Thursday, September 20, 2007

Top 32 Countdown, III

As the blog winds down, I thought it might be worthwhile to recall the most outrageous quotes of the case. The countdown will culminate on Friday.

The last two days’ posts featured #32 through #17; today’s takes the countdown from #16 through #9 on the list of most outrageous:

16) “In the moment when the ad came out, I did not hear from one colleague that there was something wrong with the ad.”

-- Statement author Wahneema Lubiano, discussing the origins of the Group of 88’s ad—and unintentionally revealing the groupthink that plagues some quarters of the Duke campus.

---------


15) “I’m not going to allow Durham’s view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham.”

--Mike Nifong, at a candidate’s forum, April 12, 2006. At a similar forum, he added that people should vote for him because he’d rather do what’s right than what would get him elected.

---------

14) “We are eager for our students to be proved innocent . . . which is all the more reason why we require the legal system to proceed in a fair-minded, even-handed, and speedy fashion.”

--Duke president Richard Brodhead, response to Friends of Duke’s summer 2006 letter, inverting the American system of justice on its head.

---------

13) “The best course for all concerned is to continue down the current path to trial and, we hope, to justice . . . It would be better for the players to have an opportunity to prove their innocence at trial.”

--Bob Ashley’s Herald-Sun, editorial, Nov. 10, 2006, inverting the American system of justice on its head. After the case ended, Ashley claimed that his paper’s editorials always stressed the presumption of innocence.

---------

12) “There is no rush to judgment here about the crime—neither the violent racial epithets reported in a 911 call to Durham police, nor the harms to body and soul allegedly perpetrated by white males at 610 Buchanan Boulevard . . . How soon will confidence be restored to our university as a place where minds, souls, and bodies can feel safe from agents, perpetrators, and abettors of white privilege, irresponsibility, debauchery and violence? Surely the answer to the question must come in the form of immediate dismissals of those principally responsible for the horrors of this spring moment at Duke. 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.”

--Houston Baker open letter, March 29, 2006. Baker subsequently would be welcomed by Vanderbilt University, which described him as “one of the most wide-ranging intellectuals in America.”

---------


11) “I bet one or more of the players was, you know, molested or something as a child.”

--Adjunct law professor Wendy Murphy, “CNN Live,” May 3, 2006. Murphy later explained that she viewed her role on cable talk shows not as presenting the truth. “You have to appreciate my role as a pundit is to draw inferences and make arguments on behalf of the side which I'm assigned," she stated. “So of course it's going to sound like I'm arguing in favor of 'guilty.'”

---------


10) This episode has touched off angers, fears, resentments, and suspicions that range far beyond this immediate cause. It has done so because the episode has brought to glaring visibility underlying issues that have been of concern on this campus and in this town for some time—issues that are not unique to Duke or Durham but that have been brought to the fore in our midst. They include concerns of women about sexual coercion and assault. They include concerns about the culture of certain student groups that regularly abuse alcohol and the attitudes these groups promote. They include concerns about the survival of the legacy of racism, the most hateful feature American history has produced. Compounding and intensifying these issues of race and gender, they include concerns about the deep structures of inequality in our society—inequalities of wealth, privilege, and opportunity (including educational opportunity), and the attitudes of superiority those inequalities breed. And they include concerns that, whether they intend to or not, universities like Duke participate in this inequality and supply a home for a culture of privilege. The objection of our East Campus neighbors was a reaction to an attitude of arrogant inconsiderateness that reached its peak in the alleged event but that had long preceded it.”

--Richard Brodhead, April 5, 2006, “Letter to the Duke Community.” This document—the president’s last major public statement on the case before the first two arrests—could easily have served as a campaign flyer for Nifong’s primary campaign. In his 2,377 words, he never once mentioned the presumption of innocence; or that the lacrosse captains had voluntarily given statements, DNA, and their e-mail passwords; or that the team members and their attorneys wholly denied all allegations.

---------


9)


--Det. Ben Himan, recalling Mike Nifong’s reaction after the DA’s initial briefing on the case, when the officers involved relayed to the DA the myriad weaknesses of the case. A few minutes after this meeting, Nifong began the first of his 50-70 media appearances expressing his certainty that a heinous rape had occurred.

----------


Tomorrow: the countdown concludes, with quotes #8 through #1.

106 comments:

Debrah said...

15) “I’m not going to allow Durham’s view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham.”

My favorite of all time......yet there are so many.

This is the one that really made a fool of Nifong early on. It was played nationally over and over and defines exactly his strategy for railroading the lacrosse players.

Anonymous said...

Duke should be ashamed to have Brodhead as its president.

inman said...

"You know, we're fucked."

That got to be number one.

Debrah said...

#10 by Brodhead is one you should keep around somewhere for future reference.

You know after you have eaten something that makes you feel nauseated and you want to throw up but you know you can't......even though you try.

Just read this one.

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

Professor Johnson, While I have not checked every post here, I think you generally mention a professor's affiliation when you mention them. But one noticable exception that I have notice has been Adjunct Professor Wendy Murphy.

I believe that you should honor New England School of Law for hiring her to teach there every time you mention her. Certainly the public should know that she is affiliated there.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

One can see how far down the totem pole Detective Himan was, at the DA's office, by the fawning of Judges Ron Stephens and Marcia Morey over Nifong's superb character - after his conviction was supported by such testimony as Himan's.

If the Feds do bring an investigation and discovery is launched, Detective Himan may need to watch his own back. It seems that an interconnected nest of snakes may be brought to light, and they may commence pre-emptively munching on one another.

Anonymous said...

As the statements from Nifong kept rolling out of his mouth - it was clear that "something was wrong here." I remember hearing his remarks in disbelief. Never had I heard a DA talk so much about a case and the "evidence." It was obvious from the get go the team never touched those woman. One of my favorites is "Well, the do not know my timeline." Nifong should be in jail. The rest are bit players. He is the GUY.

Anonymous said...

Dick Broadhead, what a spineless, cowardly excuse of a university 'leader', much less that of a (once percieved) 'elite' university. Pathetic

Anonymous said...

Brodhead was a member of the Gang of 89. There is no doubt. His mention of the "culture" about campus after meetings with his Gang of 89 friends about campus culture, and his subsequent Campus Culture Initiative evidence his indoctrination.

Brodhead's modus operandi was also the same as the Gang of 89. He used a gossip-based allegation to preach his brand of new-age PC, to the detriment of his charges.

Has Brodhead publicly and genuinely apologized? This is another way he has shown his Gang of 89 stripes. How does he still have a job?
______________

Wendy Murphy should be bankrupted for that quote.
______________

Ashley and his paper should be bankrupted for their body of work on the Duke Hoax. I have never seen anything akin to the vigorous day-to-day campaign fought by the Herald-Sun to mischaracterize, avoid and libel the truth.
______________

"Durham-in-Wonderland, the creation of historian K.C. Johnson, is a written film of the sordid Duke Lacrosse saga of Orson Welles-ian ambition and grandeur." Selena Roberts, THE NEW YORK TIMES, not. MOO! Gregory

AF said...

Wonderful Durm is a delightful place for Mikey and the others. Here they say the obvious. Oh well, from this point forward. Let Mikey and his Crusaders live in Durm forever. Mikey and Broadhead deserve each other. Lies beget lies, arrogance begets arrogance, and Foolishness begets fools. Oopes, their the are@@

Anonymous said...

"“In the moment when the ad came out, I did not hear from one colleague that there was something wrong with the ad.”"

What the despicable racist hag didn't mention, was that within HOURS, after some intelligent and fair minded folks read the damned ad - the SFTF.

Anonymous said...

broadrotten to spend 1.5 million on a falsely accused segment at the law school

just in time for the jena 6 fiasco...as the aa's show how to stage a riot when they dont get their own way...just like they do in the homeland

Anonymous said...

we will miss you KC...please be safe in israel...they arabs and syrians and iranians are not to be trusted

mac said...

"You know, we're forked."
"You know, we're fricked."
"You know, we're freaked."
"You know, we're flocked."
"You know, we're flipped."

Um.

I thought this one was gonna be #1. It was such a defining moment for Nifong.

mac said...

"I bet one or more of the players was, you know, molested or something as a child."

In a group that large, Wendy, probably so. Are you confessing to something?

Confession is good for the soul.

mac said...

"In the moment when the ad came out, I did not hear from one colleague that there was something wrong with the ad."

Dear Ms. Lubiano,

This speaks volumes about what your colleagues think of you: they either are afraid of you because they perceive that you are a tyrant and a bully, or they didn't say anything because they wanted to see what you looked like, hip-deep in excrement.

Either way, you should develop a more sincere paranoia. They ARE out to get you. ALL of them.

A colleague who respected you would have stopped you.

bill anderson said...

Once again, we are reminded that Nifong's barrage of accusations was not done out of being "inexperienced" or "naive" about the press, but rather was a cold, calculated action that was meant to prejudice a grand jury and a trial jury.

Nifong knew even then that could get some warm bodies charged, given how the system is stacked. This truly is evil.

By the way, with a former city council member, Sandra Ogburn, declaring that the players do not want the evidence to come out at trial, the Nifong offensive continues. Ogburn is a good friend of Nifong's wife, which tells me that the Nifong camp is starting another offensive.

This guy truly is beyond dishonest, and that so many in Durham are willing to run over the cliff with him tells me that there really is no justice in that city.

mac said...

"I'm not going to let Durham's view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players raping a black girl from Durham."

Let's just start with sentence structure. (Didn't someone once say say you were a college graduate?)

Um...what "minds of the world?" (The ones you poisoned?)

"Durham's view of the world..."
Now you've made the City of Duhh look so bad that even someone from Darfur would think twice before moving there. Not only is it stupid "in the minds of the world," it is soon to be bankrupt.

Some favor you did the City of Duh!

mac said...

"We are eager for our students to be proven..."
(guilty)
"which is all the more reason..."
(for them to wear Uniroyal tread patterns on their uniforms)
"why we require the legal system..."
(to find a good hardware store with a good supply of rope)
"to proceed..."
(before the evidence is actually discernible)
"in a fair-minded..."
(as in 'fair-haired', aka 'blonde')
"even handed..."
(we'll use both hands when we tie 'em up)
"and speedy fashion."
(you got that one right, all by itself.)

mac said...

Houston Baker, in addition to being "one of the most wide-ranging intellectuals in America," is also a poet.

Consider the contrasting images:

"the horrors of this spring moment at Duke."

One pictures a daisy, a spring daisy, softly swaying in a gentle North Carolina breeze, a lawnmover on the horizon...a "spring moment."

Houston: what a beautiful mind you have!

Houston Baker always did want to know what it felt like to wear Klan robes. I would have suggested watching "Blazing Saddles" to find out, but he apparently wanted to go for the realism.

mac said...

Would've thought that the title of the book "Until Proven Innocent" would've given Ashley's comment (#13) a higher ranking:

"It would be better for the players to prove their innocence at trial."

Anonymous said...

Is Ashley a Communist?

Anonymous said...

" . . . an attitude of arrogant inconsiderateness that reached its peak in the alleged event but that had long preceded it.”

quoth Brodhead, the Duke president who now claims he "always" stressed that his students were entitled to the presumption of innocence in this affair.

Liar.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Have a wonderful trip to Israel. Be safe. We will always be here for you. Stay in touch.

Anonymous said...

I'd be very curious to hear Mr. Brodhead explain just how "white privilege" was responsible for Kim Roberts' and Crystal Mangum's alleged lack of "educational opportunity." As I recall, neither of these ladies suffered from any lack of educational opportunity in their lives. Ms. Mangum was in the Navy, and could have obtained as much higher education as she chose. Ms. Roberts was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, a well-regarded state university. Both Ms. Mangum and Ms. Roberts squandered their educational opportunities by engaging in irresponsible sexual activities that left them "accidentally" pregnant by men to whom they were not married. So where exactly does "white privilege" fit in this scenario? Did "white privilege" somehow force these two black women to be sexually promiscuous and sexually irresponsible? I don't really see the connection. Perhaps Mr. Brodhead could provide some of the missing details of his theory during one of his "campus culture" initiatives. Then again, maybe it's not Duke's "culture" that Brodhead should be examining if he really wants to get to the root of the problem here.

gak said...

All these quotes are just so funny that it truly is hard to pick one that best fits the #1 slot. I would have voted for the Himan "we're f'd" statement myself as #1. That kind of put it all on the table right there.

I spoke to a Fl lawyer last night about the abc11 article about the feds comming to town. He is of the belief that they are serious and that it may be real soon. One can only hope

Stu Daddy said...

OnPoint, with Tom Ashbrook, WBUR-FM, Boston.

Yesterday's show with Stuart Taylor, Bob Ashley, Jim Coleman and Mike Pressler. This is a good listen!

http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2007/09/20070919_a_main.asp

Anonymous said...

So many candidate quotes, so little time...

OT, but of interest: I got a call from our local Chapters. My copy of the book (ordered Sept 1) is in. I asked; apparently they have no copies in their stores, and the only way to get UPI through them is by special order.

Anonymous said...

Wendy Murphy and Nancy Grace are living proof that Neanderthals copulated with gorillas.

miramar said...

This may sound strange, but I am not so offended by the admittedly outrageous comments by Lubiano, Baker, and Davidson because these people are idiots and everybody (else) knows it. They are basically doing what they are being paid to do: run off at the mouth (or pen) in a vain attempt to mask a lack of intellectual content. Same for Wendy Murphy. (We should of course ask why anyone would pay them to do that, but that is a different issue.)

I am definitely offended by the comments of Brodhead, Nifong, and Ashley because they are paid to be fair and judicious, so I see their behavior as a true transgression of their professional responsibilities.

Nevertheless, they all deserve to be called out. After all, how often do college students get f'd by the police, the DA, the press, the community, the city manager, the New Black Panther Party, the faculty, the administration, and even the medical center? "Don't tazer me, Bro" seems to pale in comparison.

Kgun5 said...

As far as I'm concerned, Brodhead has bungled this entire situation, and almost certainly was (at least initially) shoulder-to-shoulder with the G88.

That said, I'm not sure #14 belongs on this list. Sure, I agree that the students shouldn't have to prove their innocence, but would they (or anyone falsly accused) be "eager" to do so?

Brodhead may have worded it poorly, but in the context of what he was saying, I would have probably agreed with his sentiment. I was "eager" to see the Duke kids be proven innocent, too.

So many idiotic things were said relating to this case that #14 just seems out of place. I'm not sure it would even be in my Duke faculty Top 32. Just my opinion.

Great job as usual, KC!

Anonymous said...

#10, Brodhead's letter to the Duke community is so damning of his own university and the people in it. Have the alumni of Duke stopped to consider what he said?

How much hope is there for our universities when their leaders fold under the pressure of political correctness?

In an email I received today Drew Faust, the new president of Harvard, says:
"... our commitment to excellence depends on a commitment to inclusiveness. "

Excellence depends on inclusiveness? Inclusiveness for its own sake? Inclusiveness of the good, the bad, the mediocre, the ugly, and the just plain wrong?

amber g. said...

In #9 .. do I hear it right when (near the end of the clip) Himan talks about Nifong remarking "How many rapes he [Nifong] has done?" ????

Steven Horwitz said...

“In the moment when the ad came out, I did not hear from one colleague that there was something wrong with the ad.”

"How could Richard Nixon have won? Everyone I know voted for McGovern!" - Pauline Kael, 1972.

Plus ca change and all that....

Anonymous said...

Question: Can anyone "on the ground" at Duke comment on enrollment for G88er classes? Are students (and by that I mean "real" students--not AA basket cases) still taking classes from these venal idiots? Just curious. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

To the commenter from yesterday concerned that the quotes are worse out of context and with 20/20 hindsight. Not true. They were much worse in context. Then, many of the comments fed an almost surreal demonization of innocent individuals falsely accused of a most heinous crime.

To Steven Horwitz,
How would you suggest we go about enticing the Gang to apologize? Although the former defendants have been exonerated thoroughly by Roy Cooper's statement of innocence, by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor detailed factual analysis, and by the efforts of others too numerous to name, I firmly believe genuine apologies from the administrators and G88 professors at Duke would be of great psychological benefit to the LAX players and their families, to the past, current, and future students at Duke, and to the administrators and professors themselves.

With the issuance of the "clarifying statement" most of those commenting here gave up hope for any apology or even any sign of humility or serious self reflection from this group. And President Brodhead's comments post Roy Cooper's declaration of innocence did not even begin to go far enough.

Although I completely understand the frustration of those commenting here with the Group of 88 and the Duke administration, genuine apologies, even at this late date, would have a profound and positive impact. I, for one, am happy to offer them tea, cake, hugs, and tears. Without a real, honest reconciliation, how can this situation ever resolve satisfactoriy? What, Prof. Horwitz, do you believe might help?

Observer

scott said...

15) “I’m not going to allow Durham’s view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham.”

No, instead, Nifong allowed Durham's view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of crooked cops and politicians, ably assisted by a bunch of disingenuous academics, raping a group of lacrosse players.

Now Durham's view in the minds of the world is that its citizens are squealing like a bunch of stuffed pigs because they're going to have to pay the clean-up costs for the party that Nifong, Gottlieb, and the 88 threw for them last year.

Durham as smut; I like that view. Finally, the tide has turned. It is about the truth

duke09parent said...

The only real problem with Broadhead's statement (#10) was the last sentence. The whole thing would have been fine had the paragraph closed as follows:

"The objection of our East Campus neighbors was a reaction to a perceived attitude of arrogant inconsiderateness of Duke students in their midst that made it easy for them to assume something awful happened on the evening in question."

Anonymous said...

"I bet one or more of the players was, you know, molested or something as a child."

This is the sort of stunning analysis I'd expect to hear from the blue-haired lady slapping ladlefuls of tuna salad onto cafeteria plates. Not on national television.

However, that seems to be the nature of the media today. They are not filling a need, but selling a commodity, and this distorts the news even by itself, without any need for bias. The stories are shaped to fit the "sizes" in which the news-vendors sell: if a seven-minute segment is desired and it takes more than seven minutes to convey all the key points, important information is omitted to meet that limit. And if a half-hour is desired and the half-hour cannot be filled with actual known facts, irresponsible speculation is purchased from the lowest bidder to pad the product.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how those still in denial would react to the following quotes on the civil trials to come...

“We are eager for the City of Durham to be proved innocent . . . which is all the more reason why we require the legal system to proceed in a fair-minded, even-handed, and speedy fashion.”

“The best course for all concerned is to continue down the current path of a civil trial and, we hope, to justice . . . It would be better for the police department to have an opportunity to prove its innocence at trial.”

Anonymous said...

Duke Law 72
Professor-- I guess you are on your way. A few thoughts follow you.
1. You are appreciated
2. you have made a difference.
3. Any time your can spare from your new endeavors to comment on the ongoing suits and disclosures growing from the incident would be most welcomed.
3. I have added your name to my short list of historians whose writings I read without regard to subject matter knowing they will be well worth the effort. That list is topped by Samuel Eliot Morrison and Henry Steele Commager.
4. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

“In the moment when the ad came out, I did not hear from one colleague that there was something wrong with the ad.”


This statement disturbs me the most; it sends a shudder down my spine.

The city will have to clean house on account of the civil suit, the board of trustees will eventually clean its administrative house, but the tenured faculty will escape from this episode completely unscathed safe in its echo chamber.

A "teaching experience" missed.

Anonymous said...

3:53am said
"they arabs and syrians and iranians are not to be trusted"

Thank you so much for warning us about these whole races of people. So useul to have these working generalizations.

Debrah said...

More on the lawsuit in the N&O

I hope the lacrosse families push this suit into the 22nd century...along with the N&O editorial staff, and Barry Saunders as well.

You can see the N&O coming back home to their real agenda.

They will be back inside the pockets of the black racists of Durham in no time.

Debrah said...

From the H-S:

DURHAM -- Duke University will invest $1.25 million over the next five years for its law school to establish a center devoted to the promotion of justice in the criminal justice system and the training of lawyers to fight against wrongful convictions, Duke President Richard Brodhead announced Wednesday.

Isn't that special?

And Coleman is playing right along with it.

Never were there any substantive nudges for Brodhead to do the right thing back when it would have counted for the lacrosse players.

You can be a hero by being tepid these days.

That's how cowardly and passive people have become.

Debrah said...

From the H-S:

LOL!!!
LOL!!!


Ex-chief's daughter pleads guilty to assault

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
jstevenson@heraldsun.com
Sep 20, 2007 : 12:14 am ET

DURHAM -- With her ex-police chief father at her side, Stephanie Chalmers pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced misdemeanor assault charge for dragging another woman with her car during what was portrayed as a love-triangle dispute.

Chalmers, 27, was placed on probation for two years, ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the victim and instructed to stay at least 1,000 yards away from the victim at all times.

In addition, Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand warned Chalmers to make no contact with the victim by e-mail, telephone, letters or any other method.

"No smoke signals, no flaming arrows or anything," Rand decreed.

Chalmers, who had no previous criminal record, was sentenced Wednesday under a seemingly paradoxical provision of the law that allows people to plead guilty without actually admitting guilt.

"I would just like to apologize," she told the judge.

Her father, retiring former Police Chief Steve Chalmers, sat beside her in a black suit and said nothing.

Steven Horwitz said...

Observer at 936:

You know, I'm not sure I have any brilliant ideas about how to make apologies more likely to happen. As much as I'd like to see them happen, and as much as I think apologies by many (the G88 being only one group among them) are still the right thing to do and would help the healing, I confess to being very pessimistic about it ever happening. FWIW, here's why, at least in terms of the G88:

1. I think that the legal settlement means that they are afraid to say *anything* about the case, even apologize. Frankly, I don't blame them. One wrong word in public and here come the lawyers.

2. It's very hard to recognize that a position one has held to deeply and for a long time might well be wrong. I mean that not only about their views of this particular incident but their whole ideological framework. The cognitive dissonance here has to be enormous. I think to many, an apology would feel like a public admission of a career-long error, or at least it would be perceived that way by others.

3. And yes, I do think that one factor is the way in which the G88 has been demonized (some, but not all, of which has been deserved), which means that they feel like an apology is to capitulate to people who they perceive have treated them unfairly. Whatever others think of how they've been treated, I can imagine their own pride saying "too many have made us seem personally responsible for the decline of Western civilization and an apology would only make their criticisms seem to have some validity." I can imagine myself in that situation being unwilling to apologize.

So I'm not at all optimistic that apologies will ever be forthcoming, at least not in the near future. Perhaps there's a way for those among the G88 to communicate any regrets/apologies they might have privately to the players and their families (and the members of the LAX team still on campus). This would, at least, be the right thing to do and might avoid the concern about the settlement and public statements.

But the question I keep coming back to is this:

How many of the G88, 18 months later, really believe that they were wrong and should apologize but just feel as though there are reasons they can't apologize publicly and how many really believe that they have nothing to apologize for?

I do not believe all of them fall into the latter category. I also believe that some do. And that continues to trouble me deeply (even if in Ralph's eyes I have no good solutions to that problem).

In the face of what we know now, it is unimaginable to me how any of the G88 can believe that "something happened" and that they did not treat their own students with reckless disregard. Only willful blindness to the truth can explain it, and that is not what academics and intellectuals are supposed to be about.

Of all the sins of the 88 faculty, the refusal to admit their error as the truth unfolded remains, in my eyes, the one most at odds with the principles that are at the core of intellectual inquiry and being a college faculty member. And had they admitted that error publicly early enough (and not compounded it with the Clarifying Statement), they could have avoided much of the demonization to which they have since been subject.

Debrah said...

Check out this H-S editorial now that the alleged victims are black.

Get out your hankies.....it's a tear-jerker:


Looking for justice in Jena

The Herald-Sun
Sep 20, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr. is smiling on Jena, La.

Today, the racially polarized city of 3,000 in eastern Louisiana will be the site of the largest civil rights protest in recent years. Tens of thousands of mostly young blacks are gathering there to protest on behalf of the "Jena Six", six black students they believe have been treated unfairly by the judicial system.

That the vast majority of the protestors are expected to be young -- the protest is driven by college students -- is especially gratifying for civil rights veterans who have long believed that generations of blacks unfamiliar with Jim Crow law take hard-won freedoms for granted. Today's protest is confirmation that young blacks understand that the battle for racial equality is not over.

By now most readers have heard about the case. It started about a year ago when a black student sought permission to sit under a shade tree traditionally used by only whites. Yes, you read that right.

Soon after administrators told black students they could sit under the tree, white students hung nooses from the tree and were suspended. As one might expect, racial tensions reached the boiling point. Fights broke out between whites and blacks.

White students taking part in fights were charged with misdemeanors. But after six black students jumped on a white student in December, the district attorney charged them with attempted murder. The charges were later reduced to aggravated second-degree battery, but are still much more serious than the misdemeanor charges handed down to white students. And last week, charges against Mychal Bell, 17, the first of the "Jena Six" to be tried and convicted were thrown out by a state appellate court, which ruled that Bell, who was 16 when the incident took place, was improperly tried as an adult.

For many blacks, the over zealousness of the prosecutor is a troubling reminder of Jim Crow. It harkens to a time when the justice system wasn't bound to respect the rights of blacks or treat them fairly. There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides in Jena, but the disparity in charges is inexplicable.

Fortunately for the "Jena Six", their contemporaries are on the case. Using Internet blogs, e-mails, message boards and talk radio shows, they have started a mass movement to demand fairness. King would be proud to see black youth take the lead in Louisiana.

Debrah said...

"But the reality is Durham can't lie down on this one."


LOL!!!
Too funny!

This from a little kibitzer in Durham...urging the city to fight the lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

"To the commenter from yesterday concerned that the quotes are worse out of context and with 20/20 hindsight. Not true. They were much worse in context. Then, many of the comments fed an almost surreal demonization of innocent individuals falsely accused of a most heinous crime."

Observer, thank you for a thoughtful reply. However, I think the argument you are making is that the comments were worse in consequence, which is true, but not the same thing as being worse in context. Let me pose this thought experiment: suppose the players had been guilty? Then these comments would no longer be part of "an almost surreal demonization of innocent individuals falsely accused of a most heinous crime." By contrast, Chan Hall's comment that the students' prosecution should take place even if they were innocent would still be just as despicable.

Anonymous said...

Inman @ 12:22 and Mac @ 4:53:

The reason Nifong's comment that he was f***** shouldn't make the list is that it's the one time he was telling the truth!

no justice, no peace said...

"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means."

Richard Brodhead?

Larry Moneta?

Joe Alleva?

Chamlmers, Nifong, Stephens?

Nope, Albert Einstein...

How do people like this get into positions of power and influence?

Anonymous said...

Prof. Horwitz --

I am glad to read your perceptive comments at 10:40.

I wonder if some of the Group could be convinced that a public statement of support for due process for all would be appropriate? The upcoming center being announced for Duke's law school makes an excellent opportunity for such a statement. While it wouldn't be the same as apologizing to the players for depriving them of due process, it would at least be an affirmation that what the players were deprived of is what no citizen deserves to be deprived of. (That is, if the G88ers could be convinced not to concentrate their remarks on how it's the poor and the people of color who really suffer from prosecutorial misconduct.)

jamil hussein said...

1045:
"alleged victims"??

Last time I checked the victim was a white student who got hospitalized because of the heroic gang attack by 6 african-american students. Of course, this being orwellian bizarroworld, the exact opposite of everything is true.

Anonymous said...

Re: “I’m not going to allow Durham’s view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham.”

The statement is already horrible, but if you have seen the video you may recall the jabbing with the finger, the pauses for effect, and the generally crazy look on Nifong's face. A few commentators have noted that the statements are actually worse than they appear, and this is one of them. When you add what Nifong knew and when he knew it, you can see why Nifong had that crazy look.

Incidentally, you may also have seen OJ's attorney, Yale (last name?), who was a frequent critic of Nifong on TV. I saw him yesterday answer a question with a smile and "That's what lawyers do," and no one criticized him for doing his job or OJ for hiring him. Curiously, the lacrosse players were actually considered guilty for hiring a lawyer, and for insisting they have a lawyer present when they answered the DPD's questions. I guess people have started watching more cop shows and realized that the Miranda rights allow people to remain silent and to retain an attorney. In other words, they have figured out that we live in the United States, not Nazi Germany as our good friend Nancy Grace seems to believe.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Horwitz:

Come on, it's pretty simple. If you want people to apologize, just have the state AG come in, investigate the facts, and if he finds the players are innocent and that there is no evidence that a crime occurred, he can just explain that, and invite a lot of people to apologize.

done deal.

-RD

no justice, no peace said...

inre: #10 "...inconsiderateness..."

The duty of the message is with the sender...

Brodhead has done a very poor job of communicating. His job is to communicate.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said...

"Check out this H-S editorial now that the alleged victims are black.

"Get out your hankies.....it's a tear-jerker:"

----------

Another distinction between the 2 cases (besides the race of the accused):

In Duke Lacrosse, we are still hearing, "B-but, but, but --- they HIRED STRIPPERS! (Gasp! Never mind that none of the 3 plaintiffs hired those skanks), and

"B-but-but-but....there was UNDERAGE DRINKING!" (Catch me while I faint.)

Whereas, in the Jena6 case,

These 6 thugs ganged-up to beat the shit out of one guy, for no reason except the victim's RACE.

IMAGINE the reaction if the races were reversed.

"No angels"? That can be said of any human. But in the Jena6 case, based on what seems to be "known" (although I keep an open mind), the accused are racist hate-criminals and cowards who brutally gang-assaulted a guy based on race -- the only question is the degree of crime for which they should be imprisoned.

Does this excuse persecuting the Jena6 beyond what the evidence supports? NO!

But, should we all weep more for the Jena6, than for the Lacrosse3?

Don't make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Duke09parent at 9:50--amen.
You posted exactly what I was thinking. Really, until the last sentence, everything he said was true, and a pretty good analysis of the reasons why the accusations caused such a ruckus.
A Duke 08 parent

inman said...

Regarding the Jena 6 ... the DA has asserted that the severity of the charges was not racially motivated.

If true, then there must be evidence to distinguish the disparate treatment of these particular six defendents. Everything one reads about this case would indicate (a) that these are the only blacks who have been in a fight or (b) that every black person who gets in a fight has been similarly charged.

First, have other blacks in the area been involved in fighting and been charged under misdemeanor statutes? Now, if there have been other blacks in similar fights who were charged only with a misdemeanor and there was no others facts to distinguish this case, then one would have to conclude that the charges were too severe. (My hunch, unsupported by facts at this point, is that other blacks have been in fights and have only been charged with misdemeanors. So the DA must believe that the severity and intent of the fight must be different. If race was the motivation, wouldn't all blacks would be similarly charged?)

Second, has there been a recent case where six whites beat up a black person and were only charged with a misdemeanor? If so, and again, one would have to conclude that the charges were too severe ... or in the case of the white people, not severe enough. (Let's, for example, look at the recent case in West Virginia involving whites who allegedly committed criminal acts against a black person. They were charged with felonies. No disparate treatment there.)

In either case, a reasoned person could look at the facts and say that the charges were either appropriate or not. Since I don't have those facts, I can't make a judgment either way. But to assert that the charges were not appropriate simply because the defendents were black and the victim was white seems to abet the worst kind of (reverse) racism.

But there are evidently thousands of neo-civil-rights activists who believe that justice is better served by protests unsupported by facts, focused only on skin color, rather than character. In the case of the Jena 6, the character of the assault appears to be the motivation for the severity of the charges. After all, there were six alleged attackers -- attacking only one victim. That simple statistic speaks volumes.

Unlike the H-S, I think Martin Luther King is rolling over in his grave.

The H-S is brain dead. We can now take it off life support.

Anonymous said...

9:21--You don't have to be "on the ground" to answer this question, you just have to want to know badly enough to do a little work. You can search the current semester's course offerings by instructor name on the
Duke registrar's website, then check each class listed for current enrollment--all from your own computer.

I don't, myself, want to know badly enough to do this, but I'm betting you'd find that some have high enrollments and some don't. As K.C. himself has pointed out, some are known as excellent teachers and/or scholars; they and will continue to attract students for that reason. Others may be teaching courses that are required for certain majors or are prerequisites for other classes.

Penny said...

Choices, choices...I've got to say that Wendy Murphy's statement “I bet one or more of the players was, you know, molested or something as a child.” is simply vile.

She's a vicious woman. If the MSM had any integrity she should be censored and off of the airwaves.

mac said...

"This episode has touched off...fears."

That is correct, Mr. Brodhead. It has touched off fears of false prosecution, something that Bill Anderson could teach you something about (with regard to other prosecutorial hoaxes) and it has made people fear contact with people of other races.

Among those fears that have been raised by this case:

If an employer hires an African American, will they get sued for the slightest perception of unfairness? Will they be falsely accused of crimes that never occured? Will they be vilified for their race, their culture and their income? (If so, perhaps we should encourage illegal immigrants to stay, as long as they promise not to sue.)

Because of Nifong's race-baiting, we are beginning to ask ourselves: why should we acquaint with people who - as evidenced in this case - mean us no good, and only harm? That's a lesson we've learned; that's the fear that this case has aroused.

And Mike Nifong continues to be defended by the same people who we might now feel uncomfortable with, with whom we might have enjoyed - at one time - as co-workers, friends and as relatives.

Yes, President Brodhead, this episode has touched off something profound, and profoundly disturbing: it has damaged - if not destroyed - racial relations in this country, and set us back years and years.

If you don't believe it, read Barry Saunders' race-baiting column. This is what you, your faculty and your friend Mike Nifong have wrought.

Don't blame the students. Blame yourself.

Anonymous said...

To the commentators who think these threads have degenerated into "groupthink":

The thoughtful exchange between Observer (9:36 a.m.) and Horwitz (10:40)-- and just about the entire second half of yesterday's "Top 32 Countdown, II" post thread-- exemplify what has always been best about the commentary on this blogsite.

Although I happen to think that any apology from any of the G88 is a useless charade at this point, pace Professor Horwitz, I'm frankly in awe of the sort of analysis that can put us in (possibly some of) the G88's shoes, without insisting that they're a good fit, as Professor Horwitz provides above.

Respectfully but determinedly
Anonymous

Anonymous said...

"Sacrifice Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry"

Horwitz wrote:

"How many of the G88, 18 months later, really believe that they were wrong and should apologize but just feel as though there are reasons they can't apologize publicly and how many really believe that they have nothing to apologize for?"

In my view, the G88 et al. "believe that they have nothing to apologize for." Why do they believe that? Because they believe seriously in the morality of sacrifice.

Imagine asking a tribal chief to apologize for sacrificing a young woman to the "rain gods," or asking certain Athenians to apologize for killing Socrates. They would be indignant. "Why should we apologize? It's the 'right' thing to do."

If you notice, there's a certain moral righteousness to the G88's statements and to their militant refusal to apologize. That righteousness stems from their concept of what is morally "right" -- i.e., from the conviction that any action is justified if it is done in the name of sacrificing "privileged" individuals (the lacrosse players) to the agenda of the "oppressed" group (e.g., feminists and selected minorities).

One can see this same sacrifice-is-moral world view in the media's motto: "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

It may seem odd that so many intelligent and educated people could -- over a period of 18 months -- summarily ignore: obvious facts, consistency, grammar, human decency, due process, the Constitution, chronology, codes of professional conduct, history, science.

However, such ugly phenomena are not odd (though they are despicable), once one realizes that for the G88 et al., the morality of sacrifice trumps everything.

Duke Prof

One Spook said...

Steven Horwitz @ 10:40 writes:

"In the face of what we know now, it is unimaginable to me how any of the G88 can believe that "something happened" and that they did not treat their own students with reckless disregard. Only willful blindness to the truth can explain it, and that is not what academics and intellectuals are supposed to be about."

Excellent reply, Steven.

I note your use of the phrase, "... what we now know ..." [my emphasis].

Throughout this, from the reaction of the G-88, Duke administration, the media, former DA Nifong, the "leading AA Scholars" who wrote to Provost Lange, and anyone else, what EVERYONE KNEW was that a woman had claimed that she was raped at a party hosted by a group of young men at Duke University.

Interestingly, this is what EVERYONE now knows about a similar accusation at another party hosted by a group of young men at Duke University.

But, compare the similarities of the accusations in both situations, and the resulting reactions of Duke professors and administrators, the media, and the Durham county DA office.

When you examine the question "Why are those reactions different?" the answer is ugly and shameful, and a sad, highly disturbing commentary on our society today --- we have a radical group of people whose very troubling ideology causes them to proffer a theory that an entire segment of Americans are NOT entitled to a presumption of innocence when charged with a crime.

That is the essence of this entire episode, and the only reaction of anyone to the charges at the time they were made should have been, "The accused is/are presumed to be innocent." and nothing more. That is all they needed to know THEN or NOW.

And, bound by that presumption, professors, DAs or anyone else do not sign or utter statements that prejudge; reporters do not opine prejudgment in articles; and "leading AA Scholars" do not write prejudicial letters based on the flawed, ideologically-based prejudgment of others.

The words of Provost Lange in his reply to the libelous statements of Houston Baker stand as the model of what should have been the reply of anyone concerned or involved with this case: " 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."

And, it took an "obscure professor" who, unlike the professors at Duke, clearly understood his obligations as a member of the academy and used his talents to pursue the truth and teach us all a history lesson in "real time." --- KC Johnson; the history professor who made history.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

"White students taking part in fights were charged with misdemeanors. But after six black students jumped on a white student in December, the district attorney charged them with attempted murder. The charges were later reduced to aggravated second-degree battery, but are still much more serious than the misdemeanor charges handed down to white students."

The Jena 6 got what they deserved.

Notice how the racist newspaper tries to equate "white students taking part in fights" with six black students who attacked without warning and knocked out a white student from behind and then began playing "Bend It Like Beckham" with the head the unconscious boy. If the newspaper can point to any similar crime by white students that was punished any differently, let it do so. It cannot.

Other factors in charging: Did the defendant accept a plea bargain? Did the defendant have a significant history of criminal behavior? Did the defendant show contrition for his crime? Again, the newspaper has a duty to compare apples with apples, which I guarantee that it is not doing.

RRHamilton

Anonymous said...

"In the moment when the ad came out, I did not hear from one colleague that there was something wrong with the ad." Lubiano displaying Groupthink indeed.

I don’t know whether the following analogy has been made, but it’s perfect. Pauline Kael, the film critic for the NYT, is alleged to have said in the aftermath of Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in the 1972 presidential election, that she "couldn't believe Nixon had won," since no one she knew had voted for him!

My choices for the #1 and #2 in the countdown are as #2, the “its not about the truth” statement to Coach Pressler, and as #1 Dave Evans’ statement on the courthouse steps about “fantastic lies.”

I hope my 20/20 vision in foresight doesn’t spoil your party, KC!

Diesel

Gary Packwood said...

Steven Horwitz 10:40 said...

...In the face of what we know now, it is unimaginable to me how any of the G88 can believe that "something happened" and that they did not treat their own students with reckless disregard. Only willful blindness to the truth can explain it, and that is not what academics and intellectuals are supposed to be about.
...Of all the sins of the 88 faculty, the refusal to admit their error as the truth unfolded remains, in my eyes, the one most at odds with the principles that are at the core of intellectual inquiry and being a college faculty member. And had they admitted that error publicly early enough (and not compounded it with the Clarifying Statement), they could have avoided much of the demonization to which they have since been subject.
::
I don't know what to think about the lack of apology except to note that if they did apologize, half of the people on the Duke hoax blogs would say that their apology was a hoax.

I DO know that when you bring together some of the best and brightest young people in the world onto one campus, they will figure out a way to deal with tyranny.

Check out the student columns in the Duke Chronicle.

For example,

Mr. Wolfe
http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2007/09/20/Columns/Dude-Wherere.My.Rights.part.PoPo-2981111.shtml

Mr. Fanaroff
http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2007/07/25/Commentaries/The-Porsche.Of.Knowledge-2926696.shtml

The students are teaching each other how to behave even if the army of middle management bureaucrats at Duke and not helping.

I'll caste my vote with the Duke students.

PS: The is a column from a Duke students - first name Oliver which I can't find. It is a must read if you have time to search for Oliver's work.
::
GP

Debrah said...

Durham and its strange view of justice, right and wrong, and what now represents civil rights for some are a jumbo ball of confusion.

And they will eventually self-destruct if someone with a sense of decency does not intervene.

Anonymous said...

Deborah 10:25. Actually I'm a little surprised at your reaction to the editorial. Have you learned nothing from the this event at Duke? Even if the H&S is biased toward African American view which was a ngeative for the Duke 3 as they couldn't tell the truth when they knew the facts, in this case there is obvious bias against the 6 students. If I have learned anything in following the blog all this time, it is that the justice sysem, the police, a community and the media can be severely wrong because of their bias. I have a new appreciation of defense attorney's and a distrust of the authorities. Deborah, I thought you were one of the good guys with some sense. We need to find ways to ensure fairness for everyone, no matter the color of their skin, and to improve tolerance of difference points of view, and develop a common ground.
Prof Horowtiz, your insights into possible reasons for the silence of g88 make sense. It's a done deal now, I sincerely hope the next time the extremists get going, they do not get the support they got this time. The truth is coming out.
Good bye KC, it's been great, thanks for the book, I really hope it is widely read and both extreme points of view learn from it.

Ralph Phelan said...

I've got a favorite quote.

If it's not already in his list as #1, KC should make it #0.

What the ACLU said about an ongoing civil rights violation:
What the national NAACP said about one of their chapters joining a lynch mob:
What 90% of Duke's faculty said about the abuse of their students:

“”

Anonymous said...

If you feel that apologizing for an instance in which you have horribly wronged someone would be an admission of a career-long error, you've probably made a career-long error.

M. Simon said...

"You know, we're fucked." - B. Himan

Is my favorite so far. And the attorney who asked it got him to repeat it 4 or 5 times.

Anonymous said...

I went over to Liestoppers because nothing was happening here and stumbled over an old post by Duke84 from January of this year. He said:

"I think many posters go a little overboard with the revenge fantasies - too much wishful thinking.

Duke is not going to move to spite Durham.
The families of the accused will not get all of their money back, unfortunately.
Brodhead will not lose his job because of this case.
The vast majority of the Group of 88 will keep their jobs as long as they want to keep them.
Mike Nifong will never serve a day in prison. Maybe he will lose his law license and his job. I'd take that."

We will see.

M. Simon said...

Debrah said...

From the H-S:

DURHAM -- Duke University will invest $1.25 million over the next five years for its law school to establish a center devoted to the promotion of justice in the criminal justice system and the training of lawyers to fight against wrongful convictions, Duke President Richard Brodhead announced Wednesday.

Do you suppose it is part of the LAX settlement with Duke?

Mike Lee said...

I have to agree with Steven Horowitz, the saddest part of this episode is the fact that these 88 Professors are unwilling to admit error or apologize.

Let's face it, there can be no argument that their statement was worded poorly and projected guilt. For any professor (much less 88 of them) to fail to recognize this fact or apologize for it is very troubling.

Their steadfast refusal to apologize and now to even discuss the ad has made it even worse.

If there really are members of the 88 who feel they have nothing to apologize for I feel incredibly sorry for them. If this is the case they have truly lost their way.

Greg said...

Dan Rather has proved the Duke 3 are not being greedy. He wants $70-Million for getting fired. $30-Million for being falsely accused of rape sounds like a bargian.

Debrah said...

Something must have happened to KC.

He never stays away from Wonderland this long.

We might have to go check it out.

Anonymous said...

The most feared words for us and the most celebrated by the Group of 88:

"As this blog winds down"

Debrah said...

KC's posts today on Kolokh are so hot!

Anonymous said...

Comment moderation only works when there's a moderator about. KC, can you delegate this authority to someone?

RRH

no justice, no peace said...

"Mend your speech a little, lest it may mar your fortunes." - Wm. Shakespeare, King Lear

Loads more Western Civ and a lot less AAAs and Womens Studies would do these people some good.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:56 said...

"This is the sort of stunning analysis I'd expect to hear from the blue-haired lady slapping ladlefuls of tuna salad onto cafeteria plates. Not on national television."

There's no need to insult the blue-haired ladies working cafeterias here...

no justice, no peace said...

Of course $1,250,000 over five years can be covered by admitting five more students and providing them fnancial aid packages which are subsidized by taxpayers, alumni, and donors.

It would not surprise me if they allowed five more into the AAAs program to cover the committment.

What a guy that Brodhead!

I don't think I could trust a decision by him on where to eat lunch.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes he is.

Chalmers' daughter got special treatment, no doubt due to her sex, color and class. Yet another case of privilege in NC.

Durham better make a settlement deal - discovery will be more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Of interest - at VC today, Tortmaster has commented in two posts concerning Tortmaster's analysis of N.C. law re: defamation and possible "slam dunk" cases against some of the actors, including HS, NYT, N&O, and lo and behold, Wendy Murphy:

4. Wendy Murphy. K.C. Johnson has quoted Wendy Murphy on this case. One of her quotes is posted on his list of the worst of the hoax. For that quote alone, she should be bankrupted.

These are my opinions only. MOO! Gregory
9.20.2007 6:13pm


J.P., hoping link code will take from pasted Word.

sceptical said...

Slightly off track,

Barnes & Noble's online site appears to have "Until Proven Innocent" in stock now. So if you need a copy, go to:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780312369125&itm=1

Anonymous said...

RRH - Delegate? Did you forget KC is out of here in eleven days?

Anonymous said...

Considering all the trouble people are having finding UPI at their local booksellers, I'm now feeling pretty lucky that I got mine on the first try.

Ok, so I have 11 days to critique the book? I'm a slow-reader ....

RRH

Anonymous said...

Off Topic - Dan Rather - a guy I have always had a lot of respect for in the past, was so sad and pathetic on Larry King tonight. Hard for everyone but when it is time to go-it is time to go.

Anonymous said...

"I have never understood why any prosecutor would try to gain an advantage at trial by concealing evidence from the defendant. After all, if the information in question is damaging to the State's case, then the defendant is clearly entitled to have it; if it is not damaging to the State's case, why should it matter if he gets it? That is why I was giving open file discovery in all my cases - and encouraging others to do likewise - more than twenty years before our legislature, in response to the abuse of prosecutorial discretion, required it in all criminal cases. And that is why I have never had a conviction overturned for violating a defendant's right to discover the State's case against him." Mike Nifong for DA web site

http://web.archive.org/web/20060613071726/http://mikenifongda.com/

inman said...

RRH @ 2:18

I agree.

Anonymous said...

RRH said:

"Notice how the racist newspaper tries to equate "white students taking part in fights" with six black students who attacked without warning and knocked out a white student from behind and then began playing "Bend It Like Beckham" with the head the unconscious boy. If the newspaper can point to any similar crime by white students that was punished any differently, let it do so. It cannot."

I'm sorry, but unless you were a witness to both fights, you are a racist.

Do you know how the white student took part in the fight? I don't, but I did read that one of the black kids had a bottle broken over his head. Do you know that the six kids played "bend it like Bekham" with the kid? I don't know, but I did read the assaulted kid did not require hospital care, and went to a social function that evening. The kid that was convicted of assault was a football star. I would guess he was capable of doing serious damage. And I don't trust a DA who would file attempted murder charges in this case.

I'm not condoning what either side did, and I'm not prepared to take sides, but I'm sure not going to make the assumptions you make.

I wish we could get KC to pass through Jena on his way to the middle east.

-RD

Anonymous said...

Calling people racist is so out of line. Does not help the debate or advance ideas. I did not see either fight. With years of experience in the ED, I know that when a client is released after two hours, they are not that hurt. He right eye was swollen, but not unexpected in a punch up. Going to the game that night is another indicator of minimal damage from the fight.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone found any good source information about this Jena6 thing. All I am seeing is quotes by demonstrators and locals, which are plainly not unbiased.

By the way, a person who has a gun fired at them may walk away uninjured. But that doesn't mean the person firing the gun cannot be rightfully charged with attempted murder, does it?

Until I see some better information on all of this, I am withholding judgement.

Anonymous said...

You are right, and I apologize to RRH. The "racist" comment was meant to parallel the first line from the quoted portion of RRH's post, but it was clumsily done, and I am sorry.

One thing that bothers me in the Duke case is what would have happened if the accused players had not been of such good character, or if Mangum, Nifong, the DNA lab and/or the G88 had been less inept. The defense attorneys have said they were lucky. In Jena we have a case where perhaps the facts are not as clear cut, but a grave injustice may be happening nonetheless.

-RD

inman said...

Re: Jena 6:

The severity of injuries is irrelevant and although I do not know the law, my sense is that intent is all important.

If you take out a gun that you think is loaded (when in fact it is empty) and point it at someone's head and pull the trigger intending to kill them, you may be guilty of attempted murder ... even though noone was hurt. (For all the lawyers...is this true?)

If correct, then all the shouting about the Jena six is a bunch of blather. Only a jury can sort out the question of intent, after hearing the facts.

It is somewhat frightening that so many people think that the law should look at results only when evaluating a criminal act.

mac said...

You guys ever see UFC? Takes a lot of blows to even disable someone. Some people can take a punch - (or in the case of the Jena 6, a kick to the head.)

Having seen people kicked in the head in my neighborhood while they're on the ground, and watching them get up apparently unharmed, I think you folks who minimize the attack on the student are full of crap.

The student who was charged with the worst offense is apparently a career criminal. Look at his record, and then open your lips.

Until then, STFU about Jena. This is about Nifong and the City of Duhh and three INNOCENT young men, who committed NO CRIME (unlike the Jena 6.)

Racialist.

rrhamilton said...

The "amount of damage" is completely irrelevant to a charge of attempted murder, isn't it? But the attempted murder charge is a diversion anyway: Although the facts did fit a charge of attempted murder, they better fit a charge of "aggravated second-degree battery", which is what the charge was reduced to.

Something that no one has commented on is how when law enforcement in the bluest of blue states, like NYC and LA, go "wilding" on helpless black defendants -- shooting or beating them -- they actually get less criticism than red state justice systems that do the right thing to genuine black criminals.

For blue-staters, it seems for blacks to beat up redneck kids is the civil right of the new millenium. To resist or complain is racist.

Btw, for anyone interested in the facts of the Jena case, instead of just redneck-bashing, go here.

rrh said...

Anonymous said...
You are right, and I apologize to RRH


RD, no problem; please don't give it another thought.

Anonymous said...

The damage against the white guy so irrevelant, the charges were dropped to a reduced degree. Read the Halloween story from Long Beach last year, and see what beaten means.

rrhamilton said...


Anonymous said...
The damage against the white guy so irrevelant, the charges were dropped to a reduced degree. Read the Halloween story from Long Beach last year, and see what beaten means.

9/21/07 11:47 AM


In an attempted murder case, the "damage" is always irrelevant: If you shoot a gun at someone and you miss, how much "damage" did the victim suffer? Should the offense be reduced to "unlawful discharge of a firearm" because the victim "suffered no damage"? Of course not. So let's quit pretending that the "amount of harm" has anything to do with the case.

The reason the DA reduced the charge from "attempted murder" to "aggravated second degree battery" is because he thought he might have difficulty proving the intent to murder of the perpetrator. Under the facts of the case, "aggravated second-degree battery" was (and remains) a slam-dunk.

Anonymous said...

RRH -

The article you linked to is subtly biased in its presentation of the "facts."

If we are going to charge the black kids with attempted murder (or assault), then file similar charges against the "white man" who "then jumped in front of the woman, and a fight started." (from the towntalk link).

Let's also charge the kids who hung the nooses for federal hate crimes, since "as the FBI said (during the forum) hanging a noose under the circumstances these nooses were hung is a hate crime,"

If some white kid wants to pull a gun on someone, let's not charge the black kid with theft for taking the gun away.

"Although there were reports of the black students calling the police, there was no report from either the Sheriff's Office or Police Department." Given all we've learned over the past 18 months, I don't trust these small-town police in a town that characterizes the hate crime as a prank, and engages in what appears to be a very unequal application of the law.

And to previous posters that want to defer to prosecutorial discrestion, sorry but the conviction was overturned. The prosecutor doesn't have the discretion to over-charge these black juveniles and then try them as adults.

In the linked article, the US Attorney didn't say there wasn't race-based selective prosecution, but only that it "is hard to prove" because you to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

The article also didn't mention how many witnesses were called for the defense (other reports are that no witnesses were called), or if an all white jury convicted (other reports are that it was an all white jury).

In my opinion, this case has a stench that should be raising red flags to anybody that has been following the Duke case.

-RD

Ralph Phelan said...

RD sez:

"If some white kid wants to pull a gun on someone, let's not charge the black kid with theft for taking the gun away."

My opinion (and only that) is that if there are ever any clearly documented injustices from Jena, they won't be in the charges against black kids who kicked an unconscious guy in the head, they'll be in the lack of charges against white wrongdoers.

rrhamilton said...

Anyone who has been following the Duke case should know a few things by now about interracial conflicts:

(1) The media never is biased against "the black side of the story".

(2) The police are never biased against "the black side of the story".

(3) The justice system is never against "the black side of the story".

RD says .... If we are going to charge the black kids with attempted murder (or assault), then file similar charges against the "white man" who "then jumped in front of the woman, and a fight started." (from the towntalk link).


Situation one: in a school lunchroom a white student is attacked from behind and is knocked unconscious by a blow to the back of his head. His attackers then repeatedly kick his helpless and prostrate body and head.

Situation two: five black students show up uninvited to an invitation only party and when asked to leave, refuse to do so. When a "white man" steps in (did he really "jump in", or is that a biased word the media used?), a fight breaks out. Police come and the white man is arrested. [Note: as a legal matter the blacks were guilty of criminal trespass as soon as they refused a request to leave].

RD, do yourself a favor and try reversing the races in each of these situations: Imagine that six ugly rednecks had beat a black honor student (aren't they all honor students in the media -- even CGM?) to unconsciousness in the lunchroom and then kicked the black's helpless form the way they normally kick kittens and other living things. Or imagine how you felt watching the Rodney King beating and remember that King was conscious and kept trying to get up contrary to police orders.


Now imagine that a group of rednecks, no doubt with lynching on their so-called minds, shows up at a party and when the black hostess tells them to leave, they refuse (while making leering eyeballs at her in rememberance of when their granddaddies raped her grandmother after lynching her grandfather). They should be charged with a hate-crime right then and there, don't you think?

As far as the small-town Southern police go, remember how the Duke case got started: Kim Roberts called 911 and said she was driving/walking and someone yelled "nigger". How long did it take police to show up? TWO MINUTES. Think about that: She wasn't reporting a murder, or a rape, or an assault, or even a purse-snatching. She wasn't saying that she was in any danger at all or in fear of any danger. All she did was report (falsely) the use of a "WORD". And the small-town police showed up in TWO MINUTES! That's how sensitized the police are to any possible affront to black sensitivities.

I'd write more, but I'm getting distracted by r/l here.

R.R. Hamilton