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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #267

Updated - today's items:

Ann CoulterAnn Coulter, HumanEvents.com:
Stripper lied....White Boys Fried — In lieu of a gang rape perpetrated by high-stepping white male athletes against a poor black woman, the Duke lacrosse case has turned out to be another in a long string of hoax hate crimes in which whites are falsely accused....

Don't liberals ever have to pony up at least one example of a powerful privileged white male trampling on the rights of a powerless black woman in order to keep droning on about powerful privileged white males? Every real-life example invariably turns out to be a hoax, among the most spectacular the Tawana Brawley case and now the Duke lacrosse case.

Liberal professors believe that crying wolf is valuable for calling attention to the societal problem of wolves, even though there's never a wolf in any particular case. Evidently, awareness of an alleged societal ill—of which we have no actual examples—is worth ruining the lives of three innocent people. After all, they're just powerful white men...

Karla HollowayChristina Asquith, DiverseEducation.com:
Duke Fallout Continues as Top Black Professor Resigns From Race Committee — The Duke University professor heading a university-appointed committee to investigate race relations on campus in the wake of last spring’s men’s lacrosse scandal has resigned from that committee in protest against the recent decision to invite two of the players back on to campus.

“The decision by the university to readmit the students, especially just before a critical judicial decision on the case, is a clear use of corporate power, and a breach, I think, of ethical citizenship,” says Dr. Karla Holloway, the William R. Kenan Jr., Professor of English and Professor of Law at Duke. “I could no longer work in good faith with this breach of common trust...”

In her resignation letter, Holloway criticized the Duke administration for not coming to her defense, as attacks in the form of blogs and letters to the university newspaper have mounted in recent months.

“The public support [the administration] has extended to these students has been absent in regard to faculty who have been under constant and often vicious attack,” she wrote...

comment: To paraphrase Karla Holloway's letter of resignation from the committee: "Damn the paying customers (the students), civil rights and injustice, this should all be about protecting and promoting the agenda of Karla Holloway."

Christina Asquith, diverseeducation.com:
Black Professors Under Pressure At Duke; Six Black Faculty Quit (July 13, 2006) — Three months after she was chosen to head the committee on race in response to the university’s lacrosse scandal, Duke University Professor Karla Holloway threatened to quit yesterday citing exhaustion.

“I’m working on a culture initiative when I should be doing research,” says Holloway. “Of course you want a chance to make your campus better, but at what cost? When you are serviced to fix the problem and you are also the victim; it’s a double duty”...

KC Johnson - Holloway leaves CCI (see comments) — Holloway’s departure from the CCI is a welcome development. Holloway’s comments over the last nine months had shown little or no respect for a wide variety of groups on campus, and so her occupying such a prominent place with the CCI seemed a basic contradiction in its mission...

LieStoppers: Holloway Resigns, In protest......

Clarence PageClarence Page, columnist, Chicago Tribune:
In Duke case, emotions over race trample facts — It's hard to say which is unraveling faster: the sexual-assault case against three former Duke University lacrosse players or the public's interest in it. Too many facts can ruin a good story for folks who already have made up their minds...

However the Duke case plays out, it offers some valuable lessons about rushing to judgment. Nifong's questionable statements and actions should remind law-and-order hardliners that prosecutors are not always right. Our long history of injustices has made black Americans particularly sensitive to the rights of the accused black, but we also can't forget the rights of suspects who are not black. After all, if institutional racism still holds any power at all, then rights that are denied to whites today can just as easily be denied to blacks tomorrow.

And, while the accuser's media image doesn't look very sympathetic these days, she too has rights. We can still feel for her. What we don't know is all of the facts.
Is this the closest to an editorial that will come out of the Chicago Tribune regarding the Nifong injustice? Mr. Page is a member of the Tribune's editorial board. Every major newspaper in this country should go on record and condemn this injustice. Some it seems will take a pass and instead just run a column that conveys token concern. Some had better hurry, the "Hoax Train" is leaving the station.

Jason Trumpbour, spokesperson, Friends of Duke University:
Treading water — President Brodhead published a long letter to the Duke community on Monday that explained in greater detail his actions over the last few weeks in calling for Nifong to be replaced and in allowing Reade and Collin to return to campus. We are happy that he continues to speak out against Nifong’s conduct...

However, we are a little concerned about certain aspects of the letter. First, President Brodhead provides an account of the administrations handling of the case that is long on rationalization and justification, but short on facts...

Second, and more troubling is President Brodhead’s defense of the Group of 88. In the past, we have called for him to speak out against the prejudiced and prejudicial assertions made in the “Listening” ad. Instead, President Brodhead used the occasion of his letter to assert that the Group of 88 are victims of unfair public attacks and vicious e-mails and points his finger at the blogs...

Michael Gustafson (Duke Engr. Professor) blog:
Unfair and Imbalanced - A 2000+ Word Rant (1/8/07) — There is no Group of 88. There is no singular construction known as The Group of 88, there is not a single faculty member with a giant rubber stamp holding 88 names of people, and there is not a single hive-mind behind the signatures of the "Listening" ad placed in the Chronicle lo those many months ago...

I am still at a loss to describe my reaction to the president's letter today...Now, somehow, those "outsiders" - which for months were the only people trying to support the students from the lies and half-truths and half-hearted statements coming from faculty members, administrators and staff, fellow students, the media, and most especially the DA - are the problem....

The traditional standard bearers for cases where the judicial system is taking liberties with people because of those peoples gender, or color, or perceived status - the ACLU and the NAACP - have remained silent and split, respectively...
LieStoppers - Duke Prof. Michael Gustafson Speaks
KC Johnson:
Conflicting Pressures — It’s been interesting to see the differences between how most newspapers and most blogs interpreted the recent Richard Brodhead statement. Most media coverage—even from the heretofore consistently pro-Nifong Duff Wilson of the New York Times—stressed the sections in which the president criticized Nifong, in strong and commendable language. Most case-oriented blogs, on the other hand, focused on the statement’s defense of the Group of 88, and its defense of the Group of 88-led Campus Culture Initiative....

John in Carolina:
Brodhead ducked this draft (1/9/07) — At Liestoppers’ message board poster Quasimodo rang my bell by posting in full from a Chronicle message board the following letter Duke alum Ed Rickards drafted for Duke’s President Richard H. Brodhead. Brodhead didn’t use Ricards’ draft but instead signed his name to something that was much more in keeping with his character. Sad!...

Michael Gaynor:
Don't Stay, Mr. Brodhead. Resign Instead — When it mattered most to the Duke Three and their fellow members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team, Duke University President Richard Brodhead, to them, all but said: "Drop dead!" Winston Churchill said, "Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all others." Unfortunately, as Duke University's leader, President Brodhead exhibited a complete lack of courage as events unfolded and abandoned the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team in front of an onslaught of false accusations and politically correct slander.

Letter by members of economics dept. to Duke Chronicle:
Professors call for investigation, welcoming of all students — We, the undersigned Economics Department faculty members at Duke University, are cognizant of the fact that, to date, the only collective signed statement by faculty members concerning the events of last March was an advertisement in The Chronicle subsequent to protests and a forum on March 29, 2006. We are aware too that the advertisement was cited as prejudicial to the defendants in the defense motion to change the venue of the trial involving the three Duke lacrosse team members.

We regret that the Duke faculty is now seen as prejudiced against certain of its own students...

Rob Copeland, Duke Chronicle:
Brodhead responds, calls for Nifong to step down — After months of limited public statements on the lacrosse scandal, President Richard Brodhead released three statements this past month, in addition to a lengthy open letter to the Duke community sent Monday via e-mail. It remains uncertain, however, whether Brodhead's actions will pacify his vocal critics, who have assailed the president for his actions in recent months.

KC Johnson said Brodhead is still ignoring some important issues...Another frequent critic, "Friends of Duke University," said it was disappointed by the president's "rationalizations and justifications" expressed in the letter.

Gregory Beaton, Duke Chronicle:
Q&A: Brodhead discusses state of athletics — In his three years at Duke, President Richard Brodhead has seen the highs and lows of Duke athletics. The same athletics program that achieved the University's highest-ever finish in the 2005 Director's Cup has come under increased scrutiny following last spring's men's lacrosse scandal. Before winter break, Brodhead sat down with The Chronicle's Greg Beaton to discuss the state of athletics at Duke.

Shadee Malaklou (Trinity senior), Duke Chronicle:
Cruel intentions and dangerous liaisons — Perhaps the only positive outcome of the lacrosse scandal is that Duke officials have revisited campus gender and race concerns. The initial uproar revealed an assumption that many white Duke men, and not just members of the lacrosse team, have made a habit of sexually abusing women without so much as a hint of remorse, or punishment. This assumption, sadly but surely, is not far from the truth� but Duke women are partially responsible for "feeding the beast" of sexual assault culture on campus...

Michael J. Gaynor, Mich. News:
Davidson and Brodhead, No; Johnson, Yes - Duke English Professor Cathy Davidson is striving mightily to spin that "Social Disaster" ad that is now a disaster for its signers (including herself), the notorious Group of 88 . She didn't draft it, but she did approve it and now it's a millstone around her neck. She now may be feeling terror, but will she admit error? Never! With the collapse of the Duke case, the 88 have been reduced to a bunch of whiners, deluded or despicable. Neither well-intentioned nor well written, that ad (1) was designed to advance personal, pedagogical and political agendas of the signers and (2) may be a basis for future litigation Professor Davidson desperately wants to avoid....

Unsurprisingly, Professor Davidson resorting to rewriting history....

Forum topice of note:
Reply from Prof. Cathy Davidson, Re: E-mail About Group of 88 Statement

comment: William L. Anderson - I think that Prof. Davidson is trying to be honest about her own thoughts regarding this whole episode. She clearly never wanted to have anyone railroaded, and from my own correspondence with her, I think she will be happy if things turn out well for Reade, Collin, and David...

Editorial - Duke Chronicle:
Nifong: Make the right move — It is now clear-glaringly clear-that the district attorney had made egregious errors in his handling of the case.

Worse, it seems that he made some of these errors consciously. Not only did he brazenly condemn the lacrosse players as "hooligans" in the media and proclaim their guilt even before DNA tests or any other thorough investigation had been conducted, but also, as the testimony of Dr. Brian Meehan in early December showed, Nifong also took steps to keep exculpatory evidence from the defense. McCarthy-esque overzealousness in the public spotlight evolved into what many now perceive as intentional malice.

Mr. Nifong, have you no decency? If you do, take the first good stand you have thus far in the case, and pass it on to a party more objective, fair and just than yourself.

Katherine MacIlwaine, Duke Chronicle:
Tide Turns in Lax Case — Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann will not be on campus when classes begin today, and it is unlikely they will return for the spring semester, a number of sources close to the situation confirmed Tuesday....Speculation is that Finnerty will work this spring, study abroad in the fall and return to Duke to play lacrosse in Spring 2008....Though the complete [lacrosse] schedule has not been released, Duke begins its 2007 campaign at home against Dartmouth Feb. 24.

Letter by Wilbert J. Hamilton (Durham resident), Herald-Sun:
Let court system work — It is amazing how many letters to the editor have been written lacking faith in the American justice system. The American justice system already assumes innocent until proven guity. The letters are demoralizing an elected official, District Attorney Mike Nifong, who is doing the job that was handed down to him by the grand jury indictments...

The defense attorneys have done an excellent job demoralizing the accuser and Mike Nifong. They also are portraying the accused to look like choir boys. The defense attorneys are doing their job and the DA is doing his job. Where and why are these impeachments, disbarments and running Mike Nifong out of town threats originating? Let the justice system work and stop further dividing the Durham community.
comment: Mike Nifong corrupted the weak NC grand jury system and the justice system in Durham is broken. Nifong will have defenders in Durham even if he is taken out of his office in handcuffs.

update: Mr. Wilbert J. Hamilton was appointed a member of the Durham Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board on Aug. 10, 1998, the term expired on July 31, 1999. He was absent at the only two meetings (March 17, 1999, and May 19, 1999) that are documented on the Durham County website. Mr. Hamilton does not seem to be a very responsible or concerned citizen.
John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Finnerty cleared of assault conviction in Washington — A Washington, D.C., judge has cleared a misdemeanor assault conviction from the record of Collin Finnerty, a suspect in the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case. Lawyer Bill Cotter, one of two attorneys representing Finnerty in the Duke incident, confirmed and applauded the Washington action on Tuesday.

"That was a good thing for Collin," said Cotter. "I'm sure the judge wouldn't have done it if he didn't feel Collin deserved it."
LieStoppers: Finnerty's D.C. record to be cleared
TalkLeft: Finnerty's D.C. record to be cleared
FreeRepublic: Assault Charges Dropped Against Finnerty
Duke University, duke.edu:
Applicant Pool to Duke Is Second Largest in School History (1/9/07) — The total of 18,495 applicants was exceeded only by last year’s total of 19,387 - Duke University has received almost 18,500 applications for the 1,665 places in the class that will enter Duke this fall -- the second largest applicant pool in the school’s history. The total of 18,495 applicants was exceeded only by last year’s total of 19,387, and represents 1,748 more applications, or an increase of 10.4 percent, compared to three years ago...

“The number of students of color applying to Duke continues to increase; as a result Duke now has one of the most diverse student bodies of any of the nation’s leading private universities,” Guttentag said. In addition, 2,141 international students have applied for admission, up from 1,985 last year and nearly double the number of international applicants five years ago...
Jane Stancill, News & Observer:
Duke applications take a slight dip — Duke University's applications decreased 4.6 percent for the fall freshman class, but the applicant pool is still the second largest on record, the university announced Tuesday. The numbers were greeted with a sigh of relief by Duke officials, who feared a significant drop in applications in the aftermath of the lacrosse scandal that has made national news for 10 months. Early admission applicants had decreased by nearly 20 percent.

This year's overall decrease follows five straight record-setting years for applications. Last year, 19,387 students applied. This year's total was 18,495...Fifty-one percent of the applicants were women -- the same percentage as last year, Guttentag said. The applications included 700 from children of Duke alumni and a record 1,756 from students in North Carolina and South Carolina...

Jamie Schuman, The Herald-Sun:
Duke draws near record student pool — As Duke continues to be the focus of intense and often negative publicity from the lacrosse sexual-offense case, it continues to attract near record numbers of applicants. This year, 18,495 students have applied for the 2007-08 freshman class, the second-largest number of applicants in school history -- though down about 4.6 percent from last year's record 19,387. "People still understand no less than before that studying at Duke is a great opportunity," Duke dean of undergraduate admissions Cristoph Guttentag said. In getting its second-largest total applicant pool, Duke is rebounding from a sharp decrease in 2007-08 early-decision applications. About 20 percent fewer students applied to Duke through the binding early-decision program this year than last year. And some university leaders attributed that drop in part to negative publicity stemming from the lacrosse case.
Editorial - Wilmington Journal/BlackPressUSA.com:
OUR VOICE, ''RECYCLED RACISM'', JANUARY 4-10, 2007 (1/6/07) — Last week, in an editorial titled “How Money Trumps Justice,” this newspaper noted how the powerful forces behind the three defendants in the Duke lacrosse alleged sexual assault and kidnapping case are demanding that all charges be dropped, and no trial be held. And given all the talk of US Justice Dept. and NC State Bar probes, albeit of an embattled prosecutor who arguably has mishandled this case, and has yet to produce any incriminating evidence, there’s no question those supporters are flexing an awful lot of political and financial muscle.

Our response was if a judge deems it proper, this case should go the legal distance, whatever that distance may be. We stand by that view today.

Well, as expected, we heard from several Duke Three supporters who, not surprisingly, were not pleased that a leading newspaper in the African-American community would maintain that until a trustworthy, sober and legal assessment of the entire case is had in some form or fashion, the remaining charges should stay right where they are.

Attached to the names of Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans.

While most of the editorial’s response was both critical and damning, a good number were critical, damning, and amazingly racist. One writer called us “niggers.” How creative! Another called us “savages”...
comment: Finally, Cash Michaels the Wilmington Journal has taken our suggestion and worked up the courage to directly use the names of Mr. Finnerty, Mr. Seligmann, and Mr. Evans, instead of cowardly branding them as "The Duke 3" in their pablum.

TalkLeft: "Recycled Racism" Editorial in the Wilmington Journal

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