There are still plenty of fine students at Duke, but they deserve a university administration and a faculty worthy to be respected instead of fit to be rejected.
The 2006-2007 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team is having a great season and may win the national championship, but Duke University is a big loser as a result of the way it reacted to the bogus gang rape claim made against members of the 2005-2006 team.
Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty will not be returning to Duke. Duke's losses. The fact that Michael B. Nifong is still the Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney made that a very wise decision, but I'm sure they don't forget how they were treated with derision, undeserved derision, and abandoned by the Duke administration. Duke would be better with Reade and Collin and without President Richard Brodhead.
Duke's notorious Group of 88 included ONE who repented. The rest are shameless.
There is good news, however.
This year the following advertisement was printed in Duke University's student newspaper, The Chronicle:
The following petition was endorsed by over 1,000 Duke Students along with recent graduates:WHAT DOES A SOCIAL DISASTER SOUND LIKE?
On April 6th of last year a full page ad ran in The Chronicle signed by 88 professors and 16 academic programs and departments at Duke University. Weeks before any indictment was issued, in disregard for due process, our own professors projected guilt onto our peers on the lacrosse team. In the ad they not only tacitly supported the accusations of the now utterly discredited accuser, but praised protestors who similarly rushed to judgment, while levying baseless accusations of racism against our student body.
In a time of intense emotions and enormous stakes, when our community dearly needed a call for calm, for patience, for rational and careful thinking, these professors instead took a course of action which escalated tensions, spurred divisions along lines of race and class and brought our community into greater turmoil. Their actions also further undermined the legal process and most likely emboldened a rogue district attorney.
WE, THE STUDENTS OF DUKE UNIVERSITY, DEMAND AN APOLOGY FROM THE GROUP OF 88
As students who love Duke we are ashamed by the apparent decision of these faculty members to exploit a tragic situation to further their own political and social agendas. As an institution of higher learning we expect our professors to provide a model of intellectual integrity to which we can aspire—not to act with reckless disregard for fairness, justice and jurisprudence, and then callously refuse to make an apology or accept responsibility for their actions.
For those who would argue their ad has been mischaracterized we offer the following excerpts, which leave no doubt as to the material it contained—
“Students are shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman...”
“If something like this happened to me.. .what would be used against me—my clothing? Where I was?”
“No one is really ta/king about how to keep this young woman herself central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us...”
“To the students speaking individually and to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.”
Some of the Group of 88 went even further in their ill-begotten rush to judgment. Some professors are alleged to have maligned lacrosse players in their courses; Professor Kim Curtis is alleged to have failed a student (with a 3.5 GPA) simply because he was a member of the team.
Other professors have made some truly shocking public statements, such as—
Prof. Houston Baker’s claim of “Young, white, violent, drunken men among us - implicitly boasted by our athletic directors and administrators - have injured lives,” and his remark that the lacrosse team “may well feel they can claim innocence and sport their disgraced jerseys on campus, safe under the cover of silent whiteness. But where is the black woman who their violence and raucous witness injured for life? Will she ever sleep well again?”
Prof. Mark Anthony Neal’s claim that, “Regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd, the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed.”
President Brodhead has yet to come forward and defend his students against the assaults launched by his own faculty.
WE CALL UPON PRESIDENT BRODHEAD TO FINALLY STAND UP FOR HIS STUDENTS
There are still plenty of fine students at Duke, but they deserve a university administration and faculty worthy to be respected instead of fit to be rejected.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.