Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It would have been unfair - Elmo

With the revelations in the Ekstrand amended complaint we were wondering what should President Brodhead have done when the accusations first broke, back in March 2006?

Joan Foster had this

What should Richard Brodhead have done? I would have advised him to do something he supposedly does so well….read Shakespeare.

In his office, away from the din and distraction of the early days of the Frame, he might have looked for warning signs in these classic stories of great leaders toppled by their individual tragic flaws. He might have culled a cautionary word for himself in those tales of once “great men”…. trapped by their baser, lesser natures to become, at stories end, only pathetic anti-heroes in memorable tragedies.

Reading Othello again, he might have turned a wary eye to the Iagos around him; reading MacBeth, he might have been reminded that treachery fueled by ambition often rebounds right back at you. Better yet, reading Julius Caesar, he might have ruminated over the masterful scene where Mark Antony faces the mob at Caesar’s funeral. Perhaps, inspired, Mr. Brodhead might have considered using his own (supposed) oratory skills to not…. “Cry havoc” but quell it, and move Durham’s mob to some measure of justice and reason.

As he barricaded himself in his office, without the moral sufficiency or spine to face the distraught families of the Lacrosse players, he might have remembered the words of the Merchant of Venice, imploring us to see beyond “labels” and limits and even, yes, legalistic excuses… and embrace our shared humanity. Instead behind the scenes, it is alleged, he aided and abetted a corrupt prosecutor and put three young lives at risk. He did this because THREE YOUNG LIVES in Brodhead’s shallow system of priorities could not trump the necessary P.C. and P.R. posturing that was “Best for Duke.” Behind the scenes, it is also alleged, he aided and abetted the Chairman’s wish that those three Innocents face trial. Perhaps, Brodhead could never have been a moral Superman, a “Man of Steel” leading us through the Frame…but he might have been a bit more than Steele’s liege man, his lackey.

But Alas! Poor Brodhead. NOW we know him well.

Instead, we have watched for months, as the supposed leader of a great University simply “struts and frets his hour upon the stage.” Brodhead is still “strutting and fretting.” He should have read his Shakespeare again at the very start of this debacle, but now his moment has past. If there are any on the Board who still love Duke, they should push him stage left, toward the exit. “All his yesterdays have lighted (Duke) the way” to the dusty, death of its once vaulted principled reputation.

Brodhead’s leadership amounted “to a tale told by an idiot” signifying…nothing but disdain for common decency and a very public failure.

“Out, out, brief candle.”

Baldo chimes in

When Duke President Brodhead first learned of the allegations, what should he have done? Maybe a call to Durham's "On Time Taxi" asking Elmo for advice would have been wise.

Durham Cab Driver, Moezeldin "Elmo" Elmostafa, was arrested by Nifong's Officers after he backed up Reade Seligmann's alibi on national TV. They arrested him on what was clearly trumped up charges . As they handcuffed him, “They asked me if I had anything new to say about the lacrosse case. When I said no, they took me to the magistrate.” Later he would be found not quilty.

When Elmo was presented the Reader's Digest Hero of the Year award on the Today Show he was asked why didn't he remain quiet and just not come forward? Elmo explained he was scared, had come from the Sudan where you fear the authorities, and he could have been deported back there. His dream of citizenship would have been over and family would never come to the United States. Instead Elmo explained, "It would have been unfair to those three players."

Simple words, what should Brodhead have done? He could have been fair. He could have demanded his Duke PD complete a through and honest investigation since they had jurisdiction over all Duke properties. In fact the case was transferred to the Duke PD on the loading dock of DUMC the morning of March 14 and the SANE Kit was given to Duke PD.

But he didn't!

Instead Brodhead and Steel sacrificed the 2006 Duke Lacrosse Team to the political ambitions of Nifong, a Durham PD investigator with a known history of harassing Duke students, the campus mob led by Duke's Faculty, community activists out to promote a political agenda, and a national media firestorm.


Anonymous said...

Based on hard learned experience in my community (which appears to mimic Durham in a lot of ways) I'm still not sure there isn't another element to the hoax. We're pretty sure the local political establishment is corrupt.Ditto the PD. Were I exploring I'd be looking for financial links between Duke faculty and admin and those plentiful streams of untracable cash that flow from drugs and prostitution. Let's just say that there's too much temptation for people who don't have much of a moral compass in the first place to resist. And we already know what sort of people we are dealing with here.

Anonymous said...

brodhead did exactly what he wanted to do. Screw his students. Teach them a lesson. He didn't give 2 pahoots about nifongs election until it became necessary to give a pahoot in the fall. He loved the faculty, he loved the news media. he loved the community activists because they were all on his side. More importantly, they were against the students; all of the LAX students, not just the future accused. He got his wish. He got TP off his agenda. He alone was to blame for this, the Duke LAX frame/hoax. Yes, he should have sat back and read Shakespeare. He should have read the Constitution. He should have believed the truth he was told. He should have believed his students.

Anonymous said...

Hash and rehash. This stuff has got to be getting boring for you all too. There appears to be an endless number of times, you can write the same stuff from a different angle.

Anonymous said...

Elmo has more backbone than a dozen Brodheads. Elmo, while not formally as educated as the Brodheads of Duke or the faux scholars of the Gang of 88, can easily tell right from wrong. They, with all their supposed education and fancy degrees, can't tell the difference.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The photo you selected portrays one of the best Shakespearean actors who ever lived, particularly for roles requiring quiet, brooding intensity, such as Hamlet. But is there any significance to the fact that the actor in the photo is Edwin Booth, unfortunate older brother of assassin John Wilkes Booth?

Anonymous said...

Better yet-- he shouldn't have planned the funerals for those three Caesars; unlike the real one, they survived!

Anonymous said...

10:12 anonymous

There is no rehash when an injustice occurred and continues to occur. Until Duke University's president, admnistration, and BOT are made to account why they were so willing to throw their students under the bus for the "good of the university"; until the Durham PD is made to explain why they felt that procedures can be violated at will; until the Duke Medical Centre is made to explain why a trainee was allowed to administer and interpret a rape kit and who believed that if a woman yelled rape that it had to have occurred; and finally why a lab is allowed to violate its own established procedures because a corrupt DA desires a conviction despite the fact that no crime occurred - only when these questions are fully answered by the responsible parties and real changes are made will this fully be laid to rest.
All this plus the failure of n education of higher learning which believes in assuaging past inequities on the backs of its present students and a mindset that allows professors of dubious academic rigor to run roughshod over a liberal tradition and a court system in North Carolina which worked hand in glove (until the state attorney general intervened) with a prosecutor to deny the basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution makes one wonder just what is happeneing in this country.

LieStoppers said...

Edwin Booth was indeed a great actor, unlike the bad actors in this script. Edwin will always be connected to his brother just like Duke will always be connected to Brodhead, unless they repudiate and fire him.

Anonymous said...

This won't be laid to rest until Mangum serves the lengthy prison sentence she so richly deserves.

Anonymous said...

Duke is forever smeared unless Brodhead and some of the 88 come clean. Until that happens I'd think twice before putting Duke on my resume.

Anonymous said...

Who wants to be educated by a bunch of liars and kooks?