Thursday, August 09, 2007

Remembering the Good

In an essay published last December, Political Science chairman Michael Munger noted that the Group of 88 was out of line not “for expressing a view,” but “for (a) a rush to judgment, and (b) presuming to speak, or appearing to be presuming to speak, for Duke and Duke’s faculty as a whole.”

With Group members occupying such prominent positions (chairperson of the Academic Council, Dean of the Social Sciences faculty at Trinity College), it’s easy to forget that—as Munger pointed out—the Group does not speak for Duke’s faculty as a whole. Indeed, the Group, their new additions in the “clarifying” faculty, and their more cautious ideological allies probably comprise only 20 or 25 percent of the arts and sciences faculty as a whole. And it’s worth remembering that there were many examples of Duke professors whose behavior was a credit to the profession.

In April, Chemistry professor Steven Baldwin risked “arousing the wrath of the righteous” by asking why Duke fired Mike Pressler before the Coleman Committee completed its investigation. He paid tribute to Pressler’s personal character and the kind of students he recruited to Duke. With the Coleman Committee’s findings of Pressler as blameless, Baldwin’s words looked prescient.

Then, in October, Baldwin became the first Duke professor to publicly criticize the Group of 88. He noted, “As a Duke faculty member I regard my students in much the same way I regard my children. When my kids do something wrong, I demand accountability. When they break the rules they pay the price, whatever that might be.”

He added,

With that accountability, however, comes support. My kids know I love them and that I will do everything I can to help them through the rough times. That is what families do. I treat my students the same way. Duke students should expect nothing less from their university . . . Instead, Duke has disowned its lacrosse-playing student athletes. Their treatment has been shameful . . . The faculty who publicly savaged the character and reputations of specific men's lacrosse players last spring should be ashamed of themselves.

They should be tarred and feathered, ridden out of town on a rail and removed from the academy. Their comments were despicable. I suspect they were also slanderous, but we'll hear more about that later.

This missive did arouse the wrath of the righteous. Ignoring any pretense of desiring dialogue and debate with those who dared to challenge their agenda, the Group and its sympathizers immediately tried to silence Baldwin. “Clarifying” faculty Robyn Wiegman wrote a letter to the Chronicle bizarrely suggesting that Baldwin’s op-ed used the “language of lynching,” only to receive a history lesson from Johnsville News. Baldwin, undeterred, continued speaking up for all Duke students throughout the spring.


So, too, did Michael Gustafson. Shortly after the defense change-of-venue motion appeared, Gustafson penned one of the most powerful posts in the entire case. Taking note of the unprecedented occurrence of the statements and actions of their own faculty being cited as one reason why students couldn’t receive a fair trial locally, Gustafson understood that the motion “is sadly easy to translate.”

It seemed, he lamented, that “we have removed any safeguards we’ve learned against stereotyping, against judging people by the color of their skin or the (perceived) content of their wallet, against acting on hearsay and innuendo and misdirection and falsehoods . . . We have taken Reade, and Collin, and Dave, and posterized them into ‘White Male Athlete Privilege,’ and we have sought to punish that accordingly.”

“We have demanded proof of innocence; we have stated that even if innocent of the alleged crimes, ‘whatever they did is bad enough;’ we have established false dilemmas and presented them as deductive enthymemes—‘White innocence means black guilt.’ ‘Men’s innocence means women’s guilt.’”

The effect? “It should be clear to all that we have created an environment, both within our walls and the community that hosts them, where it may well be impossible to have a jury of one’s peers should this continue to trial. Who are the peers of ‘White Male Athlete Privilege’? Who will vote for ‘white innocence,’ if it means ‘black guilt’?

“This document is clear. Justice - for any and for all - demands distance from us.”


Even his critics have conceded that Gustafson is an extraordinary teacher, a professor whose students rave about him long after they’ve left Duke. A similar, though lesser-known, performance came from Rhonda Sharpe, who was a visitor to the Duke faculty in the 2005-2006 academic year and who now teaches at the University of Vermont.

In the spring 2006 semester, Sharpe had seven men’s lacrosse players in her Sports Economics class—at the same time as several lacrosse players were in now-dean’s Sally Deutsch course. But while Deutsch deviated from her syllabus to deliver a guilt-presuming lecture after the allegations went public, Sharpe did the opposite. She made clear she would not use her class time to imply guilt or to put her students on the spot. More important, she behaved as would be expected of a professor whose students were experiencing a crisis—she reached out personally, asking the players how they were doing, and inviting them to talk with her if they needed to do so.

Sharpe also publicly stood up for due process at a time when, as Munger pointed out, the Group was presuming to speak for Duke’s faculty in rushing to judgment. People, she told ESPN on Primary Day last May, “are so caught up in the rape issue and the racial aspect that they’re not paying attention to the legal aspect.” Where, she wondered, were the local NAACP and ACLU when Nifong obtained an order for DNA samples based solely on team membership rather than probable cause? And why had people not asked more “hard questions” about the procedural irregularities that already were apparent in the case?

Such questions, of course, should have been coming from the people most associated with standing up for due process—professors. Those players who were in her 2006 course haven’t forgotten that Sharpe did so as members of the Group rushed to judgment.


Finally, one person who signed the Group’s statement subsequently took a different path. When asked this January to sign the “clarifying” statement—which defiantly refused to apologize—Arlie Petters demurred. As he told the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Whenever something causes undue pain to people, then of course that isn’t something I would want to be a part of.”

Last January, there obviously was considerable peer pressure on Group members to remain faithful to the Lubiano/Holloway line. Yet Petters’ reaction was—much like those of Baldwin, Gustafson, and Sharpe, in different circumstances—what most people would expect, and want, of a professor. Even assuming the most benevolent intentions for the Group’s ad, by January 2007, lacrosse players, their families, and their attorneys had made perfectly and publicly clear how the ad had harmed them. Knowing that, how could any professor, in good conscience, compound the pain?

Much like Baldwin, Gustafson, and Sharpe, Petters is a teacher of whom his former students speak fondly. (I’ve heard from several, all with positive memories, since his decision not to sign the “clarifying” statement.) He’s also someone who has given back to his community—in his case, his home country of Belize.


This blog has—justifiably—focused on the dark side of academic behavior in this affair. But it’s important to take Munger’s admonition to heart, to recognize that the Group didn’t and doesn’t speak for the Duke faculty as a whole, and to remember that the past 17 months also featured some professors who reflected the best of the academy’s ideals.


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Anonymous said...

WOW KC - heartening to read about the good guys.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Banned poster alert!

Anonymous said...

Like the Avenue of the Righteous in Israel (which commemorates those who saved Jews during the Holocaust), I'm afraid this list also serves to place in sharp relief the vast number of those who failed to speak out.

Where was the law school? (one professor spoke up)

The athletic coaches? (one spoke up)

Were all the rest being 'good Germans' to Brodhead's Admin?

Remember, this was a case where three innocent members of the Duke family were placed in peril of 30 year prison terms (effectively, a death sentence), and the legal processes which should have served to save them had been corrupted.

And only a handful could speak up?

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
--Martin Luther King

Anonymous said...

It was good to read a story about Duke Faculty and not walk away with a headache. Thanks for helping to keep things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

It was good to read a story about Duke Faculty and not walk away with a headache. Thanks for helping to keep things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

12:24 Stated my sentiments a lot better than I would have.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, KC, for mentioning the good! It brings back memories of my own experience at university. Yeah, many of my professors were jerks and the good ones were in the minority. But, oh, those good ones were something. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post completely KC. It's not hard for me to understand why many professors signed the ad. It's incredible and I feel nearly unforgivable for them to have compounded the harm with the "Clarifying statement."

Those Professors who made that decision caused (as Peters notes) intentional harm to their students. In my opinion they have severely damaged thier reputations and the reputation of Duke.

Dante said...

I sent a note to the ACLU asking why they hadn't stood up to defend the GROUP attack on the lacrosse players.

It seemed to me a very bad precedent. After all, why not extend the logic to all men: There is some chance you committed a rape, therefore if you are male you have to give DNA. The logic seems the same to me.

Naturally, they didn't respond. It seems they are too busy protecting the rights of illegals and suing christians for calling christmas christmas.

Anonymous said...

It's still very sad that Duke has taken no action against (and indeed hasn't even investigated) teachers using their classrooms as bully pulpits to harrass and embarrass innocent members of the lacrosse team.

Despite KCs post about the positive actions of some professors, the fact that Duke has taken no action against a single Professor who acted innapropriately speaks volumes. Then again if there's no punishment for grade retaliation which causes your University to be sued and then publicly enter into a settlement giving the plaintiff all he asks for, I guess a little harrassment from Professor to student really isn't any big deal at all. Pretty pathetic.

Anonymous said...

This was a lovely post, K.C. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The contrast in style and grammer and the ability to produce a cogent line of thought between these cited professors and G88 is remarkable. I haven't yet read commentary from G88 members that would not have caused me as a student to be racing for the Drop/Add form to escape.
Fred in Raleigh

Anonymous said...

For God's sake, man, it's spelled GRAMMAR.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Like the Avenue of the Righteous in Israel (which commemorates those who saved Jews during the Holocaust), I'm afraid this list also serves to place in sharp relief the vast number of those who failed to speak out.

Where was the law school? (one professor spoke up)


1. Huge point: WHERE was the law school?
2. Are there any Duke people out there that can give a useful asnwer?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post KC.

One other note on Prof Baldwin's character. He provided yet another good example for the G88 that they failed to follow. When he learned that some might be offended by his tar and feather language he immediately apologized to anybody that was offended, and explained his meaning and intentions.

To this day I cannot understand how the G88 could not have enough compassion, humility or good sense (any one of the three) to do likewise.


Anonymous said...

Don't you think the comparison to Yavashem might be offensive to people whose families died in the concentration and other camps of World War II? Isn't there some better comparison?

MikeZPurdue said...

Professor Johnson: beautiful post!

What is most damning is Lubiano's rush to get the
ad out - her rapid timetable for peope to sign on -
she obviously feared that the DNA analysis would
show no match to the players, and thus diminish
her ability to whip up sentiment and get the politically
driven agenda in full gear!

"thanks for not waiting" -- that's the most damning comment.
So utterly irresponsible -- talk about promoting
a lynching atmosphere --

Anonymous said...

The remarks about lynching are contrived to fit the Group88's metanarrative. They knew what was being said, and it is ironic that the word lynching has become a word appropriated by those who would lynch. the Group of 88 are not unlike Islamic fascist or people who are so narrow minded and bigoted that law doesn't really matter to them. Why should they let facts get in the way of their point of view. They are not going to bring peace to the world any more than Stalin or HItler or Mao. Faced with injustice, they can't even recognize it let alone be fair or righteous in their behavior. The only people they have the courage to attack are the young who are civil or naive young who still believe in the system and go like sheep to prove their innocence. These people are, to say the least, not nice, but they don't mean to be nice. They have proven their power and lifted their academic hoods and here the similarity with those who would wear hoods is purposeful because this is what these people have done for all to see. What frauds, but then Orwell exposed them and their ilk once before.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with my nephew. He's headed back to Iraq this morning. He's a machinegunner with the 82nd Airborne in Anbar Province. A year ago this month he was wounded in Ramadi, seriously enough to be medevac'd to The States. He returned to his Buddies in December and then got a 2-week leave which is just ending today.

Instead of any replies to this posting, I would just ask that y'all read Michael Fumento's most recent posting, one done about wounded veterans.

When you're done, maybe you should look at the photos again and think about what "white male privilege" really means, other than the "privilege" of dying to set other men free.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

RR Hamilton,

While your nephew is undoubtedly a heroic young man, it is not only privileged white men--not even a majority--who serve in the US armed forces. The volunteer army is majority comprises non-white, female, and/or working class soldiers, does it not?

I find it very sad that young men like your nephew are fighting and being injured--sometimes hideously--and killed in a war I don't believe the US should have started.

Anonymous said...

Correction to 3:44

comprises in its majority


Anonymous said...

Prof Baldwin apologized for his "tarred and feathered" language??

IIRC, in Dante's "Inferno", the lowest rung of Hell is reserved for betrayers. The 88 Gangsters betrayed their own students and remain unrepentant. There is nothing that can be said about them that should ever be apologized for.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

to 3:44,

I too am a Army veteran. As far as I know the military is still majority "privileged white males" (like me, from a family of 8 kids and who had no chance of college w/o the G.I. Bill). Moreover, the closer you get to combat, the whiter U.S. units become. There are a lot of blacks in the Army, but they are mostly cooks, mail clerks, and the like.

I realize that in the years to come the same Vietnam lie about "disproportionately black casualties" will be re-run about the current war. But look at the pictures of our frontline combat troops and you will know the truth. If you can count.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

RR Hamilton--Reread the post. You clearly come under the working-class part of the description. Not all white males are privileged...sorry about that!

You commented on the blacks in the military. They aren't the only non-whites. There are plenty of people of Asian and Latino/a background in the American military. At least some of them are offices. And some of them are women. Some of them have died.

Early on in the death lists in Iraq, it was difficult to ignore the high numbers of young men with Hispanic last names. But what struck me above all was how very young they were.

Anonymous said...

* officers

Anonymous said...

to 4:13,

All white males are "privileged" or haven't you got the memo? Yes, I was the first man in my family to graduate high school (2 older brothers quit), but I'm "privileged". Yes, I went on to graduate college and law school and clerk for the chief justice of a state supreme court. But obviously in today's vernacular, I'm nothing but my white skin.

Yes, there are a lot of Hispanics now in the military. I grew up in South Texas. No one admires the fighting qualities of Mexicans more than I -- in my fights, they spilled enough of my blood to earn that.

But let's stay on the subject: the lacrosse case:

The LAX 3 were victims of a black-on-white crime, a false accusation of rape. I will admit that I am irritated by some here and in the media who seem to pay attention only when rich whites are victims of black-on-white crime.

Rich whites don't seem to understand that when they "empower" blacks, that the reciprocity for them may be just smiles from their maids and butlers, but is something entirely different for whites who live at the margins of society.

For instance, during the 395 days of the hoax, there were 22,000 white women who were raped by blacks (minimum). During the two days the nation was enraptured by the Nifong hearings, more than 100 white women were raped by blacks. Did you read about that anywhere? Does anyone care? Those women, mostly poor and marginalized, are my mother, my sisters, my daughters.

Where are the voices that speak in their defense?

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...


It would be useful if you would cite your sources for the numbers as well as for the measure of "black" and "white."

By the way, not all of the Latinos/as in the armed forces are of Mexican origins.

Anonymous said...

How about economics Professor Weintraub and his 18 colleagues?

Anonymous said...

The people asking "why didn't the law school speak up" should check out the book "The Tyranny of Tolerance" by Judge Robert H. Jr Dierker.

The legal system reaps large financial benefits from politically correct, feminist inspired legislation.

Why bite the hand that feeds it?

Anonymous said...

Why are so many of the people who post here so frightened of women, ie, the "feminists"???

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Why are so many of the people who post here so frightened of women, ie, the "feminists"??? "

Becuase of stuff like this as well as the subject of this blog.

Anonymous said...

"This"??!!!! Give me a break. If the CIA was as effective with "feminism" as it was with other forms of destabilization it attempted throughout the world, you have nothing to worry about.

I don't get you at all. What has "feminism" done to you?

Anonymous said...

Why DID so many Duke faculty-- particularly tenured faculty-- allow the Group of 88 to occupy the field and appear to be the voice of the Duke faculty? That, in my opinion, is the fascinating and important question that remains unanswered.

Anonymous said...

It is all abut power with the Group of 88. It appears as if they have advanced their agenda and consolidated their power at Duke aided by the Duke Lacrosse Hoax. Why would they apologize, they got what they wanted. Now they stay quiet for a while. There will be another opportunity to increase their power, either real or manufactured. That is not important, what is important is increasing their power and forcing us to live in their "new world order" with of course people in charge of the ilk of the Gang of 88.

mac said...

Some observations:

Leadership often means breaking from the pack and walking in solitude, regardless of who might be willing to follow: sometimes the best leaders have the smallest crowds following.

Teachers should always have the best interests of their students at heart.

A wise teacher learns from his/her students.

A poor teacher who learns nothing they already don't know, is usually very good at teaching things they don't know: in the end, no one knows anything, learns anything.

A bad teacher is like the tainted water that everyone must drink: you can't separate one bad bucket from the rest of water in the well; either the well is poisoned or it is not. You have to disinfect the whole well or dig another one.

A good teacher is not toxic.

A good teacher encourages; a bad teacher discourages.

A good teacher lets the student stumble, but provides a hand to help them back up.

OK, so those are platitudinous,
but compare them to the teachers and professors who thought it wise to put themselves and their agendas ahead of the students', and compare them with the teachers who represent the profession well.

Thanks, KC: you are a good teacher and a good leader.

So are Munger, Baldwin, Gustafson, Sharpe and Peters. Nice to see some heroes in the midst of tyrants and enablers and bad teachers.

mac said...

I'm reminded of an old story:

"A teacher in a primary school demanded a raise from the principal, since he'd been teaching 20 years and had 20 years of experience.
The Principal replied:
Sir, you've been teaching here for 20 years, but from what I've observed, you've had 1 year of experience, 20 times!"

Seems that few of the 88ers have learned anything from their experience.

Gary Packwood said...

mac 8:12 said...

...I'm reminded of an old story:
..."A teacher in a primary school demanded a raise from the principal, since he'd been teaching 20 years and had 20 years of experience.
...The Principal replied:
...Sir, you've been teaching here for 20 years, but from what I've observed, you've had 1 year of experience, 20 times!"
...Seems that few of the 88ers have learned anything from their experience.
GREAT story and lesson that needs to be told over and over.

Can you imagine what Coach Kerstin Kimel and her lacrosse team members will be able to say when they are asked about their 'experience' with the 'lacrosse rape hoax' at Duke University?

Where would we be now without the Duke University women's lacrosse team?

Lest we forget.

Anonymous said...

This was a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly, so it's important to remember the good guys. I also recall that Brodhead once said early on that Duke administrators would be judged on how they reacted to the lacrosse case. Unfortunately, the reality is that Duke administrators have been rewarded (or at least had their contacts renewed) by toeing the party line. If they had been judged on how they reacted to the hoax, we would have a new college president.

Anonymous said...

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
--Martin Luther King

Great quote 12:24. Thanks.

I am afraid the list of good professors is way too short to lighten my mood about academia.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 5.38:

I wanted to talk about individual professors in this post, so didn't include the Economics letter. I'll be doing a post on that next week.

Anonymous said...

Such a break from the debilitating reality we've all witnessed from the Gang of 88.

Since those strange people were and are so obnoxious, they threaten, in many instances, to eclipse the good that is there.

I was particularly impressed with Arlie Petters.

Good show.

Highlight the positive, but never let up on the quest of illuminating the negative.


Anonymous said...

While it is important to recognize the (rare) outbreaks of virtue among the Duke faculty, should I, as a parent, be reassured by the thought that only a quarter of the faculty actively promoted the lynching of students? When should I start to get nervous - at 50%? at 80%?

Gary Packwood said...


Things are a changing folks.

I live in Houston, Texas which is located in Harris County, Texas.

Today, it was announced that there are more Latinos in Harris County now than Anglos.

Hispanics exceed Anglos in Harris County
Census shows area leads the nation in growth of minorities

And this trend is heading your way!

Anonymous said...

You have written about him many times before--but we can't forget Prof. Coleman who spoke most effectively on behalf of justice and against Nifong's actions. He spoke clearly and from very early on--setting forth the path that would be necessary to fix the wrongs created by Nifong. At the point that my faith in Duke was most challenged, he wrote his letter to the N&O and I could breath again. He is a Duke law prof.

Anonymous said...

Stanley Arbingast, Ph.D.

Ray Sommerfeld, Ph.D.

Thank you KC, the few at Duke who defended justice remind me of both Stanley Arbingast, Ph.D. and Ray Sommerfeld, Ph.D.

Arbingast was a great U.T. Austin professor. Not only do I retain much of what I learned from him over twenty-five years ago, but his name comes up fondly among my peers who had the good sense to enroll in his class.

The most important message I learned from him? It was maybe the most important thing I learned in college. That is, to be a human. My father died about a month before I was to graduate and Dr. Arbingast made what I consider an extraordinary effort to reach out to me, even though I no longer was in his class. I was one of many of his students and ex-students, yet he took the time to both write and call me offering a fatherly calm which was greatly appreciated. It didn't really take much effort on his part, but is a lesson I've retained after all the years.

By the way, he was not alone, my tax accounting professor, Ray Sommerfeld, reached out in similar fashion. He died too early.

Small kindnesses have huge impact.

Of course the Klan of 88, the administration and the abettors are 180 degrees from this approach and represent all that is wrong in society. That is, a lack of humanity when it is needed most. They had opportunity to display their humanity and failed. They, and especially Brodhead, have institutionalized their indefensible behavior. Any apology would be meaningless, though we all know none are forthcoming.

In short these psuedo intellectuals have failed us as humans and yet we pay them $60,000 per year to teach our future leaders.

Regardless, many thanks for this post as it brought back fond memories of two great men.

God bless Arbingast and Sommerfeld; both great examples and fine men. May they rest in peace. God bless you KC for starting my day with some fine memories and a reminder that their finest legacy will be me reaching out to others that need a simple kindness extended when they are beaten down.

"On the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in." - Lubiano, Baker, Woods, Brodhead?

Nah, Abraham Lincoln.

What more could one ask for?

One Spook said...

Anon at 9:15 writes:

While it is important to recognize the (rare) outbreaks of virtue among the Duke faculty, should I, as a parent, be reassured by the thought that only a quarter of the faculty actively promoted the lynching of students? When should I start to get nervous - at 50%? at 80%?

Oh my does that hit the nail on the head ... excellent post!

And, along with the importance of "Remembering ... the slience of our friends" is the sad reality that this "majority faculty" has, in the name of "diversity," tolerated among them those who hate and those who espouse ideas in the name of scholarship that perpetuate hatred, racism, and lies.

It is past time for this majority faculty to wrest control of their university from these frauds and faux academics and those in the administration who enable them.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

The Group of 88 was upset by the expression tarred and feathered? And Baldwin apologized? That's Wonderland.

How can such ignorance flourish in the academy? And Brodhead continues to pour MiracleGro on them.

20 to 25% of the arts and science faculty? Astounding.

Anonymous said...

Let's remember that the 20-25% signatories were just the ones who were able to respond in time to Lubiano's request. With additional time the number would likely be much larger.

Anonymous said...

In response to 2:29's concern that 1:38's comparisons to Yavashem be perceived as offensive. I think not and in fact see the comparison as particularly correct. The Nazis in the 30s were nothing more than a small gang of racist bullies just as the gang of 88 are today. Standing up to them and being targeted for their wrath is very difficult and unpleasant, but generally survivable and effective in the early years. The cost of taking the easy road and letting them get away with one offence after another only teaches them that if they keep raising the anti they can ultimately go for a full blown holocaust secure in the knowledge that it has always worked before. Don't think it could happen here? Look around. Russia, china, thailand, serbia, darn near all of Africa, to name just a few. Perhaps those with the brass to stand up early when disaster can actually be averted are to be credited even more than those who wait until the enormity of the crime can't be ignored. And when I say that I in no way mean to diminish in the slightest those who have gone before and should be worshiped for their goodness. Most of those very good people appear ordinary to a fault. When questioned as to why they did what they did, they can only reply that it was the only right thing to do so they did it. We should all be ordinary and do the right thing sooner rather than later. Duke Law 72

Anonymous said...

"White Male Privilege"

We keep hearing those words and many find them, to some extent, offensive. But the Diversity Racists clearly see 'diversity' as a one way street.

Well, perhaps they simply don't understand that their life-style ease and their academic freedom, and yes, even the very liberty and justice under which we live, was purchased at a high price by white male privilege.

In colonial times, most men were members of their respective state militias and many thought it their privilege to live on the frontier and to carve out of that wilderness the beginnings of what now stands as and for the United States. Many died for that privilege.

Many white males also answered the call to free the 13 colonies from the tyranny of King George and Britain, gladly volunteering to serve in the Continental Line or various state militia regiments. And, indeed, they considered it a privilge and and honor to do so. Many died for that privilege.

100's of thousands of white males died in the Civil War, a war that fertilized the seeds of liberty, freedom and the nation we have become with the blood a generation. And strange as it may seem to some, many considered it an honor and a privilege to serve and, if necessary, to give their life.

US war casualties provide a count of the privileged and, importantly, not only white male privilege, but with recent wars, black and hispanic and asian and female and, yes, even gay privilege. (God, honor those priviged enough to have landed at Omaha Beach.)

So, I honor those who felt a privilege to defend the blood of all those generations who since 1607 have been privileged to create our country.

So, when the Houston Bakerites of the world use the term "white male privilege," I think I'll just nod my head and say a silent prayer for my brother-in-law, my father, my uncle, my grandfather, great uncle, and all those before who had the privilege of serving their country.

And I ask the Diversity Racists ... next time you think of "white male privilege" visit Arlington Cemetary. You'll see rows and rows and rows of white. And those lying beneath the white include some men (and women) who considered their sacrifices the greatest of privilege.


(Thank you for the inspiration RRH.)

Anonymous said...

in case the link didn't work

Anonymous said...

I don't understand (and never will) why hatred seemed to seep out of everywhere during this case.

I don't know what the citizens of Durham (the ones who wanted the facts and believed in the boys innocence) were supposed to do.
If the judges and lawyers and attorney general and governor couldn't stop Nifong,(with all their access, knowledge etc) how were we supposed to.

I am afraid that all these issues will fade away (until another event) and answers and change will not be sought/happen. That is usually how things like this go.

Scary and sad.

Anonymous said...

Given Prof. Johnson's formidable research skills, it is likely he's ferreted out all the good guys there are. Compared to the 88ists, then, the ratio of buttheads to good guys is approximately 18-1.

Regarding the casualties in the current unpleasantness:
During the early Viet Nam war years, half the rifle strength of the Marines and Airborne was made up of blacks. The first line units in country were jarheads and paratroopers. The casualty rate at first was disproportionately high for blacks.
By the end of the war, though, the casualty rates were correct to the proportion of population to within a tenth of a percent. Much to the disappointment of the Professionally Incredibly Wonderful.
If you do the math, you'll see that there had to be a period where the casualties among blacks were disproportionately low, in order to even up.
But the lie was useful, it comes again.
Problem is, there isn't even the hint of validity, as there was early in the Viet Nam era. I guess we're supposed to believe this crap out of habit.

Anon 3:44. Find a group home to peddle that stuff. They might buy it.

Compare the fate of various liars--Beauchamp being the latest, or Jesse McBeth, or several others today--to that of Kerry and his Winter Soldier liefest. Where would Kerry be if the 'net had existed in 1971?

Well, this is the twenty-first century and we can factcheck your butt.

Among other things, the obvious typical guy in the assault units is, as one observer said, a white young stud with two thyroids who believes in God, Country and Kicking Ass.

Those who find the military a good career choice for reasons having to do with the larger society are wisely choosing the specialties where they don't have to sleep outdoors.

mac said...

Dinesh D'Souza seems to think that the leftist love this country as much as anyone, but this experience - seeing the putridity of the philosphies and politics of the 88 et al - has made me realize that there is nothing about this country that they love.

In fact, there is nothing that they love.

That's why it's important to highlight the positive, not to only engage the negative in battle: too long looking at the dark will leave one as blind as a cave salamander. Just like the 88.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where exact numbers can be found, but it sure looks like most (but certainly not all) of the soldiers dying in Iraq have two things in common-


Anonymous said...

Richard Aubrey, I think your view of the current state of the military is misleading.

My experience simply doesn't square with your statement which seems to imply that all or most of our soldiers have an incredibly positive view of what is going on right now ("Among other things, the obvious typical guy in the assault units is, as one observer said, a white young stud with two thyroids who believes in God, Country and Kicking Ass.")...

Thats certainly the public perception, but one must remember that one of the lessons of Viet Nam is that a disastrous succession of military tactics and planning can turn the general military attitude towards a party or idealogy on its head.

The Dems lost the military at one point in our history, and the Repubs during the Bush administration have been doing their best to lose us.

The way you make it sound, soldiers today are looking at Bush, "Rummy" and Dick Cheney with aweand respect and have a positive opinion of them.

Things are different now than they were a few years ago ("candy and flowers", remember that prediction?). Over 100 thousand of our own weapons are in enemy hands due to the failure of our government to properly hand them out. American children are losing fathers and mothers because of this.

These monumental failures haven't exactly solidified the temporary strangehold on military politics the Republicans had for decades and rode into the Iraq War with.

In addition to the deaths caused by their inadequacy ("you go to war with the army you have" - Rummy's reasoning for going into a dubious conflict without armored Humvees), there is also the issue of our having brains, and being able to decide whether (GASP!), it would be preferable from a national security perspective to have Saddam still running Iraq today.

Some of us seem to think that he was more obsessed with staying in power and oppressing his own people than providing nukes or other WMDs to terrorists, which would guarantee his demise.

Also, the Republican (and Democratic) response to Obama's statements about (GASP!) going into UNGOVERNED areas of Pakistan to kill UBL when Musharraf has demonstrated a complete unwillingness or inability to do so is also assinine.

In the end, your statements are simply entirely inaccurate about military sentiment today. The Repubs still (shockingly) have somewhat of a stronghold in terms of sentiment, but the brainwashing of the 60's and 70's against Democrats (Medicare and Medicaid and public education are socialist, which means Communist, which means Dems -- including JFK -- are Communists) is clearly waning.

Jack said...

While Professor Johnson has cited examples of those faculty members who voiced support for the lacrosse players, they are a very few, and far between. If the Gang of 88 represents something on the order of 25% of the Arts and Sciences faculty, those who voiced support for the students represent a statistically insignificant portion of the faculty, hardly encouraging.

Of more concern is the 75% or so who have said or done nothing, absolutely nothing. The silent majority, having witnessed the denigration of their own students by their peers, having observed the ideological turmoil, the racial tension, and the class and gender issues, virtually all brought to the surface by the Gang of 88, they remain silent. And why is that? Because they are in agreement with the Gang.

Professor: How about a few emails to random (or even selected by discipline) faculty members soliciting their positions or opinions on all that has transpired, like those sent to the Police Chief or a newspaper editor? So much for their allegiance to fairness, diversity and justice. They have, in effect, spoken out – they are complicit with the Gang of 88, everyone who has failed to speak out against them, individually or collectively. It underscores the culture of Duke – exclusive, cocoon-like, insulated and uncaring.

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood...

Your comment about changing demographics reminds me of that idiot John Gibson from Fox News who was all afraid that Hispanics were having sex (apparently) more often than whites.

His backtracking explanation was hilarious (he implied that hypothetically -- without explanation as to whether this was a realistic possibility -- we may one day face a population shortfall like Russia apparently suffers from, and that whites need to "contribute" and it is "unfair" that hispanics are bearing most of the child-rearing burden).

Look, the race-baiters are certainly fond of proving themselves idealogical empty suits... but this does not mean that those who disagree with these turds aren't themselves racist.

Your statement sounds pretty racist to me. There is some sort of problem with hispanics "taking over" a neighborhood in our capitalist society by buying homes? Did the Greeks moving into Astoria or the Italians in Little Italy scare you, or was that okay because they are white (arguably in the case of some Italians)?

Anonymous said...


Do you watch CNN? The coverage quite clearly has been positive with certain security developments with respect to the recent surge. I wouldn't expect you to know this if you don't watch.

They did, however, have the audacity to point out that the Iraqis themselves do not really measure their own security in terms of the apparent increase in the safety and decrease in the deaths of American troops. This is simply true, whether you like it or not.

Further, CNN and MSNBC and the New York Times all covered the Iraqi elections with pictures of the inked thumbs and smiles, etc.

These things were covered. Its a war, and its a war that is NOT going well (even if John McCain can walk in a market with 50 Apaches and a brigade of soldiers walking with him).

If you think this war is going well, I suggest you pay a visit to Iraq and see it for yourself. The bad news, the awful news, far outweighs the good news. Its not even close.

"News" organizations should have coverage that reflects this reality (bad news greatly outweighing the good). The mileage the Republicans got out of the whole "blame the media"/"you don't hear the good news" bit has run its course.

Although, I just read on Fox News that 3 schools were painted today. My opinion of the war has changed with this subtantive development.

Anonymous said...

fdny engine.

You can look at the reenlistment rates, if reality is of any interest. If, as I say. If.

The army you have. Can you think of any time in history that the army you wish you had, for a war whose characteristics were still in the future, was available? Rummy was right.
He went to war without armored Humvees because we had so few of them. Should we have waited? Waved a magic wand and uparmored them overnight?
You are putting out nonsense that adults are not required to buy. It sounds harsh, since reality often is, but you are pushing it as if it's some kind of moral turpitude. It's reality.
Get a clue. Everybody knows better.
Your mischaracterization of what I said is kind of a mystery. I know what I said. Am I supposed to be confused? And other readers can scroll up and see what I said. How does that math work?

I have a relative, a cavalry scout whose vehicle was blown up by an IED while he was on his way to re-enlist. He was not seriously hurt and when leaving the clinic, insisted on making his re-enlistment appointment. Which he did. He and his two brothers are exactly the type I mentioned. The older brother had two tours in Iraq, one as an Abrams gunner, the other as TC. He's still in, cadre for a future weapons brigade.

Flowers and candy? Yeah. I talked to soldiers and they were welcomed in many areas. One guy said it seemed kind of lame when people who had so little offered you food and all you could give them in return was MREs.

As I say. We are allowed to know more than you tell us.
You a professor, by any chance?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Richard Aubrey, my title clearly implies that I am a professor. Similarly to how someone with "Esq." in their nickname would imply they are a lawyer, "FDNY Engine" implies you are a professor, as opposed to say, a hose-humper.

I'll take your anecdotes into account when forming my own opinion as to whether or not it was prudent to under-equip us when we were sent in to topple a dictator whose absence has made us less safe.

Saddam was similar to Russia during the Cold War in terms of the "MAD" principle (mutually assured destruction). He wasn't the "72-Virgins" type and -- despite being a pain in the ass to inspectors -- wouldn't even pose a threat to us if he DID have WMDs (or, more accurately, if he didn't listen to our instructions and destroy the WMDs we provided him with).

Anyway, with something like Afghanistan, Rummy's quote seems pretty valid. Ditto World War II. But when it comes to a war like that in Iraq, it makes far more sense to sit back and ponder whether it makes sense to be so cavalier with the lives of the troops.

Like it or not, it is rather well documented that Saddam cared about Saddam and Saddam alone. This meant -- even if he did his best to play tough guy and mislead weapons inspectors (who were there, by the way) -- that he would not provide any such weapons to terrorists. Once again, this would ensure his rapid demise.

Anonymous said...

fdny engine:

I'd like to echo some of the thoughts of richard aubrey.

If you are depending on CNN, or Fox or for that matter any of the news networks for the facts, then you probably believed the media regarding the HOAX until the AG made his "innocent" announcement.

I have a family member - Col. USAF - just back from a tour in Iraq for which he volunteered. He was assigned to both the Green Zone and a forward area. I asked him if the news was true. He said that 90% of what was going on was much better than the news would have us believe.

He said the other 10% - which largely involved Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence - was much worse, and unbelievebly barbaric and brutal.

To a certain extent, that doesn't surprise me. After all, the jihad is a race to the 72 virgins.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


I am a professor and my students who have served in Iraq have very little to say about the war. They certainly do not try to sugar coat it. It has to be better than what is reported--I'm thinking it couldn't be worse.

Anonymous said...

fdny. The reason I asked about being a professor is that professors are in a position to see that students who know better keep their mouths shut. Eventually, they get to thinking the students actually believe them.
What's your excuse?

Do you have an example of an army being prepared for a war whose characteristics are not yet known? That Rummy's comment is so famous implies that this time was an aberration, that most armies are ready for whatever awaits them, even if it hasn't been invented yet.
Is that true? I just want one example of an army going to war the way they eventually wished they had been.

Check out Michael Yon. He does more than school paintings. Or not. It might be disturbing.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Richard Aubrey, how does it feel to be a traitor now that the Dems are in office and you tend to disagree with Congress' policies.

You are a traitor, albeit a partial traitor. Now, if a Democrat were to be elected in 2008, your criticizms of our government being set forth as against the legislative and executive branches (we already know what you feel about "unelected judges), will be tantamount to full, unadultered treason.

Bill O'Reilly would dub you a "bad American" for such criticisms, but that probably isn't the case when you argue against Dems in office. Upon further review, it is only treason when you criticize Repubs. So, for instance, the Republican criticism of the war in Kosovo (thank you very much) was not treasonous, as Bill Clinton is a Dem.

I regret the error.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Richard, your wrote: " That Rummy's comment is so famous implies that this time was an aberration, that most armies are ready for whatever awaits them, even if it hasn't been invented yet."

Armor for humvees was, in fact, "invented" at the time we CHOSE to go to war in Iraq. Nothing was imminent. We could have waited until everything was ready, and invaded on August 9, 2007. Nothing in Saddam's history (once again, despite being a pest and violating of your beloved UN's rules -- which even we do of course) indicated that he was going to attack or supply weapons to al Queda in the interim. There was no such threat. The threat was possible/hypothetical. Sure, it was theoretically possible that had Saddam had weapons (contrary to our inspector's report regarding this issue), but there was truly no rush to do same.

For instance, it would be far more of a "rush" to act on something like a memo that said "bin Laden determined to attack within the United States, may use passenger jets to fly into landmark buildings". You see, there is a difference. It is glaring.

... and:
"Is that true? I just want one example of an army going to war the way they eventually wished they had been."

I suppose you'd have to -- before analyzing whether this is a comment worth merit -- decide if the war was a good idea or necessary in the first place. Even Billdo O'Reilly says it was a mistake. Some of us (including Barack Obama), said so AT THE TIME. The majority can be wrong. It certainly was in Nazi Germany, no?

Anonymous said...

Dear FDNY,

What I've noticed about many of the people who post here is that they think all democrats/feminists/blacks, etc., are fair game for name calling and accusations. Guess what! You're a traitor if you disagree with my politics!! You're a traitor if you criticize George Bush, Dick Cheney, or Rummy. You're a troll if you suggest that it's not overwhelmingly happy testosterone-filled WHITE guys dying in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

I think it was a plurality that voted for the Nazis in 1933...and they certainly didn't necessarily vote to go to war. Many Americans seem to have gotten hugely off topic (Bin Ladin/Taliban) and supported going to war in Iraq. If it's such a great war, I'm wondering why all the sons and daughters of our Republican representatives and others who voted to go to war haven't signed up to fight!!!

Anonymous said...

The Gang of 88 were cheerfully going about their business of lynching as if they were good little Christian children on an Easter Egg Hunt. They noticed others, mostly adults and older kids, on the sidelines, and it did not occur to them to wonder why THEY didn't want to locate and eat the free eggs and candy.

Some of the older, smarter kids asked them why the Easter Bunny would give them chocolate likenesses of itself. Wasn't that cannibalistic or a little perverted?

Other, smarter kids questioned how the bunny got the billions of dollars to afford candy, baskets and eggs for a nation of children. Was the Easter Bunny a "Trust Fund Rabbit"?

But little kids, like the Gang of 88, are always too greedy and short-sighted to ask the simple questions. Moreover, they don't really care as long as they get their basket of candy or their lynching.

K.C., it is great to hear about the few brave and concerned faculty members at Duke. People like Weintraub and the other economists, Kimel, Gustafson, Coleman, Sharpe and Baldwin were very inspirational. They will be remembered for their true and honest actions.

There must be a great fear of PC reprisal on campus to keep most of the safely-tenured academics from asking even the simplest of questions. Of course, nobody wants to be called a racist, even when you are sticking up for justice.

"K.C. carries a dayplanner so that people don't realize he never forgets, and those textbooks, they're so people won't figure out that he already knows everything." Warren Commission, Vol. XXIV. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Many of our troops are, in fact, Republicans. It is certainly a majority. It is also certainly a shrinking majority that was overstated in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:25:

Interesting that you classifying dissenting professors as "brave" for making their opinions known. I must have a different concept of bravery than you do!

Anonymous said...

And many come from southern states. Which are often Republican,,,

Anonymous said...

Some Duke faculty may simply have chosen to stay out of the entire LAX affair. They have that right.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:35. Correct. And others have the right to criticize that choice.

"Wait" for the uparmored Humvees for three or four years. While Saddaam is just hanging out?

Read the Duelfer and Kay reports. He had everything he needed to start up both conventional and WMD as soon as inspectors were gone and the sanctions regime "crumbling" according to one report was over and he had floods of oil money to hand.

There are reasons to have opposed the war which make sense. Find some.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess the following reason I set forth above is unacceptable to you:

I believe that -- WMDs or not -- Saddam was not a threat to the United States and was too obsessed with remaining in power to take such a risk. I further believe that there was substantial evidence that provided a counterweight to the vast majority of the administration's arguments as to why we should invade Iraq (which of course was not presented in the argument to the American people, or the support would surely not have been there).

Look, a solid majority of Americans believe invading Iraq was a disastrous mistake. While this was the brainchild of Bush & Co., the Dems went along for the ride, lest they be called unpatriotic.

I do believe, however, that I've provided sufficient reasons to support my belief at the time that it wasn't a good idea to invade Iraq... my believing that Saddam wasn't a threat (and the universal agreement that the previous situation was preferable to what we have now, which makes me even disagree with a rapid withdrawal) certainly provides me with a rational basis for not agreeing with the war.

Look, most agree with me now. Tragically, they didn't then.

Anonymous said...

3:44 AM

Like the Duke Group88 I don't think you have your facts right. Are working class a separate racial group or are there working class whites? The United States started this war . . . really, as if the turmoil in the Islamic world is merely the result of the United States. My goodness, can you stop beign so racist and small minded and ethnocentric as to believe white males are the cause of all things you disagree with. Elijah Muhammed isn't dead after all . . . radical Islamist would take you on in any age. It is interesting that the three innocent lacrosse players were tarred and feathered with the worst history of the old South even though they were Northerners. Being Catholic they prayed in their religion to the patron saint of the innocent, a man who was put in prison in the 12th century by Muslims . . . sound familiar. By the way what was your military service?

Anonymous said...


If I were a Duke faculty member and I read some of the rabid comments on this blog, I wouldn't make any comments of any kind, because I wouldn't want my name to be used by the posters...has that every occurred to you? There may be plenty of people on the Duke faculty who didn't know the LAXers, weren't involved, are horrified by the miscarriage of justice, but have a real aversion to being used by what appear to be right-wing anti-intellectuals to beat up on other Duke faculty.

Anonymous said...

Dear 12:47, My guess is that you don't score well on standardized reading comprehension exams. Try rereading the post you've attempted to critique.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that the Bush administration (and judging by your statements, you yourself) were as wrong as could be about nearly every single important decision made in this conflict. The only thing that was true was that it would be a rather rapid process to actually topple Saddam's regime. Thats like predicting that the sun will, in fact, rise tomorrow.

People are sometimes wrong in this world, dead wrong. I do believe we saw this with the Group of 88. A much larger group, the general public, was wrong about something far more important (which is not to minimize the importantance of the Constitutional protections which were trampled upon during the Duke case by any means).

Simply stated, you were wrong. Why do you act as if you have "military cred" now? In order for your word and BS anecdotes to carry any weight in my opinion, you have to give me a reason to trust your word. The Iraq mess -- and what seems to be your lock-step with the Bush administration throughout -- makes your word useless in my opinion.

The opposite would be true if the facts were flipped and your military statements and beliefs ended up being solid, accurate presumptions. Unfortunately, you have a poor track record on military matters. No credibility. Not a shred. It would be like the Group of 88 talking about the importance of Due Process!!!

Anonymous said...


It's not a matter of being small minded to state that white males in the form of Bush, Cheney, and Rummy and their pals, many white and male, are responsible for something I disagree with: starting the war in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 12:53. Good post.

Anonymous said...

12:13 PM

A woman and a feminist . . . a misogynist by definition . . . possibly a racist too. The three innocent lacrosse players just wanted to be citizens of the United States. They were defined in that sexist or gendered way of class and gender and race and all the crap that goes with it by people who feel they must identify themselves with this stupidity.

Anonymous said...

I always chuckle when I read about 88'er Robyn Wiegman's bold stand against racism, as she publicly and erroneously pronounced that another professor made a racist comment. Her little display of outrage and rush to judgment and ignorance of the origins and meaning of the phrase "tar and feather" is a humorous microcosm of the Gang of 88's larger and more serious rush to judgment. How easily some learned professors pounce on events and comments and declare them racist before understanding them.

To his credit, and I don't give him much credit, Larry Monetta, when at the University of Pennsylvania, checked a number of dictionaries in a vain attempt to find out if "water buffalo" had racist connotations. Professor Wiegman, be an academic and do a little linguistic research before writing about words. Karla Holoway can introduce you to the Oxford English Dictionary. Are you promulgating speech codes? You certainly were trying to shut down "the conversation" by crying out "racist" to a colleague who openly criticized the actions of the Gang of 88.

Professor Wiegman, as chair of Women's Studies, what do you think of the actions of Tara Levicy, a product of womyn's studies at another university? Speak out again, please.

To the commentator at 6:43 a.m. who asked posters on this blog why they were so afraid of feminists: Well,if I were a man, I'd be very wary of the perverted feminism displayed during the course of the rape hoax. And, I'm surprised more feminists did not speak out against it.

When remembering the good that came out of the hoax, I recall Provost Peter Lange's public letter to Houston Baker. Lange's letter stands out because it is a rare example (if not the only example) of an administrator criticizing an action or comment of a member of the Gang of 88.

Anonymous said...

12:59, Another moronic post from one of the fools who comments here. What do you smoke? Did you read the comment to which you're replying? AMAZING. I'd say: you've created a straw WOman...

Anonymous said...


I think you said it all when you said "my guess is . . . ." You have been guessing from the beginning of it. Try reading something . . . in your case anything.

Anonymous said...

1:01: Again, the (in my opinion) anti-feminist crazies who post here are one of the best arguments for feminists not to speak out. They don't want you to be able to use and abuse their comments...

Anonymous said...

fdny... and richard...

Whether the Iraq war was or was not a good idea is actually irrelevant.

The real issue (and I'd really like your opinions -- as well as the opinions of the '88 and all those frickin' know-it-all politicians in DC and on the campaign trail)is: How can the United States ethically and morally leave Iraq and end the war? What is the plan? How does one accomplish it and what are the long-term implications for the United States? And how many innocent Iraqi civilians end up being slaughtered as a result?

oh...and have obvious opinions with the benefit of hindsight. Now stake out some ground and show us of what you're really made.


Anonymous said...

I think the poster was trying to be polite to you. I read your posting and wondered what you were probably didn't take standardized exams!!!

Anonymous said...

1:02 PM

Oh my! As if the race/gender/class view hasn't been the driving force of peole like yourself who must resort to untruth to carry their argument. You are not a moron. You are too contrived to be a moron . . . more of an idiot . . . and that is not to say a "straw woman," your comment, and like the straw man "if only you had a brain.

Anonymous said...

If you can't do any better than that 1:07, you deserve whatever horrible little life you have. You're neither a moron nor an idiot. Just a nebbisch.

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

How old was Saddam in 1948? And how powerful was he? Not very in both cases...

Anonymous said...

I kind of like Mac's confluence in his 1:15 comment. He's outdone himself this time in the nuttiness of his statement...

Anonymous said...

fdny engine: Since you do not define "bravery" as you see it, then perhaps you need to read a little about the "Billy Mumy Postulate" of "Pathos Theory." Then, perhaps, you will understand bravery in context.

If your definition of bravery includes anonymously trying to divert a thread away from shining a light on you and your Diversity Racist friends at Duke University, then you will most likely win "Order of the Troll, Oak Leaf Cluster." I hope General Holloway herself pins it on you.

To Anon. @ 12:50 - Who made the inane argument that professors didn't act at Duke because their names would pop up on an internet messageboard.

Do you wish to re-think your argument? I think you are one of the Diversity Racists trying to "chill" free speech by keeping your timid peers in line. Your sheep don't respond to the staff or the dog, but they do respond to your "R" word and your attempts to racialize or gender-fy everything.

The "Billy Mumy Postulate" of "Pathos Theory" predicts the amount of fear in a perfect politically correct system based upon the NUMBER of people trying to "chill" speech (like 12:50 above) times the POWER these people have, minus the LIKELIHOOD anyone will stand up for justice. The equation looks like this:

(N x P) - L = Fear

In the Durham politically correct system, a huge NUMBER of professors and Duke administrators, almost the entire city government, the police department, the ex-district attorney and all of the local papers were politically correct actors. These folks wielded a great deal of POWER, and their number, as well as the power of the press, ensured there was little LIKELIHOOD they would be called out. This created a great deal of FEAR on campus. A fear that only a few professors and a women's lax coach were prepared to brave. I salute them!

"K.C. Johnson could prove the existence of God, but by doing so, he would expose his knowledge of alien technology and time travel, and as a people, we're not quite ready for that, yet." TOP SECRET MEMO TO PRESIDENT. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

"Some Duke faculty may simply have chosen to stay out of the entire LAX affair. They have that right. "

And university stakeholders other than the faculty have a right to question whether tenure and "academic self-governance" are wise or useful policies.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Gregory, It's a good job you moo, since your posts show you to be about as bright as Elsie Borden.

Don't you get it? Duke faculty are not public people and do not have to speak if they don't want to. I know I wouldn't!!!

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One Spook said...

(Making "time out" sign with hands)

Boys, boys, boys! Keep your damn testosterone in check! Your debate on the US being involved in Iraq has about as much relevance to the topic as a debate about evolution.

In case you didn't notice, the poster known as "fdny" posted a few topics ago allowing that the McCarthy hearings took place during JFK's administration. That's a bit difficult since McCarthy died in 1957, three years before JFK became President.

"fdny" tried then in several posts to get you boys to debate Iraq and you didn't bite. Why are you doing it now?

If "fdny" wants to start a Blog to debate the situation in Iraq, he is free to do that, and you boys can rattle your sabers over there.

IMHO this Blog has other concerns that do not relate to US policy in the Mideast.

Ignore "fdny" and spare the rest of us, please.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

One Spook,

Can we say the same applies to the irrelevant references to the Germans and Hitler? Pretty please...

Anonymous said...

Once again, you prove to have no credibility on military matters. Invading Iraq was no necessary to prevent Saddam from invading Israel.

Sure, Saddam would just love -- in his version of a perfect world -- to be able to destroy Israel. And you, -- in your perfect world -- think this justifies the invasion of Iraq.

In reality, Saddam was not a threat to invade Israel. You just made that up. His desire to invade Irael is about as realistic as my desire to "date" Christina Aguillara (sp?)... that is to say, the desire is well-documented and very real, but there isn't even the slightest chance of it happening, due to something called reality.

Once again, Saddam knew he'd last about a day if he invaded Israel (similarly if he gave weapons to terrorists who then attacked the United States).

Anonymous said...

one spook, you are wrong about my McCarthy/JFK comments.

Nothing that I said implied that the brainwashing of the military over decades to believe the idea that Democrats are Communists and therefore the enemy, showed that I am unaware of the point you made about the timing of Kennedy's presidency and McCarthy's death.

McCarthy helped create a certain atmosphere in the United States.

The same thing was going on in the military, to an even greater extent.

The same type of thing McCarthy did in civil society they were doing in the military, and the belief existed that even President Kennedy could be the enemy, justifying a (non-treasonous) military coup.

Nice try, though, really.

Anonymous said...


Isn't there a shiny red fire engine with which you can play? Or maybe play with your hose?

Or maybe get Christina Aguillara (sp?)to play with your hose?


Policy #9.

Don't, under any circumstances, make KC mad, for I might end up on another one of his planets.

Anonymous said...


No, I just want the interests of the students, the alumni, and the larger society that hires them and subsidizes their institution to be represented. Traditionally we trusted the professors to run their own business on the grounds that they understand it best.

Now that it has been revealed that the Duke Arts & Sciences faculty is:

20-25% fascists
1% resistance
balance a mix of cowardly pussies and those uninterested in faculty self-governance

we may need to take a more direct hand in determining who we pay a professorial salary to.

Any academics who consider this a threat had better get busy cleaning up their own mess before someone else decides to clean it up for them.

Anonymous said...

Inman, thanks for your input.

You really got me there, I want Christian I-Can't-Spell-Her-Name.

Thats certainly more easy to make fun of than your obvious man-crush on KC.

I've never seen someone so singularly dedicated to another person. Thats so sweet.

Please keep coming up with new laudatory phrases for KC. I think a movie deal is in your future... maybe a romantic comedy about how KC finally fell the same way about you that you feel about him?

Really, read what you are writing about him. You aren't just praising his work... you are literally making poetic statements about him. Scary. Stalk much?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Gregory, well done. What you describe is a true "social disaster", though I'm certain it's not the one the Klan of 88 and Brodhead had in mind.

Inre: the Iraqi marsh reclamation. In spite of what reads in the NYT, I’m certain the Kurds appreciate they are no longer being gassed with WMD.

Inre: Inman, they have no alternative, just as they had no plan before 9/11. The goal is to deconstruct. They also forget the nineteen (19) UN resolutions that were consistently violated.

Inre: Mexican birth rates, etc. One only need consider the 1000 years that Lebanon was a robust, cultural center. That all changed with one war, lack of immigrants adapting to the culture, and Arab dogma disenfranchising others. The birth rates of the interlopers far out-paced those that stayed.

Inre: Feminist...they don't like Calvin & Hobbs, the Boy Scouts, dodge ball, books about war heroes, etc. Their against right to carry laws, executing mass murderers, and the brave men that established, and others who defended, the environment that provides them the venue to espouse the stupid fraudulent shit they get paid to throw out. They wish to reconstruct the U.S. into something they cannot define in spite of the fact that the U.S. has done more for women than any preceding country on earth.

They expect others to show respect to that kind of fraudulent intellect? Go figure.

Anonymous said...

KC> It is amazing to me how comprehensive and balanced your attention has been to this case. Thank you again for the highlight of a few good professors.
Although, I am dismayed that it was so few and the 75% who didn't go along for the ride, sat back and watched.
Every post makes me think of the families and wish them all well. It also makes me thankful that my hard earned tuition money is not going to the coffers of Duke.
The people who have been following you for the most part cannot effect any real change at Duke. It has institutionally moved on with all of the offending parties still in the power seat.But you have offered an interesting read.

Anonymous said...

*ChristINA I-Can't-Spell-Her-Name...

anticipated jokes about my spelling error aside (go ahead, take the easy one and call it a Freudian slip)... Inman has actually literally shown he has a man-crush on KC. Poems no less!!!

Anonymous said...

FDNY...McCarthy didn't create the atmosphere, the communists did. He was correct, they were in major and influential positions of power.

McCarthy was right. He was a poor communicator and not a very good guy. That said, he was right.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

no justice no peace...

Interesting you are praising McCarthy on a blog about due process, is it not? Irony might be the right word.

Although I hear Mr. McCarthy has a list with names on it... we can't see it, but I trust that he has that list, and that your name is on it. Please do not complain as your career and life are ruined.

LOL, praising McCarthy and praising due process... you must be bipolar!!!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant FDNY....


Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting elements of this blog--and I don't know if KC thinks like this as well--is the seeming assumption that white, probably heterosexual, males are simply smarter than everyone else. And, in Inman's case, he probably think Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.

You don't need to say it. It drips from your posts...

How many of you have lost a job to a less qualified woman or non-white? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

1:57 inre; change and Duke...I beg to differ. Good restaurants that become bad restaurants usually erode over time. Prior reputation will only sustain stable business for so long. Pretty soon replacement customers quit coming, and suddenly the chef wonders what happened.

Duke is ignoring the consumer feedback.

As a consumer of higher education you can be certain I am letting others know that I no longer care to dine with Duke.

Anonymous said...

1:57, Do you really misunderstand? Duke's faculty are not obliged to talk about a particular topic just because you & Ralph Phelan want them to. Faculty are not obliged to meet every demand made on them by those who post on this blog. They are NOT elected officials and you are not their bosses.

Some of those who post here are a kind of blogosphere nag-bully. They want they're way, so they go on and on and on demanding it, as if the faculty owes them to talk. And then they go into rabid-dog attack mode when they don't get it...

Anonymous said...

Duke is ignoring SOME consumer feedback. I think this feedback is a lot like people who buy something, wear it once, then return it and demand all of their money back.

There are other issues in life, folks. This one seems to be all over but the shouting. And yet you go on.

Anonymous said...

You may not be the consumer feedback that interests Duke. Are you going to donate? Unlikely in any case, so you're just annoying. Like fleas or gnats.

This case really was over with the DA and the agreements. The rest is politics. And all politics is local. In this case, it's Durham's problem.

Anonymous said...

LOL, the same guy who praises McCarthy also posts about due process rights being violated.

Nice catch on that one!!!

Anonymous said...

Silly me, and I thought progressives were so forward looking. It turns out they have no ideas.

They can't even consider the past with any clarity.

McCarthy was right.
Marx was wrong.

Saddam violated the UN (not US)resolutions.
The US, and others, enforced those resolutions.

The Klan of 88 are frauds, who deconstruct the most stable, accepting, charitable, country on earth.

The Klan of 88 despise transparency, do not allow others to critque their efforts, and cannot defend their work.

One wonders how many of the Klan of 88 escaped from Communist China, Korea, Cuba? How many are Lebanese Christians? How many are Persian women?

By the way JFK was to the right of any that are running now.

Anonymous said...

Really, it's over? Gnats. And by what metric is Duke able to calculate modified estate planning?

Denial, denial, denial...

Inre: McCarthy and due process. The young men were innocent and had their rights violated... by Duke no less.

There were communists at the highest level of our governement. McCarthy was correct, though, as stated, his approach was crude.

Anonymous said...


I have great respect for every living being. And I fully understand (a) that not everyone can have family members who are discussed as part of every k-12 educational curriculum in this country and (b) that not everyone can have national holidays or memorials at national parks honoring the deeds of ones forebears. I also fully understand that my perspective is not 'colored'** by a bias born of hate and a belief that our government or society owes me something because of my skin color or my sexual orientation or my religion or my heritage (although but for the passage of generations, I'd probably be entitled to the equivalent of secret service protection. Also, I don't think my family ever received the 150 acres to which it was entitled by virtue of service in the War of 1812.)

Oh, and I have never met a "more qualified" woman or non-white.

Yes. I am a white anglo-saxon protestant episcopalian male of predominatly English (and completely northern-European) descent who lives in the suburbs in a nice home with a wife of 27 years, with 3 smart and athletic children (one of who is on a full grant-in-aide for D-1 lacrosse), 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a brand new Volvo. Oh, and a fish named Herman who I hope the cats haven't eaten.

And, guess what. I'm darn proud of these facts and frankly couldn't give a rip or a rat's ass whether you like it or not.

Wink! So 'sweetie,' give a rest.

**Please excuse the pun.

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Gee, what active commentary we have here today. I have a choice of threads to respond to. I guess I better start reading, starting about 5 a.m.! :)

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

2:11 inre: wear it once and bring it back...

More like one who has dined on fine meals with family over the past decades and finds that the food isn't so good when he takes his children there. Quite by accident he gains access to the kitchen and is horrified to seem it is over run with rats and cock roaches.

When he complains, the manager deficates on a plate and sets in on the dining room floor.

Duke has serious long term problems that far exceed the lack of humanity shown the lacrosse team.

Anonymous said...

i don't get it KC - You leave the post of people insulting each other(talk about boring) and take out the reference to some of the good the USA is doing in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

By the way...the young men were innocent, nothing happened other that their right being violated by among others, Duke U.

On the other hand McCarthy was right and there were communists in high ranking positions in the U.S.

McCarthy was right, Duke was wrong.

What's not to understand about that?

Anonymous said...

mac @ 2:31

fdny also completely avoided any semblance of a response to my questions @1:05, betraying a singular lack of positive contribution.

Anonymous said...

Interesting debates today.

Mac... I have absolutely no respect for the G88, because their actions in this case don't merit an ounce of respect.

I'm not quite sure how you came to the conclusion that my posts about anything on this board indicated to the contrary, but I am a huge G88 critic. They turds, period.

Their behavior, however, does not shape the way I view everything in the world. I do not believe that their actions mean that somehow Republicans or conservatives stand for due process and liberals/college professors don't. They acted like idiots, perhaps with different motives like speaking out against somethign they THOUGHT happened, but they were entirely unfair and their actions harmed those boys. Maybe they would be judged differently had they been right, but they weren't, and deserve to be called out on it.

But its kind of assinine to imply that their actions are representative. Sure, they are representative of a certain part of academia that is so hopelessly and unquestionably set in their ways, but that is all.

As for transparency and Communism, etc.... McCarthy and the current adminstration are about the least transparent entities imagineable in our democracy. Secret energy meetings? Questioning the government's actions in a time or war is tantamount to treason? Warrantless wiretaps? SECRET lists of Communists? Its just ridiculous.

Sure, Communism is an entirely flawed system and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool. How that vindicates the Bush administration and McCarthy is beyond me. McCarthy and his "secret lists" he refused to show anyone and destroyed lives with.

Were there actual Communists in the government? Perhaps. Was it anything close to what McCarthy made it out to be? Not remotely. Did he destroy manly lives of those who weren't Communists? Yes.

Might I add that there is nothing unconstitutional or outlawed about actually being a Communist in America? Yes, you can't SPY or provide material aid to the enemy... but you can surely run on a Communist ticket, and win the Presidency, if the American people wanted it.

Your attitude towards McCarthy would justify someone saying "Sure, the Duke kids weren't rapists, but everything in this case was justifiable because there are SOME racists. Inherently, some non-rapists are going to get caught up in the dragnet, but thats okay. Greatest good for the greatest number."

That is the exact equivalent.

Anonymous said...

"They are NOT elected officials and you are not their bosses. "

But they (& academia in general) get a *lot* of my tax money. I have a right to question whether I'm getting my money's worth. If I conclude not, I have a right to ask my Congressthieves to start closing the money spigot.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sure. Get rid of tenure, Ralph and company. KC would be fired so fast his head would spin. Personally, that would make me happy. But tenure is doing what it was designed to do: protect people from retaliation and from rabid loons who claim that unpopular speech is 'seditious' or 'treasonous' or whatever else has been thrown around in the comments section of this blog.

If universities are as biased as you think they are, then the first step would definitely be to do away with tenure. Then see how fast the right would be purged from its ranks ... of course, university faculties aren't as biased as this blog makes them out to be, and tenure isn't going anywhere, ever--*especially* at private universities.

That's the truth of it, so get used to it. And think about how it protects people like KC to do the kind of 'work' that he does.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, Ralph. Very, very little of your taxes goes to academics, and even less of that goes to humanities academics. You have a fantasy about how universities are funded in order to clutch at straws that might justify your calling for people to lose their jobs.

Tough f'kin luck. And guess what--tenure is going to protect someone you're rooting for someday. That's its purpose.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:50.

If the faculty is horrified, we won't know until they say something. So we can only speculate.

My speculation is that the silent faculty don't much care. I'll give them the credit that they care some. But not much. Other stuff going on. Keep in mind--reading the fem blogs will help--that this is only ostensibly about rape. It's about class, race, athletics, and perceived entitlement. That's why so many are not letting go of this. They wanted their class/race/athletics/entitlement envy to be affirmed and the objects of their resentment punished by the rape charges. No rape charges. But the envy remains. The difference between the 88ers and some of the faculty could be as little as a difference in the envy factor, not its absence, and, as another poster described, being out of the office while the statement was being hustled around for quicky signing.
Point is, we don't KNOW something about a particular person when the only evidence is the absence of action, EXCEPT that the case did not generate action.
The move from thought to action has two components. One is the motivation to act and the other is the perceived obstacles (which may be subconscious fears of whatever, or possible loss of a job--or life).
What we know here is that the silent faculty did not have the motivation to overcome perceived obstacles. The latter don't seem like much, from which it would follow the former was less. Not much disturbed by the situation, in other words.

My father played football at UConn before WW II. They had Saturday classes. If he had to leave early--he eventually graduated with second honors--he would usually hear some snark from the prof. Big guy. Good looking. Fraternity man. Captain of the football team.
You think it was disappointment on the part of the prof that somebody would be missing the last fifteen minutes of brilliant lecture?

There were a lot of people satisfied that these guys, whom we used to call Golden Greeks, were going to get theirs.

I may be wrong, but a simmering stew of sympathy and outrage would have a different odor, is my guess.

Anonymous said...


Many jobs people do get a lot of your tax money. I'm not convinced you poke your nose into all of them. Just because the Duke faculty aren't doing what you WANT them to do doesn't mean they're not doing a good job! What's not to understand?!!

kcjohnson9 said...

Two quick notes:

The Iraq line of argument is off-topic; so is the question of whether there were communists in the government after WWII.

On tenure: I strongly support a minimal post-tenure review, so as to require faculty to continue to be productive scholars. Tenure never was supposed to allow professors to do little or no scholarship--for instance, to spend 30 years on the payroll with publications consisting solely of an introduction to edited essays; or (as I'll be mentioning tomorrow), averaging .5 pages per year of publications after receiving tenure without publishing a book.

As to my fate if no tenure existed: at CUNY, the ultimate decision on tenure (and firing people) is made by the Board of Trustees. The Board voted 15-0 to grant me tenure, with the support of the Chancellor; I don't think anything has occurred in the last four-plus years that would change that decision.

Anonymous said...


In teaching universities, I should think that post-tenure review would have a different focus, ie, teaching.

Anonymous said...

"Wrong, Ralph. Very, very little of your taxes goes to academics, and even less of that goes to humanities academics."

The question is not what proportion of my taxes they get, but what proportion of their funding comes from there.

Getting rid of tenure only results in a disaster for "conservatives" like the Obama-loving KC if it's done in isolation. When you're trying to reform a faculty of "25% fascists, 1% heroes and 74% pussies" ending tenure is more likely to be part of a larger response.

And, having followed KC's 88 profiles (and suffered through classes like theirs myself) I don't think we're going to be losing much of value if we wind up having to start all over.

Anyway, it's not reasonable for professors to demand to be allowed to run their own affairs and to remain silent about flagrant misconduct by their colleagues *at the same time*. Pick one.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 3:09

I wish you would look at this blog from an objective point of view. The arguments are impressive, the scholarship careful and well-documented, and the topics clearly presented in logical form. This is scholarship, this is what teaching is about. If you disagree, feel free to craft and document counter-arguments. People would willing listen and make up their own minds. But dogma and ad hominem attacks won't carry the day for me. Let us see some facts and data please.

Anonymous said...

2:06 PM

Oh, it drips from your posts . . . as if you know, and that is the logic and thinking of the Duke88 as if their thinking and knowing wasn't clouded by their clattrap canting of rattrap posturings of race/gender/class without thought or thinking and ranting and making their, how do we say it, their own strawmen . . . . regardless of the facts of the case. You don't have to be white or black, male or female or denied honor because of class or any of those things you post about.

Anonymous said...


"How many of you have lost a job to a less qualified woman or non-white? Just wondering."

At least you're honest enough to admit what "affirmative action" really means.

Anonymous said...

Which just goes to show you that tenure is doing its job. In fact, I don't think that using publication standards as the only metric for contributing to the educational mission of the university is wise or desirable. I think that there are many, many examples of intellectuals at the heart of institutions who have published very little--even at the rate of 0.5 pages a year. Sidney Morgenbesser is a great example, and provides an even better quote in this regard. 'Moses published one book. What did he do after that?"

And I can only sigh and roll my eyes to think that yet another attack on Lubiano is coming our way.

You seem to think that you can measure her contributions with a scale. Yes, sir--2.3 pounds of scholarship!

But, again, however one might wish to evaluate Lubiano, one thing is clear: the majority of scholars at Duke *are* productive in the ways that you think are important--but I'm sure you can twist that productivity to be an account of their corruption or the corruption of the peer review system too. More and more the scale you use seems to be a bathroom scale.

Thank whatever diety you pray to that there's tenure, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

You are incredibly presumptuous.

Oh, and thank you for referencing sedition and treason, words I introduced to characterize cooke.

I stand by my statement.

mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

When the names of Duke profs that were involved in the controversy became public, I compared names to my daughter's list of profs. The only one that emerged was Gustafson; none from the Klan of 88. I asked her about Gustafson and she said he was absolutely the best!

For the most part, REAL college students are contemptuous of the 88 ilk as they should be and only take their classes if there is no other alternative.

Anonymous said...

It's a target-rich environment, but reading all these comments has taken so long that I don't have time to choose a thread to latch on to :) BBL


mac said...

"Which goes to show you that tenure is doing its job."

Great. Tenure really has done its job, if that job is protecting slimebuckets who harrass, threaten and retaliate against their own students!

How many other students have you retaliated against, Kim? Oh, that's right: you don't have tenure!

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 3.45:

In more than 900 posts on this blog, I don't believe I've ever said anything that would challenge a claim that "the majority of scholars at Duke *are* productive."

Intriguing that it would be immediately assumed that Lubiano is the Duke prof averaging .5/pages per year in the last 8 years. Somehow, I don't think that's an item Duke will be including in its fundraising appeals.

As an agnostic, I don't pray, though even if I did, I don't believe it would be to a "diety."

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 1:33 - I usually don't respond to ad hominem attacks, especially if that is all you've got. But, in this instance, you have pegged me perfectly. I am, in fact, a cow. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from further defaming me or my species.

We cattle are starting to stand up on our hind hooves and take action. We have seen the rewards cooperation can bring, including slavery to another species, the slaughterhouse, tipping, etc....

We cattle use as our paradigm those who fought the Nazis and decided not to march in an orderly and cheerful fashion into the gas chambers. We also admire the African-Americans who did not buy the argument: "No matter where you sit in the bus, it will take you to the same place."

We cattle wish to be as uncooperative as the American Revolutionaries who delcared their independence from injustice.

We cattle will throw off the yoke of the "R" word, "M" word, and the "H" word. Instead, we will seek truth and justice in this pasture and in the next.

It must be frightening for you to have these brave Duke professors and coaches, unafraid of the "R," "M" and "H" words, speak out for justice. Huzzah, for Kimel, Weintraub and the economists, Coleman, Sharpe, Gustafson and Weintraub!

You are right when you say that "Duke faculty ... do not have to speak if they don't want to." But I also have the right to think less of them.

Actual 2007 SAT* question:

K.C. Johnson is to truth as the Gang of 88 is to _________?

A. A baby feces and cow-pie** cocktail.
B. Falsity.
C. Hypocrisy.
D. Satan, Prince of Darkness.
E. All of the above.

*not actual SAT question.
** no cattle were injured in the writing of this parody. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

If and when I get really fat, I'm going to pray to a diety.

Anonymous said...

KC - I will be out of town for three weeks starting the 13th. When do you anticipate the blog closing down? Thanks for what you have done for the guys and bloggers.

Steven Horwitz said...

You sometimes have to listen to a lot of useless talk before you get to the one observation that makes the most sense in the whole damn thread:

For the most part, REAL college students are contemptuous of the 88 ilk as they should be and only take their classes if there is no other alternative.

Thanks 347.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how intriguing it is. You have one target who you harp on about publications. That person is Lubiano. Your rhetoric ain't rocket science, KC.

Which is to say, you didn't answer my key point: that there are other measures besides pages published for a scholar to be important and productive.

You spend a lot of time avoiding points, which is one of your key complaints about the so-called 88. Go figure.

mac said...

Does tenure "do its job" when it allows profs to accuse, harrass, threaten and retaliate against students?

KC, you're agnostic?
Does that mean that you'll have to rely upon the 88 to prey (sp. intentional) for you to their "diety?"

Duke1965 said...


My daughter's reaction was similar... except for the lacrosse mess (which happened before she got to Duke), the G88 just aren't relevant to her Duke experience in any significant way..... she's way too busy with many other things to sit around worrying about white male privilege..... which may be why the G88 have expressed the idea that "Duke just doesn't get it".... there is one area, though, where the G88 is going to get some very significant pushback from the students, and that's the idea of fairness to all students.... as I'm sure you know, over 1,000 students signed their own Chronicle ad in response to the G88 ad.

It will be interesting to see how many blue wristbands are still seen on campus when the new semester starts...... and btw, I get the feeling that the LAXers have now been elevated to rock star status on campus, not exactly the result the G88 intended......

Anonymous said...

inman, if you get really fat - I mean really, really fat - I'll pray to you. I'm looking for some direction.

Anonymous said...

Re the comments of 3:09, tenure, and KC's "work." 3:09, you reveal yourself as an angry 88 defender when you say you would be happy if KC were fired. Pray tell what awful things has KC Johnson done (aside from shedding some much needed light on the truth) to draw your ire?

As has been noted on this blog, KC stays fairly busy and his CV is very impressive. While there may be some excellent Professors among the 88, (Chafe for example) they made a huge error with their ad and clarifying statement. Now they clam up and hide instead of engaging in the conversation they claimed they wanted to have. Strange?

Furthermore some of their work is shall we say, lacking.

KC has evaluated their work (or lack thereof) and posted insightful information about them. It humors me to see you (anonymously of course) try to say KC's work is anything but excellent, and ridiculously claim he would be fired without tenure.

In short, the 88 are full of BS on many issues (and of course the lacrosse case was the pinnacle of their stupidity and bias) and yet they refuse to admit error and now stand silent. Strange?

I would be very happy to read your critique of KC's work versus that of any member of the 88. Please post for all to read....unfortunately I think we'll be waiting a very long time for that.

Please continue defending the 88....their actions were quite commendable. From Kim Curtis to Houston Baker, they are pillars of integrity one and all.

Anonymous said...

For all the talk of academic production and tenure, personal attacks on each other and our host and OT firefights - what is lost is the total lack of character that the G88 have shown.

They threw their own students under the bus to promote their professional agenda, and even after being proven wrong (over and over again), don't have the grace to apologize (with one exception).

How can they be teachers to our youth?

I am heartened by KC's giving credit and exposure where credit is due among Duke's faculty. Frankly, the G88 look all the worse by comparison.


Anonymous said...

Well said Mr. Horowitz and 3:47. Sometimes we forget that the kids who go to Duke are kinda smart and might not need us to tell them a whole lot.

Anonymous said...


While the whole thing was a huge mess and I'm glad the boys will get some measure of restitution for the horror they went through (though money cannot make them whole), I think it a little ridiculous to claim that someone would be elevated to rockstar status for being accused of rape, accurate or not.

Hey man, the guys that didn't commit rape are coming to town, you got your ticket yet?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Johnson--

It is heartening to see that there are some good people among Duke's faculty, and I certainly appreciate your attention to this overlooked detail.

On the other hand...don't you think the Democrat party, with its repulsive diversity agenda, has some responsibility for what happened to the 3 young men? How many among the 88 would have found a job at Duke in a meritocratic social architecture?

I hope you have the time to reply.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.00:

The issue of quantity of publications arose as part of the question of post-tenure review.

The dilemma, it seems to me, is how to have post-tenure review that would ensure people continue to do scholarship but not make the process a de facto tenure reapplication every five years.

Quantity of publications strikes me as one way of threading this needle--since, presumably, the department already has passed on the candidate's "quality" when granting tenure, and quantity can be used as a crude but somewhat effective measurement to ensure that the professor is at least doing something. It doesn't seem to me unreasonable for an institution to ask its tenured humanities or social science faculty to produce one or two scholarly articles every five years, or to show demonstrable progress on a book.

I'm open for suggestions on other approaches (and, obviously, at teaching institutions, the post-tenure stress would be teaching rather than scholarship production). But, personally, I don't consider .5 pages/year after tenure to be a commendable record of scholarly work.

Steven Horwitz said...

and RD at 425 adds another key point:

They threw their own students under the bus to promote their professional agenda, and even after being proven wrong (over and over again), don't have the grace to apologize (with one exception).

For all the attention KC and others have paid to the scholarship (or lack thereof) and "political correctness" of the G88, none of that matters to me nearly as much as the point above. You can be the wackiest scholar in town, and you can be a crazy Far Leftist, and you can choose not to capitalize your name if you want.

But you don't treat your students like garbage and you DO apologize when you were wrong. Those are the two sins that are unforgivable here.

And if nothing else, a whole lot of Duke students realized that there are faculty there who neither like nor respect them as human beings. That is not how a teacher should treat students, and I would hope that Duke students, having seen it in action, choose their faculty accordingly.

kcjohnson9 said...

I agree completely with Steve on this point--and it was one of the reasons for this post. There were people on the Duke faculty who rose to the occasion in this affair.

The question of throwing students under the bus is one thing that has most mystified me about this case. Most professors I know--regardless of their pedagogical specialties--really like their students, and would never do anything to knowingly put their students in harm's way. Getting to work with students is the #1 appeal of this profession.

Anonymous said...

fdny & richard

The bottom line is that you two are WWWWAAAYYYYYYYYYYYy off target. Read the topic again. You both get F's in class!

Duke1965 said...

fdny engine,

Why have many Duke students elevated the LAXers to "rock star" status? It's simple........ they were, after all, fellow Duke students who were subjected to incredible abuse by Nifong and some of the Duke faculty for a crime they didn't commit..... and for the most part, they conducted themselves with dignity throughout the ordeal.... then they came within a point of winning a national championship...... whatever you want to call it, they are generally admired by fellow students, and for good reason I think..........

Anonymous said...

Well said, RD at 4:25: "For all the talk of academic production and tenure, personal attacks on each other and our host and OT firefights - what is lost is the total lack of character that the G88 have shown. They threw their own students under the bus to promote their professional agenda, and even after being proven wrong (over and over again), don't have the grace to apologize (with one exception). How can they be teachers to our youth?"

Steven Horwitz said...

I wonder KC whether that caring and respect for students is greater at institutions like yours and mine where we have heavier teaching loads and where interaction with students is both more of what we do and, certainly where I am, more of what we're evaluated on.

Not only do we have an incentive to interact with students in positive ways, but the frequency of that interaction allows us to get to know them as human beings in ways that might make us more sympathetic to them. And might also explain why "throwing them under the bus" seems so mysterious.

At the end, I think it's about why you get in the game of academia in the first place. If your only or main reason(s) for doing so are the approval of your scholarly peers and/or trying to reconstruct the world politically, your students are going to be either hindrances toward that end in the first place or tools (both the ones you can't stand and the ones who worship you) toward that end in the second.

In either case, you are highly unlikely to see them as worthy of sympathy as human beings.

Anonymous said...

I am agnostic about the quality of KC's work since I haven't read any of it. My only point about tenure is that once abolished, folks would at times be fired for ideological reasons (as many of the posters on this forum openly call for). If the contemporary university is as left-liberal-moonbat crazy as it is claimed to be--from literature departments to the halls of history--then someone like KC very well could be shown his walking papers without tenure. My understanding is that one characterization of KC's tenure fight is that a left-identified history department wanted to shut down an unruly conservative colleague. What KC does on this site isn't scholarship--whatever its value, meritorious and laudable or otherwise--but it is protected by the very contract that many of you would love to abolish, all in the name of ridding campuses of the damnable high priests of political correctness! I'm for tenure--and in fact I am for KC keeping his job. I am not for KC keeping his job because I agree with him--I'm for it because I believe in the protections, and, yes, procedures of tenure.

If you don't like Duke, send your children someplace else. It really is a market place of ideas. I hear that Brooklyn College has someone amendable to your ideological agendas.

Anonymous said...

KC--your entire *point* is that you aren't mystified by the assertion that students were 'thrown under the bus.' Your point has been, unless you are changing it, that if you do a certain type of analysis with regard to class, race, sexuality, and gender then you must believe the LAX players were guilty. You are claiming that there is a direct link betwen one and the other, and that those who do a certain type of scholarship need to be "exposed" for being akin to lynchers, willing to send poor innocents to prison for life because of ideological commitments.

Steve's point is surely different, and 99% of the people who you condemn would agree that working with students is an appealing part of the job.

Anonymous said...

I want to say that, in fact, I agree with you. I think that post-tenure review should take into account scholarly activity--but I am also willing to be very generous with scholars who contribute to the academic environment of their universities in ways other than the production of papers and monographs. If a scholar is an active participant in the intellectual life of a community then there should be a way to acknowledge that--and, moreover, in my work environment there are people who are considered to be deadwood because they don't publish but rather spend all their time teaching, doing service work on departmental and univeristy wide committees, and working in the profession at large. I refuse to belittle their contributions, however. A university is an ecology and it takes many voices and many skills to contribute to its mission.

Which is to say, once again, I will sigh and roll my eyes if your next post turns out to be yet another castigation of Lubiano over utilitarian metrics such as the number of pages she's published.

Anonymous said...

5:10 Tenure sure sounds reasonable, but like everything else run by progressives it tends to fail in action. When the inmates run the admin, the faculty, the hiring, etc. then there are problems. As we see at Duke and elsewhere the notion that tenure protects ideas is b.s. Instead what we see is absolute racist behavior and intolerant fraudulent dogma. Where in the arena are competing ideas?

The frauds become downright ruthless when their own work is challenged. Any effort to self-critique appears to be non-existant.

Even Enron attempted to self-police. The process should be gutted and true governance with check/balances and transparency should become the norm. Those that have great ideas and can secure an audience should be paid accordingly, those that can't can go shout from a street corner.

Doing away with tenure may not come in my lifetime, but the markets are fickle and change can and does come when least expected, in spite of what the experts divine.

Protecting tenure is hardly progressive. Besides, isn't tenure institutionalizing what a white elitist created? How is that process possibly progressive?

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 5.18:

Quite to the contrary: My entire point--and, indeed, the reason I first started writing on the Duke case--was my horror at the Group's throwing their own students under the bus. It's not something I could imagine most professors doing, and was one reason why the statement was so extraordinary (what appears to be the first time, of course, in which the statements and actions of their own professors were cited as a reason why students couldn't get a fair trial locally).

One of the main arguments of the blog, on the other hand, has been that this particular Group of faculty chose to advance their personal, pedagogical, and ideological agendas on the backs of their own students. And, as I have pointed out on several occasions, the race/class/gender worldview seems to be the key reason in the Group's decision to see the lacrosse players not as people but instead through the prism outlined in the Gustafson quote above.

As Steve points out, perhaps if they at a more teaching-oriented school, the Group members might have behaved differently, since they would have come into personal contact with the targets of their denunciation. (That said, it didn't seem to do much for Dean Sally Deutsch.)

If signing a denunciatory statement about their own students, based solely on information that had been supplied by Mike Nifong, is how "99% of the people who you condemn would agree that working with students is an appealing part of the job," I'd hate to see the behavior of the 1% who don't think working with students is appealing.

Anonymous said...

I contribute to this blog very rarely and enjoy it tremendously. Today I must post a single comment.
KC said:
"But, personally, I don't consider .5 pages/year after tenure to be a commendable record of scholarly work."

True! And I don't consider 5,000 pages per year to be a commendable record, especially if it is on subjects like "Specieslesbiangism." KC's bringing their scholarship to light can only help sensible people make good decisions.
As for the other professors not speaking out, yes, they have the right to remain silent. But those who have spoken out about protecting their students' right of innocent until proven guilty against a tide of criticism have shown courage. Likewise, it takes courage to admit when you have made a mistake. It is something we see too little of these days. Sigh.

Steven Horwitz said...

Careful 518, as I do think that if one *does* have particular ideological commitments, one is, all else equal, more likely to throw one's students under the bus.

My point was simply that the institutional environment in which one works can feed that impulse (which Duke certainty did) or it can check it (if one really does have to interact deeply with undergraduates on a regular basis).

I do think many in the G88 had a disposition to think the worst of the LAX players because of their (the G88's) ideological priors. I also think that many faculty with the same dispositions at other schools would be less likely to act on them because they *also* get to know students in ways that the G88 likely doesn't, esp. the ones they view as the "privileged".

Anonymous said...

When you write "as I have pointed out on several occasions, the race/class/gender worldview seems to be the key reason in the Group's decision to see the lacrosse players not as people ," you are merely restating what I claimed. You are not mystified. You have an explanation. If you have that world view you would "see the lacrosse players not as people."

And the logical move of that claim means that if you hold that world view you will not see certain humans "as people." That's it. That means that you and your readers can make blanket, often-times anti-intellectual statements about academics over the world interested in gender, race, class, and sexuality--condemning them, ridiculing them, e.g., acting as if citing their work on Mayan power relations says something--anything--about their position on truth, proceduralism, and the US justice system, or what they really feel about their students, gay or straight, white or black, male or female, rich or poor.

Anonymous said...

JUST to clarify on my earlier comment regarding 5,000 pages! I do think there has to be a measure of quality along with the quantity when considering tenure. I can publish thousands of pages on how to apply a sticky note, but what use is that? The G88 appears metaphorically to be making a living out of sticky notes!

Anonymous said...

Never did the 88 think their "statement" would bring such attention to them and their "lack" of scholarship. If other Professors do not take this to heart - they are dumber than a rock. The exposue of the 88 has been one of the fun things in this sad event.

Anonymous said...

5:10 the free market argument could just as easily be made considering a university that fired professors for ideological reasons.

The problem is there is no authority available to punish the professors because of the incestuous relationship between university administrators and professors. Remove tax payer subsidies to universities and big business and that might change.

Anonymous said...

'And I don't consider 5,000 pages per year to be a commendable record, especially if it is on subjects like "Specieslesbiangism."'

Which is to say, that's why it's called peer review--and I'm grateful that it allows for interesting, innovative, at times wacky and at times stolid and boring scholarship. I think that yet another article about Christ and modern romantic relationships produced by a professor of theology is a useless investment of time, money, and resources--yet, still, that stuff is churned out by universities, and some of it in the Duke Divinity School. Guess what? I'm not their peer, they didn't ask my opinion, and clearly I'm not their audience.

And I think there is a foundational point to be made here. Tenure and the procedures of the university guarantee a wide-range of expression and intellectual production. The audiences for that work is varied, ideologically and culturally. Look at what is happening at Ave Maria School of Law. The administration is trying to fire a tenured Catholic professor because they don't like his politics!

I will defend tenure, and insist that denunciations of particular scholars based on ideology or "productivity" miss the point of tenure even as they make the case for tenure.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 5.40:

I would submit that the blog has actually maintained that their signing the Group of 88 statement and their subsequent refusal (with the exception of Petters) to retract or apologize tells us what we need to know "what they really feel about their students, gay or straight, white or black, male or female, rich or poor."

I'd invite you to identify any posts (as opposed to comments) you consider "anti-intellectual statements about academics."

To the 5.53:

"Which is to say, that's why it's called peer review . . ."

Making this point has been one purpose for the Group profile series. It's a reminder that in the ultimate "peer review"--hiring and tenuring--the basic decisions are made by faculty. Perhaps most Duke alumni would be comfortable knowing that in several humanities departments, figures with the research interests and output of the profiled Group members exercise control or near-control, and thus will make future Duke hiring and tenuring decisions. If so, I can't see why Group members would object to shining the light of publicity onto their words and deeds.

Anonymous said...

I want to also note that some of you readers seem to write in a way that makes it sound like there should be a central clearing house that puts its stamp on scholarship that is "good" or ideologically acceptable, and that which isn't. That way of doing business works well for the Catholic Church, which has an interest producing what is literally "dogma." It is a very bad model for scholarship. Ask a professor of physics who worked under Soviet Authorities if he or she liked having to have their work vetted before it was published. The modern academy doesn't work that way and it is for the best for society as a whole.

So you don't like most of what cooke or Sigal or any number of what the 88 professors publish or teach. Who cares? The academy is a big place with a lot of ideas and there are many voices that may resonate with what you believe about the world. It may also be the case that the anger generated by a particular scholar's ideas indicate that you are being challenged to re-think how the world works or how to explain things. You seem to think you can know what to think about the argument of a scholar by reading sound-bites and then laughing at it or mocking it or calling it seditious and treasonous.

I think that such a level of discourse is poisonous, and needs to be exposed as such. Sunlight is disinfectant, indeed.

Gary Packwood said...

Duke1965 4:06 said...
...My daughter's reaction was similar... except for the lacrosse mess (which happened before she got to Duke), the G88 just aren't relevant to her Duke experience in any significant way..... she's way too busy with many other things to sit around worrying about white male privilege..... which may be why the G88 have expressed the idea that "Duke just doesn't get it".... there is one area, though, where the G88 is going to get some very significant pushback from the students, and that's the idea of fairness to all students.... as I'm sure you know, over 1,000 students signed their own Chronicle ad in response to the G88 ad.
...It will be interesting to see how many blue wristbands are still seen on campus when the new semester starts...... and btw, I get the feeling that the LAXers have now been elevated to rock star status on campus, not exactly the result the G88 intended......
Thanks for your pushback comment about the 1,000 students who signed that ad in response to the G88 ad.
I almost forget about that student ad.

I'm hopeful the students who signed that ad will also be elevated to rock star status...which is most certainly not what the G88 had in mind.

Anonymous said...

Since I am addressing your readership's comments as much as the main text of your blog--and it is *all* your blog--my point about the anti-intellectualism of this site stands.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that a number of issues are being conflated

(1) Did the ideological preconceptions and commitments of the Klan of 87 cause them to throw their students "under the bus." (Of course, this assumes that they were thrown under the bus, which I do.)

(2) Are some of the Klan of 87 enjoying the emoluments, prestige, and perquisites accorded in this society to scholars without actually being scholars?

(3) Who gets to decide who are scholars, and on what grounds?

(4) If the Klan of 87 are all scholars, is there any reason for society at large to support scholarship? (And before someone reminds me that Duke is a private university, I point out that private universities enjoy the benefits of government and civil society without contributing a dime in taxes toward those benefits.)

(5) Who gets to decide whether universities are worthy of this public largesse?

Obviously, I have opinions, in some cases very tentative ones, on all five questions, but I do not see that muddling them all up is going to help answer any one of them.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 6.21:

I see: the comment "you and your readers" [emphasis added] didn't actually refer to me. But it's an intriguing method of analysis: make strong claims against someone on the basis of what others say.

This thread has several times referenced peer review: I suspect that's the type of analysis that wouldn't survive most forms of peer review.

Anonymous said...

fdny @ 4:32

You are a moron.

The three accused achieved "rock star" status for the manner in which they conducted themselves, for displaying grace under extreme pressure, for not abandoning truth and for apologizing for the minor infractions for which they were rightly rebuked (infractions of impetuous youth, may I add).

These three innnocent young men deserve collective praise and, at this point, absolutely no calumny.

Especially your superflous blather, you ridiculous, self-aggrandizing bafoon.

Yes, they are stars...worthy of emulation and respect, for they collectively displayed the best for which one could hope -- as a parent and as a person seeking justice.

They are "class" personified.

Others could use their lesson. Even you.

Especially you.

Anonymous said...

Watch out 6:21 Some of those rabid "species" will be after you.

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 5:18, who wrote:

"Your point has been, unless you are changing it, that if you do a certain type of analysis with regard to class, race, sexuality and gender then you must believe the lax players were guilty. You are claiming that there is a direct link between one and the other ...."

You, sir, have been TAUGHT! Although K.C. Johnson has only been putting out the source materials, it appears that you have been paying attention in class. For extra credit, see if you can answer these questions:


A. Where they put their penis;
B. Merit;
C. What is allowed in their vagina;
D. Color of their skin;
E. Affiliation with sports teams;
F. All of the above except "B."


A. True;
B. True.


A. Conjecture;
B. Hearsay;
C. Double Hearsay;
D. Any Proof at all;
E. Proof? We don't need no ....


A. Smile on a Sunny Day!


"K.C. is crafty like ice is cold." -- The Beastie Boys. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

@ 6:15

And what gives you standing to speak for "society as a whole?"

Anonymous said...

To 5:10

You're right. It is a market place of ideas. My daughter is a rising senior in high school with SAT scores well above the 75th percentile at Duke and with grades and ecs to match. She'll be applying to all of the top schools, excluding Duke.


Anonymous said...

Gregory. I continue to chuckle at every one of your "KC is a..." concoctions.

Now, I want a compendium! It should be published and sold as a booklet at University stores everywhere. Is there an artist who could illustrate?

My'd be a smash...


(white anglo-saxon protestant episcopal english & northern european son of a .....)


(What does that acronym mean?)

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