Phi Beta Cons

Duke Faculty Rationale

The letter from the Duke faculty posted by Allison has the tone of a measured and judicious response to the lacrosse case, but several times the tendentious heat seeps through. Consider this sentence: “We appreciate the efforts of those who used the attention the incident generated to raise issues of discrimination and violence.” Now, just think of what it means to “use” a controversial incident in which people’s lives are at stake in order to “raise issues of discrimination and violence.” The slide into irresponsibility, the temptation to attach age-old grievances to every present circumstance, the assumption that the “users” have a privileged hold on “discrimination and violence”–all of these are precisely what due process is designed to forestall. The faculty praise people who exploited a tense situation. Don’t they see that this is one reason they took so much criticism?