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Duke Process of Law

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Duke is the most fundamentally racist and sexist university in America. If you don’t believe me just ask Paul Griffiths – an Oxford educated now-former Professor at Duke Divinity School (DDS). Just last semester, Griffiths, who is white, expressed opposition to a Racial Equity Institute “diversity” program that was being pushed by one of his so-called colleagues. Expressing his opposition to the program resulted in a charge of racial and sexual harassment by a white professor named Thea Portier-Young. Rather than face a kangaroo court that refused to provide him documentation of relevant evidence in advance of his hearing, Griffiths resigned his tenured position.


To be sure, the decision of Griffiths to resign rather than fight has been met with sharp criticism. But critics of Griffiths seem to have forgotten what happens to people at Duke when unsupported charges are leveled against them. Lest we forget what history has taught us, let us review the actions of the campus community at Duke University beginning over a decade ago in the wake of the Duke lacrosse scandal.

After a lying criminal named Crystal Mangum accused two, then three, then four, then five, then six, then twenty white lacrosse players of raping her she finally settled on a version of events in which she was raped by three white lacrosse players. Later, she was unable to identify any of them from a comprehensive set of photos of players then on the team. By this point, it was clear she was lying. The campus should have come to the defense of the falsely accused students. But what happened next? Here are some highlights:

-Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs at Duke, told a defense attorney that he thought the boys were guilty, despite the clear contradictions in Magnum’s story.

-Professor Tim Tyson protested outside the home of the Duke lacrosse captain. He later stated, “The spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house.” He added the asinine remark that it was probably “illegal” for the accused players to refuse to talk to the police without a lawyer.

-Professor Houston Baker demanded the dismissal of all 46 Duke lacrosse players - and dismissed the presumption of innocence as a “tepid legalism.”


-Professor Kim Curtis lowered the grades of two innocent lacrosse players in her class. She then joined a protest march in the neighborhoods of the innocent students.

-Emboldened by their professors, Duke students marched on campus with signs calling for innocent players to be castrated.

-Duke President Brodhead cancelled the lacrosse season and forced a completely innocent coach to resign.

-Brodhead then accused the innocent players of advancing “dehumanization,” “racial oppression,” – and then, bizarrely, “wealth,” “privilege,” and “attitudes of superiority.”

-A group of 88 professors then promised their condemnation of the innocent students would not end “with what the police or court decides.”

-After an ATM video cleared one accused rapist - and DNA analysis cleared everyone else – Duke President Brodhead said, “if our students did what is alleged, it is appalling in the first degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.”

-After all the players were cleared, 10 Duke sociology professors condemned them in an open letter declaring, “sexual assault is endemic” at Duke.

-Professor Paula McLain was then rewarded for her vocal role in falsely accusing the lacrosse players. Lauding her “concern for the individual well-being of students” Duke promoted her to dean of Duke Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education.

-In the wake of their unsuccessful 2006 witch hunt against the lacrosse players, Duke made policy changes that would make it easier to launch future witch hunts. Their 2009 “zero tolerance” policy included a new definition of rape, which warned that “Real or perceived power differentials between individuals may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.”


-Sheila Broderick, Duke’s gender violence intervention services coordinator, warned that when the campus judiciary acquitted an accused rapist “you and I know that he’s responsible, and that’s at the end of the day what really matters.” In other words, everyone is guilty of rape when accused.

-Duke then implemented a new training program to teach those who sit on sexual assault disciplinary panels that less than 2 percent of all sexual assault allegations are false. Duke also changed the sexual assault sanctions to allow for the expulsion of students who engaged in mere kissing without affirmative consent.

-A newly trained Duke rape tribunal then found a drunken male student who had sex with a drunken female student guilty of rape. Coercion was assumed because she was drunk. After his expulsion was recommended, the student’s lawyer pointed out that the presumption of non-consent based on drunkenness would mean that he was also raped by the woman he was accused of raping. Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek responded by saying, “It’s the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex.”

Looking back at what happened in the case of the Duke lacrosse team, and subsequent changes in campus judiciary procedures, there are at least three reasonable inferences one can draw:

1. Duke’s obsession with racial politics guarantees that anyone accused of racism will be lynched in the Duke “community.”

2. Duke’s obsession with sexual politics guarantees that anyone accused of sexual assault or sexual harassment will be deprived of any semblance of due process or fair treatment.


3. In a case that involves both racial and sexual politics, the peril to the accused is exponentially increased.

So does anyone have any questions about why Professor Griffiths resigned instead of facing trumped up charges of racial and sexual harassment by a thin-skinned leftist professor with tenure?

Author’s note: I would like to thank K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor for their excellent overview of facts in the Duke lacrosse case in The Campus Rape Frenzy. For additional context and documentation on the Paul Griffiths case, see “Divinity and Diversity I-IV” on www.RightlyOffended.com.

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