Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tyson Reinvents History

Last week, the N&O’s Peder Zane profiled Duke faculty member Tim Tyson’s efforts to examine the racial history of the South; the article revealed that “Pender and New Hanover counties District Attorney Benjamin R. David’s mother signed up for the course last year, then convinced her son that the class would help his efforts to build trust across communities.” Given his race-based assumptions on the lacrosse case, the idea that Tyson is providing any intellectual assistance to any law enforcement official is—to put it mildly—troubling.

Several people e-mailed Zane to note the contradiction between Tyson’s performance in the lacrosse case and his apparently newfound support for due process. Zane followed up with Tyson, and blogged on the matter yesterday.

Tyson’s responses should surprise no one who has followed the case: the apparent inability of the Group of 88 and its sympathizers to apologize for their actions (or, in the case of figures such as Susan Thorne, to retract their apologies under pressure from other Group members) continues unabated.

I’m reprinting Zane’s interview with Tyson below, with comments added seriatim.

Q: In the days since we ran the story about your Southern history and racial reconciliation work, I have heard from a number of readers who thought the piece should have been more questioning. In particular, they wanted to ask about your statements on the Duke lacrosse case, which they see tend to see as a failure of vision on your part.

Tyson: I agree with your critics that the piece you wrote on my work was incomplete and did not give a sufficiently complex picture of me. For example, I threw spitballs in Ms. Dorothy Ashley’s English class in the seventh grade, and she was a saint, and also nearly blind. It was a low point. There have been others.

It’s not clear whether Ms. Allison was African-American, and Tyson’s decision to throw spitballs at her was racially charged. Otherwise, it’s hard to see the relevance of this incident to a discussion of racial reconciliation and Southern law enforcement. The lacrosse case, on the other hand, directly dealt with themes of race and the law.

[Tyson]: But I disagree with your critics that somehow my utterances on the Duke lacrosse fiasco represent a serious stumble. None of us has a crystal ball and, if I could have had a God’s-eye view and seen all the way to the end of the story, if anything ever really ends, I might have spoken a little differently. But in all honesty, and with a little surprise, I still would not go back and change what I said very much. I could be wrong, but it appears to me that some who have complained about my words did not hear what I said or heard very selectively.

Following the first reports on the lacrosse incident, I made two public statements. One was printed in the News and Observer and the other broadcast on WUNC radio. In the newspaper piece, I criticized the Duke students for hiring strippers from across the tracks, which in my view put them in the position of using people as things, adding that ‘the question of whether they also committed rape is one we must leave to the courts and to the police.’ I also described the historical context in which these events occurred, which is not the same thing as saying precisely what occurred, which is not something I knew, even though I read all the press accounts, many of which turned out to be deceptive. But I am a historian and I do not believe everything I read in the newspaper.

In the WUNC radio piece, I stated that ‘it is important for us to remember that an investigation is pending, and the police are the only people qualified to figure out what happened in that house altogether, and we have to support [the police] as they do that dirty job of trying to figure out what kind of ugly things unfolded there. But it’s clear even in the most favorable reading of this that what we have is young men of privilege who have somehow learned that other people could be treated as things.’ I acknowledged that the accused may not be guilty, but stated that ‘even if the charges of rape are not true, there was a terribly degrading spectacle unfolding that night.’

Tyson left out a few items from the summary of his activities. First, in addition to his two public statements, Tyson was one of two Duke professors (Faulkner Fox was the other) to have publicly acknowledged attending the March 25, 2006 candelight vigil outside the lacrosse players’ house. He did so, he informed WUNC’s Frank Stasio, in his capacity “as a teacher,” because Crystal Mangum was “somebody’s daughter and somebody’s sister and somebody’s mother and somebody’s sweetheart.” [emphasis added]

Ironically, at almost the same time as the vigil, Mangum was videotaped at the Platinum Pleasures Club, dancing in a most limber fashion. No evidence exists that Tyson has ever protested against the Pleasures Club, or has called for local or state government authorities to shut down exotic dancing establishments, even though the women in such establishments are, presumably, “somebody’s daughter and somebody’s sister and somebody’s mother and somebody’s sweetheart.”

Tyson also neglected to mention to the N&O that in his interview with WUNC, he offered the following, quasi-legal analysis:

One of the really terrible things about this is that these young men are banding together and refusing to cooperate with the police investigation. I think that may be illegal. It’s certainly a violation of the spirit of the honor code of the university. It’s a terrible moral miscalculation that I think you have to be utterly blind to pursue . . . I wouldn’t—if I were in President Brodhead’s shoes, and I think he fills those shoes mighty well—I think I wouldn’t let this team continue to exist until the police get some cooperation from them. [emphasis added]

His WUNC statement (which, to my knowledge, Tyson has never retracted or amended) was (a) factually inaccurate, since the captains had completely cooperated with police; and (b) about as bald a dismissal of basic civil liberties as anything offered by any Duke faculty member at any point in the case. No wonder Tyson neglected to bring it up in his e-mail to Zane. Does Tyson continue to believe that the decision of the lacrosse players other than the captains to postpone unsupervised interviews with Sgt. Mark Gottlieb might have been “illegal”?

[Tyson]: This [his negative portrayal of the lacrosse players’ behavior] all seems fairly self-evident to me. In fact, given what was being printed in the newspaper and the statements issued by the District Attorney. I am surprised that a person as impassioned and opinionated as me would have the presence of mind to consistently remind people to withhold judgment. Raising questions and making people think, as opposed to running for public office, for example, is the nature of my work, and ‘provocative’ is not an insult to a teacher. But people are free to disagree. Your head is not just a hair farm and none of us is going to see things in exactly the same light.

No one would argue that being provocative is a bad thing. On the other hand, there’s little value in being provocative simply for the sake of being provocative. Moreover, Tyson (like many Duke faculty) continues to overlook the requirements of Chapter Six of the Duke Faculty Handbook requires professors to treat all Duke students—regardless of their race, class, gender, or athletic status—with “respect and consideration,” as “fellow members of the university community.”

Q: The statement that seems to rankle people the most is from the News and Observer essay, where you say that ‘the spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Street.’ Many seem to believe that the real lynch mob was the one outside the house condemning the lacrosse players in advance of a trial. How do you respond to that critique?

Tyson: First, I would remind readers first of what I said at the time, which consistently included that my view that the guilt of the accused was ‘one that we must leave to the courts and to the police.’ I continue to regard that as a reasonably thoughtful stance, especially given the statements of the District Attorney’s office that appeared in the press.

Lynching is murder. It therefore is rather difficult to imagine how most people would have interpreted a comment that “the spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Street” as anything other than a presumption of guilt. For Tyson to suggest that his comments offered a “reasonably thoughtful stance” is remarkable.

[Tyson]: But more than that, let me remind you that even though it is obvious that the rape charges were false, as I said they might be at the time, that we had a room full of drunken Duke students, all of them white, [emphasis added] using an African American woman as live pornography, and that one of them was apparently brandishing a broomstick and offering to use it as a sexual device.

Not all the students at the party were white—African-American lacrosse player Devon Sherwood attended the party, as he told ABC News in October 2006. But why should Tyson let the facts interfere with his racialized metanarrative?

[Tyson]: And one of the neighbors, who presumably has no axe to grind, reported racial epithets being hurled in the yard. That seems to justify the metaphor, in my mind. But of course, it is clear now that there was some mob mentality on both sides.

Tyson’s attempt to rationalize his “lynch mob” statement raises two questions. First, Tyson is now describing the party in quite different terms than he did in spring 2006. Here’s how he described the party to WUNC:

We have this ghastly spectacle of these rich boys wanting her to dance naked, and making racially degrading remarks. The neighbors who have no ax to grind in this, presumably, seem to confirm the charges of the women that there were a lot of racial insults thrown. [emphases all added]

Of course, we now know that: (a) the racially charged argument occurred in the yard (as Tyson now concedes) and not when “these rich boys [were] wanting her to dance naked,” as he implied in 2006; (b) that a report of the racially charged argument was made by “one of the neighbors” (as Tyson now concedes), who reported one racial insult, not by “neighbors” who reported “a lot of racial insults thrown,” as he contended in 2006; and (c) at the time of his “lynch mob” claim, the allegation of racial taunts had been made by one of the women (Kim Roberts), not both “women,” as Tyson stated in 2006.

Second, this shift in Tyson’s storyline suggests that the Duke professor has been following events since he made his spring 2006 “lynch mob” assertion, and has adjusted his story accordingly. (In theory, of course, professors are supposed to be open-minded, and reconsider flawed theses as new facts come to light; Tyson appears unwilling to engage in such self-reflection.) Yet even though Tyson is clearly aware of new information, he continues to assert, “One of the neighbors, who presumably has no axe to grind, reported racial epithets being hurled in the yard. That seems to justify the [lynch mob] metaphor, in my mind.”

Kim Roberts, the second dancer, explained the argument in some detail, to 60 Minutes. As the party was dispersing, she issued a racially charged taunt, and a lacrosse player responded with a racially charged slur. How does that history “justify,” as Tyson now claims, his extraordinarily inflammatory March 2006 statement that “the spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Street”? Can a Duke faculty member seriously claim that a racially charged argument with two taunts, made by people of different races but with the first racially charged taunt coming from an African-American, shows that “the spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Street”?

Q: Given all that has transpired, what do you consider to be the lasting lessons of the Duke lacrosse incident?

Tyson: Several things occur to me. First, when you set out to use people as things, you are headed for trouble. Many people act as if the young men of the lacrosse team are literally innocent, which is true in the legal sense of the word. I am glad they did not go to jail and I am sorry that they endured such an ordeal. But I continue to believe that hiring strippers or prostitutes for student\parties is wrong and also misguided.

Ask yourself this: if hiring these women to perform live pornography is perfectly fine, why don’t the sororities at Duke organize a Duke Escort Service to raise money for charity? It would be lucrative. And charities could use the money. But we would not do that because the university community regards its students as human beings, children of God, worthy of respect, and we don’t want our sisters and daughters to be regarded as things to be used. Instead, when we want to degrade someone as an object, we pay someone to be not-quite-human. We hire people whom we feel less obligated to care about to do our dirty work.

And those people are always the less powerful, whether because of their race or gender or their economic position. The negotiation in the market for human things is almost never strictly a free market, but instead those people are in a weak negotiating position. Their poverty, weakness and vulnerability—their addiction to drugs, for example, or their position in a racial caste system —places them in a poisonous labor pool, in the gutters of our society, where we prefer not to look, lest we see our own reflections. The heart of the problem, like so many others, is what Dr. King called the “thingification” of human beings. The phrase is not quoted as often as “I have a dream,’ but I think these may be his most enduring message.

A Duke faculty member, asked to reflect on the “lasting lessons of the Duke lacrosse incident,” doesn’t even mention the dangers of prosecutorial misconduct. He doesn’t even mention the dangers of popular, media, or faculty rush to judgment. He doesn’t even mention the poisonous nature of racialized political appeals, such as that offered by Mike Nifong in the November 2006 election.

No, for Tyson, the lesson of the lacrosse case is the nature of the party. That view, it’s worth noting, reflects a certain hard-line moral outlook; and I suspect that some faculty members at, say, Jerry Falwell’s Liberty College or at Brigham Young University would second Tyson’s analysis that the inappropriate nature of the party is the most significant lasting lesson of the case.

But beyond the unusual nature of a far-left figure such as Tyson offering a moral analysis associated with institutions of the religious right, Tyson’s moralistic view of the case raises a question. In spring 2007, another group of Duke students held a party. Underage drinking occurred; there were also allegations of drug use. An attendee at the party claimed that she was raped; police subsequently made an arrest.

Yet a Lexis/Nexis search reveals no comment about the affair by Tyson. Given the highly moralistic worldview he expressed to the N&O, this silence is puzzling. Surely the fact that in the 2007 incident the accuser was white and the accused African-American cannot account for Tyson’s silence?


Anonymous said...

I could save Tyson a lot of words. He could have just said, "I was wrong. I jumped to conclusions. I'm sorry."

Maybe academics don't do that any more than politicians. . .

Anonymous said...

Tyson: when you set out to use people as things, you are headed for trouble. ...

Ask yourself this: if hiring these women to perform live pornography is perfectly fine, why don’t the [Duke adminstration and faculty hire them to perform for all for free]?

"Using" a stripper is a lot more personal than "using" a person who works as a cashier. Does Tyson use only the automated checkout lane, since those are more humane?

Anonymous said...

Any person who performs work in their lifetimes is at some point ultimately "thingafied". Be it the Duke athletes who trade their skills for scholarship, the sororiety girls who are used as tutors, litter collectors or voter registrars and yes even those who whore themselves to pay the bills.

Most people would not consider equating a "thing", money with another "thing", service, a bad "thing". But when you are a resident of Wonderland, down is always up.... usually.


Debrah said...

The Diva just left this on J. Peder Zane's blog:

05/24/08 at 10:32

It certainly does not surprise anyone who remembers Tim Tyson waddling around on Buchanan Blvd. and sending outrageous and hyperbolic commentary to the N&O in the Spring of 2006---under the Southern syrupy guise of "racial healing"---that most readers would heave from the sickening madness and complain that Tyson, along with his fellow outdated travelers who are now infamously known as "Duke's Gang of 88", should not be allowed to attempt to rehabilitate themselves without facing up to their sordid past actions and harmful words.

Tyson is just a knock-off version of the chicken circuit greasers who makes a living by milking a topic that has been played out for myriad decades by much more talented charlatans than he.

(By the way, I see that this "healer" chooses to live in the safe confines of placid Chapel Hill where his own life is free from "race troubles". Much like his 88 buddies who seem to have great affection for the areas around the little "safe" historic town of Hillsborough.)

Such authentic and stellar members of the academy! They really get down with memories of the "civil rights movement".


The brilliance of New York professor KC Johnson shines an even brighter light on the oleaginous Tyson with the post today on his blog Durham-in-Wonderland---the true source for the definitive account of what was allowed to take place in Durham and at Duke in the Spring of 2006.

KC notes in stunning fashion how Tyson and so many Far Left "preachers" use Far Right tactics of fire and brimstone when they think it will give them points in the race-baiting arena.

The prostitute and criminal Crystal Mangum was back to pole dancing the night Tim Tyson was seen waddling around on Buchanan Blvd. in defense of this "victim and demure mother of small children".

Mangum wanted to make some more easy the self-serving Tyson spouted his ridiculous and inciteful ignorance......slandering innocent young men who were students at the school where Tyson draws a salary.....before there was any evidence of guilt.

There are really no words for how low-rent someone like Tyson is. His tale of "woe is me" and his use of Bible scripture with "blood done signed my name" are a mere third-rate version of "To Kill A Mockingbird".

Why bother reading a version from someone who is living off and who continues to milk a tale that happened to other people a lifetime ago?

The only thing more nauseating than listening to people like dog-eared Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, and any of the other roly-poly "men of G/d" who do damage to others while living like parasites....... viewing someone like Timothy Tyson who uses the same religious conservative tactics on his targets---(in this case, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans)---while spewing Leftist politics to justify it.

Ever notice that so many of these blowhards are overweight? Gluttons in both mind and body.

Until Tyson and his fellow parasitic charlatans, who damaged the lives of innocent young men, apologize and face the consequences of their actions and words, the N&O must refrain from trying to rehabilitate these declasse individuals.

The editorial pages must also refrain from giving them a podium to "move on" from their past damaging and self-serving behavior.

Duke had to pay millions to cover for the damage they did to their own students.

The city of Durham will be next.

Timothy Tyson is a common fraud.

An a supreme coward.

He illustrates how cowardly with this nonsensical and off-the-wall comment:

"I agree with your critics that the piece you wrote on my work was incomplete and did not give a sufficiently complex picture of me. For example, I threw spitballs in Ms. Dorothy Ashley’s English class in the seventh grade, and she was a saint, and also nearly blind. It was a low point. There have been others."

Does this make anyone else heave?

Debrah said...

The second Diva comment on Zane's blog:

05/24/08 at 10:49

Further, it is hoped that writer Zane will be able to flesh out whether or not Ms. Dorothy Ashley was black.

With these "race healers", we must always be aware of such facts.

If, indeed, Ms. Ashley was a black woman Tyson just might "have another book in him".

That of "redemption".......

.......and some more of that good ole Southern "racial healing".

Gary Packwood said...


Professor Tim Tyson and his group appear to embrace Machiavelli's scheme as outlined in his book, the PRINCE, where success by any means is applauded even if decency and ethics are sacrificed.

The Prince was written in 1513 and earned Machiavelli's scheme a reputation for ruthlessness, deception and cruelty which pretty much describes the actions of The Gang of 88 with respect to the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

I suspect members of the Gang of 88are teaching students everywhere that white privileged Americans have always embraced the work of Machiavelli and it is time now, for the underclass to do the same.

These professors forget however that they are being watched and their acts of cruelty are being recorded by historians for all of us to study in our quest to keep the focus in the Academy...on the truth.

Anonymous said...

As long as the campus cocoon is cozy - with its monolithic like-mindedness - folks like Tyson will keep pretending they do not need to examine their words and how they might offend, wound and indignify. He sounds baffled.

Anonymous said...

Zane quoting Tyson:

--Tyson holds that the "sugarcoated confections that pass for history" are at the center of our problems.

"If we ignore or rewrite our history, we lose control of our greatest power -- the ability to shape the future," Tyson said. "Because we don't look at our history honestly, our conversations about race are often filled with false clichés. What we get is a lot of finger-pointing and hand-wringing, guilt, blame and shame. What we need to do is start thinking about what kind of community we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in."

Well said. Ah, the irony.

Perhaps Mr. Tyson is still too close to the Duke LAX case or attached to "false cliches" to appreciate the role his own "finger-pointing, hand wringing, guilt, blame, and shame" played in the Duke LAX case, the most racially poisonous, constitution defying, case of il-legal scapegoating perhaps since the Scottsboro boys.

I, too, very much admire Harper Lee, but I suspect the "thingifying" in the LAX case that likely would trouble her most is the widespread (and continued) twisting of facts and objectification of persons involved to create a fake narrative and provide false symbols for a popular and important struggle. Entrenched disinterest in truth and astonishing insensitivity to the consequences of that disinterest pervert the justice system, leading directly to a "degradation" that should horrify Mr. Tyson at least as much as the legal hiring of "live pornography."

Phenomenal effort combined with sheer fluke (one vote on the State Bar Ethics Committee) halted the degradation of the justice system in the Duke LAX case. That necessary fluke either never came or came too late for Lee's Tom Robinson and Alabama's Scottsboro boys.

Turn that crystal ball over a time or two, Mr. Tyson. Check out all the angles. You may gain some much needed perspective.


Anonymous said...

To me, Tyson actually expresses himself very well. He's still wrong but at least he doesn't just sound insane like many of the gang of 88 and their supporters.

If he could get past the denial, delusion, the narrative, the need for justification, if he had an epiphany and could actually see the truth, he might have something worthwhile to say.

I know it will never happen but I still believe a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Debrah said...

More Diva commentary on Zane's blog.

Triangle residents must organize a boycott---or at least a very public display of disdain and distaste---when Tyson's little film comes to theatres.

The bizarre irony of it all cannot be overstated.

05/24/08 at 15:51

It must be noted by Triangle residents who witnessed the Duke Lacrosse Hoax up close and who were treated to strong doses of self-righteous blowhards with an agenda such as Tyson that his little "do-gooder" film of his will be coming out in 2009.

If I recall correctly, Jeb Stuart has written the screenplay for this stale Southern tale.

Jeb Stuart is yet another son of a Southern preacher is Tyson.

Souls touching souls, I guess. LOL!!!

The only glitch is that much of the public is now immune to this kind of storytelling. It's been done and is long worn out.

Jeb Stuart perhaps hasn't caught on to the fact that even the Hollywood movers-and-shakers are chilling to this kind of storyline.....

.......realizing, like most of society, that the hype is always far from the reality of how people actually live and behave with one another.

Among most well-educated Americans who have a sense of what life is like in the real world, race-baiting and melodramatic tearful tales of the "noble minority victim" have lost cachet--even among the left-over 1960's residue of crusaders.

But for melodramatic hopefuls such as Tim Tyson and Jeb Stuart, it's one more plaintive round for their Preacher Daddies.

"Can ya say-ah 'A-men'?"


We must not allow the public to lose the terrific irony in such a venture as this.

Given Tyson's sorry history at Duke with the Lacrosse Hoax, does he even comprehend the meaning of his own little book?

Curious, that.

Anonymous said...

When the mouse finally gets too hungry and must come out to nibble on that tempting piece of cheese.


WHHHHHHAAAAACKK! My favorite quote from the trapped mouse was this:

"None of us has a crystal ball and, if I could have had a God’s-eye view and seen all the way to the end of the story, if anything ever really ends, I might have spoken a little differently. But in all honesty, and with a little surprise, I still would not go back and change what I said very much."

Note how he was cute and flippant with his "crystal ball" reference! Then, he used the most suspicious phrase in the English language: "But in all honesty ...."

Sure, we believe you Tim, honestly.

Anonymous said...

Tyson certainly has embraced the "hiring women for live pornography is wicked" theme. It's handy to do so - of the many shocking things lacrosse players were said to have done, this is pretty much the only one that's true. So it makes sense for the G88 to regard it as heinous - or at least to claim to do so.

As KC points out, their emphasis on this is very selective. Hiring strippers is only worth attention when it's done by rich white male athletes. Plenty of other cases seem to pass unremarked.

There's another point to ponder: If it's wicked to pay for a stripper's services, what is the morality of providing those services? Crystal was said to be working her way through college using this business model - is she evil for doing so? From G88 comments - or the lack thereof - we must assume they think not. Why does all their condemnation fall on one side of this transaction? What other services are perfectly fine to sell but evil to buy?

Joey said...

Yup, I agree with the first post. Tyson could have saved himself a lot of work by saying, "Sorry. I was wrong. I have to examine my own racism." Seeing him falling all over contradicting himself to try to get out of this is.....well, maybe expected.

Anonymous said...

Tyson clearly helped incite the mob with his inflammatory, racist ramblings. His rush to judgment was completely irresponsible given that the players faced 30 years in prison for crimes that never occurred.

These strippers are not slaves. They voluntarily do what they do because they get paid well. And these women were certainly not innocent victims who were taken advantage of by the players--- just the opposite. The players requested white strippers. When the two black women showed up, the players did not want to offend them so they agreed to have them perform. I believe these women may have planned that they would only dance a few minutes by instigating an argument, feigning outrage and leaving early.--- they would be paid in full for only 10 minutes of " work ." Would Tyson have reacted the same way if the strippers were white and/or the players were mostly black ?

Without really knowing any lacrosse player, Tyson refers to all the players as privileged. We know for a fact that the players come from a fairly wide range of backgrounds -- many would certainly not be considered " privileged. " Tyson is guilty of the racial/class stereotyping that he vehemently opposes when the victims of this stereotyping are black.

By the way, Tyson apparently showed no outrage over the sex workers show on campus which included stripping and much more disgusting and debasing acts. Tyson believes that only blacks can be the victims of racism. In the lacrosse incident the white players were the victims of the most hateful racism with potentially dire consequences.

Finally, I wonder if Tyson's recent statements, which continue to malign the players and distort the truth, violate the settlement agreement which the three indicted players reached with Duke last June.

Anonymous said...

Tyson is just using people for his own purposes. The Lacrosse Players are not people to Tyson, they are just symbols of for him, things that advance his agenda. He has become all the things he professes to hate.

These young men have been thingified by the academics who don't give a fig for Chrystal either. She has been thingified by their politics too.

What a hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

Observer says at 12:25 PM:

Perhaps Mr. Tyson is still too close to the Duke LAX case or attached to "false cliches" to appreciate the role his own "finger-pointing, hand wringing, guilt, blame, and shame" played in the Duke LAX case, the most racially poisonous, constitution defying, case of il-legal scapegoating perhaps since the Scottsboro boys.

This case has caused me to go back and review the Scottsboro case. I have even read most of the surviving trial transcripts. Believe me, the Scottsboro case was a model of judicial propriety compared with the Lacrosse Hoax. Here are just two of the sites I examined:

Btw, in case anyone is interested, here's a site about the Emmitt Till case -- especially helpful given the myths that have surrounded that one:


Debrah said...

The Diva replies to Tim Tyson's remarks on Zane's blog:

Tim Tyson--

Your post only illuminates your past actions and your pettiness in bold relief.

"Other people really like me! They really, really do! I'm doing G/d's work by spreading fire and brimstone and taking it to the 'Vanilla People'. G/d loves me! And I can say and do anything I want to the "Vanilla People'. You see, I've gotten away with it so far!"

Such an emotionally infantile man you are to spend so much time discussing your personal issues and trying to defend them like a rotund little boy on a playground who just dropped his softball.

Listen fellow, normal people laugh at your penchant for living in the stale confines of decades past and exaggerating ad nauseum.

Be very glad you chose the academy and that they would even have you as a repetitive minstrel show.......while harming unsuspecting normal and productive people and their families.

And yes, the molasses drawl only exacerbates this sorry minstrel show.

05/25/08 at 09:20

And I should add that these posts of ours on the N&O blog concerning this topic will live on and on.

I also post them for readers on the internationally-frequented blog "Durham-in-Wonderland".

These posts will be read over and over by millions of people.

Perhaps even more people than those who will pick up your little book!

Exciting, eh?

Anonymous said...

anonymous said at 8:15 AM...

Tyson is just using people for his own purposes. The Lacrosse Players are not people to Tyson, they are just symbols of for him, things that advance his agenda. He has become all the things he professes to hate.

These young men have been thingified by the academics who don't give a fig for Chrystal either. She has been thingified by their politics too.

What a hypocrite!

This reminded me that Tyson said specifically about "sisters":

But we would not do that because the university community regards its students as human beings, children of God, worthy of respect, and we don’t want our sisters and daughters to be regarded as things to be used.

Tyson used his the rape of own sister to make a point in a column he wrote 2-3 years ago. When I said something about it, he responded with, shall we say, anti-intellectual vituperation.

Tyson is one of those I was thinking of when I said that we students of the Sixties and Seventies should apologize to the students of today.


Debrah said...

More Diva commentary on Zane's blog:

05/25/08 at 09:44

Mr. Eade has hit the proverbial nail on its head with his point about the desperate-for-a-topic-changer Tyson trying to bring up the Darryl Hunt case.

This is really disgusting beyond mention.

Such a grotesque and nonsensical "cosmic justice" hound.

He knows this plays to the 18-21 year-olds who, most likely, take his "classes" as an elective just to fill in the hours needed, and to those who still try to dance on the graves of their ancestors for excuses from the cradle to the grave.

So, if we understand the desperate Tyson, he subscribes to the Chan Hall brand of logic.

Since someone of color was falsely accused, why get upset if it happens to other innocent people?

It serves them right for what has happened centuries ago, eh?

This, dear readers, is what passes for "an educator" so often on today's university campuses.

Anonymous said...

Racism for Tyson exists only when it is a Black who is placed in a disadvantageous position by a White. What he fails to acknowledge, despite his word twisting comments, is that the three men were the victims of racist groups in Durham (the police, the justice system, Duke's administration and a number of its faculty). The fact that they were young, white, Northern, of upper middle class backgounds, and athletes allowed those in Durham who wanted to settle long-standing scores the opportunity to do so with a minimum of effort. What they did not count on was that the district attorney would use his position to appear as a buffoon on nationwide television with accounts (the choke hold episode comes readily to mind) which gave one pause as to the credibility of the story and that the dubious background of the alleged victim and her claim of a similar attack previously would be ferreted out. That along with the protestations of the Group of 88 caused more than a number of parents of college students (many of whom wonder anyway about some of the things that their children relate that their teachers pontificate on in the classroom) to ask themselves serious questions about the seemingly lack of concern siad professors had about their students. The unflappable demeanor of Dave Evans as he faced a phalanx of media and declared that not only were he, Reade, and Colin innocent of all charges and that they would prove that to be the case would lead even more to wonder what exactly was going on in Durham - especially when it was reported widely that Seligman had evidence showing he was not at the house when the alleged rape occurred and that that Nifong refused to even look at the exculpatory evidence.
Tyson is much more interested in sweeping it all under the rug (it must be a Duke thing) a sort of "my bad" response. His comments reek of a "no harm, no foul" - what is so disturbing is that he does not see that there was great harm done. It goes without saying that a great harm was done to three men charged and to their families. But (and I would argue even greater harm lasting well into the future)was that done to the justice system in Durham, faith in the police, and the student body at Duke. Will students really feel safe in such an environment? It is obvious, from all that transpired that there is an animus on the part of a number of faculty and the administration toward white, male athletes - particularly those involved in what is perceived as an elite sport (swimmers, golfers, tennis players, squash and racket ball devotees you would be wise to consantly watch you backs).

LutherM said...

Don't tell too many people, but the Duke Men's Lacrosse team lost AGAIN to Johns Hopkins University in the NCAA Semi-Finals - another 1 goal loss.
I trust that the ongoing suit against Duke University, Durham et al has a better outcome for the Plaintiff players.

Debrah said...

Can't believe that Joe Cheshire and Brad Bannon are endorsing Kerry Sutton.

I suppose all can be forgotten in the cold, harsh world of the law.

Yet another reason why the Diva could never have been an attorney. I would remember all too well Sutton's actions and behave accordingly.

Judicial hopefuls tied to lacrosse case

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
May 25, 2008

DURHAM -- One of 14 contenders for a soon-to-be-vacant District Court judgeship had a direct tie to the Duke lacrosse case, while another claims a more roundabout link to the scandal that toppled the career of former chief prosecutor Mike Nifong.

The candidate with the most visible connection is lawyer Kerry Sutton. She represented a lacrosse captain in the internationally publicized legal proceedings, although her client was not one of three players Nifong got indicted on false sex-offense charges in 2006.

Sutton also made favorable comments about Nifong during his successful election bid two years ago, which brought a torrent of criticism her way from Internet bloggers and other detractors.

As it turned out, Nifong lost his law license and job just seven months after winning at the ballot box.

Sutton said Friday that the lacrosse affair was an "unfortunate situation" that she would prefer not to talk about.

When pressed, she said only that she and other members of the defense team "were working under intense pressure and had to think quickly on our feet. Those are things a judge has to do every day. What judge couldn't use those skills?"

Coincidentally or not, Sutton has received endorsements from three of the heaviest hitting and best known lacrosse defense lawyers: Wade Smith, Joseph Cheshire and Bradley Bannon, all of Raleigh.

Bannon was credited with deciphering masses of esoteric DNA data in the case, which went a long way toward getting the three defendants exonerated, and that also led directly to Nifong's downfall.

Assistant District Attorney Steven Storch, another judicial candidate, touts a more tenuous tie to the lacrosse debacle.

He contends he was hired as a Durham prosecutor last year partly because -- in addition to a law degree -- he holds a doctorate in philosophy with a specialization in ethics. Such a background was greatly needed after "accusations of impropriety came to a head" with the lacrosse incident, Storch said.

Sutton, Storch and 12 others are vying for a District Court judgeship being vacated by Craig Brown, a bench veteran who recently cited health issues in announcing an abrupt May 31 retirement.

Members of the Durham County Bar Association now have a chance to vote for their favorites.

Ballots will be counted on June 5, and names of the three top contenders will be submitted to Gov. Mike Easley by June 30. Easley then has 60 days to appoint someone for the two years remaining on Brown's term of office.

Besides Sutton and Storch, the candidates -- in alphabetical order -- are:

- Brian Aus, a private practitioner and former assistant public defender.

- Catherine Constantinou, a private practitioner who is Brown's wife.

- Philip Evans, a Bar Association director who deals with family and juvenile law and estate planning.

- Tab Hunter, a former Durham assistant prosecutor and Guilford County public defender who now works for the state.

- Martha Milam, who practices family law.

- Bob Nauseef, a private practitioner who two years ago made an unsuccessful bid for another open judgeship.

- Jan Paul, an assistant district attorney who heads a local Family Protection Unit.

- Daniel Read, whose private practice is weighted toward family law.

- Kathy Richardson, a former assistant public defender who now practices family, traffic and criminal law.

- Anita Smith, another private practitioner.

- Shannon Tucker, a long-time assistant public defender in Durham.

- Brian Wilks, an assistant prosecutor who supervises local District Court operations.

AMac said...

Below is the 11th comment left at N&O editor J. Peder Zane's "What's The Big Idea?" blog post Tim Tyson revisits Duke lacrosse case.

Alan Eade's comment [5/25/08 08:48] includes this admonishment: "Perhaps Tim Tyson needs to ponder this elementary rule: Treat those under your own nose decently and fairly before spreading your goodwill far and wide across the fruited plain."


Comment from: AMac [Visitor]
05/25/08 at 11:03

It's refreshing that Professor Tyson can see some things clearly. For instance, the first lesson he sees in the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax/Frame is,

"when you set out to use people as things, you are headed for trouble."

Well spoken, Professor. Now, if you can convert that second-person-plural to the first-person-singular, you will be on your way to a life-changing insight.

In responding to a long-winded series of comments, supra, Professor Tyson [5/25/08 00:27] focuses exclusively on "long-winded" to the exclusion of the substantive questions raised. Taking the "easy out" doesn't surprise, but neither does it inspire. Especially coming from one who proclaims that his job is to elevate the consciousness of others. I recall some parable of a log and a mote--perhaps this preacher could check the Good Book sometime?

Throughout the interview with J. Peder Zane, Professor Tyson affirms the correctness of his poisonous words and deeds in support of his rush-to-judgment faculty colleagues, the feckless university president, and the rogue prosecutor. Such bald affirmations are revealing as well as refreshing. Only somebody who is wholly sure of the inviolability of his own privileged position would speak with such pride about such a sorry personal history. Given the quality of critical thought among all-too-many of his peers at Duke, the Professor's glowing self-review seems wholly justified.

Which brings us to Tyson's But-Mom-The-Professor-Who-Criticized-Me-Did-it-Too defense:

"Did KC Johnson or any of the people indignant about the lacrosse case say one word on behalf of Darryl Hunt? You guessed it. Their concern for racial justice is confined to "the vanilla suburbs," and always will be." [5/28/08 00:27]

A company called “Google” offers a “search engine” at its site. The quick query "Darryl Hunt" yields 67 hits. Some of these sixty-seven are discussions of the Darryl Hunt case by KC Johnson, while the remainder are remarks made by commenters at his site (y’know, those “vanilla-suburb people indignant about the lacrosse case").

But it’s okay, Doctor Reverend Professor. By this point in the Parable of the Wayward Race-Baiting Preacher, we don’t expect anything different.

Anonymous said...

7:35 said: "Finally, I wonder if Tyson's recent statements, which continue to malign the players and distort the truth, violate the settlement agreement which the three indicted players reached with Duke last June."


Debrah said...

More Diva commentary on Zane's blog:

J Swift says:

"Mr. Tyson's claim is false. He obviously jumped to his conclusion (once again) without considering any evidence."


So many in the academy are not held to standards such as actually providing evidence. Rarely do they have to prove assertions if they can put on some kind of emotional show-and-tell. They merely show up to spout a few platitudes and decades-old eructations of "human misery".

As if those layered and now-modified tales exist today. LIS!

In Tyson's case, all is performed to the tune of a "somebody done somebody wrong" song.

The kids at university don't object. Many perhaps look upon it all as a repetitious and splenetic road show.

Too bad the students from other parts of the United States do not get an honest account of the South.

This "race business" is a hustling opéra-bouffe.....only taken seriously by those for whom it provides a lucrative living.


The truth?

Well......that's not necessary when a preacher man is targeting the "vanilla suburbs"---where, by the way, he hides out when not race-hustling.

"Gettin' jiggy wid it" over at Durham's Hayti is where it's at for Tim!

Keeps him in business among the area's proletariat of color.

05/25/08 at 14:03

I am endlessly stunned when comparing the rich nature of scholarship from someone like KC Johnson and when I read the feverish emotional effulgences from someone like Tyson.

Strong, resilient, and true. A razor-sharp mind with brilliant writing skills. Able to dissect the cloudy commentary of others effortlessly. Modest to a fault in light of his astonishing résumé.

A beautiful mind.

That's KC and we love him.

For who and what he is.

And for his phenomenal work which helped to get justice for three innocent men.

Anonymous said...

The world revolves around Tyson, for him the racial problems in NC date back 50 years. He doesn't seem to have a clue about First Causes. Race relations in NC? How about the Wilmington Riots of 1898?

Wilmington Riots, 1898

Wonder if Tim is planning on writing a book about Eve Carson and Abhijit Mahato? Or at least run right over and hold a demonstration: 'Cut their hair' or something.

Debrah said...

TO haskell--

If I understand your post correctly you think that Tim Tyson hasn't plowed into an exploitation of the Wilmington Riots of 1898.

He did just that for the N&O back in 2006.

When they saw that the Lacrosse Hoax wasn't working out for them and Tyson's libelous exaggerations were shown to be ridiculous fabrications, he wrote a longwinded tale about 1898.

You see, many at the N&O wanted to keep the discord and the racial issues alive. They were so disappointed when Mangum turned out to be what she is.....and not the docile victim they wanted to portray to the public.

Tyson did one of his oily renditions on the 1898 Riots and all was well for a while in the La-La-Land of "Racial Healing".

I kept asking over and over why they chose the year 2006. Not a clear-cut anniversary year as say, 2008 would have been.

We know why they did what they did.

People like Tyson tried to exploit Reade, Collin, and David all they could until Roy Cooper finally uttered the truth for all to hear.

I cannot possibly convey the visceral feelings of disgust I have for people like Tyson.

A serious boycott of his little film should take place.

Lots of people haven't been aware of the facts and this man's role in promoting an injustice.

Now.......what is the subject of his little book again?

Anonymous said...

My link at 2:35 appears to be be broken. I'm sorry, will try again:

Wilmington Riots 1898

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Tyson: Several things occur to me. First, when you set out to use people as things, you are headed for trouble.

Tyson, if he were a keen observer, could have taken a splendid lesson from the fate of Mike Nifong. In his campaign for District Attorney, Nifong realized he could 'thingify' the three lacrosse players (for an audience of politically correct faculty and students, and prospective jury members, and of course the ever-PC media) as priveleged white boys - as Tyson himself did in some of his comments above - and create a demagogic advantage for himself in a tight election race.

Nifong's fall would serve as an excellent example to Tyson of the unexpected consequences of mindless 'thingification' - if he could grasp across the racial mirror that justice only works if it works for everyone under the same rules.

Such a realization would certainly improve Tyson's moral claim on his qualifications to instruct, or serve as an example for, today's students.

Anonymous said...

If anybody has photos of Tyson at the candlelight vigil (lol) like they do of Faulkner Fox, they should be plastered all about around that little "film" premiere.

Anonymous said...

I'm having difficulty posting my comment on the N&O website, so I will post it here for now.

Mr. Zane,

First, as a former newspaperman myself, I found the most newsworthy part of this site to be Prof. Tyson's claim that

"The city of Winston-Salem paid [Darryl Hunt] many times less than the accused lacrosse players have received so far."

Since the only money that the "lacrosse players have received so far" has come from the heretofore-secret settlement terms between Duke and the players, Prof. Tyson is telling us something new -- that Duke paid the players "many times" more than Hunt received, which was $1.65 million. And he is not claiming this is just "an opinion" or "a guess"; he's stating it as absolute fact.

Given Prof. Tyson's close connections with the Duke Administration (he was named a "Dukie of the Year" in 2006), it would not be unfair to presume that he speaks with some authoritative knowledge on the subject. Thus, I think a phone call to Duke is in order to see if the administration will confirm or deny that Prof. Tyson is telling the truth about the amount of the confidential settlement.

Second, as a member of the bar, I note with special dismay that Prof. Tyson is no longer content with merely attacking innocent college students -- now he libels the American justice system. Prof. Tyson says the prosecutors in the Hunt case knew that Hunt was innocent and that the jury convicted Hunt on "no evidence". These are both lies. There has never been a substantiated charge of prosecutorial malfeasance in the Hunt case, and most certainly not one -- until Prof. Tyson's latest outrageous libel -- that prosecutors "knew" Hunt was innocent. Moreover, the last I heard, eyewitness testimony is some evidence; there were at least five, mostly black, witnesses who fingered Hunt for the crime.

Mr. Zane, I would urge you to learn more about the killing of the former newspaperwoman, Deborah Sykes, by reading the Winston-Salem Journal's award-winning series on the crime, which can be found at I hope everyone who wants to comment about the case will read every word of that series.

Finally, for Mr. Eade, I would like to congratulate him on his son's stellar academic achievements at Duke and say how much I regret that Duke faculty like Prof. Tyson are devaluing your son's degree. My own nephew was offered a "full-ride" scholarship to Duke Law School this year but turned it down in part because of the antics of the professors at Duke.


Anonymous said...

easley gave us nifong, I hope he does better with the judge.

why did the former judge "retire' so quickly?

sorry for the lacrosse team,, one always has to wonder what could have been in 2006.

Anonymous said...

When Manfred Mann's Earth Band re-recorded Bruce Springsteen's song, "Blinded by the Light," they called it "Blinded by the Light."

Why didn't Tyson title his book "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

My opinions only. Gregory © 2008 Tortmaster Productions, a Division of Hoax International Arms, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

I was appalled when I first read Tim Tyson's inflammatory N&O essay in 2006 and I am appalled today that Tyson "still would not go back and change what I said very much" and I am one of many who did read every word that Tyson wrote. Obviously, Tyson has learned very little from the lacrosse fiasco.

Count me among the many who believe "that the real lynch mob was the one outside the house condemning the lacrosse players in advance of a trial." The repulsive image of Tyson's face, framed in candle light, is burned in my mind forever.

He should be ashamed.

Tyson was a willing enabler of the lacrosse hoax and he must bear his share of responsibility.

Debrah said...


Police investigate hazing allegation

DURHAM -- The Durham Police Department is working with the Duke University Police Department to investigate an allegation of hazing at the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, according to the Durham police.

"We take hazing seriously," said John Burness, Duke's public affairs chief, but he added that federal law prohibits the university from commenting on individual judicial matters, even to acknowledge them.

Duke's Office of Judicial Affairs on the Duke Web site defines hazing as activity that is "harmful or potentially harmful to an individual's physical, emotional or psychological well-being, regardless of an individual's willingness to participate or its bearing on his/her membership status," and regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus.

The site delineates three levels of hazing, with the least severe including lineups and pledge/signature books and the most severe including branding, paddling and "compromising (sexual) situations."

Debrah said...

"If anybody has photos of Tyson at the candlelight vigil (lol) like they do of Faulkner Fox, they should be plastered all about around that little 'film' premiere."

This is exactly what should take place.....along with calls to newspapers and TV stations to do a story on Tyson's varying approaches to "justice" .

The contrasting behavior alongside the promotion of his little film would be stunning.

Perhaps even the cable news shows would pick up on the story.

Lots of controversy to show how worthless the subject matter of his book really is.

This is definitely something that Triangle residents should organize.

I'd be willing to put some work into it.

Anonymous said...

"Duke's Office of Judicial Affairs on the Duke Web site defines hazing as activity that is "harmful or potentially harmful to an individual's physical, emotional or psychological well-being, regardless of an individual's willingness to participate or its bearing on his/her membership status," and regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus."

Finally, a proper charge against the 88ists: "hazing"

Debrah said...

Memorial Day Diva on Zane's blog:

05/26/08 at 15:32

On this glorious Memorial Day in the most wonderful and bountiful land on the planet---where even those who are alleged to have been reduced to mere "thingifications", or one might say...( of 88-esque mania)--"othered"---I wish to revisit a few delicious comments from our most entertaining Mr.Tyson.

I revisit this most callow offering:

"The work (such as it is) of my attackers here will be out of print in a few minutes.
Jealousy kills more people than cancer, Joe Kennedy once observed."

Let me request that all readers take a good look at the above comment for a most revealing glimpse into the mindset of this individual.

One wonders if Tyson is accustomed to using his head for anything other than a "hair farm"---another pearl from him which I must admit I'd never heard before.

Must be yet another rural concoction rendered in the Aesopian mode of Tobacco Road.

As I mentioned previously, the words on this blog will not "be out of print in a few minutes". They are all preserved.

Tyson has confused some of his detractors here with the often uneducated or ill-educated and hungry-for-his-"victicrat"-show audiences for whom he's used to performing.

He also underestimates to what degree some of his detractors will go to ensure that his past---for which he is incapable of acknowledging and apologizing---follows him like red-eye gravy on his Mama's buttermilk buscuits.


Lastly, as someone who knows Chapel Hill like the back of my hand, I can understand why people like Tim Tyson covet living here so. He can escape the baseness of rural awakenings.......and move on up to a place where he can have an entire wall of bookshelves in every room.....and a few tweed jackets with elbow patches.

And only bottled water will ever touch the lips of the family dog!

Yeah, ole Tim has finally crossed the Orange County line and has convinced himself that everyone is "jealous" of him now.


The entire writing staff of SNL couldn't make up that one.

I highlight that comment to underscore his particular brand of insipid phoniness and dime store value system.

What he doesn't realize is that his detractors are merely repulsed by him.

Debrah said...

More Diva:

05/26/08 at 15:43


Writer Zane really must address all of the falsehoods illuminated here which are at the heart of this topic.

The Triangle media will not be allowed to try to elevate these charlatans out of their self-made abyss any longer.

Count on a deluge of feedback now and into the future.

All the deliberate damage they caused will never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Butler selected for UWIRE 100 list

Former Chronicle columnist Kristin Butler, Trinity '08, was named to the UWIRE 100, a new award granted to the 100 "best and brightest" student journalists in the U.S.

Recipients were chosen from a list of 500 submitted nominees for demonstrating excellence in their writing and a commitment to a career in journalism, said Ben French, vice president and general manager of UWIRE.

"We wanted people who had real potential to go out into the profession and world and help shape the media world in the years to come," he said.

Butler was nominated by Ryan McCartney, Trinity '08 and 2006-2007 editor of The Chronicle, Ken Rogerson, a lecturer on the faculty of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, and Internet blogger "John in Carolina," French said.

A 2007-2008 recipient of the Melcher Family Award for Excellence in Journalism, Butler is best known for her commentary on the Duke administration's handling of the lacrosse case.

Anonymous said...

I just scrolled through all of the comments here and at the N&O. I believe Mr. Tyson has been virtually nailed. No wiggling allowed.

OT: If you haven't seen the film "Other People's Lives" (German with English subtitles), rent it if you can. Although the topic is artistic expression and truth telling in East Germany under communist rule, several of the movie's themes resonate loudly in the PC climate we currently enjoy.


Anonymous said...

There's a word that explains so much of what has been seen in the LAX fiasco: agitprop.

Groups that have been involved in the worst excesses seen have generally employed the techniques of agitprop, because they often work. It is not hard to trace back in history and see where this comes from and some of the damage that has been wrought.

A pattern that was common throughout the cold war was to find a group that had some reason for discontent, and then to teach a few practitioners the techniques and arguments of agitprop.

Sad to say, this has been and continues to be the cause of great harm. Those who sew misinformation and fan the flames of hate are helping no one, except often themselves. Specifically, they usually do harm to the group they purport to aid, as well as society at large. Such is the case here.

It really is "Not About the Truth".
The extent to which this is deliberately true is staggering.

Anonymous said...

Observer @10:34

By coincidence, "Other People's Lives" was shown on one of the Movie channels this weekend. I don't see how you can equate the government making up evidence of misconduct, the government attempting get one innocent person to implicate another innocent person, and the execution of unlawful searches to the lacrosse hoax.

Oh! Wait a minute...