Monday, May 17, 2010

No Shame

Though publicly rebuked by his own ideological comrades, Group of 88 extremist Grant Farred doesn’t appear to have lost any of his pedagogical influence. The homepage of Cornell’s English Department includes an announcement of a new concentration—“cultural studies”—which supposedly allows students to “study different media and forms of culture in terms of historical, social, and political contexts.”

According to the link the department provides, the two departmental specialists in this new concentration are none other than Dr. Farred, along with colleague Jane Juffer.

Farred’s . . . peculiar research interests already have been noted. Juffer, a former director of Penn State’s Latino/a Studies Initiative, is author of At Home with Pornography: Women, Sex, and Everyday Life. The book offers the only-in-academia thesis of viewing “women’s erotica within the context of governmental regulation that attempts to counterpose a ‘dangerous’ pornography with the sanctity of the home. Juffer explorers [sic] how women’s consumption of erotica and porn for their own pleasure can be empowering, while still acting to reinforce conservative ideals.” NYU Press assures readers that completing Juffer’s work will “transform our understanding of women's everyday sexuality.”

What sorts of topics will this new concentration enable students to explore? Prof. Debra Fried gave two examples to the Cornell student newspaper: “anything from comparing Ithaca’s coffee shops to how a ‘news anchor’s hairdo and clothing can contribute subtly to how the news is “spun” on a TV news report.’”

And beyond the offerings of Farred and Juffer, the new concentration will offer such courses as “Food, Gender, Culture,” which explores “the way food practices help shape our sense of [of course . . .] gender, race, sexual orientation, and national identity.”

In a comment that must have been made tongue-in-cheek, Cornell Daily Sun reporter Joseph Nickzy affirmed that “English majors are excited by the prospect of a new field of study, particularly one so relevant.”

Cornell’s annual tuition—not counting room and board—is $39,450. For the opportunity to partake of such “relevant” course offerings from such student-friendly professors as Grant Farred, surely any parent would be eager to fork over $160,000 plus room and board for a four-year period.


Farred, it’s worth noting, isn’t the only disgraced figure associated with the lacrosse case recently in the news. John McCann, a due process-unfriendly columnist from the Herald-Sun, last week suddenly decided the time had come to stand up for criminal defendants. His preferred choice? False accuser Crystal Mangum.

In the column, Mangum co-author Vincent Clark wildly charged, according to McCann’s summary, that Mangum’s bond (from criminal charges earlier this year) “is too high,” because of “the woman’s role in the lacrosse case.” Neither McCann nor Clark provided any evidence to corroborate the claim, nor did either man offer a theory (plausible or otherwise) as to why the Durham criminal justice system would operate from such a motive.

Magnum, according to Clark, is an innocent victim in the affair: “It could have been anybody's daughter . . . It could have been my daughter.” Clark didn’t say if his daughter had ever set clothes on fire inside an apartment while screaming at her boyfriend, with her children in the next room.

(The line recalled Duke extremist Timothy Tyson’s justification for being part of the potbangers’ protest weekend: Mangum was “somebody’s daughter and somebody’s sister and somebody’s mother and somebody’s sweetheart.”)

Clark additionally complained about difficulties in his fundraising campaign for Mangum’s bond. Laments McCann: “Problem is, folks are scared to contribute to Mangum's cause out of fear of being linked to her and attracting unwanted attention.” Indeed. The danger of publicity is undoubtedly the only reason why “folks” are not lining up to contribute to a bail fund for a repeat criminal who lied about a high-profile local case.

Perhaps Clark should turn to Farred for donations? After all, the ex-Duke professor did everything he could to prop up Mangum’s case, and the median salary for his current rank is $154,300.


Anonymous said...

Is Farred a Communist?

David Kane said...

"colleague Jane Juffer?" I think you mean either "girlfriend" or "wife". At the very least, they were property owners together.

Real Estate Transactions: June 22-26,2009

Spring Township

Jane A. Juffer and Grant A. Farred to Scott J. Scotilla and Margaret E. Scotilla, 915 S. Glenn Circle, $251,500.

I am sure, though, that Juffer got her position at Cornell solely on her own merit . . .

Panacea said...

It's all well and good to keep talking about Crystal Mangum's arrest now, but where were all the people when it would have mattered when she should have been arrested long ago for what she did to the lacrosse players?

It was only because of politics that Roy Cooper and the lawyers for the players did not do that. So why is it important to worry about Crystal Mangum now?

Is it because the lawyers for the players are no longer worried about how their friends will be affected politically?

Somebody needs to start talking about the truth in that or don't keep bashing Duke professors. Where were you KC when the call for Mangum's arrest came in from so many back then?

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 10.01am:

I was strongly opposing it, since I don't generally support prosecutors trying cases for which they have no chance of obtaining conviction, on two grounds:

(1) I found it extremely unlikely that Mangum could be convicted of filing a false police report, since her attorney could have easily planted reasonable doubt by arguing that (a) the police & prosecutor believed her, so how can we be sure her report is false?; or (b) she's insane, and actually believed what she said, and therefore didn't have an intent to deceive.

(2)Even in the very unlikely event that (1) didn't apply, it is utterly inconceivable to me that any Durham jury would have convicted her, given the persistence of the "something happened" meme.

Item (1) has nothing to do with politics. I suppose it could be argued that item (2) is politics. I considered it then and consider it now bowing to reality.

Anonymous said...

She should have been prosecuted so that the legal system could send a message.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 1.35:

I couldn't disagree more. The legal system doesn't exist to "send a message."

Indeed, it's worth remembering that the Nifong/Cline policy on sexual assault cases (adopted before the lacrosse case broke) said it was OK to bring a case to trial the prosecutor knew he or she would lose, as part of "sending a message" regarding the seriousness of sexual assault.

skwilli said...

It would seem to me that the Press is a good place "to send messages", not the DA. And yet what message did they send? I'm not sure any message the Press can send now is worth hearing anyway. When their mind is made up before events even happen, it kinda (sic) takes a little something out of it. Journalism today is now nothing but advocacy.

Panacea said...

KC, some of us live here and we were not opposing it. I really don't know what the blogging has been about if no one wanted to go the trouble of doing the right thing for all parties involved.

If the attorneys and Roy Cooper wanted to hold CM accountable no one could have stopped them.

Her history of crime was widely available and the fact that she got a degree from Central later shows she was not insane.

They let her off from any responsibility because it was political dynamite for them. They could have had a trial in a town other than Durham. Most everyone was in favor of charging CM because her actions caused so much damage and so much financial pain for innocent people.

I've lived in the Raleigh area for years. I know how the legal system operates locally and how they are "in bed" with each other.

You might also need to bow to the reality that the lacrosse attorneys and the people who would not have wanted CM charged run in the same circles.

Whether or not you consider that important is not relevant. Some of us live here and believe all that was an issue and the real reason she was not charged.

The state is not progressive at all because it is been held back by the same corrupt Democrats for decades. They don't make a move unless it's for their own benefit.

Unknown said...

The truth from Durham is that noone cares, noone remembers, and what happened is indeed somewhere in Wonderland. They've all sunk into their little underground caves hoping, praying the judge rules for governmental immunity. Only when the figurative tanks roll in will justice be done...feds and bankruptcy get my vote. Come on, KC, don't be a party pooper. Let me post. You can even censor so you can teach me the proper way to communicate on blogs as you Yankees obviously know how to do.

sceptical said...

Latest word from Durham is that Crystal Mangum was released from jail yesterday after a bond agency put up her $10,000 bail.

Anonymous said...

Panacea- wrote "Her history of crime was widely available and the fact that she got a degree from Central later shows she was not insane."
I am not sure that is correct - I believe an insane person did and could get a degree from NC CENTRAL. She single handedly diminished the value of every recent NC Central graduate's degreee - they should all be outraged unless they are all rejects also who received a "bogus" degree.

Gary Packwood said...

Panacea 5/17/10 3:15 PM..said..
...If the attorneys and Roy Cooper wanted to hold CM accountable no one could have stopped them.
...Her history of crime was widely available and the fact that she got a degree from Central later shows she was not insane.
I also gave that some thought but I came to a different conclusion.

If Children's Protective Service's of Durham is not going to move on CM to protect her little kids throughout her history of crime, I can so no reason why Roy Cooper or the attorneys would attempt to do so.

Given that, I do support a cause of action against Durham.

The factual elements needed are most certainly there.

Anonymous said...

You spelled CM's name wrong at least once in this post. I have to say, I find your use of [sic] to be really snarky and generally unpleasant to read, but it's especially annoying when you fail to proof your own posts. (And, admittedly, I may be the only one who reads it that way.)

That being said, I do, of course, agree with your general stance on the lacrosse case.


Murgatroyd said...

Mangum was “somebody’s daughter and somebody’s sister and somebody’s mother and somebody’s sweetheart.”

According to the DNA analysis, she was the sweetheart of at least half a dozen "somebodies" within only a couple of days.

Panacea said...

To the 2:14:

Anonymous, that's a good point and it has been made before. The funnier part is a few of the lawyers who represented the lacrosse players teach classes at Central's law school sometimes and if CM goes for her degree in criminal justice after her latest arrest she could have a class with them.

As we know in Durham she could get off and be back in school soon for a "higher degree".

Panacea said...

GP, there was a breakdown on all fronts in not holding CM accountable. It reinforces people to always use race to get away with things and the lacrosse defense lawyers showed that the justice system is all a game.

Don't tell me that they could not have made a move to jail CM long ago. Just the act of having her arrested would have sent a strong message regardless what a local jury would have done. There is no excuse for that not to have happened except that the lawyers wanted to avoid being seen as liberals going after a black woman.

I doubt they would have done anything even if CM had really murdered someone. They could act compassionate and wipe their hands of it after getting so much national recognition and lots of money for representing the players.

Anonymous said...

Have you looked at the Tonya Craft case? It may well have superseded the Nifong fiasco as the highest-profile instance of prosecutorial misconduct in modern American history. Bill Anderson has an interesting blog though not as well written as yours.

Anonymous said...

Professor Johnson,

I've seen where individuals have attacked you for noting the published works of this member of the Gang of 88 or the title to a book written by that gang member. I have found your research to be extremely relevant, though, especially when you find deliciously ridiculous items like Juffer's.

As an attorney, I always try to dress in a respectable manner in court, but, if one day I stapled sardines all over my suit -- covering the front of the shirt, the coat and my trousers -- and spent the day arguing before the bench in my fish suit, I would expect that people would rightfully remember my apparel on that day and judge me in the future based, at least in part, on it.

"At Home with Pornography: Women, Sex, and Everyday Life" is Juffer's fish suit. MOO Gregory.

foxlets14 said...

There has to be a way to shine a light on Judge Beaty's unwaranted delay in this case. For example, 28 USC 372(c) permits any person to file a complaint with the clerk of the U.S. Appeals Court for the 4th Circuit on the ground that Judge Beaty "has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts" WHICH HAS INCLUDED DECISIONAL DELAY. The Chief Judge of the 4th Circuit upon stating his reasons by written order may dismiss the complaint, if he finds that it is "directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling, or is frivolous".

If the complaint is not dismissed, the Chief Judge appoints a special committee to investigate and the matter goes forward as provided in section 372.

I can understand if the attorneys for plaintiffs may not wish to pursue this avenue and possibly incur the prejudicial wrath of Judge Beaty. But what about someone, say, from the media or academia, preferably with a thorough knowledge of the case and the harm the delay is causing plaintiffs?

Anonymous said...

As a parent of one of the non accused, who has spent more than 75,000 dollars since 13 March 2006, is it possible for you K.C. to nudge a little, referring to 01:52 am of 5-20-10?

Quasimodo said...

As a parent of one of the non accused, who has spent more than 75,000 dollars since 13 March 2006, is it possible for you K.C. to nudge a little, referring to 01:52 am of 5-20-10?

"As they have dared, so shall I dare. Dare to tell the truth, for I have pledged to tell the full and complete truth if the normal channels of justice failed to do so. My duty is to speak out; I do not wish to be complicit.


"Do not think that I despair of triumphing in the slightest. I repeat with the most vehement conviction: truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it.

Today is only the beginning for this case, since it is only today that the positions have been made clear: on one side, the guilty parties, who do not want the light to shine forth, on the other, those who seek justice and who will give their all to see that light shine.

I have said it elsewhere and I repeat it now: when truth is buried underground, it builds up and acquires an explosive force that is destined to blast everything away with it. We shall see whether we have set ourselves up for the most resounding of disasters, yet to come."

--Emile Zola, "I Accuse!"

Unknown said...

Quasimodo, question for you. Let's say Judge Beatty rules against governmental immunity, at least enough for the defendants to offer some or all of the plaintiffs a rich settlement. Would you support continuing on the principle or would you want to settle? Durham hasn't changed much, let me tell you, and there's noone here with the plaintiffs' deep pockets. What would you do and why?