Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Lubiano "Publication"

Wahneema Lubiano, whose last scholarly publication was entitled “Interview with Wahneema Lubiano,” recently took a break from her two “forthcoming” manuscripts, Like Being Mugged by a Metaphor and Messing with the Machine. Both of these manuscripts, it’s worth remembering, have now been “forthcoming”—a designation that normally means completed and under contract—for eleven years.

Lubiano joined fellow Group member Michael Hardt and “clarifying” professor Robyn Weigman to co-author a scholarly article (published in a Duke University Press journal called Social Text) designed to . . . defend the Group of 88. This piece joined Charlie Piot’s effort as at least the second “scholarly” Group apologia—providing an unintentional commentary on what passes for scholarship among the Group of 88.

Lubiano, Weigman, and Hardt had little difficulty in identifying the true victims of 2006-2007 events in Durham—themselves, and their fellow members of the Group of 88.

The victimizers? Not Mike Nifong, or Sgt. Gottlieb, or Duke administrators who failed to enforce the Faculty Handbook. Not the Duke professors who rushed to judgment or abused their classroom authority. No, the victimizers, according to the Lubiano Trio, were “the blogs.”

According to the Lubiano Trio, “the most extreme marginalization was reserved for the faculty whose professional expertise made them most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender unleashed by the inaugurating incident — scholars of African American and women’s studies. Instead, administrators, like the bloggers themselves, operated under the assumption that everyone was an expert on matters of race and gender, while actually existing academic expertise was recast as either bias or a commitment to preconceived notions about the legal case. Some faculty thus found themselves in the unenviable position of being the targets of public discourse (and disparaged for their expertise on race and gender) without being legitimate participants in it.”

If the Group’s expertise made its members “most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender unleashed by the inaugurating incident,” there was nothing, to my knowledge, to prevent them from doing so. Instead, of course, Group members by and large pursued an opposite approach. They rushed to judgment in issuing their statement when most people presumed the lacrosse players guilty—and then, when the case started to collapse, they either refused to explain their earlier position or offered almost comical rationalizations for their spring 2006 statements and actions.

The Lubiano Trio’s new narrative requires some . . . creative . . . re-interpretations of the past. To take some examples:

The Group of 88’s Ad

Here’s how the Lubiano Trio’s article described the Group of 88’s ad: It “sought to grapple with issues of campus life and the cultures of privilege sustained by elite institutions such as Duke University.”

Yet here’s how Lubiano herself described the ad in early April 2006, when she invited people to sign: “African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident [emphasis added] . . . We will not be listing the names on the ad itself (only the supporting departments and program units).”

The Lubiano Trio’s article makes no mention of this inviting e-mail, nor the ad’s unequivocal assertion that something “happened” to Crystal Mangum, nor the ad’s thanking—“for not waiting and for making yourselves heard”—the protesters who had presumed guilt, nor the ad’s claim that five departments officially endorsed its contents even though none of the departments actually voted on the matter. It remains unclear how any of the above items relate to “issues of campus life and the cultures of privilege sustained by elite institutions such as Duke University.”

The Blogs

Intoned the Lubiano Trio, “The latter framing [focusing on the accuracy of the allegations] was embodied most prominently by Friends of Duke University, an organization formed to raise money for the defendants.”

What are they talking about? FODU, a grassroots organization of Duke alumni and supporters, was created in summer 2006 not to raise money for the defendants but to urge the Duke administration to publicly demand that Durham authorities accord to Duke students the same due process rights granted to all other Durham residents.

The Lubiano Trio appears to have confused FODU (which wasn’t a fundraising organization) with the Association for Truth and Fairness, the organization that did raise money to help defray the defendants’ legal bills.

The only problem: the ATF wasn’t a blog—which makes its existence irrelevant to the Lubiano Trio’s commentary on the blogosphere.

The Media’s Role

The Lubiano Trio informed their readers that “the television newsweekly 60 Minutes aired five segments on the topic, and stories appeared in the New Yorker, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated, on the editorial pages of every major newspaper in the country, and on local and national evening newscasts.”

Actually, 60 Minutes ran three, not five, segments on the topic. And the New York Times, which most people (especially, I suspect, members of the Group of 88) would consider a “major newspaper in the country,” did not publish an editorial on the case.

The Defense Attorneys and the Group of 88

After scouring the defense attorneys’ change-of-venue motion, the Lubiano Trio concluded, “Since its publication, the ad has figured prominently in both campus and media debate and was cited as evidence in a defense motion for change of venue, on the assertion that the accused players could not receive a fair trial in a town in which prominent community members, including faculty, had failed publicly to defend their innocence.”

In fact, the December 2006 defense motion contained no such assertion. (The Lubiano Trio’s article contains a footnote citing the defense motion, but the authors, perhaps unsurprisingly, elected not to specify a page number in which this assertion allegedly was made.) To my knowledge, no defense lawyer, at any stage of the case, stated that “prominent community members, including faculty, had failed publicly to defend [the players’] innocence.” Defense attorneys spoke about the presumption of innocence—a far different thing than an outright declaration of innocence. And many critics of the Group of 88, including me, spoke of the need for academics, of all groups in American society, to speak up for due process—which is also a far different thing than an outright declaration of innocence.

That the Lubiano Trio equated calls for professors to defend due process and the presumption of innocence with demands that academics actually affirm the players’ innocence gives a sense of how skewed were Group members’ conception of the justice system.

The Nature of the Internet

Asserted the Lubiano Trio, “The faculty who had signed the ad and were outspoken about long-standing problems in student culture became targets of hate mail and even death threats, especially those with affiliations in African American studies and women’s studies. Many found their e-mail and home addresses published on blog sites, facilitating an incessant flood of anonymous e-mails that were often personally vicious in nature.”

Even in North Carolina, death threats are against the law. It remains unclear why authorities elected not to prosecute those who made such threats against Group members.

Anonymous, vile e-mails are contemptible. They’re also, sadly, a way of life in the internet era. The Group members, however, prefer to imagine a reality in which they and only they were subject to such attacks. As usual, the facts contradict their preferred version of events.

Resolution of the Case

The Lubiano Trio still can’t bring themselves to admit that the whole case was a fraud. “By April 2007,” they write, “all charges against the players were dropped. In June 2007, Nifong was disbarred, and the report from the North Carolina Attorney General’s office found that “there was no credible evidence to support the allegation that a crime had occurred.’”

In fact, Attorney General Roy Cooper issued an all-but-unprecedented declaration of absolute innocence.

Blog Criticism of the Group

Blogs, according to the Lubiano Trio, used “powerful tactics of harassment” against members of the Group. “Typically we [Group members] should . . . work as maids for the players’ families [or] return to the slave quarters.” Group members “have also been found guilty of numerous crimes, including treason, sedition, and tax evasion(!).”

Although the Lubiano Trio’s article does contain footnotes, the Group members elected to supply not even one citation for any of these outlandish claims. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out why.

What does the inclusion of these unsourced ramblings say about the editorial policies of the Duke University Press journal Social Text?

Blog Ideology

In a wonderfully worded passage, the Lubiano Trio situates the lacrosse case “right-leaning blogs” as part of “right-wing attacks on the university,” which were “deliberate orchestrations of a battle with earlier Left projects to define who and what will constitute the public that universities simultaneously serve and engage.”

In fact, in terms of readership, the two most significant blogs were DIW (published by, as I have noted before, an early supporter of Barack Obama who also backs gay marriage and abortion rights) and Liestoppers (a blog originally founded as part of the effort to elect the line of the Lewis Cheek—a Democrat—as Durham County D.A.).

How many people would consider either of those viewpoints to represent the right wing? That the Group of 88 does consider these viewpoints right-wing gives a sense of just how skewed the Group’s ideological perspective is.


The Lubiano Trio fumed that the case resulted in “the denigration of faculty labor, especially the intellectual labor of faculty in fields inaugurated by twentieth-century social movements (African American studies, women’s studies, sexuality studies, ethnic studies).”

In light of that lament, it’s worth reiterating that the Lubiano/Weigman/Hardt article is what the Lubiano Trio considers an example of scholarship (or, in the words of the Trio, “intellectual labor of faculty”) in their fields.

hat tips: E.F., B.A.


river rat said...

Please - someone assure me that there is a strong possibility that key lynch mob leaders within the "88" will eventually be named in a back breaking lawsuit...

It would be a crime for them to escape the consequences of their racist, anti constitutional and unprofessional behavior.

Anonymous said...

At least it's nice to know that something about all this still preoccupies them to the point they continue to try to rationalize what they did.

I hope it follows them all their days, as well it should.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that they spent their entire professional careers studying and preparing for a moment in time that they would then so irredeemably screw up.

Did the article question ANYTHING that was done or written by the Group of 88 (or individual members)? This is the problem I have with the soft sciences. They rarely question their own theories, and everyone else is afraid to. Well, almost everyone.

Great post, Professor Johnson! But that's my opinion only. Gregory.

P.S. Mr. Inman, you're right about Ms. Butler! She's a pro.

Robert Zimmerman said...

I was wondering when you'd get around to demolishing this article. It's been out for months now! And the authors seem to have been awfully sloppy. They confused FODU with the Association for Truth and Fairness (but though they're wrong to say FODU was founded to raise legal defense funds, their statement that those frequenting the site "deliberated on the details of the unfolding case, with increasing attention to the motivations and actions of the district attorney" seems pretty accurate to me). They miscounted the number of segments 60 Minutes ran on the case (but the case got high-profile attention on that show that seems to have had a large if not decisive impact on perceptions of the case), and they don't exempt the NYT from the major papers that editorialized (but nobody knows better than you that there was a great deal of editorializing in newspapers around the country). They don't call the charges fraudulent (but they cast no doubt on the Attorney General's conclusions or on the generally accepted opinion of Nifong).

Then there's the change of venue motion. For sure, the "listening" ad's endorsers aren't brought up in it for failing to defend the players' innocence. The authors do better in their footnote--"The motion cited many constituencies as responsible for producing a social environment prejudicial to the defendants...." But it's my impression that you criticize the so-called Group for much more than failing to "speak up for due process." For instance, I believe that what most clearly sets Steven Baldwin apart from the 88 and others, in your opinion, is that he was a loyal supporter of the university's students. And in general it's a prominent and recurring theme in DIW that Duke faculty weren't speaking up for the students. That in particular was a betrayal of the ideals of their (and your) profession. Or did I misunderstand? (Incidentally, I'd love to see a post on DIW spelling those ideals out in detail).

That's one of the central issues the article raises, the idea that the university should act in loco parentis as Baldwin asserts. That's a thread of what the authors call the "discourse of disloyalty," which in turn is an aspect of "faux juridicalism." I imagine you could make mincemeat of those points, too, if you felt like it. But it's easier to dismiss the whole thing as whiny claims of victimhood and then dwell on a bunch of technicalities. I expect you'd hold a student to a much higher standard of analysis and criticism, and I don't see what makes those standards irrelevant to your writing in DIW.

I'm also surprised you didn't mention the famous Sokal hoax that was published in Social Text. I wonder if any of the journal's defenders back then had the good sense to heckle him for passing off such a thing as scholarship in physics. Because any footnoted article by a professor that's published in an academic journal is by definition scholarship in their field, right?

Anonymous said...

The Group88's lack of common sense was an affront to the decency of "ordinary" people, those blessed by not having an advanced degree in such studies as were represented in and by this so-called group of scholar-bigots. They incited to riot. They argued for a miscarriage of justice, and they represented their own specious arguments in a way that was the very opposite of what was intended. They made a laughing stock of their so-callled judicious scholarship and themselves in their rush to judgement and their own racism and bigotry were found showing and wanting. Lubiano et al were pitiful in their arguments and behavior and nothing they have said has held sway in a court of law. It is no wonder that they wanted this argued in the streets. Their argument was based on fear and power. The Duke administration followed suit . . . so much for academic reason . . . no, it wasn't about the truth at all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for commenting on this article, I might have missed it otherwise. It is available to read for a fee online at the website and is found in the Volume 255,Number 4 93, Winter 2007 issue, not the Spring 2008 issue (vol 26,number 1 94,spring 2008).

As far as you being "shocked, shocked" that DIW would be labeled
a Right-leaning blog" maybe that is because of your insistence on evidence based assertions to promote justice rather than accepting what feels true and good.
As authorities the authors can label as they please.
I would also feel better if even in Durham NC death threats were illegal.

Anonymous said...

Geez, K.C., you really don’t get it do you? You say
"Group members “have also been found guilty of numerous crimes, including treason, sedition, and tax evasion(!).” Although the Lubiano Trio’s article does contain footnotes, the Group members elected to supply not even one citation for any of these outlandish claims. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out why."

Haven’t you figured it out yet, K.C? In time honored Lubiiano fashion, the citations are “forthcoming”! Can’t you wait another 11 years for them to appear?


Anonymous said...

Notice how "Left" is given a cap, while "right" is not. No double standards here. Self-parody is a novel form of scholarship.

Michael said...

Facts can be very inconvenient.

It looks like KC's not going to allow them to rewrite history.

Anonymous said...

Great job! The opening line is priceless.

I want other DIW readers to know that this paper is NOT a typical example of "scholarship" in other fields of study. If I were to send such a poorly-sourced paper to a legitimate journal, a typical referee would tear it apart.

What shocks me is that Duke University's standards for journals apparently are so low that this kind of tripe passes as a legitimate publication. Furthermore, Duke is an "elite" institution, yet this is hardly "elite" scholarship; it is garbage.

During the debates on the blogs in the fall of 2006, Duke faculty members would taunt me with the "Don't you wish YOU were good enough to be on the Duke faculty?" questions. Now, I would not be able to qualify for the economics faculty at Duke, given that I do not have enough "A" publications (i.e. American Economic Review, Journal of Financial Economics, etc.).

However, the difference between the "scholarship" of the G88 departments and the economics department is like the difference between chalk and cheese. What K.C. has done simply has been to point out what all of us know: the "scholarship" of people like Robin Weigman and Wahneema Lubiano is fraudulent. These people are frauds, period.

anon said...

It gives me no pleasure to say this but reading the words of members of the Group of 88 and their enablers reminds me of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's sermons on his DVD's sold by Obama's "church." It is clear that no one could be a mentor of this man and not agree with the words he spews. I am unable to reconcile Prof. Johnson's support of Obama after reading not only his book but his many intelligent and thoughtful comments on this blog. Obama's beliefs are the direct antithesis of the beliefs and values put forth by KC in this horrific fight to right the injustice perpetrated on the Duke players by advocates of this insane, post modernist politically correct philosophy.

Anonymous said...

" . . . the faculty whose professional expertise made them most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender . . ."

Wow! Why didn't she just say: "Don't you know who we are? How dare you challenge the authority of the High Priests of the Holy Trinity of race/genderlclass."

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Gang88 is attacking blogs. Be careful out there: if democrats win in November, "Human Rights Commissions" will start in the US, too.

Canada and some other countries already have these "human rights commissions". Their pure mission is to get rid of these "right-wing" blogs and editorials. Just ask Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant, or other bloggers, who have been summoned to appear before these quasi-courts (conviction rate 100%, HRC officer acts as prosecutor and jury, they are usually former police officers who were fired because of ethical misconduct).

Jamie said...

Wahneema Lubiano is top drawer: if she isn't first, she ranks right up there with the most ridiculous figures in this whole fiasco, and - given the astonishing gallery of clowns, rogues and villains who have infested this piece - that's saying something.

I mean, you have to compete with someone who calls himself thugniggaintellectual, and yet you're more absurd?

I call that bringing it.

Anonymous said...

Social Text is NOT a "peer" refereed journal. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Peter Wood's NAS address, a must read:

Peter Wood

Thanks fot

Anonymous said...

It figures Duke Univ. Press would publish this piece of "scholarly" garbage. No self-respecting university press (or university) would touch it. Haven't the folks at Duke had enough of these ass-clowns? Is there *any* quality control at Duke these days?! I can't believe Duke students (/parents) pay approx. $50K/year for access to this type of pap.

AMac said...

The citation for this article is

Robyn Wiegman, Wahneema Lubiano, and Michael Hardt. "In the Afterlife of the Duke Case." Social Text vol. 25 no. 4: pages 1-16 (2007).

The Winter 2007 issue's Table of Contents is here (pdf downloading requires a subscription, or payment).

A couple of notes.

The harmful effects of anti-Hoax/Frame bloggers is an important theme of the article. In total, "blog," "blogs," "blogosphere," and "bloggers" appear 16 times in the text. Curiously, the only such blog mentioned by name is Friends of Duke University. As KC notes in the entry, it is mischaracterized.

From page 13, here is a footnoted discourse on the subject:

"In the language of the blogs, we were not just communists but traitors, and the fields of study we occupied were not areas of scholarly inquiry but pathological hothouses in the service of anti-American sentiment and reverse racism (20)."

And the complete text of the footnote that directs readers to the sources to which the authors refer:

"20. A number of blogs have focused on discrediting the scholarly projects of specific members of the so-called 88 as a means of casting suspicion on their possible standing in the Communist Party and their complicity with terrorism and anti-Israeli sentiment. They have also been found guilty of numerous crimes, including treason, sedition, and tax evasion."

* * *

Rather than reciting more bowdlerized recastings of the Hoax/Frame or parodying the KCNA-style paens to the Glorious Leftist Enterprise, I'll offer two fair-use excerpts where the authors are quite perceptive. Although they might contemplate this paraphrase of a famous quip by Inigo Montoya: "You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean."

--- begin page 4 quote ---

More specifically, the creation of women’s studies, ethnic studies, and black studies departments has functioned not only to highlight the university’s unacknowledged but nonetheless real enmeshment in the social, but also to force a direct confrontation with difficult social issues at every level of the institution, from curriculum to hiring and from athletics to campus life. For much of the twentieth century, in other words, it was a Left project to unmask the university’s implicit investments and to openly politicize the institution by calling for social justice to be a primary concern in all facets of its activity.

--- end page 4 quote ---

--- begin page 11 quote ---

This struggle is thoroughly political and politicized… much of the contention between right-inspired activism and the leftist projects they seek to unseat is cast as a failure of the university to properly police its faculty: faculty who are paid too much, who work too little, who don’t care for their students, and who are hostile to the United States and to traditional national values. This struggle has played a central role not only in the Duke lacrosse situation, but also in other recent cases in which faculty have become targets of new tactics of what we are calling faux-juridical processes of university discipline. These disciplinary processes... powerfully police individual faculty and, through them, the entire university today. Think here of Ward Churchill (University of Colorado), Norman Finkelstein (DePaul University), and Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad (Columbia University).

--- end page 11 quote ---

Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt aren't kooks, and these bons mots weren't extracted from a mimeographed broadside or a Myspace page.

Doctors Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt are faculty members at an eminent American university. Their writings are published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

To quote Inigo's nemesis Vizzini, "Inconceivable!"

Anonymous said...

Always makes my day when I see a new post on DIW! This one was as good as I've come to expect, but only one thing is still confusing me? Are you really wondering when they're going to start basing their arguments and discussions on facts? Never gonna happen...

Duke's been calling me for the last couple of weeks for the Annual Fund as I've noticed on my Caller ID--finally got to talk to a pleasant young freshman last night (almost sophomore, as we cheerfully discussed). She predictably asked me if they could count on me to contribute this year and I said "I will as soon as Brodhead's gone" to which she VERY QUICKLY responded "OK, thanks" and hung up.

I am very sure I'm not the first such response she heard.

Peggy Harper
Duke 74

Anonymous said...

This comes from the Social Text webpage:

"Social Text covers a broad spectrum of social and cultural phenomena, applying the latest interpretive methods to the world at large. A daring and controversial leader in the field of cultural studies, the journal consistently focuses attention on questions of gender, sexuality, race, and the environment, publishing key works by the most influential social and cultural theorists. As a journal at the forefront of cultural theory, Social Text invites provocative interviews and challenging articles from emerging critical voices. Each issue breaks new ground in the debates about postcolonialism, postmodernism, and popular culture."

In other words, it is a pathetic rag that only frauds like Lubiano could love.

Anonymous said...

If this doesn't prove that these areas of study (AAS, Women's studies, race/gender studies/ sexual studies, et al) exist to appease the PC culture and fill "diversity" spots, I don't know what does. To claim they are experts on race/gender? Oh, Pleeeease! What does THAT mean? Expert at knowing how to use twisted logic to turn their mistakes, prejudices and and inadequacies into a race/gender/victim issue? Gee, are any of us surprised that they pulled out the victim card? We all could have scripted that one.

Legitimate academia is laughing at these poor people for trying to validate their pathetic exsitence. Duke administrators are silently saying: "Shut up, and enjoy your free ride, most folks of your academic caliber are in minimum wage jobs". We all know the real reason why they got into Duke, and it was not because of qualifications.

I am certain that legitimate women and African American scholars (and there are many of them) feel as disgusted as I am. While I am not an academic scholar, I am female and I say these ridiculous diversity programs in universities are wasting taxpayer and donor money and setting African Americans and women back decades.

Anonymous said...

Duke Law 72
A masterful job as usual KC but your talent is hardly challenged but these boobs. I think we need to accept the simple fact that Lubiano et al are just too stupid to understand the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" much less differentiate it from the concepts of "innocent" or "not guilty" More useful now is the continuing issue of what the devil is Duke doing hiring this useless trash and then trying to convince anybody with half a wit that they are scholars.

While i'm sitting here stewing may I suggest that anyone who hasn't reread Hoffer's The True Believer recently might do so. It's a bit dated but makes a good stab at explaining the problem of willful stupidity.

AMac said...

Anon 10:01am is correct; Social Text is not a peer-reviewed journal. My error.

Editor Brent Edwards and Editorial Collective member Randy Martin (list here) described the journal's publishing model in an editorial Rallying Social Text (Social Text 20.1 (2002): 1-9).

--- begin quote ---

For Social Text, one of the advantages of collective journal publishing over the conventional academic "peer review" editorial system is precisely that collective organization remains an open question rather than an unhappy stage to be bypassed or forgotten with the shroud of "consensus." This renewed concern will be reflected in future issues of the journal, particularly through more collaborative efforts among members of the Social Text Collective: topical dialogues, response papers, discussions aimed at framing an issue for consideration by our readers and contributors.

--- end quote ---

Edwards and Martin also note,

"The development of the industrial proletariat is conditioned by the development of the industrial bourgeoisie! The workers' control the means of production! The struggle of the urban proletariat!"

Oh, sorry. That was Eric Idle.

The unwitting parodists approvingly quote Social Text's founders proclaiming the "bankruptcy of liberalism as the dominant ideology of the Western countries." Hence, Social Text's "'mission [ ] to develop and keep open a distinctively Marxist problematic' is combined with a call for interdisciplinarity in scholarship—a forum that would look for the means and modes of dialogues between critical discourses as various as semiotics, Habermasian critical pragmatics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, Foucauldian analysis, deconstruction, structuralism, and Chomskyian linguistics."

Whether the absence of Peer Review is a bug or a feature, it appears that the Collective has gotten its wish with Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt.

Nice work!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Mr Anderson: These people are not only frauds, they are a cancer and if not removed, they, like any other cancer, will eventually kill their host.

Anonymous said...

sad commentary on what passes for "professional expertise" nowadays.

Anonymous said...

The most pathetic part of this "scholarship" is that at some point the three of them sat back and said "perfect, this will finally show that we are smarter then those pesky bloggers".

Jim in San Diego said...

Yowee. (This is a term of art)

Serious question: are folks like the Trio subject to ANY peer or supervisory review of their "scholarship". Or, is it "anything goes" once you are tenured?

I have attended four universities over the years (the last, alas, many years ago).

The Trios' "scholarship" would have been considered an inadequate response to a Sophomore research and writing assignment, anywhere.

In fact, anyone producing such gibberish would have been considered unfit to continue in any of the degree programs.

Guess times have changed. Makes you proud, doesn't it?

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

I've always considered the fact that The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite books as a sign of my lack of intellectual depth. But AMAC knows it, quotes it, in the midst of his brillant observations. I feel better.

Then we have Hoffer's The True Believer mentioned in the same thread.

DiW may not be "scholarly" but I'll take it over Social Text any day. Granted, I don't even understand what the "true scholars" are talking about most of the time. It they are trying to impart their great wisdom, it just isn't working for me and I'm beginning to doubt that I'm the one lacking.

Debrah said...

I'm just nauseated reading this.

Today of all days. Only two hours of sleep and Kitty Diva is sick again with her little "condition".

To top that off, the virus known as Hillary Clinton has been infused with a small dose of energy from the Keystone State......

.....and now we have an even more annoying virus known as Duke's Gang of 88 coming out of their spider holes for yet another attempt to rewrite their sorry history.

From the Trio, two of the more repulsive 88 members--Lubiano and professor of luv Hardt--are great examples of functioning insanity.

But they function at an enormous price to universities in this country.

And the countless errors cited in this "intellectual labor" is pathetic.

They most certainly do not want to illuminate KC's Wonderland very much because it has been the most effective blog in bringing them showing the public--as only another in the academy can do--just how void of substance and scholarship they are.

KC opened the gates of their well-subsidized asylum.

Debrah said...


Amended lacrosse suit harsher on Duke trustee

BY RAY GRONBERG : The Herald-Sun
Apr 23, 2008

DURHAM -- Three unindicted Duke University lacrosse players have amended their federal civil-rights lawsuit against the school and the city, sharpening their attack on the school's top trustee and levying new allegations of misconduct against city officials.

The filing on behalf of current or former players Breck Archer, Ryan McFadyen and Matt Wilson came late last week.

In it, attorney Bob Ekstrand alleged that Duke trustees Chairman Robert Steel controlled the school's response to an exotic dancer's false charge that she'd been raped by three members of the 2005-06 lacrosse team.

His decisions among other things prompted the Duke University Police Department to step aside and let Durham police control the investigation, even though the party that sparked the stripper's charge occurred on school property, Ekstrand said.

Steel also had Duke line up behind the public-relations campaign that police and former District Attorney Mike Nifong mounted against the lacrosse team to protect the school's image, Ekstrand contended.

He believed Duke's interests "were best served if [team members] were tried and convicted" on charges stemming from the stripper's allegations, even though a miscarriage of justice was "occurring in plain view," Ekstrand said.

Steel was fully briefed, so he knew the charges were false, the stripper was mentally ill, that police and Nifong were lying and that by distancing itself from the players, Duke would feed the public's perception of their guilt, Ekstrand said.

But to him, the players' "innocence was irrelevant," the lawyer said.

As for the city, Ekstrand contended that the Durham Police Department's investigation was from the start driven by malice and corruption at worst and blind indifference to the truth at best.

The detectives who conducted the probe, former Investigator Ben Himan and former Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, "deliberately avoided" basic investigative steps that would have turned up evidence favorable to the players, he said.

The omissions included failures to:

-- Question a man who lived next door to 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. who witnessed the exotic dancer's arrival and departure.

-- Conduct a basic records check that would have uncovered the fact that the stripper had lodged a similar gang-rape complaint against another group of men years before in Creedmoor.

-- Check the exotic dancer's own criminal background, which included convictions for theft, drunken driving and assault on a government officials stemming from a 2002 incident at a Durham strip club.

-- Confront the exotic dancer with photographs and other evidence that contradicted her story and that special prosecutors used a year later to establish that her charges were false.

Ekstrand alleged that Police Department commanders and City Manager Patrick Baker fully understood how flimsy the case was.

But on March 29, 2006, they ordered the detectives to press on anyway because hostile rhetoric from department spokesmen and Nifong had so inflamed the public that a race riot was inevitable had authorities abandoned the investigation, Ekstrand said.

They believed "Durham would surely burn" if three players weren't charged, Ekstrand said, quoting an unnamed source.

City officials tried to cover up their misdeeds by destroying 911 recordings of police communications, mischaracterizing their dealings with the Duke University Police Department and failing to take notes at key meetings, Ekstrand said.

The cover-up started at the top, on orders from Baker, the lawyer said.

Friday's filing sought to establish more clearly the case for listing as a co-defendant the head of the Police Department's investigations bureau, Assistant Chief Steve Mihaich.

Lawyers for the three men the stripper falsely accused, David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, initially listed Mihaich as one of the targets of their own civil-rights case but dropped him because he wasn't part of Himan and Gottlieb's chain of command.

But Ekstrand contends that the assistant chief acquiesced in a decision to ignore procedures that would have dictated assigning the case to more experienced detectives based in the department's headquarters.

Himan and Gottlieb worked from the District 2 patrol office at Northgate and didn't have the training or experience to handle a rape case, he said.

By contrast, Friday's filing signaled that Ekstrand may be dropping police Capt. Ed Sarvis, the boss of the department's internal-affairs unit, from the list of defendants.

Sarvis was running the District 2 office in the fall of 2005 when it launched a "zero-tolerance" campaign against off-campus misbehavior by Duke students. Ekstrand contends that the campaign fueled police and resident animus against students and started the chain of events that produced the lacrosse case.

But Sarvis had already moved to internal affairs by the time the case began. His name appeared as a defendant in Ekstrand's initial filing in December, but he wasn't on the list Friday.

It was unclear Tuesday whether the filing of the amended complaint would affect the timetable for handling the case. Lawyers for the city, Duke and the officials being sued were scheduled to file dismissal motions Friday.

Debrah said...


Candidates distance selves from scandal

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
Apr 23, 2008

DURHAM -- Topics in the first full-fledged 2008 debate for district attorney candidates covered the gamut Tuesday from the death penalty to the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, with all four contenders distancing themselves from the Duke lacrosse scandal that made this year's election necessary.

In alphabetical order, those in the running are private attorney Keith Bishop, former assistant district attorney and current private practitioner Freda Black, Chief Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline and Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Garrell.

All are Democrats who will face off in a May 6 primary. If none gets at least 40 percent of the vote, a June runoff will be held for the top two.

Cline and Garrell, unlike Black and Bishop, worked in the District Attorney's Office when former chief prosecutor Mike Nifong got three Duke lacrosse players indicted on false rape charges in 2006 -- something that cost him his job and law license.

Without the lacrosse scandal, Nifong would have remained in office until 2010, and there would be no contest at the ballot box this year.

Addressing a sparse audience during Tuesday's debate in the county commissioners' meeting room, Black said Duke may never again trust the District Attorney's Office unless Durham has a chief prosecutor "who is honest and fair" and "had nothing to do with the Nifong culture. That leaves only two of us" -- her and Bishop.

Black pledged that, if elected, her administration would have an "open-door policy. No more whispering behind closed doors like the Nifong administration."

Bishop and Garrell verbally attacked Cline for taking an active behind-the-scenes role in the lacrosse debacle, then attempting to minimize it.

But Cline said she merely advised police they needed to obtain something called a "non-testimonial evidence order," or NTO.

According to Cline, it is the constitutional duty of prosecutors to advise law-enforcement officers. She would have been derelict in her duties if she didn't do so, she insisted, claiming she had nothing more to do with the lacrosse case.

"You don't go back on your morals because you're running for the office of district attorney," said Cline. "It's just an office. You have to live with yourself. ... If doing what's right causes me not to be elected, I'd rather not be elected. I'm not going to lay down with dogs and get up with fleas."

Still, Bishop continued to hammer at Cline's role in obtaining the non-testimonial order.

"How do you advise law enforcement to get an NTO without evidence?" he asked rhetorically. "How do you justify that?"

"This embarrassment must end," Bishop added, referring to lingering after-effects from the lacrosse scandal. "It can only end with the election of a district attorney not of that [Nifong] culture]."

Many out-of-state professors, legal observers and media pundits have criticized North Carolina for having secret and unrecorded grand jury proceedings, making it impossible to do a post-mortem on how the three Duke lacrosse players were indicted.

With that in mind, district attorney candidates were asked Tuesday if they thought grand jury sessions should be recorded.

"I would not be opposed to it," said Cline. "I think it would be an excellent idea."

Bishop agreed, saying recorded grand jury proceedings are "all part of being transparent and accountable."

Likewise, Black said she believed the lacrosse case "placed a cloud of suspicion over grand jury proceedings," making recording desirable for the future.

Such records could be kept under seal and made available to judges only when necessary, according to Black.

Garrell was the only candidate to take an opposite tack Tuesday.

He said there are "perfectly good reasons" why grand jury deliberations are kept secret in North Carolina, unlike some other states.

Jurors might be inhibited if all their words were written down by a stenographer, Garrell suggested.

"We should respect their privacy," he said.

Garrell also voiced a strong anti-capital punishment stance Tuesday, saying he has held such a position for years.

"The law doesn't require it," he said of the death penalty. "The law says you may [seek execution for first-degree murder suspects]. It doesn't say you have to. I will not. ... There's a difference between being tough on crime and feeling we must kill people for the crimes they commit."

Bishop said he, too, does not support capital punishment -- partly because it is not as much of a deterrent to crime as some people think it is.

Black noted that she is the only district attorney candidate to have prosecuted capital-punishment cases from start to finish, sending three Durham defendants to death row.

Only one is still there; the others were removed because of subsequent appellate decisions.

Although she now is the Bull City's chief assistant prosecutor, Cline said she had a "complicated" opinion of the death penalty.

"It's not easy," she added. "It's not something you take lightly. Yes, I can enforce the law, but it's hard."

Anonymous said...

Mr Anderson: These people are not only frauds, they are a cancer and if not removed, they, like any other cancer, will eventually kill their host.

4/23/08 2:02 PM

I would agree that they have done substantial damage to Duke University. They are the animals who run the zoo or the inmates running the asylum.

Gary Packwood said...

...According to the Lubiano Trio, “the most extreme marginalization was reserved for the faculty whose professional expertise made them most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender unleashed by the inaugurating incident — scholars of African American and women’s studies.
This may be the first and last coming out gala for the African American and women's studies partnership in-so-far as the juice most decidedly has not been worth the squeeze.

Anonymous said...

Hey Debrah: You don't have to sugar coat it!! Get well soon.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this article violates the settlement agreement which the 3 indicted players reached with Duke which likely also covered the faculty. It appears as if the article was published after the agreement. It also appears that this article flew under the radar for several months so the players and their attorneys may not have seen it.

Anonymous said...

This brought to mind the infamous Sokal Hoax from a while back. I copied the following over from Wikipedia. Enjoy. And, apologies if someone already mentioned this.

"The Sokal affair (also Sokal's hoax) was a hoax by physicist Alan Sokal perpetrated on the editorial staff and readership of the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University). In 1996, Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, submitted a paper of nonsense camouflaged in jargon for publication in Social Text, as an experiment to see if a journal in that field would, in Sokal's words: "publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions."[1]

The paper, titled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"[2], was published in the Spring/Summer 1996 "Science Wars" issue of Social Text, which at that time had no peer review process, and so did not submit it for outside review. On the day of its publication, Sokal announced in another publication, Lingua Franca, that the article was a hoax, calling his paper "a pastiche of left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense", which was "structured around the silliest quotations I could find about mathematics and physics" made by postmodernist academics."

Hmmmm. Sounds like they got burned again.

Anonymous said...

KC -

We now know why it has taken so long for Wahneema Lubiano's "scholarly" work to be published. Duke University Press is no doubt scrupulously going through every word and sentence to make sure it has no errors. (I say all that tongue in cheek.)

At 4/23/08 9:12 AM, Anon said he is "unable to reconcile Prof. Johnson's support of Obama after reading not only his book but his many intelligent and thoughtful comments on this blog." I would have to second that. Given the 'friends' Obama has had (e.g., the "Reverend" Wright, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn) I ask you, KC, how can you continue to support Obama?

Jack in Silver Spring

Old Lady said...

Thank you Dr. Johnson and Dr. Anderson for presenting yet another keen analysis of the Orcs of Duke.

Anonymous said...

I agree with river rat. They all have to be brought forward and need to be accountable. Simply sick that
academia is so silent now, that's new. What a joke and shame on Duke.

Anonymous said...

To Reharmonizer:

"But it's my impression that you criticize the so-called Group for much more than failing to "speak up for due process." For instance, I believe that what most clearly sets Steven Baldwin apart from the 88 and others, in your opinion, is that he was a loyal supporter of the university's students. And in general it's a prominent and recurring theme in DIW that Duke faculty weren't speaking up for the students.

I did read DIW pretty much from the beginning. As I recall, "speaking up for the students" was never the subject. Prof. Johnson analyzed the Duke professors behavior as a breach of the Faculty Handbook policy requiring that professors treat students with respect. There was absolutely nothing about the G88 behavior towards the LAX defendants that could be categorized as respectful at any point--at least nothing in the public domain.

Also, as blatant constitutional violations against the defendants became apparent to most anyone following the case, DIW lamented the silence on the part of Duke faculty (especially law faculty) in the face of those obvious violations. Speaking out for due process really should not have been an impossible stretch for the faculty. Instead, the most vocal members of the faculty embarrassed themselves and Duke University badly with their listening ad, clarifying statement, quite a few articles and letters, and innumerable comments.

The publication of Prof. Lubiano's article serves as yet another reminder that at least some of the G88 persist in their careless narcissism regarding the role of the blogs. Certainly from my perspective, the purpose of DIW and linked blogs was the pursuit of truth and due process for the accused, along with exploring the contributing factors (including the G88) to the disaster known as the Duke LAX hoax.

For the umpteenth time now it has been acknowledged at DIW that the alleged threats and vile e-mails are most unfortunate and there is legal redress for this behavior.

When will the G88 acknowledge the important and very positive role the blogs played in analyzing evidence, sorting out the case, and, finally, supporting the efforts for complete exoneration? (No need to answer that).


Anonymous said...

THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE 3 INNOCENT VICTUMS OF THIS FRAUD TO GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM! It is time to use the legal system to go after the 88 because if they don't, "the something must have happened" crowd will never stop. I think the article WRITTEN by Duke professors and PUBLISHED by Duke press has violated Duke's agreement. Time for the legal team to zero in on the root cause of the situation. PLEASE don't let this opportunity pass!

Anonymous said...

For those within the Duke faculty who have and continue to sit while Rome is burning, the following is dedicated to you.

The Gender-Equity Hammer Comes Out (Math, Science, and Engineering)

This should be a clarion call to those who think their departments and NSF funded programs are immune from the nonsense seeping out of the Franklin Center.

"For more than a decade, feminist groups have been lobbying Congress to address the problem of gender “injustice” in the laboratory. Their efforts are finally bearing fruit. Federal agencies are now poised to begin aggressive gender-equity reviews of math, science, and engineering programs..."

"...At a recent House hearing on “Women in Academic Science and Engineering” Congressman Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington State, asked a room full of activist women how best to bring American scientists into line: “What kind of hammer should we use?” The weapon of choice is the well-known federal anti-discrimination law “Title IX,” which prohibits sex discrimination in “any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX has never been rigorously applied to academic science. That is now about to change. In the past few months both the Department of Education and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have begun looking at candidates for Title IX-enforcement positions."

"...feminist reformers acknowledge that few science departments are guilty of overt discrimination. They claim, however, that subtle, invisible “unconscious bias” is discouraging talented aspiring women. Therefore, the major focus of the equity movement is to transform the academic culture itself — to make it more attractive to women by rendering science less stressful, less competitive and less time consuming..."

Christina Hoff Sommers wrote the excellent read, "The War Against Boys". It is an excellent read on many levels.

Debrah said...

TO Jack in Silver Spring--

Don't you get enough of this topic at JinC?

Debrah said...

TO 5:20 PM--

Thanks....but Kitty Diva is the one who was sick.

However, she is a geriatric kitty who was already 9 years-old when she came to live in the Diva Villa--(she's now about 18)--so it's to be expected that there would be health issues.

But she's a happy little diva!

Debrah said...

"But it's easier to dismiss the whole thing as whiny claims of victimhood and then dwell on a bunch of technicalities. I expect you'd hold a student to a much higher standard of analysis and criticism, and I don't see what makes those standards irrelevant to your writing in DIW."

There is nothing for KC to dissect and analyze here.

Such an exercise would be superfluous in nature.

All of us, and most of the interested public, are well-aware of the shoddy scholarship and the inciteful parasitic existence of those infamously known as the Gang of 88.

For KC to elaborate further would be analogous to explaining a joke.

Rest assured, everyone gets it.

Anonymous said...

They believed "Durham would surely burn" if three players weren't charged, Ekstrand said, quoting an unnamed source. -- Debrah's post 4:30pm, 4/23.

I am concerned that Durham, and inner cities across the U.S., may well burn on election night 2008, should Obama be the Democratic candidate for president and if he is defeated in November.

The rationale? Feel free to take exception, these are my opinions and my reading of recent events.

1. Obama is running a charismatic, impressive, and almost Messianic campaign. Has a lot of backing based on emotion.
2. 90% of the A-A community voted for Obama in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.
3. Rev Wright and his colleagues have preached a divisive message, identifying "them" as a source of the ills of the A-A community.
4. From Liestoppers Forums, we learn that there are strong believers in conspiracy theory in the A-A community (HIV/AIDs planted by whites for black genocide). And that the A-A community feels "owed" and "it is our time."
5. The Eve Carson murder revealed that many violent, impulsive, and unstable criminals are at large in the community due to failure of the penal/parole system.
6. Google "NBA Championship Riots". A NYT article a few years ago commented that this was the only national championship with a body count.
7. Read today's news about the Chicago murders in the past few days.

I fear we are sitting on a powder keg.

Debrah said...

On his blog, the commenter "reharmonizer" has previously asked, curiously.....

“What is The Truth about KC Johnson?”

To which the Diva assisted with a reply:

That he is simply one of the most resilient and brilliant minds in the academy.

Capable of producing outstanding scholarship while entertaining and dissecting unwashed commentary from lesser minds with a sensual, biting wit.

KC Johnson is a force who shows that perfection is not always to be denied.

Debrah said...


Those items you mention are, indeed, ominous. Some adults are even putting children into fray.

Last evening, a child was seen on a videotape threatening to kill GWB.

The "powder keg" you mention is the failure of adults in the black community to make the choice to build on the decades of special programs and affirmative action they have enjoyed.

Instead, there seems to be an ongoing insistence that such a lifestyle continue.

As has been acknowledged by numerous writers and scholars, there is often a sense of never-ending entitlement and an escalating belligerence when any obstacle to preferences might arise. The children and grandchildren of those from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's have been taught that this country "owes" the black community........still.

For what, now?

No matter.

No matter that compared to other Americans, blacks basically have a very easy ride if they take advantage of it with the least amount of effort.

Obama even admitted that he knows he benefited greatly by being black.

Unfortunately, no politician is going to deep-six his candidacy by spelling out reality for the black community when their votes are needed.

Growing up it was just expected that black students got a kind of "boost", and that is fine if they come from families who cannot afford to send them to university, etc.....

......however, in many, many cases middle and upper-middle class blacks wind up receiving the financial assistance simply because of their race.

My question to those people?

If you are so interested in helping the black community, why not forgo all the freebies and make sure that the black impoverished students receive this assistance instead of you simply taking an easy ride when you don't need it?

But logic and ethics and morality have no place in this "race business".

Many have simply been taught since birth that they are "owed" and that this country is "bad".

Yet they would never move to another place on the globe!

Thankfully, there are some reasonable people out there and I do not believe that a "powder keg" will explode.......even as many disgruntled race-baiters like the Gang of 88 would love such a situation.

It's noteworthy as I look back on my life so far.

I haven't made a point of keeping in touch with classmates, really; however, of those friends from school who have contacted me over the years, about 80% of them have been my former classmates who are black.

This "race thing" has never been an issue for me. My parents allowed me to befriend anyone I chose and their actions spoke louder than words.

Kids view the world and develop attitudes from the way their parents behave toward others.....which is why listening to people like Rev. Wright, Karla Holloway, Houston Baker, so damaging to young black children.

We will have yet another warped generation.

It's been those from the black community who seem to enjoy discord most.

But then, without trumped-up discord, how will they make their cases for more---and endless---financial largesse?

Anonymous said...


It dawns on me that they left you out completely. How dare they not only screw up the facts, but then leave out their tormentor!

I have sent Alan Sokol an email about this, including your post. You might remember that he was the guy who took Social Text apart 12 years ago and exposed that journal for the damned fraud that it is.

Anyway, I must admit this is the fun part of the hoax: having at the frauds who still populate the Duke faculty and faculties at so-called elite institutions. After all, Vanderbilt has its "wide-ranging intellectual" Houston Baker. I guess fraudulence is contagious.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Haskell's comment 10:20 a.m.-- it will be interesting to see how much of a messiah Obama is when he tries to stop the rioting after he loses.

Debrah said...



Published on the on April 23, 2008.

Sports metaphors are trite and too male-oriented, but sometimes they are so apt they are unavoidable.

The Clinton-Obama contest is like a 15-round heavyweight title bout in boxing.

Hillary went for an early knockout. All previous Democratic races since 1960 have been decided that way, with one candidate winning decisive primaries, forcing his opponents to withdraw. But Obama beat her to the punch in Iowa, survived a loss in New Hampshire, and countered her sweep of New York, New Jersey and California on Super Tuesday by winning a large number of smaller states, largely by out-organizing Hillary in caucus states. While most traditional candidates are forced out if they lose key states because their money dries up, Obama’s ingenious use of Internet funding provided him with an ample financial base even as he fell behind Hillary in the delegate count.

But Hillary, in spending all her resources on an early Super Tuesday knockout, was too depleted to do well in the middle rounds — the February caucus and primary states. Her focus on an early knockout led her to neglect organizing in these states, and her insistence on spending every dime she had in pursuit of an early win left her financially incapable of competing in these February contests. Obama won round after round on points, sweeping 11 states in a row and establishing a solid lead in elected delegates.

Obama piled up such a lead in points in the middle rounds that Hillary has been forced to go for a knockout in the final rounds. Knowing that Obama has more delegates, she has to win decisively in the late primaries to have a chance at persuading the superdelegates to flip and abandon the voters’ choice. But, so far, the proportional representation rules and Obama’s daunting financial advantage have denied her the elusive knockout. Obama can’t knock her out, but he doesn’t need to. Remember, he’s ahead on points.

Hillary won in Pennsylvania for two key reasons:

1. Pennsylvania only permits Democrats to vote in its primary. Hillary has always won among Democrats. It is among independents, the swing voters in November, that Obama has manifested his greatest strength.

2. Pennsylvania is the second oldest state in the nation after Florida. But while the elderly moved to Florida, Pennsylvania acquired its status by having its young people move out. The result is a demographically atypical electorate.

Both Indiana and North Carolina, the next two states, allow independents to vote in Democratic primaries, and North Carolina has a decidedly young population (it is here that the Pennsylvanian youths moved!). Obama should win both of these states, North Carolina by a lot, Indiana by a little, and their combined effect should wipe out most of the gains Hillary got from her Pennsylvania win.

By the time the voting ends on June 3, Obama will still lead Hillary among elected delegates by 100 to 150 delegates.

At that point, the Gang of Four — Gore, Edwards, Pelosi and Dean — will probably call on the superdelegates to make commitments in the next 10 days so that the race can draw to a close and the party can have its nominee. Shortly thereafter, Obama will be able to claim that he is above 2,025, the threshold for victory. And the ref will be raising his arm in triumph.

AMac said...

On page 11 of their Social Text article, Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt perceptively point out that the actions of the Duke faculty Hoax Enablers should be seen in a broader context (well, they don't use quite those words).

They believe that "the struggle [between right-inspired activism and the leftist projects they seek to unseat] has played a central role not only in the Duke lacrosse situation, but also in other recent cases in which faculty have become targets... of university discipline."

Here are the four victims of faux-juridical witch hunts that Wiegman et al. go on to list. Links are added to emphasize that the persecutors had no conceivable reason for any animus against these eminent academics.

"Think here of Ward Churchill [125-pg pdf] (University of Colorado), Norman Finkelstein (DePaul University), and Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad (Columbia University)."

These are the exemplars of scholarly virtue that Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt offer to the credulous readers of Social Text.


Robert Zimmerman said...

Congrats to Amac for not only reading the article but highlighting some of its main points. Johnson won't get any deeper than he has to in order to nitpick, so it's nice to see that there's someone on here who aims a little higher. It's overreaching, though, to suggest that Churchill, Finkelstein, Khalidi, and Massad are singled out as "exemplars of scholarly virtue."

For a fine example of what Lubiano, Wiegman, and Hardt are talking about, scroll up to the ludicrous suggestion that it might be possible to prosecute them for violating the settlement Duke made with the three indicted students.

kcjohnson9 said...

A technical note:

Since the Lubiano Trio's article was likely written and submitted before the settlement between Duke and the three falsely accused players (or, in the words of the Trio, the three players against whom there was no credible evidence), it could not be seen as violating the terms of the settlement.

As I noted at the time, the extraordinary clause of the settlement was its covering all Duke faculty members for their statements and actions before June 14, 2007. Settlements with universities generally shield the universities as institutions and administrators, not faculty members as well. I suspect that in this instance, the Lubiano Trio had no objection to what they might term such “faux juridicalism.”

Debrah said...

So glad I came back to check Wonderland before emerging into a Diva spa bath.

KC's in-depth response to the commenter above is magic.

I just love it when he does this!

No one can match him.

AMac said...

Reharmonizer 4:40pm --

Much thanks for the fulsome praise.

> It's overreaching, though, to suggest that Churchill, Finkelstein, Khalidi, and Massad are singled out as "exemplars of scholarly virtue."

Why is that overreaching? The quoted text (4/23/08 10:32am) shows that Wiegman et al. see opponents of leftist projects in the Academy as falsely claiming that (leftist) faculty are paid too much, work too little, don't care for their students, and are hostile to the U.S. and to traditional national values. The complicity of the University with this right-wing aggression is a central reason why (leftist) faculty have been targeted. Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt then name Churchill, Finkelstein, Khalidi, and Mossad as victims of faux-juridicial disciplinary processes.

If any of these four academicians are, in fact, not virtuous, then Wiegman's fine whine doesn't make sense.

Paraphrasing isn't the same as overreaching. If you have a complaint, it's with the text's authors.

> For a fine example of what Lubiano, Wiegman, and Hardt are talking about, scroll up to the ludicrous suggestion that it might be possible to prosecute them for violating the settlement Duke made with the three indicted students.

I see no comment on this thread that advocates "prosecution." You seem to be referring to anon (4/23/08 6:13pm), who wrote,

"I wonder if this article violates the settlement agreement which the 3 indicted players reached with Duke which likely also covered the faculty."

So Anon is wondering aloud whether these three Hoax Enablers have adhered to the terms of the secret agreement that protects them from liability. Do you really claim that as a fine example of the right-wing-orchestrated faux-juridicial disciplinary proceedings that strike at the heart of academic freedom?

That assertion strikes me as a bit off-key.

AMac said...

By the way, Wiegman et al. complain that extremist left-wing professors are accused of being paid too much, working too little, not caring for their students, and being hostile to the U.S. and to traditional national values.

I doubt that any generalization holds true for all professors of some particular ilk.

As far as the listed particulars, I wouldn't know about pay and work habits. Based on cursory reading on the cases of Wiegman et al.'s four exemplars (links above at 4/24/08 2:44pm), it seems beyond dispute that each of them:

-- cares little or nothing for students who are members of the wrong identity group or who think un-correct thoughts;

-- is hostile to the United States; and

-- is hostile to traditional values.

It seems like these traits are points of pride, not charges to be rebutted.

On the strength of their writings and their conduct during the Hoax/Frame, much the same could be said of Professors Lubiano, Weigman, and Hardt.

Anonymous said...

Debrah at 4/24/08 9:04 AM

You said to me:
"Don't you get enough of this topic at JinC?"

I'm not sure to what it is you are referring, but KC hooked me on the Duke/Lacrosse case. It was the monstrous injustice I saw being perpetrated by an immoral prosecutor, aided and abetted by left end of the faculty (and the spineless Brodhead) because they despised the students they were teaching at Duke. So I check in regularly at JinC where I mostly comment, and I check in at DIW where I infrequently comment. That said, I have a great deal of respect for KC even though we are in different parts of the political spectrum. I find KC honest to a fault, which is more than I can say for some of the Duke faculty. Also, I truly enjoy his analysis and writing style. Of course, we disagree about Obama, and there are things I see in Obama that are very much like the things I saw in the Duke faculty, which was why I asked him the question I did. He chose, though, not to respond, so that's that.

Debrah -

Does that answer your question?

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I was on campus yesterday ( I live in MD and was in Durm on business). The students seemed happy with the last day of classes, but nervous about finals to come. African American, caucasian, and other ethnicities blended seemlessly as far as I could tell...which matches my recollections of campus life.

There was a preponderance of Duke Lacrosse gear in the gift shop...even more than basketball stuff! The administration cannot really claim that the incident is "behind them" as they so clearly want to.

My only consolation is that the student body is most likely using the only prophylaxis they have at their disposal...ignoring the class offerings of the worthless Klan of 88.

Sadly, there was no Diva sighting! Maybe next time.

ES Duke 1990

becket03 said...

"the most extreme marginalization was reserved for the faculty whose professional expertise made them most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender unleashed by the inaugurating incident"

The hubris of the "experts," separating themselves out as the only ones "competent" to speak on race and gender, calls to mind Proverbs 26:12 -- "Have you seen a man who thinks he is wise? You have more to hope for from a madman than from him."

Montaigne had the saying carved into the overhead beam in his library. Lubiano should have it tattooed onto her forehead.


Anonymous said...

Isn't lovingly that this blog has migrated off topic. Time to moderate KC. Great book btw, mailing it to my son.

Anonymous said...

When did this forum become a political junket? Turkeys, wrong site. But then again, perhaps, of
course. My bad I forgot the Carolina melt down in
May. Going to Vegas to bet on this one. If not for
this forum or LS our boy Nifong would be hanging
at the primary in NC as a DA. What a party!!! Peas
in a pod.

Robert Zimmerman said...

Prof. Johnson,

Be as shocked as you like about all the factual errors. Sloppiness of that sort is an indication of something, for sure. The points about 60 Minutes and the NY Times are really nitpicking, though, and the other points you call the authors on are, on the whole, peripheral. I'd expect students writing about the article to do a much better job of distinguishing essentials from incidentals. I don't see how this context calls for any less, especially when you're writing about a text that your audience doesn't have free access to.

I never doubted that concern with due process is an essential and central focus of your criticism of Duke faculty, but I appreciate the clarification about defending students vs. defending due process. I find that your criticism bleeds over into more generalized denunciations of the faculty members' regard for the university's students and it also bleeds over into the suggestion that the faculty you've singled out have betrayed the ideals of the academy (of your profession is how you put it). It's my expectation that that refers to something more specifically academic than due process (that's not at all to downplay due process as a vital concern in this case and in general).

I may not have interpreted your attention to faculty speaking out (or not) as clearly as I should have. I agree, in any case, that a more central point in DIW has been that the 88 and others spoke against Duke students. You mention several faculty who you suspect of having violated the requirements set out in the faculty handbook and/or anti-harassment policies. Maybe so, but I'm not convinced. What I've found, especially with respect to Holloway, is that you've followed circular reasoning to a foregone conclusion. You start by assuming a certain kind of person--a devotee of the "analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender" who acts out of unmitigated disapproval of a person's "race, class, gender, or athletic status"--and then find that they are, in fact, just that kind of person and that they act the way such a person inevitably acts. It's a line of reasoning I've documented in great detail in Holloway's case. And your errors of fact and interpretation with respect to Kerry Haynie and Mark Anthony Neal seem to me far more shocking than any of the errors in Wiegman, Lubiano, and Hardt's article.

Anonymous said...

Beckett, you are too kind. Proverbs 26:11 may better describe those, ahem, "experts" who continue to attempt to promulgate the myth that it is they who are victims.

"As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly"

Anonymous said...

I am awaiting, KC, your renunciation of Sen. Obama.

He's an honorary member of the Gang of 88.

The depth and tenacity of the corruption of academia is most starkly revealed, KC, in the obvious fact that you are trying to cover your behind for PR purposes by supporting this honorary Gang of 88 member.

What other qualification does Obama possess other than the color of his skin? He's a quota monger, frequents a black racist church, numbers domestic terrorists among his supporters and disdains the traditional American values of family, faith and self-defense.

Obama is a member in good standing of the Gang of 88. Why do you continue to support him? My totally unsubstantiated guess: self-identification as a conservative is a death sentence within your profession.

I'm not in that profession, precisely because I ceased having any desire to deal with an institution, academia, in a death spiral. So, I'm not in a position to judge you for trying to remain in an institution that I have simply abandoned. The questions are purely rhetorical.

Let me ask you one more question: Since the Left (capitalized as they insist) labels you as a rightist (small cap) no matter how you try to avoid that designation, what are you gaining by continuing to support Obama?

Debrah said...

"Debrah -

Does that answer your question?"


kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.13:

I suppose we'll have to disagree on what constitutes a "trivial" error. It seems to me that when three tenured profs at one of the nation's leading universities publish an article; and when these same three profs claim that "right-wing" blogs imposed a narrative of the case on their university; and when these same three profs describe FODU as having "embodied" this narrative the "most prominently," it's a pretty significant error of fact when these same three profs wholly mischaracterize the stated reason for FODU's origin, even though the group had published its rationale in an open letter posted on the FODU website--a website that allegedly "embodied" the critiqued "right-wing" narrative the "most prominently," and therefore, we can assume, was closely scrutinized by the Lubiano Trio.

But that's just my opinion.

As for Holloway, indeed I have also criticized her approach to students--such as her January 2007 mass email falsely suggesting a secret witness would testify that Seligmann and Finnerty were present at the party when racial slurs occurred. This clear breach of the Faculty Handbook was not, to my knowledge, ever punished.

As for Neal, I'm hard pressed to see how anything I've written about him could even remotely be characterized as factually inaccurate. For the most part, all I've done in comments about Neal is to quote the words of person who describes his approach to scholarship as that of an "intellectual thug."

As for Haynie, I would have been delighted to have included in UPI his characterization of his email to Baldwin, a missive described as "angry" even by a Group sympathizer, and invited readers to determine for themselves how they would have received this "angry" suggestion that Baldwin come to his office. Indeed, I will be including it in notes to the paperback version of UPI, along with a comment on how this penner of "angry" e-mails subsequently co-authored an op-ed demanding "civility" on campus ("do what I say, not what I do," apparently), and publicly criticized UPI even though he admitted he hadn't read the book at the time.

But, of course, I had been told by Prof. Haynie not to email him about the case. And, unlike members of the Group, who have been quite cavalier about leveling unsubstantiated allegations of harassment, I'm quite aware of what constitutes harassment, and therefore had no choice but to accommodate Prof. Haynie's demand.

Debrah said...

" You mention several faculty who you suspect of having violated the requirements set out in the faculty handbook and/or anti-harassment policies. Maybe so, but I'm not convinced."

Perhaps you aren't seasoned enough yet.

Perhaps you haven't read some of the emails these "faculty"--(whom I would call left-over baggage from their heydey of the '60s)--sent to parents of the lacrosse players.

Perhaps you haven't been around the Triangle area long enough to know how a place like Durham operates.

Perhaps you don't know that some "diverse" members of the 88 have a hotline to and a peculiar relationship with the open black racists in Durham who make their livings by "keeping hope alive" in their cottage industry of "race".

This time the "hope" they were salivating to "keep alive" were false rape charges.

Such fuel for their cause!

Any member of a faculty at any university who would choose to heat up such an incendiary situation and speak out against their own students in the way they did deserve to be drawn and quartered in the public square.

These "faculty" members feed at the trough of tuition money that these lacrosse parents--and all Duke parents--pay for their kids' education.

Smarmy nuance has no place with respect to such serious circumstances.

Discovery from the upcoming civil suits will be sweet.

Like other semi-sweet apologists for these charlatans who try to add a faux embroidery of objectivity, your opinions are just opinions.

Debrah said...

ES Duke 1990--

This time of year is always fun for students.

The semester is almost over!

Nice to see you back again.


AMac said...

Re: Reharmonizer 4:13am and KC Johnson 9:42am --

On 2/2/08, Prof. Kerry Haynie said that the email he sent to Prof. Baldwin was as follows:

--- begin quote --

Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 11:55 AM -0400
Subject: Chronicle Editorial

Dear Steven,

I read with amusement your opinion column in today’s Chronicle. Frankly, I found it to be insulting and out of the normal bounds of both civil and academic discourse. I hope the students that you say you love so much don’t take this lesson in hypocrisy from you. They deserve a better model than this. On the one hand you criticize some unnamed faculty for characterizing students in a pejorative manner, and then you speak of tarring and feathering and running folk out of town on a rail. You ask the faculty to speak their minds and to do what they think is right, but what you seem to really want is for us to do these things only if and when we agree with you. It is this attitude that has no place in the academy, where the free expression of ideas, thoughts and beliefs should be cherished and protected. And you even had the nerve to include a thinly veiled threat of legal action in response to some alleged slander. Steven, it is you who should be ashamed.

Are you the one with the tar and feathers? I can be found at the address below and I am usually on campus everyday. And you should know that if I ever leave Duke it will be on my terms and not because you or anybody else wants to see me go on a rail.


--- end quote ---

Haynie says that on page 284 of UPI, "Johnson and Taylor write: 'Baldwin’s column ignited a faculty firestorm. Political science professor Kerry L. Haynie, codirector of the Center for Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences [sic], sent a nasty email implicitly challenging Baldwin to settle their disagreement by violence.'"

Later, Haynie writes, "I have had no other exchanges [beyond the one recounted at the link--AMac] with Professor Baldwin on this or any other matter." (I.e., the quoted email is the one being discussed in UPI on page 284.)

A correct and substantially complete account, as you understand it, or not?

Anonymous said...

"(D)istinguishing essentials from incidentals" sounds good, makes sense. I'd agree as I tend not to view a typo as something that destroys validity. However, when fundamental facts, easily verifiable facts are treated with blatant disregard, credibility is lost with me.

I may not have extensive knowledge about a particular subject but if someone can't get basic facts right, I will disregard the opinion they present. It may not be the best way but it is a quick and easy way to determine what I will read and consider. There's a lot to read and I will not waste my time with sloppy.

As an example, I don't know much about Max Weber but I think I can safely assume that someone who calls him Max Faber, is too careless or not well enough informed to be worthy of note.

Robert Zimmerman said...

Prof. Johnson, I guess it's also a trivial error to say that the Social Text article is listed in Lubiano's CV when it's not. It's listed on her faculty web page under "Recent Publications." Arguing about whether or not that means it's "scholarship in her field" is a fine way to trivialize the debate, for sure. But the word "trivial" is yours, not mine. The distinction I've been pointing to is between central and peripheral.

It seems that you'd rather not comment on my recent posts critical of the quality of analysis on DIW. You may not have even read them, since you didn't know what errors of fact and interpretation with respect to Mark Anthony Neal I was talking about. I can see why you'd rather not deal with any of it.

As far as Neal goes, you've passed on Richard Bertrand Spencer's ridiculous assertion that Neal claims to hear a racial epithet "whenever he rolls into the classroom on the first day of class" at Duke. The problem is that it's based on an article Neal wrote more than a year before he taught his first class at Duke. Beyond that, your criticism of what you vaguely (and inaccurately) call "[Neal's] approach to scholarship" is deeply uninsightful. Your attack on Holloway's comments about the women's lacrosse team is groundless, or at best forced, though that's a relatively minor point compared to the other misrepresentations you make of her article from summer 06. And you support the dubious claim that Haynie "criticized UPI even though he admitted he hadn't read the book" by cutting nearly five sentences out of his comment. Your approach to your favorite quote of Holloway's is little better.

Anonymous said...

reharmonizer says in his article, referenced at his comment at 4:13 AM,

Karla Holloway (disclaimer) is one of the “listening” statement endorsers with the highest profile on Durham-in-Wonderland (DIW). Neal is in the next tier down but still among the dozen or so that crop up most often. Like the rest of the endorsers, Johnson presumes both of them guilty of having presumed and announced the lacrosse players’ guilt.

I disagree. I think you presume he presumes they presume.

Seriously, the first paragraph is such a tangle of logic and grammar. Speaking of which: Could the author tell us again how "Johnson" is "like the rest of the endorsers".


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm trying to read this article by reharmonizer, but it's slow going because I keep scrolling back to the top over and over to double check the date! This was written this year? Last month? They have learned nothing?

This is particularly worthy of concern because I view (or at least had viewed) reharmonizer as one of the "saner" voices of the academy.

Reharmonizer, any attorney in this case would far rather have as a client Crystal Mangum than Karla Holloway. Why? Because taken as a whole, when compared with the consequences of the behavior and demonstrated character of Holloway, the the consequences and behavior and character of Mangum don't look so bad.


Debrah said...

I hope the commenter "reharmonizer" is merely attempting to get some attention for his blog by drumming up these silly objections to some of KC's posts about the Gang of 88.

After reading some of his "objections", I am left with a queasy irritation similar to the way I felt yesterday morning when I was stung on the lip by a drive-by bumble bee.

But there's more than a slight irritation provoked inside the Diva.

This commenter's dizzyingly infantile objections mirror some of the antics of those he seeks to defend.

At one point, he goes after KC for calling Mark Anthony Neal the moniker which Neal calls himself--"thug-nigga-intellectual".

To which I say: Stop it right there.

No one is going to suggest and get away with it in the year 2008 that observers of this sham of a professor, "thug", cannot quote him and do not have the right to repeat this ridiculous moniker.

Oooooooouu! "Reharmonizer" wishes to inform us that KC and all those who comment on this subject are doing some "very bad stuff".

According to this loony 88-esque mindset, observers of this shocking lack of scholarship among so many of Duke's Gang of 88 deserves no criticism. Only respect.

Observers are expected to accept this goofiness the way so many universities do in order to pretend they practice "diversity".

"Reharmonizer" can pull and tug at KC's shirtsleeves forever and he will never have a valid point on this issue.

So many of KC's detractors will go to enormous lengths to manufacture an "error"......a "misrepresentation".....etc.....

The only trouble with this futile mission is that the Gang of 88's antics and their lack of fundamental scholarship are out there for the world to see.

The entire nation got a hefty dose of them and what they are about during the Lacrosse Hoax. Those "professors" are upset because their dictatorial and fascist style of operating is ridiculed and laughed at in the normal world of true achievement.

KC merely illuminated this issue.

What really bothers KC's detractors is that he does it so breathtakingly well.

Lastly, a question: Are we also supposed to pretend that Karla Holloway has a law degree just because she was given a token position in the law school? Are we supposed to look over the astonishing and sordid history of such a woman who sought to rip and rape three young white men of due process......yet wishes to be taken seriously as a "professor" of anything on the subject of the law?

Really, now.

"Reharmonizer", do me a favor. Stick with the melody. Your harmony is in the wrong key.

Debrah said...

It's important to make clear to apologists like "reharmonizer" that nothing is going to deter intelligent and non-agenda-driven observers from telling the truth about such people as Duke's 88.

Do you have no shame?

Do you think others have a need to be mesmerized by such faux scholarship to attain a perch in the "acceptable" category of the campus loons?

I have written some pretty interesting dialogue in the past, myself. So, should I tack "Dr." in front of my name and demand to be called "Dr. Diva"--the "thug-diva-intellectual" who will certainly make you feel "othered"?

And if you don't like it, you might get "mugged" by one of the Diva "metaphors"!


Perhaps I should try my hand at this.....even though I have never had an interest in teaching.....

......I am going to "intellectually choke the **** out of you!"


Solid, man. Now I'm a real "professor" so don't mess with the Diva!

And don't dare criticize me!

Debrah said...

The Diva responding to Kerry Haynie on the other blog:

"As for Debrah’s comments, she clearly has little familiarity with the academy (at least with the one to which I belong).”

The Diva said:

Mercifully, I can agree with the quote I have highlighted in bold relief.

Fortunately, I can say that I have been around those from the academy most of my life.

Those who place the highest value on scholarship…….first.

Debrah said...

Here's a KC response from an earlier exchange back on November on the "re:harmonizer" blog:

"By the way, I commend you for deeming the banner inappropriate. If only more Duke faculty members shared your courage in criticizing the potbangers, perhaps even by speaking out immediately after the protest occurred–

KC Johnson


I love it.

Notice how the tone is straight-up, but the message is one similar to someone talking delicately with a child.....hoping they can grasp the meaning.

I just love it!

Debrah said...

The Economist/YouGov Poll

kcjohnson9 said...

I'm not sure it's worthwhile to respond any longer to reharmonizer--readers can pretty much make up their own mind--but I'll do one more response.

I see now that the "errors of fact and interpretation" regarding Neal amount to my "passing on" an article by Richard Spencer (which, for the most part, criticizes Neal by quoting his words) and regarding Holloway amount to my allegedly criticizing her in either a "groundless" or "forced" way. (I should point out that if criticism is "groundless," it can scarcely be "forced.") Both the timing of Holloway's article, and her words, speak for themselves.

As for Haynie and UPI, here are his words, with emphasis added. I invite readers to decide for themselves:

"As a member of the Lacrosse ad hoc Review Committee, I join with Professors Coleman and Kasibhatla in their criticism of the way in which KC Johnson has mischaracterized our committee's report. I have not read the Taylor and Johnson book."

kcjohnson9 said...

My apologies, by the way, for saying that Lubiano had listed the article under her CV when instead she had listed it under the "recent publications" section of her website--a section in which she has never previously listed op-eds or non-scholarly articles (such as her N&O op-ed, her blog postings on the case, or the Group if 88 ad, of which she was principal author) and had only listed scholarship.

Perhaps, however, reharmonizer's insinuation is correct, and Lubiano is suddenly using that section of her website to list non-scholarly items.

kcjohnson9 said...

To S.T.:

If you're waiting for me to denounce or renounce Obama, you're going to be waiting an awfully long time.

Anonymous said...

Several observations:

1. why not keep this blog as devoted to the lacrosse incident; there are many other political blogs and this one has nothing to recommend itself as a particularly good one. On the other hand, this is the best discussion of the Duke Lacrosse scandal on the web (or anywhere for that matter).

2. I assume reharmonizer is intelligent although his ramblings are difficult to follow. If you have points to make, please make them clearly. In addition, if you have points to concede, please concede them clearly. I have no doubt that some of the vitriol leveled at the Group of 88 may be extreme; but, frankly I cannot understand how any objective observer cannot condemn their actions. Why continually defend the Duke faculty who rushed to judgement incorrectly, many of whose scholarship is laughable and virtually all of whom have not had the common decency to apologize for their lapses in judgement (or worse. Is there no more just cause you can champion? Is this the legacy you wish for Duke?

Anonymous said...

"Wahneema Lubiano, whose last scholarly publication was entitled “Interview with Wahneema Lubiano,”

ROTFLMAO! I'm sorry! But the moment I read this line, my first thought was Woody Allen in "What's New, Pussycat!" rushing like a lunatic from one side of the table to the other in order to play chess with himself!

I could just see Lubiano diving from one side of her microphone to the other as she conducted the 'interview'! Ohmigod! If she did this with half the hysteria she did the Hoax, she must have knocked herself unconscious.

(Which would explain the stupidity of the interview. Obviously it was written while she was still suffering from concussion.)

Jim in San Diego said...


You complain of what you call "nitpicking" over the alleged "scholarship" of the trio.

The Trio (why, by the way, did it take three professors to write this essay?) state a thesis, and purport to back up the thesis with facts.

The thesis is that they were victimized by "bloggers". In the context of the hoax, and all the issues surrounding it, this thesis it narcissistic and shallow.

The Trio back up their thesis with facts that are not substantial, and are not true.

So, the fundamental critique of the Trio's most recent scholarship boils down to "thin, shallow theme not supported by verifiable facts".

This is about as substantial a critique you can make of a piece of scholarship. Don't you agree? If not, why not?

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

Dateline April 2008 Bendigo Australia.

My local library, much to my surprise, acquiesced to my request and acquired Until Proven Innocent. I am half way through.

Thankyou KC

You have done for the internet what Bernstein and Woodward did for the print media in the early seventies.

Our democracy is in turmoil. Tyranny is in the air. The internet could easily become a tool of that tyranny. KC has demonstrated that it could also be a defense against it.


During the eighties there was an Australian comedy group going by the name "Los Trios Ringbarkus". Their work was heavily laced with satire also.

Anonymous said...

Upon a full reading of reharmonizer's article, I am relieved to find that much of my faith in him is restored.

First, just as an overview of the situation, I note that this is one of many, many arguments over what an 88er (in this case Karla Holloway, but there have been so many of these) "really meant" when s/he wrote this or that. I would ask reharmonizer to reflect on what we can judge about the most elemental competence of purportedly intelligent people when what they write can be interpreted, and quite reasonably, in so many different ways.

The body of reharmonizer's article consists of two parts. In the first, he criticizes KC's critique of Karla Holloway. I find this the best part, but I would offer two related defenses to KC's critique. First, KC critiques of the 88ers are hamstrung by his own adherence to "collegiality". After all, the charge against this brilliant scholar during his tenure fight was his alleged "lack of collegiality". It is apparent that he strives very hard to avoid that charge again being leveled at him. In the case at hand, it prevents him from addressing some of the possible wellsprings and motives of Holloway because to do so would cause shrieks of "uncollegiality!!" from those who acted with the opposite of collegiality towards the accused students. The second reason is that KC is not trained as an inquisitor. He's an academic; he researches and writes. He's an expositor, not a prosecutor.

The other part of reharmonizer's is an attempt, to which I alluded earlier, to explain what Holloway maybe, possibly, perhaps, might have "really meant" when she wrote what she wrote. I would ask reharmonizer -- while he is imagining all the possible benign interpretations of Holloway's writings to ask himself: If there are such plausibly benign interpretations, why did Duke pay tens of millions of dollars (my estimate) to keep Holloway off of a witness stand?

Holloway should thank her lucky stars if KC Johnson is the harshest examiner she ever faces. And she doesn't deserve to be defended by scholars of reharmonizer's quality.


Debrah said...

Thomas Sowell did a three-part series on this subject:


Debrah said...


Debrah said...


Anonymous said...

While reharmonizer may regard nitpicking items as trivial, said points are always indicators as to the quality of research and the care that one gives to the argument that one is trying to make. The trivial items are the ones that are most easily verified. If one cannot take the little time involved to get those correct, what does that say about the larger arguments put forward in one's writings? Perhaps if the Duke professors had been willing to correct those inaccuracies that reharmonizer depicts as nitpicking, they might also have spent more time on the points in the published piece that were also specious. However, neither was done - hence the valid criticism. It all points to the much larger problem which is that they are pseudo-academics who have managed to hoodwink a large number of people into believeing that they, and they alone, are experts in the field of race and gender relations. That Duke parents are shelling out obscene amounts of money to have their offspring "educated" by these "experts" is also a crime.

Anonymous said...

Re: Reharmonizer
The elephant sized facts in the fore-ground of this whole story are that 3 entirely innocent kids were gone after by a DAs office, a Police Dept. and their own University when key Individuals in all of these knew that no crime had been committed that night - and they knew it for sure and well before the indictments.
All of this happened in plain sight and at close range for the faculty at Duke and in a way for Academia in general. How many spoke up? Damn few. Why did so few speak up?
Now there is a non-trivial question to take on if reharmonizer has the stomach for a non-trivial question - a proposition, btw, for which there is no evidence.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. Reharmonizer is that idiot muscian/professor. If I'd realized that sooner I wouldn't have wasted so much time trying to understand this extended spat.

I guess I understand why Professor Johnson feels compelled to debate his "colleagues" but there are so many more worthy opinions and important issues, I find it rather insulting to others who comment with more thought and reason and intellegence.

Debrah said...

Excuse me, but I might just indelicately "puke" after reading the valentine RHH left over on the other blog for "reharmonizer".

Try as anyone might, you can never make anything of "reharmonizer" than what he is:

Someone who knows very little about the Triangle and, more specifically, Durham.

He's trying to be a suck-up to the Gang of 88 and at the same time appear objective to seasoned observers of this Hoax.

Sorry to say, it will take a magnum opus far beyond the reach of "reharmonizer's" talents to pull off such a score.

kcjohnson9 said...

This comment, obviously, should be further up in the thread, but I didn't want to delete it entirely when I removed the separate post:

As DIW readers know, I generally have avoided making my own comments over the last several months, and have confined myself to the occasional post. I thought, however, it might be useful for me to respond to the reharmonizer comment in the Lubiano thread below. I’ll leave this post here for a day or so, and then move it to an appropriate place in the thread. For those who haven’t seen the reharmonizer comment, I’m reproducing it in full, with my comments ad seriatim. Comments on this post, and the Lubiano publication post, can be made in the thread below.

“I was wondering when you’d get around to demolishing this article. It’s been out for months now! And the authors seem to have been awfully sloppy. They confused FODU with the Association for Truth and Fairness (but though they’re wrong to say FODU was founded to raise legal defense funds, their statement that those frequenting the site “deliberated on the details of the unfolding case, with increasing attention to the motivations and actions of the district attorney” seems pretty accurate to me). They miscounted the number of segments 60 Minutes ran on the case (but the case got high-profile attention on that show that seems to have had a large if not decisive impact on perceptions of the case), and they don’t exempt the NYT from the major papers that editorialized (but nobody knows better than you that there was a great deal of editorializing in newspapers around the country). They don’t call the charges fraudulent (but they cast no doubt on the Attorney General’s conclusions or on the generally accepted opinion of Nifong).”

I agree with all of these points. I find it remarkable that a journal article produced by three Duke professors would be filled with so many errors of basic fact. Perhaps the Lubiano Trio mistakenly assumed that the journal Social Text employed factcheckers?

“Then there’s the change of venue motion. For sure, the “listening” ad’s endorsers aren’t brought up in it for failing to defend the players’ innocence. The authors do better in their footnote--”The motion cited many constituencies as responsible for producing a social environment prejudicial to the defendants....” But it’s my impression that you criticize the so-called Group for much more than failing to “speak up for due process.” For instance, I believe that what most clearly sets Steven Baldwin apart from the 88 and others, in your opinion, is that he was a loyal supporter of the university’s students. And in general it’s a prominent and recurring theme in DIW that Duke faculty weren’t speaking up for the students. That in particular was a betrayal of the ideals of their (and your) profession. Or did I misunderstand? (Incidentally, I’d love to see a post on DIW spelling those ideals out in detail).”

During the case, the professor whose approach I most consistently praised was Jim Coleman’s (158 posts referenced his behavior on the case, before his change of opinion in late September 2007; as opposed to 28 references to Baldwin). Coleman’s approach throughout the case was based on a desire to promote due process, not to defend Duke students. Indeed, in an interview with me, he explicitly said that the fact the accused players were Duke students was irrelevant to his critique.

I made a similar point in one of my earliest posts on the case (June 13, 2006), pointing out the academy’s obligation to defend due process. “Under normal circumstances, Duke’s faculty might have countered this public rush to judgment. After all, Nifong’s behavior has contradicted many of the values that the academy supposedly cherishes—such as respecting established procedures; supporting a spirit of fair play; and seeking to analyze all available evidence dispassionately. But in a faculty dominated by the analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender, Duke professors declined to defend the due process rights of a group of white males who played a sport associated with the elite. A vocal minority even seemed to assume the worst about their students.”

As reharmonizer has pointed out, I’ve also argued that Duke professors should have stood up for their students, but generally when academic misconduct affecting those students has appeared—for instance, the Group of 88 producing an ad that falsely claimed endorsement from five academic departments (a blatant violation of academic procedure); or when reports surfaced publicly that some Duke professors (Huston, Deutsch, Curtis, Chin) were abusing their classroom authority to push their view on the case. Ultimately, around 100 Duke faculty members (including Baldwin) did speak up on such matters, by publicly endorsing the Economic professors’ letter (which endorsed a call to investigate Nifong’s procedural misconduct and stated that all Duke students, including student-athletes, would be welcome in the signatories’ classes). It continues to surprise and depress me that more Duke professors didn’t elect to sign this statement.

“That’s one of the central issues the article raises, the idea that the university should act in loco parentis as Baldwin asserts. That’s a thread of what the authors call the “discourse of disloyalty,” which in turn is an aspect of “faux juridicalism.” I imagine you could make mincemeat of those points, too, if you felt like it. But it’s easier to dismiss the whole thing as whiny claims of victimhood and then dwell on a bunch of technicalities. I expect you’d hold a student to a much higher standard of analysis and criticism, and I don’t see what makes those standards irrelevant to your writing in DIW.”

I don’t like the idea of seeing students as “consumers” of higher education. And perhaps parental anger at faculty denunciations of a University’s students can be termed the “discourse of disloyalty.” That said, it seems to me unrealistic to expect parents to pay around $200,000 to send their sons to university and then sit idly by as extremist faculty members use their sons as props to advance the faculty members’ personal, ideological, and pedagogical agendas. The answer to that problem, it seems to me, is a faculty less dominated by groupthink, where professors might be deterred from such behavior by the possibility of peer pressure. But we’re moving, if anything, in the opposite direction.

One other point on this issue, which I have raised before. The Group of 88 appears to believe they can say anything they want about Duke students, and cloak their comments under the mantle of academic freedom. For the most part, professors can say anything they want (within the bounds of slander law, of course) regarding just about any topic. But at Duke (and at CUNY, where I teach) there is one group of people about whom professors are restricted in public comments—the university’s students. The Duke Faculty Handbook requires all Duke professors to treat all Duke students (including those of whose race, class, gender, or athletic status they disapprove) as “fellow members of the university community, deserving of respect and consideration in their dealings with the faculty.” I’d be hard pressed to argue that the Group’s statement, or remarks by individual Group members (Houston Baker, Farred, Chafe, Holloway) conformed to that standard. As the civil suit by the unindicted players has argued, such behavior also seems to violate the University’s anti-harassment policies.

Perhaps, the Lubiano Trio might argue, such a position constitutes “faux juridicalism.” But the answer to this problem, then, is an easy one: repeal the relevant sections of the Faculty Handbook and the anti-harassment policies. As long as these policies are on the books, however, it’s unrealistic not to expect them to be enforced.

“I’m also surprised you didn’t mention the famous Sokal hoax that was published in Social Text. I wonder if any of the journal’s defenders back then had the good sense to heckle him for passing off such a thing as scholarship in physics. Because any footnoted article by a professor that’s published in an academic journal is by definition scholarship in their field, right?”


I defined the Lubiano Trio’s article as scholarship in the authors’ field because Lubiano, in her official Duke CV (to which I linked in the original post), listed it as scholarship in her field. I suppose it’s possible, upon reconsideration, that the Lubiano Trio were engaged in a Sokal-style hoax, producing an intellectually and factually flimsy article to show the vacuous nature of Social Text articles. Since, however, Prof. Lubiano has instructed me not to e-mail her, I’m unable to ask her whether the article was, in fact, a scholarly hoax.

Anonymous said...

anon wrote:
Reharmonizer is that idiot muscian/professor.

Who are you referring to? If it's supposed to be obvious then I'm a dolt (and is it a supposition or a conclusion?).

Anonymous said...

Debrah said at 8:25 PM ...

Excuse me, but I might just indelicately "puke" after reading the
valentine RHH (sic) left over on the other blog for "reharmonizer".

I love you, Debrah, but you know that I've never agreed with you that the critics of DiW should be held in the same (low) regard as the 88ers themselves.

Anyway, it wasn't much of a "valentine for reharmonizer" given that I told him that -- far from his contention that KC has been too harsh on the 88ers -- the 88ers have yet to face a truly harsh critique.

From an intellectual perspective, I am always curious when seemingly intelligent people can look at the same facts as I and then come to dramatically different conclusions. I am plumbing that mystery with reharmonizer.

The latest of my comments -- which he has not yet cleared from moderation -- to him:

As I said to you in private, I am intending to make a comment on your article about Prof. Neal. However, I have been unable to get out of my mind something you said in your reply to my comment. Actually, it was the first thing you said: "It’s clear that we have very different, and probably irreconcilable, perspectives on Holloway specifically and, in general, Duke faculty reaction to the lacrosse case." [Emphasis added.]

I wondered, when I first read that, "Why 'irreconcilable perspectives'?" It's dawned on me: Our perspectives of “the Duke faculty reaction to the lacrosse case” are rooted in how we perceived the case when we first heard of it and what our perceptions were of the case on the date of "Listening" ad three weeks later. If our perceptions of the likely veracity of allegations in that initial time period were significantly different, then that would explain why we will always view the actions of the "88ers" in "irreconcilable ways". If you thought -- in the early days of the case -- there was at least some truth to the charges, that at least "something bad happened", then you will forever be willing to project your feelings onto the 88ers, resulting in you seeing their actions, at worst, as less than cold-calculated and self-aggrandizing betrayals of the team members.

I wonder if I could ask you: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "almost certainly false" and 10 being "almost certainly true", how did you perceive the first report that Duke lacrosse players had raped a stripper at a team party? I would appreciate if you could explain why you assign whatever number you do. I promise to reciprocate, if you are interested (btw, my number was “1″).


Anonymous said...

Is Social Text a peer-reviewed journal or not?

This guy lists Social Text as peer-reviewed on his CV:

It's on page 11.

So which is it? Story was, the journal started doing peer review after getting famously spoofed by a phony paper in '96.

becket03 said...

anon 5:10 Oh, man. Reharmonizer is that idiot muscian/professor. If I'd realized that sooner I wouldn't have wasted so much time trying to understand this extended spat.

Haha! I can relate. I spent lots of time composing a reply to reharmonizer before I decided to research his identity a little. When I found he was the sensitive, feeling, compassionate, indignant, blind, error prone and tendentious bozo who set up a blog in defense of Lubiano et al. long after they had been exposed as fools and knaves, I trashed my lengthy retort in disgust. Why bother with him?


Debrah said...

Obama just gave one of the best news conferences/answer sessions ever.

I don't want to hear anyone attribute the looniness of Rev. Wright to him again.

There are many whites who go to Wright's Chicago church and a black cable news anchor as well who have said they had not heard those kinds of utterances from Wright in the past.

There is no way--especially after today and what Obama said very clearly--that anyone can align him with the views of this former preacher.

Also, NC's Governor Easley has endorsed Hillary.

This is the same drip who appointed Mike Nifong as Durham DA and sat back while civil rights were violated.

As far as I can tell, Easley's endorsement of Hillary is a positive for Obama.

Debrah said...

I find it extremely interesting that a judge continues to keep all documents concerning the case of Eve Carson's murder sealed.

Among other excuses, it seems that the facts and the evidence in the case would be too incendiary.

Pity that no judge was willing to extend such largesse to Reade, Collin, and David a few years ago.

Apparently, it was OK for them to have their lives put in danger by every "investigative detail" having been made public.

bobo1949 said...

Everyone is entitled to her of his opinion on the validity of Barak Obama’s responses to the Reverend Wright controversy. Reverend Wright’s actions and apparently his beliefs have been unchanging for the last 20 years. The last time I looked, 20 years was a long time. He, Wright, was Obama’s pastor for the same 20 years.
Please explain to me how Wright’s prejudiced and bigoted views did not offend Obama until he became a presidential candidate.
As Professor Johnson has pointed out so many times, consider what would happen if the key players in this particular drama were white rather than black. The outrage shown by the Group of 88 over the Duke Lacrosse case would pale when compared to their angst over a white minister and a white presidential candidate damning the United States of America or damning blacks for attacking white people.
Methinks some people speak out of both sides of their mouths on this sensitive racial issue.

Anonymous said...

KC, do you know what this is about?

By John Leo

The academic left is fond of buzzwords that sound harmless but function in a highly ideological way. Many schools of education and social work require students to have a good "disposition." In practice this means that conservatives need not apply, as highly publicized attempts to penalize right-wing students at Brooklyn College and Washington State University revealed.

Debrah said...


Cline decries negativity in race for district attorney

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
Apr 30, 2008

DURHAM -- The district attorney campaign is plagued by too much negativity, candidate Tracey Cline said Tuesday after an opponent's literature accused her of playing a role in the Duke lacrosse scandal -- a role she denies.

"They're playing on people's fears about the lacrosse case," Cline said of three other contenders for the chief prosecutor's chair.

"Why are the others saying, 'Don't vote for Tracey?' " she asked rhetorically. "Why aren't they being positive? Why aren't they saying what they have done for Durham?

"It's easy for them to say I should not be DA," Cline added. "But why should they be DA?"

Cline spoke at a hastily called news conference after fliers from Freda Black, another district attorney candidate, began turning up at the county courthouse and elsewhere.

The fliers include a photograph of Cline sitting at a courtroom table beside former District Attorney Mike Nifong, who lost his job and law license for getting three Duke lacrosse players indicted on false sex-offense charges in 2006.

The photograph purportedly was made at an April 2006 lacrosse hearing, while the case was in its infancy.

Also on the fliers is a photo of Cline clapping her hands and wearing a yellow support-Nifong shirt during a 2006 election campaign that Nifong won.

"DON'T GET 'NIFONGED' AGAIN!" the fliers urge readers. "VOTE for FREDA BLACK."

A tagline indicates the fliers were funded by Friends for Freda Black.

"People can look at these pictures and get distracted," Cline said Tuesday. "But we need to focus on the issues and stop trying to distract voters. We need to stop destroying bridges and build bridges. We should stop letting negativity tear us down. Negative energy is not needed in this campaign."

Real campaign issues include the county's crime rate, juvenile delinquency and other pressing problems, Cline said.

Black, a former assistant district attorney who was fired by Nifong when he took office three years ago, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Cline, now serving as chief assistant prosecutor, said viewers should discount the picture of her sitting with Nifong at a lacrosse hearing.

It is routine for prosecutors to sit beside each other during court proceedings, even if one of them has nothing to do with the case at hand, according to Cline.

"There's nothing wrong with that," she said.

Asked if she now regretted being seen in a support-Nifong T-shirt during the 2006 election, Cline quipped: "I regret a lot of things. I regret being seen in jeans that were too small."

In addition to Black, two other contenders in next week's primary election for district attorney -- Mitchell Garrell and Keith Bishop -- have accused Cline of playing a role in the lacrosse scandal.

But Cline continued Tuesday to distance herself from the debacle, saying Nifong never shared the lacrosse file with her and never even discussed it with her at staff meetings.

Still, Garrell said Tuesday, he would "stand on my prior comments" about the situation.

Like Cline, Garrell is a veteran assistant prosecutor for the Bull City.

Bishop, who is in private practice, attended Cline's news conference Tuesday and was outspoken afterward.

"It was an angry message," he said of Cline's remarks. "It was not candid. She claimed she was not angry, but she was clearly upset. She said she had nothing to do with the lacrosse hearings. That's false. Ms. Cline was involved. She knows she was involved."

In support of his point, Bishop said he once had a client who approached Nifong with information about the lacrosse case. Nifong promptly summoned Cline to a meeting with the client, according to Bishop.

Cline, however, said that she recalled no such meeting.

Debrah said...

Maureen Dowd puts Diva thoughts into words.

Debrah said...

Here's something that all women should be miffed about.

When a man is the topic of conversation, the way in which he's characterized is so different from a woman.


For example, I have been amused by the fact that commentators call Obama "a young man".


However, when is the last time you heard someone call a 46-47 year old woman, "a young woman"?

If anyone has, please file a report.

Nothing serious; however, this is an example of real disparity between the sexes.

Debrah said...


Most of the time---at least from a shoot-from-the-hip, gut-level reaction---I gauge everything on a "Are you for?"......or......."Are you against me?" basis.

I know, I know.

Life is full of gray areas....blah, blah, blah.

And on many occasions I do employ nuanced analyses of people and issues; however, from past experience first impressions tend to endure.

Some of us just tire of having to water down everything in life.

Some things are plain bad and others are just plain good.

Think of life as a kind of Love Affair.

Take a position.

Anonymous said...

gtp said...
The most pathetic part of this "scholarship" is that at some point the three of them sat back and said "perfect, this will finally show that we are smarter then those pesky bloggers".


Debrah said...

Very interesting.

If some of his suggestions were implemented, it would be difficult for the Gang of 88 to find work.

Debrah said...

TO "bobo1949"--

The late Jerry Falwell and the still-living-among-us Pat Robertson have said some very loony and offensive things in the past as well.

Perhaps not as loudly as Wright and perhaps they didn't put on an act of strutting across a stage; however, both founded universities that I find offensive in many ways.

Have you ever read anything about Regent University--founded by Robertson?

Or Liberty University--founded by Falwell?

In many ways, I'm sure that Obama felt the way many of us do---that these loud religious loons were known to the public and that no one made a big deal about them.

All have good qualities and all, IMO, have very negative qualities.

Most religious organizations are treated with kid gloves by politicians so as not to offend voters who might be followers.

I understand Obama more on a personal level and am not as concerned with all the speculation.

In the past, I have had friends who are most definitely Muslims.

Does that make the Diva a terrorist sympathizer?

AMac said...

Anon 4/29 12:25am --

Social Text's Editorial Collective does not describe it as a peer-reviewed journal. From far upthread (4/23/08 12:21pm, links within):

"For Social Text, one of the advantages of collective journal publishing over the conventional academic 'peer review' editorial system is precisely that collective organization remains an open question rather than an unhappy stage to be bypassed or forgotten with the shroud of 'consensus.'"

Sneer quotes in original.

Debrah said...


2 opponents say Cline's lacrosse case role significant

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
May 1, 2008

DURHAM -- Even though she won't acknowledge it, district attorney candidate Tracey Cline played a significant role in the Duke lacrosse scandal and should stop denying it is an issue for voters, two opponents contended Wednesday.

Cline had said in a Tuesday news conference that her opponents were running negative campaigns by concentrating on the lacrosse case, which ended the career of former District Attorney Mike Nifong after he got three Duke athletes indicted on false sex-offense charges in 2006.

The lacrosse debacle is long ended, and the real campaign issues are crime, juvenile delinquency and gangs, said Cline, who now serves as Durham's chief assistant prosecutor.

But district attorney contender Freda Black, a former assistant prosecutor now in private practice, said Wednesday that Cline was missing the point.

"That's a huge issue that must be dealt with truthfully," Black added, referring to the lacrosse case. "How can you say it's not an issue? It's the only reason we're even having an election this year."

Black referred to the fact that Nifong would be in office until 2010 had he not been ousted for misconduct.

"I'm not running a negative campaign," said Black. "I'm running a truthful campaign. Ms. Cline is not being truthful. She was involved in the lacrosse case. I don't know why she's trying to deny it."

Another candidate for the chief prosecutor's chair, Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Garrell, said much the same Wednesday.

For one thing, Cline advised police to obtain a so-called "non-testimonial evidence order" that went a long way toward launching the misguided lacrosse proceedings, according to Garrell.

Cline has conceded she gave such advice.

However, she said she did so on a general, procedural basis without having any inside knowledge of the lacrosse affair. She also said prosecutors are constitutionally required to advise police when asked.

However, Garrell raised the possibility Wednesday that -- because of her assistance to officers -- Cline may become a witness in a massive lacrosse-based federal lawsuit against Duke University, the city and various individuals.

If so, she would be distracted from being an effective district attorney, Garrell contended.

A fourth candidate for the top prosecutor's job, Keith Bishop, also has said Durham needs a district attorney who had nothing to do with the lacrosse case.

Debrah said...

CH Herald:

Public does have a right to know

May 1, 2008

In the interest of full disclosure, this newspaper had a strong interest in the legal motion decided by Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour and reported on in Wednesday's paper. In fact, that motion was filed by The Durham Herald Company, which owns The Chapel Hill Herald.

The motion was brought by the newspaper company to unseal search warrants used in the investigation of the death of Eve Carson, the UNC student body president. Normally, search warrants and what they uncover become public record when the investigating agency returns a list of items seized during the search. Becoming public record is a way of making sure those public agencies operating on behalf of the people conduct their business in a legal manner.

This time, however, at the request of law enforcement officials, three judges sealed the warrants and they have remained sealed for nearly two months. The newspaper believes the public has a right to know what was uncovered by those warrants, and brought the motion.

Judge Baddour, however, denied the request, writing that while the public has a right to information in criminal proceedings, it does not have the right in the Carson case at this time because it would interfere with the criminal investigation and the defendants' right to a fair and free legal process.

We respectfully disagree.

Carson was murdered March 5. Her death has been under intense investigation since then. It is surely important to protect any witnesses involved, but the authorities have had ample opportunity to find out what they need to find out and protect whomever they need to protect. They cannot continue to operate the public's business in secret.

The Constitution guarantees our right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, but the only way we can know if those searches and seizures are unreasonable is by shining light on the processes of how they are conducted.

Lawyers opposing the motion also have argued that unsealing the warrants could jeopardize their case and taint the jury pool. But that argument wasn't made to restrict information in other notorious cases -- for instance, that of Adam Sapikowski, the Chapel Hill teen who murdered his parents, or Mohammed Taheri-Azar, the UNC graduate who drove a Jeep through the Pit. And those cases have not been somehow compromised.

As with those cases, the public's right to know -- and the obligation for law enforcement to do its work out in the open -- should not be superseded by a desire to work in private.

Debrah said...

I don't think any of the 88 are among these:

Duke honors 28 professors

The Herald-Sun
May 1, 2008

DURHAM -- Duke University honored 28 faculty members this week by awarding them distinguished professorships.

The recipients honored are:

-- Pankaj Agarwal, RJR Nabisco Professor of Computer Science

-- Avshalom Caspi, Edward M. Arnett Professor of Psychology Neuroscience

-- V. Joseph Hotz, Arts Sciences Professor of Economics

-- Timur Kuran, Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies

-- Terrie Moffitt, Knut Schmidt Nielsen Professor of Psychology Neuroscience

-- Wayne Norman, Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics

-- Paul Griffiths, William K. Warren Foundation Professor of Catholic Theology

-- Edmund T. Pratt Jr., School of Engineering

-- April Brown, John Cocke Professor of Electrical Computer Engineering

-- Ashutosh Chilkoti, Theo Pilkington Professor of Biomedical Engineering

-- David Smith, William Bevan Professor of Electrical Computer Engineering

-- Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics

-- Ravi Bansal, J.B. Fuqua Professor of Business Administration

-- Allan Lind, James L. Vincent Professor of Leadership

-- Mary Frances Luce, Thomas A. Finch Jr. Professor of Business Administration

-- Manju Puri, J.B. Fuqua Professor of Business Administration

-- Cindy Van Dover, Harvey W. Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography

-- Jeffrey Vincent, Korstian Professor in Forest Economics and Management

-- James Coleman, John S. Bradway Professor of the Practice of Law

-- H. Jefferson Powell, Frederic Cleaveland Professor of Law and Divinity (joint appointment)

-- Arti Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law

-- Page Anderson, Beverly C. Morgan M.D. Professor of Pediatric Cardiology

-- Margaret Humphreys, Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine

-- Sally Kornbluth, James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

-- Michael Merson, Wolfgang Joklik Professor of Medicine

-- Rendon Nelson, Reed Marha Rice Professor of Radiology

-- Howard Rockman, Edward Orgain Professor of Cardiology

-- Allen Roses, Jefferson-Pilot Corporation Professor of Neurobiology

-- Michael Zalutsky, Jonathan Spicehandler M.D. Professor of Neuro-Oncology

In addition, two new inductees in the Bass Society of Fellows for excellence in undergraduate teaching and research were honored. They are:

-- Alvin L. Crumbliss, Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Chemistry

-- Roger C. Barr, Anderson-Rupp Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Debrah said...

Sorry to report that this is what now passes for reasonable discourse on some of the other blogs.

Does anyone really think that Obama is somehow responsible for a blog or two getting hacked?

Are some now diving into the loony realm of Gang of 88 and Rev Wright idiocy?

Six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

"anonymous said...
I am so sad to see the KC Johnson continues to advocate for Obama. In the Lacrosse hoax that brought so many of us together from such diverse backgrounds, KC stood out like a well thumb in a sick academic world.

Meanwhile, over at Liestoppers, there is a prevailing question as to whether that blogsite was hacked because so many bloggers were "eating Obama's Lunch". And why not? After all, we ARE about being LIE STOPPERS>

So be careful JinC. The stakes are getting highers for those who advocate for integrity that is racially and gender neutral.

This website has held out for hard questions and hard answers. You are admired by many, feared by some, and probably hated by others.

Good company with the prophets and some other good folks.


Debrah said...

Superdelegates Not Scared By Wright

Debrah said...

Kristin Butler wins award

Debrah said...

Just got home from voting today.

Since I was in the vicinity, I decided to get it done early.

A Diva day to rock the vote!

Debrah said...

What is it with some blogs?

I suppose I can ask the question.

After all, how can anyone learn if they don't ask questions?

Am I unkind to the core?


Should I have an endless desire to see people interacting with joy and appreciation and fawning reciprocity ad nauseum?

All those questions are rhetorical, but they are sparked inside me every time I read some other blogs where people are exchanging cyber-syrup and massaging one another with tedious acknowledgment.

What is that all about?

Why can't commenters jsut state their positions?

Why must everything be koffee klatsch and doily-laden-knitting-circle chat?

It's like watching a love scene and the people involved prance about with dialogue bubbles above their heads explaining every carnal detail.....

.......and how much they like each other.

Again, I'm curious.

Am I just heartless?.....Or are these exchanges creepy to others as well?

Debrah said...

If Obama chooses Mike Bloomberg for his VP running mate, it will be all over for his opponent.

That would be an excellent combination.

bobo1949 said...

Even E.J. Dionne, certainly not a conservative icon, agrees that the duration of the relationship will cause Senator Obama problems. “It’s entirely true that Wright’s foolishness is a bigger deal because of his long-standing relationship with Obama. That’s the view of John Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri and Episcopal priest who was here for a conference on religion and politics.” His column, titled in my local newspaper “What if a right-wing, white preacher said such things?” contains much, to my great surprise, with which I agree.

Anonymous said...

It is interesteing to note that most of the Professor Awards went to REAL subject matter experts in Medicine, Econ, and the physical/life sciences.

Glad to see my old buddy Howard Rockman won! He is a gentleman and a scholar to be sure...

ES Duke 1990

Debrah said...

They just can't stop nipping at KC's ankles.


From the other blog:

"Elleanor | May 1, 2008 at 8:09 pm

You won’t hear from many that KC has any credibility at all in this matter. Notice that when he wants to build up attention to his now quite repetitive and flailing blog, he goes after the faculty. This is his real issue, and it’s a deep animus that extends from his own experiences with tenure. The lacrosse matter was helpful in allowing him to vent. But now, it’s a pretty pitiful, pretty petty performance on his part. You’ve got him exactly right, and he clearly bristles from the recognition that his agenda is motivated by jealousy and his own academic failings."

~ ~ ~

Reharmonizer opines:

"Actually, I seem to mostly hear from people who think KC is credibility incarnate. Mostly they’re not academics, though, and I imagine that’s what you meant. But still, it’s my impression that there’s a contingent of conservatives (like Erin O’Connor) wanting to return to 'traditional' academic values who think DIW is the cat’s pajamas.

As I explained elsewhere, I don’t think it’s such a good idea to reduce DIW to a personal vendetta."

To which the Diva replied:

Debrah | May 3, 2008 at 10:22 am


Most objective viewers would consider such 'deep animus' oozing from your post quite curious, indeed. You provide nothing substantive to back up those weary ad hominems.

It’s been my experience that when someone is capable of nothing more than 'mooning' the object of their derision, they have no defense for their statements, and, as a result, are literally 'caught with their pants down'.

And such is life for those now infamously known as Duke’s Gang of 88. The entire nation was able to get a view of their antics. And as a consequence, a very bright light was aimed their way. We were able to see and read for ourselves just how void most of them are of true scholarship.


It’s amusing that a few of you guys wish to make believe that those not in the academy 'just don’t understand'.

True desperation from those who can find no cover for a hapless group of people living off the funds of those—Duke lacrosse players and their parents…..and all Duke students—whose tuition money is paid for an education at Duke.

It would be unwise to attempt to minimize the quality of the commentariat at KC’s Wonderland. Most are highly trained professionals in their fields. Many are wildly talented and multi-faceted. And some have traveled around the globe and back.

KC’s blog was and is frequented by millions from locations all over the world. That didn’t happen because people don’t like his work. It’s understandable that some in the academy are envious. We were able to witness those manifestations many times over the last two years.

So, please. Don’t further destroy your argument with this baseless and suppurating condescension. It makes you appear even more out-of-touch.

Lastly, if anyone truly believes that KC’s Wonderland is made up of a 'conservative' clique, then you must believe that anyone who prefers authentic scholarship in the academy is a 'conservative'.

ROTFLM-T’s-O !!!

It should be highlighted that many professors where I live and with whom I have spoken—a place with three major universities and where the largest number of PhD’s in the country can be found—are embarrassed by what the Lacrosse Hoax has revealed about some of their colleagues.

So stay in your fantasy world if you like.

KC Johnson will merely excel to new heights. No one, least of all those in the academy, will ever be successful in characterizing him as anything other than what he is:

A brilliant and very interesting man."

Debrah said...

To "bobo1949"--

I don't wish to minimize the effects of people like Rev. Wright. I just don't believe that Obama shares his views even though they were friends for a long time.

The word "friends" has a multitude of definitions, but I totally understand why this issue has become so explosive.

Check out this place on the subject.

If you're in the area, you might want to watch the program or give some feedback on their blog.

BTW, it's nauseating that Rev. Barber is a part of the panel.

I sent a letter to them Thursday--The News & Observer--on this very subject.

We'll see if they print it.

Debrah said...

The Diva letter sent to the N&O:

On May 6 North Carolina voters have an opportunity to deliver a message to opportunistic and destructive race hustlers among us in this country. They can be found in churches, on university campuses, and almost anywhere a few dollars can be made and some attention can be sparked.

As a supporter of Barack Obama I was saddened by the outlandish behavior of his former pastor. Apparently, no one told the Reverend Wright until recently that he would not be allowed to strut his stuff in the Lincoln Bedroom during an Obama presidency.

It's obvious that Wright seeks to promote himself and his posh lifestyle---in a multi-million dollar estate on a golf course within a rich white neighborhood---and doesn't mind harming Obama's candidacy.

I am waiting for the day when candidates do not feel an obligation to bring their religions and their pastors, priests, or rabbis onto the political stage. It's a strange tradition.

We've seen how "men of God" can contaminate the proceedings in countless ways.

Although few are so deliberately repulsive as Wright as he peddles his sordid tales---which I doubt even he believes---you'd have to have a strong stomach to sit through a sermon by Pat Robertson and some others as well.

Obama is a good and decent man who sincerely wants to bring America together and move forward.

Do not allow the Clintons to use this whipped-up issue as a means of taking us backward. Do not allow envious, self-possessed race hustlers to derail his objectives and keep the tired discord alive.

Vote for a positive and constructive future for your country on Tuesday.

Debrah said...


I was just checking for something else at the N&O online and saw that they already printed my letter on Friday.

That's the only day last week that I didn't have time to go through the print version and I've already tossed it.

They printed most of the original except a few of my choice adjectives and phrases were left out. I knew they'd edit out the "university campuses" line. LOL!

All newspapers are run by such milquetoast characters.

I still can't believe that it's already been printed and I didn't see it.

Debrah said...

OK, here is the section with the national election letters.

It's so screwed up which is why I always like to see the print version as well.

They didn't edit as much of my letter as I thought. So scratch the previous criticism. The first paragraph was on the previous page leading me to think it had been cut.

I'm still upset that I didn't see this on Friday.

Most of the letters were in support of Obama.

pst314 said...

"I have sent Alan Sokol an email about this, including your post. You might remember that he was the guy who took Social Text apart 12 years ago and exposed that journal for the damned fraud that it is."

Please let us all know if he replies. Last I heard he was a radical leftist who worked for the Sandinistas, so it's possible that he might be on the side of the left-wing lynch parties.

AMac said...

Instalanche on 5/8/08.

Prof. Reynolds also links to commentary on the DiW post by Jim Lindgren at The Volokh Conspiracy blog.

M. Simon said...

The Lubiano Trio are Stalinists which makes DIW right wing. So there.

Obama supporters are merely Marxists and fellow travelers. Not near left enough.

Anonymous said...

One universal truth about universities is that if a field has the word "science" in its name (e.g. "Political Science", "Computer Science") it has nothing to do with science. I have a Computer Science degree, which is in reality a branch of engineering, not a science.

Similarly, if a field has the word "studies" in its name you can rest assured that no actual study is required to master or teach it. What were the department names the Group of 88 came from again?

Anonymous said...

Please, quit giving the 88 the right time of day.

Another stellar critique, KC (which is not a contradiction).

Sorry about Obama, though - I lived in Chicago, and it was anything but racially united. Anyway, where'd he come into the Duke conversation. Or was it Michelle promoting her profound disenchantment.

Michael said...

> I have a Computer Science degree,
> which is in reality a branch of
> engineering, not a science.

There is a lot of variability in what's called a CS program today. There's a document by either the ACM or IEEE that details the various programs by what their names should be but I think that a lot of colleges and universities still like to use the Computer Science moniker as it is what most are familiar with.

Perhaps your program was more of a degree in software engineering. There are some computer science programs that I would classify as IT and maybe IS. There are computer engineering programs offered at many colleges and universities too.

Those CS programs heavy in math and theory are what I would consider CS programs.

Anonymous said...

"I can't believe Duke students (/parents) pay approx. $50K/year for access to this type of pap."

Where I come from it's pronounced 'crap'.

Anonymous said...


Which publishing company or publisher has published more of Lubiano's original work in a book or books than any other?

Duke University Press?

Some other university press?

A large commerical publishing company?

No, no and no. The largest publisher of original writings from Lubiano in book form is -- K.C. Johnson and Thomas Dunne Books. Approximately 1,194 words that Lubiano wrote, herself, appear in the book "Until Proven Innocent."

This beats her prior Lubiano-original-work publication-in-books record, in which she was only the editor, and, of course, the forthcoming books.