✔Fact Checker here.
At Duke in the Brodhead years, as Dr. Anil Potti is teaching us, you can lie on your resume and still be on the faculty. Honor Code be damned.
And as Carter Boyle and his ilk are just now discovering, you can call other students Fag, "S-O-D," Naggar or Jew Pig, and keep up the unwelcome vulgarity incessantly, for example telling a gay man about a masturbation tool called a Fleshlight that you bought for yourself, suggesting he try it to experience a vagina.
Boyle and his ilk were found to have discriminated by unanimous vote of the student Judiciary (the later 2-1 vote ruled these people acted as individuals, not representatives of the Republican Club) and a 20-3 vote of the Senate.
But "zero tolerance policy" be damned, the Administration, in the person of Dean Stephen Bryan has told Justin Robinette that Boyle and the others will face no misconduct charges.
Wait, Fellow Dukies, until you hear why.
By now everyone knows Robinette was impeached and removed as chair of the Republicans when other club leaders discovered he was coming out, a motivation confirmed as the reason for his ouster because all the pretextual reasons fell apart.
And Boyle was ring-leader, becoming coup d'etat chair himself.
Fact Checker has learned that Dean Bryan advanced the "theory" -- which he is acting upon -- that Robinette had a sexual attraction for Boyle and tried to put the make on him, starting when he was still closeted.
In the next sentence, the "theory" has Boyle -- who identifies himself as straight --rejecting overtures. Alas, the "theory" holds that Robinette formed an "alliance" with Boyle, initially using outspoken homophobia to hide being gay. Later, Robinette sought "revenge," so he brought charges.
Since Robinette was part of what Boyle did, and instigated it, there is no harassment. So runs the "theory." A theory developed without even talking to Robinette about its factual basis. Robinette has assured a Deputy FC who questioned him closely that he never had any sexual interest in Boyle.
Thus Bryan advised Robinette to withdraw his complaints, to stop being so full of gay vengeance, and to read 20 pages of "Wild Justice: The Seductive Pleasure of Getting Even"
Fact Checker believes this account is accurate, but of course we have only one side as a source. The administration ducks behind "student privacy" whenever convenient -- even when the student waives his rights.
Dean Bryan has degrees in education administration and higher education administration but does not list in the short bio FC has found on-line, any specialized training dealing with the mind and motivation. He has managed to pick one of the oldest, most discredited stereotypes of gay people and perpetuate a myth.
✔This is the same "reasoning" that prevents open service in the Armed Forces, because everyone knows a gay man will sexually desire anyone next to him in a pup tent or a fox hole. Or anyone in the barracks in the common showers. Brought home to this campus, it means that a gay man who is very intensely interested in GOP politics is counting more than votes and checking out every zipper. Absurd.
✔Dean Bryan's "theory" follows the same logic that female rape victims have encountered, that they themselves are to blame for what happened to them, and in this instance, Robinette and his allegedly uncontrolled libido are at fault.
✔Assume for a moment that Bryan's "theory" had any validity in explaining Boyle's homophobia: what about others, like the #2 campus bigot Rachel Provost, the GOP Chief of Staff.
Ah yes, the "theory" takes note of her years of dating Boyle, and finds she stood between Robinette and his conquest. Thus, Robinette filed charges against her too, to get even, not because of harassment.
Provost has flown a bit below the radar, but she is in the gutter with the others. At a GOP club meeting, when some people started to sense Robinette was gay, she walked up to Robinette, said she saw a hickey, and wanted to know if a male or female planted it.
And the Senate debate two weeks ago, the one that Boyle ducked, more than a few people twittered that Provost, in a jean skirt way too short, trashy shirt and excess make-up, was trying to taunt Robinette about what he is missing.
Her harassment continued right up to last weekend's Homecoming Dance, where she confronted Robinette's great friend and supporter Cliff Satell. Classless.
Let's leave Robinette out of this discussion for a moment.
Boyle and Provost should face misconduct charges for what they did to Duke. Not to Robinette, but to this great university and every one of its stakeholders. They denigrated everyone's experience here, and violated what Fact Checker had assumed -- before Brodhead and his team got involved -- was a policy of zero tolerance.
Just like criminal charges are not brought in the name of the victim, but in the name of the state, the case in this example is not Robinette v. Boyle but rather the Stakeholders of Duke University v. Boyle.
✔In addition to all of us as a group, there are also other specific individuals -- once again, keeping Robinette aside -- who were deeply offended. What about the female who tried to stop Boyle from using the term S-O-D "all the time" in referring to Robinette because it was offensive to her.
Offensive to her.
This witness has the right to an atmosphere at Duke University better than that, and the right to expect the Brodhead Administration will pursue those who stain our character.
What about the black female student on Central Campus, who has no involvement in any of this but who just happens to have a Republican roommate. She does not even know Boyle.
When Boyle singled her out by slipping a note with a derivation of the N-word under her bedroom door, did he violate University policy?
When Boyle followed this up with another note reading "KFC," was this racism also to be excused because of whatever theoretically transpired at a different time and different place between Boyle and Robinette.
What about the other racism, the suggestion that blasting rap music from a Hummer will pull "Naggars" to the Republican booth at a student activities fair. "Maybe you could make a big poster, with attached pamphlets that reads, Can you spell Republican? If so, you might be one! Take a brochure.” Did Robinette somehow provoke this too?
Try this explanation of a resolution the club had passed, contained in an e-mail discussing club business: "I'm not preaching that we bend over and spread our anuuses wide for this fxxxxx. Rather, I urge caution about provoking this 3-incher into tying us up and then calling in a 7 foot, 300 pound black man named Tyrone to fxxx us with his anaconda. The last thing any of us wants is some bullsxxx, legalese application of 'the rules' and College Republicans being hurt in a tangible way."
Oh yes, the President of the United States is repeatedly called "President Wheat and Rice." Did some imagined sexual attraction inspire this as well?
And when a Congresswoman noted all the names of hurricanes sounded Caucasian: "She would prefer some names that reflect African-American culture such as Chamiqua, Tanisha, Woeisha, Shaqueal and Jamal.
"I can hear it now: a weatherman in New Orleans says 'Wazzup, mutha-fXXXXX! Hehr-i-cane Chamiqua be headin' fo' yo ass.... Bitch be a category fo'. So turn off dem chitlins, grab yo' chirren, leave yo crib, run fo the nearest FEMA office fo yo FREE shxx!'"
And now Jews. The president of the college Democratic club is Ben Bergmann: "We should anonymously post an ad for Bally Total Fitness on one of his blogposts. How about great deals on Channukah presents."
Jewish students in general are called "pigs."
We now know that some Republican leaders were vandals, ripping down LGBT flags from students’ windows, threatening to burn LGBT flags, writing the N-word on school property, and throwing school property out windows.
✔The point is: the charges against the leaders of the Republican Club go far beyond the "scorned" Robinette. They go far beyond homophobia although the worst invective is always reserved for gays. The charges should be pursued in the interest of protecting the integrity, dignity and decorum of Duke -- quite apart from the suffering of Robinette.
✔✔Fellow Dukies, we are at this most disappointing point in the continuing controversy over the Republicans because we thought this time it would be different: that the Brodhead administration which has failed us time and time again, would see a fundamental breach of our "zero tolerance" policies.
Not only individuals but the student Judiciary and the Senate, in weighing the severity and persistence of the violations, looked to the administration.
But remember, for more than six years, our Administration has failed us at every turn, blind to justice.
✔Yes, I shall begin with the lacrosse crisis, where a Group of 88 professors escaped without any punishment. Nothing individually or collectively -- for academic misconduct in the classroom, disruptive distasteful conduct on the quad (pot bangers, "Castrate") and financial dishonesty in secret, using university funds to project their views. The academic atmosphere got so bad that members of the economics department felt impelled to speak together and say that all Duke students, including athletes, were welcome in their classes and would be graded fairly. From Brodhead: silence.
Not to mention the disrespect our president showed the parents of the three lax players facing 30 years in jail, by refusing to meet with them. As FC has asked before, what the hell was he thinking?
✔Why did I hold hope that this time there would be justice, when in the fiscal crisis, the Brodhead Administration has laid off some employees and cut back on so many other low level workers -- while feeding its own high level executives bonuses ranging up to $1 million. That's a sneak preview of a scandal involving the concept of justice that is about to explode.
✔And what about the people who came to Duke in desperation, with breast and lung cancer, who were put into the human experiments conducted by Dr. Anil Potti. Surely their faith is shaken too when they see a professor who lied -- lied -- on his resume -- a first class violation of the Duke Community Standard -- still harbored on this campus.
In each of these cases, the Brodhead administration has failed people entitled to apply to it for justice. Why are we surprised this morning?
✔As Fact Checker, but not the Chronicle has reported, Brodhead originally rejected Robinette's request to be heard. Later he and Cliff Satell, whom a Deputy FC interviewed, saw the President:
"Very dismaying... He was incredibly gruff, defensive and arrogant. He claimed no knowledge of any details and insisted on saying that he can't know for sure if we're telling the truth. He said the President shouldn't have to 'come down from Mt. Olympus' to deal with every little issue on campus."
"It was bizarre... I would have expected a University President to be able to charm two undergrads, be courteous, say "wow, that sounds awful, what can I do to help?" But we got the exact opposite."
Had enough of an indictment of the administration, or need more?
Consider the depth of its investigation before it launched its hot pants "theory." As Fact Checker has reported, a very good witness to acts of racism has come forward, first sending FC a confidential e-mail; with permission, we forwarded this to Vice President Moneta.
This witness told Fact Checker no one, no one, no one in the administration ever made contact before Dean Bryan made the decision not to pursue misconduct charges.
Dean Bryan and El-Mo are taking the same tack as former District Attorney Michael Nifong, finding only what they want to hear. If they continue, they deserve the same fate.
✔ Thank you for reading Fact Checker and caring about Duke.