Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tyson Reinvents Some More

Professors are supposed to be open-minded, willing to dispassionately evaluate new evidence as it arrives, and, if necessary, reconsider their initial assumptions. Obviously, the lacrosse case showed another side of some elements of the Duke faculty, as race/class/gender advocates not only presumed guilt but then reinvented the past to rationalize their initial actions.

So we had Group of 88 member Cathy Davidson penning a January 2007 op-ed describing the Group’s statement as a necessary corrective to the first week’s media coverage, which was dominated by the voices of the lacrosse players—when, in fact, the first week’s media coverage all but ignored the lacrosse players’ protestation of innocence, and instead focused on Mike Nifong and extremist students and professors presuming guilt. Or we had Charlie Piot suggesting that the Group’s statement didn’t presume guilt, because it thanked only those who had protested on March 27, 2006, not on March 26, 2006 or March 29, 2006—even though the statement contained no such qualification, and even though the March 27 protesters, like those on the other two days, presumed guilt. Or we had the Lubiano Trio writing that AG Roy Cooper dismissed the charges merely because “there was no credible evidence to support the allegation that a crime had occurred”—even though Cooper repeatedly and publicly stated he had dismissed the charges because the players were actually innocent, a far more stringent standard.

The latest efforts of Tim Tyson, then, are merely one in a long line of dubious activities by the Group and its campus allies. Like his pedagogical comrades, Tyson recently reinvented the past, in quite substantial ways. He claimed that he had defended the presumption of innocence in a March 2006 statement—without mentioning that, in March 2006, he had preposterously claimed that the lacrosse players “might” have committed an “illegal” act by postponing an unsupervised interview with Sgt. Mark Gottlieb so they could consult with attorneys. And he also reiterated his March 2006 assertion that the lacrosse players embodied “the spirit of the lynch mob,” citing the racially charged after-party argument, initiated by Kim Roberts (an African-American) between Roberts and a lacrosse player—without mentioning that, in March 2006, he had justified the statement by (falsely) implying the racial taunts occurred while the women were dancing, (falsely) claiming that both women had made the claim, (falsely) claiming that multiple neighbors corroborated the allegation, and (falsely) asserting that evidence existed of a “lot” of racial slurs.

In the comment thread at the N&O blog, Tyson, incredibly, has continued to offer factually unsupported claims. For instance, he asked, “Did KC Johnson or any of the people indignant about the lacrosse case say one word on behalf of Darryl Hunt? You guessed it. Their concern for racial justice is confined to ‘the vanilla suburbs,’ and always will be.” Yet, in fact, I’ve mentioned the Hunt case both in public talks and in UPI, and one DIW reader searched to find 67 references to it over the course of the blog. (Tyson, moreover, appeared unaware of how the question could be turned on its head: despite the highest-profile case of prosecutorial misconduct in modern American history occurring in his own backyard, there’s no evidence that Tyson ever said “one word” while the case was ongoing on behalf of Mike Nifong’s victims, suggesting his “concern for racial justice” is confined to quarters outside the Duke student body.)

Pressed on the Hunt issue by other commenters, Tyson dug an even deeper hole for himself, as John in Carolina observed. In the Hunt case, wrote Tyson, “The prosecutors knew that the killer was a light-skinned African American, but Hunt is quite dark-skinned. Nor was there any evidence against him. Demogoguery [sic] (and eleven whites) on the jury convicted Hunt. Nineteen years later, community activism forced a reexamination of his case, and DNA evidence (and some simple questioning of the record) led to the real killer . . . The city of Winston-Salem paid him many times less than the accused lacrosse players have received so far, and roughly 28 and a half million dollars less than the players are currently suing Durham for.”

To my knowledge, no objective observers deny that Hunt was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Yet coverage of the Hunt case in the Winston-Salem Journal doesn’t substantiate Tyson’s dramatic claim that prosecutors “knew” that Hunt didn’t fit the description of the assailant (unlike the Duke case, a crime did actually occur in the Hunt case) and had no evidence against him.

Moreover, Tyson’s comments about the financial settlement correctly raised the eyebrows of another DIW reader: “Since the only money that the ‘lacrosse players have received so far’ has come from the heretofore-secret settlement terms between Duke and the players, Prof. Tyson is telling us something new -- that Duke paid the players ‘many times’ more than Hunt received, which was $1.65 million. And he is not claiming this is just ‘an opinion’ or ‘a guess’; he's stating it as absolute fact . . . Given Prof. Tyson's close connections with the Duke Administration (he was named a ‘Dukie of the Year’ in 2006), it would not be unfair to presume that he speaks with some authoritative knowledge on the subject. Thus, I think a phone call to Duke is in order to see if the administration will confirm or deny that Prof. Tyson is telling the truth about the amount of the confidential settlement.”

On the issue of the size of settlements, Tyson appears unaware of the law. In a September 12 N&O article, Jim Coleman explained,

how much the lacrosse players suffered is just one factor in determining an appropriate amount to seek. Coleman said he thinks Durham police failed to adequately explore evidence that could have exonerated the players, a charge the city denies. He said other falsely accused people have suffered more, but they often were the victims of negligence rather than an intentional effort to bring charges without evidence.

The question of intent—whether police willfully railroaded the lacrosse players—will be a key factor if the civil case goes to trial, Coleman and Largess said. If police and city officials are found to have maliciously pursued the case knowing the evidence wasn’t there, they should pay until it hurts, Coleman said. “There’s an element of punitive action involved in lawsuits like this,” he said.

On September 13, Coleman added that deterrence can be a critical action of such suits: “When the city acts in ways that are so totally outrageous and could have been prevented, I think the damages ought to be sufficient to deter that kind of behavior in the future and also to send a message to other cities and prosecutors across the state. I have no idea the damage they suffered. There’s no way for us to say $30 million is low or high.”

What’s the significance of the type of closed-mindedess we’ve seen from Tyson, or Davidson, or Piot, or Lubiano, or Group members like Grant Farred and Houston Baker? In the lacrosse case, the truth was plain to see, and yet groupthink members of the faculty of Duke—one of the best universities in the United States—seemed unwilling or unable to process the information, because doing so contradicted their race/class/gender worldview. Perhaps, of course, Group members and allies were closed-minded on this issue alone, and fairly and dispassionately evaluate evidence when dealing with ideologically charged issues in their scholarship and teaching. But based on the conduct we’ve seen, such a theory seems unlikely.

To what extent, then, does a similar closed-mindedness permeate the scholarship and teaching—issues largely outside of the realm of public interest—of Group members and likeminded colleagues at other elite institutions?


Anonymous said...

I commented on KC's previous Tyson post that I wondered if Tyson's recent comments , which continue to malign the players and distort the truth, violated the confidential settlement agreement that the three indicted players reached with Duke in June, 2007.

Tyson now has publicly discussed the financial terms of the confidential agreement --- yet another possible violation.

Duke parent 2004 said...

Perhaps the most revealing comment from Tim Tyson on J. Peder Zane's N & O blog is this: "The work (such as it is) of my attackers here will be out of print in a few minutes.
Jealousy kills more people than cancer, Joe Kennedy once observed."

Tyson, like so many arrogant fools, hasn't yet grasped the power of the Internet to embarrass each of us in tangled webs of our own doing. Jealousy of what, Tim? Of your reluctance to ground your criticisms of others in the most elementary checking of the record? Of your unwillingness to acknowledge the legitimate criticisms leveled against you? Of your inability to see that you've been eviscerated? Better to labor in obscurity, Tim, than in pursuing fame to show one's being unworthy of even notoriety.

Perhaps I shall propose to a (former?) friend who happens to be a Duke trustee that an endowment be created to pay specified members of the faculty to cease "publishing" of all kinds. Because these persons continue bringing embarrassment and ill repute to the University, they cheapen all Duke diplomas and, therefore, the Duke brand. Allow me, Tim, to be the first to suggest your inclusion in this august group of Duke professors to be compensated for merely filling space. After all, you're already famous. And in the non-research you did before responding to your critics, you've demonstrated how ready you are to take your rightful place in this new pantheon of indolence.

Anonymous said...

In Tyson's case it's obvious; Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

Debrah said...

Wonderful post.

In 2009 it's going to be very important that the public be made aware, fully, of Tyson's past and his true character and his messy brand of scholarship when he's out there trying to peddle his little film.

After so much has been illuminated on Zane's blog, he (Zane) and others at the N&O no longer have any excuses for writing only glowing pieces on Tyson without any critical coverage.

Debrah said...

H-S letter. This is the typical NCCU graduate:

Duke Chronicle article showed insensitivity

As a Durham native and an N.C. Central University alumnus, I was outraged to read the article in the Duke Chronicle titled "Summa Cum Looney" by Kristen Butler. (The article criticized NCCU for allowing the woman at the center of the Duke lacrosse scandal to graduate.) As Americans, we have the privilege of voicing our opinions. However, the paper should be editorially responsible and think of the impact such a column will have on others.

I feel Butler has hampered the progress of partnership that had finally begun between the two universities. She has insulted the entire NCCU community, including friends of NCCU and former graduates who are now in professions at all levels of the employment spectrum and have completed degrees at NCCU.

If she had performed a little more research, I am sure she would probably have uncovered the dark side of some present or former students in the Duke archives that some of us may consider undeserving of degrees from Duke. Instead of launching insults, this column and paper could benefit all by promoting camaraderie and building bridges of partnership.

This type of rhetoric will continue to perpetuate racial and academic divisiveness in the Durham community and the country. I feel Butler owes the NCCU family, the city of Durham and the Duke University family an apology for her appalling remarks, inconsideration and insensitivity.

The writer is a member of the NCCU class of 1977.

Joyce Scarborough
Chesterfield, Va.
May 27, 2008

skwilli said...

Your step by step approach to destoying the credibility of the Group of 88 and their supporters is a wonder to witness. It has made my worldview much more focused and analytical. Thank you for demonstrating "how to do things right".

Debrah said...

A Diva letter to the H-S in defense of Kristin Butler.

Will they print it?

"From reading the illogical and splenetic letter from Joyce Scarborough, my senses tell me that she might be living back in the '70s when damaging double standards were the order of the day, allowed to be displayed unanswered.

Most of us learned in grade school that it you want respect from others you have to display at least a small semblance of it toward other people.

Allow me to remind Scarborough of such illustrious NCCU alumni as Chan Hall who was supposedly a campus "leader" back in 2006. He voiced proudly and publicly that if the falsely accused Duke students in the Lacrosse Hoax and Frame-up were not guilty they should be charged anyway for what has occurred throughout history. And Hall is only one among so many on the NCCU campus who voiced the same brand of third-world mob rhetoric.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper was enormously kind and, no doubt, wanted to avoid more irrational upheaval from Durham's black community by not putting Crystal Mangum in jail for her multitude of crimes. Solid DNA evidence that was deliberately hidden showed that Mangum was sporting under garments with week-old dried semen from at least five different men---(none of whom were Duke lacrosse players)---her vaginal and anal cavities containing semen from still other men---(none of whom were Duke lacrosse players)---while repeatedly lying and fabricating story after story which have cost Duke millions and will subsequently cost the taxpayers of Durham millions.

Perhaps NCCU's administration should tell the truth concerning the true nature of Mangum's "scholarship" and stop trying to excuse this gutter-style behavior.

So Mangum was supposed top be "unstable"? Then how is she allowed to raise her kids and "earn" a degree?

Should all universities reward such a person with a diploma? Not in the world where people actually work and abide by society's laws and don't do harm to the lives of others.

How dare anyone defend this insanity!

Kristin Butler has won---and continues to win---numerous national journalism awards. She was one of very few in the media who covered this case honestly from beginning to end."

Anonymous said...

On the my alma mater's main building is inscribed the motto: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free".

At Duke, the motto seems to be, "We shall teach you lies and grade you on retention".


Anonymous said...

If each case is considered on its own merits or the facts of the case, what does this constant pointing to the outcome of other cases do for justice in a particular case, and why do people like Tyson (like children in a classroom) excuse their behavior based on the facts of a case that does not really apply to them in the way that they present it to their argument. Their argument never seems to be presented with a responsibility for their own wrong behavior. Hunt was wronged and so were the members of the Duke lacrosse team. The purpose of inquirey is justice. It was and has always been or should be about justice except in argument by the likes of demagogues like Tyson and the Group88 who want a pound of flesh to feed their own collective ego or false assumptions. If left up to the likes of them, both Hunt and the Duke lacrosse team would be in prison for something as in the case of Hunt was not done by him and in the case of the Duke lacrosse team never happened except in the narrow, bigoted minds of Duke academics. This was the real "something happened" at Duke and Durham. It was all part and parcel of the corruption of Nifong, Duke University, and Durham.

Gary Packwood said...

Existentialism - New and Improved

KC asks,
....What’s the significance of the type of closed-mindedess we’ve seen from Tyson, or Davidson, or Piot, or Lubiano, or Group members like Grant Farred and Houston Baker?

...To what extent, then, does a similar closed-mindedness permeate the scholarship and teaching—issues largely outside of the realm of public interest—of Group members and likeminded colleagues at other elite institutions?
This 'closed-mindedness' appears to be a new form of Existentialism whereby human existence is a series of free choices, the responsibility for which cannot be lessened by any set of rules, any circumstances, or any outside influences.

In this case, we are talking about the rules associated with the Constitution of the United State, the Duke faculty handbook and local ordinances in Durham NC.

The significance then is likeminded colleagues at other elite institutions have also adopted a new and improved form of existentialism that is at odds with the Constitution of the United States to include especially laws governing due process, probable cause and the presumption of innocence.

And...they are espousing this brand of existentialism to their students in the lecture halls while the university administration and members of the board of trustees stand to the side and do absolutely nothing to stop it.

Anonymous said...

KC says...

To my knowledge, no objective observers deny that Hunt was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit.

I think I'm an objective observer. No, I don't deny that Hunt was wrongly convicted, but neither do I affirm it.

If I may digress for a moment: This past weekend I watched the movie Zodiac, which was about the infamous series of murders in California circa 1970. The movie makes a strong case that the "Zodiac killer" was a man named Arthur Leigh Allan. The movie makes this strong case despite the fact that key forensic evidence, including DNA, pointed away from Allan.

So it is with the Hunt case. I have seen too many people claim that "Hunt was exonerated by DNA evidence". He was absolutely not. In fact the DNA evidence was of so little consequence that, iirc, the North Carolina Supreme Court rejected it as a cause for a new trial. That was when Hunt's well-heeled supporters went the political route and got Hunt a pardon from the governor.

Bottom line: While no objective observer can say with certainty that Hunt was guilty, neither can any objective observer say with certainty that he was innocent of the crime. As I've said here and other fora before, read the newspaper series (every word -- don't skim) and decide for yourselves.


mb said...

K.C. asked rhetorically: "To what extent, then, does a similar closed-mindedness permeate the scholarship and teaching—issues largely outside of the realm of public interest—of Group members and likeminded colleagues at other elite institutions?"

From what I've experienced at my own institution, in all likelihood the answer can be provided in one word: thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

JiC links to Thomas Sowell. It is not a stretch to suppose that Tyson is just a product of Mascot politics . The whole 88 for that matter.
JimB's Dog

Debrah said...

Kristen Butler's column has provoked more controversy than I had known.

Here's the N&O's Durham blog "Bull's Eye" on the subject.

Further, I didn't know when I told John Drescher that he should hire people like Butler that she was already positioned to intern with their paper this summer.

Anonymous said...

Personal accountability and the basic principle of right vs. wrong are not relative. Either you are accountable for your actions, or you are not. Either you do the right thing, or you do not.

There is no acceptable "but this was worse" argument. Tim Tyson, Houston Baker, et al, lack the integrity and depth of character to properly atone for their own actions.

Anonymous said...

Ex-Duke Players Can Sue Nifong Outside Bankruptcy, Judge Says
2008-05-27 16:04 (New York)

By Dawn McCarty
May 27 (Bloomberg) -- Three ex-Duke University lacrosse
players cleared of rape charges brought by former prosecutor
Michael Nifong can proceed with their lawsuit against him outside
bankruptcy court, a judge ruled.
The former North Carolina district attorney, who lost his
law license for mishandling the criminal against the players,
sought bankruptcy protection Jan. 15 in federal court in Durham,
North Carolina. Nifong filed for Chapter 11 protection in hopes
of wiping out the players' legal claims against him.
The case is In re Michael B. Nifong, 08-80034, U.S.
Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of North Carolina (

Anonymous said...


Background: To what extent does a closed-mindedness permeate the scholarship and teaching of Group of 88 members and likeminded colleagues at other elite institutions?

Methods: We randomly selected 88 individuals from the general population and sat them in a circle in a large, sterile auditorium. This was "Control Group A." In the second group -- "Study Group B" -- we put the Group of 88 in a circle in the same auditorium the next day. In the middle of each group, we used the same individual to ask: "What do you think about the difference between female and male math scores?"

Results: Members of Control Group A immediately began discussing the issue, raising interesting points regarding causation and remedy. They apparently assumed that there was a difference given that test scores showed a difference. Study Group B, on the other hand, remained silent for the entire two-hour testing period, except for one member who said, at the 1:47 mark, "What difference?"

Conclusion: Race and gender issues would be taught more thoroughly by the first 88 people you found on the street than the Humanities faculty at Duke University.

Anonymous said...

May I direct Ms. Scarborough to http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/427860.html, where she can view the video from the 04/11/2006 NCCU Forum.

We can then benefit from her insights with respect to the demands made by the NCCU students on the Duke administration vis-à-vis actions unbecoming. Her observations on the forum's lack of launching insults, and how the group was promoting camaraderie and building bridges of partnership might prove enlightening.


Debrah said...

Diva on Zane's blog:

05/28/08 at 08:02

How amusing!

There's a small article in the N&O telling us that historian John Hope Franklin will have a small role in the Tyson's little movie about.......what else?

Race, of course!

I think Franklin has been used by just about everyone in America as a "mascot" on this subject. Thomas Sowell's latest column illustrates the point so well.

Poor Tyson does need all the embroidery he can find for this little venture; however if he thinks he can use JHF as a prop and no one is going to criticize the fact that this syrupy tale has been done by the real professionals hundreds of times......or that no one is going to remember Tyson's sorry history in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax.....he's so sadly mistaken.

Franklin taints himself and his credibility by agreeing to touch such a greasy piece of artifice.

This latest little tidbit is hilarious and unwittingly honest from feverish Timothy:

||| The 93-year-old Franklin will play the role of an older man who helps a group of men load a mule on a truck. Tyson said he wanted Franklin in the movie "because of his dignity and his shining intelligence". |||

Well Tim, I suppose you have to find those qualities you so glaringly lack somewhere......

.......but please John Hope, stay in the greenhouse with your orchids!


This is an example of how Tyson works it. He thinks he can have a dose of credibility and avoid real criticism by using someone like Franklin in such a venture.

John Hope Franklin is certainly a nice man; however, whenever you are in a setting where he is, the topic is always RACE...RACE...RACE.

And not much else.

His vintage affords a degree of personal experience on this topic and how life was in the early part of the 20th century; however, people like Franklin and Tyson and all of Duke's 88 want to live in constant alarm and pretend that they don't have a very easy and lucrative life by "whoring out" the topic of RACE ad nauseum.

Honestly, how can a truly intelligent and sane person spend his/her entire lifetime on just one beaten-to-death subject?

Debrah said...

"reharmonizer" (aka) Zimmerman has latched onto the KC-Tyson exchange. Or I should say, the obliteration of Tyson by KC.

It's amazing after witnessing Tyson's pathetic performance on Zane's blog that he can still defend him in any way.

Earth to "reharmonizer"-----if you are incapable of telling the truth of the world around you.......get off!

Debrah said...


Tony Rand wants to stay as far away from this as he can.


Advocates make case for Racial Justice Act

WHITNEY WOODWARD, The Associated Press

RALEIGH - Spurred by the recent release of three black men from death row, judicial reform advocates called on lawmakers Tuesday to give defendants in capital murder cases the right to challenge their prosecution on racial bias grounds.
The North Carolina Racial Justice Act has sat dormant in a Senate committee since the House voted 68-51 to approve the measure last year. The proposal would allow defendants in death penalty cases to use statistics to claim their conviction or sentence was driven by race.

The state's district attorneys oppose the measure, arguing it could detract from the merits of an individual case. But advocates said the bill is desperately needed to ensure innocent people are not sent to death.

"You can overturn a wrongful conviction, but you can't unpack a wrong grave," said the Rev. William Barber, the president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Since December 2007, three black men -- Jonathan Hoffman, Glen Edward Chapman and Levon Jones -- have been released from North Carolina's death row. They were among those lobbying lawmakers Tuesday at the Legislative Building.

The law would require defendants to "state with particularity" how race played a role in either the prosecution's decision to press charges or to seek the death penalty. The plan would apply retroactively, so inmates currently on death row could make such arguments.

The state's prosecutors said only the merits of an individual case -- and not a defendant's race -- should be considered during a capital prosecution.

"No case is the same. None are the same. There are different facts," said Pitt County District Attorney Clark Everett. "The decision to prosecute someone capitally should be based on the facts of the case and the merits of the case, not what happened in other counties."

Everett, who serves as the president of the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys, said he fears the legislation will prompt a "battle of statisticians," where defense attorneys would hire such specialists and make arguments on racial grounds, regardless of the merits of the claims.

"Statistics can be used to show most anything," Everett said.

Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand of Fayetteville said Tuesday that he didn't know whether the chamber would vote on the proposal this year.

Debrah said...

More bad news for Mikey.


Lawsuit allowed against Nifong

RALEIGH -- Judge William L. Stocks of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on Tuesday ruled to allowing three former Duke lacrosse players to pursue a civil lawsuit against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Stocks lifted a stay that had protected Nifong as he moved through bankruptcy proceedings. Stocks said in his ruling Tuesday that his court didn't have jurisdiction to hear the claims involved in the case.

Nifong pursued false rape charges against Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann until state prosecutors declared the players innocent last year.

Nifong filed for bankruptcy in January, claiming more than $180 million in liabilities, mostly from the threat of pending lawsuits.

The players also included the city of Durham, police investigators and others in their lawsuit filed in October.

-- The Associated Press

Locomotive Breath said...

initiated by Kim Roberts (an African-American)

I believe Roberts is of mixed ancestry and is half Asian (Korean?). As is Obama who is half white. To describe either as "African-American" or "black" is factually incorrect.

bill anderson said...

I think we also have to separate the faux "scholarship" of people in the Angry Studies and some divisions of English and history from the very good work done by Duke faculty members in other disciplines.

Remember that the academic "studies" that house most of the G88 did not exist before the 1970s, and many of the "scholarship" areas in history and English of which G88 members write has appeared only in the past few decades. The faculty members in disciplines like math, economics, biology, chemistry, and the like have been doing outstanding work.

So, while I have been a harsh critic of Duke since this sorry affair began, I also should note that there is a division of academic scholarship there. In reality, there are two Duke Universities. The first one has professors who are doing what good professors always have done: teach and do good research.

The other Duke houses the academic frauds whose scholarship is second-rate. Unfortunately, Duke has chosen to highlight THAT division of its faculty as the Guiding Light of Academe.

Anonymous said...

"You go into these elite universities like Duke and,like a lot of elite academic ghettos in American higher education, the faculty watched Soviet style totalitarianism crumble about 20 years ago and nothing's replaced these dictatorships. And they have watched Stalin fail, and Mao fail, and Pol Pot fail, and each successive dictatorship has said that somehow world socialism is gonna regenerate and will be perfected and it has not."

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to Marxism or race/class/gender narratives or antipathy to the 97% of people who aren't like them or anti-Western sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Danvers said...

Bill Anderson said: "....The other Duke houses the academic frauds whose scholarship is second-rate. ..."

to call academics frauds such as those at Duke second rate is to insult genuine second rate academics :-(

bill anderson said...

Danvers, you are right! My apologies to mediocrities everywhere! Oh, that the Angry Studies people at Duke were even mediocre! (Maybe they need Antonio Salieri to walk down the halls in the Angry Studies Building and declare, "Mediocrities, I apologize to you."

As for Tyson, once again we see the dishonest academic at work. Here is a man who cannot bring himself to tell the truth even now, so he continues to re-invent the past.

Tyson is NOT a "historian." Instead, he is a "Distorian"!

Anonymous said...

Happy NCCU Graduation to Crystal G. Mangum! Incidently, Waste Management just said that in response to this recent development, they will no longer be accepting NCCU degrees in the recycle bins for curbside pick-up, for fear that the contents will pollute the pool of otherwise perfectly useful recyclable waste paper. Ditto for any documents containing NCCU's "Honor" Code.

There is no truth to the rumor that Precious thanked the political Left, mob rule, the Angry Studies crowd and the soft bigotry of low expectations from the podium.

In fairness, I don't like "Angry Studies" because the term implies actual observation and fact-processing inherent in a study worthy of the name.

Anonymous said...

I have refrained from commenting about the 2008 Democratic primaries, but I can't resist this observation. which I borrow from a long-distance running contest:

This is the gun lap and Obama thinks it's the victory lap.

Anonymous said...

"Angry Studies" can only be described as cerebral self stimulation, or more crudely, mental masturbation!

The Random Rambler said...

These are observations from the whole fiasco and my own thoughts on issues, not this
specific post.

The big issue is not about race: race is simply a hide-behind issue used to illicit reactions.
In fact, what we are talking about, is socio-economic status and a class structure. There is
disdain for the lower class to the upper class and vice-versa, but what I cannot understand
is the justification of hate because someone was successful. For instance, the 2004
election, in a basic sense, came down to picking the candidate "who I would want to go
have a beer with" against the "elitist" candidate (For a good look into this issue, watch
season three and the first half of season four of the West Wing when Jed Bartlett was
facing Rob Ritchie in the 2002 Presidential election).

Why will they not use the real issue, socio-economic status, instead using the issue of
racism? It is simple: Using socio-economic status as the problem forces minorities to
include poor whites in the number who are under-privileged. Also, the thought of not
giving advantages to rich minorities because they have wealth scares those groups, in
their mind, trying to build up clout.

KC is a history professor (and I believe a US background?) so he can attest to this: Poor
whites during slavery were pretty much slaves except in name. They were
"share-croppers," the majority of the time meant working the masters land for seed to
grow food and give some of said food back to the master. Well, what ensued was an
endless cycle of debt.

And lest we forget, poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent some from voting was not
enacted with the intent of keeping Blacks from voting, but also poor whites.

Anyhow, we as a country need to get over the "I am better than you." The group of 88,
for instance, have a disdain for sports (ignoring the fact that their areas of study are
marginal scholarship at best but are at Duke thanks in large part to the very successful
athletics and the prestige and name recognition that comes with it). Why do we (in large
part) believe that sports management (my major coupled with communications, and we
know how some feel about this) majors are there for athletes and not intelligent people
who love sport.

If I do say so for myself, I am pretty intelligent. I graduated with honors and a 3.78 GPA
with a degree of sports management/PR Track and Communications in 3 1/2 years. Also,
I was two classes short of a history degree and a handful of basic courses away from a
degree in PR. But I digress.

Some people look down on me because I am in sports. I want to be in sports information.
I have planned out my career path, have a GA position, have the contacts, and quite
frankly am in a job where I will always be in demand because even with a bad economy,
people still go to sporting events and demand the services sports information provides.
And the people I work for are very intelligent human beings. So why didn't I major in
journalism? Read the New York Times and their filth and report back to me. Journalism
departments, as a whole, usually despise sports as not real journalism (which is funny
because it seems as if sports is a vehicle for societal change. On my AP European Exam
in high school I argued that one cause of the fall of the Soviet Union was the 1980 hockey
loss to the US. And I do not even need to begin to talk about Jackie Robinson, Hank
Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Jim Valvano, etc...)

I get a feeling from reading comments these past two years the majority of outrage from
these events come from an older generation, not college-age individuals (I am 22 and in
graduate school). The fact my age is so vanilla about this issue when it could really have
been ANYONE at the wrong place at the wrong time and have their life ruined sickens
me to death. I am very outspoken, very memorable and recognizable. I shudder to think,
that if I was not so involved with sports information (Routinely being in the office at least
once a week past midnight, and that is not even counting the 4 1/2 months we didn’t have
a sports information director and I pretty much ran the show as a student), it could have
been me. And the fact that student are not only not outraged but fell in line into this
racist, socio-economic, anti-sports rhetoric with no though sickens me.

Finally, the group of 88. You know, I had a good for nothing teacher in high school who
did teach me one valuable lesson, "Your intention may have not been sinister, but how it
is perceived is how you get in trouble." Yes, I do realize people go overboard with their
reactions. However, a lawyer themselves said the ad could be construed as presuming
guilt. And the context that it was done in (email subject, contents of the email, the
authors, the "rush to print," the wording of the ad, the failure of a lawyer professor at the
university to even skim it, etc...) leads those accused to believe it is one more thing that
on top of all this a professor misuses there position to further their ideas. And some
professors of these students none the less.

Professors are meant to inspire students, to inspire critical thinking and to inspire
dialogue. The ad and their actions do none of this and actually hinder the goal of

I will get off my soap box now. Sorry this is so long-winded.

Debrah said...

It's about time!

Perhaps this will assist Durham's "officers of the court" so they will be discontinue releasing dangerous criminals because none of them seem to know which side is up.


Durham courthouse goes high tech

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
May 29, 2008

DURHAM -- It will be several years before the Bull City's architectural horizon is graced by a new courthouse.

In the interim, officials are working feverishly to transform the existing three-decades-old judicial building into a more efficient, user-friendly arena for employees and visitors alike.

Case in point: At least three teeming district-level courtrooms, where hundreds of traffic and criminal issues are addressed daily, have just been jolted technologically into the 21st Century.

All it took was a little new wiring.

It gives prosecutors instant courtroom access -- on their laptop computers -- to a defendant's statewide criminal history.

The upshot is that prosecutors can make speedier decisions about what to do.

Public safety might be enhanced, too.

The improvement could theoretically prevent another disaster like one that occurred in the early 1990s, when a defendant was inadvertently set free on a minor charge because courtroom personnel didn't notice he had a more serious case pending.

That defendant, Patrick D. Holloway, promptly murdered three people and is now imprisoned for life.

While new District Court wiring might not sound like the greatest technological innovation to come down the pike, officials say it should not be underestimated.

Before it was installed, prosecutors often had to telephone someone for information that now flashes on their laptop screens instantly.

If worse came to worst, they even took an elevator or ran up as many as four flights of stairs to retrieve the requisite data. Either that or they sent an intern to do the legwork, which took just as long. Precious minutes were wasted.

Prosecutors aren't the only ones to benefit.

Members of the public -- including defendants, crime victims and witnesses -- presumably will spend less time twiddling their thumbs in courtrooms.

"Now we can do a quick but thorough statewide record check without the public having to sit and wait," said Assistant District Attorney Brian Wilks, who supervises local District Court operations.

"Anything we can do on our end to expedite the process and be less intrusive on people's time, we'll do it," Wilks said.

Some defense attorneys aren't on the bandwagon, however.

They say the updated wiring system isn't yet available to them, and won't be unless they pay for it themselves.

"If efficiency is the goal, it should be accessible to everyone who participates in moving the wheels of justice," said John Fitzpatrick, president of the Durham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. "Things don't move too well on three wheels. We need four."

Meanwhile, officials are crowing about more than just new wiring. They also are upbeat about a plan to streamline Durham's high-volume traffic court, making it more convenient for citizens with minor tickets to get in and out, while saving time for judges as well.

Soundproof panels are on order so that a rear area of the huge traffic forum can be petitioned off. There, members of the public will negotiate certain nonmoving violations and low-level speeding offenses directly with an assistant district attorney. When a mutually agreeable result is reached, citizens will walk a few steps to a nearby cashier, pay their fines and be on their way -- without ever going before a judge.

More serious violations still will require judicial attention.

Direct citizen-prosecutor traffic negotiations already are possible in Durham, but they now occur only in the early morning. They must stop after court opens so as not to interfere with other business.

The new soundproof petitions may make such discussions possible throughout the day.

"It's too bad anyone ever gets a darned ticket," said Clerk of Superior Court Archie Smith. "It's an inconvenience, an annoyance and sometimes a financial hardship. But given that tickets are a fact of life, the courts can at least extend an olive branch of courtesy and efficiency. At least we won't be impinging on people's time that much anymore."

Debrah said...


Duke launches YouTube channel

DURHAM -- Duke University launched its own YouTube online channel Wednesday, www.youtube.com/duke.

Videos on the channel will highlight classroom teaching, laboratories and campus life, according to Duke.

Duke is among a growing roster of universities featured on YouTube.

YouTube is an online video community that allows the public to watch and share originally created videos.

"Several hundred thousand people have watched videos from Duke since we began placing them on YouTube in October 2006," said David Jarmul, Duke's associate vice president of news and communications. "This new channel will help us reach even more people and pull together Duke's videos more effectively for students, alumni and others interested in the university or just looking for good material."

Debrah said...

Listen to this Hal Crowther 2002 interview from the Blackbird archives.

I think you'll find it both illuminating and amusing.

You will need RealPlayer.

Remember that Crowther is a great friend of members of Duke's Gang of 88. He also wrote scathing articles in 2006 about the lacrosse players which helped create the incendiary atmosphere at the time.

Listening to Crowther speak, I am reminded of the phony sense of supreme intellect of his 88 professor friends; however, Crowther puts a degree of effort into a working class sensibility since he's married to someone who is really a very "country-fied" writer.

Crowther seems to have created a whole myth about himself in which he's this clever and talented outsider.

H.L. Mencken should be stamped on his forehead.

When I checked out one of his writing seminars at Duke one summer out of curiosity, Mencken was all he could talk about. It was such a waste of time and money.

Although Crowther is a good writer--(it would be silly for me not to admit that fact)--he seems to be living in a fantasy world if he thinks he's some kind of heavy hitter.

Sit back and listen to this if you can.

Toward the end of the first segment Crowther says, "I'm against anyone who abuses the truth."

And then remember his role--along with his friends--in the Lacrosse Hoax.

Debrah said...

But of course, here's the transcript for those who don't have RealPlayer.

Debrah said...

Check out this blog called Rev-Elution.

I suppose the guy is playing with this word because he's a Durham "Rev". Kenny used to write a column for the Herald Sun on Sundays.

And guess what he always wrote about?

Skim the comments under the post about Kristin Butler. A great example of what Durham is like.

And as an added bonus, "re:harmonizer" makes an appearance!


Debrah said...

"Reharmonizer" has responded to RRH over at his place and I urge you to read this paragraph.....paying particular attention to the sentence I have posted in bold relief.

I have found Zimmerman irritating and misguided; however, this one makes me question his take on reality:

"Where we really disagree is about what it means to talk about '88ers' and 'people like Prof. Tyson.' I don’t think either is very useful, which is why I’ve studied the statements and work of a few professors who’ve been knocked around on DIW and written about them individually. So I’m comfortable saying that Mark Anthony Neal is a better writer and a truer intellectual than Johnson. That, I should say, is judging each by their blogging, and Johnson primarily by DIW. Probably I’d conclude the same thing about some others among the 88, but I’m making no claim about all of them except that it’s silly to make sweeping claims about the 'Group.' "

Anonymous said...

Since the head of Duke's political science department is a third party candidate for governor, voters might be interested in what role his dept played in the affair. Could you post a summary?

Anonymous said...

"Since the head of Duke's political science department is a third party candidate for governor, voters might be interested in what role his dept played in the affair. Could you post a summary?"

He wasn't chair during the hoax. Besides, what does the one have to do with the other?

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the link to www.youtube.com/duke

I was surprised that DU would promote themselves in a forum that allows comments, in particular, video responses, to be posted. It is only a matter of time before someone will post a video response with footage of the hate-mongering pot-bangers. Who is running DU's PR department? Awful decision in my opinion.

Anonymous said...


duke responds...the way a drug dealer would...

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White is expected to be named the new Duke AD, two sources confirmed for The News & Observer late Friday night.
Duke has been searching for a replacement for Joe Alleva, who left Duke for the same post at Louisiana State in April.

White, 57, could not be reached for comment.

White has fronted the Notre Dame athletics department since the 2000-01 academic year. One of his marquee accomplishments was successfully negotiating a renewal of the unique television contract that the Irish football team has with NBC. The current deal expires in 2010.

Before taking the post at one of the top private universities in the country, with a deep, storied college football history, White previously held the AD post at Loras College, the University of Maine, Tulane, and Arizona State

White, a native of Amityville, N.Y., will be giving up a large public presence in South Bend, Ind., where he has his own weekly radio show and a pre-game football show during the season.

A father of five, White ran track at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana before completing his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972.

He earned a master’s in athletics administration from Central Michigan in 1976 and a Ph.D. in education from Southern Illinois in 1983

Gary Packwood said...

The Random Rambler 5/29/08 10:12 AM ...said...

...I get a feeling from reading comments these past two years the majority of outrage from
these events come from an older generation, not college-age individuals (I am 22 and in
graduate school). The fact my age is so vanilla about this issue when it could really have
been ANYONE at the wrong place at the wrong time and have their life ruined sickens
me to death.
Many of us from the older generation are spending so much time here to insure that the younger generation can continue to expect truth telling and due process in our many institutions in America.

We have your back.

Now do the same for the generation younger than you. Pass it on.

The Random Rambler said...


Just a clarification so people know my tue intent. I dont mean it is a negative those who are not colleged-aged are involved, far from it. I am concerned that not a lot of people my age care and/or they were on the side of the sympathizers of the false accuser.

But what can I do? I just am the typical guy who loves sports and cannot put an intelligent thought together (ignoring the fact I am not a typical guy and love women's collegiate athletics).

I am not pandering to the so-called "Angry Studies," however, there is ligitimate scholarship in the area of women's studies, etc... This past semester, I took a undergrad/grad combined class entitled "Sports In The Media." I thought it would be in the sense of producing sports in the media (which I have NUMEROUS experiences in) but we talked about issues and themes in the sports media. While I did disagree with the professor on some issues, the scholarship and the class as a whole was quite good.