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Friday, January 5, 2007

Duke Hoax: Day #262

Updated - today's items:

Cathy N. Davidson - Ruth F. Devarney Professor of EnglishOpinion - Cathy N. Davidson (Duke English Professor, "Gang of 88" member) News & Observer:
In the aftermath of a social disaster — Last April I added my name to an ad published in the Duke Chronicle. The ad said that we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house.

The insults, at that time, were rampant. It was as if defending David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann necessitated reverting to pernicious stereotypes about African-Americans, especially poor black women. Many black students at Duke disappeared into humiliation and rage as the lacrosse players were being elevated to the status of martyrs, innocent victims of reverse racism.

As it turned out, 87 other faculty members were alarmed at this distressing side-effect of the lacrosse incident and signed the ad. I am positive I am not the only professor who was and continues to be adamant about the necessity for fair and impartial legal proceedings for David, Collin and Reade while also being dismayed by the glaring social disparities implicit in what we know happened on March 13...

The ad we signed explicitly was not addressed to the police investigation or the rape allegations. The ad focused on racial and gender attitudes all too evident in the weeks after March 13. It decried prejudice and inequality in the society at large. "It isn't just Duke, it isn't everybody, and it isn't just individuals making this disaster," the ad insisted...

most of my e-mail comes from right-wing "blog hooligans." These hateful, ranting and sometimes even threatening folks don't care about Duke or the lacrosse players. Their aim is to make academics and liberals look ridiculous and uncaring...

comment: The "Gang of 88" are the ones who look ridiculous, not all academics and liberals. No apologies, no regrets from the "Gang of 88" just nicely timed venom directed at their own students in the guise of a nebulous "social disaster." Aside from Nifong's injustice, the other disaster is the "Gang of 88" and their radical "Group Think Stink."

KC Johnson:
Apologia for a Disaster — Davidson is defiant, confident that she and her fellow signatories did nothing wrong. Though she doesn’t come out and say so, both the tone and the content of her op-ed suggest that she shares the view of Karla Holloway, who told the Duke Chronicle that she would sign the statement again “in a heart beat.”

Trying to blunt the widespread criticism that in signing the ad, the Group of 88 was exploiting their own students to advance their personal, pedagogical, or ideological agendas, Davidson claims that she was protecting Duke students...

With “defenders” like Davidson, the players need no enemies.

KC Johnson - Cathy Davidson: In Her Own Words
Lead & Gold blog: Duke lacrosse: the revisionist history begins — KC Johnson thoroughly demolishes an attempt to rewrite history. No surprise the rewriter is a member of the Group of 88...
Michael GustafsonMichael Gustafson (Duke Engr. Prof.) blog:
Ugh...Redux — Today Vice Provost Cathy Davidson has had an op-ed published in the News and Observer entitled, "In the aftermath of a social disaster." My primary problem with her letter is her statement, "I am positive I am not the only professor who was and continues to be adamant about the necessity for fair and impartial legal proceedings for David, Collin and Reade while also being dismayed by the glaring social disparities implicit in what we know happened on March 13." Such adamance would, it seems, require some form of action at least within an order of magnitude of 88 faculty members and associate Duke community members signing a one-page advertisement. To my knowledge, no such action has ever taken place...

Steven Keller (Duke Ph.D. student), LieStoppers:
Our Collective Voice - Letter to Davidson — Pick and choose your battles, Dr. Davidson. Focus on those racial and feminist situations that truly warrant consideration and national concern. Rushing to judgment and latching on to sensational media stories such as this to actively bring such important issues to the forefront will only serve to damage and set back the cause(s) that you are, for the most part but not presently, nobly fighting for...

Kethra, LieStoppers:
Our Collective Voice - Kethra, Blog Hooligan — Ms. Davidson, you directly contributed to an attempt at starting a race war. Ms. Davidson, you directly contributed to inciting a riot. Ms. Davidson, you directly contributed to and enabled criminal behavior by Mike Nifong and the Durham Police...

Texas Mom, LieStoppers:
Our Collective Voice - Blog Hooligan — I am one of your "blog hooligans." I am a fifty-seven year old woman. I was in college at a time when most elite institutions (not Duke) were single-sex. I protested the Viet Nam war. I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal....Spare me the gratuitous "women as victims" garbage....What DID happen at 610 Buchannan the night of March 13/14, 2006, Ms. Davidson? A bunch of young men had a party and SOME underage students consumed alcohol. They hired strippers- a not uncommon practice for men (and some women), both young and old. The women danced for approximately four minutes, got their $400 apiece and left. The only "social disaster" at Duke has been the denigration of the members of the lacrosse team and their coach...

Brain Dead Jock blog:
Liberal Professor still doesn't get it. — What [Davidson] is saying between the lines, every -ism is the fault of white males. A question a question for the Professor. What happened to the idea of a woman's right to choose? The accuser, Crystal Mangum, chose to work at a stripper. She chose to have three children out of wedlock...

Michael Gaynor: Can Professor Davidson Learn? — Professor Davidson sees herself as part of the solution instead of part of the problem (like Mr. Nifong!)...Unless and until Professor Davidson accepts that she is part of the problem, she won't be part of the solution. Keep studying, Professor.

LieStoppers forum: "blog hooligans", One of the 88 Speaks
LieStoppers forum: My Letter to Dr. Cathy Davidson
LieStoppers forum: Are the Duke 88 fit to teach young people...?
LieStoppers forum: Draft Response & My Final Response...
LieStoppers forum: Another Letter to N&O/Davidson...

FreeRepublic: In the aftermath of a social disaster
TalkLeft: In the aftermath of a social disaster
Duke Chronicle: 88 losers

Congressman David PriceKC Johnson:
Price's "Puzzling" PositionDavid Price would seem to be a figure almost uniquely qualified to assume a leadership role in restoring the rule of law to Durham. First, as the city’s congressman for all but two of the last 20 years, he has compiled an impressive record on issues relating to civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans, refusing to tolerate a system in which people are treated differently because of their race, class, or gender.

Yet for months as Mike Nifong’s abuses piled up, Price remained silent—until December 13. Then, his North Carolina colleague, Walter Jones, demanded that the Justice Department investigate Nifong. Price disagreed, releasing the following statement:
My opinion is it’s an ongoing legal process and it’s highly premature and inappropriate for me to make comments on it or to try to intervene in it.
...[Price] has simply decided that he will place his political self-interest above his obligation to protect civil rights for all.

Sher ZieveSher Zieve, ChronWatch.com:
Nifong and Politically Motivated Justice in America - Something very odd is occurring with the alleged Duke Lacrosse team rape/sexual offense/kidnapping ad nauseam case. I’m not referring to North Carolina Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong’s lack of any substantive evidence against the three young men he has charged with these heinous deeds....What I am referring to is how this prosecutor has used his office and this case to secure and keep his job...

The most chilling element of this case seems to boil down to what politicians (even those within the legal community) will do to further their own ends. Anyone and everyone appear to be subject to their whims. What the Duke case demonstrates is “if it promotes the politico—even if it involves criminal behavior within the legal community—anything and everything is fair.” Today, we are seeing similar behavior from many of our elected officials. But, when it involves prosecutors who can literally hold our lives in their hands, it reaches critical mass.

Even though Ms. Mangum can’t figure out whether she was raped or not, Nifong is still going to prosecute the defendants for alleged sexual offenses committed...What has happened to American justice? Apparently, it is now firmly in the hands of callous and ambitious politicians.
comment: Is Sher Zieve the first female columnist to use Ms. Mangum's name in an article?
Jason Trumpbour (Duke Law '91), spokesperson, Friends of Duke University:
Latest developments — A lot has happened in the last two days, most of it extremely good news. By now, you have probably heard the good news that Reade and Collin have been reinstated. This is very positive move by the University on two levels. It sends an unequivocal message to the world that the University supports Reade, Collin and, by implication, David and does not find the charges against them credible. Also, because Reade and Collin’s reinstatement means a great deal not only to them and their families, but to all of the other lacrosse families, reinstating Reade and Collin shows the administration is reaching out to them and, hopefully, starting to mend fences...

Letter by Norton Rubenstein (Richmond, Va.), Herald-Sun:
Think, next time — It has been reported that District Attorney Mike Nifong was more or less secretly sworn into office this week. I wonder how proud those who voted their anger rather than their rational assessment must feel. They certainly got what they wanted, which turns out, it would seem, to be a pig in a poke. I can't think of anything positive about this outcome, except that it just might make voters in the future consider the merits of a candidate rather than the phony baloney many of them are selling these days.

Bruce WalkerEditorial - Bruce Walker, NewsBull.com:
Impeach Nifong — Mike Nifong has engaged in such incredible, almost Orwellian, misconduct in the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case that even feminists on the Left, who believe every allegation of rape is true and Democrats who will presumptively believe the word of any black witness against any white witness are quivering with quiet rage and also with fear. Not only is the integrity of the criminal justice system in jeopardy, but prosecution � that tool used increasingly to punish the politically incorrect or politically inconvenient � is also increasingly viewed as a mockery...

The place to begin this battle to recover the conscience of America should be on the floor of the North Carolina State Legislature and nothing less than the impeachment and removal of Mike Nifong should be acceptable. Three decades of "all men are rapists" and "white people are our oppressors" and other lies must be laid before the hearts and souls of all Americans. The moral answer is crystal clear. It must have direct political consequences.

James Bone, The Australian:
Lacrosse "jocks" go back to college — TWO college "jocks" accused in a sex case that exposed race and class divisions in the US are to be allowed to return to their studies at one of country's top universities. The decision by Duke University to readmit the pair comes as the case, sparked by the claims of a black stripper, unravels amid charges of unethical conduct by the prosecutor...

The Hometown Zero — The criticism of Defendant Nifong from his hometown daily has ranged from mocking jabs to harsh calls for his resignation. Nifong would appear to be anything but a favorite son of Wilmington...
Wilmington Morning Star(1/4/07): Durham should be ashamed!
Wilmington Morning Star(12/28/06): Disgraceful Nifong should depart
Jane Stancill & Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Lawsuit is latest lacrosse twist — Duke initially refused to entertain arguments by Dowd that the grade was unfair, the lawsuit said, but eventually agreed to accept credits that Dowd had earned earlier at Johns Hopkins University. That allowed him to graduate, the lawsuit said, but then Duke changed the F to a D, citing a "calculation error."

Dowd, who lives in New York City, could not be reached for comment. His mother, reached by telephone, said their younger son, Craig, was supposed to enroll at Duke last fall on a lacrosse scholarship. He turned down the scholarship...
Right Wing Prof. & his  dog BoudreauRightWingProf, Right Wing Nation blog:
The Duke Lawsuit — We need to get one thing out of the way. There is no question that the Fs she gave the lacrosse team players were unwarranted. The university found that there had been a "calculation error," and changed the students' grades. So the question of whether she engaged in grade retaliation purely out of personal and political spite is settled. She did exactly that....

I would like to see this woman hang as much as anyone, but I don't like the precedent this lawsuit will set. I bear no grudge against the plaintiffs; I blame the university and her department for not dealing with her sooner, and for allowing this travesty to happen.

Because make no mistake, this never should have happened. Grade retaliation is the grossest violation of ethics. Grade retaliation for no better reason than to make yourself feel good about what a wonderful feminist liberal you are is reprehensible.
Duke Chronicle: Former Lax Player Sues Duke — According to court papers, Dowd had received C's on his work to that point of the semester--work that would have counted for 50 percent of the overall grade. After the March 13 party, Dowd received F's for his class participation and final assignment, causing Curtis to issue a failing grade for the course.

The University ultimately allowed Dowd to graduate, counting extra transfer credits from Johns Hopkins, which Dowd had attended for two years. Over the summer, Duke changed the grade from an F to a D, citing a "calculation error." Had his original two grades been averaged with the two failing grades, it would have resulted in a D.

Because of the circumstances, however, the lawsuit asks for the grade to be changed from a D to a "P" for "passing." It also asks for $60,000 in damages...

Forum topics of note:
TalkLeft: Media Rape Shield Policy: Perpetuating the Hoax — Can there be any doubt that the media’s policy of not publishing the names, addresses and pictures of sexual assault victims helped to perpetuate the Duke Hoax? In this case, the false accuser got a long free ride to attempt an extortion of monumental proportions. Her name and background were unknown to anyone for many weeks, allowing public perception to grow against the Duke lacrosse players. Bloggers soon discovered her identity and some of her past history, but the general public remained, and remains, without some of this crucial knowledge.
comment: Absolutely agree. The "pendulum has swung too far."

LieStoppers Forum - Media Rape Shield Policy: Perpetuating the Hoax
Yesterday (1/4):

Boblee SwaggerBobLee Swagger, SwaggerSays.com blog:
A Time To Kill - A Time To Apologize — Friends and loyal readers, BE AWARE that this is another Durham Nifong Mess column. I believe it is a special one but still it is another one. …. If your NewYear’s resolution was No More Nifong feel free to click out...

The print media elevates itself far above us. They, according to them, report only the facts on their news pages. They, according to them, reserve their opinions for their Opinion/Editorial sections. They, according to them, take their individual prejudices and ideological slants out of their hard news reporting. We can trust them, they say … because, well because, they say we can.

Based on how The N&O rather successfully crafted this story their way I now mistrust any on-going investigative reporting they publish. I don’t care one bit for Jim Black but maybe they scurriously jobbed him too, like they definitely did these three Duke students. Who’s next? Me, you, the bad guys, the good guys, whoever the N&O takes a dim view of or wishes to exploit?

The News & Observer is a private business entity making a profit for their owners and stockholders. No problem with that EXCEPT they also elevate themselves to a holier than thou pedestal where they are above such capitalist motives and are the entity entrusted to tell us what is happening in our community, state, nation, world. Their reporters, they tell us, are not connected in any way to their ad sales or circulation departments. Their reporters, they tell us, are 100% altruistically motivated to find the truth and report the truth to us....

Why did the N&O pursue its extremely biased reporting of The Durham Nifong Mess? ...

Michael LiccioneMichael Liccione, Sacramentium Vitae blog:
The Duke "rape" case - The disgusting thing about that was not merely that [Nifong] was willing to destroy the lives of four young men to secure his position. Crushing people on one's way to the top is so common that outrage about it in this case could only be selective. That says something bad enough about our society. What's even worse is that he had good reason to think he could get away with it—and almost did...

Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess:
Underneath The Bunker, The End Is Nigh (humor) — Why did Der NiFuhrer cancel all appointments today and closet himself inside his closed office?...

John in Carolina:
Duke's first lax suit — The 20 page complaint was filed in Durham County Superior Court on behalf of the former student, Kyle Dowd, and his parents, Patricia Dowd and Benjamin Dowd against visiting political science professor Kim F. Curtis as well as the university...I was impressed when I read it; and then doubly impressed when I learned the plaintives’ attorney’s name and firm. ..

Calculated Risk

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