Monday, March 16, 2009

The Group of 88 Convenes a Conference

[Update, Tuesday 3.08pm: In an extraordinary decision for what's billed as a high-profile academic conference, organizers are prohibiting all taping of the event. I wonder how Bill Plante would respond to this?]

In most professions, credibility matters. Imagine how seriously people would take a seminar on best principles of corporate governance conducted by John Thain (or Bob Steel, for that matter). Or a speech from Bill Clinton on the importance of personal morality for elected leaders. Or an interview from Alberto Gonzales on how to prevent political factors from influencing Justice Department hiring decisions. Or a discussion on media ethics hosted by Jayson Blair and Judy Miller.

Any of the events above, of course, would be greeted with widespread derision, on the grounds that the past actions of these figures robbed them of any credibility to speak on the topics mentioned.

But the academy, as the Duke case revealed, operates under different rules. The race/class/gender majority that dominates most humanities and some social sciences departments is accountable to no one. Administrators either fear (Brodhead) or sympathize with (Christ, Mason) them; “diversity” officers provide them with built-in bureaucratic support. Most alumni and donors have little idea how they operate in the classroom or what kind of scholarship they produce. And their control of departmental personnel processes ensures that they can keep out anyone who challenges their preconceptions and bring in new hires who will reinforce their dominance.

These conditions help explain an event at Duke this coming weekend that in most other circumstances would be dismissed as comical. Several leading members of the Group of 88—the very same people who got things spectacularly, and publicly, wrong in a high-profile case in their own backyard dealing with issues of race and politics—are hosting an academic conference on . . . race in contemporary America, and specificallyhow modern racial prejudice shapes policy.

Of course.

The schedule of the conference reveals seven panels, only one of which isn’t transparently one-sided. That panel, coincidentally, is the only one not moderated by either a member of the Group of 88 or a signatory of the “clarifying” statement. George McLendon moderates “The Press, Politics, and Policymaking in the Obama Era,” which has as its featured member CBS’ Bill Plante. (The panel also, oddly, includes a member of the North Carolina State House of Representatives, who would seem to have little insight into national media matters—but who does supply the apparently needed “diversity” for the session.)

The other sessions could be subtitled, “The World According to the Group of 88.” Wahneema Lubiano will take time out from work on her perpetually forthcoming manuscripts to moderate a session with the typically impenetrable title of “Race, Gender and Sexuality: Intersections on Multiple Dimensions.”

Perhaps fellow Group member Sally Deutsch, who joins Lubiano on the panel, can use the conference to expand on her late March 2006 in-class discussion, in a class filled with lacrosse players, about the danger posed by white “alpha males” to black women. The other panelists are Purdue’s Niambi Carter, whose “current work looks at how sex (work) is related to the development and performance of race,” and Bonnie Thornton Dill, head of the University of Maryland’s Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, whose “research focuses on the intersections of race, class, and gender with an emphasis on African American women and families.” As could be expected from a Lubiano-led panel, no evidence of diverse viewpoints exists.

Indeed, among the conference panelists as a whole (outside of Plante), organizers provided no pretense of inviting people whose perspectives that might challenge the Group of 88 perspective. Political science professor Kerry Haynie—last heard from explaining why he signed the “clarifying” statement with the intellectually nuanced response, “Get a freaking life! Quote me!”—heads a panel entitled, “A New Race Politics?” (The desired answer, of course, is no: the triumph of Barack Obama provides a serious problem for the Group’s victim-based perspectives.) Group of 88’er Paula McClain moderates a panel entitled, “Race in Comparative Perspective: Race, Racism and the World.” “The Color Lines and Health” is chaired by yet another 88’er, Sherman James. And James’ Group of 88 colleague, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, moderates a panel on “Racial Prejudice in the Modern World.”

The conference closes with a panel entitled, “Overcoming Racism? Debate On Policy Options.” Bonilla-Silva returns for a second round as a panel moderator, while the chosen panelists give a sense of what passes for “debate” about race-related public policy issues on campuses today.

  • Sandy Darity’s “research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity.” His most recent article, published in Social Science Quarterly, championed the fringe position of reparations for African-Americans. To Darity, “the serious and hard task is one of persuading the U.S. public of the validity of reparations for African Americans”—so the public will force Congress(!) to adopt a bill for reparations of as much as $6 trillion, or around twice the amount of the FY 2008 federal budget.

  • Lani Guinier has a name familiar to anyone who follows politics: the woman once considered by liberals such as Ted Kennedy and Carol Moseley-Braun as too extreme on race for a position in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department is now a tenured professor at Harvard Law. In recent years, Guinier has devoted herself to an assault on the principle of merit in education, recently remarking that “we need to redefine merit. Within each ethnic group talent is equally distributed among all people. All people have merit,” and, in any case, “diversity in problem solving groups trumps individual ability.”

  • Melissa Nobles teaches at MIT, where her “teaching and research interests are in the comparative study of racial and ethnic politics, and issues of retrospective justice.” She is especially focused on instances when governments issue official apologies to minority groups—but, she has contended, apologies alone are never enough. “Action need not be synonymous with reparations as such, but it needs to be something more than a mere utterance, which, once said, dies.” Nobles is also a bit suspicious of democratic government, since “democracy is the rule of the majority and there are inherent disadvantages for minority groups within democracies.”

And so, in The World According to the Group of 88, the “debate on policy options” about race—in a country, again, that elected a black man President in 2008—focuses on whether African-Americans deserve (1) reparations, (2) “redefining” merit in such a way to grant minorities preferential admissions to higher education and job opportunities, or (3) an official governmental apology, followed by other governmental action. Here’s a prediction: for those in attendance at the panel, this “debate” will end with a preferred outcome of “all of the above.”

There remains, however, one item worthy of “debate” from this Duke event: which of his previous labels for the United States will moderator Bonilla-Silva use“gringoland,” “the United States of Amerikkka,” or “Amerika”? For a $10 fee to cover the privilege of attending the session, Durham-area readers can find out.


Debrah said...

This is grotesque.

These people are living in a parallel universe where the year is 1969.

And yes, what is Bill Plante doing on the list?

First of all, he's not anyone's idea of a remarkable TV journalist.

And he's not a rabidly left-leaning one.....I don't think.

My guess is that he was the only DC news guy who will be available on that day and who agreed to show up.

I wonder if they will have security officers on the premises?

If someone were to show up and ask lots of "probing" questions of the 88, wonder if they would bounce them?

Jamie said...

The proposals of the "debate on policy options" have merit, if we first implement Lani Guinier's call to redefine merit. All parties simply must agree that, going forward, merit shall mean what is currently understood by "no merit".

Indeed, after a similar redefinition of the meaning of "reparations", I'll bet that conferees will discover enormous public support for reparations.

Anonymous said...


It will be interesting to see if these shameless faculty members use this occasion to trot out Sally Deutsch's belief that there really was a rape, but that Reade, Collin, and David just managed to slip out of the charges, due their race and "social privilege."

Sooner or later, one of these faculty members is going to make a public statement worthy of something Nifong, Harr, or Victoria Peterson would say.

On another matter, I saw this quote from Stanley Fish today in his New York Times blog about Grant Farred:

But it is just such a conflation that the boycotters insist on, as Grant Farred makes clear when he declares that “academic freedom has to be conceived as a form of political solidarity.” Political solidarity, not academic solidarity. Farred denies to academic work any distinctive identity (he of course would receive this as a compliment, not an accusation), and insists that decisions about how to engage in it — where, in collaboration with whom — should be guided by political considerations, by a determination of whether this or that scholar is on the right side.

That is rich. "Academic freedom as political solidarity."

Let me translate: Academic freedom will be subject to the directives of the tyrannical majority in academe. Any utterance in a classroom or elsewhere by a faculty member that does not meet ideological approval by Grant Farred and others like him must be stamped out immediately.

Yes, this is what "elite" higher education gives us today.

Anonymous said...

As you prepare your registration for the cited "Still Two Nations?" conference you may find it of interest that the "The 2009 (Duke) Annual Fund Challenge" flyer arrived a few days ago.

It announces that “...A generous alumnus has pledged to match each dollar ...up to $1,000 per donor and a total of $100,000.

The 2009 Annual fund Challenge gives every contribution extra power to significantly spur the learning, research, and discovery taking place in the Trinity College of Arts & Science."

"Did you know? Duke University is one of only three universities to receive the highest possible federal award in recognition of our ongoing commitment to service-learning and civic engagement."

What is Service Learning?

 Service-learning offers a unique opportunity for America's young people… to get involved with their communities in a tangible way…(who knew banging pots, holding vigiles and printing wanted posters was tangible help?)

 Fostering a sense of caring for others (30 years in prison goes beyond caring - most might eleveate it to tough love)

 “A national study of Learn and Serve America programs suggests that effective service-learning programs improve grades…(unless you are a white male lacrosse player in a Klan of 88 class room)

 Promoting learning through active participation…(back in the day one use to learn about the constitution)

 Building effective collaborative partnerships between schools or colleges and other institutions and organizations (Duke,Durham PD, DUMC,etc. etc...effective by some measure)

 Providing engaging and productive opportunities for young people to work with others in their community (production used to require the building of something versus the deconstruction of everything)

One wonders how the “Still Two Nations?” conference K.C, cites will prepare Duke to be honored with a 2009 service-learning, civic engagement award.

More interesting is that it appears the benchmark for Duke is no longer to compete with Ivy League schools. Among the six 2008 Presidential Awardees (including Duke) are Cal St. - Fresno, Univ. of Missouri – Kansas City, and Brookhaven College. You say you are not familiar with Brookhaven. They, of course, are part of the larger Dallas County Community College District.

Brookhaven College - DCCCD

It is also of interest that all of the pictures on the advertising mailer are of warm and fuzzy, apple-pie Duke events/places (Chapel, graduation, basketball game, wind farm, etc. There are NO photos of pot banging neo-Marxists faculty hosting racist conferences on campus in the Goodson Chapel.

Yep, will get right on that matching-fund challenge…

Anonymous said...

If they claim to advocate reparations or "retrospective justice" (an artful term!) for past actions by members of one race against innocent members of another - and to advocate it so deeply that it constitutes a core professional belief - how indeed can they allowed to avoid what they themselves did in the LAX case?

Debrah said...


Very funny.

Your post illustrates that there is truth in a maddening kind of way!

Anonymous said...

So who's local and can go ask penetrating, fact based questions? With a recorder switched on.

Anonymous said...

Why do the ass-clowns "leading" Duke put up with this garbage? Do donors fully understand that their contributions either directly or indirectly support this crap?

Anonymous said...

The American public have been duped again by a false premise on the scale of "Saddam's nuclear arsenal", the "$7.00 environmentally friendly light bulb" and "catastrophic man-made global warming" and that is "an overt pursuit of diversity is a good thing".

I say, other than in your portfolio.... prove it.

If diversity is so darned good why doesn't the academy embrace it? It sounds to me more like the self proclaimed elites commanding us to "do as I say, not as I do".

Jim in San Diego said...

My ancestors buried sons and fathers who fought to end slavery in the Civil War.

I would like to get in line for any "reparations" that are planned.

Where does the line form?

Jim Peterson

Debrah said...

Here's information for anyone in the Triangle who can make that conference.

First I called the John Hope Franklin Center. The woman answering the phone said she knew nothing about it and if the program were taking place at the Goodson Chapel, then I should contact the Divinity School.

I called the Divinity School and a woman answering the phone said that their chapel was just being used by the Franklin Center and the Divinity School was not involved.

She directed me to Mary Bogues at the Franklin Center who had more details about the program.

Registration is here.

I have to mention how extraordinarily pleasant Ms. Bogues was. Not at all like the haphazard 88 urchins with whom she is undoubtedly aligned.

However, she probably thought I wanted information because I bought into their nonsense.

Before anyone decides to go, just sit back and ponder how boring two days of Gang of 88 logorrhea is going to be.

How stifling and frustrating it will be knowing that you will have to just sit there and you can't really make a scene and tell them how ridiculous the entire two days really is, or you will probably be escorted out of their fascist environment of indoctrination.

Just think.

Debrah said...

Also, Ms. Bogues is encouraging everyone to be registered by late Wednesday.

She wants to have it closed out by Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Great point Jim. When will this end and people take responsibility for themselves. Many immigrants have succeeded in America from zero - but other people are still complaining about a lack of opportunity? Work hard, go to school, serve in the military, get a college degree, then show me that you have no opportunities.

Gary Packwood said...

Violence Against Women FEDERAL Legislation is up for renewal next year and conferences are an absolute 'must-do' since they didn't achieve their goal of locking up Dave, Reade and Collin for thirty years.

The US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

Available Grants ($$$$)

Perhaps they are meeting in NC to sharpen their swords for another go at Iowa...or perhaps they have selected another Methodist affiliated university...all in the name of searching for the truth, of course.

Anonymous said...

In honor of St Patrick's Day we shold not forget the Irish when it comes to contemplating reparations to America's downtrodden.
"Here, Irish men were looked upon as actually lower than slaves. As one historian put it, if a plantation owner lost a slave, he lost an investment; if he lost a laborer, he could always get another. Because the Irish workers were plentiful and expendable, they were often sent in to do dangerous jobs for which the slave-owners were reluctant to send their valuable slaves.

I'm Polish-Slovak, so my suggestion includes no self interest.

North of Detroit

skwilli said...

$10 is not an exorbitant amount to pay for a circus with so many clowns! We all need a good laugh now and then. Keep us informed on the conclusions of this conglomeration of clowns.

Locomotive Breath said...

"With a recorder switched on."

I tried to record the "Shut up and teach?' event several years ago. Recording devices were prohibited and everyone from the media was required to identify themselves. The organizers made the only video recording and it's not available. As a result, some of the outrageous things that were said cannot be proven.

Count on the organizers of the upcoming confab to prevent an accurate record being made.

Anonymous said...

God god, do any of those people ever do ANY useful work?

Anonymous said...

Bill Plante is a sad case. He's 71, and has resisted CBS efforts to get him to retire by dropping hints about age discrimination. He has always been a journeyman type and has never done any notable journalism work. He is a survivor, however, and is extremely liberal politically.

For years, he labored at the White House in the shadow of Sam Donaldson, who was no brighter, but who had a louder voice, which he used to yell inane questions at Ronald Reagan, who ignored them.

When Donaldson left for This Week, Plante tried to imitate him as desigated press corps screamer, but he lacked Donaldson's elan. In what has to be a career lowlight, during a 2007 reception honoring Karl Rove (then leaving the WH), Plante shouted at Bush: "If he's so smart, how come you lost Congress."

Plante did make one major contribution to television journalism. Droopy eyelids and sagging jowls threatened his on-air career in the 90s. He forthrightly underwent dramatic cosmetic surgery -- the first major network reporter to do so openly. The resulting facelift made him look startlingly younger....for a while.

Perhaps Plante can explain to the 88ers assembled this weekend how to give a facelift to their sagging arguments.

Debrah said...

This conference is organized by those who are housed inside the John Hope Franklin Center.

For some reason, they have elevated Franklin to someone who can walk on water....the same way people in the Triangle have elevated former basketball coach Dean Smith.

Obviously, both are good men who have achieved a lot in their chosen fields; however, I can't stand all this goo-goo-ga-ga.

I have no connection to Raleigh's NC State at all and never have; however, the late Jim Valvano won the national championship right out-of-the-gate and when he was only 37 years old....way back when.

If you talk to the old-timers, they will tell you that Dean Smith was burned in effigy when he began his career because he was such a failure, but he was given second chances instead of being fired as they fire losing coaches today.

I checked the bio of John Hope Franklin.

Of course, he's thrown a lot of mud against the same fence all his life. Something is bound to stick.....especially if that mud is full of the ultra-PC race/class/gender combo.

Franklin would have a very different career without the ever-present topic of race.

I used to have lots of respect for both Franklin and Julius Chambers until I heard them speak a few times and endured just how childish they are.

Really, it's unseemly to keep talking about the same things which have lost validity since they began their careers.

It's damaging and makes them appear so retro.

I want to go to that a way.

But i will not sit through their entire program on both days.

They have to allow attendees to come and go as they please when they get bored.....or nauseated.

Some who live in Durham should definitely go.

I'm only attracted to the idea of being there in order to check out a few of the Gang of their mufti.


One Spook said...

Debrah writes @ 6:04 PM:

"I'm only attracted to the idea of being there [At the “Still Two Nations? The Resilience of the Color Line” Conference] in order to check out a few of the Gang of their mufti. "

Debrah, by all means GO! You could "Live Blog" on you own personal "Diva Blog" during the event, link us, and we could all follow your entries. You could even take digital photos and upload them to your live blog in near real time.

Actually, I'm curious if they plan to have a "safe space" for white males who might attend.

I think everyone here who wants Debrah to attend this event should comment here to that effect, just say:


One Spook

Debrah said...


Very funny.

I'm not the magnificent KC dah-ling, and could never "live blog" the way he did during the Nifong disbarment hearings.

Well, I could, if he were here.

I'm an IMAC desktop Diva and do not even own a laptop, which is what I would need to mimic KC.

I do have a trusted little Sony audio recording device which, no doubt, would be confiscated by the Franklin Center mascots.

Actually, I would be much more inclined to go if I knew that the Gang of 88 mascot Tyson was going to be on the panel.

Don't you just love this photo of Tyson and his "Diddy"?


Seriously, I am trying to adjust things to be able to get over there.

Tomorrow I intend to find more details from Bogues.

I'm won't stay for the duration.

Just talked with my Apple Store and I need a whole new digital thing. Not the simple Sony recorder that I used before in order to have it on my computer for the benefit of Wonderland.

Besides, do you really think that the Franklin Center devotees are going to allow the program to be recorded by me or anyone?

Besides, if the Diva makes enough of a scene, it might be in the newspapers already.

If I go, I'll report back the way I did for Stuart's Duke visit.

Uncensored, unadulterated Diva!

Anonymous said...

North of Detroit said at 3:28 PM...

In honor of St Patrick's Day we shold not forget the Irish when it comes to contemplating reparations to America's downtrodden....

I'm Polish-Slovak, so my suggestion includes no self interest.

You should ask for "Slav reparations". Actually, this is not far-fetched: Did you know that our word "slave" comes from "Slav"?

I think that right after the Jews get their reparations from the Egyptians -- after all, the Jews built for the Egyptians the world's longest-lasting tourist attractions -- you Slavs should get yours from the Romans.


P.S. Go Debrah Go!

Anonymous said...

Where are the demonstrators and pot-bangers who should assemble outside this "convocation" of racist, pseudointellectual bigots?

Anonymous said...

As far as I can see, the G88 pretty much was able to use the lacrosse case for its own advantage. First, no one who signed has suffered any problems at Duke or anywhere else. No one lost a job, and some either have been promoted at Duke or have received "prestigious" jobs elsewhere.

Second, the Duke administration has defended these miscreants and faux scholars at every turn, as though they really were the "stars" of the Duke faculty. Forget the high achievers that are in other departments; the "real scholars" at Duke are the people who publish books by the academically incestuous Duke University Press and the joke of a journal, Social Text.

Third, they managed to get away with intimidating other faculty members and to set the tone on campus that Duke University was their turf, and that anyone who did not think as they did needed to stay silent, and be seen but not heard. Those who have spoken up have received the "treatment," and I can guarantee you that when it comes to tenure, promotion, and academic awards for faculty members at the university, these faux scholars are going to throw around their weight.

During the time when the charges still were in play, Duke faculty members would write to on this blog (anonymously, of course) things like, "Don't you wish you were good enough to teach at Duke?" Now that I have seen what has happened in the aftermath of this case, I can say that I am quite glad not to have to teach at a place where I constantly have to watch my back.

By the way, I am chairing the university's Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee where I work. One can bet that in order to be tenured here, one must have a better CV than some of the G88. Oh, and I can guarantee you that no one on this faculty would dare list a book as "forthcoming" for more than a decade.

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between Durham and Noxubee County, MS? Not much, except Durham has Duke to abet it's behaviour.

A Leadership of Cowards?

"...This is probably one of the worst cases of intentional voting discrimination that the Justice Department has prosecuted since the 1960s. But the lawsuit was filed only after a vicious internal fight in the Civil Rights Division. Left-wing career lawyers in the Voting Section made it abundantly clear that they didn’t want to use the Voting Rights Act to protect white voters, no matter how egregious the violations. The former Voting Section chief even deleted the recommendation to file suit from the memo sent up to the Bush political appointees running the division. Other partisan career lawyers refused to work on the case. One who went to Noxubee County as an observer admitted to another lawyer that if he had seen the same type of illegal behavior being committed against black voters, he would have been outraged..."

Who're the race conversation cowards?

"...If the races had been reversed, does anyone doubt this would have been front-page news? Or that Eric Holder would have been prominently quoted in a Justice Department press release calling attention to this outrageous discrimination? The Department of Justice should be proud of this victory. If Attorney General Holder is serious about talking about race, perhaps he could start with this case."

Of course this helps explain why Justice had no interest in the Lacrosse hoax - "left-wing career lawyers".

Put this on the rapidly growing side of the ledger under the column, "We're f'd."

Debrah said...

A lesser sex assault plea is accepted from Burch.

What a contrast.

Debrah said...

OK, I just registered for this thing.

When the lady answers the phone in the Franklin Center, it's hilarious.

She says something like, "Good morning, this is the department of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Studies".

She says this with a soft, sweet voice....but in such a serious tone that it's difficult not to burst out laughing.

Goodson Chapel is in the same area as Duke Chapel and Page Auditorium.

You will park in the Bryan Center parking deck as before.

Oh, man.

The attendees have to sit in rows inside the chapel. Not at tables as I was hoping.

It's going to be similar to going to church....all packed in like sardines.

This is also going to create a distance between the audience and the panelists, obviously, which I'm sure they like.

No doubt, everything will be structured in Stepford fashion.

The local papers will cover it in glowing terms as usual. No questions will be asked like---"Why the heck is this even a topic on a university campus in the year 2009?"

The Gang of 88 are fighting still.....but it's hard to fight against the "resilience of the color line"..... a country where the majority of us voted for Barack Obama even as we witnessed the horrific open and unapologetic racism and anti-Semitism from Jeremiah Wright and others.

Yes, as I opined long ago regarding Mike Nifong.....

It's hard out here for a pimp!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can discuss "what happened" to the Duke woman in February 2007 now that the suspect has been convicted.

Better yet, they can discuss their response to the crime and the support they provided for the victim at the time.

Debrah said...

Check out further the vast differences.

Burch is called the "alleged rapist".

Alleged rapist gets 2-3 years with deal

BY MATT GOAD : The Herald-Sun
Mar 17, 2009

DURHAM -- A man accused of raping a former Duke student and another woman pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted rape Monday in a plea bargain and was sentenced to two to three years in prison.

Michael Jermaine Burch was on bond release on the Feb. 11, 2008, charge in connection with the incident involving the Duke student at an off-campus fraternity party when the second incident occurred on June 21.

Burch agreed in his plea bargain to testify against a co-defendant, Keshon Blue, in the second assault.

Although Burch pleaded guilty, he did not admit the fact of his guilt.

Assistant District Attorney Jan Paul said in her account of the evidence she would have presented in a trial in the first incident that the victim danced with and kissed Burch at a party at the fraternity house, at 405 Gattis St., where both were intoxicated from drinking alcoholic punch.

The victim, then 18, said in her account that Burch followed her into the bathroom and locked the door. They kissed again, but he continued after she asked him to stop and he had sexual intercourse with her despite her protestations.

She went to Duke University Hospital, where she decided she would file charges against Burch.

Burch was given a $50,000 bond and was released the day of his arrest, Paul said.

His second arrest was in December, on charges involving the June 21, 2008, incident.

Paul said she would have proven in a trial that in the second incident Burch picked up a girl in his SUV whom he saw walking on Murray Avenue near the Edison Johnson Recreation Center.

Burch asked the victim, who has some "cognitive limitation" if she wanted to " 'chill with him,' " Paul said, and she agreed to go with him to an apartment where six men gave her alcohol and tried to convince her to have sex with them.

She did not want to, Paul said, and eventually the other men left, leaving just Burch, Blue and the victim. The two men forced her to have sexual intercourse with them and to perform oral sex on Blue.

An examination showed bruises and trauma consistent with the victim's account, Paul said.

Before sentencing, the mother of the first victim said she hoped Burch will one day see how much he has hurt her family.

"I hope you learn that violence is not the answer," she said.

Paul said the second victim, who is now in a group home, did not come to court Monday because Burch's mother and Blue have had contact with her, and Paul asked Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson to stress to Burch that part of his plea deal is not to have any contact with his victims directly or indirectly.

Burch has until 9 a.m. Monday to turn himself in to the Durham County Sheriff's Office and begin serving his sentence.

Anonymous said...

Stanley Fish and Grant Farred are two persons responsible for the demolition of Duke University.

"Academic freedom has to be conceived as a form of political solidarity". Oh, really?

Freedom: "the absence of necessity ,coercion or constraint in choice or action."

Academic Freedon: "freedom to teach or to learn without interference."

Mr. Fish and Mr. Farred intend to prevent both freedom and Academic Freedom.

They are, indeed, dangerous human beings.

Anonymous said...


This conference is an embarrassment.

I would encourage the three falsely accused, Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty, to pay $10 each and sit in the front row of any of the sessions. Heck, why not the whole lacrosse tem? They wouldn't need to ask any questions. They wouldn't have to. They could pick an appropriate time to get up and leave. It could turn out to be a media event.

Sunlight is a powerful disinfectant.


Debrah said...

Well, I called Jim Hodges, the manager of conference services at Duke, to see if they are going to permit attendees to tape the conference.

He said he would send an email to those who would get in touch with me for an answer.

Check out what came to my iMail box. I like the way they pay attention to the details of someone's misspelling both. LOL!!!


Hello Jim,

Deboral Correl MAY NOT tape any portion of the conference. If she has questions he should speak to me directly.



Kerry L. Haynie
Associate Professor and
Associate Chair
Department of Political Science

Associate Professor
Department of African and
African American Studies

Co-Director Center for the Study of Race,
Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences


Ms. Corel,

For what purpose would you need to tape the sessions?

Mary Bogues


Hello Ms. Corel,

The organizers of the conference said absolutely NO taping allowed.

Thank you.

Mary Bogues


Looks as though Haynie and a few 88-ers have given Ms. Bogues the word.


I have a feeling that this is going to be a very big waste of time.

These people are like cave people who can only exist inside a huge subsidized cocoon.

Anonymous said...

Go Debrah Go!

Looking forward to reading your report.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that nothing was said about taking notes. It would be interesting to see if they also confiscate pen and paper. This could be very interesting.

"If she has any questions he should speak to me directly". My guess is that spelling ("Deboral") is not a strong suit of the person in charge.

Anonymous said...

perhaps the jhfranklin center computers are bookmarked to D in W.

Go Debrah, Go !!

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, is the conference scheduled during Duke's spring break?

Debrah, thanks for taking time to go. You have moxy.

Were I present I might ask them to discuss how the current budget, TARP, debt forgiveness/modifications, and other trillion dollar programs are substantively different that reparations.

Anonymous said...

Who said, "If she has any questions he should speak to me directly"?

1. Trotsky
2. Lenin
3. Mao
4. Hitler
5. Duke University "Still Two Nations" conference host

Take your time, this is not a timed test.

"If she...he..." that will inspire laughter from me all week. Let's remember, they are the professionals.

Duke Mission Statement - says who?

“The mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education ...committed to high ethical standards prepare future members of the learned professions for lives ...ethical service promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry... to promote ... a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.

“By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

Wow, at least since '06 one could make the case Duke has failed in it's mission.

Wasn't there something in there about free and open inquiry, committment to learning, freedon, truth, blah, blah, blah.

What frauds, what a waste of money (tuition).

One Spook said...

Debrah writes @ 3:05 PM:

"I have a feeling that this is going to be a very big waste of time."

Au contraire! It's quite the opposite! You are going to have great fun!

By having made the request to tape, you have accomplished what is is known in the trade as "Putting your head up" which is sometimes a very appropriate technique in information gathering.

You have to remember this: With extremists like these folks, you are dealing with some very frightened people. Ensconced in their victim mentality and grievance posture, they are even further terminally marginalized and paranoid beyond anyone you can imagine.

Accordingly, they will be scared to death of you; first because you a stranger who "put your head up," and second because you will look very different from them; they are retro-androgynous leftists and you are, well ... The Diva!

I wouldn't recommend this, but to really mess with the heads of the paranoid among us like this lot, you could do this. Put an earpiece in your ear (like a cell phone earpiece) and run the cord down inside the collar of your shirt, connected to nothing. At random times, during the presentation (best when making eye contact with a presenter), you need to be seen chin-down whispering inaudibly into your open shirt.

You're going to have a ball and I wish I could join you ... it would be beyond hysterical! And do take copious notes, overtly keeping them covered.

One Spook

One Spook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debrah said...

Duke's Spring break was last week.

March 9-13

Anonymous said...

This post represents the worst of D-i-W and the comment section is everything that has come to be wrong with this site.

Prof. Johnson begins with the proposition that the people who signed the listening ad did so incorrectly, and that this mistake was compounded by those who put their name to the second ad, a list with a large overlap to the first group. This much seems reasonable.

The next move is more subtle: then these people become a Group, one to whom he attributes a cohesive ideology and groupthink. (This group then becomes a Gang or a Klan on the discussion section.) Anything that anyone in this group then does becomes evidence of that ideology. This is, of course, always bad. As a result, anyone who is associated with this Group becomes guilty (of ideology?) by association, and everything associated with them is always and forever bad.

Thus, any discussion of gender is wrong. Class? Ditto. Any discussion of politics? Misguided at best, indoctrinating at worst. Rape? No one here has any grounds to speak on this subject.

Prof. Anderson takes this further, pointing out that all of Duke suffers from this guilt-by-association, claiming that not only are the Group members poor and disreputable scholars, so is the Duke Press, and so – by extension – is the University. (Maybe even all of academia – the slide seems implicit.) He even claims that none of the Group have suffered any setbacks to their career as a result of their participation, and yet that they have instead excelled, not in spite of their involvement, but because of it. He says this utterly without proof, but it does sound good.

A few observations:

1) There is no Group. This was a diverse group of individuals at the time, few of whom could have agreed on much in the moment, and none of whom have ever stood in a room together. There is a group – lower case – but no Group. With no Group there is not groupthink, though there are things that the group thinks, which is a subtle but important difference.

2) The sum total of these individuals’ professional worth is not held in their signature to a single ad. Disagree if you will with the ad – and to do so seems more than reasonable to me – but, as they are not a group, they then need to be dealt with as individuals. Don’t like Prof. Lubiano’s work? Great. But that doesn’t mean anything about the value of John Hope Franklin. (How he gets thrown in here isn’t clear, but Deborah makes sure he gets Group membership.) Moreover, looking at the titles of their publications or where they are published isn’t analysis. Neither is counting the number of words in a sentence. Real, academic analysis of work is possible, and Prof. Johnson is certainly qualified to do it – indeed, this is where his role as a blogger and not a journalist is important – but posting the titles of seminars and lists of participants is not analysis.

3) Social, political, and historical analysis that is based on race, gender, and socio-economic class is valid. No it isn’t all good, and no it shouldn’t supplant other types of analysis, but it needs to exist. Why? Gender matters. Race matters. Class matters. No one who has lived his or her life in the world (which is to say all people) can deny this. Certainly other matter, too, but the world is a complicated, diverse place, and we have the ability to hold competing and even opposing ideas in our mind at the same time, and this tension is a good thing.

4) Complexity is good. The world that we live in is complex, and its intricacies and contradictions are what make life interesting. Looking at those complexities is also good, and seeing complexity isn’t bad. Nor is simplification, it’s worth stating. But when everything is reduced to a dichotomy of black and white, good and evil, human action is curtailed and personal choice is nonexistent. This was most clear when the blog attempted to come to grips with Prof. Coleman, whose complicated position no longer fit within the world of black hats vs. white hats. Rather than revise and nuance this position, Coleman was jettisoned as a ‘hero’: this should have been a sign of

5) D-i-W served a great purpose, and to look back on some of the early posts I’m amazed at their prescience, but when it devolves into posts like this (and many others from the last few weeks) it has outlived its usefulness. No longer is Prof. Johnson examining the complexities of the case and investigating how complex and contradictory positions are arrived upon, but he is instead oversimplifying and reducing in such a way that is no longer productive. Yes, uses the word “gringoland,” but that in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, is it? Why does he use this term? What does it mean? Is it useful? That is the type of analysis for which I and many others originally came to this site; simply repeating the word is internet snark at its worst.

I lament the depths to which Prof. Johnson has sunk, and the continual devolvement of this site into a niche blackboard for ranting illogically and without thoughtful engagement about the academy. I ask respectfully and with great honesty that Prof. Johnson reconsider the tone and sophistication of his recent posts, and that he return to his former level of complex engagement or that he desist altogether.

Thank you for reading through my overly long post. Have a good night. --ss

Locomotive Breath said...

[Update, Tuesday 3.08pm: In an extraordinary decision for what's billed as a high-profile academic conference, organizers are prohibiting all taping of the event. I wonder how Bill Plante would respond to this?]

I told you. I attended "A Duke Conversation" in Durham. I questioned Brodhead about not allowing taping of the "Shut Up and Teach?" event. He pawned it off Provost Lange. To his credit, he did respond. Here's the justification I got from him.

March 12, 2007



Thank you for your letter and inquiry which President Brodhead has asked me to reply to.

The forum which you attended was a teach-in, designed for our students and faculty so that they could further reflect on the events of last spring and subsequently their implications for campus life and debate. It was intended to foster open discussion among the participants, discussion which would not be subject to the particular forms of broader public attention that attend to subsequent TV and mass circulation video coverage. The forum was public, the media allowed to attend and to cover it as they wished. No public videotaping was permitted, however, even though requested by several cable channels and shows. This same policy has been followed subsequently in response to post-event requests.

You are correct that the event was taped by our media services. That was done both to assure an accurate record against which later characterizations of what was said might be compared, and to be used for teaching purposes should Duke faculty wish to use it so. I am informed this morning that the tape has not, to anyone’s knowledge, yet been viewed.

You raise the issue in your letter of whether a policy not to release the tape violates principles of free and open debate. To this I must answer in the negative. The event was open to the public, debate was carried on there and the press was allowed to attend and report as it wished, subject to the limitation on television and video coverage. The latter restriction was intended to create a more open atmosphere at the event for debate. As I am sure you are aware, television and video coverage, broadcast on national media too often has the effect of making individuals unwilling openly to express their views and to debate each other on issues of controversy. The heated and polarized atmosphere of the national cable “news” shows and blogger and email world, with their use of snippets of video and polemical retorts to persons not immediately able or willing – often for the best of reasons – to respond is not conducive to speaking freely, something which must happen if a campus is to be a place of the liveliest debate. That those attending the forum were not informed that their contributions might be available for subsequent video broadcast only makes the refusal to release the tape even more appropriate.

I thank you for your continued interest in your alma mater.


Peter Lange

c: Richard Brodhead


Anonymous said...

Rational people may assume that a
conference of this 'importance' to those participating would be shared with those who seek clarity though are 'unfortunate enough to not be able to afford or attend'.

Is this a "Duke" thing, or is this really a function of the JH FRanklin Center, which purports to represent 'all people, especially those who seek diversity'.

Me thinks some panelists are trying to find fodder for there 'forthcoming publications'.
(Isn't there a LAW against attaining/accepting/keeping an appointed position under false pretenses?) Guess the rules are different for some .....

I assume Bill Plante is properly mortified that he is to be a part of the charade.

This is, indeed, comical!

Anonymous said...


The Slavs, Polish and Irish would never ask for reparations from anyone. They have too much pride.
Having a great St. Patrick's Day here.
Bless all and America!

My wife's French relatives who go back to the founding of Detroit also gave their lives in the Civil War. It breaks our hearts to travel through Detroit now.

You go Girl!

North of Detroit.

Anonymous said...

Debrah, take your tape recorder.

Kerry Haynie has no authority to "ban taping" of the conference. Duke University guidelines explicitly reserve that authority to the Office of News and Communications, and in that case, the same restrictions must be applied to all media. (Keep in mind that you, as a blog reporter, are just as much a member of "the media" as is the editor of The New York Times.)

And Duke's own guidelines say it would be "counterproductive" to advertise an event and then to close it to the media:

A fundamental objective of Duke University is to expand knowledge. In addition to classes for its students, Duke conducts or sponsors seminars, lectures and other programs to educate members of the university community and those beyond. Therefore, most events at Duke are open to the public. On some occasions, events will not be open to the public because of space limitations, safety concerns, or a desire on the part of the sponsor or participant to conduct a private event. News releases of impending events are designed to spur public interest and participation in those events. It would be counterproductive to advertise an event and then bar press coverage.

The Duke ONC prepared a news media release for this conference. If you google "two separate nations" with "duke" you will find a long list of news media that have received and published news stories about this conference. I think if the Duke ONC kowtows to Haynie by banning the media, then every one of those media outlets who in good faith published the Duke news release should be informed of Duke's action forthwith -- and I mean forthwith. Having been a member of the media, I can tell you that this will get their attention.

So, Debrah, the correct action for you is to contact not the event organizers but the Duke ONC. The only way they can keep you from recording the event is if they ban everyone from recording it -- including the conference organizers. I have found three different contact numbers for the Duke ONC; I'm not sure which one is best: (919) 681-8067 and (919) 680-8064 and (919) 684-2823.

Something else to find out: Who is paying for this event? Are government funds involved? (My guess: Of course.) If so, I imagine there are government guidelines that speak to the issue of banning media coverage of government-funded events. What you need to find out is under what authority this conference is being held. There's no chance that this conference can be authorized on the say-so of a few (or many) professors. Someone much higher has the ultimate say.

Finally, in addition to informing the media who published the Duke ONC news release about this conference, all the participants -- as KC says, Won't Bill Plante be surprised to hear? -- need to be asked why they will attend a conference where media coverage is either restricted or banned.


Anonymous said...

Is Deutsche a Communist?

Anonymous said...

To Bill Anderson at 3/17, 7:56:

Re chairing the University's Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee:

Very good! If only Duke, and all other universities and colleges had the tenure and promotion standards you are enforcing, millions of college (and graduate) students would get a much better (lets say: a REAL) education.

Stick to your guns! Ignore the inevitable flak you're bound to receive.

Gus W.

Anonymous said...


By all means, GO to this "conference". And definitely, DO take copious notes. We need your eyes and ears (and brain) to keep tabs on these people.

If they try, in any way, to prevent you from taking notes or asking (pointed) questions, I -- no, We -- want to read a blow-by-blow account.

Gus W.

Anonymous said...

New article from Minding The Campus

Free to Agree By Peter Wood

Lots of yummy new 'Diversity' at Virginia Tech to be used in promotion and tenure evaluation decisions.

Of course, there are about ten or twenty Supreme Count decisions that are on point, and they all say that public institutions can't do this lame nonsense.

So, now FIRE will have to send them the "Stop it, or else" letter. With any luck at all, Virginia Tech's answer will be: "You're not the boss of me."

Then FIRE's lawyers will grab them by the back of the neck and rub their faces on the ground for a while. Always cool.

Maybe also there could be a lawsuit from the faculty person denied promotion or tenure for diversity deficiency.

Where will the AAUP come down on this one? The AAUP is, of course, hot for diversity and wouldn't raise a murmur if this was being done to students, who have no academic freedom rights, or any other rights, in the opinion of AAUP.

But, this isn't being done to students - this is going to operate on the intellectual and academic freedoms of **PERFESSORS**!!

What to do. The sacred principle of DIVERSITY or the freedom interests of UNIVERSITY PERFESSORS?

Rock? Hard place? One can only hope.

Either way, it's choose and choke, AAUP.

Anonymous said...

Guys, gotta face it. The train is on the track and it is not ours. Our viewpoints are obsolete, our opinions worthless and the mobocracy is taking over our country. If these folks are our leading intelligentsia, we are a voice crying in the wilderness. Let me suggest to you all that you bite the bullet, and start listening to Rush Limbaugh. He is obnoxious, but we should have learned to hear the message and not adore the messenger. Give him a week. Make up your own mind, and please discard preconceived notions about Rush or the ad hominem (sound familiar?) attacks against him. I do not propose Rush as a leader, neither does he. But the issues that he raises are crucial, and give some balance to the leftist propaganda that we are bombarded with from CNN, MSNBC, etc. I challenge you to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Dear Deboral:

I guess no means no. You'll just have to report from your notes. When they call you a liar, let them produce a recording of the conference to prove you wrong.

Too bad they are so troubled by recording. They probably are afraid it would be disruptive and might detract from the seriousness, intellecutal weightiness, and scholarly integrity of the discussion. The recording process would not be disruptive in any way. I have a device that is about the size of a cell phone (Olympus Digital Voice Recorder VN-4100PC purchased at Circuit City -- RIP -- for $60). It has a built in microphone as well as an input jack. Small, discrete -- would not be disruptive or noticed at all.

Jim in San Diego said...

It would be a simple matter to tape the conference surreptitiously.

Why not?

Jim Peterson

Debrah said...

TO "ss" (7:10 PM)---

I could tap dance around a response to your long, plaintive, self-serving, and tendentious call.....

.....but I won't.

You are the same commenter who, back in September 2007, was making excuses for the lack of publicity allowed on Duke campus for KC's Page Auditorium appearance.

Posters touting KC were taken down by someone all over campus.

Both Ken Larrey and I can attest to that.

There were students outside Page walking around as I was coming from the parking lot who hadn't even heard anything about it.

Yet you made excuses for those deliberate acts.

You are also the same commenter who argued with me ad nauseum about how full Page Auditorium was that night.

Your estimated number was, of course, much lower than mine.

You argued on and on about the most miniscule things.

All of your arguments were, of course, to minimize everything which has been illuminated regarding the destructive force of the Gang of 88 and their enablers, and how embarrassing they have been to Duke and to the entire academy.

Will you be sitting inside Goodson Chapel like a teased-up Mother Teresa nodding in unison with the dictatorial and semi-literate Haynie?

Will you be in Gringo Land with the ever bonnie-bonnie Bonilla-Silva?

Spare these fora your concern.

You are a very duplicitous human being, but I'm sure all that sweet rhetoric works on 18-22 years old.

You're not getting over here.

Debrah said...

Not being allowed to record the sessions is a bizarre experience, but not one unexpected.

Did we wake up inside Iran this week?

I thought if I contacted Jim Hodges who is in charge of conferences at Duke I'd be able to get permission for just a simple audio device.

Yesterday I also talked with Thad Ogburn at the N&O. I wanted to make sure they send someone over there---if they can---who will report on it objectively instead of a simple "event at Duke".

He doesn't know if they have anyone available on those days, but will keep it in mind.


He also said that the N&O is often barred from recording things they cover at Duke and there's nothing they can do about it because Duke is a private school.

If it happens at UNC-CH, they can demand new rules.

So, it seems that those organizing this little get-together know their Third World dictatorship mentality will get a go-ahead from Duke's administration every time.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for remembering me and responding in detail. I'm going to avoid your personal attacks, but use this moment as opportunity to underscore the point that I wanted to make.

D-i-W has been valuable, illuminating, and instructive. At its best is has combined the depth of academic analysis with the public interest of journalism. Even the comments section has been useful, as commenters have engaged in useful debate and thoughtful commentary on a level that few websites see.

As the site has continued, however, it has developed the same simplistic, overly reductive approach that it often rightly criticized the academy for. Rather than looking in detail at what 'gringoland' means, or attempting to understand why it is a useful term, it has stooped to cheap shots and one-liners. Gone is detailed analysis and careful commentary.

This is troubling for two reasons:

1) The public has lost a useful voice of intelligent critique where one is truly needed.

2) The site has become a caricature of itself, allowing people to dismiss it as a parody of itself without engaging with its useful and important early analysis. This allows opponents to dismiss all of Prof. Johnson's analysis -- and the good points by the commenters -- by simply referencing the cheap 'gotchas' of the past few months, and the good goes out with the bad.

This is what I lament and why I decided to post, knowing that I would certainly be personally attacked. I hope that the comment is useful to some, and I especially hope that Prof. Johnson gives it some attention.

Deborah, you're right that I disagreed with you about those events in the fall of 2007. I still do, and see no need to rehash that conversation. What I think you missed, and what I want to highlight with reference to this conversation, is that my attempt to accurately document numbers, or explain the process of talk advertisement from an insider's position, in no way diminished what was said at the talk. Subtlety and nuance matter, and let's be accurate about things in such a way that allows for that sophistication.

I'm sorry, but I won't be at the conference, as I no longer live in Durham. Were I to be in the area I imagine that I would. And no, I've never been a professor at Duke.

I hope this is helpful for someone out there. Have a good afternoon, --ss

Locomotive Breath said...

Well I showed up at the "Shut Up and Teach?" event with my video camera. I even went out and bought an attachable boom microphone so that I could pick up the panelists better than with the built-in omnidirectional microphone. I was two hours early to get a front row seat. Only at that point did they inform me that video and audio recording would not be allowed. They made me take it out.

Anonymous said...

My personal take on the "no recordings" rule is that they don't want any evidence if/when one of those dunderheads makes a remark that violates the settlement that Duke made with Reade, Colin and David. Any slanderous remarks might open them up to lawsuits, so knowing that those clowns aren't disciplined enough to keep their mouths properly shut, Duke legal probably advised - or maybe required - them to make the "no recordings" rule.

Just MOO - YMMV.

kcjohnson9 said...

Since defenses of the Group of 88 are rare, I welcome them, and thought it might be useful to respond seriatim to "ss."

"A few observations:

"1) There is no Group. This was a diverse group of individuals at the time, few of whom could have agreed on much in the moment, and none of whom have ever stood in a room together. There is a group – lower case – but no Group. With no Group there is not groupthink, though there are things that the group thinks, which is a subtle but important difference."

A couple of points here. (1) "ss" seems to misunderstand groupthink, as I have used the term (both in this blog and in my other writings). The term was most prominently applied to the academy in a 2004 Chronicle of Higher Ed article by Mark Bauerlein, and (borrowing from the analysis of Cass Sunstein regarding jury behavior) it discusses how, in an atmosphere in which people have common beliefs (culturally, ideologically, or pedagogically) more extreme versions of these common beliefs tend to come to the surface. This model helps explain the prominence of extremist figures such as Lubiano, Farred, or Chafe in the lacrosse case.

Whether or not the Group of 88 ever issued an ad, the behavior of the Duke faculty in the initial months of the lacrosse case would have been a perfect example of Bauerlein's groupthink.

As to the point that "this was a diverse group of individuals at the time, few of whom could have agreed on much in the moment, and none of whom have ever stood in a room together."

I don't believe that I ever claimed in the blog that the Group of 88 "stood in a room together"--their communication, of course, was electronic. It seems to me that when people sign a joint public statement taking a position on a case (something "happened" to Mangum, "thank you" to protesters who among other things waved castrate signs); committing themselves to common future action ("turning up the volume regardless of what the police say or the court decides"); overwhelmingly reaffirm their common position on the case (clarifying statement); and have enough power behind the scenes to pressure possible defectors (Thorne, Moreiras) into staying the course, we're talking about a Group. They could, I supposed, be called the Faction of 88.

Perhaps it's true (as I've been told privately off the record)that some members of the Group didn't read the statement that they signed. But I'm afraid the incompetence defense doesn't work well for professors at one of the US' 10 best universities.

"2) The sum total of these individuals’ professional worth is not held in their signature to a single ad. Disagree if you will with the ad – and to do so seems more than reasonable to me – but, as they are not a group, they then need to be dealt with as individuals. Don’t like Prof. Lubiano’s work? Great. But that doesn’t mean anything about the value of John Hope Franklin. (How he gets thrown in here isn’t clear, but Deborah makes sure he gets Group membership.) Moreover, looking at the titles of their publications or where they are published isn’t analysis. Neither is counting the number of words in a sentence. Real, academic analysis of work is possible, and Prof. Johnson is certainly qualified to do it – indeed, this is where his role as a blogger and not a journalist is important – but posting the titles of seminars and lists of participants is not analysis."

1.) This is, of course, a different position than many other defenders of the Group took in 2007, when they claimed I was not qualified to publish summaries of their scholarship.

2) I have never listed John Hope Franklin as a member of the Group of 88, or have commented in any way on his position on the lacrosse case. Indeed, I have no idea what his position on the lacrosse case was.

3.) I would be happy to provide comprehensive analysis of the panelists' presentations--and, if my analysis was poor, I could be called on it by other academics, from around the country. But, of course, they are not allowing their presentations to be recorded.

"3) Social, political, and historical analysis that is based on race, gender, and socio-economic class is valid. No it isn’t all good, and no it shouldn’t supplant other types of analysis, but it needs to exist. Why? Gender matters. Race matters. Class matters. No one who has lived his or her life in the world (which is to say all people) can deny this. Certainly other matter, too, but the world is a complicated, diverse place, and we have the ability to hold competing and even opposing ideas in our mind at the same time, and this tension is a good thing."

I quite agree. I also believe that the dominance of the race/class/gender pedagogy in many humanities and some social sciences departments crowds out other approaches necessary for providing students with a nuanced understanding of our complex world.

"4) Complexity is good. The world that we live in is complex, and its intricacies and contradictions are what make life interesting. Looking at those complexities is also good, and seeing complexity isn’t bad. Nor is simplification, it’s worth stating. But when everything is reduced to a dichotomy of black and white, good and evil, human action is curtailed and personal choice is nonexistent. This was most clear when the blog attempted to come to grips with Prof. Coleman, whose complicated position no longer fit within the world of black hats vs. white hats. Rather than revise and nuance this position, Coleman was jettisoned as a ‘hero’: this should have been a sign of"

1.) This item appears to have finished prematurely. "Rather than revise and nuance this position, Coleman was jettisoned as a

In any case, quite the contrary--I have continued to praise Coleman for the work he did in the case, both in speeches and in the book.

I was critical of Coleman--both privately and publicly--for his sudden adoption of a very harsh critique of UPI, a critique that he never offered in the 22 meetings or correspondences that Stuart Taylor or I had with him over the course of a 15-month period before the issuance of his 9-07 statement.

Indeed, when I interviewed Coleman for the book, he stated that his only regret with the CC was that the committee didn't look into allegations of improper faculty conduct--behavior he later appeared to minimize.

It's worth noting that Prof. Coleman did not join the call of Stuart and me for a CC-like inquiry into the conduct of the lacrosse case, which would have provided the data to "revise and nuance" everyone's opinion of the faculty's performance.

As for complexity and simplicity, complexity might be good, and it might be bad. Likewise with simplicity.

I would agree that we live in a complex world.

"5) D-i-W served a great purpose, and to look back on some of the early posts I’m amazed at their prescience, but when it devolves into posts like this (and many others from the last few weeks) it has outlived its usefulness. No longer is Prof. Johnson examining the complexities of the case and investigating how complex and contradictory positions are arrived upon, but he is instead oversimplifying and reducing in such a way that is no longer productive. Yes, uses the word “gringoland,” but that in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, is it? Why does he use this term? What does it mean? Is it useful? That is the type of analysis for which I and many others originally came to this site; simply repeating the word is internet snark at its worst.

I lament the depths to which Prof. Johnson has sunk, and the continual devolvement of this site into a niche blackboard for ranting illogically and without thoughtful engagement about the academy. I ask respectfully and with great honesty that Prof. Johnson reconsider the tone and sophistication of his recent posts, and that he return to his former level of complex engagement or that he desist altogether."

1) I thank the poster for his/her original compliment--the force of which appears to have been somewhat weakened by the fact that he/she apparently made the same point many months ago. That would seem to suggest that a concern that recent posts (very few of which, I should note, have been about academic matters)--represent a "niche blackboard for ranting illogically and without thoughtful engagement about the academy" is not, in fact, the cause of his/her concern. If I were a cynical person, I might even believe that the original compliment in the comment was a back-handed one.

I will leave it to the commenter to discuss the many ways in which referring to the US as “gringoland,” “the United States of Amerikkka,” or “Amerika” can provide openings for nuanced and enlightening discussions.

Anonymous said...

"Social, political, and historical analysis that is based on race, gender, and socio-economic class is valid."

Yes, it can be valid. However, it should also be based on a certain level of scientific argument if you're going to use it to change policy. Just because someone given a degree (by other people who think the same way) says that its racist, doesn't make it racist. Just because they advocate viewing it through the lens of sex and power doesn't mean we should. Good theories need to be falsifiable, and naturally, most of the Group of 88s work is not. If it can't be proven false, it might as well not be true at all...

Anonymous said...

K.C. Johnson has a permanent record of his arguments and any arguments to the contrary. You're reading it. The Gang of 88 can't afford to do that.


Anonymous said...

Quoting KC:

"A couple of points here. (1) "ss" seems to misunderstand groupthink, as I have used the term (both in this blog and in my other writings). The term was most prominently applied to the academy in a 2004 Chronicle of Higher Ed article by Mark Bauerlein, and (borrowing from the analysis of Cass Sunstein regarding jury behavior) it discusses how, in an atmosphere in which people have common beliefs (culturally, ideologically, or pedagogically) more extreme versions of these common beliefs tend to come to the surface. This model helps explain the prominence of extremist figures such as Lubiano, Farred, or Chafe in the lacrosse case."

A virulent strain of groupthink is called academic mobbing. The best source for this is:

Duke Prof

Debrah said...

This section from the workplace mobbing in academe website that Duke Prof references is interesting.

That's what they tried to do to KC, but he brought them down!

I'm more concerned about getting mugged.

Mugged by a metaphor.

Wonder what the recovery time is on that?

I shall find out soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson—

Thanks for taking the time to reply in detail.

I think, however, that you misunderstood both the implicit and explicit point of my post. You characterize my writing as a defense of the group of 88 in the first paragraph, but that is not what I was trying to do. Let me be clear: I was not defending the group of 88.

I was, in fact, disagreeing with you, this much is certainly true. But disagreeing with you does not equal a defense of the group of 88. This is not an either/or decision, not a black and white choice, but one in which a host of different positions are available.

In your misreading, I think that you may have proved my point: I was arguing that your last posts concerning the academy have oversimplified issues into black and white, good and evil, skipping instead the more difficult and more accurate work of nuanced analysis. Your reading of my disagreement with you as a necessary agreement with the group of 88 is a symptom of that.

I believe that you may have also missed my point regarding your invocation of “gringoland”: by invoking this term out of context and failing to explain its meaning you engaged in the most reductive of internet snark, avoiding complexity in order to provoke a laugh. The burden of proof is not upon me as commenter to justify Bonilla-Silva’s usage of that term, but rather up to you to rationalize your use of it, to show how invoking his term out of context is useful and productive of anything other than as a cheap shot. I realize that is hard work, but it is the job that you’ve taken on, or that you did take on earlier in your work.

I’m sorry that you see my complement of you as disingenuous. It isn’t. I respect you and your analysis of the case, which has changed my mind at times and made me see things in new, more complicated ways at others. At its best, your blog represented the potential of work that straddles the divide between the academy and journalism, as well as that of the internet. I no longer think that this is the case, and I regret that.

Thanks again for responding. Have a good evening. --ss

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 6.58:

My apologies for suggesting that your comment--which in its claim that the Group of 88 cannot be fairly labeled a group, in part because the Group members never have physically met in the same room, almost exactly mirrored a published apologia for the Group offered by Charlie Piot--constituted a defense of the Group of 88.

I take you at your word, and will withdraw my characterization of your offering a defense of the Group. If I were a cynical person, I might say that I would be a little puzzled as to how an an argument that was essentially identical to the longest published apologia for the Group doesn't constitute a defense of the Group. But, as I say, I'm not a cynical person.

As to the claim that I took Bonilla-Silva's assertion "out of context," I confess a degree of puzzlement. In the preface to his most recent book, he labeled the United States "gringoland." The quote is an accurate one, and I do not see it as an opening to provide a "nuanced" interpretation of the United States. You, it seems, disagree, as is entirely your right; we clearly have differing conceptions of "nuance."

Debrah said...

TO "ss"--

I believe your persistence on this thread way back in 2007 reveal that you were never really a fan of this blog.

My ire is not raised because you might try to mitigate the behavior and bizarre rhetoric from the Gang of 88.....

......but rather, that you make such an effort to appear objective.

When you are not.

Lastly, your lack of enthusiasm for this blog and for Gang of 88 detractors began long the link clearly shows.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson--

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. As it's almost halftime and the Blue Devils seem to have things fairly well in hand, I'd like to respond briefly.

I am not Charles Piot, nor do I think that I have ever spoken to him, and if I've read his piece it's been some time. I don't think my point was quite as simple as "they've never been in a room together," but rather that they are a much more complicated group than they've often been characterized. As a result, what has or has not happened to them since then is increasingly difficult to characterize as all of-a-piece, if for no other reason than many of the signatories are no longer at Duke.

I'm glad you're not cynical. Maybe a bit sarcastic, it seems, but it's late on a Thursday night: I think we've all earned it.

With regard to the "gringoland" reference, I guess I'm willing to grant the possibility that this is a useful -- if provocative -- characterization. I don't think that provocative is bad, nor do I necessarily think that calling attention to racism in America is a bad thing, something that I think Bonilla-Silva was doing. It's worth pointing out that his most radical statements came several years ago, and might be best read within the larger context of the culture wars.

I do think you have a responsibility to provide this context, something that you do -- to a degree -- in your earlier profile of him, but it's not something that you do in your later mentions of him, in which you instead append this tag to his name in a way that surely you must admit you're using to demean both the individual and his ideas. It's this that I don't find useful or productive, and with which I'm taking issue.

I think you're definitely right: we do have different ideas of nuance. I'm not saying so sarcastically, I should add, as I think that those differences and this discussion is a useful one. We see this differently, and while your version is certainly productive (this blog and your accomplishment as a scholar are a testament to that), I'm going to hold on tight to my version.

Again, I appreciate the time that you've taken to respond. Good evening, --ss

Anonymous said...


You've put me in an odd position of having to defend my appreciation of Prof. Johnson's work and of being objective. As it's halftime I'll take a stab.

I don't think that I've ever claimed -- either here, in the thread that you link, or even very often in my life in general -- to be objective. I am giving my opinion and trying to support that opinion, but both in this thread and in the other I'll be the first to point that out.

In the other thread you link this perceived claim of objectivity to politeness, and I'm not going to apologize for that: anger and vitriol have their place, and I appreciate their use in many situations, but I also believe in civil discourse in political arguments, and I try to practice this. The greatest criticism that I have for Bill O'Reilly, for instance, is not his politics, but his unabashed and unapologetic rudeness for the sake of shock. I'm refusing that, and thus I'm going to refuse to engage with your personal attacks.

As to the other -- that I'm lying when I say that I respect Prof. Johnson's work -- I'm not sure what to say other than I do. No, I don't like all of it, and I certainly don't agree with everything he says, but then again I can't think of anyone that I do agree with 100% of the time. If you choose not to take me at my word when I say that I like D-i-W then I don't really know that there's much that I can do. This one might be more your problem than mine.

Finally, with regard to my comments in the thread that you've linked to, I think that if you go back and read them you'll find that I don't criticize Prof. Johnson at all. I do disagree with you, and I clearly articulate why that is, but I don't argue with the substance of the talk in any way.

Let me make something clear: I think that discussion and debate are good things. This is one of this blog's critique's of Duke's professors in general -- that they don't allow dissent with regard to their own 'leftist' views -- but that needs to be remembered with regard to this blog, too. Dissent, discussion, and engaged civil debate are the founding of the democratic experiment, and when it's living up to its potential, it is also the definition of success in the blogosphere. You're right that I don't always disagree with Prof. Johnson, but my decision to interact with him is not a sign of my dislike, but rather one of respect: I show my respect by articulating my argument to those whom I disagree. This might seem counterintuitive, so I hope my articulation of that here is useful.

Thanks again for reading and have a good night. I'd say more, but the second half thrashing is about to begin... --ss

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson--

Alas, it looks like the response that I wrote to you last night got lost somehow, as I wrote it before I took the time to respond to Deborah. I'm not sure that I can reconstruct it here, but I'll try to hit the high points.

First, thanks again for responding to me. I appreciate the time that you put into this blog and the number of comments that you get, and getting an individual response is great.

Anonymous said...

Clearly I'm doing something wrong. Here's my post again, in its entirety:

Prof. Johnson--

Alas, it looks like the post that I wrote to you last night got lost somehow, as I wrote it before I took the time to respond to Deborah. I'm not sure that I can reconstruct it here, but I'll try to hit the high points.

First, thanks again for responding to me. I appreciate the time that you put into this blog and the number of comments that you get, and getting an individual response is flattering.

Second, I am not Charles Piot. I believe I’ve met him, but I’m not sure that we’ve ever had a conversation, and if I read his article it was too long ago for me to remember. I wasn’t trying to voice him or anyone else in my response, I was simply speaking for myself.

I’m glad to hear that you’re not cynical. It seems that you are a bit sarcastic, but I can appreciate that, and everyone deserves a bit of leeway on a Thursday evening.

I understand what you’re saying about your use of ‘gringoland’ and I still sharply disagree. I went back and read your original post and I agree that you do some minimal work to contextualize the phrase, so I suppose I was somewhat incorrect in saying that you took it the term entirely out of context. However, what I don’t see is that you made any attempt to understand why someone might see this as a useful or provocative stance, or to use your position as an academic to explain that stance to your readership. This, as I’ve seen it, has been when your blog has been at its best: when you’ve used your insider knowledge of the academy to explain and make sense of its intricacies for those outside of the academy, or even those within the academy that stand at some remove from the issues that you discuss. Your unwillingness or inability to do so with regard to this term – and your characterization of Bonilla-Silva more broadly – I find cheap and disappointing.

Moreover, when you have referenced Bonilla-Silva since that initial post, you’ve continued to tag him with this phrase (and others), implicitly reducing his work to a caricature. You deflect this by linking back to your earlier portrait, but by always pairing his name with this intentionally provocative term, your analysis is flattened into personal attack.

Here I suppose that I should state my biases: I do think that there is a possible use in taking the provocative stance of pointing out the racist past and present of the United States. I don’t always agree with Bonilla-Silva, but I respect what he’s trying to do with regard to the long history of institutional racism in the nation. Further, it’s worth noting that his most inflammatory statements came some time ago, and that it might be valuable to contextualize them within the culture wars from whence they sprung.

This is not to say that I think that you or that anyone else should necessarily agree with Bonilla-Silva, but that to fail to engage with his argument in a forthright manner and to simplify your analysis to ‘gotcha’ phrases lowers rather than raises the level of debate.

We certainly do have differing definitions of nuance. I don’t think that is a bad thing. In fact, I think that this is a good thing, and debate about this – such as the one that I think that we’re having here – represents the best of the academy and the blogosphere. I’m happy to disagree with you on this, not to put distance between the two of us, but because I see this disagreement as productive.

Thanks again for the response and have a good afternoon. --ss

Debrah said...


Moving on.........

Just wanted to let everyone know that I made it through the first loooooooong day of the "Still Two Nations?" conference.

I'll give some general impressions in a few posts tonight.

Later, I'll go through all the panelists and give some comments on each one. I'll do that tomorrow night or Sunday when it's all over.

I've been up since 5 AM and I have to go through the whole process again in the morning.

The conference ends earlier---at 3 PM---tomorrow, thank G/d.

The only way that I can convey my experience today is to quote something my mother once told me about childbirth.

She said that it was so painful that you forget about the magnitude of the pain afterward.

There were a few speakers who made some worthy and interesting points during their presentations; however, for the most part, I am forever left with sheer wonder as to how most of these people get paid for this drivel.

It's really astounding.

Debrah said...

Untold millions must have been put into building Goodson Chapel.

They have been careful to duplicate Duke Chapel and the architecture around it that were built in the early 20th century.

Surprising that such an event was held right in the very chapel, itself, and not in one of the many tiered lecture halls inside the structure.

If I were a religious person, I would have been offended......and I'm serious about that.

The chapel at Goodson isn't very large, but it's angelic.

Really beautiful.

The frames around the windows, which reveal the outside trees and foliage, seem to have a Gothic design to match the exterior.

A podium and a table with microphones were set up on the alter---or whatever it's called---where sermons are given.

Two large screens were hung on either side of the panelists' table so they could show displays with their presentations.

As I said, this was really a strange event for a chapel.

However, I'm sure that the three organizers of the conference---Paula McClain, Kerry Haynie, and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva---chose that location to serve as a metaphor for the high esteem in which they hold John Hope Franklin.

And at Duke, the Gang of 88 obviously have few rules to observe.

Debrah said...

I'm guessing there were about 75-80 people who showed up.

I asked some opinions on the number.

One lady said about 60.

Another lady said 80.

I asked the aforementioned Ms. Bogues if she had a count on the attendees and she said she didn't.


So I'm going with 75-80.

I recognized a few people immediately as descended the staircase toward the lobby of the chapel.

Lots of people were eating pastries and drinking coffee for the "continental breakfast".

I didn't eat or drink anything offered because I didn't want to have to make trips to the loo. LIS!

I chose an aisle seat by the door and Bill Plante was seated a few rows in front of me.

When he started walking around I went over and introduced myself, chatted briefly, told him why I wanted to check out the conference.

Then I asked him what he thought about the "absolutely no taping allowed" rule.

He said that the only thing he could say was that, yes, why not allow the program to be taped.....and that I could quote him on that.

He's a pleasant man. Much smaller in stature and build than he appeared on the tube.

He said we could continue talking, but I'd have to follow him outside in the lobby so he could finish his muffin.

I went to the lobby and talked a bit further.

A little about my background, the Lacrosse Hoax, KC and Stuart, UPI and the blog......

.....and that was it.

I'll give my impressions of his panel presentation later.

Debrah said...

I had conversations with Sarah Deutsch and Michael Correa.

Each sat on either side of me at lunch.

I didn't even recognize Deutsch as I rehashed the role of the conference organizers in the Lacrosse Hoax.

Just thought she was someone else attending the conference.

Wish I had a before and after photo---the facial expressions at the table over lunch as we first sat down......and another one showing the facial expressions of everyone after I spent the entire time talking about the Spring of 2006 and the Hoax.


I might laugh about this forever every time I think back on it.

I brought up the Hoax at every possible segue....always putting a damper on what had been an upbeat conversation.


I even asked Dick Engstrom, who used to work at the UNC-CH law school and is now a political science professor at Duke in the REGSS department, if he knew Orin Starn and if he'd seen him around.

I was really anxious to check out Orin while I was there.

"REGSS", by the way, stands for "race, ethnicity, gender, social"......something or other.

RACE comes out of the pours of everyone.




By the way, I have to say that after listening to everything I had to say about the 88 and what they did, and how ironic for them to organize such a conference covering such subject matter......

.....Deutsch was very reasonable and simply said that on some things she and I would have to disagree.

I don't think I've ever met anyone so willing to listen and absorb someone else's views---with which she disagrees---and remain so kind and respectful.

She was wrong, wrong, wrong to have signed the "Listening Statement" and she's wrong about a lot of her views; however, this is one nice woman.

She still maintains that the "Listening Statement" did not refer to the rape accusation and Buchanan Blvd.

Essentially the same stance taken by Charles Piot.

I'll close for now, but there's much more to tell.

Have to run so I can get to bed earlier than usual.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for attending this "conference" and for your commentary on what you saw and heard.

I just wanted to say, you're doing yeoman duty and giving us valuable information. We need to stay on top of these Politically Correct demagogues.

Remember: For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men and women to fail to act against it.

I am hoping that the fallout from the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax will continue to **fall out** until Political Correctness, along with quota hiring in universities, is finally undone.

Good work, Debrah.

Gus W.

Debrah said...

A few notes of correction.

In my previous comments, the word "pours" should, of course, be "pores".

And the word "alter" should be "altar".


Debrah said...

Actually, last night I forgot to mention that Wahneema was missing-in-action all through the conference yesterday.

She was scheduled to moderate the panel that Sarah Deutsch was on, but the updated pamphlet had Alan Kendrick of UNC-CH taking her place.

I asked a woman sitting near me in a kind of concerned voice....."I thought Wahneema Lubiano was supposed to moderate this panel. Wonder what happened?"


The woman thought that Wahneema might have been called away for a feminist conference that was taking place at the same time.

Wahneema is really busy!

Midday I thought I saw her sitting on the patio next to the chapel refectory , but it must have been someone else.

Lastly, I raised my hand twice during the Q&A and both times I was not chosen.

Bonilla-Silva and Paula McClain alternate being in charge of the microphone.

Both travel around the room to pass the mic.

If I have a question today and am passed over again, I might begin to worry that the Diva is not very popular in the chapel!

To be continued.........

One Spook said...

Debrah writes at the ungodly hour of 5:32 AM:

"I forgot to mention that Wahneema was missing-in-action all through the conference yesterday.

I asked a woman sitting near me in a kind of concerned voice....."I thought Wahneema Lubiano was supposed to moderate this panel. Wonder what happened?"

The woman thought that Wahneema might have been called away for a feminist conference that was taking place at the same time.

Wahneema is really busy!

She is very busy, Debrah. She is working feverishly on her latest "forthcoming publication," "Mugged By a Kid From The Groton School Wearing a Straw Hat And a Blue Blazer."

Thanks for your reports, Debrah.

One Spook

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 1.57:

I might not have been sufficiently clear in my earlier responses, but it seems to me an appropriate level of discourse is one thing that separates academic exchanges from, say, high school sophomore English papers, or schoolyard taunts among 4th graders. Among other things, that level of discourse would include referring to a country by its given name—for instance Israel rather than “the Zionist entity,” or the United States rather than “gringoland,” the “United States of Amerikkka,” or “Amerika.” I should note that I have held this view throughout the period of the blog, including that idyllic, if undefined, past period when the blog was sufficiently “nuanced” and “complex” to reach commenters such as “ss.”

Prof. Bonilla-Silva and commenter “ss” disagree with this view of the academic discourse. But, I suspect, one reason why the ideas of a figure such as Prof. Bonilla-Silva would be automatically dismissed by anyone in government or virtually anyone in the media is his willingness to employ such schoolyard taunts or sophomoric dialogue in his writing and teaching.

More important, the use of such “analysis” reflects the groupthink that Bauerlein discerned in the academy: in humanities and (some) social science departments dominated by the race, class, gender trinity, extreme versions of the commonly held race/class/ gender assumptions come to dominate. And referring to the United States as “gringoland,” the “United States of Amerikkka,” or “Amerika” is certainly extreme. Nor do such references indicate a particularly “nuanced” or “complex” interpretation of U.S. society. Indeed, they indicate quite the opposite.

One Spook said...

KC Johnson writes @ 6:47 PM:

"And referring to the United States as “gringoland,” the “United States of Amerikkka,” or “Amerika” is certainly extreme. Nor do such references indicate a particularly “nuanced” or “complex” interpretation of U.S. society. Indeed, they indicate quite the opposite."


And, Prof. Bonilla-Silva boasts not one but two Spanish surnames; "Bonilla" that refers to persons from Bonilla in Cuenca province or Bonilla de la Sierra in Vila province in Spain; and "Silva" (originally Di Silva) which is actually a Spanish surname that once belonged to the kings and queens of Spain - who migrated to California in the Carmel Valley.

Native American peoples who lived in the region now known as Mexico and California used a highly derogatory term, "Guachupine," [Gwa-Chew-Pee-Nay] to refer to Spaniards.

It was used as reference to disease bringing Spaniards who brought a plague called "guachu" [Gwa-Chew] to the natives when the Conquistadores conquered Mexico, among diseases that killed hundreds of thousands of native peoples.

Somehow, I think if I referred to Prof Bonilla-Silva as a Guachupine and a progeny of "Guachupineland," he might not think I was using a particularly "nuanced" or "complex" interpretation of him or his origin.

You know, ss ... glass houses; throwing stones --- that sorta thing.

One Spook

Debrah said...

Going To The Chapel (Day One)

A New Race Politics?

Kerry Haynie (Duke University) Moderator

1) Vincent Hutchings (University of Michigan)
"The Role of Race in the 2008 Election: Change or More of the Same?"

Much has been made of the historic nature of the 2008 election. With the election of the first president of African descent, many scholars and pundits have wondered whether we have entered into a "post racial" society, meaning an era where racial divisions will finally subside from American politics. We explore the attitudinal bases for these claims by examining survey data from the 2008 American National Election Study (ANES). This study featured, for the first time in its 60-year history, both a Black and Latino over-sample along with a number of questions design to tap respondents' racial attitudes. We find that the racial divide in Americans' policy views remain as deep in 2008 as in previous ANES studies. Moreover, we find divisions almost as large among Black and White Obama supporters as among Blacks and Whites in general. We discuss the implications of these findings in our conclusion.

***Diva note: Hutchings is an effective speaker, aesthetically; however, his effective delivery is undermined by charts and statistics and little else.

I asked him in the refreshment area of the lobby why he devised his presentation without an analysis explaining WHY people responded the way they did in those self-fulfilling surveys.

He had little response because I followed up with the statement that one should not suspend reality in order to have a nice scenario that satisfies the objectives of a certain group.

Didn't get many passing smiles from Hutchings for the duration.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

A New Race Politics?

2) Jane Junn (Rutgers)

"Tracing the Line of 'Coolie' to 'Model Minority': Asian Americans and the Institutional Bases of Racial Identity in the U. S."

The United States has long been a nation of newcomers, incorporating immigrants from foreign shores since the birth of the nation. The newest wave of immigrants following the 1965 Immigration Act includes both large numbers and wide diversity in ethnic and racial background. In "Tracing the Line from 'Coolie' to 'Model Minority', I identify several of the most important institutional bases of racial identity among Asian Americans--political antecedents of the change from once-dominant racial tropes of Asians as 'coolies' to the present-day stereotype of 'model minority'.

***Diva note: Junn went through the various names used to categorize Asians in the U. S. There is scant literature on Asian Americans in politics. Modest political activity despite resources.

Is there an Asian American identity?

Junn made a big deal about a group who called themselves "rednecks" for Obama.

For this bit of gratuitous banality, Junn received hearty laughter.

Junn was an adequate seat-warmer in one of the spaces designated for "Asians" in this conference.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

A New Race Politics?

3) Michael Jones-Correa (Cornell University)

"Commonalities, Competition, and Linked fate: Race relatons in New and traditional Immigrant Receiving Areas"

Over the last few decades, Latinos in the U. S. have increasingly become an "immigrant" population, diverse in terms of national origin, and dispersed throughout the United States. The implications of this change are reflected in the race relations between Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups. Data used from the 206 Latino National Survey examines race relations, employment and political competition across racial groups and feelings of linked fate between Latinos and African Americans and whites, comparing states in new and traditional receiving states.
Findings suggest that: 1) new Latino arrivals have few social ties to either native-born whites or blacks; 2) that the longer foreign-born Latinos reside in an area, the closer their ties to both whites and blacks, with no particular antipathy indicated toward native-born blacks; 3) that there is no perceptible difference in attitudes toward native-born blacks or whites between Latinos living in new receiving states; and 4) that even as longer term Latino residents develop closer social ties to black Americans, these are matched by feelings of competition as well. In sum, when newly arrived, Latino immigrants feel neither closeness nor competition with the native born, and for long-term residents feelings of closeness and competition go hand in hand. Familiarity, it seems, is not the opposite of competition, but rather its complement.

***Diva note: Duh!

Correa is a pleasant, go-with-the-flow kind of fellow.

He has a demeanor similar to Bill Gates (with dark hair)---pleasant and goofy.

He was one of few panelists who remained pleasant to me before and after our Duke Lacrosse Hoax chitchat.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

The Press, Politics, and Policy-making in the Obama Era

George McLendon (Duke University) Moderator

1) Bill Plante (Senior White House Correspondent, CBS News)

***Diva note: Plante grew up in Chicago.

Began covering politics in 1964.

He gave a long melodramatic view of his early days in broadcast journalism..

Gave historical perspectives on black voting.

Plante described the Deep South as "an alien destination" during his early career.

He played his part well and served his purpose for being invited to this conference.

One-sided dark tales from which we all were expected recoil in shock.

A Dan Rather understudy.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

The Press, Politics, and Policy-making in the Obama Era

2) Michelle Martin (used to be Michelle McQueen when she was a contributor to Ted Koppel's "Nightline").....presently (Host, "Tell Me More", NPR)

***Diva note: Martin mostly used the space to talk about herself.

Had to dictate to her child's pediatrician not to send notes using the word "Mommy".

She's worked hard to be a professional woman. Doesn't need that.

Discussed the high percentages of young people who actively participated in the Obama campaign.

Her child's babysitter was so closely involved that it was she who informed Martin on her Blackberry that Obama had chosen Joe Biden as his VP.

And Martin is the professional news woman!


I like Martin. She's smart and expressive....too expressive with her hands for such a panel.

Poor Blll Plante might have lost an eye.

Good thing she decided to switch to NPR.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

The Press, Politics, and Policy-making in the Obama Era

3) Ty Harrell (D 41)

***Diva note: Duke dean and moderator McLendon credited Harrell with changing NC from a red state to a blue state in the last election.

Yeah, right.

McLendon just happens to be Harrell's former boss, whatever that means.

One can assume that Harrell is a former Duke employee.

He's a fine speaker as well as an accomplished bullsh!t artist, like most politicians.

Spent most of his time doing impressions of his imaginary fellow politicians who warned him against supporting Obama early on.

Harrell says his fellow NC Democrats didn't think Obama would have a chance against Hillary.

But the clever and prescient Ty showed them all!

And he isn't even 40 yet!

Harrell was left with nothing else to do but give several vocal impressions of what were supposed to be voices of his "good ole boy" Southern colleagues in Raleigh.

He's quite talented; however, like Michelle Martin, he never knows when to quit.

Consequently, I began to feel sorry for poor pliable Bill Plante for having been sandwiched in between the two.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

Race in Comparative Perspective: Race, Racism and the World System

Paula D. McClain (Duke University) Moderator

1) Michael Hanchard (Johns Hopkins University)

***Diva note: No program notes from Hanchard.

Same as his presentaton---sparse.

He is the SOBA Presidential Professor in the political science department of Johns Hopkins and the director of the Racism, Immigration and Citizenship Program there as well.

The only thing I can remember from his presentation is that he said Obama emphasized himself as a fusion character of miscegenation for the American people to get elected.

Probably one of the worst speakers I've ever had to endure.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

Race in Comparative Perspective: Race, Racism and the World System

2) Gladys Mitchell (Duke University)

"Political Democracy and Racial Democracy: The effects of Racism on Perceptions of Brazilian Democracy"

There has been a constant interplay between the development of Brazilian democracy and the idea of racial democracy, that Brazilians are all accorded an equal chance at rights and citizenship regardless of color and that racism is absent from Brazilian society because of its racially mixed citizenry. During Brazil's various attempts at democratic rule, racial democracy helped to sustain certain political regimes. However, as democracy developed and the first civilian elected president took office in 1985, challenges to racial democracy were further challenged. Under democratic rule, some of the demands of Afro-Brazilian black movement activists have been met, such as the implementation of university affirmative action. However, racism continues to persist in Brazilian society.

Using 2008 original survey date collected in Salvador and Sao Paulo I find a statistically significant and positive relationship between Afro-Brazilians who admit to having experiences of racism and the quality of Brazilian democracy. Afro-Brazilians who have experiences with racism tend to rate the quality of democracy lower than those who have not experienced racism. Interviews were conducted in both cities to further examine this finding.

***Diva note: Mitchell is listed as the 2008-9 Samuel Dubois Cook Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences at Duke.

She has some forthcoming articles in the journals "Latin American Politics and Society" and "Opiniao Publica". She also has a forthcoming co-authored edited volume on racial politics in Brazil.

Lots of "forthcomings".

Shades of Wahneema.

Not much to say about this presentation.

It was out-of-place, stilted, and affected.

Delivered like a ninth-grader reading from a copied report.

Mitchell is in a dead-heat with Hanchard for worst presentation.***

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson—

I seem to have annoyed you and I apologize for that. I admit that my first post was in made in frustration, but I’m sorry if subsequent posts have riled you up, as that has not been my objective.

You do seem to have a very limited approach to naming and linguistics (at least as stated above), one by which there is a one-to-one correspondence between ‘real’ thing and word. I find that neither useful nor reflective of my lived reality. Thus, by using different words in relation to things – especially huge and complex ideas like nations – useful things can be emphasized and uncovered. I appreciate attempts to play with the name of the nation to emphasize different aspects of our past, present, and future. Not only do you not think that this is useful, you seem to find it dishonest, and to my mind that is both reductive and overly simplistic, not to mention a bit disingenuous.

I disagree with your characterization of my criticism as a playground taunt, and I think your doing so is a little cheap. I’ll be honest: I haven’t read all of Bonilla-Silva’s work, so I can’t characterize it in total, but I – like you – don’t like all of it, nor do I think that it always elevates the level of discourse. But I don’t reject all of it, nor do I think that simply reframing the terms of the debate is necessarily wrong. America is predominantly white, and its move westward was founded on laws and regulations that insured second-class status for Mexicans, mexicanos, and latinos who occupied the southwest long before the 19th century. Understanding the current debate over immigration within that context seems justifiable, and this is what I understand his project to be. Even if you don’t like the framing, surely you can see this as useful and productive.

You also seem to be troubled that I complement aspects of your work while disagreeing with others. I’m sorry, but I’ll never be another Deborah, to you or to others: I’m not sycophant. To be more specific with regard to my appreciation, though, I was most taken by your analyses through the first 18 months of this incident, and while I didn’t always agree, I was most intrigued by your use of the format of the blog to combine journalism and academic analysis. This didn’t always work for you, but at your best you were able to provide an understanding of the complexity of the case that was far beyond Nancy Grace or even 60 Minutes. As someone interested in the role of the public intellectual and the relationship of the academy to the larger society I found this exciting. Indeed, your choice to insert yourself into this controversy was both brave and useful, and I was thrilled as you drew fans to your introspection on how and why the academy does what it does.

Is this a sufficient reiteration of my complements and appreciation?

I’m going to have to think more about your use of the term groupthink. I don’t agree that the “Gang of 88” is best characterized by this term, even given your redefinition of the term, but I need to think more about how this works within the academy as I have observed it. This is important, and represents your most useful critique, but I’m still not certain that you’ve fully captured how this works in the meetings and departments that you’ve chosen to critique. I’m not sure that I disagree with you entirely, but neither do I disagree.

You again seem to imply a rejection of analysis that focuses on race, class, and/or gender, and this is what I see as the most problematic of your (implicit) assertions. I think that this is wrong, and while I agree that these methods should not be enshrined within a pantheon of unquestioned gods, I do maintain that these have been and will continue to be useful lenses for analyzing cultural productions.

Again, thanks for responding to me. I’ve found our conversation useful to myself, at the very least. You are an interesting and reflective interlocutor, and I thank you for that.

Have a good night. –ss

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

Race in Comparative Perspective: Race, Racism and the World System

3) John Solomos (City University of London)

"Thinking about Race and Racism in a Global Context"

The analysis in this paper is framed by two overarching themes. First, and here we draw on recent conceptual debates within sociology about race and ethnicity, it engages with the ways in which race and ethnicity have been constructed in the changing global environment. In doing so we shall focus specifically on some facets of debates that have emerged particularly in sociology over the past three decades. Second, it will engage with the overarching theme of the conference by looking at the political context within which the conceptual debates have taken place. This is an important issue to include in any analysis of theories of race and ethnic differences, since it seems evident in Britain and from a comparative perspective that questions about race and ethnicity are inevitably part of the political discourses as well as embedded in academic and scholarly research. The main themes of the paper will draw on debates in the UK and Europe more generally in the United States.

***Diva notes: Solomos says that Britain has become a multicultural society, but there needs to be reflection on the way multiculturalism can be fused with the British royal system.

Well, just get invited back across the pond more often, John.

Kerry, Paula, and Eduardo will teach you everything you need to know!***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

Race in Comparative Perspective: Race, Racism and the World System

4) Guillermo Trejo (Duke University)

***Diva note: Trejo is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Duke.

His research focuses on social conflict and social movements in Mexico.

Trejo is Duke's version of Emerile Lagasse.


Excited by his own words.

Heavy accent with a thick nasal quality.

He seems to be Paula McClain's pride and joy.

He performs as she beams while watching from the panel.

When he could calm down long enough, he told of receiving a call from a friend in Mexico the night Obama was elected.

The man is well-educated; however, Trejo was shocked when his friend told him that Obama was the "Mestizo President", and that "Americans finally got it!"

Trejo was shocked by this!

Mestizo is a word that means the combination of white and indigenous people.

Is Latin America a mestizo region with no real racial discrimination?

Latin America is the world's region with the greatest levels of income inequality.

Not just because of education and wealth, but because of other non-observable factors, including racial discrimination.***

Debrah said...

The last panel of Day One followed by Day Two will come tomorrow....(or I should say, later today).

With my conclusions, there will be a surprise and unexpected high drama!

Anonymous said...

Debrah -
Thank you for your synopsis of Day One's presentations. I admire your fortitude as I would never have been able to sit through that much bs. I imagine that no one in the audience questioned the findings of the various institutes that conducted the surveys (self-fulfilling findings to justify their existence?). It would seem (as is the case with many of these kinds of gatherings) that the participants on the dais use this more as an attempt at self-grandizement than anything else.

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

Race, Gender and Sexuality: Intersections on Multiple Dimensions

J. Alan Kendrick (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) Moderator

i) Niambi Carter

"Mining Rupture: Lynching Imagery in Interracial Pornography"

Lynching provides some of the strongest images of who "we" are as Americans. Generally levied as punishment for black men accused of sexual assaults on white women, to contemporary viewers lynching appears as an anachronistic testament to the brutality of our racial past even as we witness episodic appearances of the dreaded practice. On the other hand, the left-behind images of lynching and concomitant acts of violence continue to serve as a "truth" about black men, in particular, and black people more generally. In this way, contemporary pornography offers a testament to the (re)generative capability of these images of black men and white women through its flesh and bone realization of the very images that precipitated the murder of thousands. Black male performers are charged with executing their crimes in the present. In this way, lynching is very much in and out of time. Therefore, this paper is concerned with what these images mean in an era of official colorblindness. More specifically, I address how pornography is engaged in the making of racialized meaning and myth in the present; that is, what does pornography tell us about who we are in the present. Likewise, what narratives, if any, can be harnessed by performers, viewers, and producers are harnessed to counteract the visual. Finally, what possibilities exist for these images by passing by passing into the mundane.

***Diva note: Keep in mind that the abstracts under the names of each panelist come from information we were given. If the sentences seem disjointed and difficult to comprehend, I haven't left anything out or added anything. This is exactly what they submitted, themselves.

This presentation was basically "Mandingo is alive and well!"

Carter put up photos of black men with white women from modern-day media.

--An old N&O cartoon

--A cover of Vogue featuring a large, muscular black athlete with a white model

--Numerous photos of black men being lynched

--More photos from the past of a black man having been castrated and hung after having relations with a white woman.

Need I say more?***

Anonymous said...

The predominant sentiment is the defendants were falsely accused by a woman named Crystal Magnum and a rogue district attorney named Mike Nifong. The public has a right to see all the witness statements and unredacted DNA tests so we can understand how a seasoned prosecutor got it so wrong. The latest excuse is there are civil suits pending. But the law is clear that this is not a legitimate reason to withhold government documents from public view.

Where was this concern at the beginning of this case? Or even in the middle? She's a slimeball. I don't watch her or a network that would play her dung.

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

"Race, Gender, and Sexuality: Intersections on Multiple Dimensions"

2) Sarah Deutsch (Duke University)

"Never Just Two Nations"

The traditional framing of U. S. racial formations as sets of binaries---while tempting in the face of stark inequalities---not only distracts us from multiple interactions, coalitions, and erasures. It also ignores the essential centrality of the kaleidoscope nature of U. S. legal and state-driven categorizations, perennially changing across both time and space. The simultaneous determination to categorize---to make the fictive category "race" unto a material reality---and, at the same time, the lack of concern with the unfixed and inconsistent nature of the categories reveal that part of the utility of racial formations to the state is their perpetually protean nature---the slippery ability perpetually to shift the terms. The deeply sought category "other" on the census, for example, has implications for state programs of redress far beyond the satisfactions of individuals' complex identities. At the heart of the matter, too, as in any posited heritable category, lie systems of gender and sexuality that are specific to time and place. Which women are depicted as appropriately home, unpaid with children, and which as lazy when in the same situation; who is incarcerated at what rates; who is the worthy and who the unworthy poor; which immigrants are dangerous for their labor and which for their fertility, and which jobs deserve protection from immigrant competition all are instances that demonstrate the deeply entwined nature of gender, race, and sexuality.

{{Special note: Niambi Carter in the previous post is from Purdue University}}

***Diva note: Deutsch uses numerous N&O headlines and articles to highlight the immigrant issue.

Historical analyses and categorizations of immigration.

College-educated black women tend to make more than their male counterparts.

The reverse is true for white women and white men.

She shows varying ways the media shape perceptions when devising headlines.

A NYTimes headline:
"Black women outpace male counterparts"

An N&O headline:
"Income level differs among women"

On the 1992 Rodney King incident, Deutsch says that Reginald Denny came to exemplify the melée. That attack dominated the imagery of the three-day riot.

She says the media didn't cover the black victims, Mexican victims, and Korean victims who had suffered attacks before Denny came into the area. She thinks the media liked the meta-narrative of the white guy being attacked viciously by blacks.

The images of Denny being attacked became the most prominent.***

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:51 AM:

Your sentence structures have become tangled and, dare I say, unintelligible. You appear to be under considerable stress.

While it may seem therapeutic to post nonsense, a better avenue would be to seek professional help.

Good luck.


Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day One)

Race, Gender and Sexuality: Intersections on Multiple Dimensions

3) Bonnie Thornton Dill (University of Maryland)

"Color Line or Patchwork Heritage? An Intersectional Perspective"

Race, gender, and sexuality, along with class, ethnicity, and other structures of inequality and difference do not exist in isolation of one another. Each is shaped by the others, creating different opportunities and experiences for individuals as a result of the histories and contemporary place in society of the groups to which they belong. Black women and other women of color scholars were among the first to use the idea of intersectionality to explain our own lives and to critique the exclusion of our experiences, needs and perspectives from both White, Eurocentric, middle-class conceptualizations of feminism and male dominated models of ethnic studies. From these origins, intersectionality has become a theoretical and analytical tool that focuses on the complex interplay of these dimensions of inequality, suggesting that an analysis that uses only a single dimension is severely limited in its ability to illuminate how opportunities for the expression and performance of individual identities as well as the development, organization and maintenance of structural inequalities are defined by the intermeshing of multiple systems and the deployment of power within them.

This paper provides a definition of intersectionality and argues that it offers a way to understand race as a structure that shapes all of the other dimensions of difference in U. S. at the same time that it is shaped by them. In the face of President Obama's reference to our patchwork heritage and his implicit challenge to American society to begin the process of openly acknowledging the complexities of our history, I argue that intersectionality not only offers a deeper way of understanding the meanings of race, gender and sexuality but understanding the complex manifestations of difference in the 21st century.

***Diva note: Dill's most striking points for me were her myriad attempts to make excuses and find explanations for the high percentage of black voters who supported Proposition 8 in California.

She says this issue created a race/sexuality fault line and that black people were used as scapegoats during the campaign.

Dill says that race, alone, could not explain the enormous support of Prop 8 by black voters.

Blacks have high levels of "religiosity" which can explain their views on the issue.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities of color were erased from this analysis. Instead, the focus was on the racial color line.

I am searching my memory as well as my notes to see if I can find one---just one---example where disagreement on an issue by whites was ever nuanced in the way Dill has attempted here.

Couldn't find anything.

On issues important to blacks, anyone arguing or voting against them is automatically labeled a bigot, a racist, or anti-whatever.......

No allowance is ever made suggesting those people might have other issues and concerns that keep them from agreement.

If someone is against an issue of black interest, then that person must, of course, be racist.

"Religiosity" and other factors account for the sweeping intolerance of gay marriage inside the black community.

Blacks simply CANNOT be racists or bigots!

Now, has everyone learned their lesson?***

Anonymous said...

Ken in Dallas (10:51)--

I apologize if I wasn't clear about something. I was responding late at night, and possibly this was a bad idea. Is there something specific that you have a question about that I could clarify?

I'm sorry if there was something that you didn't understand, but thanks at least for making a good-faith effort at reading, and thanks especially for your concern about my mental health.

Have a good afternoon, --ss

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

The Color Lines and Health

Sherman James (Duke University) Moderator

James began by saying that racial/ethnic disparities in all areas of healthcare cause mortality and there are growing inequalities.

1) Gilbert Gee (University of California-Los Angeles)

Gee is an Associate Professor in the School of Public health at UCLA. His research examines how stresses at multiple levels may contribute to racial/ethnic health disparities among Asian Americans and other ethnic groups. A particular focus of his work is on the measurement of racial discrimination and its associations with chronic illness. Current projects focus on novel ways to measure self-reported discrimination, the development of objective measures of name and accent discrimination, and the study of associations between discrimination and health outcomes in the U. S. His work also examines how neighborhoods and environmental exposures may contribute to health disparities.

***Diva note: This was kind of an odd panel. Gee was recruited by Sherman James in years past to another school where James was the department head. Perhaps John Hopkins or Michigan. So everyone is a "good buddy" of someone else at the conference.

Gee offered multiple displays and charts showing that Asians are overlooked when collecting health statistics.

Race of infants at birth and at death are often misclassified.

Asians and Hispanics are erased from the color line when most statistics are gathered. They are most often listed as "other".

Systematic misclassification and omission.

Something humorous about Gee:

Right before this particular discussion got started, I went up to the panel and began talking with Keith Whitfield who was one of the panelists.

Gee was standing beside us and I began talking about how odd I thought the title of the conference was---"Still Two Nations?"

Whitfield explained that their panel was focusing on healthcare; however, I continued to talk about the irony of having such an event organized by the very same people who went after the innocent Duke students in 2006 and beyond.

Then I said to Gee and Whitfield--"You bet there's two nations. All of those same people still have their jobs."

Gee looked as if he'd been slapped by someone. His eyes darted around the room and he looked at Whitfield.

It's clear from watching the dynamics of this group for a few days that the Hispanic and Asian members of this lucrative club of the constantly aggrieved never question their leaders of that club-----who are always the black members of the academy.

Suddenly, Paula McClain appeared out of nowhere with something for Whitfield to sign.

Did he need to sign it at that moment?

Who knows?

It was very clear that Bonilla-Silva, McClain, and Haynie had a tight rein on their little show throughout.

More on McClain later........***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

The Color Lines and Health

2) Keith Whitfield (Duke University)

"Persistent racial differences in hypertension: How difficult is it to change?"

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases as well as functional decline among older African Americans. AAs tend to experience earlier onset and greater severity of the condition relative to Whites. For example, previous research has shown that AAs were nearly eight years younger, on average, when given a diagnosis of hypertension as compared to Whites. The origins of hypertension have been studied from both environmental and biological or genetic perspectives. Epidemiological studies of hypertension have documented strong associations with socioeconomic status, body mass, and smoking among both AAs and Whites. While environmental and health behaviors impact hypertension, this is also a disease that demonstrates genetic patterns clearly shown in the Renin-Angiotensinogen System, an important biochemical pathway regulating blood pressure. Current knowledge allows for the examination of how genetic and environmental influences serve as both main effects and interact to account for individual variability in indices of blood pressure status. This chapter will review the current information on genetic and environmental sources of blood pressure viability. It will also explore the implications of hypertension and some policy issues relevant to maintaining healthy control of blood pressure.

***Diva note: Perhaps Dr. Whitfield might want to ask David Evans' father, Collin Finnerty's mother, as well as Reade Seligmann's father what stress can do to your health.

He won't need any funding for that.

Just call up and ask.***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

The Color Lines and Health

3) Charmaine Royal (Duke University)

"Toward a New Paradigm for Health Disparities Research"

I don't have any notes on this woman and only remember three men on this panel.

Perhaps, like Wahneema, she was unable to show.

In any case, the moderator Sherman James spoke intermittently throughout. Toward the end he asked this question:

"What does it mean to be a racial minority in the U. S. all of your life?" ***

Debrah said...

Have you guys had enough yet? !!!

Two more panels to go and then finito.

(Except for my big surprise.)

One Spook said...

Debrah writes @ 1:53 PM:

"Have you guys had enough yet? !!!"

No, not at all, Debrah ... you've done a great job! Not even two bottles of my favorite single malt Scotch could have gotten me through those reeducation camp "sessions."

And, for anyone reading Debrah's reports, you can sing along with the "Dixie Cups" to this great old tune that is the source of Debrah's title for her reports Going To The Chapel

Race, Gender, Sex and Rock n' Roll ... how can you beat it?

One Spook

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

Racial Prejudice in the Modern World

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (Duke University) Moderator

Bonilla-Silva is listed as just the moderator on this panel and as a panelist on the upcoming and last panel; however, I believe that it was Lawrence Bobo of Harvard who didn't show up.

Consequently, Bonilla-Silva ended up speaking on this panel and dominating it, essentially.

1) Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

"Was blind, but now I (still cannot) see: How America's Current Race Grammar Prevents Whites from 'Seeing' Clearly"

Overcoming Racism? In academia as well as in popular culture we assume the way out of America's racial nightmare is through enlightenment; through dialogue and discussion that shows people how race affects some positively and others negatively. Hence, we herald rational discourse and education as the fundamental tools for overcoming racism. In this paper I argue that one cannot accept "rationally" what one does not "see" as a problem. I suggest that besides the field of racial ideology that organizes actors' race views in ways that defend and justify the "(racial) order of things," there is another field I label racial grammar that structures vision, cognition, interpretation, and even our emotions about race matters. In the paper I invoke "peculiar" data (that is, not-typical sociological data from TV, movies, child abductions, missing children, etc.) to make my case. Based on the evidence I present I suggest that way out of all "racial situations" is through struggle (social movements). Struggle, I contend, is the way of making those blinded by whiteness "see" and appreciate their domination and "accept" the need for change.

***Diva note: Bonilla-Silva felt compelled to tell us how very disturbed he was because Eve Carson, the UNC-CH student body president who was murdered, was described as "beautiful" in the media.

Same with Natalie Holloway and Lacey Peterson.

He contrasted their coverage with that of black and Hispanic women.

He then dredged up Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" to say that white is still considered what is "beautiful".

Stories about whites are considered "universal".

White "beauty" is depicted as ALL beauty.

More personal examples....on and nauseum.

Whites need to regain their sight..

An alternative racial grammar is needed.

An epistemology of racial grammar.

We need to fight back!

Bonilla-Silva's riveting and spellbinding dramatic performance reached its climax when an angry image of Malcolm X was splashed across the massive screens in the chapel.


This egotistical, chest-beating hilarity cannot be conveyed successfully by mere words.

I'm afraid readers who were not in attendance will never fully understand the troglodytic nature of such a display.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is what happens when Ricky Ricardo meets Leo Terrell.

A very loud, obnoxious, and unfortunately, not too brainy, guy. ***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

Racial Prejudice in the Modern World

2) Yolanda Flores Niemann (Utah State University)

"Accommodations or Conflict: Implications of Group Identities for Black-Grown Relations and Racial Politics during Barack Obama's Presidency"

Forty years ago the Kerner Report concluded that America was headed toward two societies, one Black, and one White. Sixteen years ago, Andrew Hacker asked why Black and White Americans still lead separate lives, continually marked by tension and hostility (1992). Today, two months after the election of the first African American president of the United States, we seem to be at a crossroads with respect to race relations in the country. To many Americans, the election of Barack Obama seemed to signal the end of the "two nations" reality. The election stimulated ongoing discussion of a "post-racial" America, by the media, scholars, political analysts, and the nation-at-large. The gist of this discussion is that the United States of America has finally reached a stage of development whereby people's racial or ethnic background is an irrelevant part of how Americans judge or perceive them. Especially after the presidential election, newspaper editorials, policy and election analysts on television seemed almost giddy with the prospect that the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., that people will be judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin, had finally come true. Some people seemed to be celebrating a new era during which race/ethnicity is not part of intergroup relations reality or dialogue and the end of negative racial group stereotypes. In this paper I will examine the probability of that reality, with specific attention to relations between African Americans and Latinas/os. I will argue that the experimental reality in the United States consists of more than two nations, one Black, and one White. Rather, within the U. S., there is a third nation---one growing rapidly; one that consists of immigrants as well as U. S.-born---that third nation is made up of Latinas/os. I will further argue that Black-Brown relations will be contingent upon the development of an overarching umbrella, common group identity, especially formed in response to collective group goals.

***Diva note: I literally suffered through this one. Readers are able to get an idea of the value of Yolanda Flores Niemann's presentation just by reading what was submitted above.

If this woman is a "Latina", then Aunt Bea was.

Visually, she could be the daughter of that character.

Further, no one would have a clue that she was Hispanic at all.

A very white woman. No Spanish accent.

Yet she talked at length about profiling at the border.

Lots of silly and repetitive comments about Obama.

Too many personal stories.

This must be what sitting at a truck-stop in El Paso, Texas is like and the day waitress won't stop talking.

I honestly do not know what this woman was doing there except to fill another Hispanic/Latino seat at the conference.

No doubt, the Gang of 88 members who organize such events try to recruit people for their panels whose scholarship is even more questionable than their own. ***

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

Racial Prejudice in the Modern World

3) Thomas Pettigrew (University of California-Santa Cruz)

"Post-Racism? Putting President Obama's Victory in Perspective"

Does President Obama's momentous election victory signify a new, post-racism American era? Some observers, such as a New York Times science editor, think so. But, unfortunately, this claim is premature for a host of reasons. (1) It took "a perfect storm" of interlocking factors to elect Obama. (2) Many bigots actually voted for Obama. (3) Two logical fallacies underlie this too-optimistic view. (4) Racist attitudes and actions repeatedly occurred throughout the campaign, (5) White Southern and older voters both demonstrated that rank racism remains. (6) Increased turn-out of young and minority voters was crucial. So, what changes in American race relations may take place during the Obama presidency?

***Diva note: Pettigrew disappoints.

This is a man who has been in the academy for over half a century, yet he uses rhetoric one would expect from the Gang of 88.

He's an intelligent man.

An accomplished man.

I had a chat with his friend Professor Richard Cramer who is a sociologist at UNC-CH.

He's a charming man and he told me that he was glad that Pettigrew came in from California so that he wouldn't be the oldest person there.

I enjoyed our talk and it was clear that he delighted in my tales of university life and how I was allowed to construct my own major.

I was sufficiently progressive until I brought up the ever-present subject of Duke Lacrosse and the role the 88 had in it.

No surprise.

The pattern emerges once again.

Our conversation was delicately, yet quickly, cut short.


Pettigrew states that it is a fallacy that those voting individually for Obama were not prejudiced.

How does he know this?


"Racist views do not exist in a psychologicsl vacuum."

"We are still not a one racialized nation."

Ho-hum..... ***

Debrah said...

Taking a break before putting up the last panel.....

Readers should know that before every panel discussion began, either Paula McClain or Bonilla-Silva made a huge point--like clockwork---of warning anyone who might attempt to tape the conference.

They wanted everyone to know that it is illegal to tape panelists without their permission....and unethical.

Well, they are the experts on that subject!

They also said that Duke University was recording the conference in its entirety and it would be podcast at some subsequent time.

Professor Cramer told me that he didn't think this was anything out of the ordinary. He said they didn't allow attendees to tape it for "proprietary reasons".

So that other people will not be using and benefiting from their "product".

Well.......everything has been explained.

Anonymous said...

Debrah - a question.
How did you manage to sit through all of this without either a number of stiff drinks or the need to go retch in the restroom?
Your intestinal fortitude deserves the admiration of all.
It will be interesting to see if the proceedings of the symposioum are in fact made available.

Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

Overcoming Racism? Debate On Policy Options

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (Duke University) Moderator

1) Melissa Nobles (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

"Apology and Reparations in the Age of Obama"

Around the world, apologies and reparations have been given (or demanded) in a range of circumstances, including resolution of WWII crimes, democratization after authoritarian rule, and most recently, historical injustices. While the circumstances vary, arguments in favor or opposition are similar, centering around three core concerns. These are the moral propriety, efficacy, and costs of apologies and reparations. In this eaasy, I will provide a brief discussion of these concerns. I will then discuss the public debates and political efforts to secure an apology and reparations for American slavery and "Jim Crow" segregation. I will then assess and explain the outcomes, paying particular attention to whether they confirm the expectations of advocates and opponents. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of whether the election of Barack Obama has rendered moot the apology and reparations debate here in the U. S.

***Diva note: Nobles says that the harms justify reparations.

Apologies are deemed appropriate.

Gave a long litany explaining why these things are necessary.

Results of survey


Blacks: 75% favor 21% oppose

Whites: 30% favor 70% oppose


Blacks: 67% favor 32% oppose

Whites: 4% favor 96% oppose

Is Obama's election reparations?


Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel (Day Two)

Overcoming Racism? Debate On Policy Options

2) Lani Guinier (Harvard University)

Many people are familiar with Guinier from the Clinton administration. She was Bill Clinton's nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in April 1993.

Her nomination was withdrawn in June of that year.

Even though Guinier is way out in left field, I have always liked her. Don't know why, exactly. She's just an interesting person, IMO.

Guinier says to think about race consciously, but across racial lines.

Racial literacy is built on cross-racial coalitions.

She went into her "miner's canary" analogy that I've heard a hundred times.

Look at race as the canary in the mine. Do not simply fix the canary. This is a signal to "fix the atmosphere in the mine".

For racial equality there must be a commitment to the idea that everyone has access to the resources of this society.

Configurations of power.

The test-ocracy:

Who designs the tests?
Who decides who deserves to pass the test?

She mentions the firemen's case that Stuart wrote about. He could slice and dice her on this issue.

Guinier says that we need to be "racially literate".

"Change the atmosphere of the mine so that we can all breathe inside a cleaner place".

Ultra-quaint! ***

Debrah said...

Funny, "cks".

It was tough at certain points.

But you must understand my reasons for going.

I will explain further in a few concluding posts.

You have no idea how much fun I had on a certain level.


Debrah said...

Going to the Chapel

Overcoming Racism? Debate On Policy Options

3) William "Sandy" Darity (Duke University)

"Can We Get Forty Acres and a Mule in the 21st Century?"

The Obama election has been interpreted as ushering in the era of trans-racial America--an America where all social programs should be universal in their application rather than particularistic. The president himself stands in explicit opposition to reparations for African Americans. But is there still a case to be made for black reparations? And, if so, what are the practical ways in which initiatives could be crafted that achieve the same ends in the new "trans-racial" America?

***Diva notes: Darity wants to know if the Obama presidency is a barrier to social justice for blacks in the U. S.

Does his presidency operate as a blockade against reparations?

Darity says "YES !!!"

Obama consistently opposes particularistic programs for blacks.

But he does not oppose them for all racial groups.

Obama has designated his own election as the answer to black issues.

A symbolic moment.

This is a continued detour from persistent racial inequalities.

Obama's election was America's way of buying "racial reconciliation on the cheap".

Darity basically laid out a program of socialism with guaranteed achievement for blacks.

Reparations are three-fold:

1) acknowledgment

2) redress

3) closure

Darity wants the 40 acres and a mule idea restored.

"Obama's presidency is not enough!"


Excited applause.

The audience was feelin' Darity.

Paula McClain came to the microphone to tell everyone how glad she was that they came.

The End

Debrah said...

It was important for me to check out some of the people about whom I've read so much and by whom I've been endlessly disgusted.

We all know what they did.

We all know what they said.

Yet, like cowardly ever-feeding parasites they remain at the scene where they did such damage to young people for whom they were supposed to serve as examples.

As I told Sarah Deutsch, I love KC for his work and what he's done.

Every day, while performing his duties as a professor and going about the daily grind, he made this place available to everyone.

Those not associated with the academy were quickly informed about things they would never have gotten from regular media outlets.

This is a drama unto itself, quite separate from the Lacrosse Hoax.

Going to that place for two long days was important.

Personally, I don't enjoy people thinking that I might be one of those "bloggers" who will not say the exact same things face-to-face when I criticize someone.

It is my firm belief that many in the Gang actually believe that they will be able to move on and that people will forget.

I experienced enormous pleasure knowing that those who organized that conference knew who i was and watched me like a hawk.

They have followed everything KC has done. They've read this blog and know how so many of us feel about them.

I got even more pleasure from being inside one of the large ladies' rooms after lunch when Paula McClain and I happened to be in there alone for an extensive period of time.

Both standing in front of the mirrored vanity and sinks reapplying eyeshadow, lipstick or gloss...whichever.....

......and not one word uttered.

Not one pleasantry.

This simply does not happen between women who find themselves inside a loo together.

Did they know me?

Heck yes, they did.


This loo encounter was after Bonilla-Silva had finished his over-the-top goofy presentation.

I had raised my hand because I wanted to ask him to explain in detail what he means when he uses "Gringo Land".

And again, they just happened to be out of time. LOL!!!

While McClain was still in the restroom, I didn't make any attempt to hurry out.

By her expression and cold behavior, it was clear she knew me and why I was there.

I went into the stall to use the john and when I was buttoning up I intentionally went into an affected and exasperating little chat with myself.....

"It's much easier to unbutton than it is to button up. Oh well, that's Gringo Land!"

And I employed my best Spanish accent with an extended rolling of the "R's" in the word "Gringo".

I have no doubt that the Diva message came across loud and clear.

When I opened the stall and walked toward the exit door, McClain had a big frown on her face in front of the mirror.

For me, it wasn't so important to ask a question that would, by definition of Diva existence, be antagonistic to such cretins. They would have had it erased by the time the tape was taken to podcast mode......

.....and the people there would have been affected not an ounce.

Anyone who would have attacked the organizers of the conference would have been viewed as an example of why the conference was valid in the first place.

We're talking "cult" here.

I do not exaggerate when I say that with the possible exception of one other person, I bet serious money that I was the only one there who was not in complete agreement with this archaic agenda.

It was literally like an invasion of the body snatchers.

But what these 88 cretins do not know is that people like me would have never given them the time of day or a second thought if they had not made themselves news by behaving like rush-to-judgment bigoted loons.

Debrah said...

During a few panel discussions I saw Bill Chafe in the audience. He's a small man. His head and his white beard are the largest things about him.

A bit of unexpected drama came my way during a break in the morning panel discussions on Saturday.

One person who hadn't even entered my mind as someone who would be there tapped me on the shoulder and asked if she could talk with me outside.

I didn't even recognize her at first. It's amazing how much smaller and shorter some of those people look face-to-face.

When we got to the lobby I saw that she was Karla Holloway.

She was very soft-spoken and directed me back toward the hallway for a chat.

I was extremely pleased by this; however, her objective was not to have an honest meeting-of-the-minds, but to give a lecture, which she had, no doubt, prepared as soon as her friends told her I would be there.

I listened to her for a while.

She said that friends had told her things that they had read which I had written about her.

Her son and her daughter.

Hearing this, I corrected her immediately. I know nothing about her daughter and have never mentioned her daughter. I told her that she must be misinformed.

I hope that it was clear to Holloway that I and most people who are concerned about what she did to the lacrosse players, are not at all interested in her family.

She became the issue by her own words and deeds. Her son became an issue for many bloggers and observers because of the irony involved in such a case.

I would have been open to a constructive dialogue with Holloway if she had just once approached the conversation as if she were living in reality.

She told me that she wished me well and that she hoped that I never had to go through the tribulations that her family has endured.

Her only objective was to make herself look magnanimous by "wishing me well" after I had been so harsh.

And you know....about this time, I had had enough.

I explained to her that she might be surprised if she knew a bit about my life experiences and just how familiar I am with aspects of society that she might find worthy, and I told her that I take a back seat to no one in my regard for the rights of others.

I made it clear to her that she will not frame the conversation to make herself a victim and disregard why I even know who she is in the first place.

Until the Lacrosse Hoax, I didn't even know Holloway existed!

I asked her if she had any idea what she did to the mothers of those young men.

I told her that her behavior was abominable.

I then wondered aloud how a boy (her son) who grew up in an upper-middle class educated home would choose to rape and harm only white women.

She then cut the conversation off. Apparently concerned that others might hear that her condescension didn't work.

Holloway will never admit this, but that might have been the only time in her life when someone stood right in front of her face and told her what she never wants to confront:

Why she enjoyed trying to railroad Reade, Collin, and David.

Why she said that she would sign the "Listening Statement" again in a heartbeat.

Why people have scrutinized her.

Holloway wanted to talk with me.

I hope she understands clearly now that there are people in the real world who will not abide her self-massaging act and will not be lectured.

Anonymous said...

It would seem that Karla Holloway was more than a little undone by her meeting with you, Debrah. Perhaps your words will strike a chord deep in her heart - one can only hope. As my parents always preached to me - you catch more flies with honey than you ever do with vinegar.
My guess is that the word had gotten out early that you were to be watched and approached. When the participants found that you were not an ogre, they were left with their collective mouths hanging open - not at all what they expected.
You have done yeoman's service in attending and reporting. My hat is off to you.


Debrah said...

Thank you again, "cks", and to others for their kind comments on this thread.

They are much appreciated.

One can only imagine how those in the academy are treated when they are known to be in disagreement with the methods of people like the organizers of the conference and the rest of the Gang of 88.

Obviously, that group keeps a clear and swift network of communication flowing among them and know who the people are who might give them push-back.

I feel for people who must work in that type of an environment and who don't go along with their indoctrination.

They are, no doubt, always on guard and undermined at every turn.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Debrah. Fantastic job!


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Thank you, Debrah.

One Spook said...

Debrah ... thank you for going and for your illuminating reports.

When you mentioned the attendance at 75- 80 (I presume that includes presenters), it became apparent that this was just another gathering of "the usual suspects" who worship at the altar of the race, class and gender trinity and use that very warped and skewed ideological focus as a method to explain all aspects of human history and behavior.

I would ask if there were any others in attendance who asked critical questions as you did, although I think I know the answer to that.

I believe that these groups of impostors who pretend to have a presentation of "race issues" are excellent examples of the "nation of cowards" of which newly minted Attorney General Eric Holder spoke.

They are, in fact, frightened to death of hosting a true dialog on racial issues.

It is highly disturbing to see what a sad, frightened, and marginalized group these faux-academics really are. I weep for the academy to which these poseurs belong.

One Spook

Anonymous said...


Great work, lass!

I Especially liked the way you handled Karla Holloway, and your comments on K.C.'s workload (noting that he voluntarily increased it -- hugely -- by taking on this courageous blog). You showed Doctah Holloway that opponents of Political Correctness can be forthright and have integrity.

It must have been two VERY long days. But I"m sure I'm not the only one who appreciates your efforts.

Now -- get some rest! You've earned it.

Gus W.

Anonymous said...

Dear Deboral:

Thanks for attending and giving us details.

I ran a marathon over the weekend but it certainly did not require the stamina you needed to get through the conference.

I eagerly await the recording that they claim to have made. I'm sure it's "forthcoming".

Debrah said...

Thanks, Gus.

As well as RRH and anonymous.

It's true. Those days were two long ones......but remember what my mother said about childbirth.


Debrah said...

TO (4:29 PM)--

There was one woman from the Pope Foundation who asked Bonilla-Silva a question after his presentation.

She was very low-key and this was during the same session when I tried to get in the question about "Gringo Land".

Even though he didn't use that term in his diatribe that day, I wanted to ask him "something about his previous work".


The questioner from the Pope Foundation asked straightforwardly..."Are you saying that racism is in the genes of some people?"

Paula McClain was standing behind me as she often was during the Q&A sessions---(which makes me wonder if I was overlooked deliberately)---and after the woman asked that question, I said sarcastically, "Good question.".....within earshot of McClain.

The questioner was subtle; however, it was clear that she was trying to show how silly some of Bonnilla-Silva's assertions were.

This woman was also the person about whom I mentioned as being the only other attendee who might not go along with the conference agenda.

As I was leaving I went over to tell her that she asked a good question.

Keep in mind that those with the Pope Foundation are often conservative on most issues. Certainly much more conservative, politically, than I.

However, It seems that with respect to issues surrounding the Gang of 88, they never attack them head-on.

If you've ever read anything that John Hood of the John Locke Foundation has written, you'll see that such people are conservative, but shy away from outward confrontations on race.

Which, IMO, renders them impotent in so many ways.

Lastly, I did most of my constructive work outside the panel discussions.

Knowing that I would not be welcome to fully disrobe the Gang of 88 organizers before the audience, I believe that my one-on-one comments and discussions with the majority of the panelists participating in the conference, outside the sessions, served their purpose.

Debrah said...

It might be instructive for some readers who missed it to check out this feverish offering from Holloway in the Summer of 2006.

Anonymous said...

To: Diva

That was uniquely impressive and will now be an important part of the permanent record in the LAX hoax. I especially loved your witty asides, especially this one: "Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is what happens when Ricky Ricardo meets Leo Terrell." Brilliant!

Also, very perceptive that Karla Holloway might not want others to see her race juju as ineffectual.

The conference reminded me of a trade association convention for the glass packaging industry in 1960 or a seminar for newspaper editors in 2000. "The future is bright for us, and we are much needed. Our cause is just, and we will not be deterred! [congratulatory back-slapping all around]" MOO! Gregory

Debrah said...

Thanks for reading through them, Gregory.