Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ten Questions for Rev. Barber

Perhaps I’m naïve, but I think that most people expect ministers to tell the truth. But the head of the North Carolina NAACP, Rev. William Barber, seems to have a lot of trouble with that qualification.

In a WRAL on-line forum, Barber was recently called to task for his organization’s guilt-presuming approach to the lacrosse case. Here is the question, and his response, in its entirety. My discussion is below.

The NAACP and other civil rights organizations and leaders were very outspoken in support of Crystal G. Magnum during the Duke Lacrosse rape investigation. When it became apparent that her allegations were not supported by the evidence, why didn't these same organizations/leaders offer apologies to the wrongly accused? – Roger Williams, Fayetteville

I’m sorry that you have been misinformed about our position. I know, however, that is easy especially in a time when so many can say through the Internet what they think you stand for without truly hearing or reading what you actually said. Below is a copy of our position.

Also, remember we supported the attorney general having a special investigation and prosecutor. The uniqueness of the NAACP is that we have been there when black girls/women have been raped and there were no consequences and when black boys/men have been accused of rape when they were innocent. With that history in mind, we have always called for fairness.

The following was our official public position that very few media outlets chose to print in its entirety:

1. We must denounce any code of silence, which seeks to inhibit ascertaining the facts.

2. We must have deep compassion and concern for the survivor and challenge any attempts to demean or destroy her rather than to seek and ascertain the truth.

3. We must ensure the D.A.’s investigation is completed thoroughly and promptly and that serious consequences be meted out if the allegations are proven. These allegations include: sexual violence/gang rape, racial slandering/hate crimes, underage alcohol use, and any prior history of racial bigotry and intimidation must be fully investigated. We do not want a rush to judgment or a delay of justice. Duke should be conducting its own thorough investigation. Who was at the party? Who violated Duke’s Code that night? How many times had they violated the law or Duke’s Codes before?

4. We must monitor the legal process to insure justice is carried out in this investigation without special privilege or treatment to anyone. Our position as an organization interested in civil rights and community justice, is that the investigation of allegations are fair, meticulous, comprehensive, aggressive, and thorough.

5. Those who are calling for justice and fairness in the investigation must not be wrongly described as a “lynch mob” no matter how zealous [sic] one seeks to defend their client.

6. Those who want to ensure justice must insist there are no short cuts to justice. We demand that the alleged perpetrators have rights to be protected. We must also be prayerful if the allegations are true and for whoever committed these acts because they are suffering from a great sickness of the spirit and hatred for humanity.

7. We must face this investigation when all of the facts are in.

8. We must face the truth and the justice that the truth demands.

9. We must consider in the wake of all that has and will occur, how we repent, repair, restore, and move forward. We must not engage in retaliatory violence. Our faith must insist that hope can still be rise out of hurt, what is meant for evil can yet be turned to good, and out of tragedy can still come triumph.

10. We must recognize that in a moment like this moment we need the guidance of God and a moral compass, which keeps us focused on the fact that only the truth can set us free.

Two obvious questions:

1.Which of these 10 “principles” guided the NAACP’s decision to post on its website an 82-point memorandum of law that not only presumed guilt but also was riddled with outright factual errors that made it appear as if a crime could have occurred?

2.And why has an organization that claims to seek “the guidance of God and a moral compass, which keeps us focused on the fact that only the truth can set us free” not publicly apologized for this document, which the head of is legal redress committee produced?

Barber’s commentary raises other uncomfortable questions, to wit:

3. The reverend asks people to “remember we supported the attorney general having a special investigation and prosecutor.” By omitting a qualifying clause, Barber produced a misleading statement. An accurate statement from Barber would have asked people to “remember we supported the attorney general having a special investigation and prosecutor after Mike Nifong recused himself from the case.” Before that point, of course, the NAACP had never made such a demand, and the special advisor it appointed for the case, Irving Joyner, had consistently defended Nifong’s behavior.

4. If the NAACP believed it “must face this investigation when all of the facts are in,” why did the organization essentially reject the results of the AG’s report and call for a new investigation (which it would dominate)? That’s not facing the facts, it’s denying them.

5. In principle number two, the NAACP described Mangum as “the survivor”—a term used by “rape victim” groups to describe a victim of rape. Yet at the time when Barber outlined his “principles” in spring 2006, defense attorneys were adamantly denying that any attack occurred. So, by describing Mangum as “the survivor,” did not the state NAACP’s own principles presume guilt?

6. Barber’s “principles” contain the following two contradictor items: “We demand that the alleged perpetrators have rights to be protected” and “we must denounce any code of silence.” Even the most limited view of civil liberties would hold that the “rights” of “alleged perpetrators” include not speaking to police outside the presence of their attorneys. Yet at the time when Barber announced his “principles,” the “code of silence” claim had a specific meaning—that, as Nifong and his enablers had charged, the lacrosse players had enacted a “code of silence” and refused to speak with police. (Of course this was untrue: they had only postponed a meeting with police until they could consult with counsel.) So could Barber explain how his organization was “upholding its demand that the alleged perpetrators have rights to be protected” by “denounc[ing] any code of silence”?

7. Barber’s “principles” contain another clear contradiction: “We do not want a rush to judgment” and “those who are calling for justice and fairness in the investigation must not be wrongly described as a ‘lynch mob’ no matter how zealous [sic] one seeks to defend their client.” The potbangers—who, the reverend told us, can’t be referred to as a “lynch mob”—claimed their goal was “justice and fairness.” How was their behavior consistent with the NAACP’s stated opposition to a rush to judgment?

8. In light of NAACP “principle” number 8, when will the organization “face the truth” about its record in the lacrosse case?

9. Barber asserted, “Our position as an organization interested in civil rights and community justice, is that the investigation of allegations are fair, meticulous, comprehensive, aggressive, and thorough.” Before his recusal, no one from the state NAACP ever denounced Mike Nifong’s myriad ethical improprieties, and Joyner appeared to give a pass to the rigged lineup. How was that behavior consistent with the organization’s interest in civil rights and commitment to a “fair” investigation?

10. And, finally, Barber’s “principles” held, “We must face the truth and the justice that the truth demands.” How could Barber’s misleading response to WRAL be deemed consistent with that principle?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where was the NAACP when Elmo was falsely charged?

When did it stand up for him against a rogue prosecutor?

Did it honor him (as did the rest of the nation) when he was named Hero of the Year?

Why did the NAACP oppose a change of venue for the lax case?

Why did the NAACP support a gag order for the lax case?

Both of these differ from the past practice of the NAACP.

What was the relationship of the accuser in this case to the NC NAACP founder, and several subsequent officers?

Why was the HQ of the NAACP moved to Durham?

(I could go on ...)

Anonymous said...

Amusing that the NAACP's third point includes the questions "Who violated Duke’s Code that night? How many times had they violated the law or Duke’s Codes before?" I've often wondered the same thing myself...about Duke's administration.

Anonymous said...

"On-line Forum" or "Photo Op"

This was not an opportunity to confront this little-minded man about anything. Just a way to put him in the news. The questions did not matter. The answers were written before the questions came in.

Debrah said...

This "Reverend" Barber is quite a grotesque human being.

Months ago he was on a WRAL panel which included another minister and a few other people as well as the N&O's editor John Drescher.

Every time a question such as the ones above was posed, Barber answered it in the same wandering and dreary fashion.

Drescher and the others are certainly not stupid people. They fully recognized that this guy avoids the real issues; however, he's never challenged.

Barber is like many of Duke's Gang of 88 in that he spouts the same goofy, pumped-up rhetoric which is meaningless.

These people use words they've read in molded textbooks of "solidarity". They most often sound as though they're reading instead of having a conversation.

This is because they memorize this outdated jargon. This way of conversing makes them sound even more uneducated and insular than they already are.

The "Reverend Doctor" Barber cannot answer any of the pointed questions KC asks.

And no one will call him on his bigotry and his hypocrisy.

skwilli said...

The words "Barber" and "principles" should never appear on the same page, lest anyone become confused.

Anonymous said...

Sure Rev, the NAACP was fair to the players.....you can tell just how fair by reading the list of 82 "crimes and torts" the NAACP listed on their website.

The good Rev. Barber is quite simply a liar....and a joke.

Must be something in the water down in Durham.....nobody can say they were wrong or they are sorry.

Marco2006 said...

As always we can count on KC to shine the light of truth upon those who pretend to be what they are not.

"The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy." —Michael Korda

Anonymous said...

Lies, lies, and more lies. Are the "leaders" of Duke University and Durham capable of telling the truth? Somehow, I doubt it.

No justice, no peace said...

InreL "Lies, lies, and more lies..."

"DUMAC's most recent quarterly report for fiscal year 2008 showed the endowment had increased by 6.2 percent-still a much more conservative gain than typical-but Executive Vice President Tallman Trask told The Chronicle in October that he expected much of that had been lost in the ensuing economic crisis." - Trask (12/2008)

"Duke's endowment has been one of the most successful among all U.S. universities. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, the endowment recorded a 6.2 percent increase in market value—this at a time when many comparable funds actually declined in value." - Brodhead (10/2008)

...MUCH of that (6.2%) increase (had been lost)...how about ALL of that and then some...

AND

Presenting the 6/2008 results in 10/2008 without mentioning the 9/30 quarterly and 10/2008 monthly status is dishonest.

Both of these guys should be fired since they are intentionally misrepresenting the situation.

Both of these guys are on the Board.

This is not about the amount of the loses. It is all about the lack of transparency and dishonest approach used to report the results.

Can anyone trust anything that comes from the leadership at Duke?

Why would they?

It would also be interesting to know if any of the Duke funds had been invested with Bernard Madoff...

No justice, no peace said...

One wonders if the NAACP celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th?

I bet there was a big celebration on the Duke campus, right?

Oops, wrong parallel universe...please excuse me.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,...

Anonymous said...

Why don't we just speak the truth: The Reverand is just a mouth piece for an organization with a clear agenda - regardless of the facts, the law, ethics or morals.
Are we really surprised by the duplicity of this man? I can't help but to ask; was the Reverend really misleading the WRAL audience or was he performing for it?
I personally suspect the Reverend knew exactly what he was saying - it's called lying by ommission and redirection.

Gary Packwood said...

Rev. William Barber said:
...The uniqueness of the NAACP is that we have been there when black girls/women have been raped and there were no consequences and when black boys/men have been accused of rape when they were innocent.
::
In my opinion, Rev. Barber continues to try and conflate (combine) the violence against women's act with affirmative action into a composite whole for use across the entire nation by all chapters of the NAACP.

The Duke lacrosse 'case' was the prototype action and it did not work...even at a wealthy Tier # 1 University with faculty/staff collaboration. Barber must have been severely 'bumbed' as this strategy unraveled and ever more so now with the current economic crisis.

The NAACP wants funding for housing, child care and vocational training for low income people. Conflating AABlack issues with Women's issues was (possibly, still is) their strategy to gain the leverage necessary to obtain both government and private funding to that end. And we are talking about Billions of dollars.

Our national guilt associated with sending Dave/Reade/Collin of Duke University, of all places, to prison for thirty years would have allowed the NAACP to kick up a 'perfect storm' at wealthy universities across this nation. Selected faculty and staff members were waiting with their pots and pans to chant..."any prior history of racial bigotry and intimidation must be fully investigated".

I would not be at all surprised to learn that Dave/Reade/Collin do not fully understand yet how much grief and sadness they diverted and squelched by refusing to be intimidated by all those fantastic lies.

Low income housing with child care and vocational training paid for by universities and the government would have solved once and for all the problem of decaying neighborhoods with crumbling infrastructure (Especially water and sewer) that may never be replaced. A serious problem that does need attention.

Conflating discrimination along with violence against women...was the racial component of the Duke University Men's lacrosse team rape hoax, IMO.
What next?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

The Discovery Channel recently ran an episode of "The New Detectives" spotlighting Michael Earl Sexton. You might remember Sexton as the "unfairly" convicted rapist and mother-murderer from North Carolina who was championed by NAACP favorite Dr. Irving Joyner despite:

1. Numerous head hairs of Sexton on the dead raped mother's body.
2. Pubic hairs from Sexton on the body of the dead raped mother.
3. Swabs from the dead raped mother's cheek showed spermatozoa from Sexton.
4. Swabs from the dead raped mother's vagina found spermatozoa from Sexton.
5. Fibers from Sexton's clothing were found on the dead raped mother's body.
6. Sperm from Sexton was found under the buttocks of the dead raped mother.
7. Sexton was seen using the dead raped mother's ATM card at an ATM machine.
8. Confession of Sexton.
9. Muddy footprints matching Sexton’s shoes in the dead mother's van.

The NAACP also tracked the race of Mr. Sexton as some proof of a biased system. Joyner and Barber never learned that King's fight for Civil Rights was about the rights.

***********

Vanity is one reason a person may choose not to apologize. It might also cause a person to keep a hairstyle justly and nationally ridiculed since at least the release of Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America." But this lame bit of pop psychology doesn't explain Holloway or Broadhed.

***********

"Those who live on vanity must, not unreasonably, expect to die of mortification." -- Alice Thomas Ellis

***********

MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Also, the Rev. Dr. Barber failed to point out that Al McSurely, the counsel for the North Carolina NAACP played a major role in stirring up these failed and dishonest charges. Furthermore, McSurely is the agent for the company that has published Crystal's book of lies.

You can bet that in private conversation, Barber and McSurely are angry that they could not railroad these kids to a cherished conviction. Barber and McSurely actually believe that the NAACP was entitled to a conviction, and it was due only to the "racism" of Joe Cheshire and Roy Cooper that they were denied "justice."

Barber has no right ever to speak of "innocence" and wrongful convictions, since he was the champion of lies and wrongful convictions. His words AND his deeds expose him.

Debrah said...

This from Liestoppers.

Anonymous said...

From KC's Jan 29th, 2007 blog, "Sins of Denial":

Excerpts from Rev Barber's Sermon in Duke Chapel:

“The refusal to acknowledge what is right in front of us,” declared Barber, “can be devastating,” even more so when accompanied by a denial of responsibility to change what is bad. Any “attempt to deny injustice covers us with the blood of guilt,” since “all the denial in the world will not save us from ultimately having to face reality.” To replace this atmosphere, “what we need today is a theology of truth and not denial.”

and,

Barber chillingly summed up the consequences of refusing to follow his demands: “If we deny God’s call to face reality, to change reality, then we sin, and the blood is on our hands.”

It speaks volumes that this man of "God" can stand in a sacred place like Duke Chapel and deny reality, deny justice, and deny truth. Now by his own admission, he is covered in "blood".

OrangeLazarus

gwallan said...

KC said...
In principle number two, the NAACP described Mangum as “the survivor”—a term used by “rape victim” groups to describe a victim of rape. Yet at the time when Barber outlined his “principles” in spring 2006, defense attorneys were adamantly denying that any attack occurred. So, by describing Mangum as “the survivor,” did not the state NAACP’s own principles presume guilt?


It is enlightening to know Barber will STILL, more than two years later, refer to Magnum as a "survivor".

It seems guilt is still assumed.

A survivor is one who has completed, or is still engaged in, a process of recovery from harm. In the Duke case those harmed - the la Crosse players - cannot begin any process of recovery whilst institutions such as the NAACP and Duke itself continue to be intransigent. The harm is still being done.

bobo1949 said...

Went to the Herald-Sun web site today for the first time in a couple of months. Did a search on Michael Nifong to see what the H-S folks had to say about the bankruptcy case being sent to District Court. No information was available.
I did a search on the Duke Lacrosse case - again no information available.
I went to the archive and found out that the files were not available unless I either received the paper 7 days per week or paid for access to the archive.
Am I the only person who has experienced this?
It's their paper and they can do what they choose.

Anonymous said...

Is Barber a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Great post, OrangeLazarus! MOO! Gregory

Debrah said...

While everyone is discussing apologies, why has the editorial staff of the N&O never been highlighted more for the horrendous op-eds allowed and their methods of totally ignoring the actions of Nifong at the time?

When I look back, what was happening on the N&O's editorial pages was really important and it framed the way the public came to view the lacrosse case for a long time after. Theirs is the main paper of the Triangle located in the capitol of the state.

Yet they dropped the ball and no one has ever expressed regret.

Editorially, they almost never ventured an opinion until something happened that could not be ignored.

Why didn't they go after Nifong for what he did right from the beginning?

I was given a lecture the other day about how only one person ultimately decides the positions taken and not taken on the editorial pages.....and that is the publisher.

I've spent all this time glossing over that fact, but now I see that everything the N&O did during the Lacrosse Hoax was under the direction of one man.

It's easier to see how their 2006 coverage came to be and who later directed Timothy Tyson to do his long piece on the Wilmington Riots in the same year.

Their coverage always had the taint of racial bias from top to bottom.

Jim in San Diego said...

There is a world of injustice out there.

The Rev Barber reminds us part of that world of injustice is instituionalized in areas we never would suspect.

One positive result from the injustice meted out to the Duke Lacross students is announced.

Reade Seligman has just been awarded a humanitarian award for involving himself and the Brown lacrosse team in Barry Schenk's "Innocence Project".

The Innocence Project has freed hundreds of innocent men from prison, including dozens from Death Row.

Congratulations to Reade. Rev Barber, are you paying attention?

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

And the N&O's coverage was a LOT better than the Durham's paper--that's what's really scary!

Debrah said...

Let us hope that the Raleigh attorney who participated on this UNC panel prevails and that Barber and his hypocritical organization's efforts are shut down.

af said...

The NC NAACP has proven itself to be another sham organization. Founded on noble causes, it has been reduced to a group seeking only to advance an agenda, without regard to either truth or justice. The credibility level of this group is somewhat lower than the credibility of the Congress. I guess that just goes to prove that those two groups deserve each other. Or, at the very least, they need each other. After all, if you combine their credibility levels and multiply by four, the combined favorability rating might be a passing grade in school!!!!!

Jamal Matsuzaka said...

To answer the first comment poster's last question, the NAACP moved to Durham for the same reason that white supremacists groups flourish in areas of West Virginia and Mississippi. The NAACP certainly has the potential to become just another hate group, as evidenced by the behavior The way that he couches his stances, evades and obfuscates, answers questions that weren't asked, etc., etc. is the same nonsense that KKK leader pull when they crawl out of their holes for interviews. It's really nothing to be proud of. "Rev." Barber could do with some serious self reflection.

One Spook said...

DUKE ENDOWMENT SLIPS

No surprise here, but it was delegated to Brodhead to give the "bad news" ... despite Bob Steel pumping sunshine at everyone a few weeks back after the annual Duke Board Meeting.

"DURHAM -- Duke University's endowment has decreased 19 percent since July 1 as a result of the slow economy, and university officials are working through budget-cutting scenarios for the next fiscal year."

Read more here: Duke Endowment Slips

One Spook

One Spook said...

Here is coverage of the Endowment "slip" in The Chronicle.

Duke Endowment Drops By 19%

Some of the comments are pretty amusing.

One Spook

CS said...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/857lzqko.asp?pg=1