Monday, March 05, 2007

Paula McClain: Rationalizing Nifong

In its December filing against Mike Nifong, the state bar accused the D.A. of making improper commentary on the lacrosse players’ invocation of their constitutional rights; on the evidence to be presented in the case; about the guilt of the accused; and about the “character, credibility, and reputation of the accused.” It also accused Nifong of improperly using hypothetical comments to explain away the existence of exculpatory evidence and improperly making statements that heightened public condemnation of the accused. Finally, the bar alleged that “Nifong engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”

In a May article, here’s how the newly elected chairwoman of the Duke Academic Council, Group of 88 member Paula McClain, described Nifong’s remarks:

Paula McClain, a professor of political science and co-director of Duke’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences, says nothing Nifong could have done would have shielded him from criticism.

“No matter what you do, someone’s going to say you’re making this political. He’s probably done some things he should not have done, but whether what he’s done has made it more political?” McClain asked. “This would have been political, regardless.”

If that line of argument sounds familiar, it should: it is almost identical to excuses for his pre-primary publicity barrage offered by Nifong.

McClain also echoed Nifong’s line in her assertion that “the politically astute thing for whoever wins to do would be to let the justice system to run its course. Anything short would be detrimental. People want resolution.”

Of course, the justice system is supposed to be about a search for the truth, with the prosecutor adhering to city and state procedures, not using the process to achieve what the “people want.”

So not only did McClain, who also signed the “clarifying” letter, refuse to make a statement supporting Duke students’ due process rights, but she rationalized Nifong behavior that the bar (and most legal observers) deemed unethical.

McClain did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.


Anonymous said...

For "intellectuals" like McClain, there is no such thing as ethics, only "ethics." The end justifies one man's terrorist ...

Chicago said...

This is the person Duke is promoting to Dean next year no?

If I am correct, which I think I am if I recall, this is very scary.

Anonymous said...

Paula and Mike were would have been political either way. Mike chose to capitalize on the situation (and Paula supports him for it) by using the system to benefit himself instead of doing the right thing...not pushing this joke of a case...and probably losing the primary.

He decided to be an unethical politician instead of an ethical DA.

GS said...

By now some members of the Duke 88 must be talking to lawyers who advise not to make any more statements. I would think any statements know would just be more potential evidence for the coming lawsuits. The Profs would be well advise not to keep commenting on the case.

The Campus Culture Initiative could be considered the profit motive in this case. They are attempting to advance their position in the company (Duke U) at the expense of the Lax players. The fact they they forced a new commitee to be formed of mainly memebrs of the Group of 88, and this group is trying to make all students take classes they teach may strike the jury members are a reason the lax players were atatcked by the group of 88.

Remember the "beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard for criminal cases, not civil cases. The jury will decide if the listing statements were slander. OJ beat the murder rap, not the civil case. Even if the group 88 win the lawsuit or if the case is never heard, they will most likely be stuck with legal bills.

In the mean time.
Hopefully she or someone she knows will never be publicly condemned by a DA, charged with a crime, not allow to present a alibi, have exculpatory evidence hidden by the DA and have to spend thousands to defend herself while the DA decides when to question the accuser and when to set a trial date.

Maybe she or people who she knows will be lucky and it won't be an election year.

Anonymous said...

If you're concerned about the Duke administrative structure properly monitoring statements by the faculty, why not also e-mail her boss, Michael Munger, the PoliSci chair? He's running a vanity campaign for Governor of North Carolina, after all, and he ought to be on the record about such things. As far as I can see, he just does a little dance where he tries to avoid offending anyone too much. One question for Duke might be whether a responsible adult has been in charge of PoliSci -- I'm simply not sure if Munger is a serious person, nor the right person to be in that position at this time.

Anonymous said...

Seriously what could she have said? She has already passed up the chance to say a simple and sincere "I'm sorry". Other than that what would anyone like to hear from her? It must be a grim world to live in, given this twisted view of people and society.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this typical of the G88/87 at Duke? They lie, slime people who clearly are innocent of crimes, and then refuse to face up to what they have done. Oh, yes, they are terribly misunderstood.

Well, I am a college professor and I can tell you that I clearly understand what these people are doing and why they are doing it. Do not be fooled by their rhetoric. They were all too happy to help railroad three young men into prison for 60 years for a pure hoax. That is all you need to know about the G88/87.

Anonymous said...

KC -- Curious to see your take on this.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting whiplash trying to follow the verbal gymnastics of the Gang of 88. Most recently we've heard that all of these trusting and well-meaning professors were induced into politicizing the case because of the public assertiveness and persuasiveness of Nifong. McClain, however, admitted that it would have been politicized regardless of what Nifong did. I guess that pretty much undercuts the latest excuse.

Anonymous said...

My disdain for the G88 grows daily. It is near impossible for me to believe that Professors would not only ignore the BASIC outlines of our criminal justice system, but would so quickly turn their backs and hurl stones at 3 young men who represent the reason they have jobs in the first place. Now, can you imagine the tremendous anguish those 3 young men had to go through when their own school basically threw them to the dogs. Someone at Duke needs to 'MAN UP' and do the right thing, which is to get rid of those ignorant idiots who cannot have the decency to treat people like they should be treated, with fairness at the least.
As far as this woman being Dean, it's about as smart as making Mike Nifong the Attorney General.
Only the Alumni will be able to get rid of those terrible people.


Anonymous said...

She is not now, nor next year, a dean. She was elected by the current Academic Council, Duke’s faculty senate, to serve a two year term as Chairman of the Council beginning in July. The Council’s website is

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 3:37 PM

KC -- Curious to see your take on this.

Three guys from Maryland with signs that say ...No Means No?

What's to take on?

It is a spoof; a statement of irony designed to harass' the other team. An old tradition.

Guys have heard - No Means No - a thousands times in High School and then they go to college and they get to hear - No Means No - a thousand times more.

Apparently college instructors and staff associated with The Office of Student Affairs at colleges think high school teacher are stupid and don't teach this.

It is just a huge joke since the 1980's in pre-college programs in high schools and then again in colleges.

The phrase - No Means No - needs to be taught in high crime areas and in neighborhood that are troubled with a high poverty rate.

You did notice it was three GUYS holding the signs at the Maryland game? Three GUYS?

Anonymous said...

I just checked out the membership of the DU Board of Trustees. I wonder what is filtered up to them about the situation. I doubt that GM's CEO, Rick Wagoner, (Trinity '75, Economics) follows the hoax and its aftermath closely, as he has bigger problems than Brodhead. I do wonder how he and the GM top echelon would handle a similar situation at their company and what would befall a Group of 88 there. Would they be protected and rewarded as it seems to be the case at Duke? The Group of 88 has taken full advantage of the academic freedom associated with universities. They receive their paychecks while disrupting the university and disparaging some of its members (students, alums). At least in the sixties, the disruptive forces on universites had personal fear, that of being drafted. These 88 had nothing to fear personally, and much too gain ideologically by advancing their agendas with their protest and statements. They would not be so successful and arrogant in the real world, if they had to earn money selling their treatises, or if they entered the underprivileged world of those they care so deeply about in their writings and tried to help them.

Bill Anderson's 3:20 post on the 88 is harsh, but I believe it is true.

Chicago said...


The story actually said that MD fans were pretty reasonable for the most part. If it is any indication of how terribly unethical Nifong has been, MD has a vitriol for Duke like you would not believe. If MD fans are having any sympathy for us and speaking out against Nifong in Duke's defense it is extremely telling.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 4:52

'I just checked out the membership of the DU Board of Trustees'... and am wondering what has filtered up to them.


Well, in this post ENRON era, I suspect that they have spent more dollars on attorneys that have the three students and ... as apparent slow learners... they are now learning about their fiduciary responsibilities as TRUSTees.

FIDUCIARY responsibilities.

You see the letter from the Duke statistics professor in the Durham newspaper today?

Anybody home over there at Duke in the executive offices?

David said...

The perpetrators of this fraud, aside from Nifong, are operating from the shadows, unseen and essentially unknown by the viewers of this blog.

Therefore, KC, may I suggest inserting their mug-shots for reference and context.

Anonymous said...

Can the G88, or at least some of the individuals therein be sued (with some reasonable chance of success) ?? What they did was to create additional pain & suffering to 3 men innocent of any crime, help lead lynching mobs which was at the least intimidation, and openly harrased Lacrosse players in classrooms (illegal). I am a doctor, not a lwayer, I hope our justice system has a way of delaing with these people !!!


David said...

Following up on my previous post (5:37pm), use the following link for helpful context and photo regarding Paula McClain:

Anonymous said...

I hope I can post a link...

This shows Nifong in yet another major "contradiction."

I am sure KC has covered this somewhere, but I must have missed it...

Anonymous said...

McClain: "the politically astute thing for whoever wins to do would be to let the justice system to run its course. Anything short would be detrimental. People want resolution.”


Let me tell you about justice: this better go to trial no matter what, or we will cry racism! and that will be pretty darn detrimental for NC dems. Just give us the chance to convict these accused, and we'll show you resolution.

Anonymous said...

Here are two of the statements made by Paula McClain that I want to comment on:

“No matter what you do, someone’s going to say you’re making this political."

"People want resolution.”

On the first ...

McClain is correct as far as the statement itself goes. Where McClain and others who share her socialist/communist ideology go offtrack is making the judgment that the points of view of both sides (for example, defenders of the LAX 3 vs. G88) are of equal merit. For her everything is relative; there is no right or wrong. That is patently absurd. Nifong, deservedly so, is being brought up on charges that he violated several laws put into place to govern how the DA's job is to be conducted. Mind you, the laws that Nifong is being charged with violating are not like a law that most people believe is outdated such as unrelated persons of the opposite sex living together. No, the laws he has violated are serious. Until these laws are changed, his conduct, by definition, was wrong. So McClain is being obtuse to make the claim that Nifong was damned no matter what he did. Yes, he would have been condemned by the NAACP, the Black Panthers, the G88, the media, the potbangers, and certain segments of the Durham population had he not followed their wishes (and his greedy desire to win an election at all costs) and engaged in this scheme to railroad 3 innocent Duke students. Now, it is so obvious that if he hadn't done that and had seen CGM's accusation for the pack of lies that it was and refused to proceed with an indictment, he wouldn't be where he is today. He might not be the DA, but he wouldn't have been hauled up before the NC Bar on ethics violations either. So McClain needs to explain why she thinks that Nifong following the code of conduct put in place for DAs (the right way) is of no more value than his actual course of action (the wrong way). There is simply no equivalence here and all the spinning by people like McClain will never make it so.

On the second ...

This McClain statement is true also. The last time I checked, I'm "people." As such, I, too, want resolution, but I want a much different resolution than McClain wants. She wants to see a trial and have CGM get her day in court. That's a way to vindicate her support of Nifong's nastiness. Even if the LAX 3 are found not guilty, if it goes to court, it will put a stamp of legitimacy on all of the shenanigans that have gone on for the last year. I want Nifong to be found guilty, to lose his law license, to be sued for everything he has, and to lose it all. I want CGM to be found guilty of filing a false police report and to do jail time for it. I want Gottlieb and Himan and Addison to be terminated, and any others in the DPD that were complicit in the hoax. I want the G88 to be seen for the laughingstock that they are and for every student at Duke to boycott their classes. The one exception would be Shadee Malaklou because she is such a melonhead that there is no redemption for her. She has to take all the "studies" crap the G88 can dish out. Finally, I want the LAX 3 to get the charges dropped with an apology from Cooper for North Carolina's complete bungling of this situation and win HUGE BUCKS in civil actions against Nifong, Durham, Duke and the state of North Carolina (I'm a resident of NC, but I live nowhere near the cesspool of Durham).

Anonymous said...

to 10p
Well said.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to make sure everyone knows that the NBPP's website is back up. Hurray! In case you weren't aware, this is their 10 point platform.

What the New Black Panthers Want
What the New Black Panthers Believe

1. We want freedom. We want the power to practice self-determination, and to determine the destiny of our community and THE BLACK NATION.
We believe in the spiritual high moral code of our Ancestors. We believe in the truths of the Bible, Quran, and other sacred texts and writings. We believe in MAAT and the principles of NGUZO SABA. We believe that Black People will not be free until we are able to determine our Divine Destiny.

They pretty much fail to mention here how exactly and/or if they are being denied their "Divine Denstiny" by any person, place or thing.

2. We want full employment for our people and we demand the dignity to do for ourselves what we have begged the white man to do for us.
We believe that since the white man has kept us deaf, dumb and blind, and used every “dirty trick” in the book to stand in the way of our freedom and independence, that we should be gainfully employed until such time we can employ and provide for ourselves.

Yeah...let's all get behind this plan of just giving jobs to absolutely everyone for no reason at all. Does this mean that I just have to beg a white man to do everything for me, and then I can feel justified in demanding a job until I can get one for myself? They are unclear on this point.

3. We want tax exemption and an end to robbery of THE BLACK NATION by the CAPITALIST. We want an end to the capitalistic domination of Africa in all of its forms: imperialism, criminal settler colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, sexism, zionism, Apartheid and artificial borders.
We believe that this wicked racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the overdue debt of reparations. A form of reparations was promised 100 years ago (forty acres and a mule) as restitution for the continued genocide of our people and to in meaningful measure and repair the damage for the AFRICAN HOLOCAUST (Maangamizo/Maafa).
We believe our people should be exempt from ALL TAXATION as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land and the overdue reparations debt remains unpaid. We will accept payment in fertile and mine rally rich land, precious metals, industry, commerce and currency. As genocide crimes continue, people’s tribunals must be set up to prosecute and to execute.
The “Jews” were given reparations. The Japanese were given reparations. The Black, the Red and the Brown Nations must be given reparations. The American white man owes us reparations. England owes us reparations. France owes us reparations, Spain and all of Europe. Africa owes us reparations and repatriation. The Arabs owe us reparations. The “Jews” owe us reparations. All have taken part in the AFRICAN HOLOCAUST and the slaughter of 600 million of our people over the past 6,000 years in general and 400 year in particular. We know that this is a reasonable and just demand that we make at this time in history.

Yeah...if there's on thing that Dafur has taught us, the US just can't wait to get involved in African affairs.[eye roll]

4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings, free health-care (preventive and maintenance). We want an end to the trafficking of drugs and to the biological and chemical warfare targeted at our people.
We believe since the white landlords will not give decent housing and quality health care to our Black Community, the he housing, the land, the social, political and economic institutions should be made into independent UUAMAA “New African Communal/Cooperatives” so that our community, with government reparations and aid (until we can do for ourselves) can build and make drug free, decent housing with health facilities for our people.

I'd also like an iPod and a baseball mit and a pony!

Wow, it's too bad that there aren't black people out there who own and operate and build and restore housing solutions. Oh, I'm getting word that there are lots and lots of proactive, intelligent black people who are determining their own destiny.

5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this devilish and decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history/herstory and our role in the present day society.
We believe in an educational system that will give our people “a knowledge of self.” If we do not have knowledge of self and of our position in society and the world, then we have little chance to properly relate to anything else.

Uhhh...I'm just getting tired here. Maybe the next one'll be more fun.

6. We want all Black Men and Black Women to be exempt from military service.
We believe that Black People should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that holds us captive and does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black People, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, “by any means necessary.”

I'm all for less war. However, these guys don't seem to realize our army is ALL VOLUNTEERS.

7. We want an immediate end to POLICE HARRASSMENT, BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black People. We want an end to Black-on-Black violence, “snitching,” cooperation and collaboration with the oppressor.
We believe we can end police brutality in our community by organizing Black self-defense groups (Black People’s Militias/Black Liberation Armies) that are dedicated to defending our Black Community from racist, fascist, police/military oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment of white America’s Constitution gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black People should unite and form and “African United Front” and arm ourselves for self-defense.

Defense from whom?

8. We want freedom for all Black Men and Black Women held in international, military, federal, state, county, city jails and prisons.
We believe that all Black People and people of color should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial. ‘Released’ means ‘released’ to the lawful authorities of the Black Nation.

9. We want all Black People when brought to trial to be tried in a court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by white law of the Constitution of the United States.
We believe that the courts should follow their own law, if their nature will allow (as stated in their Constitution of the United States) so that Black People will receive fair trials. The 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution gives a man/woman a right to an impartial trial, which has been interpreted to be a “fair” trial by one’s “peer” group. A “peer” is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this, the court will be forced to select a jury from the Black Community from which the Black defendant came. We have been and are being tried by all white juries that have no understanding of the “average reasoning person” of the Black Community.

There's no reason to include or exclude anyone from any jury based in any way on race.

We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And, as our political objective, we want NATIONAL LIBERATION in a separate state or territory of our own, here or elsewhere, “a liberated zone” (“New Africa” or Africa), and a plebiscite to be held throughout the BLACK NATION in which only we will be allowed to participate for the purposes of determining our will and DIVINE destiny as a people. FREE THE LAND! “UP YOU MIGHTY NATION! YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU WILL!” BLACK POWER! History has proven that the white man is absolutely disagreeable to get along with in peace. No one has been able to get along with the white man. All the people of color have been subjected to the white man’s wrath. We believe that his very nature will not allow for true sharing, fairness, equity and justice.
Therefore, to the Red Man and Woman, to the Yellow and to the Brown, we say to you

There we go. The NBPP, folks. They'll be here until ignorant bigots are eventually bred out of society.

Gary Packwood said...

Paula McClain: Rationalizing the Future

Why faculty activists and advocates and their students at Duke can be crazy.

The author of this little movie KARL FISCH, created the content for his high school students and colleagues. The movie has be flying around the world for the last several weeks on the web.

Successful and prosperous Latino parents here in Houston have been sitting with their children studying this movie and talking about the future.

Advocates for people living outside of the mainstream are absolutely shocked and driven to a form of craziness because of the message in this little movie. They believe that prosperous and gifted young people are not going to bring the rest of the world with them as they Zoom ahead in this new century.

The thinking inherent in this movie is probably why many of the G88 and their students are a little nuts given the fact they are at Duke.. and thus believe they can change the world using Duke as a WORLD platform.

I have been around the block several times with this type of thinking and this time I am not going to be guilty.

The first time was 1983 when the desktop computer made it into our lives. The activists and advocates were determined to make me feel guilty but people outside of the mainstream did not have ACCESS to the computer.

There are people on Blogs who are trying to question assumptions in the movie and if you wish to follow that discussion you can start here

Whether or not the content is absolutely true is probably irrelevant now.

The question you are about to ask is below :-)

"How many people have seen this?"
"Only a couple million. I just posted it!" (Doonesbury, March 4th, 2007).

Anonymous said...

need an explanation? see the
English Department website:

Professor Holloway serves on the Greenwall Foundation's Advisory Board in Bioethics, the board of Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, and the Princeton University Council on the Study of Women and Gender. At Duke, she has served as Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Chair (and member) of the Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee, member of the Academic Council and the Executive Committee of Academic Council. She is founding co-director (with Cathy Davidson) of the John Hope Franklin Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute, and is currently co-chair, (with Professor Paula McClain) of the Black Faculty Caucus.

Anonymous said...

Sign that should have been seen in Maryland:

"No DNA means no RAPE"

Anonymous said...

locomotive breath:
the more I think about it, the more it seems that the "No means No" sign was intended to mock the sexist attack on the LAX team, not the team members themselves. Note that it was guys holding the sign.

Anonymous said...

It speaks volumes about Duke management that, in the face of everything, they go ahead and appoint a prominent member of the Gang of 88 (a better epithet than the polite Group of 88) to head of Council! How on earth is that possible? It confirms my suspicions: Duke is VERY FAR GONE as an institution. I suspect that few Duke alumni and supporters really appreciate this. Now they couldn't fail to.

Anonymous said...

re: Anon at Mar 5, 2007 8:10:00 PM The NBPP
Thanks for sharing! Reminds me of the time I stayed wayyyyy too late at a Kwanzaa party. What's his name, the inventor of Kwanzaa, was an old Black Panther wasn't he? Yea.

re: Gary Packwood's little movie

The big picture. Thanks, man. It makes the g88 and all seem so small and insignificant.. uh, wait, they are small and insignificant, but they bitch and moan about it with such loud and divisive voices...

Anonymous said...

To 10:56: McClain was elected to be the head of the Academic Council. There was a least one other faculty candidate in the election. I assume McClain was the faculty's choice. I wonder if someone on this blog could provide some insight into the Academic Council. I know at some universities only a small number are active in their Faculty Senates, and thus these organizations are not really representative of the faculty. At some places the members are advocates of faculty concerns; at others the members are administrative sycophants. I would imagine the importance of these councils/senates varies from university to university. At Duke is there a type of professor who tends to be interested in faculty governance? Are many professors active in this council? Does the faculty council have any power? Is it the voice of the faculty?Does the council ever involve itself in issues of hiring and firing faculty or administrators? What issues does the council address? Would it become involved in the CCI issues? How can one learn more about this Council?

Anonymous said...

In 1983, we bought a pc for the kids/ It cost $5,000.00 dollars. Today $400.00 The greatness of technology. It is this little PC that allows all of us to state our opinions, fight injustice and write trash. What a country.l