Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mantras and pieties

Today's LA Times includes an op-ed by Michael Skube, "Duke attempts damage control." The piece notes that,

"... the university has undertaken a 12-city nationwide public relations campaign called 'A Duke Conversation,' involving not only [Duke President] Brodhead but also hundreds of alumni and Duke students. Their messsage: What you read and hear about Duke -- drunken parties, out-of-control athletes, pervasive arrogance and privilege -- is far from the truth."

Huh? One is tempted to say that some liberal academics don't get it.

Duke's problem was better described by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson in last Wednesday's WSJ:

"As for Durham's black leaders, and many in the media, and much of Duke's faculty, history will mark them down as enabler of abusive, dishonest law enforcement tactics. They will share responsibility for the continued use of such tactics, mainly against black people, after the Duke Lacrosse players' innocence has become manifest to all serious people and the spotlight has moved on."

It appears that the "Duke Conversation" will be nothing but a rehash of the mantras and smug pieties that gave rise to the tragedy.