January 17, 2007

"We think the ad's authors were right to give voice to the students quoted, whose suffering is real."

Here's the new open letter from various Duke University professors, saying why their original ad -- "This is a social disaster" -- is not something to apologize for:
The ad has been read as a comment on the alleged rape, the team party, or the specific students accused. Worse, it has been read as rendering a judgment in the case. We understand the ad instead as a call to action on important, longstanding issues on and around our campus, an attempt to channel the attention generated by the incident to addressing these. We reject all attempts to try the case outside the courts, and stand firmly by the principle of the presumption of innocence.

As a statement about campus culture, the ad deplores a "Social Disaster," as described in the student statements, which feature racism, segregation, isolation, and sexism as ongoing problems before the scandal broke, exacerbated by the heightened tensions in its immediate aftermath. The disaster is the atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus. The ad's statement that the problem "won't end with what the police say or the court decides" is as clearly true now as it was then. Whatever its conclusions, the legal process will not resolve these problems.

The ad thanked "the students speaking individually and...the protesters making collective noise." We do not endorse every demonstration that took place at the time. We appreciate the efforts of those who used the attention the incident generated to raise issues of discrimination and violence.

There have been public calls to the authors to retract the ad or apologize for it, as well as calls for action against them and attacks on their character. We reject all of these. We think the ad's authors were right to give voice to the students quoted, whose suffering is real. We also acknowledge the pain that has been generated by what we believe is a misperception that the authors of the ad prejudged the rape case.

We stand by the claim that issues of race and sexual violence on campus are real, and we join the ad's call to all of us at Duke to do something about this. We hope that the Duke community will emerge from this tragedy as a better place for all of us to live, study, and work.
"The disaster is the atmosphere...." -- we're told. The students' perceptions matter and deserve to be "give[n] voice." But the professors don't like how they were perceived by the world outside the university; that was misreading. But if it is perception -- atmosphere -- that matters -- how can you think that you can contribute things to be perceived and avoid responsibility for the effect that you have?

ADDED: La Shawn Barber is scathing.

MORE: I've been thinking a lot about this post -- minimal as it is. There is so much behind this that could be said, so much going back over the 20 years that I've been a law professor. My office for the last decade or so was once occupied by my brilliant colleague Patricia Williams. She wrote something long ago about Tawana Brawley that maybe not everyone remembers, but you should know if you mean to find your way around American academia. I'll put it in context in this 1997 article by Neil A. Lewis (TimesSelect link):
Critical race theorists, who are on the faculty at almost every major law school and are producing an ever-growing body of scholarly work, have drawn from an idea made popular by postmodernist scholars of all races, that there is no objective reality. Instead, the critical race theorists say, there are competing racial versions of reality that may never be reconciled.

Many theorists say that because few whites will ever be able to see things as blacks do, real racial understanding may be beyond the nation's reach....

Some theorists go so far as to say that what really happened in a particular incident may be no more important than what people feel or say happened. For example, some argue that even though Tawana Brawley, then a teen-ager, made up her account that a gang of white men, one with a badge, raped and defiled her in New York in 1987, her story is still valid because it offers truths about the oppression of black women.

In her book "The Alchemy of Race and Rights" (Harvard, 1991), Prof. Patricia Williams of the Columbia University Law School appeared to suggest that it made little difference whether Ms. Brawley had made up her account. The teen-ager, Professor Williams wrote, was the victim of an unspeakable crime "no matter who did it to her -- and even if she did it to herself."

"Her condition was clearly the expression of some crime against her, some tremendous violence, some great violation that challenges comprehension," Professor Williams said. "Tawana's terrible story has every black woman's worst fears and experiences wrapped into it."

Critics of Professor Williams's comments, however, note that a New York State grand jury investigated Ms. Brawley's story and concluded that she had made it up. Professor Williams, Professor [Suzanna] Sherry wrote, seems "unable to distinguish between Brawley's fantasized rape and another woman's real one."

In a recent interview, Professor Williams said she had been misinterpreted. She meant, she said, that the debate about whether Ms. Brawley was telling the truth obscured that she was a troubled minor.

"Her needs were not dealt with, as they should have been with any child," Professor Williams said. Further, Ms. Brawley was transformed into a stereotype of "black women as hard women who can never really suffer any violation," she added.
Misinterpreted. Remember that word. Professors like it. We mean well. We mean to demonstrate empathy and outrage in all the right places. And if you don't credit us with the grand ideals we intended, we will say you don't read well enough. Try again.

MORE: Another brilliant colleague I'm lucky enough to have is Donald Downs -- who wrote this book -- and teaches in the Political Science department here. He emails me this:
The Duke case is symptomatic of the victimhood syndrome has beset too many campuses, and which (as one poster discusses) undermines the agency and vitality of its putative beneficiaries. The case is also symptomatic in another, less recognized sense: members of the economics department published their own dissent to the now infamous "88" and the campus climate that was hostile to due process, and got hundreds of signatures from alumni and other groups. This is precisely what campuses like Duke need: counter-mobilization by faculty who are fed up with this kind of climate and behavior. Perhaps there is hope for Duke, after all, but faculty have to take a stand against the inanity.
Professor Downs, you should know, has done just the thing he recommends and organized the faculty at his home institution.

98 comments:

Pogo said...

This is one of those non-apology apologies.
I'm sorry your feelings were hurt, but you misunderstood me and we're still right about the whole thing. SO shut up already.

MJ said...

Typical reaction of the insular elite that run the Universities when called to take responsibility for their mistake; We're right and everyone else is wrong.

Bruce Hayden said...

Rather humorous, if you ask me. But the reality is that the original letter was a rush to judgment, and that at present, with the evidence we have seen so far, the racism was on the part of the prosecutor, the University, and these Duke faculty, and not the LAX team.

altoids1306 said...

"We're sorry you were offended" was the 2006 version of "we're sorry."

The 2007 version is "I don't see why I should apologize for you being so stupid as to misinterpret my comments."

Anonymous said...

In other words, "We've spoken to our attorneys an we're terrified that we are going to be sued for our prior statements."

Well, I hope they are. Both.

David said...

The social disaster is actually the permissive attitudes prevalent on University campuses these days. Social Progressives teach a curriculum based on multi-culturalism, non-assimilation, feel-your-pain government programs, take from the rich and give to the poor economics then wring their hands when sports teams hire strippers, teenage girls assault school mates, rapists get off with probation, and the military gets kicked off campuses, teachers sleeping with students, and the list goes on.

Nothing more pathetic than these so-called academics blame the uneducated masses for misunderstanding the intent of their polemic. The real suffering going on here is the sorry state of too many of our nations schools.

Zeb Quinn said...

"We reject all attempts to try the case outside the courts, and stand firmly by the principle of the presumption of innocence."

Maybe my memory is failing me, but I just don't remember them hitherto being all that overt and forceful in their support of those principles, particularly the latter.

Tim said...

"But the professors don't like how they were perceived by the world outside the university; that was misreading. But if it is perception -- atmosphere -- that matters -- how can you think that you can contribute things to be perceived and avoid responsibility for the effect that you have?"

Just as in the earlier discussion of the Spanish Muslims asking/demanding to worship in a Catholic Cathedral that was once a mosque, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Duke's professoriate presumes its perceptions of "reality" are correct and should be the standard just as the Spanish Muslims think it eminently fair and proper for Catholics to concede access to their Cathedral while Muslims elsewhere decry the Pope's visit to the Hagia Sophia. In both cases the hypocrisy is utterly transparent; Duke's faculty has no special standing or, more to the point, one we'd rightfully pay any more attention to than Duke's maintenance and landscaping employees.

Of course these preening professors aren't immune from our perception of their actions and they should be held accountable; after all, they forgot we aren't their students. But some of us are alumni and benefactors. That's not good, for them.

AJ Lynch said...

The second letter has this sentence.."The disaster is the atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus."

Do the profs quantify this "prevalence" anywhere? Is the campus generally unsafe and full of racist acts? If so, I was not aware of it and would think the profs would have been combatting these issues way before the LAX incident.

I once was in charge of 60 people and we had significant systems problems. I hated to hear an employee claim a certain problem happened "a lot". So, I would always ask for more definitive and quantitative evidence.

These profs should learn it's really not fair to just make things up based on insular & anecdotal biases.

JohnK said...

This is called damage control or CYA after your early applications are down 20%. What parent of a top student in their right mind would send their kid to Duke after this? It is a vicious circle; your applications and the quality of your admits goes down which then causes your ranking to go down which further lowers the number and quality of your applicatnts and admits. These clowns did real damage to their university.

Balfegor said...

I am reminded of attempts to gin up outrage in my own community, some years ago when a professor decided to vandalise her own car and claim racists did it. As a resident of Claremont even before I attended one of the colleges, I was disgusted by the colleges' failure to stick up for the decency of their own community. Or rather, of my and my family's community, of which the colleges might at least have pretended to be a part.

For balance, here's a Pomona College student editorial trying out a kind of fake but true thing on the incident.

Anonymous said...

Not much of an appreciation for irony among these Duke profs.

Could unfairness, oppression, insensitivity, stereotyping ever arise from their statements or actions? Definitionally, never! They are the vanguard for justice. They have already done so much to take an unjust world and make it better. Their intentions have always been so pure, historically pure, purer than the driven snow's driven snow, that their actions are irrelevant and no fair person would ask they be judged by them. They are princes and princesses of morality, ethics and equality. They have saved the world...don't you remember? If you read us as having done something else, well, where were you during Mumia?

dklittl said...

Bruce,

You sound ridiculous with the NiFong is a racist canard. I'm sure that he's not simply out to get "whitey" and display the moral superiority of the black race to his white race. You should leave the racism talk to the lacrosse players who by eyewitnesses WERE making the racist taunts to the strippers. Those lacrosse players might be innocent of the charges but it doesn't change their priors and their racist language.

Richard Dolan said...

"The disaster is the atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus."

What a strange place Duke must be -- a sort of parallel universe, really -- that smart people supposedly dedicated to it can perceive it in such negative terms. Ann suggests that the professors trip over their own efforts to make the subjective perceptions "as described in the student statements" more significant than measurable and objective realities. It goes without saying that the chosen "students" here whose subjective perceptions matter are unlikely to include anyone who doesn't share such Manichean views of Duke, let alone any jocks, conservatives, regular church-goers or similar untermenschen. But put that aside. What's puzzling to me is what lies behind the faculty members' subjective perceptions about the living hell that they evidently see as Duke's defining character.

In part, it all seems like a modern, secularized form of Gnosticism -- only the initiates have been given the secret knowledge that allows them to perceive the ugly and evil realities ("transgressive discourses") in play at Duke. In part, it's an updated Puritan sermon warning the faithful to beware of the power of sin that lurks everywhere, threatening always to lead weak and evil men to their damnation. Certainly for these professors, the ultimate sin on campus today is "sexism, racism, and sexual violence." And like the Puritans of old, they see such sins everywhere. I don't think these professors see themselves as starring as the heavies in a bad rerun of the Crucible or the Scarlet Letter. But that's the image that comes to mind when I try to figure out what's behind their crazed view of Duke.

Al Maviva said...

We think the ad's authors were right to give voice to the students quoted, whose suffering is real. We also acknowledge the pain that has been generated by what we believe is a misperception that the authors of the ad prejudged the rape case.

Holy freakin' 5417, Batman... At their demonstrations, they were ranting and raving and calling for the castration of the accused Lax players. A "misperception" that the profs "prejudged" the case? Jeeeeeeeebbbbbuuuusss. If calling for somebody's castration is preserving the presumption of innocence, I'd hate to see what these Doooky professors are like when they actually get around to passing judgment on people.

I know that Stan Fish got the Dook English Department all up to speed on deconstructionist technique, but this little exercise in "the sign isn't linked to the signified" is a bit much even for this former lit crit student to swallow.

Kirk Parker said...

Balfegor,

Good grief, that's an amazing editorial, especially since it starts out so well. If one was on their way to being drunk, one might read it an not even notice the point that it veers off into loony land.

I did have to laugh at "we laugh when someone mixes-up l’s and r’s". Nope, people messing up linguistically is never funny, not at all. Can you believe what a racist place that Claremont is???!???

Anonymous said...

This is called damage control or CYA after your early applications are down 20%. What parent of a top student in their right mind would send their kid to Duke after this?

Well, look on the bright side. It was the aftermath of the People's Park riots and other absurd chaos on the Berkeley campus -- which also, by the way, changed the world! -- that allowed me, with my mere 3.6 GPA, to attend UC Berkeley. Nowadays, when I tell my son's parents that I graduated from Cal, they look at me as if they are in the presence of a brilliant person -- a genetic freak! Except for athletes and historic victims of discrimination, nobody gets into Cal with less than a 4.2 GPA now. (You couldn't even earn a 4.2 GPA in my day; must be 'cuz of evolution.)

Some other almost smart kid will see the mess at Duke as his or her road to a top university. Buy low, sell high!

Anonymous said...

"how can you think that you can contribute things to be perceived and avoid responsibility for the effect that you have?"

Avoiding responsibilty is a hallmark of the academy.

It seems to me that academics in the liberal arts and "soft" sciences fields have the unique privilege of NOT seeing their ideas and theories put into effect. They can espouse all manner of identity politics posturing whithout running the risk of having their theories tried and disproved. An engineering or medical prof doesn't have the same luxury.

And if some of the theories being taught (say... Marxism) are tested elsewhere and found lacking, then they can continue to teach them while maintaining that the theories weren't "really" tested.

They are intellectual adolescents, wanting the security of biting the hand of the society that feeds them while secure in the knowlege that they will never face the full consequences of their words and actions.

Anonymous said...

For balance, here's a Pomona College student editorial trying out a kind of fake but true thing on the incident.

That essay is so sad. The writer is no radical. He's just a kid trying very hard to do the right thing as his peers and respected profs have defined it for him--which is to flay himself and everyone he knows for "white privilege."

Many years ago, I had an executive position at a small PR firm that specialized in environmental issues. An extremely talented UCLA student started interning for us, and eventually we offered her a part-time job, which evolved into a full-time job after she graduated. She was born in Mexico, and her mother had worked very hard after moving the family to the US to take advantage of every opportunity to expose her brilliant daughter to the things that would prepare her for a successful life, which included getting her admitted to a top-ranked university on a scholarship. But at UCLA, a bunch of left-wing professors basically drummed it into her head that this was all for naught; that "white privilege" doomed her to a life of victimhood. There was such cognitive dissonance in dealing with her. She was so brilliant, she kept getting bigger assignments, getting promoted, clients wanted to work with her -- everything that happened to her in the real world validated the notion that she was living in a time when merit counted above all. But from what she said, it was apparent that her education had deprived her of the ability to recognize these opportunities for what they were, because she was always on the lookout for signs of oppression and racism. She had all the lingo down pat -- using "privilege" as a verb, etc.

You could say she learned to be concerned about these things through her life before UCLA, and I'm sure that was part of it. But the biggest proportion of her life experiences during the time she worked for us was positive, and seemed to reinforce the idea that a talented hard-working individual really faced no limits in America. But that's not what she saw, and I think her profs were the source of her confusion.

I lost track of her many years ago. I have to hope and assume that by now, she's a bit more convinced of her own ability to succeed despite what she perceived as the handicaps of her ethnicity and gender. But this is an example of the real damage done by the PC left professoriate -- to the people they claim to be "tirelessly fighting for."

Bruce Hayden said...

We really don't know what was said that night at the party - none of us were there, and the sort of hearsay that you are citing to portray the LAX players as racist won't be admissible (as it is irrelevant).

But what we do probably know is that Nifong used the racial angle here to get renominated and reelected. We also know, from the two articles by these faculty that they were race baiting.

Besides, I see a big difference between private racism that has been asserted against the LAX players, and Nifong's state based racially motivated prosecutions, the quasi-university sanctioned racist statements of those faculty, and the racially based actions by the university against the LAX players. (No wonder Duke applications are down, with faculty flunking students for playing LAX and the school throwing students out for being indicted).

Thorley Winston said...

You sound ridiculous with the NiFong is a racist canard. I'm sure that he's not simply out to get "whitey" and display the moral superiority of the black race to his white race.

No one’s suggesting that he’s out to show the “moral superiority of the black race” – only that he’s an opportunist who thought he could further his career in a largely black district by prosecuting a high-profile Great White Defendant accused of a crime against a black victim with racial overtones. Even to the point of committing what is starting to appear to be prosecutorial misconduct.

You should leave the racism talk to the lacrosse players who by eyewitnesses WERE making the racist taunts to the strippers.

Really now, please provide links to “eyewitnesses” who went on the record stating that the three lacrosse players in question made “racist taunts.”

Those lacrosse players might be innocent of the charges but it doesn't change their priors and their racist language.

It also doesn’t make them relevant to the issue at hand which is the criminal charges that were filed.

Anonymous said...

With appologies like that, who needs insults?

The writing reads like statements made by castrated males. Physically intact males, who have a backbone and balls, admit their mistakes. They fess up and move on.

Feminized males slip and slide and shuck and jive. This is not a backhanded insult against women, I am talking about males who have lost or had their masculinity stolen.

Wimps. The apotheosis of the wimp. Not the nerd, the nerd knows how make computers work. The wimp just parses words and ducks.

Trey

stoqboy said...

"These students are shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman and to themselves." If you change three words from the original ad - "this young woman" to "these young men," it works and there is nothing to apologize for. However, that one sentence, regardless of their protestations, does presume guilt.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

John Stodder:Nowadays, when I tell my son's parents that I graduated from Cal, they look at me as if they are in the presence of a brilliant person

You're definitely more brilliant than I because this statement has baffled me

HaloJonesFan said...

Dave does bring up an interesting tangent to this whole issue. There was a party that the lacrosse team attended, and the team members got drunk and hired strippers and had sex with them, and what's got everyone exercised is the fact that one of the strippers later decided she was talked into having sex instead of making the decision on her own.

Jesus, it wasn't all that long ago that the lacrosse players would have been kicked off the team for admitting that they had been drinking.

Revenant said...

The claim that the original ad wasn't about the supposed rape is an obvious lie. What's truly amazing is that these supposedly intelligent academics would think anyone would fall for their story.

They spend too much time in their little left-wing echo chamber.

Anonymous said...

""The disaster is the atmosphere...." - yup, because the 'concerned' Duke faculty and Durham County District Attorney's Office seem to think the whole concept of the presumption of innocence until proved guilty is a an irrelevant construct designed to assert institutional racesexclasshomophobia, rather than a valuable assertion of the rule of law over the mob.

What really makes me sad - and more than a little angry - is that these idiots have just gone and made it so much harder for the next woman who really is raped or abused in that community.

Anonymous said...

when I tell my son's parents that I graduated from Cal,

molon-labe-lamp: I left a key word out! I meant to refer to my son's friends' parents. D'oh!

Anonymous said...

dklitti wrote:
Those lacrosse players might be innocent of the charges but it doesn't change their priors and their racist language.

*sigh* Yeah, and I'm sure in a previous life you were the kind of defence lawyer who'd run the line that a stripper - or any woman out after dark alone in anything short of a burqua - was obviously trawling for sex, and therefore can't be raped. And if Stripper X. had any previous form, all the better.

bearbee said...

Do the profs quantify this "prevalence" anywhere?

Apparently not, but Duke does keep statistics. Pages 17 & 18 show Duke crime statistics up to ’04.
Is Duke unique in the level of crime? Do the numbers compared unfavorably with schools of similar size – an estimated 13,000 students?

OT
..Spanish Muslims asking/demanding to worship in a Catholic Cathedral that was once a mosque..

No attempt to make light of the situation, but I find this entangled bit of history fascinating:

The Church - Cathedral of Cordoba Spain, popularly know as the Mosque of Cordoba or the "Mezquita", stands over a Christian church built in the Visigothic period (5th C). In 711, after Moorish conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, it was used as a Mosque. In 786, Abd al-Rahman I tore down St Vicente church and erected the first section of the Great Mosque in its place, re-using much of the church's materials. His descendants expanded the building twice towards the river, and the ruler Almanzor made a final enlargement in 988. In 1236, following Cordoba's fall to Ferdinand of Castile and after over 500 years of use as a mosque, the site was re-consecrated Christian. The Cannons decided to erect a cathedral in the center of the mosque in 1523, tearing down the center to make room. The enclosed choir area now blocks some of the original views, yet the Mosque remains sublime. With the richest areas still untouched and its extensive vistas of columns and double arches, it is the foremost Islamic monument in Spain and a unique example of the inter-play of Christian and Moslem cultures in Spain

So, is it a churque or a mosch

vbspurs said...

Quoting the News Observer:

The new letter, signed by 87 faculty and posted at www.concerneddukefaculty.org, refuses to apologize for the ad and reiterates concerns about issues of race and sexual violence on the Duke campus. It says the so-called "Group of 88"

Wait. 87 faculty signed, but they're called the Group of 88?

Reminds me of that old joke about the University student going up to the 10 Items Or Less checkout line at a Boston supermarket, with 11 items.

Cashier:

"Are you from MIT and can't read, or from Harvard, and can't count?"

Cheers,
Victoria

Mike said...

"We appreciate the efforts of those who used the attention the incident generated to raise issues of discrimination and violence."

... regardless of the fact that discrimination and violence may not have actually taken place. Wow.

Mike said...

"We think the ad's authors were right to give voice to the students quoted..."

Correct me if I'm wrong. Aren't the authors of the second ad also the authors of the first ad?

Mike said...

JohnK said: "This is called damage control or CYA after your early applications are down 20%."

I've read that there was not a single faculty member from the science and engineering departments signing the Group of 88 statement. I'd suggest that the science faculty needs to take out their own ad, pointing this out to prospective students and parents.

vbspurs said...

So, out of mere curiosity, I checked the signatories of the two open letters, against David Horowitz' "100 Most Dangerous Professors In the Us" list.

The two for Duke that he listed, were:

Duke University: Miriam Cooke, Frederic Jameson

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but they're not amongst the "Group of 88".

Don't worry. There are many reasons why they might not have been amongst the noble professors who signed.

/irony

Possibly, they had moved on from Duke, or perhaps they took the opposite tack in this situation.

Curiously, the professor-counsellour of the lefty student club here at the University of Miami declined to support the lefty student club-led protest at the treatment of (mostly Haitian, indo-Hispanic) janitors at the Coral Gables campus.

His reasoning apparently was that UM Pres, Dr. Shalala, must have had the good interests of the janitors at heart, and that she and the janitorial reps would sort it out. After all, he said, she had been in the Clinton Administration!!

(Subtext -- people are only wrong, when they're not part of your ideology)

Ahh, academe. I miss you not.

Cheers,
Victoria

Harkonnendog said...

These slithering liars are professors. Children learn morals from their example. How disgusting is that?

Anonymous said...

halojonesfan 12:40pm --

How about some credible hyperlinks for your imaginative versions of the facts of the case? Please.

JCJim said...

HaloJonesFan said...
and the team members got drunk and hired strippers and had sex with them, and what's got everyone exercised is the fact that one of the strippers later decided she was talked into having sex instead of making the decision on her own

Have you even followed the hoax? There was no sex with the strippers, at all.

Balfegor said...

Re: HaloJonesFan:

team members got drunk and hired strippers and had sex with them

Last I heard, there was no evidence there was ever any sex -- didn't the part of the DNA lab test report that Nifong and the lab head attempted to conceal pretty much absolve the accused students of having had intercourse with their accuser?

You are right, though, to point out that they would have been kicked off, years ago, just for drinking. But that, at least, would have been something they actually did. And kicking someone off the team for drinking doesn't have anywhere near the stigma that kicking someone off the team for rape has.

vbspurs said...

Thanks to Balfegor for those two amazing links on the Claremont hoax, and to Johnstodder for his very well-written reply about the young Mexican lady.

"'Privilege' as a verb".

A portrait come to life.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Feminized males slip and slide and shuck and jive. This is not a backhanded insult against women, I am talking about males who have lost or had their masculinity stolen.

I actually agree with your characterisation completely, Trey.

But it is a back-handed insult to women. At least be honest, and realise that.

(No, the reply of "I was talking about these men having been so brow-beaten by their millieu of PC-thinkers, not as an insult to women", wouldn't be acceptable. You're still making the correlation of 'feminised' men, that is anti-masculine men.

As I said recently in my Borat Phenomenon post, though, a man is judged masculine by how un-feminine he is. A woman doesn't have her femininity defined, by how unmasculine she is. I understand your point, but my rebuttal stands)

Cheers,
Victoria

Anonymous said...

Is the rush-to-judgement professors' original Listening Statement an illustration of dog-whistle politics? "Expressing political ideas in such a way that only a specific group of voters properly understand what is being said, especially in order to conceal a controversial message."

Read through it to see the many oblique references to the fact of the assault on the dancer by the lacrosse team.

* "We [the sponsoring professors] are turning up the volume in a moment when some of the most vulnerable among us are being asked to quiet down while we wait."

* The sponsoring professors thank protesters "for shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman." They present the quoted students' concerns about keeping "the young woman herself central to this conversation."

* Sponsors support the quoted claim "that the disaster didn't begin on March 13th and won't end with what the police say or the court decides."

* The Listening Statement ends, "To the students speaking individually and to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard." That collective noise prominently included protesters holding "CASTRATE" and "GET A CONSCIENCE NOT A LAWYER" posters in front of the team co-captains' house.

Yesterday's apologia begins with the anti-due-process profs whinging that "The ad has been read as a comment on the alleged rape, the team party, or the specific students accused. Worse, it has been read as rendering a judgment in the case."

Uh-huh.

And they assure their audience that they "stand firmly by the principle of the presumption of innocence."

Uh-huh. Hey, good thing nobody noticed the point raised by Michael Gustafson in his letter All too quiet!

I look forward to Listening Statement 3.0.

vbspurs said...

So, is it a churque or a mosch

If it becomes the latter, I suggest calling it a:

Mosch pit

Cheers,
Victoria

Anonymous said...

Provost Peter Lange at Duke University did keep his cool. In a response just after the incident and in response to African-American Houston Baker's assertion that the lacrosse team be disbanded and dismissed -- Lange wrote:

"I cannot tell you how disappointed, saddened and appalled I was to receive this letter from you. A form of prejudice - one felt so often by minorities whether they be African American, Jewish or other - is the act of prejudgment: to presume that one knows something "must" have been done by or done to someone because of his or her race, religion or other characteristic. In the United States our sad racial history is laced with such incidents, only fully brought to light in the recent past and undoubtedly there are uncounted numbers of such incidents not yet, or ever to be, known."

It's fabulous that one person kept his mind open, and didn't jump in and echo the Marxist show-trial mentality at Duke. Congratulations to Peter Lange. He actually thought about individuals, and his responsibility to them.

Anonymous said...

I could almost be convinced that these profs were innocently following the PC-playbook, merely using the situation to "raise awareness", and thus were surprised at the kind of backlash they received. If that's the case, though, then it demonstrates either their contempt for the general public or their complete absence from reality. Their surprise at the backlash presumes that people aren't going to put two and two together.

I keep thinking that it's like shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire and then being shocked that people are pissed at you after they've evacuated the building. "Oh, no, you misunderstood me. There wasn't a fire, I was merely talking about fire."

The Drill SGT said...

Both statements exhibit that same progressive criminal evidence theory.

Fake but Accurate

It doesn't matter that there were no crimes, the statements (10) of them from the alleged victim are themselves self-contradictory, that independent witnesses (other stripper, cabbie and neighbor) refute the victim, that there is no DNA and no good ID, and timestamped cell phone and ATM data.

If anything, the false charges and racist and victim laden message propagated by the G88 have caused far more damage to Duke than any LAX player.

AJ Lynch said...

For all these profs to get so wound up like this, it must be truly and utterly horrible to work as a tenured prof at such an allegedly esteemed college.

Ann, can you use your connections at the NYT and ask them to get down there to interview these poor souls and determine why they are so unhappy with their lot in life?

Is the same true at UW Madison? Or are these just random malcontents?

The Exalted said...

when does the fired LAX coach get rehired??

HaloJonesFan said...

:rolleyes: Gosh, sorry, I guess I was wrong. The drunken lacrosse players who hired a woman to take off her clothes did not have sex with her. Was the rest of their behavior acceptable, and in keeping with the standard of behavior you'd expect?

Oh, and I like your stimulus-response level of thinking. "He does not 100% agree with us! Therefore he 100% disagrees with us! Attack! Attack!"

I am not defending Nifong, the "Group of 88", or anyone in this incident.

Hey said...

Victoria: 88 Professors signed the first statement from April 6th. 87 profs, around 60 of whom signed the April statement, have lent their names to this second statement. The Group of 88 has not had any member renounce their statement and several members have re-asserted their opinions, saying that there was nothing to apologise for, and also attempting to obfuscate what was said. One professor made a statement yesterday (at 6th hand) about a specific epithet used against the accuser.

The only witness to allege these comments is the accuser. The other dancer (not a friend of the LAX players) has not concurred, nor has the neighbor who actively dislikes the players (living next to a house of young men who throw parties isn't exactly restful).

As to what happened that night: we have conclusive proof that no LAX player touched the accuser in any lewd manner. None of their DNA was found, while that of 5 other men was. The DNA of several men was found in her derriere, and on top of this the Lab "Scientist" Mr. Meehan has acknowledged that he managed to contaminate the samples with his own DNA in the process of conducting the analysis.

The criminal activity in the case has been the false statement to police by the alleged victim, the conspiracy to obstruct justice by the DA, a detective (now on leave), the Lab "Scientist", and the DA's investigator (a former police officer hired to collect debt), and the incitement to violence by the protesters (perhaps Prof. Althouse could enlighten us, but it appears that holding up a sign saying "Castrate" in front of the house of an alleged rapist crosses the very generous First Amendment boundaries).

For more information, please see durhamwonderland.blogspot.com and liestoppers.blogspot.com

Revenant said...

Duke does keep statistics. Pages 17 & 18 show Duke crime statistics up to ’04. Is Duke unique in the level of crime? Do the numbers compared unfavorably with schools of similar size – an estimated 13,000 students

Important note: that report details the number of crimes taking place on the Duke campus -- not the crimes committed by Duke students. Duke is located in a slum, and has the high crime rate typically associated with universities in slums.

Interestingly, the report places the hate crime count at zero -- seemingly at odds with the claim that there is a lot of racism at Duke.

Henry said...

vbspurs: Wait. 87 faculty signed, but they're called the Group of 88?

Mike: Correct me if I'm wrong. Aren't the authors of the second ad also the authors of the first ad?

This second group of 87 is mostly the same as the first group of 88, but not completely. Some two dozen plus of the first group have been replaced by new signatories (minus one).

Robin Goodfellow said...

"Fake but accurate."
"Innocent in fact but guilty in spirit."
etc.

Orwell would be proud.

LoafingOaf said...

Wow, i'd never read the original ad before. Duke sounds like a sick place. Well, full of sick professors who have convinced a few of their students that they are living in a climate of fear and...terrorism at Duke ("we want the absence of terror")? That's pretty funny. The good news is that these kinds of screwy professors only manage to screw up a tiny percentage of their students.

Anonymous said...

Contempt of Court: a body of law in the United Kingdom that protects the integrity of the legal process from outside influences.

Contempt can take many forms but by far the most serious is published comment when legal proceedings are said to be "active".

In most criminal cases, the "active" period starts with the granting of an arrest warrant, the arrest of a suspect, or the issue of a summons (in Scotland a complaint) or indictment. This may be well before a person is charged.

Once a case is "active", anything which creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in those proceedings will be seriously prejudiced or impeded will be a contempt of court. This is the case regardless of intent.

These rules apply to all courts and tribunals exercising the judicial authority of the state. However, the risk is highest when the case is due to be heard by a lay jury (e.g. in criminal trials.

...What is it with you guys and free speech? Over here your 88 or 87 or how many people would have been hauled before the Court and thrown in chokey for the duration.

Their 'tenure' of prison would be at the discretion of the judge and would not be less than the time that the judge considered the contempt not to have been purged.

Sounds good to me.

Zeb Quinn said...

What a strange place Duke must be -- a sort of parallel universe, really -- that smart people supposedly dedicated to it can perceive it in such negative terms.

It is strange. A prestigious private institution with roots in the antebellum south heavily endowed with old tobacco money from when tobacco was king, situated in a locale where the demographics of a huge chunk of the local population are a contrast to that of the typical Duke undergrad. It's all enough to cause any standard issue liberal arts liberal professor to wig out in self-loathing as he cashes his paychecks.

Dan tdaxp said...

Great post!

I linked to it over at my blog.

PatCA said...

Your addendum about the Brawley case illustrates the confusion and often deliberate and profound misapplication of theoretical constructs to real life. It happens all the time in academia: in the law, as we see with Brawley; in the humanities, where Western art is viewed as a tool of white male hegemony; and in the social sciences, where research is subsumed into polemics.

It's true, for instance, that Brawley's experience does reveal many things about the experience of young black women, but they have no place at all in the determination of guilt or innocence of those whom she accused.

Only when these absurd and wrongheaded applications of psychoanalytic theory or Foucaultian theory hit the media do professors face a mature and experienced audience. As we can all see, that's their arguments fall to pieces.

Anonymous said...

"Misinterpreted. Remember that word. Professors like it."

The professors ahould have seen this coming, but then maybe they don't subscribe to "White" concepts like "having a future time orientation"!!!

Mike said...

"Many theorists say that because few whites will ever be able to see things as blacks do, real racial understanding may be beyond the nation's reach...."

Let's stipulate this for the sake of argument. That is a far cry from "there is no objective reality."

The fact that there is an objective reality is obvious. People may not agree on what it is but, for example, these 3 men raped this woman or they did not. It matters very much which is true. I can not believe that these "critical race theorists" actually take their thesis seriously. And if the "truth" of racism and oppression exist even in the absence of actual acts of racism and oppression, then it never ends. And whose fault is that? Provost Peter Lange is spot on.

The Exalted said...

HaloJones:

Was the rest of their behavior acceptable, and in keeping with the standard of behavior you'd expect?


um, its pretty much exactly what i would expect of male college students.

vbspurs said...

Thanks for the clarification about the Group of 88, Hey and Henry.

From Gang of 4 to Group of 88.

My, but they do multiply.

Cheers,
Victoria

Hey said...

HaloJonesFan: So you're apparently a prig. You would fit in well with the Gang of 88, condemning the players for normal behavior of students.

The players had a Spring Break party because they couldn't leave Durham thanks to their sport. While the rest of campus was down in Mexico or Florida working on their routines for Girls Gone Wild they had a few beers and some girls dancing at a party. I can guarantee that much, much raucnhier conduct happens at a regular party with a mix of male and female students, but Campus and its environs were deserted so they had to resort to hiring some entertainment.

While it is illegal to drink under 21, and is in some states a felony to provide alcohol to minors, it is a near universal right of passage to drink, especially once one has gone to college and is making one's own decisions. Outside of Mormons, other ascetic faiths and completely maladjusted individuals, virtually 100% of the population has consumed alcohol before the age of 21. It may not comport to your own exalted standards of morality, but their is nothing illegal with drinking in one's home or hiring a stripper. The only reason any of the conduct was illegal is because of self-righteous bluenoses like yourself who take pleasure in denying freedom to others.

As to the "records" of the players: they have tickets for urination, underage drinking, and other minor misdemeanors that the Durham Police Department targets Duke students for. The assault charge was for a fight, where the LAX player involved threw "fake punches", and a conviction was entered thanks to Nifong's malicious indictment. The judge has agreed to reverse the verdict and expunge the record of the LAX player involved.

Smilin' Jack said...

Critical race theorists, who are on the faculty at almost every major law school and are producing an ever-growing body of scholarly work, have drawn from an idea made popular by postmodernist scholars of all races, that there is no objective reality. Instead, the critical race theorists say, there are competing racial versions of reality that may never be reconciled....For example, some argue that even though Tawana Brawley, then a teen-ager, made up her account that a gang of white men, one with a badge, raped and defiled her in New York in 1987, her story is still valid because it offers truths about the oppression of black women.

I'm confused...how can there be "truths" if "there is no objective reality"? And if there are only "competing racial versions of reality," then shouldn't those of say, the KKK, be given equal time, in the spirit of promoting diversity?

Christy said...

I find it maddening that the G88 are so invested in their anger that they cannot make common cause with those outraged by Nifong. We all want to stop the railroading of innocents. This case has opened the eyes of the complacent middle class and made the time ripe for some real reform. Wouldn't it be delicious if an anti-G88 group managed to drive some changes that benefit the G88's victim class?

Anonymous said...

OK, here's the link: Duke - Doonesbury - Gonzo.

Only what you say counts. The subjective is the only objective reality. We're all now in 'bat country.' You can see them too, I know you can.

We have it here in T. Blair: "I only know what I believe." (Read that and weep.)

Nicole Kidman and I are to be married in the morning - this is true because I said it. Hang up your hats all ye psychiatrists. We're all crazy/sane now.

tjl said...

"Critical race theorists, who are on the faculty at almost every major law school and are producing an ever-growing body of scholarly work, have drawn from an idea made popular by postmodernist scholars of all races, that there is no objective reality."

If there is no objective reality, and everything is merely a projection of one's own racial narrative, then what useful function is Prof. Williams performing in exchange for her salary? According to her own critical race theory, Williams' narrative would be invalid to anyone not sharing her own ethnicity. And if racial identity is all that matters, and objective reality doesn't exist, the law school may as well replace Williams with Tawana Brawley.

Post-Foucault academics do little harm in the English Department, where everone forgets the PC jargon as soon as the ink is dry on the diploma. But it's truly alarming to find someone like Williams expounding her critical race theories in law school. Her students must depend on their legal training to make a living. Imagine their chances of success if they attempt to argue that all the apparently controlling cases have no objective reality because they are merely projections of somebody's oppressive racial narrative.

Cedarford said...

dklttl - You should leave the racism talk to the lacrosse players who by eyewitnesses WERE making the racist taunts to the strippers. Those lacrosse players might be innocent of the charges but it doesn't change their priors and their racist language.

The problem with that argument is the implication that somehow, somehow, a past record of the pettiest misdemeanors, and calling insults for insults justifies moral equivalency arguments or statements supporting "castrate!!" protestors, or major felony persecution of the innocent is fatuous in the extreme.

1. "priors" good little Lefty dklttl hangs out as a smear appear to be citations for open beverage, playing stereo too loud, etc. How is that morally equivalent to real crime or worthy of a title "depraved, law-breaking behavior"?

2. The 2nd stripper says she started the racial taunting in an atmosphere where the stripper was ticked and the lacrosse players were furious already that they were being ripped off of 800 bucks of 5 minutes to stripper "work" by one person, the other being too intoxicated to work.
Now, besides 1st Amendment considerations the PC Lefties refuse to admit are in play as they seek to criminalize "hate speech", there is no rule that Asians or whites being racially taunted and smeared are compelled to be silent if the initiating party have higher "victimhood" claims.
This is playing out in LA where blacks claim they have higher victimhood status than hispanics so their gang or schoolkid taunts of "greasers, pics, guacamole boys, Mex-scum" cannot be responded to in kind because taunts at blacks are "too hurtful" for society to permit.
It's all crap. If you don't want racial taunting, don't start it and then claim to be the true victim.
And as far as we know, the only people claiming "nigger" was used are two criminals with records for lying.
*****************
Althouse - good discussion on critical race theory. It is a growing cancer in academia, along with critical gender theory. Both are being used as tools to attack...to divide and separate university populations into "camps" based on race, gender and class.

Anonymous said...

But if what is the crucial element of a narrative is racial, why could this not be true for gender? Is not the crotch as Ann would not say, at least as determinative as race? So, what, black women are unknowable by black men and all whites? What about age? Or height? Or weight? and we continue our reducio to the point where only a Duke professor could understand himself.

Ah. The method is as clear as the Tobacco Road....

Anonymous said...

And if you don't credit us with the grand ideals we intended, we will say you don't read well enough. Try again.

Are you shitting me? This is your modus operandi! That and couching your statements thick with layers of plausible deniability while encouraging the worst of the web to pay homage to you in your comments.

Egads!

Anonymous said...

So was your New Year's Resolution to come out of the racist closet?

Fuck you.

Cat said...

I am amazed at posters here and at other sites who desperately hold on to what they can to continue to believe the LAX players are guilty of something. It's an example of pc conditioning. And it's sad.

Am I pleased that these young men hired a stripper? No, but that's not illegal and frankly, it wasn't 10 years ago that "sophisticated" women were declaring they enjoyed watching stripping (hey, isn't it another art form?). I mean, isn't pole dancing a popular way to work out now? It seems to be a well accepted vulgarity.

Mark in Texas said...

As a matter of idle curiosity, what ever became of Tawana Brawley? I seem to remember reading that she had moved from New York to somewhere in the South to live with relatives.

I suppose that it would be too much of a coincidence if she had moved to North Carolina and was working as a stripper in Raleigh these days.

HaloJonesFan said...

Wow. I suggest that underage college students getting drunk and hiring strippers is maybe not the most appropriate behavior, and the reply is "well, boys will be boys."

And you wonder why these overblown accusations of rape were so readily believed...

PS. It's "rite of passage". Not "right". If you want to sound erudite you need to do more than run "spell check".

Anonymous said...

Starting a wee bit early these days, aren't you dave?

downtownlad said...

Who cares what LaShawn Barber thinks? She's an ignorant, stupid, anti-gay bigot. And if she weren't an Uncle Tom Loving Black conservative, nobody would listen to what this moron was saying.

http://www.malcontent.biz/blog/?p=1919

Not to mention the fact that she has advocated shooting gay people.

Al Maviva said...

Regarding your friend Professor Williams and the 88 Duck profs -

If the premise of your argument is that "what is subjectively perceived is more important than what objectively happened," then there can be no "misinterpretation."

After all, the people who take offense from a pro-Tawana critical race theory law review article, or who are mortified by a bunch of Dookie profs calling for the castration of lax players, possess opinions that are at least as valid, if not more valid, than what the professors actually meant in their articles, ads and manifestos.

Got that? If what matters is how the individual observer subjectively interprets the situation, then a professor cannot come back later and claim to be misinterpreted, because the 'original intent' is irrelevant to what the observers take away from the situation. The prof's notion of the 'correct' interpretation (besides being hegemonic, etc) is simply irrelevant.

Prof Williams and the Gang of 88 Ducks may be brilliant in their respective fields, but it doesn't mean they are actually smart. How postmodernist critical theorists can miss or gloss over this huge portable logical error they've built into all their arguments, is beyond me. "All is meaningless, the sign is untethered from the signified, impossibility of objective meaning, blah blah blah don't I look great with elbow patches on my tweed jacket?"

I suspect most people who actually believe this garbage after their sophomore year of college are simply nihilists. And as the wise man said, by way of comparison... "Nihilists! F*** me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."

Anonymous said...

"Misinterpreted. Remember that word. Professors like it. We mean well. We mean to demonstrate empathy and outrage in all the right places. And if you don't credit us with the grand ideals we intended, we will say you don't read well enough. Try again."

A close relative of "My remarks were taken out of context". Oddly, those who deliver that line rarely provide the exact context.

Kirk Parker said...

Francis Schaeffer wrote of a discussion session at L'Abri, during which a fellow who was a follower of some sort of Eastern-ish religion was making great headway with his "there's no real difference between good and evil" argument. Finally Schaeffer wandered over to the sideboard and picked up the tea kettle. Then he moved to where the speaker was sitting, made as if to pour the boiling water on him, and repeated the line: "There is no essential difference between good and evil." The man became angry and stormed out of the room.

Theory can look a lot different in practice...

Cedarford said...

Al Maviva - How postmodernist critical theorists can miss or gloss over this huge portable logical error they've built into all their arguments, is beyond me. "All is meaningless, the sign is untethered from the signified, impossibility of objective meaning, blah blah blah don't I look great with elbow patches on my tweed jacket?"

Bwaaaahh! Priceless take on self-important faculty that exist in fields where no objectivity guides evaluation of their work by peer or outsiders.

It is one thing when they are harmless nutballs of radical belief, it is another when they decide to destroy lives as their thought moves into "social activist expression by any means necessary". Then they are shocked to see that tolerance of the intolerant ends as thoughts move into actions seen as dangerous and threatening.

3 years ago I had a conversation with a Shiite Muslim Imam (Palestinian) that I had worked MBA projects with, then later some biz and had had social occasions with later, including family hikes..We agreed that over half of bin Ladens grievances were valid, half to 1/4 garbage (him the one-quarter). Same with Hezbollah.
What we both agreed on was that from a Christian and Shiite perspective was that spheres of beliefs were one thing, but actions were another. Without conceeding right and wrong - action of one group seen as dangerous and threatening compels not one-sided tolerance, but conflict to defeat a foe. (Be they totally wrong or even partially right)
Beliefs could exist in a realm of pure intellectual theory. But once translated into planes flying into skyscrapers, Zionist oppression of Gaza & West Bank civilians for profit, railroading the Duke innocent - theoretical tolerance of intolerant beliefs ends.

My peer MBA Imam is a good man. Great Syrian lady he is married to, great kids. And I hope to visit both West Bank and Syria one day. But we both agreed despite family friendships and/or respect..that actions of others could make us legitimate enemies of one another.

The Gang of 88 and the rump signers of the non-apology letter are slow to realize that when you side with wrecking white male's lives, the absolutely logical response of white males, their female friends and mothers and minorities worried that such injustice could be turned on them - means an end to tolerance of the intolerant.

Paco Wové said...

It warms my heart to see that 'dave', the Tourettic auto-troll 'bot program, has been reactivated. It just wasn't the same here without it.

Pogo said...

One of the group of 88 teachers is now being sued for failing two of the lacrosse players.

"DURHAM - A former Duke lacrosse player has filed a civil suit against Duke University and a professor, charging that the teacher unfairly gave him a failing grade after an escort service dancer said she was raped at a lacrosse team party."

p.lukasiak said...

I've been thinking a lot about this post -- minimal as it is.

yawn....the musings of another economically privileged white chick intent upon missing the point entirely in order to promote her own racist agenda....

Henry said...

I'm baffled how someone who doesn't believe in objective reality can so readily throw out definitive terms like "black" and "white".

Scientist who deal with objective fact tell us that race is a minor facet of genetic difference. Meanwhile critical race theorists, wobbling atop their marshmallow towers of subjectivity, shout out definitive judgements.

It's a surreal world.

bearbee said...

Wow. I suggest that underage college students getting drunk and hiring strippers is maybe not the most appropriate behavior, and the reply is "well, boys will be boys."

Perhaps these students should not be in college. Perhaps they need to go to Baghdad and see the blown apart bodies of Iraqi students and professors to fully understand that college is a privilege and is not to be squandered.

Mike said...

Al Maviva asks: "How postmodernist critical theorists can miss or gloss over this huge portable logical error they've built into all their arguments, is beyond me."

Personally, I don't think they miss it. They gloss over it because acknowledging it might attenuate the racial stife that they themselves stoke. That would destroy their gravy train.

Anonymous said...

Victoria wrote: "You're still making the correlation of 'feminised' men, that is anti-masculine men."

Actually, I was thinking biologically, not culturally on that one.

Biologically, we men are androgenized women. The masculinizing hormones are supposed to make us different. We are supposed to be more direct in our thinking and actions, stronger physically, and more equipped and willing to use aggression to protect our family. These are brain and body differences, not cultural differences.

So our difference from women is the point. If we are not different, we are not men, and not needed. I put in the line about the backhanded put down because I knew on some level that I had not supported my point well. I think, following our hostess' lead, I was trying to be more concise. Sadly, I am not as good at it yet.

But thanks for your thoughtful reading and response to my post!

Trey

Anonymous said...

Halo seems confused about the differences between strippers and whores.

I have seen strippers at parties before, not in a while, but on the occasion of 4 or 5 batchelor parties. At none of these parties was there any sex with the strippers.

Strippers and whores are different. Most strippers are fairly attractive, whores are not so attractive. Strippers make their money by dancing, taking their clothes off, and getting people sexually aroused. Whores fuck for money. While some strippers whore too, the majority do not.

Trey

Anonymous said...

"For example, some argue that even though Tawana Brawley, then a teen-ager, made up her account that a gang of white men, one with a badge, raped and defiled her in New York in 1987, her story is still valid because it offers truths about the oppression of black women."

Facts 0, Ideology 1.

Game over.

The "philosophy" behind this drivel is what drives the socialist left in my opinion. Damn the inconvienent truth, full speed ahead with unasailable and impossible to contradict or refute theory.

God help us.

Trey

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote: "Only when these absurd and wrongheaded applications of psychoanalytic theory or Foucaultian theory hit the media do professors face a mature and experienced audience."

While there is certainly no shortage of inane psychoanalytic theories, Freud and his followers were not postmodernist moonbats like Foucault. Psychoanalytic theory accepts logic and reality, and is thus open to contradiction.

Contemporary psychoanalytic theory has encorporated infant RESEARCH. Hard science research with numbers and statistics and everything. It can be verified or contradicted. That is the difference. If it can be contradicted, then it can grow closer to accuracy and the truth.

So I agree that some, especially old school psychoanalytic theory (which is more theory than fact driven because the research could not be done when Freud wrote it) is rubbish, I think you averstate when you equate postmodernist and logic based theories.

Trey

paul a'barge said...

brilliant colleague.

Wow. I guess in academia, you just can't dig a deep enough politically correct foxhole.

members of the economics department published their own dissent to the now infamous "88" and the campus climate that was hostile to due process, and got hundreds of signatures from alumni and other groups.

I'm just speechless. I've never seen mention of this anywhere, in the horribly biased mainstream media nor in the blogs. Is there a citation for this? How could something so politically potent as hundreds of signatures repudiating the 88 have never managed to be made reasonably available?

Can the Duke situation get any more shocking and shameful?

By the way, the race-drives-perception thing is spot-on, with this exception: it is blacks who are not able to make the trip across the perception divide. White Americans by and large place value in the American ideology. Thus, the end of slavery and the end of Jim Crow and white support for the agenda of the Civil Rights movement. Blacks are lock-bound not to an ideology, but to their victim status. Thus, you have people such as the Duke 88 who will never see the progress in civil rights in America that parades itself before their very eyes.

Me? I'm sticking with the American ideology. It is the American ideology that allows us to rise above our personal weaknesses. And make no mistake, identifying with your perceived victimhood is a great personal weakness that is epidemic in black American culture.

Revenant said...

some argue that even though Tawana Brawley, then a teen-ager, made up her account that a gang of white men, one with a badge, raped and defiled her in New York in 1987, her story is still valid because it offers truths about the oppression of black women

Some argue that rape is the fault of the woman, who allowed herself to sexually arouse a man and failed to protect herself by always travelling escorted.

What these two facts demonstrate is that "some" people are buttheads.

Anonymous said...

Paul wrote: "And make no mistake, identifying with your perceived victimhood is a great personal weakness that is epidemic in black American culture."

Excellent point. It is a debilitating drug with prominent pushers. It is widespread and knows o racial or cultural bounds. Bill Cosby made some excellent and astute comments about how blaming the white man feels so good, but it is a dead end.

Trey

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that these letters are akin to the sort of attitude that we saw, for example, against Clarence Thomas. The charges are what is important, regardless of substantiation. The more serious the charges, the more important it is claimed to be - regardless of merit.

Here, the faculty have launched into racial claims based on what appear to be bogus charges, and then use the fact that the claims were serious to justify this, despite the fact that most of the evidence now indicates that no crime was committed.

They piggybacked their "Duke is racist" claims on the apparently bogus claims and charges against the LAX players. While they may claim that there was no connection between their claims of racism against the university community as a whole and the guilt or innocence of the LAX players, the reality is that they were the ones making the connection when they did this piggybacking.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that these letters are akin to the sort of attitude that we saw, for example, against Clarence Thomas. The charges are what is important, regardless of substantiation. The more serious the charges, the more important it is claimed to be - regardless of merit.

Here, the faculty have launched into racial claims based on what appear to be bogus charges, and then use the fact that the claims were serious to justify this, despite the fact that most of the evidence now indicates that no crime was committed.

They piggybacked their "Duke is racist" claims on the apparently bogus claims and charges against the LAX players. While they may claim that there was no connection between their claims of racism against the university community as a whole and the guilt or innocence of the LAX players, the reality is that they were the ones making the connection when they did this piggybacking.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that these letters are akin to the sort of attitude that we saw, for example, against Clarence Thomas. The charges are what is important, regardless of substantiation. The more serious the charges, the more important it is claimed to be - regardless of merit.

Here, the faculty have launched into racial claims based on what appear to be bogus charges, and then use the fact that the claims were serious to justify this, despite the fact that most of the evidence now indicates that no crime was committed.

They piggybacked their "Duke is racist" claims on the apparently bogus claims and charges against the LAX players. While they may claim that there was no connection between their claims of racism against the university community as a whole and the guilt or innocence of the LAX players, the reality is that they were the ones making the connection when they did this piggybacking.

Anonymous said...

I have decided that you can argue with a Democrat, but not a liberal. Liberals do not appreciate facts, just ideology.

In the same but a twisted way, you can dicsuss things with a Conservative but not a Republican. Conservatives value ideas while Republicans value power and money.

Watch the conversations on this blog and see if you agree. Althouse is a Democrat. That is why the liberals hate her.

Trey

Anonymous said...

I think that this case shows how increasingly academia has become detached from reality by professors whose only real function is to play games with fashionable abstract theories. Professors hire other professors in an endless unaccountable circle which has reached absurd surrealistic proportions.

The idea that a typical American campus like Duke is a place seathing with racism against blacks and
violence against women is beyond absurd. The real oppression is against those who don´t immediately kow tow to the radical absolutist political correctness that prevades most campuses.
When a professor makes an extreme leftist comment they love to talk about freedom of speech while making speech codes against any student who would say anything provocative. At the same time this gang of 88 has decided to be entirely provocative and inflamitory.
And make no mistake, these professors were trying to try these players in the court of public opinion.
For many the argument seems to be that even if the players weren´t guilty, well, they are while, and "priveliged" and they hired a stripper
so in they end they had is comming, which is like saying that "He is black and was somewhere near the crime scene, and-hey-he probably did something bad previously so we´ll thow him in jail for the crime even if there is no evidence that he committed this particular crime".
The hypocracy and contradicitions and injustices just keep piling up, but since tenured professors are accountable to no one except possibly other like minded professors they don´t have to face reality.