face consequences for doing so, especially when said violations involve their treatment of students.

4. I would like to see more graduate programs pay more attention to helping PhD students learn how to teach, and to teach the skills associated with liberal education in particular: writing, speaking, research, crit thinking, and critical reading.

5. I would like to see research schools take teaching more seriously when it comes to tenure and other reviews. When teaching undergraduates is the least valuable thing you do, in the eyes of tenure/review committees, it's not surprising that you'll do a crappy job and not care much about your students.

6. I am vehemently opposed to treating political views as another "diversity" category. However, I would like to see more explicit recognition of the value to students' critical thinking skills and their broader education of being exposed to a variety of views, and not just a variety of left-wing views. I'd like to see this happen with more faculty being willing to have students read the *best work of people the faculty disagree with* rather than critiques of said work. Notice that if we pay more attention to teaching in training and reward processes, it becomes easier to make this argument because one-sided teaching is bad teaching, and students know it.

7. I also vehemently oppose expanding government control or oversight over higher ed, and not just because I opposed such expansions of government on principle pretty much everywhere. More specifically (sarcasm on), the federal (not to mention state/local) governments have done such a great job running our primary and secondary public school systems, not to mention Social Security and the War in Iraq, why not let them do the universities too? (sarcasm off)

There's a few ideas.

Anonymous said...

#26... Sweet. This book should go to No. 1. This is information every parent should have, IMHO.

Congrats, KC.

duke 76, you are a putz. When I want to be "challenged" by a floating Mayan penis, I'll look up the G88 publication.

-RD

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.18:

I wasn't aware that either Columbia or NYU had openings at the senior level in my field in recent years. Perhaps you could direct me to the announcement?

Re the claim that the Coop has in stock book by "lots" of Group members, I asked for verified proof only because the claim itself is so odd. Having spent some time in the Coop, it's not a particularly large bookstore for non-textbook items (basically one floor). To the extent that most Group members have published anything, they're hard-cover books from university presses--of which the Coop has on its shelves relatively few.

Finally, as to the item of "obsessed": I'd say that someone allegedly wandering around bookstores in Harvard Square asking if they have in stock copies of my book is an expert on obsession.

Debrah said...

TO 8:59AM--

Oh, do yourself a favor and drop the drama queen role.

You're not good at it.

Besides, you have a history of rising up for the 88 when things get too real.

You have even tried to assign things to me that I never even posted. Then, when you were illuminated for all to see, you took an 88 avenue we know so well, and sported the victim role.

This is it in a nutshell:

No one dislikes you. Most of us have more experience with the world of academia than you can possibly bring to this forum.

Your occasional condescension....and lack of a strong position against people like the Gritty Duke Gang....makes you much less effective than you otherwise could be.

For me, you are the ratty little version of the cowardly go-along-to-get-along Erwin Chemerinsky on this blog.

I want to like you.

I have tried.

I prefer strong men.

Live a too short for such predictable obfuscation.

Debrah said...

The feverish anonymous (Duke 76) poster has been working way too hard. Some rest from their obsession might be helpful.

KC must have rained on his/her parade......bigtime!

It is enormously amusing to see how this person is bouncing off the walls trying to slam KC.

Wonder how many hours in the day he/she has been stalking the bookstores.

LOL!!!
LOL!!!

Debrah said...

Correction on my Ricky Ricardo impersonation @1:30PM--

"Life is too short for such predictable obfuscation."

Steven Horwitz said...

Debrah,

I have never attacked you personally in the ways that you have me. I called an argument of yours disgusting, but have never, to the best of my memory, said a word about you as a person.

"ratty, cowardly, condescending, victimized, weak"

Show me anything I've ever said about you as a person (not your arguments) that even is remotely like this. And if I did, it was only once and not with the repeated bile you spew my way. I'll leave it up to the readers here to decide which one of us has treated the other with more respect and maturity.

What is it about me (and others around here) that drives you to attack us in such personal and nasty ways?

Since the whole "disgusting" blow up, I have very deliberately avoided replying to your comments or addressing you directly in any way. I thought discretion was the better part of valor. What is the source of your obsession with me? And what makes you think you know anything about me as a real flesh and blood human being such that insulting me in those ways is even remotely reasonable behavior?

As I said to rrh, I've been called much worse than you have called me by much much better than you, so if you think this is the whine of a victim, think again. It's the curiosity of one who simply cannot understand the inappropriate behavior of another.

For those who are appreciative of my contributions around here, perhaps a direct response to Debrah is in order, as she appears to think she speaks for the whole commentariat with astounding frequency.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said:

"3. Faculty who violate faculty handbooks should face consequences for doing so, especially when said violations involve their treatment of students."

But when that doesn't happen, how how do we make it happen? I'm looking for specific fixes and improvements to the current system of checks and balances in academia, whose performance I am not satisfied with.

When a university shows a major and consistent pattern of not enforcing rules and allowing (or actively rewarding) faculty mistreatment of students what should the rest of the industry do?

(1) Terminate some or all reciprocal and cooperative agreements with them?

(2) Make public statments that "That institution is not performing up to normal standards the way we do."?

(3) Keep silent, ignore the problem, and hope it goes away?

"6. I am vehemently opposed to treating political views as another "diversity" category. I would like to see more explicit recognition of the value to students' critical thinking skills and their broader education of being exposed to a variety of views, and not just a variety of left-wing views. I'd like to see this happen with more faculty being willing to have students read the *best work of people the faculty disagree with* rather than critiques of said work. Notice that if we pay more attention to teaching in training and reward processes, it becomes easier to make this argument because one-sided teaching is bad teaching, and students know it."

What policy or structural changes would you like to see made to encourage such a change?

Where should they be made - individual universities? AAUP policies? Government funding priorities - if "one-sided teaching is bad teaching" why should bad teaching be a beneficiary of taxpayer money?

Are you opposed to the already existing "diversity" mandates?

Steven Horwitz said...

And, Debrah, one more thing:

I'm still waiting for an apology for your falsely accusing me of anonymously flaming you. You grudgingly acknowledged publicly that it wasn't me, but never found a way to say you were sorry to me for the false accusation.

I guess some false accusations demand apologies and others don't, eh?

Until you let rip just now, I was willing to let that go, but not anymore.

By their deeds (or lack thereof), they shall be judged.

Anonymous said...

Update to the Chemerinsky sub-thread, which began yesterday with an unsupported accusation that "the right" fires people it disagrees with (09/13 9:37 a.m.):

The "right" continues to speak out AGAINST UCI's rescindment of its dean-of-the-new-law-school offer to Chemerinsky. Latest is powerlineblog.com, a trio of Dartmouth attorneys on anyone's short list of the most-read and influential blogs on the right. They, too, while disagreeing with him on fundamental issues, deplore what's been done to Chemerinsky.

It is not the right that demands firings and dismissals of people it disagrees with, but the Houston Baker and G88 types.

Now, should we say that Duke University is the UCIrvine of the east, or is UCIrvine the Duke of the west? Maybe Coach Pressler and Professor Chemerinsky can compare notes.

(The Chemerinsky sub-thread starts at 09/13 9:37 a.m. 09/13 5:52p.m. compiles the respondent posts; see also, 2:39p.m., 7:55 p.m., and 09/14 1:30 p.m.)

Steven Horwitz said...

"3. Faculty who violate faculty handbooks should face consequences for doing so, especially when said violations involve their treatment of students."

But when that doesn't happen, how how do we make it happen?

When a university shows a major and consistent pattern of not enforcing rules and allowing (or actively rewarding) faculty mistreatment of students what should the rest of the industry do?


The root of the problem is that there are too many folks who don't think that the things you think (or I think) might qualify as problems are in fact problems, or serious ones. All contracts, rules, handbooks etc are open to interpretation by those who enforce them. If university administrators don't see particular incidents as rising to the level of what the handbook dictates, nothing will happen.

How do you get better people in place? Again, you encourage different kinds of people to go into academia. You try to get new voices on Boards (see Dartmouth, though the backlash there has begun). Universities are only as good as the people who work there and run them. But I've talked about all of this before.

I'm all in favor of all kinds of "watchdog" groups that would rate universities along all sorts of measures. I have no patience for complaints by my colleagues about groups like CampusWatch. People outside academia should feel free to watch what we do and publicly comment on it, whatever their own views. The key is to keep it as separate as possible from gov't regulation, because that will cause even sympathetic faculty to rally to the cause of those being criticized, all in the name of academic freedom.

Like FIRE does with speech codes, why not a public organization who monitors how faculty treat students or the like? The AAUP sanctions administrations that treat faculty poorly, why not something like that?

As for the intellectual diversity issues....

1. I think state schools should be held to the same non-discrimination laws as any other government employer. Private schools can do whatever they'd like, either discriminate against or for particular groups. Do I favor current diversity policies? Depends. I favor traditional affirmative action - taking extra steps to ensure that the pool of candidates for a job is as inclusive as possible and for making sure that the hiring process is as race/gender neutral as possible. I do not favor creating certain positions as "designated" either overtly or covertly for particular groups. It may well be that certain areas tend to attract more or fewer minorities, but so be it.

2. On intellectual diversity... monitor what universities do. Shine spotlights (like KC) and scream it from the hills. Keep the *informal* pressure on and keep the conversation in terms of the educational benefits of intellectual diversity, rather than pushing for policies or quotas or etc. Shame academia (if that's even possible...) into opening up.

And if you're gonna pull tax dollars from bad teaching, you're gonna have a LONG list of people and institutions to start budget cutting. :)

As I've said before, as a libertarian, I'd like to see much less government funding and involvement in higher ed as I think it would help with a number of these problems. Given government financing, however, I think more government meddling causes more problems than it solves.

Debrah said...

To Horwitz--

I have just responded to your posts, but KC will not let you see them.

You have been at me since you came to DIW.

At first, you got so very little attention with your posts that coming after me was always your strategy.

Many here have not read this blog long enough to know your tactics.

You post dishonestly and attack, then come back here later and try to dress yourself up.

You won't use me for that purpose.

If KC doesn't let you see my responses, it's not my fault.

Do yourself a favor. Understand that people come here to read KC.

You, like many 88 apologists, don't have the street cred needed.

Steven Horwitz said...

You have been at me since you came to DIW.

Prove it.