A USA Today article from last week featured the latest jaw-dropping comment from NAACP case monitor Irving Joyner. Asked about Mike Nifong’s having instructed police to violate their own regulations and run a do-over lineup that was confined only to suspects, Joyner breezily termed the procedural misconduct “really unimportant.”
As long as the accuser could identify someone in court, he implied, convictions should follow. Since this opinion wholly contradicts the traditional stance of the NAACP on due process, I assume that Joyner will soon be resigning from the organization?
John Fitzpatrick, a black defense lawyer and Nifong campaign donor, provided an equally stunning comment, in his case on the purpose of the criminal justice system. Fitzpatrick demanded a trial on the grounds that “the public has a right to hear [the accuser’s] side of the story from her mouth under oath.” (In yesterday's Herald-Sun, Fitzpatrick even more preposterously suggested that Nifong's defiant response to the state bar could be interpreted as “somewhat of an apology. It might have been a cry for forgiveness.”)
Once again, Jim Coleman provided a voice of sanity, repeating his earlier assertion that the lineup violated procedure and predicting that the case would be dropped.
This case long ago passed the line into farce. Therefore, this week’s edition of case humor:
- An amusing youtube with a message for Irving Joyner;
- The Spoof predicts the next excuse that Mike Nifong will offer to the Bar;
- Liestoppers uncovered a leaked document from Duke’s Academic Council, revealing the newly planned Department of Scapegoatology.
Among the offerings:
Scapegoatology 101: Introduction to Scapegoatology (Prerequisite for graduation for all persons attending Duke on athletic scholarships).
Taught by Peter Wood, this course will introduce the discerning student to the concept and general practices of Scapegoatology, including an overview of the scapegoatology process and exploration of the goals of Scapegoating ... Numerous lab experiments and field exercises will be conducted. Students on athletic scholarship will have the thrilling experience of acting as scapegoats in all field exercises and lab experiments while those having declared majors in Sociology, Anthropology and AAAS will, of course, be afforded the opportunity to participate as scapegoaters.
Scapegoatology 103: Selecting Your Scapegoat
Taught by Wahneema Lubiano, this course explores the thrills and pitfalls of selecting or creating your scapegoat.
- Academic Jargon and Gobbledygook 101, 102 & 103.
- Ideological Indoctrination and Demagoguery 101.
Scapegoatology 107: Milking The Scapegoat Process For All You Can
Taught by the subgroup chairpersons for the Campus Culture Initiative (CCI), this course is designed as a recapitulation and reaffirmation of the previous Scapegoatology Courses, and is designed to once again tie your “For Shame” scapegoating efforts back to actualization and furtherance of your hidden agendas. The following books are required reading:
- How to Demand Campus Initiatives
- Selective Committee Stacking
- Leadership Through Ignoring Your Committee Members
- How to Make Taking Your Pet Course a Prerequisite for Graduation.
According to the leaked document, adjunct professor Mike Nifong not only will offer a course in the new department, but he will give guest lecturers in a class taught by Karla Holloway.
As columnist Kevin Bruffy noted,
Publicly they were condemned, chastised and presumed guilty before the apparent facts of the case surfaced. The team in general, and the three accused specifically, were public enemy No. 1 across the country. They were called hooligans and their pictures plastered all across campus . . . Even their school turned its back on them. Still, through it all, they held together, even when it would have been much easier to tuck their tails between their legs and disappear . . .But if the remaining charges are dropped, the Duke party would be no different than thousands of other parties that happen every year on almost every major college campus in the country.
A consistent pattern throughout this case has been the high-quality, and empathetic, commentary from most in the college press.
Mike Nifong’s bizarre crusade against Friends of Duke University has attracted media notice. WRAL recently did a report on the issue (with a web interview with FODU spokesperson Jason Trumpbour).
Trumpbour also issued a statement on the FODU site:
It is typical of Nifong’s narcissism and grandiosity that he imagines himself confronted by giants. The reality is that we are a bunch of ordinary folks who had to shoulder the burden of speaking out against him ourselves because we got tossed out on our ear at Duke. Our group’s original purpose was to get Duke to speak out in defense of its students and they did not start doing that until late December. We are mostly funded out of our own pockets. We have no experience doing this sort of thing and we are figuring it out as we go along. If Nifong were to recognize these realities, it would be a bitter blow to him. He would then have to finally confront the reality that he is responsible for his own misfortunes. All we have done is shine a light on his actions and invite others to see for themselves the nature and extent of his misconduct.Nifong’s targeting of FODU is indeed an irony. The group exists only because the public voices of Duke’s faculty—the Group of 88 and figures such as Peter Wood or Orin Starn—rushed to judgment last spring, not only abandoning the academy’s traditional reverence for due process but advancing their personal and pedagogical agendas on the backs of their own students. So if Nifong has a complaint with anyone, he should direct it at the Group of 88.
Bill Anderson’s latest excellent article looks at how those who expected “that Nifong would simply become background noise” had not counted on how the DA’s bar response would make him “front-and-center once again.”
To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, "Nifong is the state; the state is Nifong." Indeed, until (or if) the North Carolina authorities drop these charges and go after the real criminals in this case – Nifong, the Durham police, and others who pushed the charges – then the only proper thing for them to do is to hang pictures of Nifong on their office walls, since on this day, he is the very face of the "justice system" of The State of North Carolina.
Many months ago, Wahneema Lubiano promised that the Group of 88 would plow forward “regardless of the ‘truth’ established in whatever period of time about the incident at the house on
In the first stage of the Group of 88 rehab tour, the “clarifying” faculty asserted, “The disaster [of which the original Group of 88 ad spoke] is the atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus.” A month later, the Campus Culture Initiative report amplified upon the claim, asserting that interactions across racial lines at Duke were worse than at a cohort of 20 private universities.
But an alert commenter at the Liestoppers board noted that data from 2001-2002 from the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education presented an entirely different picture. The JBHE study indicated that Duke ranked #1 among 26 universities considered, and stated that the ranking provide “an excellent guide to whether a given university is committed to the education of African Americans and is providing a happy place for them to be.”
The rankings, it would seem, represent one “truth” that Lubiano and her cohort will choose to deny.
The latest top-notch Duke Chronicle article comes from Zak Kazzaz, examining the peculiar record of Nifong’s chief investigator, Linwood Wilson. Kazzaz obtained an interview with Joseph Cheshire, who observed that while “all investigators are supposed to provide objective information to the lawyers that they're working with, and if you have an investigator that does not do that then justice is not served, in this case it seems that the boss did not want objective information.”
The Chronicle asked Wilson, who admits that he has investigated no more than four other rape cases since 1971, about the many complaints filed against him, along with two formal rebukes from the body that licenses P.I.’s. His response? “I don't have to explain it. They found no violation.” Nifong refused comment on why he hired
The Chronicle piece also noted the unusual nature of
Kazzaz’s reporting also raises doubts as to why Wilson and Wilson alone conducted the Dec. 21 interview, since “compared to Wilson's self-admitted, minimal experience with rape cases, Himan said he has specific training for his position and a specialty in violent crimes.”
Bob Ekstrand, meanwhile, wondered why the accuser didn’t produce a new statement on December 21, given that she recanted her April 6 version of events. As he noted,
Look at what the product [of the interview] was—the product wasn't a statement. It seemed more of a hodgepodge of facts that was basically kind of an unconnected set of assertions that seemed to be trying to address enormous holes in the case.
I admit to a strong bias in favor of JetBlue, my favorite airline. A couple of weeks ago, it had a day from hell, when weather problems at JFK exposed a major flaw in the airline’s business model. Customers on four planes were stranded on the runway for hours. Flights were canceled or delayed for several days thereafter.
JetBlue CEO David Neeleman responded quickly, issuing an apology and promising to make the necessary changes to prevent the errors from occurring again.
The Duke administration should have imitated JetBlue’s approach, apologizing for contributing to a rush to judgment and promising to ensure that, in the future, all Duke professors would respect the provisions of the Faculty Handbook regarding how they treat all of their school’s students.
If a federal investigation of Nifong’s behavior occurs,
And, for the ever-growing “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” file, JinC reveals that
Steve (Spoiler) Monks is out as chairman of the county Republican Party. The figure who siphoned enough votes away from Lewis Cheek to allow Nifong to slip by with a plurality total resigned his chairmanship yesterday.
In a fitting rebuke for this Nifong enabler, a committee member successfully called for him to cut off his resignation speech--as he was delivering it.
I spent the weekend at
Posters heralding the “Feminist Porn Activist,” “The Amazing World of Orgasm,” and “Sidewalk Sex Clinic” are hanging around campus, outshining the typical lecture fare and ACE parties. These events are part of the Women’s Collective initiative Positive Sex Week, which began Sunday and will continue until March 3.
According to organizers, these events are meant to celebrate empowerment, educate the campus about the benefits of exploring sex and challenge the participants to think critically about the effects of sex and sexuality in society.
At the other geographic tip of
The e-mail advertised a talk from Amber Madison, author of Hooking Up: An All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality. The dean wrote,
Want to know more about how to access pleasure, how to communicate your desires and how to make sure that you're getting what you want and need from your partner? Do you have questions about sex or sexuality that you've never had answered? You won't want to miss this!Students who complained received a reply from Susan Marine, Director of the Harvard College Women's Center. Marine justified the e-mail by commenting, “Our role as educators is to enable all students who wish to learn about their own development to have access to accurate, meaningful information.”
If you knew nothing about how today's college professors approach gender and sexuality issues other than what we have seen in this case, you would be excused for believing that today's campus ultra-left are Victorian neo-prohibitionists. After all, Group of 88 members have portrayed themselves as shocked (shocked!) by the captains having hired strippers, and have acted as if underage drinking constitutes a deep moral flaw.
In fact, the Harvard and Williams episodes are routine on elite college campuses, and they are almost always generated by figures whose share the Group of 88’s ideological temperament. The hypocrisy of the Group’s using the difficulties of students who don't fit the preferred race/class/gender profile to "discover" their inner Jerry Falwells is one of the most depressing elements of the case.