[The middle section of this post has been updated.]
The N&O has reported that, to date, the city of
An announcement from Duke yesterday: Lee Baker, an associate professor in cultural anthropology and African-American Studies, was named dean of
It’s unclear whether the search committee considered Baker’s decision to sign the Group of 88’s statement—which, after all, rushed to judgment in denouncing Duke students—and then to reaffirm that signature by joining the “clarifying” faculty in January 2007 as emblematic of what the institution means by “very sensitive to student issues.”
Baker joins fellow African-American Studies Department faculty member—and the far more strident Group activist—Paula McClain (Academic Council chair) in occupying two of the most powerful academic positions at Duke. Some might consider it remarkable that a department with a mere two percent of the overall Duke undergraduate faculty has managed to secure two such influential positions. Yet the African-American Studies department has defied statistical probabilities before: in a higher total than any other department, 80 percent of AAAS professors joined the Group of 88. The department also paid for the statement out of its official funds, in violation of Duke rules, and hosted the statement on its website for nearly six months.
Unlike many members of the Group, Baker is both a serious scholar and someone whose teaching has attracted praise. And had the institution shown any signs of critical self-reflection in examining why so many of its professors chose to advance their own personal, pedagogical, or ideological aims at the expense of their students’ well-being, Baker’s appointment would have been remarkable only in the unusual nature of such a nod going to an associate professor. (At Ivy League schools, for instance, the dean is almost always a full professor.)
Instead, the move seems to be part of a pattern of the institution placing in positions of power professors whose record in the lacrosse case raised serious questions.
[Update: An alert reader passes along the following item from January 2007, in which Baker rationalized the refusal of the Group to apologize: “We had a long discussion about what the word 'regret' means, and philosophy professors weighed in and we had a whole range of very detailed discussions in terms of the etymology of specific words. We were disappointed people did not understand the intention--it was never to rush to judgment, it was about listening to our students who have been trying to make their way in a not only racist and sexist campus, but country.”
Under this rationale, of course, no one would ever have to apologize for anything. A refusal to apologize could simply be explained away by citing a “long discussion about what the word 'regret' means.”
As for Baker's disappointment that people allegedly "did not understand the intention" of the ad: such a statement defies credulity. After all, Wahneema Lubiano solicited signatures for the ad by saying it was about the lacrosse incident, not the fact that the United States is supposedly a sexist or racist country. And it's hard to see how "listening to our students" required professors taking out a full-page ad at a time when a media mob had descended upon the lacrosse players, or declaring unequivocally that something happened to Crystal Mangum, or thanking protesters who had (among other things) urged the castration of Duke students, or falsely affirming that academic departments had supported the statement.
The comment above reinforces the sense that when the search committee for dean noted that Baker was “very sensitive to student issues,” they really meant “very sensitive” to issues for some students.]
Finally, an eagle-eyed DIW reader noticed the following item, posted in late May, from a company called “Fire Filmz”:
very well because I have been working with her for over a year to get her life on track. My company has agreed to publish her book and do other projects with her. [Perhaps the city of Durham can recommend good attorneys for the company.] Crystal
I know the conventional wisdom is that she lied however, there is always he said, she said and the truth. Things lie somewhere in the middle here. I think everyone will be surprised when they finally hear from her. She is very thoughtful and intelligent and things didn’t go down exactly like you suppose. [Again, we are talking about someone whose final version of events was that a sexual assault occurred while she was suspended in mid-air.]
Al and Jesse did come to NC but never met with her. There are a number of other things that have been mischaracterized but that would take too long. Let’s just say we have an upcoming television event that will deal with some of those issues. As for the book, it does deal some with the Duke case but it is more about her life and how she has struggled to get her life on track before and after this.
For the people who think ill of her, oh well. There isn’t much I can say to change your minds. For those who have the capacity to be patient and seek the truth, you will find a lot in her story that can teach valuable lessons. [Don't file false police reports?] None of what anyone has said about her is nearly the truth as I know it.
For people who say they are familiar with the case, I have seen the case file and most of the evidence collected and it tells a much different story than what we saw. I would just caution folks to think about who released the information about her medical history and such. They are the same people who have been going full tilt to hurt many other people for years. [The information about Mangum’s medical history was released by the court and by defense attorneys; it’s not clear how Fire Filmz determined that either “hurt many other people for years.”]
Anyway, least you think I’m an apologist for people who make false claims, I am very concerned about wrongful prosecutions and have worked on a lot of cases. [It is odd indeed, then, for someone "very concerned" with wrongful prosecutions to then seek out an attempted perpetrator of a wrongful prosecution.] You can view one of my films about just such a case called Breeding While Black. [This case, it should be noted, deals with an African-American man charged with dog-fighting.] As for the book and other information about
we will be launching the website and book sometime in early June. Crystal
Intrigued, I asked when the book would appear and noted that I would review it when (or if) it did so. I also noted that I, too, had seen the case file, and that I hadn’t seen items in it that “tells a much different story than what we saw.” I haven’t seen, however, Mangum’s psychological file (which was sealed by the court). So I asked whether the poster was referring to this material in discussing what the alleged Mangum book would reveal.
From Fire Filmz head Vincent Clark, I received a curious reply: “Unfortunately, we will have to respectfully decline your invitation to review the book and can/will not be able to provide any other information at this time due to contractual obligations.”
I’m not certain how a publisher can “decline” a reviewer’s ability to review a book (perhaps the book will be confiscated by Israeli customs?), and it’s hard for me to imagine what “contractual obligations” could allow Clark to publicly claim that he had read the case file but to refuse to answer whether he had read the psychological file.
In any case, we’re past early June, and the Mangum Opus has yet to appear.
"Mangum Opus" - good one.
Here is hoping a review of the opus will appear on your site. Once again this points out why the cases need to go foreward. It is interesting that a file which was sealed by the court has been made available tpo the poster and obviously to those involved in the book and the film.
While one hopes and wishes fervently that Ms. Mangum has been able to get her life back on track (one must ask whether it was ever on track and what right track it may have been on), one must wonder about the author's ability to discern truth from fiction. Perhaps the clue is in his comment "...the truth as I know it" - more, I guess, of the brand of truth that Ms. Mangum, Mike Nifong, Tara Levicy, President Brodhead, the Gang of 88, et al live and breathe in the rarified air of Durham.
I also find it interesting that the Fire Filmz (the z should cause one to raise an eyebrow)blogger (perhaps he has an advanced legal degree as well) was able to arrive at such a different conclusion than that of AG Cooper. Once again, the hoax rears its ugly head refusing to die - and in fact, once thought dead still breathes....I wonder what network will showthe film - perhaps Nancy Grace will be the reviewer?
Perhaps now is the time to charge the NCCU Graduate with filing a false police report or one of many felonies for which she most likely qualifies.
I believe current law would then prohibit her from profiting from the case.
Publish , then get her in a court to defend her lies and sue her for every penny the book makes.
Does any one think this book will be realeased at the same time as any court action against the enablers ?
I smell a lawsuit.
Great example in the H-S today showing that "leaders" in Durham discriminate with abandon.
Just another illustration as to how Mangum has gotten away with everything so easily and is still supported by the community.
This case below is one time their ingrained racism caught up with them.
DATA firing ruled illegal
By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Jun 11, 2008
DURHAM -- An arbitrator has ruled that the 2005 firing of a Durham Area Transit Authority general manager was the result of racial discrimination on the part of the company that operates the bus system for the city.
DATA boss Tom Hartley's dismissal also stemmed from MV Transportation Inc.'s desire to retaliate against him for reporting environmental violations to city officials, arbitrator Jonathan Harkavy said in an award ruling late last month.
Harkavy -- brought in to resolve Hartley's wrongful-termination lawsuit against MV Transportation -- ordered the firm to give the former general manager $172,844 in back pay and benefits. The arbitrator declined to award punitive damages.
Hartley's lawyer, Durham attorney Caitlyn Fulghum, released the arbitrator's ruling this week and said it restored her client's reputation as a good manager.
The former DATA boss "feels like the evidence and the arbitrator's conclusions confirmed exactly what we were saying" in the 2006 wrongful-termination lawsuit, Fulghum said.
"Moreover, he feels that he was maligned by MV in the aftermath of his firing because MV wanted to justify their decision to fire him on some basis other than race," Fulghum said.
MV Transportation officials denied Tuesday that they either discriminated or retaliated against Hartley and said they'd asked their lawyers to review the award.
In dismissing Hartley, "We made a business decision consistent with our long-standing policies and practices, free of any discrimination on the basis of race or any other unlawful motives," company spokeswoman Nikki Frenney said. "We regret that the arbitrator reached a different conclusion."
Hartley, who is white, contended in the lawsuit that MV Transportation, a black-owned company, fired him in response to pressure exerted by City Councilwoman Cora Cole-McFadden.
Cole-McFadden couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. Mayor Bill Bell, apprised of the ruling, said she'd have to answer any questions about it.
The councilwoman was said to be unhappy about the racial make-up of DATA's management team and to have pushed behind the scenes for the company to put a black person on it.
After listening to testimony late last year from Hartley, MV Transportation officials and city administrators, the arbitrator agreed.
MV Transportation wanted to placate the councilwoman for fear of losing "the two most profitable years" at the back end of its management contract with the city, Harkavy said.
The California company signed a five-year, $46.2 million contract with Durham officials in 2004. Only the first three years of the deal were guaranteed. The last two were at the city's option. In court filings, MV Transportation officials admitted they underbid the contract and had to squeeze the operation at DATA to make money.
Cole-McFadden's pressure on the company started in the summer of 2005 after the only black in the firm's three-person Durham management team left. MV replaced him with a white man.
Witnesses testified that the councilwoman told them during a summer 2005 community-relations event that city leaders "are proud of diversity in Durham" and "just can't have" an all-white group of managers, Harkavy said.
Harkavy didn't identify the councilwoman by name in his ruling, but he did say she was "a former equal-opportunity administrator."
Cole-McFadden is a former director of the city's department of equal opportunity and equity assurance and was the only member of the 2005 council with such experience on her résumé.
She had been named in previous court filings in the case. Fulghum on Tuesday said Cole-McFadden was "the only City Council member about whom there was testimony" in the arbitration hearings regarding any comment on the issue.
Other witnesses testified that MV Transportation officials got the message. A company vice president, Russell Tieskotter, told one of Hartley's subordinates in August 2005 that the firm "need[ed] a black manager here," Harkavy said. So did MV's chief operating officer.
The company fired Hartley that fall and replaced him with a black woman, Yolanda White.
Harkavy said White "did not meet MV's own published qualifications for the job of general manager," as she lacked a college degree and experience managing a contract like Durham's.
The company also failed to discipline her for DATA performance problems worse than any during Hartley's tenure, undercutting its claim that it fired Hartley over his job performance, the arbitrator said.
The retaliation finding concerned Hartley's decision to report the company for failing to meet requirements to control polluted stormwater runoff at the bus garage.
MV's contract with the city required the report, but company officials wanted to cut costs and were willing to chance a violation of anti-pollution rules, Harkavy said.
Tieskotter "became livid" when he learned Hartley had reported the problem to city Transit Administrator Steve Mancuso. The executive's wrath was a factor in Hartley's eventual dismissal, Harkavy said.
"That was clearly a reprisal against Hartley for 'turning in' MV to the city, and it plainly violates North Carolina's public policy of environmental protection, reporting and enforcement," the arbitrator added.
Fulghum said the arbitrator's award is not appealable absent a showing that Harkavy somehow acted improperly. If the company doesn't pay Hartley, he can ask a state judge to enter a judgment against the firm, she said.
The city terminated MV's 2004 contract last year but awarded the firm a new deal on different and less profitable terms. White stepped down as DATA's general manager last summer.
Durham has to employ a private-sector company to manage DATA because state law bars it from engaging in collective bargaining with the union that represents the bus system's drivers.
It was to be expected that Mangum would try to benefit from her crimes.
And there are certainly enough people like her who will be around to assist.
I hope KC is able to track down her "book" soon. No doubt, Mangum will try to morph into a black version of Erin Brockovic (sp?).......ready to take down "the system" that has so "victimized" such a "demure mother".......cum chunky pole dancer.
This whole thing is really sick and Roy Cooper is partly to blame for not charging her and putting her in jail.
Could this latest bit of news be what N&O's John Drescher was referring to in his email to me?
"What Mangum is up to lately....." ??
When KC refers to this latest "work" from Mangum, I hope he continues to label it the "Mangum Opus".
Such a serendipitous play on words!
...From Fire Filmz head Vincent Clark, I received a curious reply: “Unfortunately, we will have to respectfully decline your invitation to review the book and can/will not be able to provide any other information at this time due to contractual obligations.”
This response and several of the responses to Ms. Butler's work about Mangum sound suspiciously like a retail marketing strategy that all of us may associate with wrinkle cream, Jell-O, TIDE and many of the ads that appear in the back pages of our community magazines.
I suspect there is a network of academics across the country within Anger Studies departments who have been studying retail marketing tactics and tricks under the tutelage of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and others with the goal of presenting 'New and Improved' facts surrounding the Duke Men's lacrosse rape hoax and any issue where racism and diversity are promoted as problems needing a 'New and Improved' solution.
'New and Improved' works well as a marketing strategy for TIDE however a whole boat load of TIDE is not going to scrub the stink off those who seek to revise history and the truth about the Duke Men's lacrosse rape hoax.
The marketing people from Duke's Fuqua B-School should investigate whether the 'New and Improved' revisionists are lurking across the campus within Duke's Anger Studies departments.
Is Baker a Communist?
Just went over to the "Rev-elution" blog and someone has posted lines and lines of just the "N" word under one of the posts as a comment.
That particular post was full of excellent rebuttals which shot down the illogical opinions and sentiments on the blog.
My guess.....(and I don't think it's farfetched at all).....is that the offensive post wasn't made by a white poster.
We see this often. When someone cannot defend the indefensible, they resort to tactics which are designed to gain sympathy and outrage, thereby diverting attention away from the issue.
Of course, there is no way to prove that the same thing happened here; however, I would say the odds are quite good......given what we have witnessed regarding this case so far.
Some facts of which people in this country---especially those in places like Durham, NC---need to be aware.
And we are talking about a group that comprises only what?.....15 percent of this country's population?
And there is something to complain about?
Jewish World Review
June 5, 2008
What does Obama's victory mean?
By Larry Elder
"I intend to proudly vote for Obama," said a caller to a National Public Radio show, "because I want to show the world what America is all about — that a person of color can become president of the United States."
Let's put aside whether the caller would express the same enthusiasm were Obama a tax-cutting, Iraq-war-supporting Republican. And let's put aside what, if anything, America needs to "prove" to the rest of the world.
Obama — bright, sharp, a solid speaker — ran an incredible, come-from-nowhere campaign to topple a front-runner who, at one time, led by some 30 points. But as Obama once said in criticizing his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the caller acts as if America, as regards race, were "static."
What of the last 40 or so years?
Today, if black Americans' gross domestic product were measured separately, it would be the 16th-richest country in the world.
Nearly 80 percent of blacks live above the poverty level, contrasted with 65 percent 40 years ago.
The greater percentage of blacks live either middle-class or better lives.
The employment rate for married black men equals the employment rate for married white men.
The average black woman with a college degree makes more money than the average white woman with a college degree.
The highest percentage of blacks in American history — 46 percent — own their homes.
The majority of blacks live in integrated neighborhoods (defined as living with at least 10 percent of neighbors belonging to "other races").
Black-white interracial marriage has soared — after anti-miscegenation laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in 1967 — from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005.
Los Angeles, a city devastated by the Watts riots in 1965, with a population about 11 percent black, hired back-to-back black police chiefs.
A black man served as United States ambassador to the United Nations.
A black man served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Two blacks have served as members of the United States Supreme Court.
The largest association of doctors — the predominately white American Medical Association — elected a black physician as leader.
The largest association of lawyers, the American Bar Association, elected a black president.
The Ford Foundation, one of America's largest philanthropic private foundations, with 2007 assets valued at $13.7 billion, was led for 12 years by a black man.
Blacks hold or have held CEO positions at major companies, such as Merrill Lynch, American Express and Time Warner.
Black-owned businesses grow at a rate faster than white-owned businesses.
The multiracial Tiger Woods is the world's most famous and wealthiest athlete in earnings and product endorsements.
Major League Baseball — America's pastime — is comprised of 40 percent black, Latino and Asian players.
The Super Bowl, the most-watched sporting event in America, recently featured two teams headed by black coaches.
Black females have won the Miss America beauty pageant.
Black economist and best-selling author Thomas Sowell, based on the number of newspapers that carry his column, is one of the country's top 10 columnists.
"The Cosby Show," a positive, upbeat sitcom about a black, upper-middle-class family, reigned for years as America's most-watched television program.
Black faces on television abound — in commercials, as local and national news anchors, and in shows playing a variety of characters — from doctors and lawyers up to and including the president of the United States.
Will Smith, a black actor, tops the list of the nation's movie box-office stars.
Black actor Samuel L. Jackson appeared in more movies than any other actor of any color during the 1990s.
Black television host Oprah Winfrey, arguably one of the most powerful television personalities in the history of the medium, has amassed, to date, a fortune estimated at $2.5 billion.
Blacks serve or have served as mayors in many American cities, including the three largest — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The current speaker of the California Assembly is the first black woman to head a statewide legislative body.
Blacks comprise 10 percent of the House of Representatives, including some from primarily white Southern districts.
A black man serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — arguably the most powerful committee in the House.
A black man served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Virginia, one of the states of the original Confederacy, elected a black man governor.
The Republican Party, in the last election cycle, nominated blacks as candidates for governor of Ohio, governor of Pennsylvania, and senator from Maryland.
Blacks have served the current administration as back-to-back secretaries of State.
So, what does Obama's candidacy mean? His victory shows that America grows ever closer to Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a society that judges people based on content of character, rather than color of skin.
Obama's victory does not prove this. It confirms it.
They are the same people who have been going full tilt to hurt many other people for years.
This is a shameful comment to make if it is directed at the defense attorneys. They have done pro bono work for poor and black defendants who otherwise would have been crushed by the same NC judicial system which went after the lax players.
They've probably done more to defend the rights of the poor to a fair legal process than the NAACP, which seems to have no opinion on the need for Speedy Trial reform in NC; Grand Jury transcripts; bail reform; the right to a Probable Cause hearing; and much more.
But let's not let that get in the way of the metanarrative.
She is very thoughtful and intelligent and things didn’t go down exactly like you suppose.
And she can get a degree from NCCU despite missing a lot of time due to the case. (something the accused lax players were not able to do).
But she can't be charged with a crime because she is not mentally fit.
Right. . .
I am quite certain that if "poor innocent Crystal" comes out with a book that tarnishes the player's reputations, she and her publisher will find find themselves in court so fast it will make their heads spin.
Donating the net proceeds of the suit to an urban battered women's shelter would solve any political problems.
Hmmm ... So Baker is Dean of Trinity College, and McClain is the Academic Council chair ... All I can figure is, since the G88 cost Duke tens of millions of dollars, that this is a crafty plan by Steel and Brodhead to get more work out of them.
Below is an excerpt from a January 17, 2007 article which appeared on the website of Diverse : Issues in Higher Education. The article related to the clarifying letter issued in January, 2007 which attempted to justify the original listening statement issued by 88 Duke professors in April, 2006.
Professor Lee D. Baker was one of the scholars who discussed the content and signed the letter. He says the group discussed an apology before posting the letter. When asked if the group had considered apologizing, he said:
“We had a long discussion about what the word ‘regret’ means, and philosophy professors weighed in and we had a whole range of very detailed discussions in terms of the etymology of specific words. We were disappointed people did not understand the intention — it was never to rush to judgment, it was about listening to our students who have been trying to make their way in a not only racist and sexist campus, but country.”
As KC might say -- Baker's remarks are simply remarkable.
Source of Clark's original post on BET Playa Hater blog
As one who has seen Wahneema Lubiano's emails, I can say outright that Baker's statement is false, absolutely false. This does not bode well for his credibility, that is for sure.
The Diva wishes to plant a seed this afternoon.......as opposed to being implanted with one.
If you know the address and the zip code of anyone, you can go to ZILLOW.COM and find out very quickly the value of property they might own.
This website is supposed to be for those looking to buy or sell homes---anywhere in the country.
However, you would be amazed how much I have learned at this little site......about some of those often discussed inside Wonderland.
Quite informative......if you get the Diva's drift.
Baker’s appointment would have been remarkable only in the unusual nature of such a nod going to an associate professor.
The reason that Deans are full professors is that then they can't be blackmailed by threatening to stop their promotion to full.
If I were to bet, I'd say that this is a carrot/stick thing going on -- Baker is being rewarded for being a good little racist in line with all of the other good little racists who attacked the LAX players, while at the same time there is the implicit threat hanging over his head in case he gets any ideas about going off of the reservation.
Have you checked out Jamie Gorelic's compensation as the Vice Chairman at Fannie Mae...21 million. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121314375651462773.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks
What in the world could she have done to deserve that kind of pay?
Representing Duke is right in line with Jamie's prior professional "standards".
Listen to this NPR program from June of 2006.
There is the voice of Karla Holloway talking about "loss" in families.......as though no one else on earth experiences it.
I am struck by the awkward and disjointed way she uses words.....as if loss is something alien to the world.
This from Holloway....as she self-massages.....while at the same time going after the sons of other mothers so viciously.
This woman must be a diabolical mess.
". . . while at the same time there is the implicit threat hanging over his head in case he gets any ideas about going off of the reservation."
Off the reservation at Duke would have to be Bellevue.
There is a very bad odor coming from Allen Building. Every announcement that's made from that place makes me happier and happier about my decision to never give my alma mater another penny.
"As for Baker's disappointment that people allegedly "did not understand the intention" of the ad"
Then he must not be a very good teacher.
There is an unusual aspect about university governance in the sense that unproductive departments are fertile breeding grounds for administrators. A small program like AAAS contributes little to the university as a whole, so you don't lose much when one of its members joins the administration. The Peter Principle, which indicates that every employee rises to his level of incompetence, seems to be alive and well in academia.
I am perplexed why the Diva's link above is not operable.
Perhaps this one will work.
This Holloway tape is further illumination of a warped mind.
Yet another ridiculous post at The Academy Speaks.
So the academy is now imperialistic ?
Perhaps a few of these disoriented individuals need to visit the campus of Duke.
Check out more of these NPR tapes from April 2006.
This brings back so many memories when we heard day after day lies and hyperbole repeated which set the stage for this Hoax.
Now it is clear why Precious has stayed under the radar lo these past two plus years.
She must have entered into a 'contractual' agreement with FireFilmz to cash in on her notoriety. She likely has been told that she has to keep quiet until the media frenzy associated with the "book and TV show" release.
Methinks she is about to find out what it really feels like to get royally screwed- and, the ultimate irony, it won't be by a bunch of 'white boys'.
RL alum medicine '75
Mangum is opening herself to lawsuits, yes, but also to discovery: her medical files may actually become public, should she become embroiled in a lawsuit. One wonders why she would ask for further exposure?
She should be asking forgiveness, like the 88 ought to be, instead of going on the offensive; it's like attacking a Panzer with a potatoe gun.
Is this book going to be Sci-Fi with parallel universes and different rules of physics? If not then I just don’t see how you get around the supposition what she said did not happen. There is no evidence to support her claims and much evidence to refute it.
Sorry Debrah, but this is pretty moving, and elegant. You undercut your posts when you read paint everything with the same brush.
PS ...why do you refer to yourself in the third person? Is there something we are missing here with this affectation?
Baker is an example of the difficulty and obstacles " . . . students who have been trying to make their way in a not only racist and sexist campus but country . . . ." have. He is a mean spirited racist with little or no introspection or understanding of what was really at stake in the lacrosse fiasco: the truth. To him and others of his ilk, the incident was mearly a tool of incitement and race baiting discrimination to be used to excite what was demonstrated to be the crimnal element on the Duke campus or those who willfully broke the law.
From Fire Filmz head Vincent Clark, I received a curious reply: “Unfortunately, we will have to respectfully decline your invitation to review the book and can/will not be able to provide any other information at this time due to contractual obligations. I’m not certain how a publisher can “decline” a reviewer’s ability to review a book ...
LOL. KC, the translation here is "We don't like you, so buy your own damn copy."
Can't wait for Mangum Opus. Go K.C., go Debrah! And please, Bill Anderson, weigh in whenever possible!
How Truth Lost Out to Political Correctness at Wellesley
A professor describes her bitter experience defending historical fact over mythical Afrocentrism claims.
By George Leef
June 11, 2008
Are professors in American colleges and universities interested in the truth? That sounds like a strange question, but in an extremely revealing new book, Mary Lefkowitz shows that there are some who won�t let the truth get in the way of their efforts at indoctrinating students. Worse yet, administrators often cave in to these academic bullies rather than standing up for faculty members with the nerve to question them.
Lefkowitz is an emeritus professor at Wellesley College, where she taught courses on classical culture for many years. Ancient Greece is her specialty. It is hard to imagine that such a quiet scholar would become the center of a vehement controversy that would rock the campus and descend (on one side) to the level of vicious personal attacks. History Lesson (Yale University Press, 202 pages) is the story of her bitter experience after challenging the accuracy of material a professor in Wellesley�s Africana Studies Department used in his classes.
In her introduction Lefkowitz writes, �Telling the truth, instead of being our first responsibility, has suddenly become less important than achieving social goals. These goals were to be reached not by means of the usual scholarly tools of reflection and reasoned persuasion. They were to be imposed by assertion and fiat.�
One of those �social goals� that now dominate in American education is that of making various minority groups (those designated as victims of our oppressive culture) feel good about themselves. Toward that end, some professors have taken to the creation of myths. The particular myth that plays the central role in this drama is that of the �Stolen Legacy.�
Here is the way that myth goes. The culture and philosophy of the ancient Greeks was not truly their creation, but was �stolen� from Egypt. Since Egypt is in Africa and all the people in Africa are �black� this means that white Europeans were victimizing blacks more than 2400 years ago. In one particularly ludicrous aspect of this myth, it is asserted that Aristotle journeyed to the Library at Alexandria and stole books that he later claimed as his own works.
When Professor Lefkowitz learned that this and other intellectually indefensible ideas were being taught by a professor (Tony Martin) in the Africana Studies Department, she publicly challenged their historical accuracy. Among other problems with the �stolen legacy� idea is that Aristotle died years before the Library at Alexandria was built. But when she pointed this fact out to Professor Martin, he took umbrage. Who was she, a white Jew, to question his interpretation of black history?! At that point, it began to occur to her that Martin, a tenured faculty member, was one of those people who won�t let the truth get in the way of achieving their objectives.
More disturbing yet, she discovered that the dean of the college would not intervene. Quoth the dean, �He has his view of ancient history and you have yours.� Throughout the confrontation between Martin and Lefkowitz, the Wellesley administrators were cowering, spineless creatures�much like the Duke administration during the infamous lacrosse case in 2006.
Looking further into the curriculum in Martin�s department, Lefkowitz discovered that students were assigned a book entitled The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, an anonymous book published by the Nation of Islam. While masquerading as a work of scholarship, complete with 1,275 footnotes, it is a screed that seeks to promote the idea that Jews were mainly responsible for slavery. The book is hate literature with a thin veneer of sophistication. Using it in a college course is deeply troubling. The Wellesley administration, however, ducked behind the curtain of professors� �academic freedom� when it was brought to their attention.
Lefkowitz�s purely academic criticisms of the materials being used to teach Wellesley students elicited an outrageous counter-attack by Martin, a book entitled The Jewish Onslaught: Dispatches from the Wellesley Battlefront. In it, Martin depicted himself as a hero standing strong for �black progress� against the evil oppressor class (the Jews) and craven blacks who didn�t go along with his racial harangues (such as Wellesley economics professor Marcellus Andrews and Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr.).
Martin wasn�t done yet. Next he filed a lawsuit against Lefkowitz claiming that an article she had written slandered him. The article was about an incident in 1991 where Martin had verbally abused a female student. His suit alleged that the article contained erroneous material that had damaged him professionally. Naturally, Wellesley�s administration refused to defend Lefkowitz. She was able to find expert legal help, however, through the Anti-Defamation League. The case dragged on until 1999, when it was finally dismissed.
One of the hot topics in higher education these days is whether there is a significant problem of professors turning their classes into indoctrination camps. We often hear from defenders of the status quo that instances of this are mostly made up or exaggerated, and that in any event, American students are �critical thinkers� who are too bright accept any propaganda that might happen to make its way to their ears. History Lesson refutes both parts of that defense. Martin clearly meant to indoctrinate his students with historical falsehoods, and from the letters and comments of his students about the controversy, it�s evident that many of them had swallowed his line completely. To them, Lefkowitz was an enemy just as to Mao�s Red Brigades any intellectual was an enemy. If you�ve heard that American college students are impervious to propaganda because they can see right through it, this book demonstrates otherwise.
In a fascinating aside, Lefkowitz explains that she tracked down the origin of the �Stolen Legacy� myth. It comes from a novel published in France in 1731. The American writer George G. M. James based his ostensibly factual 1954 book Stolen Legacy on this work of fiction.
Sadly, it isn�t just in the area of Africana Studies that we encounter the double standards and anti-intellectualism on display throughout the book. Professors who question global warming, the benefits of �diversity,� and other articles of faith on the left risk intimidation or reprisals for saying what they believe to be true. American colleges and universities are far from being havens for objective, dispassionate inquiry.
History Lesson is an extremely important, gutsy book. I�m afraid, however, that the people who most need to read and reflect on it�college administrators�will avert their eyes.
mac 6/12/08 3:20 PM...said
...Mangum is opening herself to lawsuits, yes, but also to discovery: her medical files may actually become public, should she become embroiled in a lawsuit. One wonders why she would ask for further exposure?
....She should be asking forgiveness, like the 88 ought to be, instead of going on the offensive; it's like attacking a Panzer with a potato gun.
I wouldn't put any money on that one if I were you.
Historically, protected groups of Americans who take on 'the' Panzer with a potato gun frequently win.
Especially if the protected group is simply explaining what 'we' must do in order to make it in a world dominated by white privileged males.
And if those medical files become public, well, ....all hell will break loose within the ranks of the protected groups in America who see privacy as a constitutional guarantee.
The AG of the State of North Carolina knew better than to mess with a hornets nest. I suggest we do the same and not create a market for what Precious has to say.
On Baker's "Listening" tripe.
A maxim, as taught by a high school football coach:
You "listen" with your ears, not your mouth (or in this case, keyboard).
Good, write the book Crystal. I will even buy it. Because those Duke Boys could certainly use the profits as reparations.
"Sorry Debrah, but this is pretty moving, and elegant. You undercut your posts when you read paint everything with the same brush."
Hmmm......this is unclear. I need the antecedent.
Would I be correct in guessing that you are referring to Holloway's "moaning session" on NPR?
OK. I can certainly appreciate your opinion. I just find selective "tenderness" nauseating coming from such a wretched woman.
However, it has been reported that even Joan Crawford used to put away the coat hangers when in public.
I can see how many would appreciate the performance.
"PS ...why do you refer to yourself in the third person? Is there something we are missing here with this affectation?"
Not at all.
It's pure, unadulterated affectation......fresh from The Diva World!
Don't you just love it?
Hi Mad Hatter!
Nannerl Keohane was prez of Wellesly when the goings on described in "History Lesson" were happening. I wonder if the book talks about her role. Nan arrived at Duke around 1993, I think. JOHN
Vanity Fair's Blogopticon
We have to get Wonderland on this list.
Thanks for the review. Many of us in Wonderland have no doubt of the veracity of Professor Lefkowitz' experiences. I just want to cry when I consider how the educational establishment (in general) has been so utterly perverted. I am simply unable to wrap my head around the appeal of political correctness in all its forms. There are always going to be whack jobs like Martin, but why oh why do administrations kow tow to them. I repeat...I just don't get it.
There's another subject that is strictly verbotten on "sophisticated" college campuses. I highly recommend Ben Stein's latest documentary, "Expelled."
Anonymous @12:38 PM said...
Donating the net proceeds of the suit to an urban battered women's shelter would solve any political problems.
No it wouldn't. It might even create another similar event. The DV industry is the source of much of the PC anti-male agit prop that got us into this mess in the first place.
A far more appropriate beneficiary would be the Innocence Project.
There were no abused women anywhere in this entire debacle. Only abused men.
Ironically, George Leef has a son at Duke. I have written a number of book reviews for him at The Freeman, and he has followed this sorry affair at Duke very closely.
Is Duke a land-grant/state-supported institution like NCCU?
Lopez in the H-S:
Jose L. Lopez Sr.: Reorganization will help build a stronger Police Department
Jun 14, 2008
One of my main priorities when I became Durham's police chief last fall was to develop a long-range strategy for the department, which would include a facilities plan and departmental reorganization to enhance efficiency, accountability and community partnerships. I have attended numerous community meetings and spoken with hundreds of people to learn about the concerns of Durham residents and how we can better work together as partners in the fight against crime.
Ideally, we would like to build a Northside Neighborhood Policing Center, a Southside Neighborhood Policing Center and a main headquarters building to house all of our operations. This would allow us to build facilities designed specifically for law enforcement operations that would accommodate our personnel and communications needs and not spend millions of dollars to rent buildings that don't meet our needs. I reorganized the Police Department with this vision in mind.
Recruiting and retention
In order to make this vision happen, we must first address officer recruiting and retention concerns. A recent study done by the City of Raleigh shows that the Durham Police Department fares poorly in both starting pay and pay compression (time it takes to reach top pay) compared to other area law enforcement agencies. This has become a crucial concern for our department. In recent months we have lost experienced officers to the Morrisville Police Department, Raleigh Police Department, Wake Forest Police Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol and Wake County Sheriff's Office.
It is extremely frustrating for us to pay to train officers and then see other law enforcement agencies benefit from that training. If the pay issues are not addressed this fiscal year, we will continue to lose officers we can't afford to lose. We currently have 25 vacancies in our sworn ranks and approximately 40 additional officers are in some phase of academy or field training, which gives us almost 70 operational vacancies throughout the department. The pay issues are longstanding, but if we continue to ignore them we will not be able to fill our vacancies.
Reorganization has begun
We started our reorganization process earlier this year. One of the first steps was to divide the Police Department into an operations command and an operations support command with deputy chiefs in charge. I believe this will promote increased efficiency in departmental functions. Operations Deputy Chief B.J. Council oversees Northside and Southside operations as well as Investigative Services. Operations Support Deputy Chief Ron Hodge oversees operations support (Administrative Services) and the Community Services Division.
The next step was to establish Northside and Southside operations. Northside Operations includes Districts 1, 2 and 5 and is under the command of Assistant Chief Jim Bjurstrom. Southside Operations includes Districts 3 and 4 under the command of Assistant Chief Lee Russ. By creating these operations divisions, the department will still be able to maintain beat and district integrity while allowing for increased accountability and more flexible sharing and use of personnel and equipment.
Bringing the HEAT
In April, we created four new decentralized district problem-solving squads called High Enforcement Abatement Teams to target problem areas, persons and crime trends as well as to enhance accountability to you as a community. These four teams are made up of officers from the former park police, public housing unit and Gang Units, which gives the HEAT squads a wealth of expertise and experience. I expect my district commanders to use their HEAT officers to handle crime "hot spots" as well as quality of life issues such as street-level drug sales, prostitution and loitering.
I want to assure the community that disbanding our centralized Gang Units does not mean that we will focus any less on gang activity. Gang activity, along with violent crimes, drugs and firearms, is a priority for our department and we will continue to track gang crime and document gang members through GangNet.
Our GREAT (Gang Resistance Education And Training) officers teach students in our elementary and middle schools how to resist joining a gang and how to handle peer pressure. We are working with Durham's anti-gang coordinator and are using part of a $1.25 million federal grant to enhance our gang enforcement and prevention strategies.
I am impressed by the work done by the HEAT squads during their first three weeks of operation. HEAT officers spent more than 200 hours working in public housing communities. They confiscated more than a dozen guns, documented dozens of gang members, made numerous drug arrests, served search warrants, conducted license check points and assisted patrol officers and investigators when necessary.
District 1 HEAT officers, along with patrol officers, the Major Crime Unit, the Selective Enforcement Team and the N.C. National Guard, conducted a two-day operation that netted guns and drugs as well as the arrest of 10 adults and three juveniles. Those arrested included six documented gang members.
The next phase of our reorganization will come in June when our downtown bicycle unit hits the streets. Downtown business owners and residents told us that they wanted to see more bicycle officers day and night. The City Council gave us additional sworn positions last year, which gave us the officers to expand this unit. This citizen-friendly unit, which consists of 16 officers and three supervisors, will be highly visible and able to quickly and easily navigate through downtown. We are using asset forfeiture funds to pay for equipment and uniforms for this unit, which will provide flexible and enhanced coverage of events at nights, during the day and on weekends. I think they will be a positive addition to Durham's downtown development.
New facilities needed
The Police Department is in critical need of new facilities and we must include this as part of our long-range planning efforts. We own our headquarters building, which is not practical for police functions, and two other facilities. Our remaining 16 buildings are leased, which can create problems such as ongoing maintenance concerns, rent increases and lack of space for expansion. Earlier this year we had to leave our District 1 substation on Holloway Street due to mold issues and lack of ADA compliance. Employees assigned to Station 1 are now squeezed into an already overcrowded police headquarters building while we negotiate for a new substation. We also recently lost one of our smaller facilities, causing us to have to move into an even smaller building with little notice.
There have been some concerns raised about the loss of the district substations, but patrol officers are seldom actually in the substations other than to change shifts in the morning and at night. They are usually out responding to calls and patrolling their beats and districts. The new Neighborhood Policing Centers will be built and designed for the needs of the agency and will include community rooms where residents will be encouraged to meet and hold events.
Our partnerships with the community are especially important as we continue to plan for the future. We want to make sure that we continue to serve the public as effectively and professionally as possible. I will continue to provide updates as we move ahead in our reorganization process. We believe that with the reorganization and the building of Neighborhood Policing Centers will enhance our commitment to community policing.
Jose Lopez is the Durham police chief.
Take a look at this everyone.
Did we not predict that Kenny would go wild at this chance?
Of course, no one can know who left the designed-to-provoke post; however, Kenny and others were not answering or trying to defend their positions until this deliberately provocative post appeared.
It should be remembered how these things always play out.
No debate of the real issues.
Only diversion and descension into emotional bile.
It would not surprise me at all if the offensive post was written by one of those who now is supposedly offended to once again manufacture outrage........which lifts any responsibility for real debate.
It's a shame that posts like this cannot be traced to find the real offender.
This is part of a post that "re:harmonizer" left on the Rev-elution blog.
"Sometimes there's the opposite problem, too--comment threads that turn into places where the true believers can stroke each others ignorance. Durham-in-Wonderland is a prime example."
Zimmerman can't seem to get over very well anywhere.
Obviously, he must resort to dissing the place where he always gets his posterior kicked.
He's also the same guy who told us on his blog that the "thug intellectual" was a better writer than KC.
What a loon.
I watched the youtube video of Luke Russert today, the line of "news" running across the video was about the lacrosse team, it is going to be popping up everywhere forever.
If Crystal's book comes out, maybe the same can happen to her.
According to "re:harmonizer", KC is the chief of his own tribe.
Zimmerman refuses to acknowledge how all this started.
None of us inside Wonderland even knew or gave a damn about the Duke Gang of 88 or their fellow travelers.
They began this outrageous journey.
Some of the rest of us---led by a genuine scholar, KC---just responded to their shocking lifestyle and mindset.
Zimmerman can't bring himself to report the truth when attempting to "analyze" this case.
KC IS a tribal chief for those who respect justice......
.......and for those of us who adore a beautiful mind.
Why has the Duke University psychology department not put something in writing about the behavior of the DukeGroup88?
This radical group have not acted in a rational way nor have its individual members acted in a way that adults might be expected to act. They are the grownup adult faculty members of a supposedly major university filled hopefully with people of great gravitas, discernment, and what now passes for maturity.
They should be willing to admit their mistakes, but instead, these people appear to be crazy as loons.
The Diva reply to one of "re:harmonizer's" commenters:
“……. the critique she hurled at Central could so easily be turned toward Duke.”
Ellah, I have no idea where you live; however, if you have lived in the Triangle more than a few years, then you know that this comment is not only false, it’s rather comical.
No other school in all my days on this earth has ever come out against anyone like a third-world lynch mob the way NCCU did—(and in most respects, still does, because its students and alumni continue to push the ugly fantasy that “something happened”)—in the Spring of 2006.
Their animalistic antics at an NCCU news conference were on the national news. My relatives in Seattle saw it. Friends living in Tokyo saw it.
You have not one leg to stand on. Just emotional bile designed to change the subject and “move on”……..criticizing people like KC simply because he is now recognized as the premiere voice of reason and the go-to analyst regarding this HOAX from the beginning.
“But Johnson’s inability (?) to address the logical failure of her argument makes it also sadly apparent that despite his being a professor, he could not bring himself to acknowledge the logical weakness of a (former) student’s column. He could have supported the thesis, but still pointed out the illogic of the argument and helped her along by refining it for her. His failure to do so is exactly the ‘tribalism effect,’ which you explain so clearly in this post.”
KC and none of us are obligated to alter Kristin Butler’s chronicling of reality……simply because she outlines and then details everything that took place. She was an honest journalist here when the ones who have been in the business for decades didn’t have the balls to tell the truth.
Butler gave a nod to civilization by telling the real story.
Perhaps you guys should make a detour and direct your energies toward those who really have serious issues and who employ double standards and choose to prop up a known prostitute…..attempting to “dress her up” as they downplay her criminality.
As if anyone who knows anything about this case would do anything but wince.
However, I’m afraid that many inside the academy have already embarrassed themselves beyond rehabilitation.
Another Diva reply:
“Probably Johnson has the same intention, but he seems to be pretty much set in his ways.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
KC is consistent……along with possessing a great mind.
Which is what makes him so sexy!
To 8:46 PM--
I had no idea that Luke Russert had already graduated university. I thought he was still a teen.
I've always enjoyed Tim Russert's fair and professional way of covering the news; however, I just never kept up with him that closely.
His wife, Maureen Orth, writes for Vanity Fair and is about 8 years his senior.
I find that interesting.
Most very intelligent men marry older women.
Don't any of you ever talk trash about my man Obama ever again.
Some are going to be very perplexed and surprised by what will transpire now until November.
Where is KC?
I want him back!
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