Thursday, October 19, 2006

“Highly Unacceptable Behavior”




The '60 Minutes' story came and went Sunday night. Many of us who have been following this case, and devoting hours a day to its dissection had unrealistic expectations. We expected Ed Bradley to explain to our families, friends, and work colleagues just exactly why this case has weighed so heavily on our hearts and minds. During the past seven months, we have found answers to numerous questions. We have been able to answer these questions with citations to motions, news reports, and other blogs. After all, it’s not that hard to explain why you can’t rape someone while you are standing in front of an ATM machine a mile away. Want to know when Nifong first mentioned condoms to downplay the DNA tests that were originally supposed to clear the innocent? It was March 30th in the News & Observer (16 days after the accuser stated otherwise to the staff at Duke Hospital and 8 days before she repeats the contradiction in her written police statement).

What we haven’t been able to explain, however, is why we care so much. For some reason, we expected '60 Minutes' to make others understand. After the show, when others greeted us with, “Okay, they’re innocent, but I still don’t understand why you care,” it was hard to take.

All those closely following the case here in the blogosphere have their reasons, and I’d like to explain mine. I graduated from Duke. I am proud of this fact. I had wonderful friends. I’ve been to their weddings in the Duke chapel. I’ve seen their newborn babies dressed in Duke blue. This is why it’s so painful to read this quote from Reade Seligmann:
"I chose Duke to be my home for four years. And to see your professors … go out and slander you and say these horrible, untrue things about you and to have your … administration just … cut us loose for, for, based on nothing. Duke took that stance that “We wouldn’t stand for this behavior.” They didn’t want to take a chance on standing up for the truth. I can’t imagine representing a school that didn’t want to represent me." CBS News 10/17/2006
The reason that this quote is painful is that for all my pride in Duke, I can’t give Reade Seligmann one reason why he should return when this is over. Every word he says above is true. As extensively documented on Professor KC Johnson’s Durham-in-Wonderland blog, Duke’s response to the lacrosse allegations has been appalling and absolutely shocking. Duke President Richard Brodhead scoffed at Ed Bradley’s question whether Duke rushed to judgment in this case. He defended Duke’s actions by stating that the lacrosse players had engaged in “highly unacceptable behavior.” His smirk in response to this question can only be compared to DA Nifong’s laugh at Reade Seligmann’s alibi in court back in May. To attempt to justify Duke’s conduct in this case by citing underage drinking, hiring an exotic dancer, and one argument (not involving the indicted players) using racial slurs reveals the tragic deficiency in Duke’s leadership—the complete inability to appreciate context and understand proportion.

To deflect criticism for rushing to judgment, Duke faculty and administrators have consistently pointed to three things that constitute this “highly unacceptable behavior”: (i) underage drinking; (ii) hiring strippers; and (iii) racial slurs. Duke often cites this as the “acknowledged conduct.” The first, underage drinking, is laughable. Yes, consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is unlawful. However, the faculty citing this behavior almost surely drank alcohol while in college, whether the drinking age was 18 or 21. The vast majority of students on campus drink alcohol at some time or another. Are all these students engaging in “highly unacceptable behavior”?

The criticism of hiring an exotic dancer is slightly more valid. However, it’s harder to take this claim seriously when Group of 88 signatory and leader of the witch hunt, Mark Anthony Neal writes in the July-August 2006 issue of Duke magazine:
“[t]he strip club is the new church. That raises all kinds of interesting possibilities around spirituality and black bodies, dealing with issues of spirituality outside traditional notions of what spirituality in a church is supposed to be….When we think about women who work in strip clubs, the key component there is that word "work." In some ways this is legitimate labor, and we need to be clear about that. And women make these decisions based on what kind of legitimate labor is in their best interest. While it's important that black women's sexuality not be exploited, at the same time, I don't want to get into the business of policing black women's sexuality, which is just as dangerous.” Duke Magazine
I guess that hiring an exotic dancer, however, is “highly unacceptable behavior,” and condemning this activity shouldn’t be confused with policing sexuality, which according to Neal is highly dangerous.

That leaves the racial slurs, which are clearly the most troubling aspect. As Reade Seligmann told Ed Bradley,
“If that comment was said, it's disgusting. And there's no way I can defend that. You know, that's a horrible thing for anyone to say. It's just, I couldn't even imagine saying it and, I'm not gonna be accountable for, you know, another person's, you know, unbelievably horrible remarks. I won't. I won't, you know, accept responsibility for that, 'cause I would never do it myself.”
More important, however, is the context for the use of racial slurs, as told by Kim Roberts. She acknowledged three important things during her interview. First, the racial slurs were limited to one exchange outside the house right before the dancers left. Second, Roberts herself admitted that she provoked the comments. Third, the exchange did not involve any of the three indicted players.
"I called him a little [expletive] white boy," she recalls laughing. "And how he couldn't get it on his own and had to pay for it. So, he was mad. And it ended with him callin' me the n-word. And it echoed, so you heard n….. once, and then you heard, n….., n….., n….. ."
Roberts’ comments don’t justify the response, but they at least go part of the way to explain it. The exchange is a stark contrast from a house full of lacrosse players verbally assaulting the dancers with racial slurs as soon as they began dancing, which is the image the News & Observer painted, Mike Nifong abused, and Duke faculty members echoed. Surely Duke is not relying on one heated exchange involving an unindicted player and Kim Roberts at the end of the evening to justify their response? Can any of those at Duke who made statements to the press alleging that the lacrosse players racially abused the dancers seriously maintain that this is what they understood the facts to be? Furthermore, as confirmed by Kim Roberts, the three accused "never used racial epithets." The bottom line is that all of the behavior of the lacrosse team can be described as regrettable, but none of it, save the use of the racial slurs, should be regarded as all that surprising or appalling. Duke’s behavior, on the other hand, continues to be shocking and raises significant questions.

As reported by KC Johnson, when police first started investigating the claims of the accuser, Duke actually told the lacrosse players (i) not to tell their parents and (ii) not to get lawyers. With one of the nation’s biggest media stories about to break and one of the most unethical District Attorneys about to frame three students, Duke’s response was to discourage consulting legal counsel. Was this “highly unacceptable behavior”?

When the allegations hit the press, the faculty rushed to judgment and began demanding immediate action before any facts were known. English Professor Houston Baker wrote an incredibly embarrassing letter that he made public, demanding the lacrosse team be immediately disbanded. He wrote:
“The lacrosse team - 15 of whom have faced misdemeanor charges for drunken misbehavior in the past three years - may well feel they can claim innocence and sport their disgraced jerseys on campus, safe under the cover of silent whiteness. But where is the black woman who their violence and raucous witness injured for life? Will she ever sleep well again? And when will the others assaulted by racist epithets while passing 610 Buchanan ever forget that dark moment brought on them by a group of drunken Duke boys? Young, white, violent, drunken men among us - implicitly boasted by our athletic directors and administrators - have injured lives.” Baker Letter
Never mind that there were no “others assaulted by racist epithets” and never mind that the captains gave uncounseled statements to police and the entire team submitted DNA samples, hardly hiding behind a “silent whiteness.” A search warrant was enough for Professor Baker to conclude the lacrosse players were violent and had injured a black woman for life. At a time when the District Attorney was fanning the flames of community outrage, Professor Baker sought out the media to pour his own gasoline on the fire. Was this “highly unacceptable behavior”?

Professor Baker joined 87 other professors to form the now infamous Group of 88 and take out a full page ad in the Duke student newspaper declaring “what happened to this woman” a “social disaster” and thanking protestors on campus who had distributed wanted posters of the lacrosse team and demonstrated with signs saying “get a conscience, not a lawyer” and “The DNA will talk, even if the cowards of men's lacrosse won't." The Group of 88 ad appeared during the height of the media frenzy, ironically after the DNA had already “talked” and the District Attorney had been left to order a faulty line-up to indict people anyway. Was the Group of 88 ad “highly unacceptable behavior”?

The faculty misconduct wasn’t limited to members of the Group of 88. Faculty members jumped at the opportunity to criticize the lacrosse players and even took it upon themselves to deliver their own justice. For example, John Walsh told the following story to the Chronicle in July.
Upset with the teacher's inability to empathize with his personal situation, Walsh recalled that he said, "Well, I'd just hoped you'd have some sympathy, it's not the easiest time in the world right now."
"Yeah, well if you guys really were innocent, I would feel sorry for you," he remembered the teacher telling him.
"I couldn't look the teacher in the eyes again," Walsh said. "I never want to see her again."
Living A Nightmare [The Chronicle]
Was this treatment of a student “highly unacceptable behavior”?

Perhaps the most horrifying public display has been from Professor Peter Wood. Wood hasn’t missed a chance to give negative quotes to the press about the lacrosse team. The New York Times, the News & Observer, The Independent, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker have all gotten pull quotes for Peter Wood attacking the lacrosse team, athletes, and Duke students. These comments have ranged from the petty to the unsubstantiated to the ridiculous. He started his media barrage with the claim that lacrosse players once missed class to attend practice. He stepped up his attacks in the New York Times by contrasting the lacrosse team with the football team, who in Wood’s description “are often rural white boys with baseball caps or hard-working black students who are proud to be at Duke.” Not content with this shameless stereotype, Wood went so far as to pose for a photo in front of the lacrosse field and offer his view that Duke students were “Cynical, arrogant, callous, dismissive—you could almost say openly hostile.” Not stopping with this unsubstantiated charge, Wood went a step further in the New Yorker and speculated that a student who made an offensive joke on an anonymous course evaluation was a lacrosse player. Wood’s evidence for this speculation was that there were 10 lacrosse players in his class of 65 students. Again, this bizarre obsession with determining the identity of anonymous commenters and the ludicrous notion of probability (1 out of 6.5 equals certainty) reminds one of only DA Nifong. Were Peter Wood’s shameless media-seeking comments, groundless speculations, and unsubstantiated insults “highly unacceptable behavior”?

What makes Wood’s behavior worse is that he actually was one of Reade Seligmann’s professors. What makes this horror even more depressing is that Wood wasn’t alone among Seligmann’s professors in making truly asinine comments. Seligmann also had Professor Alex Rosenberg for Introduction to Philosophy and Professor Orin Starn for Cultural Anthropology. Rosenberg signed the Group of 88 ad and brushed off questions about doing so by calling KC Johnson a crank. Starn has used the lacrosse incident to campaign against all athletics in general, going so far as to suggest Duke withdraw from all Division I competition. This crusade against sports drove Starn to misrepresent comments made by men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and accuse Coach K of not appreciating the racial aspect of the lacrosse incident. Is capitalizing on the malicious prosecution of a student to advance an agenda “highly unacceptable behavior”?

Finally, in an event that might wake up alumni to what’s going on at Duke, campus administrators and security officers forced students to stop distributing voter registration materials in a parking lot outside the homecoming football game. Not content to simply shut down the activities, administrators forced students to remove or turn inside out T-shirts that read only “Voice Your Choice.” The Chronicle

Was suppressing student voting activities in the name of public relations “highly unacceptable behavior”?

These questions linger and hang heavy over all alumni. For me, the disappointing behavior of the faculty and administration won’t cause me to stop raising my arm during chants of “Let’s Go Duke.” It is however, the reason my arm will continue to sport a blue “innocent” wristband. It is also the reason that my head will hang in shame until Duke manages to address the real “highly unacceptable behavior” in this affair.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the way you do. I'm sickened that my faith and love for Duke has been shattered. I have always described Duke as a friendly place-a family. Duke will never represent such a place again until Brodhead goes. He is not a part of our family. It made me sick to see pictures of him smiling and shaking alumnae hands at reunion. Maybe he should have asked those alums if they participated in "unacceptable behavior"while at Duke? Go back to Yale, Brodhead. You are not a Dukie!
Duke Alum

gc said...

I heard Reade say that on the 60 Minutes site yesterday. You might want to provide a link for those who are not aware.

Anyone who knows me, know how much I support the 3 LAX players, the team and the families. But I was not surprised when I heard Reade say those comments. I agree with him. He has nothing to prove by going back there. Duke doesn't deserve him.

I hope Harvard or Princeton call him when this is over. Frankly, he never should have turned them down.

Anonymous said...

As a Duke alum and parent, I have been following the unfolding events since last spring with intense interest and increasing disbelief. You latest entry highlights just one of the painful systemic breakdowns which have occurred, the prejudicial and hypocritical rush to judgment by a large segment of the Duke liberal arts faculty and the failure by the Brodhead administration to properly counter or offset it. The effects of these will linger long after the three defendants are cleared of the charges brought by a politically motivated prosecutor in a blatantly illegal and unethical manner. It will take longer to measure the damage to Duke as an institution and community which tries to represent the highest standards of integrity.

Anonymous said...

A great article and one that reflects the feelings of many current students who once felt the pride of attending this institution. Sadly, all that glitters is not gold. Duke needs a complete cleansing to bring it back to the steller institution it once was.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Duke alumni, but I am a parent. A Duke lacrosse 2006 parent. I would like to take a moment to thank the readers of this blog for their active support of the players. Like many of you, my world was shattered last March. I can comfirm that the players were told not to tell their parents. Life has its challeneges and this is a big one. I asked that the alumi stay activate to bring about the changes needed at Duke. Time to do some fall cleaning! My faith is in the alumni.

Anonymous said...

I am a Duke parent who has read and watched this entire episode with disbelief. My son is enrolled in the Pratt School of engineering, so the likelihood of his having one of the Group of 88 as an instructor is minimal, but it will not happen. Instructors are entitled to their own opinions, but they accept payment to educate and support all Duke students. Students & parents should refuse to enroll in, and pay tuition for, classes taught by any of this group.

Anonymous said...

I am neither a Duke parent or a Duke alum but rather a UNC Chapel Hill parent, a Big Ten alum, and a North Carolina resident. I have been following this case because as a mother of a son in college and a human being, I can't even imagine the horror that these families are going through and the injustice that is being done.

I hope you know that there are many individuals behind the players without Duke or Lacrosse connections such as myself.

I know that this could be someone else's innocent son in the area next time if Gottleib and Nifong are allowed to continue. If they are not totally stopped I fear they will feel enpowered and find an avenue for revenge on future students. It has to stop.

Anonymous said...

When I look at these boys I see my son.

My son has dreamed since he was a little boy of playing Division 1 athletics. This has been his focus for years. He has worked very hard academically and athletically, constantly pushing himself . We are on the West Coast and he just left for an official visit to a very distinguished university back east. He's on cloud nine! I am sure Reade, Collin and Dave shared that same exhilaration when they were deciding to play at Duke. Their dreams have now been shattered by a lie. False, evil deceit perpetuated by the very university they were so honored to play for.

It could have been my son.

Anonymous said...

I have followed this case closely from the beginning. Anyone who has, knows there was no cause for charges to be brought against the boys.
I served in Duke administration, am blessed to have earned a graduate degree there, and my wife graduated from Duke School of Medicine.
Our children are very bright and also athletic; our oldest son wrestles and plays "helmet" sports at a well-known boarding school.
How surprised we have been to learn as these events have unfolded, that much of the town, and indeed, much of the faculty and administration of Duke itself, are inclined to HATE us and wish ILL of my family, because we work hard and succeed and have white skin. Wow, what a concept. Fortunately, my daughter is happily studying classics at UVA (didn't look at Duke) and there is time to direct my son away from Duke next year when he begins looking at schools. I used to think it would be nice to visit my kids there at parent's weekend someday. As long as Broadhead and Burness and other Admin flunkies and the despicable 88-- all whom have willfully inflicted pain and damage to the LAX coach and boys and their families (and, my God, all of us who care about truth and dare I say, justice) are open for business and thriving as they apparently continue to be, we will write Duke off, including financially, as Duke has done so with us. Free the Duke Three; Indict Nifong.

Sundayjack said...

Here's what bothers me, and this is where I might be out of the mainstream: A group of college kids, drinking and, yes, even hiring adult entertainment (atrociously bad adult entertainment, though it may be) IS NOT HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR. It's what kids do. And, when kids do it, "grownups" punish them because that's what adults do. It's a pageant play. It's not only NOT inappropriate, it's a necessary rite of passage.

Beyond that (and I saw this posted somewhere by some other right-minded person), the photos of that party tell me that it may have been the lamest college party I've ever seen. Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty left and, gosh golly, I wonder why. Forty guys sitting around in cargo shorts and polo shirts, watching two scabby-legged strippers trip over themselves for $800?! I'd have left also.

But I digress. Every time President Brodhead (which might be the most inappropriate surname for any university president) speak, I want to right his scrawny, turkey neck. Enough.

Anonymous said...

Wow...just...wow.
This is your best post yet.
I am a new Duke mom (2010) and this describes my feelings exactly.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Is that a picture of the President of Duke or Pontius Pilate?

Anonymous said...

I am a Duke parent too. And, I want to tell you my story. My daughter was 4 years old when we first walked into a sports shop and she saw a beautiful Blue Devil hat with a beautiful D on the front. That day, that moment, when we explained to her that "D" stood for Duke University not for her name, she told us when she grew up she would go to Duke. She was an honest little girl. From that day on, she worked very hard to get to Duke. It was not easy, it required a great deal of hard work, but she succeeded. And, after she enrolled, I can honestly say that no family was as "Duke" as ours. We were Duke all the way, through and through.

When this case broke out and we learned what the real circumstances were -- that there was no rape, that it was all a bunch of lies by a very troubled young woman--, we had faith in Duke. We said they will come around, they will see it too, and we waited. We are still waiting, with a great deal of astonishment! In closing I can say that, now, as a result if the appalling way Duke handled this case, I am in the category of the Duke parents who are ashamed of being a Duke parent. It is as simple as that. When people ask me where my kid goes to school, I find myself tempted not to respond or too embarrassed to say Duke!

A Duke Parent

Sic Semper Tyrannis said...

Can we get Professor Coleman in as President, at least on an interim basis? He possesses the gravitas, and not coincidentally, appears to have a functioning moral compass on board. Jeepers, when did so much of the faculty and administration become Marxist, relativist game-playing pantywaists who cannot discern wrong from right, indeed, who argue against a basis for choosing wrong from right. Stripping as the New Church, yup, okay. Please Duke, say it ain't so.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead and The Group of 88 should be fired immediately. They are a disgrace to humanity in general and the teaching profession. I would like to see are report on how many students pulled out of Duke under Brodheads rule, how many were accepted and declined, how much revenue will be lost in the coming years tuition and by grants and donations that have stopped. You spend eighteen years of your life teaching your children good values, integrity and honesty. And then you pay high tution to have the Group of 88 taint their minds with their twisted teaching and demented agendas. Brodhead and the Group of 88 have shown no honor, honesty or integrity. They cower behing their lies and deception to promote themselves and their own misguided sense of intellect and self importance. They are little people with small minds.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that readers who agree with this excellent column e-mail it to:

president@duke.edu

Anonymous said...

What needs to happen with the kooky 88 is that their research needs to be put under a microscope; their expense reports analyzed, etc.
IOW, find a reason, ANY reason, to show them the door...

Anonymous said...

To Duke Parent @ 11:07

I understand how you feel. I think that it is important to understand that the STUDENTS make Duke great, not the Administration or the faculty.
Still, it's clear that some changes need to be made at the top...
It is possible that the Board will toss Brodhead when the civil suits start flying.

TombZ said...

Just asking:

Why do liberals tell us we're supposed to be non-judgemental about the 'life-style' (work-style?) choices of a sex-worker/exotic dancer/escort?

Why does this liberal university president then judge the lacrosse team for hiring a sex-worker/etc.?

Anonymous said...

TombZ: You ask good questions. The sad thing is there are so many more good "why"s! We couldn't list them all. Thanks, for showing us the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

To Duke parent @ 11:07

Our situations are very similiar. This particular article and these posts express the same feelings my husband and I have been dealing with for months. Our daughter, like many Duke students, could have attended Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc., but chose Duke because of what we thought was the perfect balance of academics/athletics. The spineless actions of the adminstration and the obvious hatred of the student/athletes by some faculty members has been incredibly upsetting. These aren't kids that didn't have other opportunities, they chose Duke and were proud to be called Duke athletes. However, to not feel like your own university supports you is devastating.
Out of this whole mess, I agree with the 12:30 poster that by far the most impressive people at that university are the students themselves. I have been proud of how most of the students have presented themselves. They seem honest, ethical, and more articulate than any in the adminstration. My daughter has made many wonderful friends while at Duke and loves both her team and coach.
However, it is a shame that we now hesitate to reply when asked where our daughter attends college because of this adminstration's behavior. We have had friends say to us that you must regret sending your daughter to Duke after seeing how the school tossed the lax team to the wolves. Sadly, this has definitely affected more than just the lax team. It has tarnished the dreams of many other hard working student athletes.

Anonymous said...

A parent above noted:

"much of the faculty and administration of Duke itself, are inclined to HATE us and wish ILL of my family, because we work hard and succeed and have white skin."

That is one of the clearest statements of the motivations of some of the faculty that I have seen.

Certainly the odious statements and academic work of the Group of 88 support that parent's view.

That is why they have remained so steadfast in their attacks on the LAX players despite overwhelming evidence of innocence.

They seem to want a show trial against white, hard-working, successful Americans. Their goal is to assault an ideal. They have no apparent interest in actual justice other than the 'larger goal' of 'social justice' as they see it. Sending three, young and innocent white men to prison is apparently laudible to these people if it serves their larger goals.

I think they would still want a trial even if the accuser finally admitted that her claim is a hoax.

I do not suggest, of course, that the goals of the Group of 88 are those of 'hopefully-soon-to-be-former-lawyer' Nifong. His carelessly cobbled together mind is apparently focused on a less refined goal: keeping his job and, lately, trying to avoid getting sued and disbarred.

Young

Anonymous said...

Read the latest from Cash Michaels...Didn't think 60 Minutes was "fair."

Locomotive Breath said...

I am a three-time Duke alum. My wife has two degrees from Duke. We were married in Duke Chapel. I can't add much to what's been said other than to join in the disgust with the actions of Brodhead and the faculty. I agree with the poster that said that the students make the university.

“Cynical, arrogant, callous, dismissive—you could almost say openly hostile.”

A more perfect description of some of the Duke faculty and President Brodhead cannont be found.

Anonymous said...

I also went to Duke, my brother went to Duke and other family members went to Duke. I care about this case for all the reasons expressed above. We need a new president, this one is absolutely shameful.

Anonymous said...

It is so ironic that Mark Anthony Neal would condone a woman's choice to make her living as a stripper--how can we do that and simultaneously condemn those that hire strippers? You can't have it both ways.

My biggest gripe with the administration (and the group of 88) concerns their refusal to change direction over the last few months. I blame the police and the DA for allowing (and encouraging) false information to be spread initially--we now know, for example, that the "others assaulted by racial epithets" were the strippers themselves, and that, by Kim's own admission, she said things to provoke the comment that was made. It certainly doesn't excuse the comment, but it is very different from the scene that was portrayed by the police and the DA to the media, and they knew at the time they were misleading the public. While I deplore the actions of the "88", I do understand why they were outraged (most of us WOULD believe a DA if he said a crime absolutely occurred). I blame the police and DA for the outrage of the public and the 88, but hold the 88 accountable for their inappropriate response, and their silence since.

the thing that bothers me the most is KC's allegation that the boys were told not to tell their parents and not to hire attorneys. While I respect KC's work, and also read a lax parent's affirmation of this, I can't imagine any motive the administration could have had for this--I would really like to have more information as well as additional corroboration.

And there are many good professors at Duke--the 88 is in the minority. We have heard stories (from a lax parent) of some classes that had thoughtful discussions of the incident shortly after in occurred. Duke is still a fine school--the administration DOES not make the school--the students, graduate students and majority of great professors do.

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary as usual. My only minor point of disagreement is the part about the return of racial slurs being surprising. It's not. When someone calls a person of another race a racist name in most circumstances they are going to get one back whether it's PC or not. It is reality.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone done a backround check on the Duke 88? I am sure as liberal as they are, a large percentage of them have baggage to their names! Let's get that info out on the blogs.

I am sure they resented the LAX players because the young men are what they wish they were when they were in their youth.For the most part, that LAX players are smart, athletics, good-looking, come from middle to upper class families, etc. Jealousy and evny is the root to evil!

Anonymous said...

To Liestoppers: Thanks for putting my piece on your blog. As I said in the article, Brodhead needs to be sent back to the minors.

The behavior of the faculty has been absolutely disgraceful, although I will say that many people on the Duke faculty also believe in the players' innocence and are appalled at what they are seeing from the Gang of 88. Unfortunately, campus politics being what they are, intimidation by leftists is everywhere. I happens where I work, too.

The Duke parents and alums need to keep putting on the heat. Also, people need to hit Duke in the pocketbook. If the money begins to dry up, all of a sudden Brodhead is going to look like Buttheat to the trustees and be sent packing.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

Other people have suggesting holding back contributions to affect change here. But I hope everyone that considers that realizes that the withholding contributions affects real students, including athletes. It affects financial aid packages, merit scholarships, research, books, club sports, and extracurriculars. I personally think there must be a better way to get the message across.

Anonymous said...

1. What could a stripper who goes back into a house where "there's more money to be made" (ahem), after leaving early to protests that she hasn't earned the $800 bucks already paid, possibly say to denigrate and insult people who hired and paid her? She's already at the bottom of the pile, so there are only two choices, and both were chosen -- challenge the male virility and cast a racial slur. And, yes, "white boy" IS a racial slur that no one wants to talk about. If you just paid me for sex and call me a "whore" then I will turn back to you and call you a "whoremonger." If you call me a "white boy," I will respond with the exact opposite of that...the "n" word. Bradley got it. But, he was still too PC to state it clearly for what it was....a reverse racist epithet FIRST put forth by Kim Roberts. We only got that Kim instigated the comment, not that she cast the first epithet. Unfortunately, "white" people don't count and it's okay to insult them.

2. Why did Duke tell the boys not to tell parents? Because they are the alumni and/or a straight line to the rest of the alumni. We are a tight group and come from many generations of Duke graduates. My family consists of four separate surnames with Duke degrees. We have all stopped every penny of financial support to Duke University and have encouraged every other alumnus to withhold all support (for those who would like to check the status of donations to Duke, there's a hot story for you there). To the person who said that the alumni is the key to bringing Duke back, absolutely wrong. Duke wanted to be sure both parents and alumni knew nothing about it and were willing to sacrifice human beings to assure that. That is not a sign of hope. It will be at least a decade before Duke will overcome this fiasco. My children will not go there and neither will my money.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

11:17 Anonymous said: "It affects financial aid packages, merit scholarships, research, books, club sports, and extracurriculars. I personally think there must be a better way to get the message across."

So, if donated money has that much influence, just what "better way" could there possibly be? Money is exactly the point, starting with Nifong, the reverse racism, the leftist dribble and backlash. This is what it is always about and it should be withheld.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

twaddlefree--I don't doubt you are right that money talks. I just don't think it's right to hurt other students. Which is what holding back contributions does.

Anonymous said...

To add to my post, I actually think it's better to find some big contributors, who have the administration's ear, and get them on our side.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but it sure won't hurt as much as what I see happening at Duke. The 88 have been a pure revelation as to what has been eating away at Duke for years. Parents have gotten a true revelation, and enrollment is likely to suffer from this, alone. Duke was willing to "hurt" 47 students for that money, so perhaps a bit of sacrifice to hurry along the process of "healing" and "refurbishing" is worth it?

There are many other worthy schools to attend where the money will speak just as well, if not better.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

Instead of worrying about the effect of cutting off money I suggest you start worrying about what is being "professed" in classes! The Duke 88 have shown themselves to be bigots.

Anonymous said...

Which is a large part of the reason the money is cut off. The living members of six generations in my family have stopped over a million in contributions this year. Want to talk about big contributors with the administration's ear? We have sent letters. We have sent NO checks. No response. Not one single word.

Guess they'll eat the Lacrosse field's dirt, huh?

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

I don't get it twaddlefree. Because Duke was willing to hurt the lacrosse players (and I don't know that it was for money) you think it's okay to hurt the rest of the student body that's already there? The other students at Duke don't have an option of attending another school at this point (at least the vast majority don't, and probably don't want to.) Just as I would denounce those at NCCU who said it was okay if the lax players were jailed even if they were innocent because of past wrongs against blacks, I don't see how hurting the rest of the Duke student body is justified. Tuition covers something like 40% of the cost of the education--annual fund and other contributions cover the rest. There are ways to deal with this without hurting other innocent young people.

Kevin said...

This is a terrific article, and expresses the pain that I, as a Duke alum, have felt. When these allegations first surfaced, the certainty expressed in the DA's statements made me believe that something happened. I was mad at those guilty for the shame that they had inflicted upon my university.

I'm still mad at a guilty party for pain caused to my university, but the guilty party is a stripper named Precious. (Tangent -- because of the weight of the evidence, I do not support withholding her name!)

I'm embarrassed and angry that President Broadhead has not made public statements cautioning against the rush to judgment. I'm embarrassed and angry that Duke professors publish the poorly-written loathing that was published by Houston Baker and Karla Holloway. I'm embarrassed and angry that the faculty is not now speaking out in support of these three students.

Yesterday I received a solitication for the Duke Annual Fund. It pains me that I cannot contribute this year, because Duke is no longer the instititution I graduated from in 1983.

Kevin Rew T'83

Anonymous said...

there are "group of 88" professors at every school. From what I understand, many of them are in the African American and Women's studies Depts--not the mainstream of the Duke academic experience. I AM concerned about what they teach in class--but I think those types of teachers are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

When this case is dismissed we need to demand an investigation regarding the charges of retribution by Duke Professors on individual Lacrosse members. The reports that professors graded down Lacrosse players and made negative comments to them are very troubling.

Anonymous said...

Like what other ways? If what you have witnessed in the last seven months not a complete loss of moral foundation, reason, and justice, then you are not seeing at all.

This is not a vendetta against other students. It is a means of refusing to support leftist ideology, injustice, pathetic management. It is my choice to support "right" instead of "wrong."

There is no logical comparison to the what the NCUU student said and my choice to withhold personal funds from an institution that behaves or believes in a manner inconsistent with my beliefs. Duke has no right to my money. I do not owe Duke my money. Individual Justice based on fact and truth based on reality are indeed a right, and a responsibility, of all.

Twaddlefree

TombZ said...

To previous posters who "don't want to hurt the students" by withholding donations:

Trust me. For Brodhead it's all about the money. If he brings in the dough, he grows. If the money stops, he goes. Simple.

I'm a current Duke parent and will not ever consider a dime of support so long as Brodhead has a job at Duke.

As for 'the 88', what an outrage to think they are my child's professors. How they hate her and all they think she stands for!

Guess what color we are. Guess what sports we like. Guess where we live.

Anonymous said...

My interest in this case is as a mother of teenagers. When I first heard the allegations I thought that it was too bad that such behavior could tarnish a great university. As I read more I realized that this was not the case.
I am registered to attend a Duke info session with my child next week. I am not that enthusiastic about attending due to learning of the faculty's lack of support of the lax players. This is sad because we have strong Duke ties.
I just hope that this does not hinder Duke in the long run.

Anonymous said...

No current students will be hurt from the withholding of donations. Duke received a "donation" from the Duke endowment this year. It will happen again.
Maybe Brodhead can hit up Mayor Bell and City Manager Baker for some cash??

EC said...

Twaddlefree,

Amen brother (or sister though I suspect brother) to all your comments, especially 11:18 PM.

I agree wholeheartedly and I am happy that people are finally realizing that the social science departments of all schools and not just prestigious ones like Duke are overrun by extreme leftist/marixsts who hate everything that their students and the student's parents stand for. They are a cancer in the US university system that need a to excised.

Also, to echo Twaddlefree, "white boy" is a racist epithet that is expected to not sting since it is directed a whites, who apparently are guilty of pretty much everything under the sun.

DukeGradNCResident said...

There is hardly a sentiment previously expressed concerning the Duke administration’s abysmal lack of leadership and some faculty members' aberrant behavior I couldn’t concur with. In my family history, I can trace members who have worked at or attended the University every decade of its existence. My child will be applying to college next fall. So the moment of truth is almost upon our family. Is Duke the college we should encourage our child to attend?

These are a number of points of discussion I envision having with my spouse and my child, based on what we’ve learned over the past few months:

Is my child prepared to deal with professors who find fault with my child’s perceived class, economic standing, or “white entitlement”?

Is my child reliant enough to deal with the myriad social pressures of life at Duke, and savvy enough to avoid environments where Duke and Durham have shown little tolerance of students?

Will my child be comfortable knowing that off campus, Durham has a high crime rate?

Any private university, especially an elite one can become an insular bubble for four years. The four year college experience is hardly the sine quo non for growing up and preparing for adult life. The bottom line is Duke has its share of warts, but to discourage my child from matriculating would mean denying my child the opportunity to learn from and be associated with some of the finest students anywhere.

I posed the following question on KC Johnson’s masterful Durham-in Wonderland blog a few weeks ago:


“Q: Regarding the overlap between Duke professors who signed a statement demanding divestment from Israel and membership in the rush-to-judgment Group of 88: At a private university, to whom are the faculty “accountable”—students, parents, Trustees, themselves?
A: The short answer: they’re, appropriately, accountable to themselves. But academic freedom doesn’t restrain students, parents, alumni, or trustees from exercising their own rights to freedom of speech and publicly condemning the irresponsible actions of professors.”

As alumni, parents and friends of Duke we still have a lot of work to do…….

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about hurting Duke financially. The Duke Endowment, chaired by a Duke alum, will always be at the ready to underwrite any Duke shortfall.

KC Johnson said...

A couple of people here have wondered about the source for my comment that the lacrosse players were instructed not to tell their parents about the investigation.

I, too, believed the claim was a remarkable one.

I had seven sources for the claim, consisting of current and former lacrosse players, plus parents of (different)current and former lacrosse players. The revelation was offered at different times, in separate conversations.

Anonymous said...

I am a lacrosse parent and I did not find out about the party and its consequences for 10 days-why? Because my son was told not to tell us. And he didn't. I found out about it from another parent.

Anonymous said...

For a school whose mantra has been "allowing the legal process to follow its course", it is curious to read an article printed in Saturday's Charlotte Observer (l0/21/06) that Duke University has offered the City of Durham $2 million to cover Durham's shortfall for its performing arts center in exchange for timely consideration of Duke's proposed plan for Central Campus. May be a little bit of an incentive for some to dry up their pocketbooks. Seems Duke can get into the legal process when it suits their purposes.

Anonymous said...

I am an alum that has very fond memories of my time at Duke. It has been difficult to see our University in the news for this incident, but by far the most disturbing, and in my view most damaging, aspect of this ordeal has been how the administration and numerous faculty members (the '88) have handled this. I truly believe that the long term damage to Duke will not be from the incident itself but from the administration's own doing.

As a parent, I can no longer imagine sending my children to Duke. How can I send my children to a school where the administration rushes to judgement, counsels students not speak to their parents and do nothing about the Durham Police Department policy to target Duke Students.

I just received the Annual Fund mailing and like many of you will not be making a contribution. While I am not a "deep pocket" alumni that contributes vast sums, I have consistently given each year but will no longer be doing so as long as this administration is in place or makes some very drastic changes to their positions. I urge all alumni to do the same as this will be the loudest way to voice our displeasure with this administration.

Bryan said...

I hold two degrees from Duke and just got my annual fund request in the mail. Perhaps, that is the way to make our point that the administration is not acting on our (current and former students, donors, etc) behalf and must be held accountable.

My envelope will be returned empty this year for the first time in 13 years with a note explaining why. I encourage all of you to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Me, my wife and one of our daughters hold degrees from Duke. We have been regular, not large, contributors to the annual fund, general fund and the Iron Dukes. That will all stop until Broadhead and his ilk depart. I have advised my 17 year old grandson (honors senior in math and science), who has heard nothing but "Duke" his whole life, not to apply to Duke. The problems at our school cannot be fixed in time for him not to be affected. What a shame!! What an embarassment!!

Anonymous said...

KC,

You have seven sources for what? Who told the kids not to tell their parents? You seem to be suggesting it was Brodhead, but I heard it was Coach Pressler. Also, at what point were they told not to contact their parents? Was it in the first day or two after the party, when everyone thought the whole thing was going to blow over, or was it later, after the situation had become more serious? Did Coach Pressler give the kids any reason for why they should not tell their parents? There are many questions here that you have not answered.

Anonymous said...

As a current Duke student and Annual Fund worker, I urge parents and alumni to consider their positions and their actions on this issue very carefully. I fully understand the desire to hold the administration accountable for their actions, however there are several things to keep in mind. First off, they were in a very tough situation last March as were we all. There is no way that they could have made all of the right decisions and although mistakes were made President Brodhead and his administration have done wonderful things at this university and are highly respected among the students. I do not agree with all of the decisions they made, but I believe that he has the best interests of the university at the heart of all his actions. Secondly, I know that many of you are following this case closely, but there is more than you know. You do not eat sleep and breathe this controversy everyday even though of us who do, do not have all the answers, so please do not blindly subscribe to any point of view. Thirdly, many financial supporters of the university have decided to withdraw their funds until Brodhead is gone. This is their decision and I respect that they would like to make their voices heard. I feel however that this is the incorrect appproach to making your voice heard. Annual Fund dollars are crucial for the operation of the university. Without an endowment comperable to our peer institutions, alumni donations keep Duke alive. By withholding funds from this organization you deprive students of opportunities not send a message to the President. If you want to make a difference, write a letter to the Chronicle, write an e-mail to President Brodhead, write an e-mail to the professors who descriminate against our athletes, get in touch with a student if you really want to help and talk to them. Please, I implore you, do not punish the students who already had to go through hell last spring anymore. This is the time that Duke needs support more than ever. Together we can pull through this and make Duke an even better institution of education and athletic powerhouse. And finally, please do not hate President Brodhead because he made questionable decisions during an unbelievably difficult time for all of us. I am not saying he is without fault nor that he did not make serious mistakes which will takes years to recover from, however, he is a kind generous man who loves Duke and our students here and who I feel will lead our university to great heights, give him a chance to learn from his mistakes as we all must after this incident.

Anonymous said...

Far more goes on at Duke than sports. Dig into the classes and laboratories. Expose the chamber of secrets, as satanism and sex bigger than more will admit