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Faculty Fatuousness

We, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," have a confession to make. We seldom read the delightful academic periodical Transforming Anthropology anymore. Somehow or other, we allowed our subscription to lapse.

And this, as it turns out, was quite a mistake. For, in a recent number of said magazine, a rather stunning broadside appears. Entitled "KC's World," it's a piece on the Duke lacrosse non-rape fiasco and the "weblogger" KC Johnson by a fellow called Charles Piot.

Mr. Piot, as his byline asserts, is an associate professor in cultural anthropology at Duke University. He was also--although his byline does not make this clear--among the so-called Group of 88, who signed the infamous faculty advertisement using un-attributed quotations to malign the Duke lacrosse players and to presume their guilt.

We called Mr. Piot's piece of handiwork stunning for a particular reason: Despite its length, the article somehow manages to remain entirely un-convincing from start to finish. In fact, it strikes us as so charmingly un-persuasive that one could imagine it written as a hoax--Alan Sokal meets Duke lacrosse, if you will.

First and foremost, Mr. Piot is at pains to demonstrate that the infamous listening statement advertisement "was neither about the lacrosse players nor about the party they hosted in spring 2006." To which the proper response is: What? Have you gone mad, man?

After all, the ad in question specifically refers to "what happened to this young woman," i.e., Crystal Gail Mangum. Further, it thanks campus protestors for responding to the lacrosse team's supposed antics. How could any reasonable person determine that this is "neither about the lacrosse players nor about the party they hosted in spring 2006"? The disingenuousness is startling.

As a smokescreen for his lousy, illogical argument, Mr. Piot attempts to paint the Group of 88 as victims. To this end, he relishes the obnoxious, racist e-mails and telephone messages various Group members received.

Naturally, such messages are vile and despicable. Yet, as Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson document in Until Proven Innocent, the lacrosse players and their coach were themselves the victims of threatening messages. And the Group of 88 was cheering on the protesters--some of whom were frightening the Duke lacrosse team.

Now, Mr. Piot can claim--as he does in his feculent article--that the Group of 88 didn't support those protestors (the "pot-bangers" calling for the team to be castrated and hanging up "wanted" posters), but this is merely an exercise in after-the-fact self-exoneration. Surely a reasonable person would recognize that disgusting e-mails would flood in to anyone who was outspoken about the non-rape fiasco.

In the end, Mr. Piot--clearly "P-Oed" by "webloggers"' attention to the Duke lacrosse fiasco--concludes that KC Johnson is (wait for it!) a degenerate racist and sexist. Of Mr. Johnson he claims:

His demonizing of faculty who are largely African American and female--and of Duke's Department of African and African American Studies--would appear to be rooted in deep anxieties about Whiteness and masculinity that are at the heart of contemporary American culture, with its worries about the implications of multiculturalism and immigration for White male privilege.

Wow: KC Johnson is Lou Dobbs. What a tour de force of fatuity. It never seems to occur to Mr. Piot that Mr. Johnson and others would find interest in the Duke lacrosse story because it exposed the flabby thinking and dubious antics of tenured radicals insulated from reality by the sort of mindless group-think his pathetic article ably demonstrates.

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently "weblogging" about Britney Spears because of their "deep anxieties about Whiteness and masculinity.")


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Comments (12)

Only a liberal could attemp... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Only a liberal could attempt to turn it around like this. Only a liberal. They are a species unto themselves.

Boy they sure hate getting caught, don't they? And they say Bush can never say he's wrong?! LOL. Hilarious.

My initial reaction to the ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

My initial reaction to the headlines regarding the Duke Lacrosse case was anger that a group of rich white boys had raped a woman, black or otherwise.

Very quickly, however, the tide began to turn for me. The case was weakening so quickly, or so it would seem.

It was shocking to me that it dragged on for so very long, and I was relieved for the young men and their families when it was "over", knowing it would never really be over. Defense attorneys' pockets lined nicely, reputations smeared regardless of the outcome, I was at least glad that the families were affluent enough to bitch-slap Nifong into submission.

The denial outlined above is disgusting, and I thank you for bringing it to our attention.

K.C. Johnson only "demonize... (Below threshold)

K.C. Johnson only "demonized" those "faculty who are largely African American and female--and of Duke's Department of African and African American Studies" who had made utter buffoons of themselves by their behavior in this case - which number include prominently Piot himself, perhaps not coincidentally.

Freedom of speech allows people to say stupid things and false things. It offers no freedom from criticism when they do so, however.

Perhaps Piot and his colleagues can't help being stupid, but they could have remained silent instead of offering proof in such an ostentatious manner.

Precious, just precious.<br... (Below threshold)
kim:

Precious, just precious.
===============

Professor Piot did not sign... (Below threshold)
Details:

Professor Piot did not sign the listening statement, and is thus not among the so-called group of 88...

Another precious detail, an... (Below threshold)
kim:

Another precious detail, and oh how it adds perspective to the picture.
===================================

"Professor Piot did not sig... (Below threshold)
Jess:

"Professor Piot did not sign the listening statement, and is thus not among the so-called group of 88..."

Now that's funny. In denial, to be sure, but still funny.

J

BTW, Associate Professer Piot was the 77th signee.

of the "clarifying statemen... (Below threshold)
Jess..:

of the "clarifying statement" (need more coffee this AM). Fingers not working well.

Sorry,
J

Wow is that tenured clown ... (Below threshold)

Wow is that tenured clown ever late to the party, here is what Jesse Jackson Sr. wrote in his weekly Chicago Sun Times column of April 18, 2006 (the Sun Times does not leave links open very long, thus the link is now dead), "The history of white men and black women -- the special fantasies and realities of exploitation -- goes back to the nation's beginning and the arrival of slaves from Africa."

In the same article Mr. Jackson went on to quote Cal Berkeley prof Rebecca Hall who said, ''Turn on a music video. A black woman is somebody who has excess sexuality. . . . It's excess sexuality that white men are entitled to.''

Apparently Duke is not the only University that employs such shallow thinkers.

I think I'm going to trade-... (Below threshold)
JoeC:

I think I'm going to trade-mark a new slogan: "Substituting FOUREX for FACTS". Hang in here with me.

Now as most High School students know, FOUREX are condoms. FOUREX were initially made from sheepskin. A college degree is euphemistically called a 'sheepskin' though I doubt they are any longer printed on such.

So here we have an educated individual who basically says

"Trust me. I am a highly educated individual. See, I have a sheepskin awarded to me by other highly educated individuals. Be awed and trust me for I AM highly educated. All those other people who said I am highly educated cannot be wrong".

So holding his sheepskin up as protection from the infected masses he washes his spew across the proletariat, unsullied by contact with dissenting germs of fact. After all, he has a Fourex for protection.

Too bad his sheepskin has a few holes in it.....

Oh by the way Jo, I take is... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Oh by the way Jo, I take issue with you saying, "Liberal" when talking about these people.

They are either lefties or "progressives" (with scare quotes), they surely aren't classical liberals. For a real liberal, check out Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom.

The current crop of "liberals" are against everything their forebearers were for; Freedom of Speech, blacks and other minorities being equal members of society, freedom from oppressive dictatorships.

Now? They're all about "speech codes" and "free-speech zones" and "Hate-crimes", they're for people staying as slaves under repressive dictatorships (Iraq, Iran, Darfur, Tibet (bumperstickers don't do crap unless they're followed up by action)), they're for "Affirmative Action", which is racist at its core (certain minorities are too stupid to compete (Orientals need not apply)) adn when these particular minorities end up in a school where they are not qualified to be, they end up dropping out and being worse off than if they had gone to the school they were qualified for.

Nope, they're the perfect distillation of what Orwell wrote about and they're too freaking focused on what makes them feel good to give a crap about what affect their actions have on anybody.

Pi-yotch.===========... (Below threshold)
kim:

Pi-yotch.
==================




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