Tuesday, October 14, 2008


“Take Back the Night” events are a mainstay of contemporary college campuses. Although they originated from a debunked theory (the idea that one in four women will be victims of sexual assault while in college), they are the sort of undertakings that can’t really be criticized: who, after all, wants to be attacked as “pro-rape”?

That said, the lacrosse case offers an example of how easily the cause can be overtaken by extremists. The 2006 Duke “take back the night” rally featured the distribution of the “WANTED” posters of lacrosse players—without, it seems, condemnation from the Duke administration.

Last weekend, Vanderbilt had its annual “take back the night” event. The featured speaker? Houston Baker.

That’s the same Houston Baker who:

--demanded three days after the case went public that Duke expel, without due process, every member of the lacrosse team;

--suggested, without evidence, that other lacrosse players had committed other rapes;

--published an open letter containing ten derogatory references to the race of the lacrosse players;

--from his Vanderbilt email account, referred to one lacrosse parent as the “mother of a farm animal.”

The event profile of Baker described this behavior thusly: “He raised a dissident voice against the University’s handling of accusations leveled against members of their men’s lacrosse team.”

(That’s one way of putting it.)

The profile praises Baker’s “wonderfully brilliant smile,” “mischievous wit,” “disarmingly friendly demeanor,” and “humility.” It hailed him for “not forget[ting] the intersection of race and gender” in his scholarship.

(Of course.)

And then author Kacy Silverstein, associate director of VU’s “Project Safe,” concluded: “When I think of Houston these days and all that he has done and all that he continues to do for women, the only word that comes to my mind is gratitude. Thank you Houston, for teaching us both within the classroom and outside it, for walking with us in this struggle to end violence against women.”

Some might say that Baker’s powerfully demanding that the academy abandon its traditional reverence for due process, and his lending his voice to a high-profile, bogus allegation of rape did more to undermine “this struggle to end violence against women” than most professors could do in their entire careers.


Mike Lee said...

An amazing commentary on the use (and abuse) of race on campus. If Baker had been white and taken the same actions after 3 black athletes were charged he would have been run out of the academy. Because he is black he is praised.

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Completely nauseating.


Anonymous said...

Surely this is a joke. I mean, even the folks at Vanderbilt can't be that stupid, can they?

Of course, hiring Baker in the first instance (and his wife, for good measure) evidences Vandy's voracious appetite for AA "genuflecting," willingness to blink at reality, and desire to offend scholarly ideals.

Perhaps having taken Baker off the garbage bin of history, Vandy reveals itself as plausibly even *worse* than Duke (if that is possible).

Sid said...

Sadly, there is no way to penetrate the echo chamber of today's universities and colleges. They are very comfortable with the protected niche they have carved out of society.

Anonymous said...

The whole "Take Back the Night" concept mystifies me. Being of the male persuasion, it's also vaguely offensive.

Who are they taking the night back from and how could they have been so careless as to lose it in the first place?

I am also the son of a mother, the husband of a wife and the father of three beautiful daughters (now grown).

I suspect there has never been, and it's hard to imagine that there will ever be, a predator free society given the maintenance of any personal freedoms. There are certain precautions every woman has to take to guard against becoming the victim of sexual aggression. I don't think it's so dissimilar to my not wandering around alone in Washington, DC in the middle of the night (arguably the most dangerous place on the planet).

I'm also reminded of one of the funniest lines I ever heard from a comedienne. She told of having had dinner in New York with a fellow she was dating who suggested they take a walk "down by the docks" afterward. She told him she wished he had mentioned this idea earlier so she could have been prepared. She would have left her vagina in her other jeans.

Makes alot more sense than fostering the notion in young women's minds that the night can somehow be rendered perfectly safe if you hold enough rallies.

RL alum '75

Ex-prosecutor said...

Vanderbilt seems now to exist in a different universe than when I graduated from there years ago. We had rational professors, mostly, and a mix or moderates and conservatives.

The foolishness outlined in this article is precisely why and, and a number of others, I hope, have quit contributing or participating in Vanderbilt functions. Although unsolicited, the school still sends the alumni magazine to me. From what I see in it, as well as the news, it looks like Vanderbilt is careful to avoid placing any dissident voices in positions of responsibility.

For more Vanderbilt foolishness, run a web search for "Vanderbilt confederate Hall."

Lee J. Cockrell said...

It is simply unbelievable that they would disguise Houston Bakers belief in a completely false rape allegation as a "dissident voice".

bill anderson said...

As a Tennessee grad and former UT athlete, I am honor-bound to despise Vanderbilt. But with Baker there, now that feeling has moved to absolute loathing.

Don't worry, Vandy. Baker will do something to wear out his welcome. He always does.

Archivist said...

Yes, thank you Houston Baker. You, perhaps as much as anyone at Duke, helped raise awareness among countless American parents about the prejudices, the double standards and the outright misandry that our sons face on campus from the professors whose salaries those parents pay.

haskell said...

Er, uh, exactly from whom are we taking the night back? Maybe Eve Carson (UNC) and Abhijit Mahato (Duke) could give us a clue. Wonder what Prof Baker had to say about their murders? Or any of the Vandy or Duke professional lamenters? And I wonder who else in the national spotlight has a "wonderfully brilliant smile" and a "disarmingly friendly demeanor"? Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.

Anonymous said...

Vanderbuilt is not alone. Last winter, the Middlebury College Office of Institutional Diversity, among other sponsors, invited Houston Baker and his wife to speak about "rape and healing." No mention, I imagine, of the healing they might recommend for the three young men whose lives were very nearly ruined and will forever be marred by the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

Anonymous said...

Can something be done to make Houston and his ilk responsible for anything approaching the truth? Now "race" is being presented in the presidential race in a way that is a shameless exploitation and reminds of many of the tactics used in the Duke case by members of the faculty and the Duke administration.

af said...

Was that "rape and healing" or hate and squealing? Baker is disgusting. Alas, he has no market on that. He has at least 88 other "friendly smiles" (or at least smirks).
As the saying goes, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

Gary Packwood said...

KC said...

.....Some might say that Baker’s powerfully demanding that the academy abandon its traditional reverence for due process, and his lending his voice to a high-profile, bogus allegation of rape did more to undermine “this struggle to end violence against women” than most professors could do in their entire careers.
If Baker had actually read Max Weber and learned to spell his name, he might have come across Weber's Verstehen doctrine where one is encouraged to actually interpret rather than just describe what one thinks he sees as behavior. Especially his own affektual (guided by emotion) behavior.


Anonymous said...

is Baker a Communist?

No justice, no peace said...

Houston Baker is an avowed Afrocentrist, as are many in the Klan of 88.

Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists

Anyone who thinks Mr. Obama and his camp are significantly different need to read the following eye-opening article authored by Stanley Kurtz. It explores Mr. Obama's ties to Afrocentrist education (including Rev. Wright) through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge led by Mr. Obama and terrorist Bill Ayers.

Appropriately, Mr. Kurtz is the Senior Editor of Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Ethics and Public Policy Center

I provide some brief examples below. Everyone needs to consider what Mr. Kurtz has found, wonder why the major media have ignored these alliances, why Mr. Obama has intentionally mislead voters on the nature of these alliances, and fundamentally question whether Mr. Obama is any different than all of those rogue actors in Durham.

"...However he may seek to deny it, all evidence points to the fact that, from his position as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama knowingly and persistently funded an educational project that shared the extremist and anti-American philosophy of Jeremiah Wright. The Wright affair was no fluke..."

1. "...the Coalition for Improved Education in [Chicago’s] South Shore (CIESS) announced that it had received a $200,000 grant from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. That made CIESS an “external partner,” i.e. a community organization linked to a network of schools within the Chicago public system. This network, named the “South Shore African Village Collaborative” was thoroughly “Afrocentric” in orientation..."

2. "...1992 study published in the Journal of Negro Education by Nsenga Warfield-Coppock. In that article, Warfield-Coppock bemoans the fact that public education in the United States is shaped by “capitalism, competitiveness, racism, sexism and oppression.”

3."...Carruthers admits that Africans living in America have already been shaped by Western culture, yet compares this Americanization process to rape: “We may not be able to get our virginity back after the rape, but we do not have to marry the rapist....” In other words, American blacks (i.e. Africans) may have been forcibly exposed to American culture, but that doesn’t mean they need to accept it."

4. "...Hilliard accepted an appointment to the board of Wright’s new elementary school, Kwame Nkrumah Academy. Speaking of the need for such a school, Wright had earlier said, “We need to educate our children to the reality of white supremacy.” (For more on Wright’s Afrocentric school, see “Jeremiah Wright’s ‘Trumpet.’”)"

5. "...An important exception to the rule is Bill Ayers himself, who not only worked with Obama to fund groups like this at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, but who is still “palling around” with the same folks. Discretely waiting until after the election, Bill Ayers and his wife, and fellow former terrorist, Bernardine Dohrn plan to release a book in 2009 entitled Race Course Against White Supremacy. The book will be published by Third World Press, a press set up by Carruthers and other members of the ASCAC. Representatives of that press were prominently present for Wright’s eulogy at Asa Hilliard’s memorial service. Less than a decade ago, therefore, when it came to education issues, Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright were pretty much on the same page."

5. "...We know that Obama did read the proposals. Annenberg documents show him commenting on proposal quality. And especially after 1995, when concerns over self-dealing and conflicts of interest forced the Ayers-headed “Collaborative” to distance itself from monetary issues, all funding decisions fell to Obama and the board. Significantly, there was dissent within the board. One business leader and experienced grant-smith characterized the quality of most Annenberg proposals as “awful.”

Kilgore said...

Sid said: "Sadly, there is no way to penetrate the echo chamber of today's universities and colleges. They are very comfortable with the protected niche they have carved out of society."

Well said Sid. In some ways academia reminds me of a mid 20th century southern town that is run by bigotry and racism. Bigotry is so much the norm that no one can see it. Thank goodness for KC and people like him who can see it for what it is and are questioning.

Debrah said...

Wonder if Sam Wells will discuss what brand of "common good" he had in mind when he chose to help inflame the public by hosting a "service" with William Barber in 2006 at Duke Chapel which was designed to slander the lacrosse team before any evidence of their guilt.


Deans' Dialogue to begin at Duke

DURHAM -- The 2008-2009 Deans' Dialogue series begins with a lunchtime conversation on "Living Lives of Consequence" between Duke Chapel Dean Sam Wells and Divinity School Dean Gregory Jones Oct. 30.

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 12:15 pm in Room 0016 of the Westbrook Building at Duke Divinity School, on Duke University's West Campus. Free pizza will be served before the talk, and a time for questions will follow.

In the dialogues, sponsored by Duke Chapel, Wells discusses with deans of various Duke schools topics surrounding the common good. Past dialogues have included discussions with Jones, Fuqua School of Business Dean Blair Sheppard and Nicholas School of the Environment Dean Bill Chameides.

Anonymous said...

These people have inverted the language. You could be a decent person. It would not matter. You are white. Had the lacrosse team not been white "nothing would have happened." Cut to the chase . . . Houston and his ilk would have gladly sent people to prison for years to satisfy their own collective ego . . . end of story.

Debrah said...

Here you have a commenter asserting that the recently rehashed Hoax by Mangum is true.

And the insipid "reharmonizer" doesn't utter a word against this insanity on his blog.

Anonymous said...

haskel - you hit that out of the park.
Where is the OUTRAGE- over the ruthless murders of these two outstanding people? Instead, despite the mountains of evidence about the Duke Laxs players innocence, we are still hearing about this poor accuser and how DUKE students are the crux of all that is wrong in Durham, N.C..

The Random Rambler said...

I would like to share my comment because I am sure it will be deleted by harmonizer:

TP, may I ask you which story was correct: the one where she supposidly was attacked by 20,5,4 or 3 guys? Which is true, the story where Kim did or did not take part in the supposed attack? What about the story where she was assaulted while being suspended in mid-air?

TP, there is MOUNTAINS of evidence in favor of INNOCENCE, and the SINGLE SHRED OF “EVIDENCE” that an attack occured is her story.

Or do we have what I call the “magic towel theory” that wiped away the DNA of the lacrosse players and left the DNA of MULTIPLE guys?

The potbangers were just another example of professors and their left-wing ilk going overboard to make an issue to put fourth their agenda, facts be damned. They cant survive unless they keep racism and hatred alive in this country.

No justice, no peace said...

The S&P 500 fell 9% yesterday representing the second-worst loss in the history of the benchmark index. Wachovia Bank is currently a member company of that index.

Since Bob Steel, Duke Board of Trustee Chairman was named Wachovia CEO, the stock price has fallen from about $14 per share to $6 per share. That is about $16 billion in lost market capitalization.

Those things happen.

After stiffing Citi they have agreed to be acquired by Wells Fargo. Survival of the fittest.

What is odd is that CNBC ran a Wachovia commercial this morning that made the claim that Wachovia was #1 in satisfying customers.

Not satisfied customers, rather the fuzzy "satisfying".

Steel has now hosed people at Wachovia, Duke, and each of us (as Asst. Sec. of the Treasury). Is that really satisfying?

What are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

To KC Johnson,
Go to google news, type David Addison Durham and click.

Do you think Sgt. Addison has the right to ask the city for pay raise while Durham is facing a pending lawsuits from 3 innocent men including two more suits?

Sarah said...

As a woman who has been raped, I have two words for Houston Baker:

Slap you.

Anonymous said...

Off topic:

From the N&O today-

Lacrosse Accuser to Announce Book Deal.

News Conference at a book store next Tuesday in Durham. NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!


RL alum '75

Jamie said...

The title of your blog entry is "Amazing", but the sad reality is that the notion of "take back the night"-ers lionizing Houston Baker is not amazing: it's not even really surprising. Instead, it has the weird logic and paralyzing inevitability of some doom-ridden nightmare.

Oh, for the days when such a thing could become amazing again!

No justice, no peace said...

This is quite possibly the first thing I've seen since '06 that make the Duke Administration look good.

Recall how they shut-down voter registration efforts on campus?

Well the following story makes them look saintly.

Mentally challenged man says his vote wasn't right

Wow, we've come to this...

Someone please explain to me how these people are substantively different than those forever bound to the Duke hoax and the malaise in Durham.

Anonymous said...

keep up the good work.And I'd like to comment on the people who sen surprised the self deluders aren't shocked into honesty.You are essentially asking people with limited(or no) accomplishments to acknowledge their lives have been futile.It won't happen.Thew way to defeat this kind of dishonesty is to expose it to people who aren't hardwired into dishonesty as a means of self preservation.That's why someone like Kristin Butler is such a danger to them

rdubose said...

I asked "Reharmonized" a simple question. That is, if HE were to find himself on trial for a crime he did not commit but that could send him to prison for 30 years what sort of juror would he want to judge his case? A Durham type of hoax enabler or the sort of person who saw thru the lies of Nifong et al and rallied to help the LAX guys?
I think it is a pretty good question and I await his answer.

Debrah said...

NCCU faces possible $3 million bill

By Daniel Goldberg : The Herald-Sun
Oct 18, 2008

CULLOWHEE -- N.C. Central University may have to pay back up to $3 million to the federal government as fallout from its misadventure with a satellite campus in Georgia that never received proper approvals.

A stinging joint report by NCCU and UNC General Administration issued this week cited numerous violations of clearly defined procedures in establishing a distance-learning campus.

Those included deeply discounted tuition -- $296 per credit hour in 2007-08 instead of the required $417 -- for the students at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., pastored by NCCU Trustee Bishop Eddie Long, a heavy financial donor to the university.

NCCU also is on the hook for $55,426 to reimburse the state for employee compensation and operating costs incurred in support of the New Birth program, according to the report, which was presented to the UNC Board of Governors at its meeting on the campus of Western Carolina University this week.

But rather than unraveling the mystery of how the campus was able to operate for four years without proper authorizations and how broad the circle of irresponsibility went, the report concluded:

"We may never answer with certainty all questions related to NCCU's creation and operation of this unapproved distance education program in Georgia because of wholesale changes in campus leadership and personnel, inadequate documentation and record-keeping, and jurisdictional and staffing limitations."

The report further stated, "There were discrepancies in personal recollections and information provided [by] NCCU employees, and some individuals disavowed any knowledge of how the program was conceived, approved, and implemented."

The majority of New Birth students used federal financial aid to meet their tuition and fee obligations.

They received a total of $546,813 in Pell and SEOG grants and more than $2.5 million Perkins Loans, Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS loans. Thirty-three students have accounts receivable balances at NCCU totaling $68,598.

Because the program was never approved by the U.S. Department of Education, NCCU may have to pay back the federal financial aid funding.

No approval for the program was sought from the NCCU Board of Trustees, UNC Board of Governors, UNC General Administration, SACS or the U.S. Department of Education.

NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms said the university has sent its report to Education Department officials and is awaiting a response.

Meanwhile, the president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has encouraged NCCU to move forward with a plan that would help some remaining students at the unauthorized satellite campus.

NCCU submitted a proposal to SACS that would allow 39 remaining students who attended classes at New Birth to earn degrees.

Students who have completed at least 60 percent of the degree requirements would have the option of completing coursework at NCCU's Durham campus or take online courses with NCCU and East Carolina University.

NCCU already offers an approved online program in criminal justice and the campus has an agreement with ECU that would allow New Birth students to enroll in courses in business administration and hospitality and tourism.

Students who have completed less than 60 percent of their coursework may transfer credits to another college or university.

Debrah said...

Just a tidbit of news.

In yesterday's N&O print edition, the small column about Crystal Mangum's "appearance" at the Durham book store was hidden somewhere in the B section.

You had to hunt in order to find it.

Another example of John Drescher's professional style.

Any other editor over there would have covered it more prominently and, no doubt, editorialized in favor of Mangum.

Anonymous said...

30 days, next case.

Anonymous said...

No justice, no peace wrote that we should "question whether Mr. Obama is any different than all of those rogue actors in Durham."

Which rogue actors in Durham are you writing about? Would it be the rogue actors who did nothing to impugn the innocent three? Would it be the rogue actors in Durham who called on the federal government to investigate the rogue actors in Durham?

This is a bad argument like the ones that must swirl around in the "minds" of the rogue actors in Durham.


I told my dog that I was "a dissident voice" when I handed him over to the vet to snip off his doghood. Even my dog didn't buy it.

One apology and all the lies can stop. How hard can it be for Houston Baker?

MOO! Gregory

No justice, no peace said...

The link below is to an article by Greensboro's Orson Scott Card on media malfeasance.

Can someone explain to me how the referenced treatment differs from the Duke Lacrosse hoax?

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

I cancelled my 20+ year subscription to the Dallas Morning News six months ago. I don't miss the paper nearly as much as I expected. Oddly, I've not heard from anyone at the News soliciting me to renew or asking why I cancelled.

The MSM has lost the public trust, and they continue to refuse to acknowledge that they have lost that trust. Most shocking is they do not appear to have any interest in rebuilding the trust or lack the requisite foundation needed to build trust.

No justice, no peace said...

"The generous gifts we receive enable innovations in our curriculum, support for undergraduate research, and recruitment of outstanding faculty." - Duke University Trintiy College of Arts and Sciences alumni donor solicitation, October 2008

“I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to Harvard in a long time. Privately, there’s a real sense of exhilaration and relief that this man is no longer a blot on our community.” - Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz remarks about J. Lorand Matory

"As a Harvard graduate (B.A. and Ph.D.), I echo Dershowitz’s sentiments: Matory’s damage to Harvard was incalculable...

The African-American Studies professor’s campuswide claim to fame came in his sponsorship of the resolution to censure former president Larry Summers. Summers’ sins, according to the resolution that Matory originally penned? (1) The president correctly termed the divest-from-Israel movement “anti-Semitic in effect if not intent”; (2) The president demanded that then-University professor Cornel West produce scholarship, rather than rap records; (3) The president stated, in widely condemned remarks, that—if only to disprove the point and silence conservative critics—scholars should consider whether cognitive differences between the genders, and not discrimination, might explain the disparity between men and women among the ranks of tenured science faculty...

What institution has taken Matory off Harvard’s hands? Duke, where he will become the new chairman of the African-American Studies Department, as of July 2009." - KC Johnson, Durham-in-Wonderland

Yep, we'll get right on that donation...to recruit outstanding faculty...right away.

No justice, no peace said...

April 2, 2006 — Rev. Sam Wells, Dean of the Duke Chapel, gives a sermon in which he denounces the lacrosse team. He discusses an incident with "disputed facts of an ugly evening." An incident rooted in "a disturbingly extensive experience of sexual violence, of abiding racism, of crimes rarely reported and perpetrators seldom named, confronted, or convicted, of lives deeply scarred, of hurt and pain long suppressed. The activists among us shout loudly about reckless drinking, the reputation of particular sports teams, the sense of entitlement, the need to reassess what it means to be a man..." - http://johnsville.blogspot.com/2007/08/duke-lacrosse-saga-in-pictures.html

"The last week has exposed the reality that sexual practices are an area where some male students are accustomed to manipulating, exploiting and terrorizing women all the time – and that this has been accepted by many as a given." - Sam Wells, Duke Chapel

October 2008 Duke Chapel alumni solicitation:
"...the faculty and th sudent body are small enough to get a sense of the whole and a culture that has a common heart and mind." - Sam Wells

"Religion is not despised or ignored but generally welcomed as a potential enrichment to the whole body's search for meaning, truth, and purpose..." - Sam Welss

"The best of these institutions (Duke Chapel) have a close eye for how their work genuinely benefits the poor in ways that don't reinfore the cycle and patterns and habits of poverty." - Sam Wells

"...the Chapel sustains a ministry to those who would seldom or never think to join the Sunday morning congregation but whose hearts nonetheless yearn for truth, meaning and purpose." - Sam Wells

"It's an exciting ministry..." - Sam Wells

Yep, we'll get right on that donation...really, we will.

No justice, no peace said...

MOO!Gregory, inre: "One apology and all the lies can stop."

There remain too many liars across too many institutions for that scenario to ever play-out.

I'm not certain I understand your comment about rogue actors in Durham. I'm not suggesting everyone in Durham is rogue, rather that the similarities between those rogue actors in Durham and those allies of Obama are strickingly similar.

Anonymous said...

No justice, no peace wrote that we should "question whether Mr. Obama is any different than all of those rogue actors in Durham."

No justice, no peace then wrote: "the similarities between those rogue actors in Durham and those allies of Obama are strikingly similar."

That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Sure, Barack Obama has some insipid supporters. But, he also has some superb supporters like Colin Powell and K.C. Johnson. John McCain also has some insipid supporters -- especially the ones who self-tattoo "B's" and then come up with a Susan Smith story.