Duke tears down "lacrosse house," leaving a hole that is a metaphor for its own incomplete record

The Chronicle reports Duke has bulldozed the house on North Buchanan that was the site of the lacrosse party and hoax. The house, which Duke acquired shortly before the party, had become dilapidated.

✔Fact Checker here. Phail Wynn, Duke VP for Durham, stated he hopes tearing down the house brings “closure to this chapter in Duke’s history… We can move forward from here.” He is just the latest Brodhead Administration official to sing “it’s all over,” and I wish it were.

To me, the empty lot is now a metaphor for the hole that President Brodhead and former Trustee chair Bob Steel have left in the historical record. I am sure every Loyal Reader has his or her own favorite question. The preceding post refers to medical evidence that Duke surely had. My question is to Brodhead: when you refused to meet with the parents of the three lax players facing 30 years in prison, what the hell was going through your mind?

We are entitled to know everything, indeed we must know everything, and that’s part of the price of closure. Settlement of the remaining lawsuits, yes, but this is not about money alone.

Fact Checker also feels this article needs some heavy editing to make sure it is not misunderstood by people who did not live through the hoax.

Here’s one example: “From the moment Crystal Mangum wrongly accused three Duke lacrosse players of raping her….” Some people might read this to say that Mangum picked the wrong three, that there were others who raped her. As State Attorney General Roy Cooper declared, there is no credible evidence of any crime.

Another example: Various people and groups “agonized over what exactly took place.” I do not think the Group of 88 faculty agonized at all; I think they leaped to conclusions they wanted to hear , creating false chasms of color and class, power and privilege. And when the answer turned out to be that exactly nothing took place, they refused to accept it or apologize.

Again, the Chronicle refers to when “the verdict of innocent was handed down.” This is jury talk; the case never got that far, being tossed out by the state Attorney General Roy Cooper who superseded the disgraced and soon to be disbarred local prosecutor Michael Nifong. You cannot tell this story without quoting Cooper’s precise word: “Innocent.”

Finally, I feel the Chronicle’s calm historical picture does not do justice to the militancy and absurdity that were expressed at 610 North Buchanan.