Duke Case: Truth and Tricia Dowd, Yes; Hoax and 88ers, No
On January 12, 2007, The News & Observer's Jane Stancill wrote a peevish piece related to the Duke case entitled "Venom has aftereffects for Duke."
Ms. Stancill portrayed bloggers, emailers and even a parent of an unindicted member of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team (Tricia Dowd) as venomous instead of false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum, rogue prosecutor Michael B. Nifong and Duke's President Richard Brodhead and the so-called Group of 88.
I'm sure that 88ers received some hate email (since there are haters on both sides of any controversy and I've received some from Hoax fanatics), but that does not retroactively justify the 88ers' misdeeds or persecution of the lacrosse players.
Ms. Stancill: "The two top administrators at Duke University met with faculty behind closed doors Thursday to discuss free speech and the boundaries of civility in what has become a poisonous climate of blogs, hateful letters and racist e-mail."
If any of the pro-Duke Three blogs, letters and email are "poisonous" and "racist," how would Ms. Stanhill describe the atmosphere after Ms. Mangum claimed to have been gang raped, the potbanger protests calling for castration and confession and the "Dead man walking" courtroom comment aimed at Reade Seligmann?
It was NOT the "civilized" New York Times that exposed the Hoax.
It was Stuart Taylor, Jr., America's top legal commentator, MSNBC's Dan Abrams and a few fearless bloggers, including Brooklyn College History Professor Robert K.C. Johnson (Durham-in-Wonderland), Dr. William L. Anderson of Maryland's Frostburg State University (lew Rockwell.com), The Johnsville News, LieStoppers (home of poetess Joan Foster and Baldo), Wendy McElroy, Thomas Sowell, La Shawn Barber, John in Carolina, Kathleen Eckelt (RN and FNE), attorney Mike McCusker (Crystal Mess) and Friends of Duke University.
Ms. Stancill's sympathy was reserved not for the wrongly prosecuted and their families and friends, but for an 88er, Duke English Professor Karla Holloway, whom Ms. Stancill described as "a prominent African-American faculty member [who] resigned in protest from her university committee assignments, including a Campus Culture Initiative that grew out of the lacrosse scandal."
When a New & Observer writes uses the phrase "the lacrosse scandal" in 2007, it is apparent that she (or he) is oblivious to the great truths of the Duke case, or pretending to be.
Ms. Stancill's is a tawdry Holloway puff piece masquerading as news:
"Karla Holloway, an English professor and former dean, said she could no longer work on the committees in good faith considering the university's recent invitation to accused players Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty to return as students in good standing....
"Holloway said her protest was not aimed at the students but at what she said was Duke's abandonment of normal procedures.
"'The decision by the university to readmit the students, especially just before a critical judicial decision on the case, is a clear use of corporate power, and a breach, I think, of ethical citizenship,' she wrote to Duke's black faculty caucus. 'Despite our judgments about the prosecutor's own lack of principled conduct, it is not ours to become the judge or subvert the process.'
"University officials said they regretted Holloway's departure from key activities."
Obviously Professor Holloway favors proceeding as though the process subverted by Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Nifong was NOT subverted, as though Mr. Nifong had been a fair and impartial minister of justice and the indictments he obtained were issued by grand jurors who had carefully weighed all the relevant evidence instead of been manipulated for political and personal purposes by a desperate candidate facing the loss of his job.
WHY that is reasonable is never reasonably explained, of course.
If the accuser was white and the defendants were black, WHO would chide Duke for inviting defendants to resume their studies and want the case to proceed to trial instead of dismissed.
Ms. Stancill ignored the collapse of the Duke case and instead focused on Professor Holloway's worry. " that once the case ends, Duke will not deal with its larger problems."
Professor Holloway: "The issues about race and gender and sexuality that were made more apparent by the case need to continue to be receive serious and sustained attention by this institution."
Professor Holloway isn't admitting that she and her fellow 88ers are a problem, of course, but they are.
What Ms. Stancill found newsworthy was that the Group of 88's ad published last April initiated "a torrent of angry e-mail laced with profanity and racial epithets."
Ms. Stancill did not provide representative samples of all the email in response to the ad, just a couple of "angry" ones quoted in part:
"You stupid, bitter black b-. What a fool you made jumping on the 'guilty' bandwagon only as a pathetic attempt to appease your own anger for growing up ugly."
"The fate of black people is sealed because whites possess superior logic. We need to show more rape cases on television between black men and black women to further educate black women."
With allies like the writers of such emails (assuming they are genuine), the Duke lacrosse players don't need enemies.
For whatever reason(s), Ms. Stancill did not mention that Professor Johnson took up the players' cause because he was disgusted with the way the 88 had exploited the situation and, to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, none of his extensive commentary is fairly characterizable as either racist or profane.
Ms. Stancill did not report that anyone had physically threatened Professor Holloway, but she led her readers to believe there was real danger: " Holloway said she dreads reading her e-mail now but must go through it to make sure there aren't any physical threats."
If there are, I trust Professor Holloway will report them (as she should).
Finally, Ms. Stancill actually identified one of the supposedly venomous: "Tricia Dowd, mother of a lacrosse player who was not charged in the sexual assault".
Mrs. Dowd's alleges "sin": sending Professor Holloway an email that "referred to Holloway's personal life."
Holloway has written about her own family tragedy before. Her son, whom she adopted at 4 after he was abused in a series of foster homes, had mental illness. He was convicted of the rape and stabbing of a Raleigh schoolteacher and he died in 1999, shot dead when he escaped from a prison work detail.
The e-mail from Dowd questioned Holloway's motives for speaking out about the lacrosse case in a September article in an online publication.
'I wondered, do you attack our sons, because you feel guilt for your own failures as a mother? Do you attack our sons because you are so selfish that you cannot stand the thought of our sons leading successful lives, when your son did not and can not? Do you attack our sons to justify your own shortcomings?'
Professor Holloway has yet to apologize for her role in vilifying the lacrosse players and the Dowd family is suing Duke, alleging that son Kyle received a failing grade from an 88er than imperiled his graduation as punishment for being a lacrosse team member, but, as Ms. Stancill reported, Mrs. Dowd, "[i]n a telephone interview, Tricia Dowd said she was caught up in anger and regretted sending the e-mail message to Holloway. 'It was not my finest moment,' she said.
"But she added: 'I would have thought a mother who had suffered so much tragedy would not have prejudged the boys, and waited for the facts to come out.'"
I believe that Mrs. Dowd was right about both: she's had finer moments (but a private email asking pointed questions to an unrepentant 88er is just fine with me) and Professor Holloway prejudged when she should have waited.
Mrs. Dowd wrote a moving piece on truth and shared it with me.
I hereby share it with you:
“Three things cannot long be hidden the sun, the moon and the TRUTH.” Confucius
As the one year anniversary of the Durham/Duke Hoax approaches, I reflect on the past year with the hope of finding the answer to one question that plagues me daily; When did the truth cease to matter?
For anyone who has followed the evidence, the truth is that there was no rape, no sexual assault and no kidnapping on the night/morning of March 13/14. The truth has become, at best, secondary to:
Those who want these three innocent young men punished for sins of the past.
Some of the gang of 88, who want to promote their own personal and political agendas.
Pres. Brodhead and Chairman Steele who are more concerned with Duke’s
image than the truth.
Twelve months ago, Nifong, with the help of his enablers, may have been able to try and hide the truth. However, through the Herculean effort of the defense team and numerous bloggers, the truth has been painstakingly unearthed. Then why are Collin, Reade and Dave still indicted for crimes they did not commit? Why has the Gang of 88 not admitted that their judgment may have been clouded by the emotionally charged atmosphere of the
time? Why have Pres. Brodhead and Chairman Steele maintained the position that canceling the lacrosse season, firing Coach Pressler and not supporting their students from day one of this travesty, was not a mistake?
It seems the facts and thus the truth has fallen on deaf ears to these groups.
All three groups cling to the ideal, 'something terrible happened in that house.' Yes, that is the truth. The something terrible that happened was that Crystal Gail Magnum perpetrated a hoax, damaged the lives of forty seven young men, their coaches and the city of Durham with the support of her enablers. Nifong, the Gang of 88, President Brodhead, and Chairman Steel continue to propagate this travesty of justice.
Many of Crystal’s enablers will contend that the 'something terrible' was racism and sexism. Yet, they are unable to substantiate these claims with any facts. The truth is that the Coleman report and the word of past and present African American teammates state this team was not racist. The truth is that one racial epithet was stated by one team member after being provoked with a racial comment by the second dancer. The truth is that even one racial slur is not acceptable, but a racist team it does not make.
The truth is the team hired strippers, just like many other Duke athletic teams, sororities, fraternities and Duke employees. The group of enablers may find this morally inappropriate, but morals are personal values, they do not speak to the truth.
The TRUTH is that Collin, Reade and Dave are innocent.
The TRUTH is that many wanted to believe the 'Fantastic Lies' of Crystal Gail Magnum and Nifong.
The TRUTH is that the only constant over the past twelve months is that Pres. Brodhead and Chairman Steele have continued to disappoint the lacrosse families for their failure to admit they made a mistake. It is difficult for many to admit they were wrong, but an apology when you have treated others unkindly or unfairly goes a long way to begin the healing process. (The truth is I know first hand how difficult it is to apologize, for after sending Prof. Holloway an e-mail, which I believe had many relevant points on the Durham/Duke hoax, I sent Prof. Holloway an apology for attacking her personally).
The TRUTH is that these three young men should have been afforded their
constitutional right of due process, and all citizens should have been appalled when these rights were denied.
Sir Winston Churchill stated, 'Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.' In the end, when others begin to fall, as they have, Duke lacrosse will stand tall because we have truth on our side.
Bravo, Mrs. Dowd!
Of you, we can be proud.
It figures that the lady with little or no reason to apologize did, and the Professor with an agenda is still promoting her agenda, the truth about what happened at the party be damned.if (as it does) it
Professor Holloway would do well to read the Gospel According to St. Luke, which states in part (New American Standard Bible version): "'Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, "Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye," when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye."
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.