Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Say What?

Syracuse University Professor Linda Alcoff , Director of Women's Studies, will be discussing the Duke Lacrosse case at UNC Charlotte Sept 6th in a lecture entitled;

Racial Profiling as Epistemic Practice: When is Identity Relevant?

The last time we heard from Professor Alcoff was Sept 19th 2006 at a forum sponsored by the The Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University.

"Lacrosse Justice: Gender, Race, and Fairness in the Duke Lacrosse Legal Saga"

In Professor's Alcoff's presentation that day she stated;

"There are three main narratives being invoked in the Duke case, two false and one true, in my view. One of the false narratives is relatively old, and the other two narratives—one false and one true—are quite recent. Perhaps the most lasting significance of this case will be its effects on these narratives, and thus what I find most interesting about the public realm of discourse over Duke is to see how these narratives are being fought over, and by whom."

The Professor then proceeds to educate us as to the Narratives and whether they are True or False.

Narrative One
"One narrative is that sex workers lie. Sex workers are generally not given epistemic credibility, by the courts, the police, or the public. They are seen as morally debased, or as strategic opportunists who have had to lie so much to make a living that they have forgotten how to be honest, or as human refuse too ignorant to have a conscience. Today, more people now know such claims to be distortions at best.."

Narrative Two
The second narrative under contestation concerns the history of privileged white men at elite universities who are involved in collective high status activities like sports and fraternities. This narrative—much newer, much less widely accepted—is that such groups sometimes abuse their status and power to break laws, both small ones and more serious ones.

Narrative Three
The third narrative involved here is the narrative about the so-called victim culture, in which people (especially white women and people of color) desire to be victims, to "wallow" in victimhood, and so on. Some have argued in this case that the commentators from the African American community who are condemning the Lacrosse players are driven by a strong self-identification as victims, or the desire to perpetuate their status in the public mind as victims. This narrative, I suggest, is quite false, and obviously self-serving to those who would rather not have their boat rocked by groups demanding social change.

A Final Point
The point of this argument, then, is that narratives are not irrelevant to the process of trying to make sense of new events. No matter how this legal case turns out, those who have raised these and other narratives, contesting some and supporting others, have engaged in good epistemic practices.

LieStoppers Recommendation: Since Crystal Gail Magnum did lie, no lacrosse player sexually assaulted her, and she did portray herself as a victim of a crime that never happened, we recommend a pass on the lecture and a reevaluation of the use of Narratives when dealing with matters of Guilt or Innocence.

Skip the Lecture!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassment for Syracuse University!

Anonymous said...

I think "epistemic practices" should make sense.

Anonymous said...

Crystal's confused and angry. She wants to know why those three white boys got paid and she didn't.

Anonymous said...

Instead of attending the lecture, do something productive and important and get your car washed. Tip the attendant and further oppression.
YEAH!!!

Anonymous said...

If there's no such thing as victim culture then why did Chan Hall say that it would actually be justice to prosecute white students even if they were innocent? Why did everyone keep insisting that the case had to be looked at in the context of what happened between white men and black women in the antebellum days, if not to say "Look, they're victimizing us again just as they did before!"?

I will make a prediction, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb here. I will predict that everything Alcoff has to say in this lecture will boil to two things:

1) Anecdotal data does not prove stereotypes.

2) Unless they're ''our'' stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

One of the few benefits of this whole affair has been the exposing of the false ideas and theories that are be spread in our Universities.

One way of spreading false information is to wrap it up in a narraitive. It is a shell game, don't look at the real data, listen to a story. Don't look at the evidence.

Eaxct time, place, form, and event should be Professor Alcoff main method, but it isn't. You get a big hint about Professor Alcoff when you see see has studied and written about Foucault.

Anonymous said...

What is more, a quite a few people, themselves of low morals, hoped to profit from the lie(s) uttered by the walking sperm bank and sex worker known as Crystal Gail Mangum.

Anonymous said...

But I think there is a point to the third one! I live in Houston and today they announced that there are still 18,000 people here getting FEMA rent payments who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina TWO YEARS AGO today! Now, those are professional victims in my book! There are help wanted signs all over Houston but these people are still claiming to be unable to work because of some wind and flooding TWO YEARS AGO!!!???

Locomotive Breath said...

Q: "What's your name?"
A: "Precious"
Q: "And what's your name?"
A: "Nikki"

Find me any sex worker who uses her real name. Sex workers lie.

Duscany said...

Narrative #4 for Ms. Alcoff: "Professors of race/class/gender studies are incontestable frauds who have nothing useful to contribute either to their students or society. They would not recognize a bedrock American priciple such as innocent till proven guilty if they sat on it in the bathtub.

Anonymous said...

Duscany said...

Narrative #4 for Ms. Alcoff: "Professors of race/class/gender studies are incontestable frauds who have nothing useful to contribute either to their students or society.

RCG professors are people who couldn't grasp math principles or understand science. Their only hope for financial gain is to stir a pot of hate stew.

Ted in Durham said...

I generally concur with most of your statements, but not using your real name is hardly a 'lie', "locomotive breath". You can come up with better than that :)