Truth, Justice and the Duke Faculty

Charlotte Allen writes extensively on the Duke "rape" case in her article Duke's Tenured Vigilantes. Subtitled "The scandalous rush to judgment in the lacrosse "rape" case.", the article describes in great detail how the alignment of mainstream media, academia, "civil rights leaders", and an unscrupulous district attorney seeking reelection colluded to create a media firestorm based on a wholly fabricated narrative of events. Like the stuff of a Tom Wolfe novel, these parties came together to forward their various agendas with little care for justice nor any particular interest in the truth.

In modern American society we have come to expect little from our media. And after thirty years of shakedowns and race baiting from those who claim to represent black America, their contribution to the Duke case was less than surprising. A bad district attorney trying to gin up public support for his reelection is nothing new. But it is hard to read of the depths to which American academia has fallen in our lifetimes.

Ms. Allen describes the Duke Arts & Sciences faculty as:

repositories of all that is trendy and hyper-politicized in today's ivy halls: angry feminism, ethnic victimology, dense, jargon-laden analyses of capitalism and "patriarchy," and "new historicism"--a kind of upgraded Marxism that analyzes art and literature in terms of efforts by powerful social elites to brainwash everybody else.

According to Allen, the Duke faculty's academic work is replete with references to race, class, and gender inequities, as well as the inordinate power of white men in American society. The Duke faculty well represents a broader academic environment where a "metanarrative" based on class and gender "struggle" guides all academic inquiry. And the Duke case, where upper-middle class white males were accused of the rape of a single, unmarried black woman (who "happened" to be a stripper), fit this world view perfectly.

The result was a rush to judgment that included a full paid newspaper ad where the faculty made wildly inaccurate accusations against members of their own academic community. They went on a witch hunt against anyone associated with the Duke lacrosse team. One professor went so far as to fail a student athlete simply for being on the lacrosse team (for which she is now being sued).

Yet after having been proven wrong on virtually all counts, the Duke faculty "Group of 88" still refuses to recognize the error of their ways, let alone apologize. For in the end, their version of events fits a general view of American society, and that is enough to make their narrative "true".


Terrence McCarthy

10:22 AM

Very interesting stuff. I recall when I first heard of the allegations. My nephew was waiting to hear from Duke, one of the colleges to which he had applied. An athlete, one of his sports is ultimate frisbee, a game whose culture is a 180 turn from that of the Duke lacrosse team's

Or so I thought as I read about the unfolding " metanarritive. "

My nephew finally chose another college. I'm not at all sure if this case played a role in his decision. Probably not. He was probably too busy living his young life, playing his game to pay attention to the morons who sparked this firestorm of publicity. And continued ( and continue still ) to throw gasoline on the flames.

A thought provoking entry, Jake. And just the tip of an iceberg we're all sailing stupidly towards.


1:05 PM

Thanks Terrence. Frankly, I'm not sure if I would go to college in today's environment. It seems to me to be a massive waste of money. With most information just a google search away, I'm not sure why people feel the need to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to be taught by grad students. Eventually colleges will have to add value beyond just a line on a resume, but may sink even lower before realizing it.

Terrence McCarthy

1:42 PM

Google vs. university? Probably not a bad idea, and definitely a $ saver.

Why go to BU, NYU, etc. When there's: