If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. — Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)Updated — today's items:
NEO 'GANG OF 88'
Jennifer Ho, Mixed Race America blog:
[Assistant Professor, Department of English; UNC]
Duke Lacrosse--The Exonerated? -- I'm not sure what to think with respect to the woman who brought these accusations against the men. I certainly feel sympathy for her, because regardless of whether she made up her story or she was, indeed, sexually assaulted, she more than likely did not bargain for the reception she received at the house party in which the lacrosse players were present and she more than likely did not think when she was a little girl that she wanted to earn extra money to support herself through college by taking off her clothes for drunken college boys.
If she did lie, well, then that's a topic for another post...
[...] What I'm trying to get at is that regardless of whether or not these men sexually assaulted this women--I don't feel the Duke lacrosse team is fully exonerated. Yes, they may not have perpetrated rape, but are they totally innocent of the white privilege, the class privilege, the very male privilege that they wear as casually as they wear their uniforms? And Duke students who support these players, do they stop and think about the larger picture--that rather than seeing themselves as embattled victims of a corrupt legal system--as victims prosecuted by the media, perhaps they need to really think about what it means to have the privilege of attending Duke University or any four-year university--of having a college degree, something only 25% of the US population has. Shouldn't Duke students, lacrosse players and non-lacrosse players alike, owe it to themselves to question the kinds of privilege they walk around with and the ways in which subtle promotion of white male superiority gets produced around not-so-innocuous parties involving dark skinned women taking off their clothes at the command of white men?
But putting aside the veracity of her story--the larger problem I have with the exoneration of the Duke lacrosse team is over issues of race, class, and sex. There are the facts of the largely white team members and the two women, one African American, the other half-black, half-Asian. There is the overheard racist remarks outside the house ("Thank your grandaddy for my cotton shirt") and the racist comments that the women reported went on inside the house. There is the privilege that comes with wealth and with attending an elite university like Duke and with playing for an elite sport like lacrosse. And then there's the fact that this group of young men, athletes, who ostensibly represent their school, didn't think twice about hiring women to take off their clothes for them...
More Academic Embarrassment -- The portrayal of Crystal Mangum as a naïf is a touching one, if almost entirely contradicted by the evidence...
Again, let’s put aside the facts and move on to analyze the case through a preferred ideological perspective, the preferred option of Rev. William Barber and the Group of 88...
Ho confirms the depressing fact that the Group of 88’s mindset is hardly confined to Duke.
AJR & N&O's "No Anons" Hoax -- In Justice Delayed, her 8,000 word assessment of media coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, Rachel Smolkin, managing editor of the American Journalism Review, failed to mention two of the most critical actions any news organization took with regard to what we know was a vicious hoax
Surely Smolkin understands the seriousness of the N&O's decision not to disclose what Mangum actually said but instead tailor the interview so as to deceive the public and give Nifong a "case" in which he only had to explain how one dancer was raped instead of two.
Surely Smolkin also understands the seriousness of the N&O's decision to then cover up for thirteen months that it had withheld critically important and exculpatory news.
Smolkin must know how much more difficult it would have been for Nifong and his helpers to lie about two dancers being raped instead of one, especially as days before the N&O's March 25 story the second dancer, Kim Roberts, had told police no rape had occured and called Mangum's story "a crock." ...
Bill Anderson, LS forum:
Sportswriters discover due process, in Michael Vick case -- I have found a shocking thing: sportswriters and people from the black community have discovered due process. Yes, the very people who did not want due process for the lacrosse players suddenly have found that perhaps due process matters. Unfortunately, white "progressives" still have not discovered that fundamental rule of justice...
LS forum: OK - I'm tired of trying to be politically correct, Crystal Gail Mangum should be arrested
LS forum: Brad Bannon Posts On DNA Discovery
Former DA makes emotional apology -- Former District Attorney Mike Nifong apologized Thursday for mistakes he made in the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case, admitting he lacked "credible evidence" to back up his months-long prosecution of three young men for allegedly assaulting an exotic dancer during an off-campus party last year...
Raleigh lawyer Joe Cheshire -- who represented Evans -- described the lengthy ordeal Thursday as "an amazing fall from power, an amazing fall from grace" for Nifong and "a long journey of suffering for innocent people." ...
Nifong appeared at the hearing in a black blazer and blue tie, sporting a new and closely cropped Van Dyke beard. Except for reading his prepared apology, he said nothing on his own behalf.
The former defendants and their families were not present.
The contempt proceeding, which could bring Nifong a fine of up to $500 or a jail term of 30 days, or both, will reconvene on Aug. 30.
Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith scheduled the proceeding after finding there was probable cause to believe Nifong lied to him about the exculpatory DNA evidence.
According to the evidence at issue, there was nothing to indicate the indicted defendants engaged in sexual activity with the exotic dancer, although other men did.
Attorney Jim Glover, representing Nifong, argued unsuccessfully that the contempt question should be decided by a jury rather than by Smith alone. The judge said no...
Nifong makes unequivocal apology for lacrosse case -- After Nifong's apology, lawyers representing the players agreed not to seek sanctions against the former prosecutor, who resigned early this month and is in the process of being disbarred.
The defense team had previously asked Smith to make Nifong pay for the 60 to 100 hours of work it took one of their lawyers to ferret out relevant test results in 1,844 pages of DNA documents. The results helped show the presence of DNA from men not on the lacrosse team on evidence collected from the accuser hours after she made the sexual assault allegations...Nifong angered the players and their parents at the Bar trial in June when, after a day of tearful and emotional testimony, he said that despite evidence to the contrary, he believed something happened in the Buchanan Boulevard house on the night of the team party...
Week in Review -- [...] Hal Crowther, the Indy columnist who penned one of the worst articles on the case, was back again recently, this time in a piece for Oxford American.
Amidst a rambling column on why people shouldn’t look down at the South, Crowther opined,
"After waiting a year to find out what happened at that infamous off-campus stag party, we were told that nothing happened . . . The DA was virtually lynched, an unprecedented martyrdom that seems to have crushed his career and any hope of future happiness. The black stripper who pressed the charges was merely impeached, ostracized, and forgotten. The exonerated lacrosse players, according to my local paper, were “greeted like heroes” wherever Duke students gathered. Innocent was the word in general use, though all the Attorney General had actually determined was that they couldn’t be convicted—and shouldn’t have been indicted—on these charges brought by this witness (doesn’t that make them less innocent, technically, than, say, O.J. Simpson, who was actually acquitted?)."
Actually, the Attorney General stated that “it was in the best interests of justice to declare these three individuals innocent.” Emphasis added, since Crowther seems to have missed this item.
The most recent Chronicle features an interview with Coach K. When asked about the University’s handling of the lacrosse case, he responded,
It’s easy to look back and say everything that you would have done or that could have been done. Instead of rehashing those things—we could have taken care of the kids better, we could have done this better—Overall we could have done that better.
What Matters/An opinionated look at the issues, big and small.
Pols and personal responsibility -- And now another pol walks into a courtroom and, under the guise of heartfelt apology, refuses to take responsibility for what he really did. Mike Nifong, the disbarred former Durham district attorney who brought national shame on his town with the massively botched Duke lacrosse player prosecution, stood in a courtroom (where he faces criminal contempt charges) and apologized. He apologized to the three Duke lacrosse players who were accused of rape without a shred of evidence. He said he agreed with the North Carolina attorney general that there was "no credible evidence." But he made sure to underline that the AG came to that conclusion "from his own investigation." He apologized to the players, but he apologized for his "mistakes," as if he just had a little whoops moment. He said he hoped "all of us can learn from the mistakes in this case, that all of us can begin to move forward."
Whoa, wait one legally blessed minute. He didn't just have a little senior moment. He put three kids, a university and a city through a year of hell. And he wants us to just forgive a little mistake and get on with our lives?
Give us a break, Mr. Nifong. The least you could do is be honest. The least you could do is explain exactly what you were thinking. The least you could do is tell us why you caused this mess and what you wanted to accomplish with your actions. Was this just a ploy to get re-elected? Or an arrogant streak that couldn't admit a mistake? A vanity that couldn't find a way to dig back out of the hole it created?
All the maligned parties will begin to heal when Mike Nifong gives an honest account of what he did....
Ward Churchill's mistake: not working at Duke -- Hopefully, academic freedom and freedom of speech will not be manipulated to protect plagiarists from the reasonable consequences of plagiarism too. If it does, then making outrageous statements will be the clever thing for plagiarists to do.
Many sins are shielded by academic freedom. The fiasco known as the Duke lacrosse case illustrated that. There the real villains were not the Spring Break partiers who were in the vicinity when a couple of strippers decided to target them. In addition to a false accuser who has not been charged with false accusing and a rogue prosecutor who still has not been criminally charged with obstruction of justice, the real villains are unsanctioned political correctness extremists in the Duke administration and on the Duke faculty who shamelessly manipulated and abandoned students who did not expect or deserve it, demonstrated "indefensible lynch-mob furor" and even praised anarchists calling for castration of members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team.
Hopefully, academic freedom and freedom of speech will not be manipulated to protect plagiarists from the reasonable consequences of plagiarism too. If it does, then making outrageous statements will be the clever thing for plagiarists to do....
Ward Churchill And The Diversity Agenda -- This week, as expected, the University of Colorado regents dismissed Professor Ward Churchill from his tenured position in the Ethnic Studies Department. (A university committee had found that Churchill committed plagiarism and misused sources.) And, as expected, Churchill has filed suit, alleging First Amendment violations.
The move against Churchill - who first attracted attention after describing those who perished (except for the terrorists) in the World Trade Center attack as "Little Eichmanns" - came over the opposition of the ACLU, which charged that the "poisoned atmosphere" of the inquiry into Churchill's scholarship rendered meaningless the committee's findings. ACTA president Anne Neal, on the other hand, welcomed the dismissal as "a very positive message that higher education is cleaning up its own."...
At least Hu-DeHart is honest in her assertion that universities should set aside normal academic standards in their zeal to implement a "diversity" agenda. But for more sober administrators, the Churchill affair should force a hard look into the dangerous side effects of "diversity" initiatives left unchecked.