Readers Note: After publishing KC Johnson Slimed Prof. Lubiano I received in letter form a comment from Sarah which I posted on the Lubiano thread.
While Sarah’s comment was critical of me for my Lubiano post, she closed saying her letter was written with “respect and regret.”
Its quality left no doubt of that.
We subsequently had useful exchanges on the thread which you can read here.
Sarah’s comments revealed her to be a person of grace and generous instincts.
I asked her to read Senator Taft’s Lesson For Us All, which contains a JinC post published Apr. 8, 2006.
I’ve used that 2006 post as a guide and standard for my Duke lacrosse postings.
I promised Sarah I’d post her letter on the main page and reply to it there.
I said I wanted my reply to be a thoughtful, detailed and respectful one which, if it didn’t change her opinions, would at least give Sarah and others like her a better understanding of why I wrote the Lubiano post
Before reading further, I urge any of you not familiar with the posts I’ve just mentioned and their comment threads as well as KC Johnson Now and its comment thread to please give them all a look before reading Sarah’s letter and my response.
Now to the letters.
You have been a valiant fighter for the victims of the Duke lacrosse travesty, and I respect you a lot for that.
I am also sure you feel you have your reasons for writing what you did.
However I know how these divisions and squabbles are used by those who still seek every possible opportunity to hurt the victims, in order to mock and undermine them and their supporters.
You, KC Johnson and Liestoppers did great things in exposing the hatred, dishonesty and duplicity behind the hoax. By now turning on each other over what amounts to trivia, you are giving weapons and a great deal of comfort to deeply unsavory and twisted people.
To do so in support of someone as vile, dishonest and devoid of humanity as Lubiano, defies comprehension.
You are worth far more than those who are exploiting your words, but you are wrong over this issue.
Written with regret and respect,
I hope you’ve seen A Brief Note To Sarah in which I explained my delay responding to you and expressed my appreciation for your comment on Tribute To My Wife thread.
Before going further, and for the benefit of those who may not have read the Lubiano post thread, I to repeat a few of the things I said on the thread in response to you:
I was never valiant; the players and their families were.
During 2006 and into 2007 KC, LS and The Johnsville News all did great DL blogging.
That’s why back then I’d often urge people to read those blogs before deciding whether they’d time to also read JinC.
My DL blogging represented my best effort so I’m proud of it. But it was never great.
Your comments just noted reflect your generous instincts, remarkable for appearing in a letter in which you take me to task for a post you believe has done and will continue to do more harm to innocent people who’ve already endured grave harm, including many great injustices.
My goals in this letter are to:
1) - - state why the Lubiano post was necessary;
2) - - explain to you and others like you why the Lubiano post might also be in the interests of those whose well-being are your primary concern.
With those goals in mind we can agree, Sarah, that all and everything I said in KC Johnson Now about Lubiano and KC is this:
I wish KC hadn't made that remark about what he termed Professor Lubiano's "drinking habits." It wasn't fair to her and reflected very poorly on him.At that point KC could’ve said he was sorry he’d carelessly used the “drinking habits” term. He could have updated at the start of the post in which he made his "drinking habits" remark.
If that had happened, I'm sure most fair-minded people would have said something like: “Good for KC.”
Instead, in his response on the thread of KC Johnson Now, he elaborated on his initial slime which was based solely on an innocent remark of the kind most adults over 40 have made.
Lubiano simply said she couldn’t recall specific stories from evenings 20 years past in which she shared “food and drink” with colleagues while discussing academic issues.
Such evenings occur at every university and at academic conferences. Lubiano’s mention of “food and drink” in that context tells us nothing about her “drinking habits.”
When good parents teach their children not to slime people they often illustrate what they mean by telling their children the old joke about the politician who promised “a high road campaign in which I won’t mention my opponents drinking habits.”
I had a friend whose professional colleagues always told me she was an outstanding surgical nurse. But it was only in the last weeks of her life and a losing battle with breast cancer that she disclosed to me she’d been a recovering alcoholic for 28 years.
She disclosed because she was proud of her years recovering and wanted that mentioned at her funeral.
She had previously disclosed to very few because she feared people might use her early active alcoholism to slime with innuendo about her “drinking habits” the surgical teams on which she served.
Lubiano’s conduct has certainly been vile and dishonest. Among many awful things she's done, her lead role in publishing the “listening statement” helped make an already dangerous situation more dangerous not just for the lacrosse players, but for anyone else who might have been unintended victims of physical attacks meant to target the players.
Her educational and socio-political philosophies are inimical to America’s ideals of fair treatment and equal justice for all.
It’s those ideals which require we treat Lubiano fairly, just as they required the authorities to treat Crystal Mangum and the Duke students fairly.
Sarah, I doubt my Lubiano post will be much help to “. . . those who still seek every possible opportunity to hurt the victims[.]”
I think those odious people would have preferred I endorsed what KC did.
That way they could say: “See, here’s JinC agreeing with what KC did. That’s more material we can use.”
I’ve only a very limited understanding of the hard journey the players and their families have traveled; and only a very limited understanding of what lies ahead for them.
But of this I feel certain: sometime years from now there'll come to the victims an opportunity resulting from the suits.
The opportunity will come in the form of one or very possibly more than one settlement offers from the defendants.
The settlement(s) offered might be one(s) the victims would turn down now; but which at some future time they’ll view as acceptable for the settlement(s) granting some admission of wrong and apology, proper compensation for injuries and the unfair stigma and attendant risks the players will always bear, and other considerations.
Those who would make the offer(s) will be likely to do so sooner rather than later, and more full than otherwise, if they believe certain things.
One of the most important of those things will be the belief of those making the offer(s) that among their primary constituencies – the Duke and Durham communities – there will be sizable numbers of people who will at least accept, if not support, the making of such offer or offers.
To the extent all of us can avoid outright slimes and are willing to call out those advocating for the victims who do, we make a contribution to helping people who don’t agree with us to perhaps become, if not more agreeing, at least less strong in their resistance to what we say and the interests of those we support.
That’s why, Sarah, I think my “Lubiano post might also be in the interests of those whose well-being are your primary concern.”
What do you think?
I look forward to hearing from you.