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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  June 28, 2007
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Duke Case: Racial Discrimination at Duke

With Mr. Brodhead as President, Duke is tolerating "reverse racism."

"Duke's actions were purposeful and harmful, and in some cases unlawful and even evil. Simply because the lacrosse players were strong enough to withstand Duke's heinous actions should not free Duke from blame and punishment."

So wrote a parent of an unindicted member of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team.

John Steele Gordon's June 20, 2007 Wall Street Journal article entitled "Racial Role Reversal" comparing the Duke case and the Scottsboro case, which began in 1931, showed how racial discrimination was a primary reason for both of these injustices.

Mr. Gordon wrote regarding the Duke case:

"[M]any Duke University students and faculty, and many members of the media simply plugged the alleged circumstances into their racial paradigm -- wealthy white college jocks partying and behaving badly with regard to a poor black woman -- and proclaimed the Duke boys guilty."

And:

"Meanwhile the 88 members of the faculty have yet to apologize for a rush to judgment that was racist at its heart." [Note: ONE apologized.]

That perceptive parent elaborated:

"We know that Duke University (officials and faculty) treated the lacrosse players terribly and much differently (worse) than it treated other Duke students in comparable situations. The treatment of the lacrosse players was particularly deplorable given the seriousness of the charges they were facing and the blatantly obvious abuse of their rights by a 'rogue' district attorney who was disbarred and removed from office for his egregious violations of the rules and standards of prosecutorial conduct.

"I believe that race was a primary reason for Duke's disparate treatment of the lacrosse players. Below are some examples which support this belief:

(1) In response to the rape allegations by a black 'stripper' against the white lacrosse players, on March 25, 2006, President Brodhead, in his first public statement on the incident, began with 'Physical coercion and sexual assault are unacceptable in any setting and have no place at Duke.' Brodhead abruptly announced the cancellation of the Duke men's lacrosse team's game against Georgetown, scheduled for that day, and the subsequent game. Using this same wording three days later, Brodhead announced the suspension of lacrosse games pending clearer resolution of the legal situation.

In February of 2007 a white Duke coed alleged that she was raped by a black man at a black fraternity party near Duke's east campus. There were reports that police found guns and illegal drugs at the party. In one of Duke's very few public comments on the incident , Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta referred to the situation as 'part of the reality of collegiate life and of experimentation and some of the consequences of students not necessarily being in the right place at the right time. This happens around the country. Duke is no different in that respect.'

In the lacrosse incident, Duke's public statements were accusatory, expressing outrage at the lacrosse players' behavior. Duke officials continued to make many harmful public statements against the lacrosse players.

In the black fraternity incident, Duke's statements appear to shift the blame to the accuser and dismiss the behavior of the black fraternity members as just a normal part of college life and young men experimenting. Public statements like those made with respect to the off-campus lacrosse team party during spring break were not made about the black fraternity members. And as far as we know Duke took no disciplinary actions, at least publicly, against the black fraternity or its members who attended the party.

(2) In response to the lacrosse incident, and in a terrible rush to judgment, campus protesters staged organized rallies condemning the players and carried signs with slogans such as Castrate and Time to Confess. Vigilante posters with the players pictures were distributed around campus and the players were branded as rapists. 88 Duke professors endorsed a race-based statement published in Duke's campus newspaper stating that something happened to the accuser and thanking the protesters for not waiting.

Individual irresponsible professors made racist and inflammatory public statements denouncing the lacrosse players. For example, Professor Houston Baker in a public letter referred to 'a culture of silence that seeks to protect white, male, athletic violence....' Baker also referred to "abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us." All this contributed to a racially charged lynch mob atmosphere and endangered the lacrosse players both on and off campus.

In response to the alleged rape at the black fraternity, there were no protests, no public statements by the faculty and no evidence of public support for the white Duke coed who claimed she was raped at the frat party.

(3) In early April of 2006 the now infamous Ryan McFayden e-mail was released to the public.This private e-mail, admittedly inappropriate but in no way actually threatening or dangerous, was a lame attempt at humor based on the movie 'American Psycho' which was on the syllabus of several courses taught at Duke. Indications are that someone from Duke was responsible for releasing this e-mail. Duke overreacted by canceling the lacrosse season and terminating the coach. Ryan was suspended indefinitely. All of these actions indicated to the public that Duke believed the lacrosse players were guilty of the horrible crimes of which they were accused.

In late March of 2006, a black Duke student sent an e-mail to Coach Pressler, threatening his daughter. Unlike the McFayden e-mail, this was not intended to be a joke among teammates but was very serious and focused specifically on a named young girl. Duke's reaction was to mildly reprimand the student. In fact, this student was later rewarded by being appointed to the Campus Culture Initiative Committee, accompanying Brodhead on his speaking tour and receiving an award at graduation.

(4) When Reade and Collin were indicted, Duke immediately suspended them and banned them from campus.

In response to the dismissal of the criminal charges against the three indicted lacrosse players, a black NCCU student wrote a letter in the NCCU student newspaper calling for physical violence against the players as the only way that blacks could receive justice . This student was a convicted felon, found guilty of mugging at leas one Duke student. This student also took some courses at Duke. Yet Duke never suspended this dangerous black student nor banned him from the Duke campus as they did the two lacrosse players.

(5) President Brodhead refused to meet with the lacrosse parents to address their concerns about the abrupt cancellation of the lacrosse games, the serious charges the players were facing and the bad advice they received from Duke officials who told the players not to engage attorneys nor tell their parents. I understand that for months the only parents with which Brodhead met were the parents of the only black player on the team. Ironically, he was the only player at the time who was free and clear of the serious charges, because the accuser said the players who raped her were white.

(6) In response to the release of a 911 call accusing lacrosse players of yelling racial slurs at two black women passing by the lacrosse house on the night of the party, President Brodhead issued a public apology, presumably on behalf of the lacrosse players, to the women before determining the validity of the statements on the tape. In fact, the claims on the 911 tape were false.

As discussed above, a number of Duke faculty made racially charged and prejudicial public statements against the lacrosse players. Neither Brodhead, nor the faculty, ever apologized to the lacrosse players for these racist remarks. Worse, Brodhead has publicly supported these faculty members.

(7) In May of 2006, the New Black Panther Party came to Duke to hold a rally against the lacrosse players and to 'talk' to the players. Duke originally was going to allow this racist and potentially violent organization to hold the rally on Duke's campus. Only after vigorous protests from the parents who were concerned about the safety of their sons, did Duke change its mind and prevented the NBPP from entering campus. I understand that Duke allowed the NBPP to use a Duke parking lot to assemble for their demonstration. It was members of the NBPP who shouted death threats at Reade inside and outside a Durham courtroom. No Duke official ever publicly denounced these threats against one of their students.

In the fall of 2006, outside Duke's football stadium, lacrosse players and other Duke students attempted to register Duke students to vote in the Durham elections last November, which included the district attorney election. There was no campaigning against Mr. Nifong, only a registration process. But Duke officials shut this registration process down, without much explanation. Ironically, while Duke students were prohibited from exercising their constitutional right to register to vote on campus, Duke was ok with allowing the New Black Panthers to assemble in a university parking lot before their racist and hate-filled demonstration.

"These are just some examples of what I believe was Duke's prejudicial treatment of the lacrosse players that was 'racist at its heart.' I'm sure we could identify others. Not only did Duke's unfair treatment of the lacrosse players place them in harm's way, it also violated their civil rights. In addition to being a cause of action against Duke by the players, Duke's racially biased actions could jeopardize funding it receives from the Federal government., for example,. research grants."

Ironically, Duke purported to oppose racism and sexism, but it engaged in racism and sexism. Its targets were all young men and all but one of the 47 victims were white. That kind of racism and sexism is evil too.

The parent is not a lawyer, but can "envision a good plaintiff's attorney telling the jury to imagine if the races were reversed in all of the foregoing examples (i.e., replace white with black and vice versa). If, for example, the athletic team had been black and the accuser white, would Duke have seriously considered allowing the KKK to demonstrate on campus or to assemble in a Duke parking lot ? Would Duke have not spoken out against Klan members shouting death threats at a black student athlete in a courtroom? If a white student sent an e-mail to a black coach threatening his daughter, would the white student not have been punished and would he have accompanied [Duke University Richard] Brodhead on his speaking tour ? What would Duke's reaction have been if there were demonstrations calling for castration of the black team members and a group of white professors publicly thanked the demonstrators?"

Duke is determined to avoid even discovery, much less a trial, in such a case.

Is Duke rich and powerful enough to do that?

One of my irate e-mailers must hope so.

Irate e-mailer:

"MY GOD WHAT A FAT WORM OF A MYSOGYINIST YOU ARE PIG GAYNOR. ONLY YOU COULD MAKE RAPING, RACE HATING FRAT BOYS SEEM YOUNG AND NIEVE BY COMPARISON.

"BET YOU WANT TO MAKE ALL THOSE WOMEN WHO'VE REGECTED YOU PAY...YOU SHOULDN'T WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE. IT'S SO OBVIOUS CHUBS."

Duke is not to blame for irate e-mailer's bad spelling, but Duke, as well as suspended and soon to be officially disbarred District Attorney Michael B. Nifong, is responsible for some people being as deluded about the Duke case as irate-emailer.

Perhaps irate e-mailer can get a Duke scholarship and even an award from President Brodhead, whose continued refusal to apologize helps to maintain the climate of hate.

Mr. Gordon: "The country has come a long, long way in regard to race relations since 1931. But we have not yet reached the promised land where race is irrelevant. Far too many people are still being judged according to the color of their skin, not the content of their character, let alone the evidence."

With Mr. Brodhead as President, Duke is tolerating "reverse racism."

That's pathetic, not progressive.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

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.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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Copyright 2007 by Michael J. Gaynor
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