Sunday, November 19, 2006

Re: "Duke faculty duties"

I appreciate reader comments regarding my “Duke faculty duties” letter to Professor Karla Holloway, a signatory of the Duke faculty “Group of 88’s” “listening” statement advertisement and a member of the Campus Cultural Initiative committee.

A few readers said Holloway very likely will not respond. I hope she does, but I know she may not. In fact, she may not even read the letter. She could hit “delete” after the first few words.

I hope she doesn’t and instead responds. But even if she doesn’t respond, writing and publishing the letter has been useful.

In theory everyone at Duke can read the letter and the comment thread; and some certainly will.

They can then judge the letter and comments against remarks attributed to Holloway in a recent Chronicle article [excerpt]:

Holloway wrote in an e-mail that misreadings of the advertisement have attracted the most attention.

"It was extraordinarily telling that these respondents displaced the actual content of the ad for the fiction of their own meagerly articulated agendas," she wrote.

She added that she would sign the petition again "in a heartbeat."

Both [Professor] Kaplan and Holloway said they have received hate mail from strangers.

"The often vicious, frequently racist and generally poorly composed responses I have received speak for themselves," Holloway said.

"Those who cower under the cover of anonymous e-mail and who find their life's blood in producing unending streams of blogged nonsense are probably better left to these subaltern spaces," she added.
The letter and readers’ comments constitute a civil and on-point rejoinder to what Holloway told The Chronicle. They’ll leave sensible people wondering if perhaps Holloway hasn’t gotten other similarly civil and on-point comments.

People who want to find out whether Holloway responds can check with her or at JinC from time to time in the next few weeks.

If Holloway doesn’t respond, people can make their own judgments as to why not. And they’ll have a better basis on which to judge what Holloway told The Chronicle than just Holloway’s statements.

The letter also gave me another opportunity to raise the matter of the University's silence regarding the racist attacks on Reade Seligmann on May 18. I plan to raise that matter as often as I can.

I’ve left replies to reader comments on the duties post.

3 comments:

kbp said...

Thanks John

I enjoy seeing all the complaints about you being anonymous as you poke away at so many.

It just aggravates them, peaking their couriousity to see what you've wrote this time, or they'd have you blocked.

No doubt in my mind they are reading every word, some just steaming mad as they do.

GOOD!

kbp said...

oops! Need to proof read before posting!

couriousity = curiosity

straightarrow said...

If Holloway doesn’t respond, people can make their own judgments as to why not. And they’ll have a better basis on which to judge what Holloway told The Chronicle than just Holloway’s statements.-John.

I think perhaps these two sentences say more than all the others and is more damning than all the rest of the comments. Think of the distrust that is necessary to make the observation roll so unconsciously and damning off the keyboard. As I know you have never intentionally skewered the character of another, even when deserved, think of the core of soul knowing of a thing that this must be for it to unconsciously be revealed while attempting to initiate a dialog.

Pretty damning, and without intent, especially the second sentence.