Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Deep dishonor in America's Leftist academe

The Humanities faculty at Durham's Duke University have demonstrated bigoted anti-white attitudes that are perfectly mainstream among such faculty at American universities. An amazing total of 88 of them signed the now notorious condemnation of the innocent Duke lacrosse players before the players had even appeared in court, let alone been convicted. Their hatred of American society immediately blasted away the centuries of wisdom which said "innocent until proven guilty". And the wisdom of that maxim was shown when the players were found NOT guilty.

So what is still going on at Duke can reasonably be extrapolated to at least the Humanities departments of America's universities and colleges. And that is not pretty.

One of the Lacrosse players who was NOT accused by the pathetic Crystal Gail Mangum was nonetheless caught up in the blast and suspended by the university at roughly the same time as the other players. He is now suing. As you can read here, Ryan McFadyen is arguably the person who behaved with greatest honor in the whole affair. He certainly behaved with greater honor than prosecutor Nifong or Durham police -- who tried to suborn him into giving false evidence. There is another glimpse of his character here.

And when McFadyen refused to be intimidated into giving false evidence, Nifong and the police must have realized that he had put them into a dangerous position. Fabricating evidence is a crime with severe penalties. So they immediately went all-out to blacken his name. And that blackening still shows up today in that he has become something of a hate figure to many.

So he is now suing over that defamation and the illegal and improper behaviour of all concerned in the matter.

The trial has however produced some document disclosures that reveal the full depth of the moral depravity of senior Duke U officials. The documents contain bombshell emails from Duke President Brodhead and others suggesting that Duke's primary concern was to protect its PR, even if that meant sacrificing innocent students.

In documents submitted February 3 by Plaintiffs' lawyers, President Brodhead is quoted in an email sent very early in the case to other Duke staff:

“Friends: a difficult question is, how can we support our lacrosse players at a devastatingly hard time without seeming to lend aid and comfort to their version of the story? We can’t do anything to side with them, or even, if they are exonerated, to imply that they behaved with honor. The central admin can't, nor can Athletics.”

And Joe Alleva, then of the Duke Athletic Dept., also testified during his deposition on January 20, 2012, that he made positive and truthful statements about Plaintiffs and their teammates’ character at the University’s press conference on March 28, 2006.

Mr. Alleva testified that he was “crucified” immediately afterwards for making those statements by President Brodhead himself and in front of the Crisis Management Team, all of whom knew how “off-message” Mr. Alleva’s truthful, positive statements about plaintiffs were.

Alleva was the one who later told Duke lacrosse coach Pressler that "it's not about the truth" any longer; that the case was about the interest groups and the integrity (reputation) of the university. (Hence the title of coach Pressler's book, "It's not about the truth").

Or as Robert K. Steel (then chairman of Duke's Board of Trustees) said in explaining why Duke would not be defending its falsely-accused students: "Sometimes people have to suffer for the good of the organization". More details here

You would think that all the exposure of their moral depravity might have created some caution among Duke faculty about race-related matters. It does not appear to have done so. Just a few days ago I ran a large excerpt (scroll down) from an article which summarized the Arcidiacono affair. I will simply refer readers to there for a treatment of that little explosion of rage and hate. See HERE for the full article. Having their warped view of America threatened is intolerable to Duke's Leftist Mafia.

No Leftist will admit it of course but I cannot see why Duke should be regarded as atypical. I don't think there is anything especially poisonous in the air at North Carolina. I think we have seen coming to the surface at Duke what is smouldering away beneath the surface at most of America's universities and colleges. They are true heirs of Stalin and the ghastly Soviet Union. They are a nest of vipers.

More poisonous Leftism in academe: If you are accused of racism you must not defend yourself

To do so is "Retaliation" and that is an offense itself, apparently. It's a private university mentioned below so no first Amendment protection. A defamation action could succeed, though.

by lawyer HANS BADER

Keeping quiet can seal your fate if you are a professor facing a campus kangaroo court after being wrongly accused of racial or sexual “harassment” based on your classroom speech. Civil-liberties advocates, like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, rely heavily on adverse publicity to save wrongly accused professors from being disciplined and fired by campus disciplinary bodies. They put to good use Justice Brandeis’s insight that publicity deters wrongdoing and helps cure social evils. As Brandeis once noted, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

But as the plight of Lawrence Connell at Widener University School of Law illustrates, if an accused professor speaks up, resulting in possible adverse publicity for his accusers, he increasingly risks being punished for “retaliation” against them, even when harassment charge is baseless. Connell was convicted of “retaliation” because he and his lawyer denounced meritless racial harassment charges against him over his classroom teaching. Retaliation charges have become a growing threat to academic freedom, fueled by court rulings that provide murky and conflicting guidance as to what speech can constitute illegal “retaliation.”

Professor Connell was charged with racial harassment and removed from Widener’s campus because he discussed hypothetical crimes in his criminal law class, including the imaginary killing of the law school dean, Linda Ammons, who happens to be black. (He was also accused of harassment because he “expressed his philosophical concerns about the fairness and utility of hate crime” laws.)

But Connell did not select the dean for use in these hypotheticals because of her race, nor was there any evidence that he had a racist motive for doing so. (Comments are not “racial harassment” unless they target a victim based on her race, and are severe and pervasive, according to Caver v. City of Trenton, a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Widener.) Far from being a racist, Connell had spent 15 years successfully working to save the life of a black man who had been sentenced to die after he was convicted of murder by an all-white jury.

Leading law professors filed affidavits in support of Connell pointing out that discussing hypothetical crimes against law deans was standard practice for law professors who teach criminal law. George Washington University’s Orin Kerr noted that ”one of the common ways that law professors keep students mildly entertained in class is by posing hypotheticals involving their professors and the Dean. . . . students just love it. If you teach first-year criminal law,” “that means you spend a lot of time imagining your colleagues meeting horrible fates.” In Bauer v. Sampson, a court ruled that depicting a college official’s imaginary death was protected by the First Amendment.

After Professor Connell was exonerated by a committee of law professors, the charges against him were resubmitted, in Kafkaesque fashion, to a disciplinary panel including Dean Ammons herself, another Widener administrator, and a professor hand-picked by Ammons.

While even this new panel was forced to concede the obvious — that Connell had not committed racial harassment – it found him guilty of two acts of “retaliation”: the first was an e-mail protesting his innocence after he was suspended and banned from campus, and the second was his lawyer’s public statement that he was preparing to sue over the unfounded allegations. The e-mail called the accusations against him “preposterous” and said that they were made by “two unnamed students from my Criminal Law class of spring 2010″ who “falsely” quoted and took “out of context” his classroom “remarks.” The panel deemed the email to be illegal retaliation, even though the e-mail did not even name the accusers, because the e-mail supposedly had the “foreseeable effect of identifying the complainants.” (The e-mail led to students speculating about who the complainants were, and a complainant suspected that others “believed that she was one of the complaining students.”) Connell was then suspended for a year without pay. As a condition of reinstatement, he must undergo psychiatric treatment, and be deemed sufficiently “cured” before he is allowed to return to his classroom.

Much more here (See the original for links)

5,000 underperforming head teachers are blighting England's primary schools, warns inspector

More than 5,000 head teachers are failing to do their jobs properly, the chief inspector of schools declared today.

Sir Michael Wilshaw warned that poor leadership was blighting about a quarter of England’s 21,000 primary and secondary schools.

Weak heads were failing to get a grip on substandard teaching and simply ‘trotting out excuses’ such as poverty and deprivation for low exam grades, he said.

The explosive claim - certain to aggravate many heads and teachers - came as Sir Michael prepares to unveil a tough new inspection regime later this week. Schools will be given no notice of inspections and ‘coasting’ schools face intense monitoring.

The ‘satisfactory’ grading used by Ofsted for years will be scrapped because it ‘falsely denotes acceptable provision’. Instead these schools will be judged to ‘require improvement’.

Figures from Ofsted reveal that 23 per cent of heads missed out on a ‘good’ rating at their last inspection. A further one per cent were found to be failing.

At the same time, heads have benefited from pay rises with around 700 now on six-figure salaries.

‘Everything flows from leadership - that just has to be said,’ said Sir Michael, himself a former head, latterly at Mossbourne Academy in Hackney, London.

‘We are not going to improve the quality of teaching unless there is a) strong leadership and b) really strong performance management of staff.’

He added: ‘If we are going to improve standards in this country, we have got to create leadership that does not offer excuses for poor performance. ‘That is too often the case, I am absolutely clear about that.

‘A whole range of issues are trotted out - it is ethnicity or it is poverty or it is background or it is years of poor performance in a particular city or region. ‘We have heard them all before. We won’t move forward if we don’t have a no-excuses culture. ‘We haven’t got it at the moment, we must develop it.’

Sir Michael said parents were too willing to believe a school was good simply because their child liked it.

‘A lot of parents will say, “Well my child is happy here”. We need to say, “Well yes, they may be happy and relationships might be good but actually they should be achieving a lot more,” he said, in an interview with the Sunday Times.

Other reforms championed by Sir Michael - due to be set out in a consultation document on Thursday - include stripping inspection reports of jargon and ‘Ofsted-speak’. Instead comments will be ‘blunt and straightforward’.

Ofsted has already launched a Parent View website which allows parents to rate their children’s schools.

Sir Michael also plans to target 3,000 so-called ‘coasting’ schools - including 300,000 in affluent areas - that have been graded satisfactory in two consecutive inspections.

On their third inspection, they face being put in special measures unless their rating improves to ‘good’.

He also floated the idea of checking how many A*, A and B grades pupils at these schools are achieving instead of merely focusing on C-grades.

Sir Michael added that heads played a crucial role in fostering good teaching. Poor leadership was responsible for the ‘national disaster’ of thousands of teachers leaving the profession soon after qualifying, he warned. These new teachers were left floundering without the support they needed, especially when it came to enforcing good behaviour in class.

Sir Michael warned last week that thousands of teachers have been awarded £5,000-a-year performance-related pay rises that cannot be justified. Some heads and governors of ‘indiscriminately’ promoting teachers to a higher pay scale, he said.

In fact, up to 40 per cent of teaching was not good enough - a figure that was ‘very high’, he claimed.


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