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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    Again - how is being ignorant of a small piece of history that is not taught in the vast majority of high schools or present in current American culture indicative of a lack of intelligence or low standards? Maybe you think that the history of blackface should be taught more. But it's not, and that's an issue with our public education system, and not with a particular student.
    To be clear, I was referring to standards for conduct, not academics. Duke student-athletes need to think about the way in which they present themselves and the university to the world. It's a higher burden, but a fair one.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    How can blackface be due to ignorance, but also be free speech? If done to express a point, there must be knowledge of the significance.

    Am I the only one that has trouble believing that she had no idea what she was doing? Lacrosse is an eastern sport - where many say such sensitivity exists.

    More to the point, she didn't just buy a blackface costume and show up at the party. People, particularly college-aged girls, typically discuss their custumes in advance of an event. More particularly still, if she were ignorant of blackface, what prompted her to choose blackface? She went through the effort of acquiring and applying blackface, all while having no clue as to its meaning? If she didn't understand blackface, why was she in blackface?

    I admit that I am older than many, hell I was there when Al Jolsen first used black face (he was drunk and grabbed the shoe polish instead of the face powder), but to suggest the conduct is excusable because younger generations don't understand seems to minimize those that are sensitive to the issue. To the extent today's college age students are ignorant to the stigma surrounding blackface, I guess I can but sigh. But an intelligent person would certainly find out before wearing the costume.
    What does ignorance have to do with defining free speech? Where is free speech defined as only that speech which is generally accepted (or even narrowly accepted) as informed or well-founded?

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    BD, your point regarding free speech is a good one. For it to be protected by the First Amendment the "speech" must convey a message. This is a distinction the previous poster does not account for. Wearing a costume for frivolity is not a message. [Here, I am deliberately ignoring the requirement that for a free speech abridgement, the government must be the body interfering with the speech. Private persons, like Duke, cannot violate the First Amendment.]

    I don't think anybody is "excusing the conduct." They are not punishing it because they believe the girl didn't understand the cultural insult which her makeup seemed to be broadcasting. They are following up by correctly observing the incident has presented a teachable moment where the ignorance of youth can be taught the history and meaning of blackface.

    And, by the way, in the recent Broadway musical, The Scottsboro Boys (2009-10), actors appeared in blackface to make a theatrical and cultural point. Indeed, the musical manages to use minstrelsy to point out the racism of minstrelsy itself. I think it is clear in this LAX incident that a Halloween misstep offers nothing in the way of message, either for or against racism itself. It was just ill-conceived or perhaps simply thoughtless.

    For that reason I fully agree with Mike Corey and DA. They've got the answer.
    Actually, I think the cited post's linkage between ignorance and free speech was a complete non sequitur-- I do not see what one has to do with defining the other.

    As to the question of abridging free speech, I did not say that Duke had abridged anyone's free speech-- I said that I did not like where our country has headed on this subject.. The poster whom I cited went on (in a later post) to even call for beginning criminal proceedings against the costume wearer-- if such a rash call for action were actually heeded by someone in government (and I'm not saying that it has been), then we would have the institution of government interfering with constitutionally-protected speech.

    What I AM saying is that many places that should be embracing multitudes of opinions (e.g.- universities) are doing their best to try to stamp out many of those opinions, through draconian efforts to suppress speech that they don't like... if you don't like what's on TV-- change the channel-- don't tell everybody else that they shouldn't be able to watch it. It happens right here all the time, with people calling for the closing of various threads, when they don't like what's being said, or how much is being said about something.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    [irony]I am offended by everyone who has referred to the young woman as a "freshman." She is a first year person.

    Very insensitive for a bunch of folks who should know better. [/irony]

    (Or, as my drill sargeant father always said -- "lighten up, Frances.").

    It seems this thread has run its course.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Washington, DC area
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    [irony]I am offended by everyone who has referred to the young woman as a "freshman." She is a first year person.

    Very insensitive for a bunch of folks who should know better. [/irony]

    (Or, as my drill sargeant father always said -- "lighten up, Frances.").

    It seems this thread has run its course.


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