Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Devilish Discords, A Reply to Robert Zimmerman

(On 5/21/09 I revised the original essay. Most of the changes are minor editing to clarify some points that may have been confusing (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php?topic=2008.0), but the final paragraph is entirely new.)

Professor Robert Zimmerman has written numerous times about the Duke lacrosse case and how the faculty responded. His praise of Professor Leitner’s article (the “sense” in the sense-and-nonsense post) indicates that he is sympathetic to the group of 88 faculty who signed the listening statement. Yet he has also written about the excesses of some in the Duke community (http://reharmonized.an-earful.com/2007/11/trouble-with-potbanging/). His assessment (http://reharmonized.an-earful.com/2007/12/sense-and-nonsense/) of Professor Steven Baldwin’s op-ed to the Duke Chronicle in October of 2006 is typically David Broderesque in its attempt to find some wrong on both sides (for example, http://reharmonized.an-earful.com/2007/11/lacrosse-racket-postscript).

Baldwin wrote (http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/10/24/Columns/The-Administrations.Mismanagement.Of.Lacrosse-2384801.shtml), “The faculty who publicly savaged the character and reputations of specific men’s lacrosse players last spring should be ashamed of themselves. They should be tarred and feathered, ridden out of town on a rail and removed from the academy.” Professor Robyn Wiegmann replied (http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/10/25/Letters/Cultivate.Community.Of.Critical.Thought-2400650.shtml), “Being tarred and feathered is the language of lynching, and the practice of lynching was rarely one that eventuated in a court case of any kind, let alone one in which the defendants claim 10 minutes on one of the most important television programs in the United States. My disappointment in Duke right now is that it wants to avoid the analysis of the language and history of race, instead of using this moment-in its broad social implications-to actually study it.” Baldwin then apologized by saying (http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/10/25/Letters/insensitive.Language.Unintentional-2400648.shtml?norewrite200610261312), In particular, in the next-to-last paragraph of the editorial I used some terms that I have now learned have racial connotations for some…I deeply regret that what for me is a totally non-racial issue has assumed that character.”

Zimmerman critcized Baldwin, writing, “I’m happy to grant that it was past time for faculty members to speak publicly and critically about the treatment of the lacrosse players on campus and by Nifong. I’m hard pressed to think of a way of making the point that’s more obnoxious and less constructive than Baldwin’s, though.” By failing to say what he would find constructive, Zimmerman took the easy way out: He cloaks himself in a mantle of moderation (indicating some wrong on both sides), but he doesn’t have to commit himself and take a stand against the group of 88 and their allies. In contrast, Zimmerman praised Wiegman’s reply as “well-modulated” and implied that her “language of lynching” statement has been blown out of proportion. Why didn’t he defend Baldwin by the same criterion? Most of Baldwin’s letter concerned the right and wrong ways that a university might treat its students; his tarring and feathering comment is no more the bulk of what he is saying than Wiegman’s language of lynching comment, perhaps less.

Zimmerman treated Baldwin’s comment that certain faculty “removed from the academy” literally. He also described “targeted” faculty as engaging in a “it-for-tat that strikes me as unwarranted” when they wrote to Broadhead to ask for his removal. This is a false equivalence. No one has ever said that Baldwin contacted President Broadhead to remove anyone. Moreover, because he coupled it with a clearly metaphorical call for tarring and feathering, the passage in his letter cannot be read as an actual call for anyone’s dismissal. However, some members of the Duke faculty had previously called for Coach Pressler’s removal (Pressler was forced to step down), and now some were literally calling for Baldwin’s.

Zimmerman conceded that tarring and feathering are not really the language of lynching, “but so what? It’s still the language of intolerance and vigilantism, directed indiscriminately at an unspecified group of colleagues who didn’t live up to the paternalistic standard Baldwin set for himself and the university.” Zimmerman thus set up a false alternative; a professor need not agree with Baldwin’s principle of in loco parentis to refrain from publicly shaming his or her students (not only is it wrong to do so, but it is also not a very effective teaching tool). Since Baldwin was not literally calling for tarring and feathering, one can ignore Zimmerman’s equating Baldwin’s comments with vigilantism, however given his post on the potbangers, he is probably sincere in reviling vigilante justice. More problematic is that he seems to be holding up tolerance as always and unquestionably a good thing. Yet, the Duke faculty should not tolerate mistreating students any more that it should tolerate racism.

Zimmerman’s cavalier “so what” is inadequate in two ways. First, accuracy of expression is among the central goals of the academy (I would put it close to the top). Baldwin was criticizing specific members of the faculty for what they did do, whereas Wiegman was calling Baldwin, a self-described liberal, to task for something that he did not do, that is making a remark with strong intimations of racism. Even if Wiegman, a professor of Women’s Studies and Literature, were merely ignorant of the origins of the phrase to tar and feather (which seems unlikely), it would still be a serious error. Furthermore, for Zimmerman to say that her false charge of racial insensitivity does not matter while at the same time praising those who raise issues of racial inequality (such as Wiegman and Leitner) is blatantly inconsistent.

If one is in any doubt that some Duke professors shamed their students in wildly inappropriate ways, the Liestoppers board has collected some examples (http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/1632939/1/). I will present only a sample. Grant Farred accused the Duke students who registered to vote with the intention of ousting Prosecutor Michael Nifong of racism and naked self-interest. As the case was unraveling, Houston Baker called the lacrosse players a “scummy bunch of white males.” If a Duke professor had called a black fraternity a scummy bunch of black males, I wonder what the public outcry would have been. Karla Holloway rebuked the women’s lacrosse team for wearing armbands in support of the men’s team, whose season had been cancelled (Until Proven Innocent, p. 234). Tim Tyson likened the team to “white supremacists” and said that the spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Street (http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2008/05/tyson-reinvents-history.html). He also said that Duke students not talking to Sgt. Mark Gottlieb outside the presence of their attorneys “may be illegal” and constituted a “terrible moral miscalculation.” Perhaps most disappointingly Father Vetter and Reverend Wells, both of whom minister to the Duke community, independently gave sanctimonious, guilt-presuming sermons. Most astonishing, though, is Kim Curtis’ interpretation of the players’ confidence that the DNA results would exonerate them. She implied that the lacrosse players knew that someone else had perpetrated a rape and that the players were accomplices by not naming him.

To paraphrase the NYT’s Peter Applebome, some in the media had declared open season on the Duke lacrosse team in general and the three indicted players in particular. One wonders why more in the faculty did not rebuke the media for doing so, instead of painting bull’s-eyes on the players’ backs. Zimmerman does not understand what makes the Baldwin-Wiegman exchange “unbearably sad” to Harvey Silverglate (co-founder of FIRE). Perhaps it was that the discussion about the inexcusable way that the “feckless” faculty were treating their own students was interrupted by a claim that these faculty were victims, an eerily similar claim to one found in the clarifying statement made the following January (http://www.concerneddukefaculty.org/) by the Group of 89.

Here are some questions to which I would like to hear Professor Zimmerman’s answers. Is it his contention that a discussion of the language and history of race was more urgent than a discussion of how Duke should treat its students in legal peril? What did this “moment” actually have to do with the “language and history of race” in the first place? If Wiegman knew that tarring and feathering was not associated with lynching but made this charge anyway, would Zimmerman still say, “so what?”

No one has ever claimed that the three indicted players used racial epithets on the night in question. Therefore, long before October of 2006, there was no reason to believe that the alleged rape had anything to do with race. Yet Wiegman and the Group of 89 still wanted to speak of nothing else: They played the accusation of racism as though it were an ace that could never be trumped. When I first encountered this case, I believed that the members of the Group of 88 were sincere in their concern about racism at Duke, despite being overzealous about the accusation of rape. After Wiegman’s spurious charge of racism against Baldwin, Huston Baker’s racist attack on the players, and the Group of 89’s showing more concern over unspecified racism and sexism than for its students being denied due process, I can no longer take their claims seriously.

Full disclosure: I am the reporter who originally solicited Harvey Silverglate’s comments (http://web.duke.edu/~kcl10/DSFEDuke/Duke_Taylor11.pdf).

40 comments:

A Duke Dad said...

Tar and Feather: Looks like Richard the Lion-Hearted was into that -

Laws of Richard I (Coeur de Lion) Concerning Crusaders Who Were to Go by Sea. 1189 A.D.

Richard by the grace of God king of England, and duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to all his subjects who are about to go by sea to Jerusalem, greeting. know that we, by the common counsel of upright men, have made the laws here given.

A robber, moreover, convicted of theft, shall be shorn like a hired fighter, and boiling tar shall be poured over his head, and feathers from a cushion shall be shaken out over his head,-so that he may be publicly known

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/medieval/richard.asp

Anonymous said...

"Zimmerman treated Baldwin’s comment that certain faculty “removed from the academy” literally."

Baldwin could have combined this with a space alien assault metaphor and I would still take that literally as well. The tone on Baldwin's op-ed was clearly one of anger. The choice of words could fairly be considered a poor one, in my opinion. Baldwin obviously recognized this when he apologized (or clarified, if you prefer).

I also agree with Zimmerman in that the response from Weigmann was a poor one (an over-reaction and poor interpretation). Both were unprofessional, in my opinion.

Bill Anderson said...

I find it interesting that Karla Holloway condemned the women's lacrosse team for its declaration. What she forgot was that these indicted players were the friends of these young women, and they saw firsthand how Nifong and Durham were railroading these guys. It is telling that Holloway really wanted to paint a picture of women defending "rapists" and that Holloway was willing to support the obvious legal transgressions that Nifong was committing in broad daylight.

Holloway teaches "legal ethics" at Duke's law school, yet when confronted with wide swaths of unethical behavior occurring in front of her, she openly supported those who acted unethically. Somehow, given her view that Reade, Collin, and David were "guilty" because "guilt is a social construct," her support of their being railroaded is not surprising.

Prof. Zimmerman wants it both ways. He admits that the charges were wrong, but he also wants to protect Nifong'e enablers. If one condemns the charges, then one should condemn those people who made those charges possible and who laid down the red carpet on which Nifong walked.

What would have happened had these Duke faculty members actually demanded due process of law? What would have happened had Holloway openly declared that Nifong was engaged in open legal trickery and that his behavior was unacceptable to the Rule of Law?

Does anyone believe that Nifong would have been so brazen and cocky had there been real-live intellectual opposition to his actions from law professors of one of the nation's most prestigious law schools? Somehow, I doubt it.

Instead, we saw the endorsement by silence of legal trickery by much of the Duke faculty and administration. If anyone wonders why prosecutors engage in illegal behavior and are not punished, I give you the Duke Lacrosse Case.

That Nifong was punished (ever so gently, I might add) does not undo the point that he really believed he could get away with it? And why did he believe that? He believed it because law professors and administrators from Duke University were helping him every step of the way.

Yes, Jim Coleman spoke out, but he stood alone among law school faculty. One person. Silence from the other law professors. Unbelievable.

Debrah said...

This is but one more forum which is illustrative of the closed mindset which sustained the Hoax.

Some of the "hate America" comments and the unquestioning praise of those such as Tyson are revolting.

It is quite obvious that most, if not all, commenters know nothing of real "diversity" and "transcendence".

Only lock-step meta-narratives.

And many of them reside in Westport, Connecticut, one of the most affluent and "white" towns in the country.

Do they have any real experience with such subject matter?

I offer a hefty "No".

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Debrah, there are obviously some smart people in Westport (the Chapel Hill of the North). The Tyson fan club has many branches, that is certain.

WoodyChuckChuck said...

Zimmerman conceded that tarring and feathering are not really the language of lynching, “but so what? It’s still the language of intolerance and vigilantism, directed indiscriminately at an unspecified group of colleagues who didn’t live up to the paternalistic standard Baldwin set for himself and the university.”Dr Baldwin might feel a stronger association to the university and his students. The Zimmster is a visiting professor.

A Duke Dad said...

Actually, Zimmerman is only a visiting INSTRUCTOR.

http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/Music/faculty/

With his blog, throwing his weight around, his big mouth (keyboard)... looks like he is trying to compensate for a small ... achievement in the academic world.

ChuckWoodyChuck said...

Patre Dukus @ 12:23 am:
Actually, Zimmerman is only a visiting INSTRUCTOR.
At least he's not throwing his ohoe around like CGM.

But, he does like Béla Fleck, so he can't be all bad!

Anonymous said...

"With his blog, throwing his weight around, his big mouth (keyboard)... looks like he is trying to compensate for a small ... achievement in the academic world".




Professor Zimmermann is a very honest man and he is not distorting the truth because it fits his narrative. So just stop with the bashing.


KC Johnson is dishonest & has been since the beginning of the case! He is nothing more than a shill for the defense.

Anonymous said...

Hi Halides,

Woo Hoo, you approved my comment. I see you got your big boy pants on today! That's nice. ;)

Debrah said...

"KC Johnson is dishonest & has been since the beginning of the case! He is nothing more than a shill for the defense."
**********************

KC is one of the most brilliant minds in the academy.

And one of the most thorough researchers.

Putting those assets to work with such dogged determination ruffles many feathers.

halides1 said...

To the 8:18 AM,

I am not sure what you mean. Zimmerman seems to be defending Wiegman. I disagree with his defense.

Debrah said...

Check out the commenter "Michael G" on the same forum I linked above and how he blames the Lacrosse Hoax on the "roughness" of the race issue.

And of course, the "majority culture" is always the reason for the problem.

LIS!

Anonymous said...

"And one of the most thorough researchers".



I don't think so! KC Johnson didn't do his research when he stated in UPI that a "Nifong volunteer", Inmyhumbleopinon, lived in Trinity Park. If he wanted the truth, all he had to do was ask Jeralyn Merritt of Talk Left. He chose not to.


http://www.hackedbannedandlockeddown.yuku.com/topic/3243?page=2


"Do you think KC's information about me came from his reading over at Talk Left or do you think he listened to idiots like Tony Soprano? Jeralyn deleted most of the accusations made about me being Lee Coggins, working for Nifong, being Nifong's wife or daughter, working for the Indy, living in Trinity Park, and on and on...."

Debrah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Your first mistake was rushing to judgement in assuming my identity. I am not inmyhumbleopinion. I gave the link because I read it on "Duke Lacrosse Case Discussion Board". It's a well documented board.


Watch yourself from being so presumptuous!

Live from Fayette County said...

Anon @ 4:15pm:

I don't think so! KC Johnson didn't do his research when he stated in UPI that a "Nifong volunteer", Inmyhumbleopinon, lived in Trinity Park.Give it up, justice. KC never mentioned imho by nick, so you really don't know who he was talking about.

Debrah said...

TO (6:08 PM)--

I'm sure we will all rest easy for the clarification.

LOL!

You guys who flit and flitter with pseudonymous and anonymous zest must understand that no one would give a whit if you could simply offer some morsels of originality.

All of you live off the images of the Diva, of KC, of the innocent lacrosse players, and I'm sure that Chris will have a "blog bust" dedicated to him very soon.

Just get a life and use your own words and images when you wish to contribute to the conversation and no one will be saying a thing.

Thanks in advance!

inmyhumbleopinion said...

Live from Fayette County said...

Give it up, justice. KC never mentioned imho by nick, so you really don't know who he was talking aboutFayette County,

According to LieStoppers poster, wumhenry, KC Johnson confirmed to him in an email that he was referring to inmyhumbleopion on page 270 of UPI.

http://hackedbannedandlockeddown.yuku.com/reply/5483/t/The-Tony-Soprano-school-of-investigative-reporting.html#reply-5483

halides1 said...

To all,

I would urge everyone to resist the temptation to make personal attacks. I would also like for the discussion to move back to the original subject of the post, which is the conflict between Professors Baldwin and Wiegman, and Professor Zimmerman's response. Issues related to the faculty response to the incident and subsequent indictments are certainly fair game also.

Anonymous said...

Live,

I am only quoting what Inmyhumbleopinion stated on the Duke Lacrosse Discussion board. I am very familiar with the Talk Left Forum as well.

I provided a link to back up my point that KC Johnson didn't do his research when it came to Inmyhumbleopinion because she said so.


There's that rushing to judgement again, you're going to hurt yourself in trying to figure out who I am. But don't let me stop you from having fun. :)

Debrah said...

Cross-posted inside Wonderland:

Let it be noted that the blog I linked above has been comprehensively edited to remove all evidence provided against the Gang of 88 mascot Timothy Tyson.

A vivid example of a public school in the United States indoctrinating students without any critical analysis of subject matter which is enthusiastically offered as the last word.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you pointing out my misunderstanding of your post (8:18). If I understand this correctly your are defending Baldwin's statement and do not agree with Zimmerman's interpretation of it. He did not mean that they should be removed from the academy literally and the tarred and feathered reference was a harmless literary reference. On Weigmann's statement I was perhaps confused by your earlier comment that it was "attempt to find some wrong on both sides". He is really defending her statement because he called it short, well-modulated and felt there was too much emphasis on her interpretation of the tarred and feathered comment.
My own opinion is that there is wrong on both sides. After all, that was my personal take on it the first time after all. Neither acted very professionally, in my opinion. If one were to look for any good in the two statements from Baldwin and Wiegmann, I guess Baldwin should be commended for speaking out in the first place, as many chose to remain silent. And Wiegmann did respond with a bit more restraint than Baldwin.
I do like your title (Devilish Discords), very appropriate and quite clever.

halides1 said...

To the 8:18

I don't believe Baldwin meant literal removal, but that is just my interpretation. I do wish he had chosen less inflammatory words to express himself, but I think speaking out was courageous, especially in retrospect.

The political columnist David Broder often tries to find wrong on both sides; in doing so he sometimes compares wrongs of unequal size. I think that is what Zimmerman is doing here.

Chris

Just this side of Austin County said...

Chris @ 9:01am:

The political columnist David Broder often tries to find wrong on both sides; in doing so he sometimes compares wrongs of unequal size.
Otherwise know as 'moral equivalence'. It's always a bad argument.

halides1 said...

To all,

I edited some words and moved around some sentences last night. I also added a concluding paragraph. I hope that these changes improve the clarity of the essay.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Halides,

"When I first encountered this case, I believed that the members of the Group of 88 were sincere in their concern about racism at Duke"





Why wouldn't the Group of 88 be sincere? According to students at the NCCU forum racism was an on-going problem at Duke.

http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/1091582/

According to student " Larisha Stone", there were previous offenses of racism directed at a fraternity where the lacrosse team intruded on a cook-out & racial slurs were hurled. Larisha Stone asked what was Duke going to do about holding the team accountable.


If there was an atmosphere of racial hate at Duke, then why wouldn't the Group of 88 be concerned, Halides?

halides1 said...

To the 6:54 PM,
There are two very separate issues in your comment. One is whether or not the lacrosse team was generally behaving in a racist manner. That is refuted by the Coleman report, and also by the comments of Devon Sherwood, the sole black player on the team. The other is how seriously should one take the Group of 88 and their allies bringing up the issue of racism. Let me reiterate one of the reasons I gave in my post. Robyn Wiegman made a false charge of racism against Steven Baldwin, most probably knowing it was false. One would not recklessly toss around a charge of this magnitude if one took racism as seriously as these faculty claim to.

Anonymous said...

"There are two very separate issues in your comment. One is whether or not the lacrosse team was generally behaving in a racist manner".





1.We do know there were racial slurs hurled at the dancers on the night of the party.

2. We do know from listening to Larisha Stone at the NCCU Forum, the team engaged in racist behavior at the fraternity cook-out.


Since there were 2 different incidents of the team hurling racial slurs; There seems to be a pattern of the team's racist behavior, right? Did Coleman miss that?


"That is refuted by the Coleman report, and also by the comments of Devon Sherwood, the sole black player on the team".


No, that dog won't hunt!


http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LegalCenter/Story?id=2617301&page=1


Devon Sherwood wasn't present to hear the racial slurs on the night of the party because he left after the dance.

William L. Anderson said...

Chris, Chris. Don't you know that those speakers at the NCCU forum spoke the truth and nothing but the truth? Don't you remember that Nifong quoted one student who declared: "They left nothing behind," and he got lots of applause.

Yeah, they just KNEW there had been a rape and nothing, I mean nothing, was going to deter them. After it became obvious that Crystal was lying, then it was solidarity time.

Lest anyone doubt the mentality that existed then, don't forget the infamous "Our Hearts World" website that Cash Michaels and the NAACP put up. Yep, the defense attorneys were called tools of the devil and anyone who doubted Crystal was an evil racist.

So, lest anyone question the great wisdom of the speakers, remember that in the end not one thing -- nothing -- that was said that day stood the test of time.

halides1 said...

To the 8:40 PM,

Your comment about Devon Sherwood is disingenuous. My point is that he said that he had forty-six brothers on the lacrosse team and his statements contradict a pattern of racism on the lacrosse team. His actions on the night of the party are not the point, and you know it.

Likewise, your comment about racial remarks being "hurled" at the dancers is equally disingenuous. You and I both know that no racially-tinted remarks were said until it was clear that the dancers had cut their performance short and Kim's remark had started the slide into vulgar epithets.

The Coleman report stated that the team was respectful of support staff (some of whom were presumably black), and it was generally favorable toward the team.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

I would urge you to focus your comments on the Group of 88, the Group of 89, and their allies, which is one of the subjects of the original post. Allegations that the team is racist are tangential, and discussions of the guilt or innocence of the three indicted players even more so.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

Anonymous left a comment earlier that I failed to clear. I would not clear the same comment in this thread, but I believe that this comment can be grandfathered in on the basis of the fact that it preceded my just-published guidance. However, I would urge everyone to stay on topic. The comment is found below.

Chris

"So, lest anyone question the great wisdom of the speakers, remember that in the end not one thing -- nothing -- that was said that day stood the test of time".


I beg to differ!

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/3800813/

Duke accuser still claims sexual assault"Ýes, I am still claiming that a sexual assault happened,"

Anonymous said...

Halides,

I am staying on topic by stating why the group of 88 was concerned about the lacrosse team's racist behavior. I am showing a pattern of the team's behavior.


"Your comment about Devon Sherwood is disingenuous. My point is that he said that he had forty-six brothers on the lacrosse team and his statements contradict a pattern of racism on the lacrosse team. His actions on the night of the party are not the point, and you know it".



No it's not! You're basing your comment on what one team player "thinks". But you ignore what Larisha Stone stated at the NCCU Forum, about previous offenses of racism directed at a fraternity where the lacrosse team intruded on a cook-out & racial slurs were hurled. Those racial remarks were made, Halides. That happened!

It clearly shows a pattern.


"You and I both know that no racially-tinted remarks were said until it was clear that the dancers had cut their performance short and Kim's remark had started the slide into vulgar epithets".


Kim may have used vulgar epithets but there was nothing racist about it. Race was injected when the player yelled.... Thank your Grandpa for my nice cotton shirt.


What was racist about Kim using the words little d^^ked white boy?

Is the word white a racial slur?

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Baldwin said: "In particular, in the next-to-last paragraph of the editorial I used some terms that I have now learned have racial connotations for some"

I don't know about you but it would appear to me that Baldwin understood that she took his editorial in a way that had racial connotations. The fact that she was wrong about that and unprofessional in her response does not mean that she is lying about the way she perceived his editorial. If I am reading this correctly it appears you are saying she knew it had no racial connotations (vs should have known) and deliberately played the race card here. Frankly, both of them were pretty dumb about the whole situation, in my opinion. You are making what is in my opinion a leap of faith in deciding her response to Baldwin was disingenuous in order to prove your point about Zimmerman.

halides1 said...

To the 10:04,

The Wikipedia article (and Duke Dad's comment) on tarring and feathering indicate that this is a very old practice. It probably has been applied against black people in the United States, but that does not give it any particular racial significance than lynching a black man gives hanging special racial significance (obviously I am not condoning any of these practices). I cannot be certain that Wiegman knew her assertions were false, but she was, at least, reckless in making them.

That Zimmerman fails to chastise her for doing so is one of several errors of omission he has made. Another is to write that it was time for "faculty members to speak publicly and critically about the treatment of the lacrosse players on campus and by Nifong" and then not say himself the things to which he objected. I provided a sample that came from campus, and I would direct people to "Until Proven Innocent" for the misbehaviors of the Durham Police Dept., as well as Nifong. Third, Zimmerman disapprovingly describes Baldwin's call for some to be removed from the academy as a "very concrete suggestion." Where was ZImmerman when Houston Baker called for Mike Pressler's removal as head coach of the lacrosse team before any investigation? His silence is odd, given his willingness to take Baldwin to task for defending, perhaps a little intemperately, Pressler and the students.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chris, I am getting close to understanding your post. You said: "His silence is odd, given his willingness to take Baldwin to task for defending, perhaps a little intemperately, Pressler and the students." I don't agree with that statement. From what I have read, he seems to admire Baldwin for his willingness to defend, he is taking him to task for the way he went about it. You seem to be saying that Zimmerman is taking the easy way out by not offering an example of an editorial that would have been more constructive and that is a legitimate though perhaps minor criticism as I have seen hardly anything constructive come out from anybody in the duke faculty. However, it is also my opinion that Zimmerman at least attempts fairness at what he does write and the fact that he is a faculty member at Duke that does take some of the other faculty to task for their actions, is something to be commended as well. I understand he also defends Duke faculty from what he views as unfair attacks and I also admire that in him. His focus on the case is a narrow one dealing primarily with KC Johnson's attacks on his colleagues, and other blogs and coverage that he feels are unfair. In his own way, I believe he is trying to be both constructive and fair by encouraging civil dialog in this tightly focussed area. I know he has read your post and he told me he intends to respond. I still believe you both have a lot more common ground than less and I look forward to reading your dialog.

Rougemont

halides1 said...

Rougemount,

Thank you. I just read Zimmerman's reply to KC's comment at the end of the Sense and Nonsense post. He said, "And naturally I myself am implicated by my rhetorical question about [the lack of] 'voices of constructive, civilized critique.'" I commend Zimmerman for making this honest acknowledgment (I have made one or two of my own elsewhere). I am beginning to agree with you that Zimmerman and I have some common ground.

Chris

halides1 said...

To the 6:54 PM on 22 May,

Larisha Stone did not give any details of the incident at alpha pi alpha. Without facts, it is impossible to make a judgement in this matter. I have confidence in the findings of the Coleman committee.

Chris

halides1 said...

To the 5:44 PM on 23 May,

Yes "little d***ed white boy" would constitute a racial slur in my book because it plays to racial stereotypes.

With respect to the comment about the accuser's maintaining that a sexual assault took place, I can say that there are no independent facts to corroborate it. Moreover, if a sexual assault took place, it could not possibly have been a member of the lacrosse team.

Chris