by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
The News & Observer reports today that “Duke mobilizes to shield its image.” But have no fear, Duke race-baiting lefties and local race-baiting media, there’s still too much liberal white guilt in the old Gothic to prevent Duke from addressing the real problems. Instead:
Dogged by months of damaging news stories about the lacrosse scandal, Duke University has launched a costly campaign of alumni dinners, national surveys and aggressive recruitment.
The effort — which includes a 12-city tour by President Richard Brodhead and an entourage of faculty and students — is part of a larger push to blunt publicity generated by gang-rape allegations involving lacrosse players. The charges resulted in an embarrassing examination of the school’s social and academic culture.
Hello, what? I daresay if you were to ask most people outside of the echo chambers of academe and old media, they’d say the negative publicity is from Duke’s willingness to believe four dozen students were guilty of what would be the most shocking atrocity in school history solely because they are white, their accuser is black, and two centuries ago some rich white guys raped black slaves.
Strangely enough, that’s just not the sort of thinking one expects from the higher minds employed by “a top-10 academic power.” Especially not parents contemplating shelling out enough money over the next 5 years to buy a two-story house in Wake County in order for their kid to learn from such minds.
Here’s Duke’s prescription:
Brodhead’s tour, called “A Duke Conversation,” invites hundreds of alumni for dinner and discussions in major cities from Los Angeles to New York. The admissions office has increased meet-and-greet sessions with prospective students while mailing tens of thousands of brochures that feature accomplished, impressive scholars and flattering descriptions of Durham.
An army of Duke students has volunteered to spread good news about Duke to their hometown high schools during fall and winter breaks. And Duke Vice President John Burness keeps 16 thick white binders on his desk, each stuffed with news clippings, strategy plans, consultants’ reports and results from three national public opinion surveys.
I’m not even going to suppress that yawn. Why isn’t Duke planning to do something about media coverage? Are they incapable even now of admitting that their initial, purblind, race-based damnation of the lacrosse players was a grave injustice? Is that why they can’t pressure media about their failure to make the same admission?
Is that why, even in an article about Duke’s work to “shield its image,” the N&O writes about “the image of white privilege that pervaded the lacrosse media coverage.”
When the newspaper writes that, it’s working to shield its own image. As long as Duke is complicit in allowing that media-driven image to persist, it’s not shielding its image, it’s legitimizing the media’s lie.