Sunday, January 28, 2007


Gail Dines is a sociology professor specializing in race and gender issues; she is on the faculty of Wheelock College in Boston. She has an article over on Counterpunch ( She is not pleased. She was interviewed by Paula Zahn on CNN when the Nifong mis/mal-feasances were brought to light. Upon reflection, she considers herself to have been “ambushed” and “set up”.

We are first given several paragraphs that apparently are designed to show us that the pre-screen producer “conducted a thoughtful interview, unlike any I have had”. Thus she decides to do the show, attracted and reassured by the ‘thoughtfulness’, and thereby simultaneously establishing herself as someone alert to such ‘thoughtfulness’ and no doubt full of thought herself.

From this producer’s line of questioning she concluded that this would be a show dealing with “the historical and contemporary issues of violence against black women in this society”. Still, she then says it took “four phone calls” for her to finally agree to do the show.

When suddenly … in the limo on the way to the Durham court house she got a call “from a different producer” who said that the show was going to focus on race and not gender. The professor, intimating a large experience with talk-show honchos, “knew enough not to argue with a senior producer an hour before taping” and so she “simply agreed”.

Thus the ambush.

At this point in the article, she starts to share with us the views that CNN apparently didn’t want to deal with. We don’t really know though, because the professor quotes nothing of what she said on camera. Instead we are told that she asked Zahn after the show how Zahn could “do a show that once again leaves this woman stripped of her dignity and rendered invisible as a human being”. Zahn - indicating a large experience with agenda-driven talk-show guests - simply smiled goodbye.

Arriving back at her hotel half an hour later, the Professor finds she already has a passel of “hateful” emails, all – she points out – from “men”; it is a “flood” and a “barrage”. She is taken aback at such an outburst. In apparently innocent perplexity, she takes a look at the video of the show. And there it was: the show on that video is not about raceandgender but rather billed itself as “an examination of the ‘rush to judgment’ on the part of the media and society”.

But at this point, the ambushed victim wallowing stunned in the water suddenly makes sail, hoists colors and runs out her guns. And who can be surprised? Who can be surprised at her discomfiture in the interview or at her self-serving article? CNN was looking at a very significant reality, one that the Professor and her cohorts, colleagues, and accomplices - some females and some males – have been at great pains to obscure for all of the 20 years that she has been professoring and more.

There is indeed a ‘rush to judgment’ and the slow, careful, steady process of Due Process has been eroded by the superheated efforts of the Advocacy. Nor is this unintended. The whole gameplan was designed not to open room for more balance achieved through deliberation, but rather to simply quickly wrench the justice system into a stance more favorable to the programme of the Advocacy.

Of course you can’t just go and exercise such violence on the system and not expect some interference. You can’t go whacking the walls of a court-house with axes and not expect some folks to inquire as to what you think you’re doing. So you need an ‘emergency’, or a set of interlocking emergencies, that will ‘explain’ your haste and why you don’t simply go through the doors during regular hours.

Thus you have to create the emergency of having to ‘rescue victims’, and raceandgender work actually gives you a two-fer. This is how the Advocacies have carried on seriously corrosive agendas for decades now: they’ve been pretending to be the Fire Dept. Rescue Squad. It’s a wonder that it’s taken so long for the Iraqi resistance to pick up this strategy: masquerading as ‘emergency’ crews or ‘good guys’ in order to get in and do what they’re going to do.

The Professor quickly elides two substantive but different matters: a) the very acute question of the ‘rush to judgment’ that is has been an established Script in sex-offender melodrama for almost two decades now and b) the feminist complaint that the simple reality of not-accepting a self-declared victim’s story at face-value immediately is itself a collusion and a form of further assault.

The former matter has been dealt with at length elsewhere on this site. The latter has too, but Dines here gives us an instant example of all that’s going on with this raceandgender gambit in the case. First, there is the use of the word ‘victim’ without any qualifying ‘alleged’, which has the effect of presuming the veracity of the alleger’s (allegator’s?) claim(s), when actually the whole purpose of a trial is to determine – at its end – whether an act was indeed committed, which if it was committed would then and only then make the alleger a ‘victim’ for public purposes.

Second, there is the instant equation of doubt and skepticism about an alleger’s claims with some form of wrong-headed or even criminal refusal to help, which is then immediately construed as an insult to the alleger and as a ‘re-victimization’ of the alleger.

Now this type of carrying-on is a recipe for disaster in a legal system. The whole purpose of Due Process is to conduct a thorough and reasonable inquiry, sift for truth, and deliberate carefully in order to make a determination. But this is not the revolutionary’s way; the revolutionary’s way is to force one’s programme or agenda upon events, and in that work time-consuming ‘deliberation’ is the functional equivalent of cowardice and obstruction, a firefighter dawdling so as not to have to go into a burning building and rescue victims. Lenin found early on that not only Czarist-leaning judges but any judges who believed in the process of Law had to be done away with it because they were slowing down the work of his revolution. A true Soviet judge would need almost no time to determine if an accused would receive the weight of criminal sanction; many times it was simply the fact of ‘belonging’ to a certain class that constituted the ‘crime’; Stalin improved upon matters by making justice ‘presumptive’ and ‘proactive’: if you had even a moment’s access to a Westerner, then you might now doubt the wisdom of the Soviet system and why take that chance when you can be sent to Siberia to help build things?

So only then does the Professor get around to the true source of her ire: “I appeared as not just a gullible fool, but even worse, a gullible fool with a feminist agenda”. So there it is. But it’s even worse, I think: it was her flawed agenda that resulted her in taking a foolish approach to this case, and she was then caught out on the show, when it became clear not only that a) the ‘men’ in this case were not guilty and the ‘victim’ had indeed made some truth-challenged – if you wish – assertions, but also b) the media were not going to ignore the obvious this time in order to hew to the correct Script. The horror!

The Script is – and the Prof deploys it with the skill of a casino card-dealer – that the woman was victimized, that the men were boorish and violent criminal oppressors, and correct-thinking requires outrage at the men and immediate, unqualified sympathy not only with this victim but with all women-victims (the terms being for these purposes almost interchangeable). Running right by the fact that the alleger was a professional stripper and had accepted this gig at her usual rates, the Prof starts swinging her axe at something else: The show “leaves this woman stripped of her dignity and rendered invisible as a human being” and “it is the lying, black stripper and the amoral D.A.” who must be guilty. This, the Professor seems to think, should not be accepted as true even if – in this instance – it is true. That the woman “was bought and sold” precisely because she had advertised herself as a commodity is not a fact that the correct citizen notes.

But it apparently is true. And the defendants in this case – unlovely as they are – were facing serious and lifelong criminal consequences (nor would we want to accept the judicial fiction that sex-offender registry is purely ‘administrative’ and done to help keep track of you so you can be notified when ‘a treatment’, perhaps ‘a cure’, is ready).

And the defendants certainly are, to no small extent, unlovely. She quotes an email one of them sent which indicates that these boyos are in need of serious maturity: characterological, emotional, social, and spiritual. The thought that they might go on to positions of power in the military or business or law enforcement is deeply disconcerting. The thought that many of their kind, of previous age cohorts, are already in such positions is positively alarming (nor can the inhabitants of Unitary-Executive Land be discounted in such considerations).

But we cannot solve the ‘boyo’ problem by dismantling the legal and justicial protections that keep us the Republic and the democracy that we are. Nor can we much longer tolerate not only the consequences of such dismantling, but the noxious inability to see and speak Truth to the ‘revolutionary’ elements that have been whacking away (with some good intention) at the carrying-walls of our society and culture and Constitutional protections.

I am not speaking here for a return to ‘boyo’ behavior (and indeed I fear we are now in the throes of ‘boyo’ government). Nor am I speaking against actual victimization. But I am speaking against the ‘revolutionary’ solution that, duplicitously, has been deconstructing the structures and fabric of law, justice and culture for decades now while claiming to be simply a well-intentioned rescue mission in an extreme emergency. That was how the boyos in Washington City spun the war in Iraq.

We may presume that much of what Professor Dines professes is taught to students at her college, and to the extent that her material is representative of mainstream doctrine in the universities, that it is taught to many students at many institutions. And has been for quite a few years, even decades. So how many students and – far more numerously – graduates are now among us operating on the tenets of this ‘education’, conducting a life and a societal participation on that basis? And what consequences accrue from that?

The times are changing and a hard rain’s going to fall. Down with the revolution. Up with the Republic.

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Blogger Davidco said...

Hard to tell whether the poor reception of Dines' last foray is a function of her ignorance of the facts of the case as they appear in pre-trial discovery, the white, upper class origins of the defendants (according to the FBI, there have been no recorded cases of white on black gang rape in living memory) or a genuine retrenchment in the carte blanche usually given to persecutors of sexual transgression in American society.

Time will tell. Meanwhile almost every university in the country offers a major in womens' studies to produce replicants of Dines' perspective.

6:26 AM  

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