Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A request to Group of 88 Prof Piot

On Monday, Feb. 12, six Duke faculty members, five of whom last April signed the inflammatory and discredited Group of 88's “listening statement,” presented something called “Shut Up and Teach?: Faculty and Public Issues.” It was billed as a lecture. Presenting professors were Pedro Lasch, Wahneema Lubiano, Mark Anthony Neal, Diane Nelson, Charlie Piot, and Maurice Wallace.

African and African-American & Cultural Anthropology professor Charlie Piot's lecture began with a brief criticism of blogs in general as "anything but democratic."

Piot's lecture then degenerated into a vicious personal attack on the distinguished historian and blogger Robert KC Johnson whom Piot accused of, among other things, "inciting racist attacks on African American faculty" and using "the common strategies [of] totalitarian regimes."

Piot ended with: "KC - Shut up and go back to teaching."

Piot's remarks are summarized here.

I want to respond to Piot's ad hominem..

Last evening I sent Piot the following email. I'll keep you posted on what, if anything, I hear back.


Dear Professor Piot:

I'm a Duke alum and blog as John in Carolina.

I attended last evening's event at the Mary Lou Williams Center.

I plan to post on your remarks.

Where are they posted?

I want to link to them so readers at my blog can check anything I say about your remarks with what you actually said.

You said in your remarks that bloggers don't encourage free speech.

I wish you had said "some bloggers."

Some bloggers, like some professors, don't encourage free speech.

But other bloggers, like other professors, do.

Everything I've posted on my blog is available to you and anyone else in my archives which can be accessed from the main JinC page.

I don't know a blogger who's posted often on the Hoax witch hunt and its terrible injustices whose archives aren't available to everyone who visits their main pages.

Thank you for your attention to this email.

I look forward to your reply and the chance to link to your remarks.


John in Carolina


Anonymous said...

The revolution will not be televised...

The Videotape Will NOT Be Made Available

Anonymous said...

Nuts. Second try...

The Videotape Will NOT Be Made Available

Anonymous said...

OK - html doesn't work properly. I give up.

Anonymous said...

Read this on Liestoppers hoax blog:
Roy Cooper's Political Farce Drags On

Anonymous said...

Thanks John!

It seems to boil down to them saying 'no, you shut up first..."!

AMac said...

...I think Locomotive said, "The Videotape Will NOT Be Made Available."

Anonymous said...


I've never posted here but have been an avid reader of KC's blog. I'm just wondering if you truly expect an answer from any of the folks who took the lead in railroading three students.

You're engaged in an intellectual exercise (albeit with serious social and legal ramifications) while they are engaged in nothing more than demagoguery.

You argue with reason, they respond with spittle-spewing emotion. You counter with an eye towards accuracy, they want a situation as muddled by racism, sexism and elitism (presumably they are all the same, they just come in different shapes and sizes).

It's interesting to see an open and easily-understood example of just how the fringe elements on campuses throughout this nation are not interested in dialogue, nor intellectual honesty nor a true "argument" over differing positions.

Shut and listen is their motto and don't dare argue, for if you do, you are nothing more than an enabler of racists, sexists and those who want to keep the truly noble down.

(btw, author Rick Atkinson's first book of his ww2 trilogy, on the invasion of North Africa, An Army at Dawn, is about as good a piece of work on the war that I've come across. You'll be pleased to know that Churchill is presented in his best light ... )