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Monday, February 26, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #314

Updated - today's items:

Accuser in Duke Lacrosse Case Speaks With New Prosecutors — The new prosecutors in the Duke lacrosse case appear to be making progress in their assessment of the evidence.

Special prosecutors Jim Coman and Mary Winstead took over last month after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong removed himself from the case. Sources told WRAL the accuser in the case has been interviewed by the new prosecutors in the case.

Nifong didn't question the accuser until nearly nine months after she accused three former lacrosse players of assaulting her...

LieStoppers forum: SP talk to Crystal
TalkLeft: SP interviews AV
FreeRepublic: Accuser in Duke Lacrosse Case Speaks With New Prosecutors

Bob Frantz, San Francisco Examiner:
From the throne: Edicts for the sports kingdom - When I am King, the Duke lacrosse team shall be advanced to the NCAA finals post-haste, where they shall be led by the falsely accused Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann — on the same day their lying accuser is being led to prison for her perjury.
comment: Thanks Bob!

Christina Asquith,DiverseEducation.com:
Duke’s Devil of A MessDid the Group of 88 rush to judgment, and in doing so act out the exact prejudices they aim to combat?
comment: Yes!
... groups defending the players, which include Duke alumni, students, professors, and a Brooklyn college professor who runs the popular blog Durham in Wonderland, say the lacrosse players are the victims.

Jason Trumpbour, a Duke alumnus and spokesman for Friends of Duke, a group formed last year to defend the lacrosse players, calls Chafe’s comment “ridiculous.”

“This isn’t about ideology,” Trumpbour says. “What we’re criticizing them of doing is prejudging the guilt of the lacrosse players and using the players’ troubles to call attention to their own social issues.”...

“They hooked their cause on a fraudulent case,” says Dr. K.C. Johnson, who runs Durham in Wonderland, the blog that has closely followed the case almost from the beginning. “They gambled with their ad that the lacrosse case would illustrate what they saw as broader problems at Duke, but they gambled wrong, and they’ve been unwilling to admit that. And by refusing to condemn Mike Nifong, by refusing to apologize for their rush to judgment, they’ve lost credibility.” ...

Stephen Miller, Duke Chronicle:
Racial hypocrisy — Protesters [last year] swarmed our campus and the city streets, they screamed vulgar condemnations, they tarred the whole team as complicit in a stonewall cover-up, they put up wanted posters, banged pots and pans. They cried out for justice and vengeance, demanded suspensions, expulsions and incarcerations. Worst of all, as they feverishly disregarded due process, they helped create an atmosphere of hysteria and madness which could only serve to embolden an unhinged district attorney who had the power to breathe life into the fantasies of the growing mob.

But when a black man was recently accused of raping a white Duke student at a party hosted by members of a black Duke fraternity, suddenly these great defenders of virtue fell silent.

There have been no protesters, no signs, no one chanting and screaming in front of the house where at least one member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. live demanding they "come forward" with what they know. No one is demanding President Brodhead take action or that we cure a sexist and racist campus culture in response to these accusations. No professors are running ads that convey guilt or claiming, as they did before, to know the alleged crime was racially motivated...
KC Johnson: More from Stephen Miller
TalkLeft: Racial hypocrisy

KC Johnson:
Chafe's Embarrassment — Just when it appears the Group of 88 and their allies among the arts and sciences faculty cannot embarrass themselves further, another episode appears. The latest? A Friday article in the Chronicle, calling for Duke to “move forward”—but with two important caveats: (1) The institution should act as if that the facts involving the lacrosse team’s behavior are unchanged from March 31; and (2) How the arts and sciences faculty responded to the lacrosse case should, at all costs, remain unexamined.

Six professors penned the article. The sextet included:
  • Group of 88 stalwart and civil rights historian William Chafe, who wrote on March 31 that the whites who lynched Emmett Till (even as he misidentified the year of the lynching) provided an appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players;
  • Clarifying professor Kerry Haynie, whose own record of responding to faculty critics of the Group of 88 is, to put it mildly, less than pristine;
  • Biology professor Fred Nijhout, co-author of a sophomoric spoof of Paul Haagen’s common-sense proposal for a faculty athletics associates program...
Chafe, et al.—mimicking the “Listening to Lubiano” approach of the Group of 88’s statement—choose the all-too-familiar pattern of Duke professors using anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students to make their points...

Viewed as the third step in the Group of 88’s Rehab Tour, the Chafe, et al., article is as unimpressive as the “clarifying” statement or the “shut up and teach” forum. “Moving forward,” the ostensible demand of Chafe, et. al., will be possible only when those professors whose behavior violated tenets of professional integrity acknowledge their misconduct.
comment: Another excellent, insightful, critque of the disgraceful "Gang of 88" and their apologists, by Prof. KC Johnson.

One historical footnote regarding the Emmett Till case, which The Johnsville News first covered back in May of 2004, Till's murder was much more brutal than what the word "lynching" might generally imply:
In August 1955, Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago who was in Mississippi visiting relatives, allegedly whistled at the wife of a white man, Roy Bryant. Four days later, Bryant and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, yanked Emmett from his bed in the dead of night, threw him in the back of their truck, and beat him beyond recognition with a Colt .45 before tying a metal fan to his neck, shooting him, and throwing his body in a river....

Emmett Till open casket50,000 people viewed the open casket funeral of Emmett Tills. His mother wanted the world to see what had happened to her son in Mississippi. The mutilated body of Emmett Till ...

Wikipedia: the only way that Till was recognized was by the ring on his finger that was his dad's before he had died....
comment: It was absolutely inflammatory and prejudicial for a noted "historian," like Prof. Chafe, to use the Emmett Till case to "put into context what occurred in Durham" at the Duke lacrosse party. An apology is needed!

Reason, Hope, and Courage — I wanted to call attention to another excellent post by Duke University Professor Michael Gustafson at his Blog of Convenience. Throughout the Hoax, Professor Gustafson has often been a voice of reason, a source of hope, and an example of courage. His latest post exemplifies that description, as he responds to the false dilemma promoted by six fellow Duke professors in a guest column for The Chronicle...

La Shawn Barber:
Nifong Hits the Circuit; Unusual Leftist Recommendations — The Duke “sexual offense” case saga is still ongoing, with something new happening every day. At most, I blog about the case once every week or two, and even then, only when inspired to write more than a few sentences...

Through no one’s fault but his own, Mike Nifong’s career and reputation are as good as ruined. Not only are his colleagues calling for his head and politicians demanding a federal investigation, appeals court judges are citing him as an example of prosecutorial misconduct in their court rulings...
comment: Thank you La Shawn for the recognition.

John in Carolina:
The Chronicle’s “rape scandal” — On Friday, Feb. 23, Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, ran an editorial that began:
This Saturday, the Duke men's lacrosse team will retake the field and play for the first time since the advent of the now-notorious (sic) rape scandal.
I decided to send the following electronic letter to The Chronicle’s editor-in-chief, Ryan McCartney.... ”Notorious rape scandal?” Really? What “notorious rape scandal?”
comment: Bingo! As has been said many time before, regarding other various Durham newspaper editorials: don't they read their own paper? The rape charges were dropped back on December 22nd.

Nate Freeman, Duke Chronicle:
Lax season faces off before 6,000-plus fans — After spending the past 11 months on the bench while the lacrosse case captured national attention, the men's lacrosse team returned to the field Saturday, drawing about 6,485 supporters. Playing for the first time since the cancellation of last year's season, the Blue Devils delivered a 17-11 victory over Dartmouth before an enthusiastic crowd.

"It was a great crowd, a beautiful afternoon, and it was great to have the team playing again," President Richard Brodhead wrote in an e-mail.

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, said prior to the game he did not foresee protesters using the event to voice opposition to the lacrosse team's return to the field. "I didn't expect any protesters and I didn't see any," Moneta said. "I just saw a crowd of students thrilled to be there to support the team."

Administrators took steps prior to faceoff to curb displays of disruptive fan behavior in the area near Koskinen Stadium, anticipating students' intentions to tailgate...

John Taddei, Duke Chronicle:
Duke returns to the field with 2 victories — As the Blue Devils walked off the field following their season opener Saturday, not a single player failed to flash a grin.

After 10 months of controversy, it was the first time in a long time Duke has had something to smile about.

"The longer you're away, the sweeter it is coming back," midfielder Bo Carrington said...

John Saraceno, USA Today:
Duke lacrosse case has no winners — Duke's forsaken lacrosse program celebrated its revival Saturday. For players, parents and administrators, the resumption of some semblance of normalcy with the season opener at home was a welcomed respite. With the Blue Devils team awash in scarlet-letter scandal for much of the last year, victory (Duke defeated Dartmouth 17-11) seemed to matter less than the triumph of willpower and self-preservation.

"Today was all about us," the Associated Press quoted midfielder Dan Oppedisano. "It's about your teammates, your coaches and your families."

A psychological group hug and feeling of vindication are understandable. Unfortunately, the infamous case of the "Duke Three" — where race, class and politics converged when a trio of white student-athletes were accused of raping a black woman — is far from completed...

But the worst perpetrator of all might be the man whose office has the obligation to be fair and impartial. If anyone looks guilty of something serious in all of this, it is Mike Nifong, the taunting state prosecutor...

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