Today's items - updated:
Editorial / Duke Chronicle:
Apology welcome and needed, but flawed -- Brodhead's words were both necessary and unusually direct, but their impact was diminished by a poor choice of timing and venue-a fact that further highlighted his and the University's greatest weakness throughout the scandal. [..]
Brodhead's speech was far removed from the heart of the community, and his long-overdue apology seemed directed more at the news media and the nation than at the Duke community. Many students first learned about his remarks from external news outlets such as ESPN.com, long after the fact. Considering the inaccessibility of the venue, Brodhead should have sent out an e-mail immediately following his remarks. His failure to do so robbed the apology of much of its potential impact with the students who have been so affected by the controversy. [...]
The Apology, why now and where it took place? -- I thought this comment from the Duke Chron was interesting
Burness said the presence of the Trustees, who were in Durham for the weekend, was also unrelated to Brodhead's apology.
However, Trustees were present at the conference only during the president's remarks, noted senior Ken Larrey, founder of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke-a group formed in the aftermath of the lacrosse case to advocate equality and fairness for all students.
"He gave that apology because the Trustees ordered him to," he said. "I'm not even sure he believed what he was saying." [...]
Brodhead apologizes -- Standing behind a podium in a packed auditorium at the School of Law Saturday, President Richard Brodhead issued an apology to members of the 2005-2006 men's lacrosse team and their families in his first public statement on the lacrosse case since the disbarment and resignation of former Durham district attorney Mike Nifong. [...]
Some laud decision; others question timing, sincerity -- A standing ovation, amplified for many by a year's worth of tension and waiting, met the apology to the lacrosse players and their families President Richard Brodhead delivered Saturday at the School of Law.
Brodhead's remarks made up just 15 minutes of a two-day conference called "The Court of Public Opinion: The Practice and Ethics of Trying Cases in the Media." But for some, his words were perhaps the most significant of the entire event.
Brodhead's original involvement in the conference had been canceled, and he was not expected to be a part of the programming until a month ago, when he asked to speak after the lacrosse panel, said Kathryn Bradley, senior lecturing fellow at the School of Law and chair of the conference steering committee.
"Although the conference was planned without [his address], I think it was exactly the right place and the right time," she said.
Others, however, said although the conference may have set an appropriate tone, the timing was off. [...]
President’s actions post-lacrosse unbelievable --
On Saturday, I read online President Richard Brodhead's apology to the lacrosse team members accused of rape. As a lawyer, I cannot believe a president of a prestigious university and an equally prestigious law school could have taken such actions and uttered such statements against the accused players. Obviously, Brodhead does not believe in the presumption of innocence, but rather the obvious conclusion of guilt upon arrest. I have told my two children that I cannot support their desire to apply to Duke University for their education, but I will support (and finance) any other school of their choice. I base my decision not only on the actions of the president, but of the lack of the other faculty members to publicly challenge his actions and statements.
Palm Desert, Calif.
Duke Case: The Brodhead Apology -- When the Duke Three settled with Duke, confidentially, they got money but not a public apology.
Now they have one, sort of.
I'd say the long-suffering and very supportive families of unindicted players had something to do with it.
Duke seems to be positioning itself for civil suits instead of just trying to "move on," Until Proven Innocent by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson is out and Charles Cooper, Esq., cause for grave concern at Duke, is about to file a civil suit and perhaps Bob Ekstrand, Esq. is about to file another one.
It does not appear to be a good time to throw lacrosse players under the bus; it's a time to appear somewhat reasonable and to apologize, albeit grudgingly, and to hope to cut a deal before the worst comes out. [...]
Duke President Apologizes. How Very White of Him. Now He Needs to Be Sued Into the Stone Age. -- The President of Duke University has apologized to the lacrosse players who were illegally charged with a crime that never happened, by a disgusting dirtbag who has yet to be imprisoned for this. Thanks, Mr. President, now you need to be sued into the Stone Age until you and your entire family are on the street begging for coins. SORRY DOESN'T WORK WHEN YOU RUIN LIVES!!!
The vile whore, who obviously collects multiple male DNA on a regular basis, needs to be arrested and imprisoned. But will this happen? Probably not. Why? Because she is of the privileged class. She's black. She can do no wrong. Maybe Al Sharpton can lie about her too, like Tawana Brawley. After all, in this country, one can be a victim and a bold faced liar at the same time. Look at Teddy Kennedy. We have someone representing "the American people", whom he endlessly talks about, while he murdered one of "the American people" and got away with it. How cute.
So therefore this pencil necked geek of a Duke President needs to be taken down and pushed into poverty, made to serve the exact amount of time the boys on the lacrosse team would have if they had been convicted of this nonexistent crime. And I can prattle on and on about this, and nothing will be done. First of all, we are talking about a backwater state with people who can barely spell, let alone enforce the law. So this creature that lied to the police and got away with it will never see any prison time. This is entirely because Andy and Barney won't do a damn thing about it. [...]
How You Can Participate In President Brodhead’s Review -- As you may or may not know, President Brodhead is up for review. A lot of alums may not realize that their voices can be a welcome and constructive part of the process. Whether you support Brodhead or oppose him, we hope you will take a few minutes and send your thoughts in. The more input there is, the better they’ll understand the position of the Duke community. The following is excerpted from the Duke Magazine.
This is your chance to evaluate Duke’s President Brodhead!
Just e-mail email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments by November 1.
You can have an impact on whether or not President Brodhead gets a contract extension — but you need to send in your comments by November 1 to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to the mailing address listed below. [...]
Reflections on the Law School Conference, I -- Although his remarks were brief, President Brodhead effectively apologized for five different elements of his administration’s conduct over the past 18 months.
- The treatment of the 47 lacrosse players and their families.
- The activist faculty’s statements and actions.
- The activist faculty’s presumptiveness in speaking for the institution.
- The failure to defend the presumption of innocence.
- The failure to defend due process.
Brodhead’s Statement: Why Now? -- In a statement he read yesterday, Duke University’s President, Richard H. Brodhead, failed to explain why he hasn't criticized “activists” who circulated, within sight of his office windows “Vigilante” posters targeting white students.
Brodhead also failed once again to say anything critical of black racists who shouted threats, including death threats, at Reade Seligmann or to explain to Seligmann, his family and the Duke/Durham community why he hasn't.
But for the first time Brodhead said he was sorry he hadn't met with lacrosse parents eighteen months ago and been more supportive of their sons.
Brodhead’s “I’m sorry” contains a huge element of “Spare me,” but I’ll leave that for another post. [...]
What a load of Bullsh*t -- I would have been able to look at University President Richard Broadhead in a positive light. [...]
But it wasn't what was necessary. Broadhead said the right thing, and then destroyed everything he had just said:
“First, the type of crime that had been alleged had no place in our community," he said. “Second, the presumption of innocence is fundamental to our legal system, and our students were entitled to that presumption. And third, this whole matter had to be entrusted to the criminal justice system for its resolution.” He added that he regretted that relying on the justice system—which he described as “only as good as the men and women who administer it,”—may have made the strength of the University’s position unclear. “Duke needed to be clear that it demanded fair treatment for its students,” Brodhead said. “I took that for granted. If any doubted it, then I should have been more explicit.”Is anyone else really irritated by this quote? [...]
Duke President Apologizes Over Duke Lacrosse Rape (Non)Case -- Thanks for finally getting off the shnide, Brodhead. [...]
Only in Liberal World do we need to review procedures, and hold a conference, on how to act responsibly. It is very simple: innocent till proven guilty. Put it in bold letters, large font, maybe in red, on large sheets of paper, and hand it out to at least 88 of the employees. Then again, considering the actions of the university, Brodhead, and others, maybe they do need a set of guidelines to inform them how to act like responsible, rational, adults in a nation built on the concept of Law. [...]
Boxer rebel / Boxer Rebellion blog:
Its good to be white and rich -- This was a case for the judicial system to sort out, this was not for any college to discuss. I understand saying they should have pledged their support, but as a college president why would you want to appear to support rapists on your campus?
There is another issue here that bothers me. The fact that the young men at Duke got away with something because they were white and rich. I understand that it has now been proven that the girl in question was lying, but she was still at a Duke lacrosse party and was still stripping for a bunch of college students. She was still hired by these students and it seems that these young men were not totally innocent either. There were reports of racial slurs being thrown at her among other things. [...]
This seems to be taking place to close to the Jena 6 case. Will anyone lose their job over what was basically a school yard fight and the whole judicial system overreacted? Will anyone apologize for not supporting these young men from the school or other public forum? This is just another case of where it is good to be white and rich in America, you get separate justice form the rest of us especially the poor and minority.
Just lacrosse settlement
Several recent letters have asked the lacrosse guys to show compassion for the citizens of Durham by withdrawing their $30 million settlement demand. A lawsuit is unnecessary, the argument goes, since they were ultimately declared innocent.
What the letter writers are asking of the lacrosse players is to overlook the emotional anguish they, their parents, family and friends suffered, as well the financial disaster and academic setback. The mistake was admitted, all is over, so please be nice. Otherwise, the lawsuit will burden Durham citizens with a tax increase.
The argument is, in part, correct. The argument is wrong only because it cast the net too broadly. The argument does not discriminate.
Let's be just. Let's distribute the cost of settlement or award not among the citizens of Durham generally but only among the following: The citizens who voted for the race baiting Nifong, the members of the Durham Police Department who mismanaged the arrest, the mayor's office who is blocking investigation for fear it may support the suit's allegations, the gang of 88 at Duke and the editorial board of The Herald-Sun, which refused to extend the presumption of innocence to plaintiffs.
None of these citizens was compassionate when they had the chance. But the plaintiffs are now supposed to show compassion. What a shameless double standard.
FRANK S. WOODY JR.
October 1, 2007