Monday, June 16, 2008

Jack comments again on Duke. I respond

I don’t know Jack other than through comments Jack’s made here, including one particularly memorable one in which Jack said, in effect, that Duke as many people remember it had been “stolen,” and everyone would do well to recognize that.

Here, as I recall it, is the essence of Jack’s comment:

Duke under Dick Brodhead is nothing like Duke under Terry Sanford. That’s why you have the faculty Group of 88 and Nifong and DPD framing students.

I gives me no joy to say this, but you need to see the truth. Sorry if it offends you, but the Duke you knew was stolen by the left.
That was a year or two ago.

I didn't hear from Jack again until yesterday.

I’m going to respond here to some of what Jack's just said.

Jack’s comments are in italics; mine are in plain and directly address Jack.

I have not posted here in quite some time, but I continue to follow events in the aftermath of the lacrosse scandal. I have no connection to Duke University, but I have four children in and around college age (one 2007 graduate, two enrolled and a HS junior) and am very much interested in the quality, direction and agenda of our Higher Education Establishment.

Watching events unfold in Durham over the past two years, my reaction has been similar to many – disbelief to dismay, outrage and anger.

Unlike you, I did not feel the pain and sorrow in seeing my alma mater abdicate all vestiges of decency, the abandonment of the kind of values that has made our society the most decent and caring in history.

Most at Duke have not abdicated “all vestiges of decency” so much as they’ve just not gotten involved. Their lack of involvement, IMO, reflects both a failure to appreciate what’s at stake and a reluctance to take a public stand that goes counter to the stand of the powers that be.

I don’t find it hard to understand that many Duke people would acknowledge Crystal Mangum told lies that had terrible consequences; whisper to friends that Duke’s BOT, President Brodhead, “Dick’s senior team,” and “a lot of the faculty botched it;” and wish no other involvement with the Duke Hoax.

If I were working at Duke as an office secretary, a med tech or at one of the libraries, I'd very probably be one of those people.

But I contrast those Duke people with others - for example, Duke’s Law School faculty – from whom by virtue of their professions and positions we had a right to expect more of.

With Mike Nifong’s public conduct so outrageous that just days after he began speaking publicly about the lacrosse, the State Bar opened a file in anticipation of ethics violation charges being brought against him, we had a right to expect the Duke Law School faculty would speak out about the district attorney’s travesties.

But for months, none did. Even now, only a few have.

What can you say about a law school faculty which remains silent when Reade Seligman is threatened by racists shouting “Justice will be done, rapist” outside the Durham County Courthouse and “Dead man walking” inside Judge Ron Stephens’ courtroom?

A law school faculty which remains silent in such circumstances certainly loses a good deal of its “vestiges of decency.”

How does such a faculty preach and teach due process and professional ethics to its students?

I'm sorry to acknowledge that Duke's Law School faculty, with a few commendable exceptions, was typical of almost all groups at Duke who by profession and position were responsible for upholding right and truth, but instead abdicated their responsibilities in the face of the lies and injustices that are the Duke Hoax, the frame-up attempt and the ongoing cover-up.

Even worse than those groups are the faculty Group of 88 and others supporting them who made an already dangerous situation more dangerous, and those administrators who've promoted some of the 88 to positions of greater responsibility.

Jack, I want to mention one other group we should keep in mind when talking about Duke’s response to the Hoax: those who acted with courage and spoke up for fairness and reason. I'll mention the 2006 Women’s lacrosse team and its coach, Kerstin Kimel, as representing all of them.

You’re owed a big hat tip for reminding us that our society, for all its faults, is one of the most caring and decent in history. I wish Duke had more faculty that felt that way.

Richard Brodhead and the BOT’s behavior since the scandal indicates they no longer feel they must go about their work under the cover of darkness. The appointments at Duke are nothing more than a middle finger at Duke’s traditional, if ignorant, constituencies.

Lee Baker’s appointment is the latest, and among the more important steps the radical left has taken to ensure their philosophy, their brand of “thinking” gets the seal of approval in a Big Brand Elite University. Duke is not at all elite, it has become elitist.

I don’t doubt Duke’s “radical left” did its part to encourage Dean Lee Baker’s appointment. But it was President Brodhead, top administrators and key trustees who made the appointment possible.

I don't doubt you agree that's much more troubling than if only Duke's radical left was responsible for Baker's appointment.

I take no pleasure in the disappointment you must feel for an institution that evidently had such an important part in your education, your development and personal identity, but the benign neglect of the alumni cannot be discounted as a contributing factor.

I agree with you 100%.

Like I said before – Duke has been hijacked, and you wanted to believe that all is not lost. Perhaps not, but for the past year, the enemy within Duke has been consolidating its position. Not that Bob Steele, Richard Wagoner or Melinda Gates are doing anything to stop it, not the impudent snots at the Chronicle. So what is it you think you can do?

I agree those with a vested interest in protecting themselves and hiding what was done to “throw them under the bus” have been consolidating their position.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re stronger relative to the forces at work to expose them and what they did.

Within the last year the power balance between those seeking to hide the truth and those seeking to get it out there, while still weighted in favor of those wanting to hide the truth, has in recent months begun shifting in the direction of those seeking to get the truth out there.

You may doubt that, but those called “The Duke Defendants”in the suit brought by attorney Bob Ekstrand on behalf of 2006 lacrosse team members Breck Archer, Ryan McFedyan and Matthews Wilson don't.

After two years of spending large sums to promote MoveOn.Duke and then suggesting the plaintiffs didn't have much of a case, Duke turned around and hired Washington attorney and Democratic operative Jamie Gorelick this past February just weeks after it got a look at Ekstrand's suit complaint filing.

The Duke defendants already had tremendous legal firepower. Why retain Gorelick?

Because Duke knows legal firepower may not be enough to successfully defend itself against the suit and its consequences.

Gorelick's hiring proves those trying to push the truth out there are growing stronger.

Thanks for commenting.

And don’t worry that I take offense at what you say. Your genuine care comes through.



Anonymous said...

Ms. Gorelick was a democratic party operative, a key official in the Clinton justice department and was the general counsel at Countrywide Financial. According to the proxy statement Ms. Gorelick recieved $21,000,000 for her services as general counsel.

Anonymous said...

Gorelick was hired for her political connections, not for her skill at lawyering. In fact, she is a total loss in the trial work department as anyone can see from the motion she submitted to the court in response to the civil suit. We can only hope they continue to rely on Jamie's expertise. Heh, heh, heh...
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

How sad ..that at a once great University like was left to a small group of young women on a Lacrosse team to bear the burden of truth. To have to assume the courage in all this turmoil to address the truth. Just a small group of young women.

How incredibly shameful.

From the formerly respected DUMC where a novice, biased nurse was allowed to speak with pompous authority for their once credible reputation... to the 88 faculty members who signed on to a racial rant thanking protestors who called for the craven cowardice of the Spineless Brodhead and the callousness of Steele ("Best for Duke")...Duke has shamed itself on a national stage.

An attack on one of its students WITH A BOXCUTTER by 5 locals in the Durham revolving door is swept under the rug as Duke continues to pander to the lefties at the expense of the safety of its own students.

The Duke you knew , John, is over, done, sold out.

Anonymous said...

What can you say about a law school faculty which remains silent when Reade Seligman is threatened by racists shouting “Justice will be done, rapist” outside the Durham County Courthouse and “Dead man walking” inside Judge Ron Stephens’ courtroom?

As Martin Luther King said, What we will remember is not so much the words of our enemies, as the silence of our friends. . .

Locomotive Breath said...

I continue to believe that Duke was hijacked by Nan Keohane. When you have a self avowed feminist from a women's college as your President, you can be guaranteed that the first thing she's going to do upon arriving at Duke is to try to disable the "male power structure". It's her chickens that are coming home to roost on Dick Brodhead (who is a bird of the same feather).

Anonymous said...

They lost their souls a long time ago. Marxism is the new philosophy taught in Duke Humanities. Anal butt sparklers and whips are what VP Larry Moneta thinks is educational. It would be funny if it wasn't true.

Anonymous said...

John -

Slightly off topic, but Bill Anderson has a terrific column titled, Two Angry Men. It is about how the two on the left see the Duke Hoax. Not surprisingly, they see no Hoax. As far as they are concerned, the students are guilty. I guess for some "journalists" news can be fact-free.

Bill's full column is here:

Jack in Silver Spring

(Not to be confused with the Jack whose comments you have cited.)

bill anderson said...

Thanks, Jack!

Indeed, Duke has been hijacked and I doubt things ever will change there. First, elite higher education has been on the downward slope for years, preferring to squander the great endowments they own on leftist claptrap.

Second, the leadership of the elite universities across-the-board is in the hands of the hard left, and they are interested in one thing and one thing only: turning universities into re-education camps.

Unfortunately, a decade from now, we will be looking at Duke of today and think of it as "conservative" compared to what it will be like in 2018.