Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Good Quota

KC Johnson has done us all a great favor by bringing to light the endless deceptions of Mike Nifong, the Durham Police, and many of the Duke Faculty. The Durham City council has now voted to establish a committee to investigate the actions of the police during the affair. They also agreed on a quota system to ensure that the committee has six men and six women, as well as six African Americans and six Caucasians.

Mr. Johnson has complained about the quota system. For once, I think he is wrong. In general I agree with Mr. Johnson that quotas are a bad idea. But what is this committee going to do? If it is honest, it is going to tell Durham, which is half black, and half female, that the police engaged in highly questionable conduct to pander to its black and female voters. I think it is crucial that the committee's report be believed. And judging by the history of this, I think Durham's black population will be much more likely to believe the committee's report if there are a lot of black people on the committee. The same goes for Durham's female population.

Fair minded people can already see perfectly clearly what happened. But the whole case makes it painfully obvious that lots of folks in Durham are not fair minded. Some of them can never be reached. But others can, and for the purpose of reaching these people, the makeup of the committee is brilliant.

I do have one concern with the council's plan. I don't think a committee is the best structure for a group of people to conduct any investigation. I think an investigation should be organized more like a dictatorship than a democracy. That is, an investigation should have one leader, and everyone else should answer to that person. This is the most effective way to conduct an investigation. That said, in this situation, credibility concerns may trump efficiency, and for purposes of credibility, the committee probably is best.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is possible to find two black men, and three black women and two white women who are highly qualified to be on this committee. Jim Coleman has been suggested....let's name some more.

Anonymous said...

KC states his reason for not supporting quotas - the criteria should be the most qualified person.

"At the council meeting, Catotti announced that she would use her selection power to name someone from the Durham rape crisis center, since the lacrosse case itself dealt with race and gender issues. Of course, there isn’t a scintilla of evidence to suggest that the police improperly treated Crystal Mangum because of her race or gender."

"The City Council should go back to the drawing board, and call for a commission peopled by figures with diverse backgrounds and experiences relevant to investigating the issue of police misconduct".

The City Council should NOT find a person from the Durham rape crisis center qualified to investigate the issue of police misconduct.

David Page said...

This "commitee" is divided into two portions. The five technically competent professional outsiders and the seven locally selected political appointees. Who each councilperson chooses will provide information on the desire for that councilperson to examine fairly the issue at hand. That issue is ONLY the possible criminal conduct of the Durham police department. One councilperson, Diane Catotti, who supported Nifong in the elections, has already expressed her intention of selecting someone from the rape crisis center. This investigation is not about the horrible crime of rape but about the horrible crime of a police invigestitation manufacturing evidence, publishing a prejudgement of guilt, and harassment of a person (Mo) who could prove that a defendant was elsewhere when he was accused of being at the "crime" scene. The State attorney General has already ruled on the "Lacrosse Case". This is ONLY about the publics faith in our police department. Distractions and deliberate sidetracking are not welcome.

Having constantly provided public, vocal and visual support of the discredited Nifong, Diane Catotti should recuse herself from this effort that she has unsuccessfully, so far, tried to block.

Given the political element of the majority of the committee, the use of a quota system that spicifically excludes white males when most of the alledged victims of the Durham police department were white males is proof that a truly outside investigation, perhaps federal, is in order.

madder than a hornet said...

thank you for writing the Gates, they are victims of Steel spin and I appauld you for tapping on their wall of wealth!

Anonymous said...

The "quota" system is no quota if one is a white male. Diversity is fine - competency should be valued more. A hand-picked group from the council with no white males is not a quota - it's a throwback to disenfranchising a large group of Durham citizens, unless there are no white males in Durham. How can one be so glib about a principal that, if there were no council appointed females or minorities, would cause shreiking in the streets. So dismissive - and amazing.

Ed

Anonymous said...

White males probably won't protest, so it's safe to say that an entire segment of the community should be off the appointed list. Safe - but still wrong. Absoulutely nutty statement ("okay for the 'quota' not to include white males") if it were said about anyone but white males. Deference to the point (way past, actually) of pure discrimination. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

"I think it is crucial that the committee's report be believed..." so okay for no council-appointed white males.

By whomshould the report be believed? Only persons who are not white males?

If the report comes back favorable to the Durham PD, then white males (and others who love justice) may dis-credit the report - for the VERY reasons you give.

This does not quack like logic - it's PC, and may further accomodate corruption rather than truth and the light of day.

Ralph Phelan said...

"If the report comes back favorable to the Durham PD,"

What do you mean, "if"?

"then white males (and others who love justice) may"

make that "will"

"dis-credit the report - for the VERY reasons you give."

You have a situation in which civilian white males were victimized by police, politicians and municipal employees pandering to black voters and "womens rights" activists. So when you're choosing a committee to investigate the incident, in the name of "fairness," you make sure it will have 0 civilian white males ... how much more bass-ackwards can you get! It's like hiring the KKK to investigate a lynching.

But I'm actually glad the committee is set up this way. An honest accounting of what went on would logically entail firing a large fraction of the DPD and lot of other city employees. I doubt the city council has the stomach for that, so this will be another whitewash. Fortunately its findings will be pretty easy to ignore.