September 30, 2011

"Come on, can’t you hear the keystrokes clicking by somebody over at Fox or Althouse just so eager to defend this next 'brave young person' who dared to 'tell the truth' at Harvard Law School?"

Somebody over at Althouse? I'm the only one here. I've been solo-blogging with nary a guest blogger for nigh on 8 years. If you're talking about somebody over at Althouse, you're talking about me. Or are you dragging my name through the "raaaaccciissssttt!!!!" mud over what you imagine a commenter might say?

Dammit. Now I know Elie Mystal at Above the Law has an old issue with me about calling things racist. Back in 2008, there was a contest — which he won — to determine who would be the new blogger at Above the Law. I was one of a panel of judges — a la "American Idol" — and we were looking a the writing of several competitors without seeing the details of who was writing. Judging one of Mystal's entries, I said: "Racism alert." I didn't know that Mystal is, in fact, African American.

Anyway, in the present case, Mystal is writing about a blog called “Harvard Law Caveman,” which is some kind of satirical blog opposed to affirmative action. I have never linked to it, though the author pitched it to me via email a couple times about 10 days ago. I'm not amused by the crude use of racism even when I think the writer meant to lampoon racism. Mystal's belief that I am "just so eager to defend this next 'brave young person' who dared to 'tell the truth'" is nothing but mudslinging.

As for the Harvard Law Caveman, why give him attention just to trash him? Is it so you can trash somebody who has profile, like me? But I didn't link to him. Maybe back when he pitched his blog to me, the Caveman also pitched it to Above the Law. Maybe Mystal has been waiting to see whether someone like me would link so he could attack. Time passed. Did anyone link? But he nevertheless portrays me as "eager" to link! I call bullshit, Elie.
This guy launched a racist blog using as much HLS branding as he could, but the school is not going to actually do anything about it. 
Like what?! It's free speech, and Mystal must know damned well that taking action would draw attention to this erstwhile unnoticed blog and also turn the writer into a free speech martyr. The criticism of Harvard Law School is thus also bullshit.
... But this is life at Harvard Law School. The school is so big. And there are so many people there who are still pissed that they didn’t get into Yale. The racist crap one hears from the HLS student body on just a casual level I think would blow most people away. I once had a white guy argue to my face that I didn’t “belong” there — and this was after we’d both figured out that I got a better grade in the class we took together.
Shine a light on whatever HLS "racist crap" you really see, but it only undercuts your credibility to make crap up. The way you just treated me makes me wonder what was the whole context of that "belong" quote? Let's talk about what's actually true. It works a whole lot better that way.

66 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

You spell it R-A-A-A-A-A-C-I-S-T.

Fred4Pres said...

Fox or Althouse, sort of like the Fox in the henhouse? Interesting choice.

MarkG said...

Ann, you need what "AbovetheLaw" has. This:

Comments are hidden for your protection. Click here to show them.

Trooper York said...

Everybody knows the truth about affirmative action and Havard.

Just look at the Oval Office.

No news here.

Just move along nothing to see here.

Fred4Pres said...

That example from "Joe White" seems pretty obviously a made up rant. It starts with: "Hi. My name is Joe White. My brain is small so I use small words. I have to use short sentences…"

X said...

deadbeat lawyer sez what?

BJM said...

Keep pushing back Althouse, the race baiting ploy reeks of desperation and they know it.

Trooper York said...

On the other hand I think it is totally fair that you be judged by what Cedarford and J have to say.

Fred4Pres said...

But this is life at Harvard Law School. The school is so big. And there are so many people there who are still pissed that they didn’t get into Yale...

Ouch!

Fred4Pres said...

This kind of crap didn’t happen at Harvard College. None of my friends at Yale or Stanford report this kind of racial animosity at their schools. It certainly doesn’t happen this openly at Biglaw firms.

Of course it happens behind the scenes at Biglaw firms. Just ask Justice Thomas about that.

Quayle said...

Oh what evil lurks in the shadows!

An elitist student at an elite school wrote condescending opinions of others.

But this fine young thinker exposed the whole racket for which he deserves our endless thanks.

How else would we know that elitists are often condescending?

MarkG said...

"Hi. My name is Joe White. My brain is small so I use small words."

Tyrone Black uses big words because his brain is so big. I always wondered...

Carol_Herman said...

HA HA HA !!

This is such a good story with TEETH!

And, you're talking about ("Stout") ... so throw in your beer joke, as Glenn Reynolds said.

Add to this that the guy the "parking lady boss" threatened is a THEATER PROFESSOR ... All that's missing is that Lisa Walker's skull looks like Horatio ... In ("Is that you, Horatio?" If you're into ghosts. And, grave scenes.)

All the professor is out are two posters. And, some scotch tape.

The "dean shmuck" ... with his letter "I see from your schedule that you have no classes at 2:15 PM, on Mondays ... "So I booked you to be here in my office"

Also found out that his putz became a turtle ... because on InstaPundit's post ... this shmuck's name and school address got listed.

I wonder if the professor has assigned his students the "constructive" homework of following this story on the Internet? (Where it also showed up at REDDIT.) Or if they're doing this on their own? Plus, now their parents, neighbors and friends, are also involved.

You don't have to be a BREWER to fill bad, today.

And, you know all about "strike-outs."

For the Professor of theater?

A lifetime GIG, ahead! Famous beyond the walls of academia.

And, yes. He shouted "FIRE" ...

Fred4Pres said...

Let me paraphrase:

Hi. My name is Carol Herman. My brain is small so I use words in random order and I have no idea what they mean.

Fred4Pres said...

Sorry. I am an elitist like that.

Christopher in MA said...

Well, this Mystal fellow certainly seems a little too NOKD to be a Yalie. Perhaps he'd be happier at Cornell.

Titus said...

There is a gay who is also black and went to HLS in my building.

He's married to a white.

Tits.

t-man said...

MarkG, you beat me to it, but if I could add one minor change:

Comments are hidden for your protection, Elie.

traditionalguy said...

The Revolution has replaced the individual life with the collective.

You are so 19th Century, Professor.

Are you actually claiming a right to be judged upon facts and not perceptions?

And what is this Free Speech excuse when it is applied to the enemy of the collective?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

On the other hand. Shouldn't you be flattered that this guy seems to think you are as 'powerful and influential' as an entire multi-million dollar television network...FOX.

FOX and Althouse part of the evil empire.

Woooo. The power!!!

vw: lovit

ha

t-man said...

Also,

Above the Law is toxic. I respected David Lat, but the site really is nothing more than a place where the insecure credentialed try to reassure themselves of their place in the pecking order.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"This kind of crap didn’t happen at Harvard College. None of my friends at Yale or Stanford report this kind of racial animosity at their schools."

Funny, but when I was at Yale, I witnessed a lot of racial animosity. Someone scrawled the word "white pig" over a publicly-posted photograph of another student in my department. And someone once said to me, in a professional setting, "What do you know about oppression, white boy?".

Yale was, in my experience, a cauldron of racial animosity.

Coketown said...

Carol_Herman reminds me of the hybrids on Battlestar Galactica: Long streams of barely intelligible semi-conscious dribble that might, just might, contain brilliant insights or even prophecy! Don't unplug her!

End of line.

roesch-voltaire said...

"Somebody" over at Althouse makes a racist comment? Naw nobody here ever does that except as some form of irony.

Alex Ignatiev said...

Unsurprising that an HLS grad doesn't know beans about free speech.



Oh. My bad. I got my JD from Ole Miss. And I live in Mississippi

Infer what you will from the above facts.

rcocean said...

Evidently, a rich privileged person at Harvard law school is upset that other rich, privileged people at Harvard Law school may, or may not, be "racist".

Sorry, I'm still upset over the Female millionaires who can't get into Augusta National Golf Club - first things first.

timmaguire42 said...

Calling BullShit on Elie Mystal is like calling "Car!" at the Indy 500.

G Joubert said...

I read it that when he says "somebody over at Althouse" he is indeed specifically referring to commenters, and not necessarily to you, otherwise he would have said you. In fact, it could be interpreted that he is excluding you. So, yeah, he is dragging your name through the "raaaaccciissssttt!!!!" mud over what he imagines a commenter might say.

Trooper York said...

How can it be racist mud if it is brown?

I thought brown people couldn't be racist?

Or is that in itself racist?

I am very confused.

Trooper York said...

I am all upset because the owner of the strip club who bought Melissa Gorga her new boobs showed up at the Poshe fashion show to confront her and caused a big fight this week. Now Jacquline Laurita quit the show and didn't go on the reunion because she is afraid her past as a stripper in Vegas will be brought up next.

There are much more important things to worry about than the compisition of the classes at Harvard Law School.

Geoff Matthews said...

Mystal is upset about HLS ruining his life by accepting him into law before he could default on his student loans.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"So, yeah, he is dragging your name through the "raaaaccciissssttt!!!!" mud over what he imagines a commenter might say."

Well to be fair, there's now a regular, prolific commenter here who freely posts the most vile anti-Semitic, anti-religious, anti-gay, and violent rhetoric imaginable and nothing is ever done about it. If the comments section here is becoming known for its declining quality and predilection for tolerating personal threats posted by foul, semi-literate and violent commenters, it's easy to see why.

Trooper York said...

Very true Palladian. I have the same problem and have been deleting each and every comment.

It is a big job but it must be done.

I thought it would be possible to engage in a human and reasonable way to open a dialouge but I was totally wrong.

The blogger lady is making a big mistake glossing over this. Just sayn'

Scott M said...

Well to be fair, there's now a regular, prolific commenter here who freely posts the most vile anti-Semitic, anti-religious, anti-gay, and violent rhetoric imaginable and nothing is ever done about it.

I think you misunderstand the gist of my comments.

Trooper York said...

Oh it's not you Scott.

Your comments are just stupid and dull. Just sayn'

Scott M said...

Dull?

Almost Ali said...

I'm the only one here.

Not quite.

Tree. Forest.

Trooper York said...

Just kidding buddy.

You are one of the sharpest knives in the drawer.

(Of course it is a drawer full of butter knives)

Scott M said...

(Of course it is a drawer full of butter knives)

Guffaw-worthy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

(Of course it is a drawer full of butter knives)

Hey!!!

JohnJ said...

"Well to be fair, there's now a regular, prolific commenter here who freely posts the most vile anti-Semitic, anti-religious, anti-gay, and violent rhetoric imaginable and nothing is ever done about it."

Extinction works only if everyone's onboard. Why some here feel the need to critique the depraved writings of one commenter is a mystery to me. They're only providing the attention he (I presume) is not getting in his small and similarly depraved circle of "friends."

Steve Koch said...

Althouse may not get that more than 90% of the content on her blog is by the commenters. Typically she links to a story and provides a short comment (that is mostly, but not always, neutral). The commenters then take over and provide most of the flavor and insight.

Scott M said...

The commenters then take over and provide most of the flavor and insight.

Are you suggesting we go all HuffPo on her?

Steve Koch said...

That's funny. BTW, that is what makes the blog, all the funny and insightful stuff by the various commenters. Althouse somehow collected all these people. She has a mellow, honest, fair, unassuming blog personality that is non grating. I also like that both lefties and conservatives comment.

Steve Koch said...

The simplest way to solve the problem of cancerous posters is to write an add on to blogger that permits people to filter out any blogger that has proven himself to not be worthy of reading. Blogger has an add on feature but I haven't yet found a list of all the add ons that have been written. What is needed may have already been written.

Steve Koch said...

Even simpler than that is to just ignore the cancerous poster. After awhile he will get bored and go away.

Palladian said...

"Even simpler than that is to just ignore the cancerous poster. After awhile he will get bored and go away."

That's what I always wish people would do, but it never happens. People always respond and, more often than not, the whole discussion gets filled with a lot of crap.

In the case of the particular commenter I'm talking about, it's hard for me to even scroll past comments full of physical threats and openly racist, anti-gay epithets. I'd rather just not read the comments, which is a shame. It's great to read Althouse's writing to be sure, but I also like to read the discussion as well. But if I have to see dozens of comments derogatorily calling people fags and jews and threatening to beat people up and whatnot... well, I just don't want to even see that kind of hate.

Besides, there is one (and only one) commenter here whose comments are consistently and summarily deleted, and that commenter still posts, and has been doing it for years. So there's no guarantee that ignoring or even deletion takes care of a malignant commenter.

Fred4Pres said...

Palladian, it would be nice to have a ban for those who really cross the line of civility. Some people deserve banishment. While I avoid that particular poster, you can't unread some things.

There have beenthings said that if said to my face would have almost certainly resulted in me beating the tar out of him.

paul a'barge said...

The guy (Elie Mystal) has the name of a little girl.

Sixty Grit said...

Tough crowd! Seriously. I apologize. Really. All you **** and ******* and **** and ******* - I was having a bad day. It just slipped out. There was a flood, my car had a flat. I didn't mean to call you a ********* or a ***********. Mea culpa. And I am not even a ********.

So please forgive me, you ****** of ****. Otherwise, you ********* can all **** in **** and go **** ***********.

Ed said...

He didn't say "somebody over at Althouse." He said "somebody over at Fox or Althouse," which I take to mean "[somebody over at Fox] or [Althouse]," instead of "somebody over at [Fox or Althouse]."

Ann Althouse said...

"If the comments section here is becoming known for its declining quality and predilection for tolerating personal threats posted by foul, semi-literate and violent commenters, it's easy to see why."

Sorry, but I have to skip over a lot of the comments. I read people I like and sometimes I participate in parts of threads (especially in the beginning). So don't assume I see what is apparently obvious to you. If you email me, I will almost surely notice that. If someone makes a threat, please email me and tell me where.

Ann Althouse said...

But I think I know who you are talking about, and the absurd thing is that he frequently emails me to complain about various of you and how it's simply intolerable, etc etc.

The best old rule is: Don't feed the troll.

Palladian said...

"The best old rule is: Don't feed the troll."

Agreed. If only everyone listened to your advice about this issue, and many others...

Trooper York said...

This is not enough in this case. You know I have spoken out in favor of some who have been universally reviled here and encouraged them to comment. But this commentor is as Palladian has said beyond the pale.

I am banning and deleting him and you should too.

Please reconsider this. Seriously.

AllenS said...

If we banned everyone that comments on this blog that we didn't like, I'd be the only commenter.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Ok, Ann can draw a line, and say whoever comments over this line will be banned/deleted.

Once Ann assumes this responsibility--which of course will require uncompensated time and effort to implement--she actually DOES become responsible for comments that are NOT banned. That's something not to be undertaken lightly. It's going to turn this blog into a job.

I think the "don't feed the troll" policy is really the best one. Currently Ann bans/deletes only commenters that directly piss her off in some way, she's not trying to enforce a policy.

Not feeding trolls puts the onus on the rest of us. Where it belongs. Ann is the shepherd of this flock of sharks, not our teacher, not our babysitter. We can enforce norms socially, like adults who believe in limited government, right?

Trooper York said...

In general I greatly admire the free speech absolutism that prevails here and think it should be a model for all blogs.

But the commenter who Palladian cites has gone far beyond what is acceptable to any reasonable person. Direct personal threats of violence against other commenters have been made repeatedly. This is not normal trolling. This is not even extreme trolling. This is mental illness on display and it works to destroy the fabric of this blog.

It is just as bad as what Mary does.

It is now in it's early stages where you might be able to nip it in the bud.

Don't be lazy.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Trooper:

Actual threats are of course another matter; I haven't been following closely lately, but chest-beating and Internet-tough-guy-ism is of course a different matter. I didn't see what you saw. I don't say it wasn't there; just that I didn't see it. A real threat of course should be dealt with and I presume you know it when you see it, so consider what I said suitably modified to take that into account.

Trooper York said...

Gabriel I respect you as a reasonable and valuable commenter and I enjoy your all too infrequent comments.

Please know that this is a serious matter and should be treated as such.
It should not be cavalierly dismissed as another troll like Jeremy or the like.

I know that it is extremely difficult to patrol this blog and police the comments section. But I truly think this is a very serious matter and should be attended too directly by the blogger

veni vidi vici said...

Isn't Mystal a guy who never practiced law because he couldn't hack it after going to law school?

Did he even take, much less pass, any state's bar exam?

Note that "Mystal" = "Mistal" = "of Mist"; in German, "mist" = rubbish/trash/debris.

His opinions and writing are appropriate to his name, then. He's regularly lampooned by the commentariat over there for being well nigh useless.

Don't waste column inches on that loser's millimeter problem!

J Jones said...

The idea that there's racism at Harvard Law is a myth. For example, last week students of all races mixed easily and freely in the friendly "1L Cup" competition -- video here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Sect5HLS

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