Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ironies

In justifying his character assault on the lacrosse players, History professor Peter Wood mused that the lacrosse players were undesirable upper-classers, while “the football players here are often rural white boys with baseball caps or hard-working black students who are proud to be at Duke.”

Ryan McFadyen is now a football player at Duke. See Wood's stereotypes collide.

In his first off-campus remarks after the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, Richard Brodhead asserted, “If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.” Since Seligmann and Finnerty attended a party they played no role in organizing and drank some beer, Brodhead apparently was asserting that underage drinking was “bad enough” to merit the national assault on his two students' character.

According to the Washington Post, Brodhead has now adopted a far less judgmental (and far more realistic) view of underage drinking.

19 comments:

Scott said...

I just took a quick look at the high schools attended by some of the members of the football team -- Chaminade Prep, Chadwick School, Brother Rice, Miami Country Day, Mercersburg Academy, Exeter, Notre Dame Prep, Phillips, Landon, Choate.

There are others I could have included, but why bother?

The idea that the Duke football team consists of a bunch of good-ol' boys as described by Wood (he of Duke by way of Harvard -- what the hell does he know about it?) is pure bunk. That explains why Duke is the laughingstock of the ACC in football. Prep school athletes excel in some sports; public school guys excel in others, such as football. Any guesses as to how many members of the Duke basketball team graduated from Exeter or Choate?

I'm sure Wood hates the football team just as much as he does the lacrosse team. His portrayal to the contrary is just Wood trying to be cool.

Anonymous said...

Peter Wood is so caught in his own misunderstanding of "something happened" as to be a dupe taken in by his own rhetric . . . and Mangum's manipulations. Why are members of the lacrosse team to be undesired? Is it because they live with both parents . . . or perhaps unlike John Edwards' girlfriend's baby, each knows who his daddy is? Perhaps they go to church . . . all be it, for many of them, it is a Catholic one . . . ah, the South and its Catholics Peter Wood knows that, and what is wrong with going to a Catholic church? Is that not to be desired? Is Peter Wood anti-Catholic too? What makes these lacrosse students so elitess and so undesired? One of the lacrosse team has already made a sacrifice of his life so that Peter Wood and his harlots can spew their venom and pontificate their arrogance and live so much better than the average group or persons . . . black or white living in Durham

Anonymous said...

If the lacrosse players were such "undesirable upper-classers" why would Duke recruit them? Can they not fine "desirable upper-classers" or desirable "lower-classers?" Or did he not read the Coleman report?

Must not have been the coaches fault, he has improved the Bryant Program in 2 years (see liestoppers)

What Brodhead did to the coach, players, etc etc (we all know the long list of REAL victims) was much worse than underage drinking.
I hope the 88 cent donations continue to send a message.

Gary Packwood said...

At least we know that Ryan McFadyen will be a member of the football team who can read at the college level and then actually remember, repeat and expand with innovation on what he has read.

Got to take those 'at-a-boys' wherever you find them, Ryan.

Is Holloway going to be a victim again now that Ryan is in the spotlight?

Betcha there won't be stripper parties this academic year in beautiful downtown Durham sponsored by the football team.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Duke LAX accuser pens memoir
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?
section=news/local&id=6343080


By Tamara Gibbs

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Since three former Duke Lacrosse players were declared innocent of rape and assault charges, the alleged victim in the highly publicized Duke Lacrosse case has remained out of public view until now.

In a press release, Crystal Mangum's manager has announced plans to release a tell-all memoir entitled "The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story."

-

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

Good point on your part. To make it more ironic, Brodhead also was referring to some of the retorts a couple players made to Kim after her racial insults to them.

However, the two young men who had been indicted, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, already had left the party and had no part in that unhappy exchange.

But because Brodhead refused even to look at the evidence, despite the invitation from Kevin Finnerty, to look at the entire case file so he could see that Collin was innocent. So, not only did he remain willfully ignorant, but he slandered people who had not done anything of which they had been accused.

As for Ryan, that is great news. He is tall, rangy, aggressive, and is a great competitor. I hope he can make his mark on the football field this fall.

And many thanks to Coach David Cutcliffe for giving him the chance!

af said...

I hope Dicky boy realizes that IF is a really big two letter word. Matter of fact, we could say "If the administration at Duke had chosen to support it's students rather than supporting its radicals" or "If the administration at Duke had chosen to support it's students rather than supporting a rogue prosecutor" or we simply could have said "If the administration at Duke had chosen to do the right thing...".
Anyone out there really believe Duke could have ever done the right thing?????

Anonymous said...

Peter Wood's musings struck me at the time as just one more example of steretyping which, as a history professor, one would assume that he would lambast in his class. What a hypocrite!

Brodhead's statements in 2006 were the typical response of someone who was trying to play it both ways since at that time he was unsure which way the wind was really going to blow in Durham.
Perhaps (giving him the benefit of the doubt) he has come to realize that if students don't have the forbidden allure of alcohol and learn to drink responsibly at home, a major headache that plagues not only him but all college administrators will be, if not totally cured, at least dulled to a manageable throbbing.
cks

Debrah said...

More on the drinking issue

W. R. Chambers said...

What kind of historian is Peter Wood?

Other than DIW is there any kind of regulation of professors who by their public conduct draw into question the integrity of either their profession or of the university that employs them?

Debrah said...

The loons weigh in:


Councilman opposes lowering drinking age

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun

Aug 22, 2008

DURHAM -- Now that Duke University Richard Brodhead has joined about 100 other college presidents in calling for new look at the minimum drinking age, a Durham city councilman has stepped up to say his government should fight to uphold it.

Councilman Howard Clement on Thursday said elected officials "can't ignore" the possibility federal and state legislators might lower the existing 21-year-old minimum in reaction to the urgings of Brodhead and other members of a group called the Amethyst Initiative.

Clement -- a teetotaler who routinely votes against allowing groups to sell alcohol on city property -- also said he thinks lowering the minimum "would just exacerbate" public order and public health problems.

His colleagues reacted warily, with Mayor Bill Bell and Councilwoman Diane Catotti saying they have "mixed emotions" or "mixed feelings" on the issue.

Catotti said she doesn't agree the council needs weigh in, until and unless Congress throws the issue back to the states by repealing a 1984 mandate that forced them to choose between raising their drinking ages to 21 or losing highway funding.

If the day comes when North Carolina's General Assembly again has latitude to take up the issue, "maybe then" it would be appropriate to speak up, she said.

She added that if the council does get involved now, it should first consult the Durham County Health Department and experts at UNC Chapel Hill's School of Public Health.

"If we choose to do anything, I'd like to see a whole lot more public health data," on accidents and other factors, she said.

Council members agreed that for the moment, Clement should take the lead in contacting Brodhead to sound out the Duke president on the issue.

Thursday's discussion occurred three days after reports surfaced that Brodhead had endorsed the Amethyst Initiative's call for a reconsideration of the 1984 federal mandate.

Brodhead stopped short of calling for rolling back the minimum drinking age to 18, but he did say the current law "is not an effective solution to the problem."

It "pushes drinking into hiding, heightening its risks, including risks from drunken driving, and it prevents us from addressing drinking with students as an issue of responsible choice," Brodhead said in a statement distributed by the Amethyst Initiative.

Brodhead's move came as he faced continuing criticism from local attorneys and supporters of the 2005-06 Duke men's lacrosse team over what they characterize as his acquiescence in a city crackdown on the off-campus party house scene.

The crackdown, his critics argue, contributed to the malicious prosecution of three members of the 2005-06 lacrosse team on false charges of rape.

Clement alluded to that controversy in his comments Thursday, arguing that council members need to take their lead on the drinking issue from Durham police.

"A lot of the issues that come before the Police Department [are], and certainly the Duke lacrosse case in my opinion was, the product of underage drinking," he said. "We need to take a more definitive stand on this issue."

The Amethyst Initiative was organized by John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, an opponent of the 21-year-old minimum drinking age.

Brodhead so far is the only college or university president in North Carolina to sign the group's statement.

His counterpart at UNC Chapel Hill, Chancellor Holden Thorp, said earlier this week that while he hasn't taken a position on the issue, he wants to learn more and intends to talk to university leaders who favor reconsideration.

Anonymous said...

It is really incredible that people who run large universities are so stupid as to call for lowering the drinking age. Yes, it gives them a problem to deal with but the savings in lives are in the hundred, perhaps thousands, per year.

How selfish can they be - well I guess the Dick has shown us that side before.

Anonymous said...

The drinking age transitioned to 21 while I was attending college.
The main effect of raising the drinking age was to move much of the drinking from controlled environments such as bars, to off-campus keg parties.

I doubt that the higher drinking age has reduced the amount of alcohol the typical freshman consumes.

Locomotive Breath said...

If Mangum gets a book published that will make her more prolific than Lubiano.

With regard to the drinking age, let's just remember that if the entire lacrosse team had been able to go to an actual strip club, which they couldn't do because of the drinking age, they would have had their party under tightly controlled conditions and we wouldn't be here today. Instead they were furtively making it up on their own without guidance from people who would have known better.

Most people of college age rarely listen to adults and have to learn from experience. It's the job of the adults to let them get that experience in as safe a way as possible. Raised on a movie culture that shows them supermodels as strippers in glamourous clubs, one trip to an actual Durham strip club would have shown them the sordid nature of the reality and the losers that have to pay for women to take their clothes off. Returning home poorer and wiser, that would be last time for most of them.

Besides that, Durham Police would be forced to actually break a sweat for a living rather than spending their time busting undergraduates from out of town with money and a lot to lose by not showing up in court.

Every Trinity Park resident who has ever complained about a loud student party should get behind the proposal to lower the drinking age so that parties can be moved back on campus where they belong.

As far as traffic statistics, MADD cooks the books interpreting a decrease in deaths as being solely due to alcohol laws and ignoring the effect of things like seat belt enforcement. They also ignore the increase in deaths of the above 21 new drinkers.

Anonymous said...

Changing the drinking age in 1984 was all about "getting it out of the high schools"

The effect on college students was not really considered and will likely not be enough to move this issue. I believe that the majority of college educated people would support the 18 year drinking age, but it will have a tough time getting support from the average population.

Anonymous said...

One of the things mentioned in the linked article is about how the current drinking age is "routinely evaded." This is an interesting perspective, especially if you consider it vs. another law which was even more routinely evaded. The drinking age law was put in by Ronald Reagan BTW. His predecessor Jimmy Carter put in the worst ever "routinely evaded" law, the 55 MPH speed limit.

The 55 MPH speed limit is the biggest cause of the degradation of the American public's relationship with law enforcement. Ever since that law was put in place, people learned to hate/fear the police in their daily lives like they never did before that.

Anonymous said...

Is Broadhead a Communist?

No justice, no peace said...

Inre: "What kind of historian is Peter Wood?"

Mr. Wood, like the Klan of 88 members, is a revisionist.

The following example describes the pap that, in my opinion, sets the framework for tragic events such as this one.

The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer’s own words:

“You ask me for a full description of my Picture of the “Gulf Stream” – I regret very much that I have painted a picture that requires any description – The subject of this picture is comprised in its title…I have crossed the Gulf Stream ten times & I should know something about it. The boat & shark are outside matters of little consequence. They have been blown out to sea by a hurricane…” – Winslow Homer, a reply to a request to explain the painting “Gulf Stream”

Duke Professor Peter Wood’s book reviewed (Amazon):

“In “Waiting in Limbo; A Reconsideration of Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Steam” Peter Woods, ties the painting to race and slavery and colonialism. “Perhaps no other American painting is at once so familiar and so little understood as Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream (1899). For more than a century, scholars have praised the artist and yet puzzled over this harrowing scene of a black man adrift in the open sea, in a derelict boat surrounded by sharks. Critical commentary, when it has departed at all from the painting’s composition and coloring, has generally viewed The Gulf Stream as a universal parable on the human condition or as an anecdotal image of a coastal storm.

There is more to this stark masterpiece, says Peter Wood, a historian and an authority on images of blacks in Homer’s work. To understand the painting in less noticed but more meaningful ways, says Wood, we must dive more deeply into Homer’s past as an artist and our own past as a nation. Looking at The Gulf Stream and the development of Homer’s social conscience in ways that traditional art history and criticism do not allow, Wood places the picture within the tumultuous legacy of slavery and colonialism at the end of the nineteenth century.

Viewed in light of such events as the Spanish American War, the emergence of Jim Crow practices in the South, and the publication of Rudyard Kipling’s epochal poem "The White Man’s Burden," The Gulf Stream takes on deeper layers of meaning. The storm on the horizon, the sharks and flying fish in the water, the sugarcane stalks protruding from the boat’s hold—-these are just some of the elements in what Wood reveals to be a richly symbolic tableau of the Black Atlantic world, linking the histories of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.
By examining the "present" that shaped The Gulf Stream more than a century ago, and by resurrecting half-forgotten elements of the "past" that sustain the painting’s abiding mystery and power, Wood suggests a promising way to use history to comprehend art and art to fathom history.””

Kimball, Roger, “The RAPE of the MASTERS, How Political Correctness Sabotages Art”

Peter Wood, "Waiting in Limbo: A Reconsideration of Winslow Homer's 'The Gulf Stream'," in The Southern Enigma: Essays in Race, Class, and Folk Culture, ed. Walter J. Fraser Jr. and Winfred B. Moore Jr. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983): 75-94.

Anonymous said...

We till have folk stopping at red lights in the middle of the night with no one around. We ain't doing so bad.
This is what happened when the drinking age was lowered before. Kids younger than eighteen were drinking alcohol on a regular basis as the stuff was a lot easier for them to obtain. Traffic deaths went up and more accidents. It is not just about eighteen year olds drinking but kids a lot younger than that.