Monday, January 08, 2007
Dear Ms Davidson,
The following is the text of a letter I have sent to the editor of the News & Observer. I am e-mailing a copy to you as I feel that you need to be aware that those with serious concerns regarding what you and other members of the Duke facility did last year, do not only come from the rabid Right wing, as you may wish to believe. I do not expect a response from you, as I am sure you have received many similar communications, however, I hope you will take the time to take note of my comments.
Dear Ms. Sill,
Having read Cathy N. Davidson's attempt to justify the actions of 88 Duke faculty members who signed the "we are listening" statement, I, as a life long Democrat, with a long history of involvement in social and also environmental issues, feel I have to correct the assertion which she, and others, are trying to create that those who most strongly deplore what they did come exclusively, or even predominantly, from the political right.
I care passionately about civil rights, my parents fought for them in the 60's and I have been on many demonstrations, and recently voted in support of gay marriage (I am a straight, married mother of one I should add) so I do not fit the demographic Ms. Davidson and other faculty members are attempting to imply. It is exactly because I care about civil rights, and oppose racism in all it's forms, that I was so appalled and indeed disgusted by the events in Durham last year, and the behavior of a significant section of the Duke faculty.
Ms. Davidson seeks to draw attention to the wording of the statement in isolation from events, however as an intelligent person she must know that context is all important. In the context when the statement was issued it could only be seen as an explicit endorsement of the general assumption of guilt, and she, together with her fellow signatories must have known that or they are not qualified to hold the positions they do. Did they not know that it is when such a situation exists that those who are in positions of authority, those such as they who are able to lead opinions have a duty to be neutral.
Furthermore I do not consider that Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann were the victims of "reverse racism" as Ms Davidson seeks to suggest her opponents allege, in my view they were the victims of unqualified racism no different than existed in 1958 or indeed 1858, an assumption of guilt based solely on ethnicity, social status and a common presumption of wider group behavior, and that is racism by any definition.
Ms Davidson and her colleagues can not accuse those who oppose them of being right wing "hooligan bloggers", because we, in fact, care more for civil rights than it would seem they do, they also can not, with any honor, accuse us of racism.