Lurita Doan: Still a Moron, Though Thankfully Not on Our Dime

Curses on fatster, who induced me to look at this awful Lurita Doan op-ed. In it, she tells a very interesting story about her father, and then uses it to claim she’s got special insight on the Gates scandal. 

The story about her father (involving racism in intercollegiate sports) is actually pretty interesting. But here’s the sum total of her "lessons" for Gates.

His first reaction was to demand preferential treatment, see himself as a victim and see his arrest as "the way a black man is treated in America." The message he has sent is that what happened to him was purely about race, when we’re far beyond that.

If he looked around, he would discover that black men and women can and do compete equally at Harvard, and need no special protection, class or distinction.

Look, until I learned Crowley apparently incorrectly claimed on the arrest report that the neighbor who called in the report said two black men were breaking into Gates’ house (at least in her 911 call she described them simply as men), I wasn’t sure this was about race either. I thought it was about abuse of power. But, as it turns out, it’s about race and abuse of power.

But I really challenge anyone to explain WTF Doan means when she claims Gates’ "first reaction was to demand preferential treatment." What special treatment? The special treatment of the ability to enter his own home without getting arrested? The special treatment of being released when the Cambridge police realized it was an improper arrest? What special treatment, Lurita?

Moreover, where does Doan get off lecturing Gates–who came to Harvard in 1991 at a time when he was already a recognized leader in the field of English, to say nothing of African-American Studies–about whether or not black men can compete at Harvard? Gates is, in his field, a tremendously accomplished figure, white, black, red or purple. Yet Doan thinks she needs to lecture Gates about whether he can compete at Harvard?

The issue, which the idiotic Doan appears to miss, has nothing to do with what happens to Gates at Harvard (which makes her use of her father’s history moot). Rather, it’s what happens when he leaves the campus and tries to enter his own home.

  1. Teddy Partridge says:

    Perhaps Lurita believes Skip Gates should have offered cookies to Officer Crowley. Cookies always make things better in Doan World, right?

  2. dakine01 says:

    Sounds like Lurita can’t believe that a black man could actually be on the faculty at Harvard on his own accomplishments.

    And then have the gall to stand up for himself.

  3. melior says:

    Amazing! Lurlita’s famously faulty memory displays a sudden and complete recovery of tiny details about her father. Praise Jeebus, it’s truly miraculous.

  4. SaltinWound says:

    Is there a clear distinction between on campus and off campus at Harvard? A friend of mine who went there was surprised that the campus police weren’t called first.

    • Professor Foland says:

      The residence is clearly off campus (though, it must be said, not by much!)

      Maybe she can let Obama know that he can “compete equally in Washington”? Note to Lurita: you couldn’t compete at Harvard.

  5. jloc says:

    To me the abuse of power angle has always been primary here. Crowley seems like a typical cop who was pissed that he had to respond to this nuisance call. He likely arrived at the scene with that attitude.

    After he arrived maybe Gates gave him some attitude. Maybe even provoked him. (Since he was in his home I think he had every right to give Crowley attitude) Crowley, already pissed, get’s more pissed and takes him into custody on a bogus disturbing the peace charge.

    Anyone else, it goes to a magistrate hearing and is likely dismissed–quietly. But Gates is a well-connected Harvard professor with friends in the media and elsewhere. Crowley chose the wrong guy to push around.The racial angle starts to get developed.

    Just my take on it.

    • njr83 says:

      (Since he was in his home I think he had every right to give Crowley attitude)

      not just your take on this, count me in also
      Crowley invited himself into a private home while calling for backup

      escalating attitude

    • Clothodi says:

      “Anyone else, it goes to a magistrate hearing and is likely dismissed–quietly. But Gates is a well-connected Harvard professor with friends in the media and elsewhere.”

      I agree. The point is that Gates was treated like everyone else. This sort of thing happens and anyone who’s not well connected would have to take time out of their day to go to court. Maybe they spend some money on a lawyer if they’re nervous about things. They go in front of the judge and get dismissed. The system takes a no harm no foul attitude toward things like that. It’s just as bad when this sort of thing happens to people who aren’t Harvard professors or members of the Establishment the difference is that when it does happen to the rest of us nobody cares

      • NorskeFlamethrower says:

        Citizen Clothodi:

        “…and when it does happen to the rest of us, nobody cares.” Of course people care, but when you live in a police state and are livin’ on the edge every day, you gotta choose your shots carefully and not waste time of diversions and distractions. Enough of this topic.

  6. jbnhm says:

    OT yesterday on the FDL Book Salon page for Mark Klein he said “Russell Tice estimated a couple days ago that in another 10 years NSA could scoop up ALL communications, a point not yet reached”. Then you (Ms. Wheeler) asked “Did he do that in person or is there a link?” I guess he missed it cause he didn’t respond. But the link is the interview with Tice on Sibel Edmonds podcast Boiling Frogs. And here it is.


    (BTW I sent you a link to her site several months ago. I’d think she’d be an interesting person to follow for anyone interested in illicit government activities, especially regarding state’s secrets privilege. Perhaps you were overwhelmed with all your reading. Or perhaps you thought it smelled of 911 conspiracy theory stuff. But, I’ll accept your apology gracefully.)

  7. BayStateLibrul says:

    My daughter just bought me Fence, by former Globe investigative reporter
    Dick Lehr (now a journo prof at BU).
    The story of a police cover-up along Boston’s racial divide.
    The Gates incident: Methinks both were responsible and the results will yield some benefits (Awareness)… I hope…

  8. jbnhm says:

    OK that was meant as a joke. But given the general tone of blog comment sections I understand it may not have come across that way. Sorry

      • jbnhm says:

        No apology necessary. I was probably being a bit over-familiar to think I could come in and do the good natured ribbing thing anyway. I was actually coming back to take that line out but I’ll leave it in as an object lesson regarding the minefield of internet etiquette. Perhaps this proves the usefulness of smiley faces, viz. :). I hate using them and debated putting one in at the end of my comment, but decided against. That’ll teach me to think I’m too good for them.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, I have the same issue every now and then. I have some kind of inner aversion to smileys and other outward indicia; but there are a lot of people that haven’t been around for years to know my peculiar and idiotic sense of humor and I step into the poo as a result. By the way, i do thank you for the Tice link, I was one who was kind of wondering where that was from yesterday.

  9. Gitcheegumee says:

    I am FAR more curious and interested as to what Ms. Doan’s father would have had to say about Gatesgate.

    I caught her act when she testified before Congress about the GAO. Wonder if her dad would have been proud of THAT fiasco?

  10. Gitcheegumee says:

    One of the BEST pieces I’ve read is from Gore Vidal.Entitled,”America the Great….Police State.”

    It is first rate,imho.

    Forthwith an excerpt:

    “As I listened to the fallout from these stirring events, I wondered if this might be a moment when the media would reform themselves and only print actual news; for one thing, not all explosions of temper and so on are attributable to race.

    So let me mention the real issue. The real issue is class. We have the greatest divide between the very rich and the very poor of any country on Earth, surpassing even France. And this division gets wider and wider as financial disasters overwhelm us.

    We were already in pretty bad shape before things began to fall apart a year or two ago. We must acknowledge that our character, never much good in these matters, is now reprehensible, and the police seem to have taken it upon themselves to exact revenge for a full professor and his—plainly, in their view—insulting income, which they figure must be considerable.

    The days of greed through which we all lived now have not done us much good, nor have they taught us any lessons, but you cannot live long with such divisions, which in my view as an outsider overlooking the scene seems to be a nation of total liars. Everybody is lying. Television lies, candidates lie. And everyone says, “Oh they always have.” I love that excuse. Well they haven’t always done that. Sometimes lying to the people is a great mistake. And it is well-known that the rich will tell almost any lie to avoid paying taxes.”

  11. fatster says:

    O/T (Old Topic) He wouldn’t participate in the illegal (since made legal, retroactively) spying on us. He was later charged and found guilty of insider trading. But now, an appeals court is saying his punishment was excessive. Interesting.


    • bmaz says:

      You are biting off on a false legend of Joe Nacchio, clawed onto by people desperate for a hero in the wiretapping mess. Nacchio and Qwest were more than willing to participate in the wiretapping schemes; in fact they were one of the earliest participants. Nacchio’s hesitation was he needed a better deal and more deals because his company was strung out from financial (and quite likely fraudulent) mismanagement. He is not some innocent soul in all this, although he did get leaned on too heavy by the DOJ and the judge in the case, Nottingham. If they recalculate his sentence and monetary penalty downward, it will probably be about right.

      • fatster says:

        Thnx for the correction. He’s certainly no shining star of freedom (or anything else for that matter), and however greedy he might have been, at least he didn’t participate.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, yeah, he and Qwest should be given some credit for that I suppose; for whatever the reason, not participating is better than having done so. I just have a hard time giving him too much credit as I fully believe the real reason they held out was trying to get a better deal for participating and the Bushies simply decided to bust him as an example to others. So yeah, he didn’t play; but it was not all quite as principled as he would have you believe.

        • fatster says:

          OK, bmaz, I’ll just rub another handful of ashes on my head. Or should I make that two? Sigh.

        • bmaz says:

          Naw, I just have always had a bug up my butt about Nacchio; it has long bugged me that people treated him as some kind of innocent hero and he isn’t.

        • emptywheel says:

          I think NAchhio, like a number of other people, was unique in that he was prosecuted. There are a lot of telecom execs who did worse than Nacchio who never got a second glance.

        • bmaz says:

          Well if they were cooking their books and ripping off the shareholders (and I do not doubt they were; Nacchio is just the one I know about), then by all means they should have been prosecuted too. I would have no problem with that.

  12. fatster says:

    For the car people:

    Ford Sees First Monthly Sales Gain in Nearly 2 Years
    • AUGUST 3, 2009

    “Ford Motor Co. saw an increase in its July sales, the first year-over-year jump for the auto maker in almost two years, according to the company’s sales analyst.”


  13. bobschacht says:

    I don’t notice that anyone has picked up on this interesting tidbit about Doan that floored me when I first learned about it: She is considered to be an “African American,” and hence one of the proud Republican’s diversity appointments! Per Wiki:

    “She was the first woman, and the second African American, to hold the position.”

    I mention this mainly because when I watched her testimony on live TV, I had no idea that she was African American. Now that I know that she regards herself as African-American, it gives me a different insight into her comments about Gates. Apparently, and perhaps because of the lightness of her skin, she seems not to have felt the weight of discrimination that Gates and other more dark-skinned African-Americans have experienced.

    Bob in HI

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Bob, I was surprised too,although it is quite common to have a caste system within one’s own race.But Skip Gates is by no means dark skinned.

      Down South, the lightness or”brightness” of one’s skin has been points of pride and social elevation among Africa Americans for MANY years.

      Out of curiousity, in Hawaii, among the ethnic groups, are these types of hierarchy prevalent,too?

      • bobschacht says:

        Out of curiousity, in Hawaii, among the ethnic groups, are these types of hierarchy prevalent,too?

        It is perhaps more subtle here, but I wouldn’t call it a hierarchy. For example, among some Pinoy (people of Filipino ancestry), lightness of coloring is favored. But in general, there is so much racial mixing here that such distinctions seem impossible to sustain. But then, what do I know? I’m just a short-term haole from the mainland.

        It gets complicated because White haoles from the mainland like me are discounted in many ways, at the same time that Hawaii-born Whites are not. For example, Jerry Santos is racially “White,” but was born in Hawaii and speaks Hawaiian. So he is accepted in Hawaiian circles in ways I would never be. One of my political groups is dismissed by some politicians here as being nothing but a bunch of mainland haoles.

        Bob in HI

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, that was definitely part of the point here.

      The Republicans used to suggest when Waxman was beating her up that he was racist, so I knew it. I even wrote–but then chose not to publish, this ocmment on Twitter:

      Maybe Lurita’s just pissed because she’s the only African-American Republican who can’t get a TV deal.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Well then ,wasn’t the violation of the Hatch Act an abuse of power BY a person OF color?

  14. Gitcheegumee says:

    WHOA…she graduated from Ursuline Academy in New Orleans-a Catholic School in 1975 AND Between 1999 and 2006, Doan and her husband, Douglas, a former military intelligence officer and business liaison official at the Department of Homeland Security, donated nearly $226,000 to Republican campaigns and causes.Wiki…..

    Didn’t Katrina hit NOLA in ‘05?

    • tbsa says:

      I have been wondering ever since her testimony what the punishment would be for violating the Hatch Act.

      • eCAHNomics says:

        Surely you jest. Consequences of bad behavior for W admin? LOLOLOLOL.

        (Let’s look forward, not backward, he said.)

    • esseff44 says:

      Here’s an interesting article about her business. Her husband was/is the vice-president. She qualifies it as a minority-owned business. Her husband was working for DHS and she’s head of GSA and they are cleaning up with related contracts. It seems that there’s a lot more going on here than violations of the Hatch Act.…..wtech.html

  15. Loo Hoo. says:

    OT, this morning while looking at EW’s article on the army infiltrating the peace group, I got side-tracked with Amy Goodman’s interview with the parents of John Walker Lindh. I haven’t followed that story for many years, but boy was that powerful. It’s had me thinking all day that if what the parents say is true, Obama should commute his sentence.

    Really a fascinating story…far more to it than “American Taliban”.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      I was glad to finally hear the Lindhs’ side of the story. It is much as I expected. It did a the one q I had, which is why didn’t they fight the charges in court, since JWL did nothing wrong, and his treatment was a U.S. war crime. The a is that Ashcroft made him a national bete noir and they knew they couldn’t win. Which is why Obama will never commute his sentence.

    • SanderO says:

      It was the GWOT hysteria and there was never a trial or evidence presented. He was threatened into a pleas bargain and he was supposed to keep is trap shut.

  16. Eureka Springs says:

    Oh Gawd.. It’s been what, over a year since she was on CSPAN? I can still hear her voice as well as I can hear fingers on a chalk board.

    ”preferential treatment” means Gates wanted to be treated like a white man with liberties.

  17. Arkinsaw says:

    Bob Herbert’s column from the NY Times yesterday begins with the very interesting fact:

    No more than five or six minutes elapsed from the time the police were alerted to the possibility of a break-in at a home in a quiet residential neighborhood and the awful clamping of handcuffs on the wrists of the distinguished Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

    If Professor Gates ranted and raved at the cop who entered his home uninvited with a badge, a gun and an attitude, he didn’t rant and rave for long. The 911 call came in at about 12:45 on the afternoon of July 16 and, as The Times has reported, Mr. Gates was arrested, cuffed and about to be led off to jail by 12:51.

    Think about that! 6 minutes from Crowley’s arrival to the arrest.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Nope. 6 minutes from the call until the arrest. Surely it took some minutes for Crowley to get there, meaning Gates was cuffed within 2-3 minutes of Crowley’s arrival.

      • NorskeFlamethrower says:

        Citizen eCAHNomics:

        Why are we even entertaining this topic any more…the Gates arrest was another shot from racist police against Obama and American citizens. That’s the long and the short of it…there is no controversy out here in the boonies and on the street. We live in a fascist police state and the more we focus on the faggot hassles and distract ourselves from healthcare reform, economic recovery and gettin’ the fuck out of Iraq, the more we embolden the lunatics and their bosses.

        I’m more worried about NBC and Fox gaggin’ Olbermann and splittin’ up what’s left of television marketing power and message control.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      And Frank Rich’s NY Times column says Crowley portrayed the 911 caller as a racial profiler, when she wasn’t:…..2rich.html

      In his police report, Sgt. James Crowley portrayed [Lucia Whalen, the white passer-by whose good deed of a 911 phone call did not go unpunished] as a racial profiler by saying she had told him that the two men at Gates’s door were black. She denied it, and the audio tape of her original call backs her up: she had told the dispatcher (only when asked) that one of the men “looked kind of Hispanic” and that she couldn’t see the other.

      So, also interesting.

  18. jhwoodyatt says:

    “What special treatment? The special treatment of the ability to enter his own home without getting arrested? The special treatment of being released when the Cambridge police realized it was an improper arrest? What special treatment, Lurita?”

    Oh, that’s obvious when you think about it: an exemption from the normal abuse of power directed at blacks provided on account of his education and social status.

  19. Rayne says:

    I’ve refrained from commenting on this thread because it feels like I’ve already said a lot on the Gates arrest, here in bmaz’ thread last week and at DailyKos.

    But since bobschacht brought up in thread here, I should probably comment on “passing.”

    Lurita Doan has used her “passing” for white — a lot. It gives her entre to the Republican machine in a way most dark-skinned persons will never experience. Witness how much of a beating Republicans have given Michael Steele, their own chair; granted, he’s not been a perfect chair for their floundering party, but compared to Lurita he’s an organizational whiz. In spite of her stupidity (read: getting caught), and in spite of both her inability to do better than Alberto Gonzales at evading questions and her bizarre paranoia (remember the fingerprints on her glass comment caught on mike?), the Republicans didn’t beat her up publicly like Steele or shun her like Gonzales.

    If Lurita isn’t aware of how often she uses her “passing,” she’s really a stupid tool. And if she’s aware but not mentioning the fact she’s “passing,” then she is being deceptive as hell, because she’s consciously used her status as a minority to obtain business.

    It can be a difficult concept to explain, but perhaps another example of the kind of hypocrisy involved here is that of elected officials who are closeted gays, who condemn and deny other gays for wanting equal rights including that of marriage. These closeted gays are damn well aware they are “passing” if not successfully all the time; they go along to get along, worried for their own skin rather than doing the right thing by others like them. Sometimes it’s just plain denial involved, lying to themselves that they aren’t like other gays, or lying that there’s any issue at all. But most of the time it’s just plain hypocrisy.

    And that’s Lurita “Cookies” Doan for you. Hypocrite, using the freedoms she was assured by other African Americans while she denies them their freedoms at the same time, because of the privilege of the color of her skin.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      I can only wonder what she thought about the victims of Katrina,left behind in New Orleans-her hometown?

      Or if she even thought of them at all?

      According to Wiki,she and her husband were donating hundreds of thousands of $$$$ to GW that same year.

      She and William “Cold Cash”Jefferson,both from New Orleans, represent abuse of power BY a black person.

      • Rayne says:

        I have some insight into “passing” since I’m multi-racial and look white. I can see some of the crap going on having a foot on both sides of the white/brown divide, and an outsider’s view at the same time since I’m not African American but Asian-Pacific Islander-white.

        But none of that helps me understand where “Cookie’s” head’s at with regard to NOLA and Katrina. One of my friends is formerly from NOLA; his family came here to Michigan to work in the auto industry. We’ve talked a lot about NOLA, even the schism within his own African American culture because he, like much of the African American community in NOLA, is Catholic, while most northern African Americans are Protestants (generally Baptist or Methodist in my area). Is Doan so far on the other side of multiple cultural divides that she can no longer “see” other African Americans in need?

        It’s the only thing which makes sense to me. Rather like the white guys in the uppermost echelons of corporate America who can’t see the lack of women in their ranks, in spite of the business school pipeline which has been more than half full of women for decades; when it’s pointed out to them that there aren’t any women, they blame the women even though they own the process. Doan’s now part of the ownership society and may now be so heavily invested in it that she can’t see anything else.

        Maybe it’s the stunning lack of empathy which explains Doan’s position; she has that in common with much of her Republican cohort.

  20. Gitcheegumee says:


    Well, I guess there must be some DUers visting the lake this weekend,wouldn’t you say?

    Thanks for the link,fatster!

    • Rayne says:

      for you and fatster — might point out that the piece by Charlie Savage linked at DU forgets that Cheney, Rumsfeld and GHWB undermined Ford’s IOB with the Halloween Massacre of 1975. Ford either saved face by claiming he was responsible or actually bought into the bullshit he was told about the massacre helping his election prospects, but it was the vipers in his administration who did the dirty work.

      With Colby at CIA, selected by Cheney and Rumsfeld, I doubt the IOB could do what it was intended to do. I suspect they did the same crap with Dubya all the time when he wasn’t fully on board with their shenanigans.

      • fatster says:

        Thnx very much for the link, Rayne. Do you know what Blumenthal is doing now? Son Max seems to be doing well, but I haven’t seen anything by Sidney recently.

  21. rdwdkw says:

    Doesn;t it always come down to which bus you rode to school? And by the way, Mrs. Doan did you ever really ride a bus?

  22. Rayne says:

    rdwdkw (66) — wow, that’s kind of profound. I rode the “short bus” for one year after my dad worked it out with the local school system for my sibling and I to be dropped at a private Catholic school 30 miles away from our home school, but across the street from the county school for disabled. Learned a lot that year – and the razzing we took from the snotty, upper class Catholic school kids really sucked wind. Eye-opening, revealed who was really handicapped and who wasn’t…

    fatster (67) — sorry, no idea what the senior Blumenthal is doing. He’s definitely a treasure.

  23. Gitcheegumee says:


    Here’s a piece from Hedges,discussing much of what we have been mulling here.


    Truthdig – Reports – So Much for the Promised LandAug 3, 2009 … 2009/08/03 – The most prominent faces of color, such as President Obama or Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr., mask an insidious new racism ……/20090…..ew_racism/ – 4 hours ago – Similar