The independent news organization of Duke University

Letter to the editor

You report in the Duke Chronicle that two years ago Duke VP Tallman Trask was involved in an altercation with a contract parking attendant. He allegedly rolled his car into a black female attendant and uttered racial slurs while departing the scene.

Concerning the incident, Duke president Richard Brodhead issued a release stating:

“Dr. Trask has been an extraordinary servant of this university for over 20 years, and no one who works with him closely would find it believable that he would use such language."

I could not help but think Brodhead should have said the same sort of thing about the Duke lacrosse players. Instead, he threw his own students under the bus without gathering the facts, yet immediately defends his colleague in Duke administration.

Here's a suggestion for what Brodhead should have said in 2006 about the lacrosse players:

"These young men have been performed admirably academically, and on the playing fields of Duke University. I and the school have no further comment until we have examined the facts."

That Brodhead said something entirely different about the boys—who were found completely innocent following an excruciating ordeal—demonstrates a gargantuan lack of judgment only his dismissal could have assuaged.

Bernie Reeves

Raleigh, NC


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