Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Folly of Youth?

During this election, my mailbox has been flooded with all sorts of wild claims surrounding our current crop of municipal candidates. While I realize most of those claims are probably coming from opposing political camps, I still felt the need to examine some of the most egregious accusations. The majority of them have turned out either not to be true, or I have found no real way of validating the allegation.

However, some have proven fruitful such as Henry's claim of being President of United Water and Tom Arnold brandishing a gun in the Algiers' Courthouse.

A couple of weeks ago I received an allegation against John Georges which really disturbed me. I searched the internet for more information about the rumor and found that it had already been circulated for months... here and here.

The allegation involved Georges being the member of a Tulane fraternity notorious for its debauchery from hazing incidents to vandalism. Much of the stories were typical fraternity fare, but what distinguishes this frat from the norm is an annual party they threw called "The Debutramp Ball" which involved members of the fraternity dressing in blackface and conducting astonishingly racist acts.

I had heard about these incidents taking place at Tulane before, but I always thought they were isolated items which were most likely blown out of proportion.

I was wrong....very wrong.

I went down to the Tulane library to see what I could find out about this fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon (aka. Dekes). What I found still has my head spinning....a history of unapologetic, cavalier, racist acts which ran for decades up until the late 90's.

The history of the Deke's Debutramp Ball supposedly began in the early 50's when there was a garbage strike in the city. The Dekes, who lived in a house on the 1400 block of Henry Clay, decided to help clean up their street in the wake of the strike. I suppose the fraternity mentality got the best of them and they decided to turn their community service into a party. The idea was that they would lampoon the debutante culture of New Orleans and Mardi Gras balls by throwing the trashiest party they could muster. They dressed themselves in clothes from Goodwill, ate sloppy food like spare ribs, and the king and queen of the ball even arrived at the party in a trash truck at one time.

Sounds like good ole' college fun at first glance.

Somewhere down the line (maybe from the beginning) the party started taking on racist undertones, from dressing in blackface to carrying nooses.

Some of the stories I have heard are horrifying. While they certainly dressed in blackface (pictures to follow), they were also reports of members dressing as KKK members and rednecks with guns. The event eventually spawned a parade down McCallister Street where the frat hired flambeaus and mule drawn wagons driven by African Americans.



One of the more egregious stories claims that the Dekes would spread cotton balls around their house and yard, then hire destitute black men to roam the house and pick up the cotton.

That particular story is conjecture and I couldn't find it documented in the library, but I did find a lot which was documented....even by the Deke's themselves.

In 1987 the parade drew the fire of not just Tulane officials, but the entire community. The City Council and Mayor Sidney Barthelemy were approached to " take whatever steps are necessary and possible" to shut the fraternity down permanently.

Tulane President, Eamon Kelly, had already revoked the Deke's charter in 1984 after finding them guilty of 4 violations of the IFC charter involving hazing, initiation abuse and communtiy complaints.

Kelly's letter calling for the eradication of the Deke fraternity was submitted on the cusp of a particularly rowdy Debutramp Ball.....here is the beginning of Kelly's 1987 letter to the Tulane community:

(Note: I aplogize for the blurred photographs, but the library would not allow me to use a flash when taking these pictures. Click on the image to enlarge.)

Here are some pictures I found of the Debutramp parade rolling down McCallister:



This one is the Debutramp group in front of the Deke House on Henry Clay:


I'm not sure what the poles are but they seem to be a staple prop for the party.

I went through the entire file folder of the complaints against the Deke's from 1930 up to 1996. One of the stranger complaints came in 1978 when Patricia Cade of the Jefferson Parish SPCA wrote a letter to then President of Tulane, Sheldon Hackney, complaining about "the use of a goat" in the frat's initiation practices:

Here is Hackney's response:

I certainly hope it wasn't true either, Sheldon.

I also found a letter to Hackney about the incident penned by a Catholic nun from a nearby church that was about 5 pages long. She was lecturing him about how bestiality would lead to the spiritual downfall of the entire city...it was a fun read.

The Dekes later denied that any sexual activity with the goat actually took place...I could find no comment from the goat.

I went back through the Tulane Jambalaya (their year book) from 1975 through 1987 to see if I could find pictures of the fraternity and the Debutramp Ball. The very first picture I found dropped my jaw:

NOTE: THIS PICTURE CAME FROM THE 1975 YEARBOOK

Yes it is...

This was the fraternity's group picture which they submitted to the yearbook....and the Jambalaya editors published it. Wow.

Apparently the goat ritual continued even after they were exposed in 1978, as this 1979 group picture proudly displays the goat in the middle of the frame:

So back to the allegations at hand.

Georges was certainly a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon when he attended Tulane circa 1979, 1980, 1981. In this group picture he is the guy sitting down in the upper left:

This picture is from the 1981 yearbook, when Georges was actually the president of Delta Kappa Epislon:

Here is a tighter shot:

Looks like they were trying to do some kind of Last Supper theme.

Then I found this photo from 1980 which appears to be the Debutramp event. Georges was either a sophomore or junior when this photo was taken:


I'm not sure what the poles represent, they kind of look like shotguns. It seems like some of the members are dressed like rednecks and the other members are in blackface.

Ok, so the burning question is whether or not Georges is in this photo and if he ever attended this racist party while he was a Deke. I have shown this photo to a couple of people who have seen Georges in person (I never have) and they claim the face in the far left side of the picture is suspect:


I don't know if that is Georges or not, but here's what I do know:

- I know that he was in the fraternity when this picture was taken.

- I know this party occurred every year through his tenure at the frat.

- I know the Deke's were constantly being charged with racist actions all the way up to 1997:

In the End, Where Will Power Lie?

Players might take a lesson from an event that unfolded here largely buried by the Super Bowl hype. Last Friday, members of a fraternity distributed flyers under the doors of white male students at Loyola and Tulane Universities here, inviting them to a rush for Delta Kappa Epsilon. The fraternity's event for Jan. 20, Martin Luther King's birthday, was ''DKE National Holiday.'' The flyer invited recipients to ''Come celebrate the King's birthday with fried chicken from Popeye's, watermelon and a 'forty' '' -- a 40-ounce bottle of beer.

A white student at Loyola showed the flyer to two black friends, Nathan Woods and Ryan C. Holmes. On Monday, Holmes, Woods, their white friend and eight others visited the frat house. Asked their business when they arrived, Holmes said: ''We're here to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday with you. Where's the chicken?''

There was no violence but Holmes said that he made his point. You can argue that college students reacting to slights and indignities are far less at risk than high-profile athletes who would protest hiring practices. But if 19-year-old students are courageous enough to confront a racial situation, why should millionaire athletes who collectively form a vast power base, tremble in fear?

Riding on the recent endorsement from the New Olreans Tribune ( let me know if you were as bewildered as I was after you read that endorsement, Oyster has commentary), Georges has touted himself as the only person in the mayoral election who can bridge the racial divide. Well...before he performs miracles I think he needs to give us a pragmatic explanation of his affiliation with this organization.

I'm actually sympathetic to the notion of the folly of youth....I did some incredibly stupid things when I was in college (but nothing like this, mind you). I believe in redemption, but in order to get there he needs to come forward and condemn the actions of that fraternity....no, he needs to condemn that fraternity entirely....right now he is proudly listing himself at its president.

I'm still having trouble understanding how Tulane allowed that stuff to go on for decades....all the way up to 1997. That's incomprehensible to me.

I contacted Georges' campaign and asked if he wanted to reply to the story, I received no response. Any repsonse he would like to give, I will post.

UPDATE: a commenter noted that Mayor Barthelemy was not in office until 1986 and he is correct. Here is the bottom half of the letter:

I got the date wrong and have subsequently corrected it.

As for the political hit accusation....you can think what you want, it doesn't change the facts. I wrote this story of my own volition and time, but if you would like to donate to my work there is a PayPal button on the right side of the blog....maybe I can hire an editor to help me with fact checking.

UPDATE 2: I got the name of the party incorrect. The correct name was Debutramp Ball, I called it the Debutrash Ball. I have corrected that mistake in the post.

UPDATE 3:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Folly of Youth?":

Just a point of clarification in your timeline of DKE activities --

On Feb. 15, 1984, Tulane President Eamon Kelly revoked the charter of DKE.

Any DKE actions after 1984 were conducted without any tie to Tulane University, and were independent actions undertaken by a group which had no affiliation with Tulane.

The 1987 parade through Tulane's campus was held without the permission of Tulane (although the group had filed for a New Orleans parade permit). This action was deplored by Tulane officials, and in the letter of April 11, 1987, of which you show only a portion, President Kelly goes on to state that participants in the parade would be prosecuted to the fullest extent, that he was writing to the DKE national organization urging it to revoke the charter of the New Orleans affiliate {the Tulane chapter had already been closed}, and asking the Mayor and City Council to take whatever steps they could to close the DKE house on Henry Clay Avenue.

Hence, it is incorrect to say: "... Tulane allowed that stuff to go on for decades....all the way up to 1997."

Tulane initially banned DKE in 1984, and permanently washed its hands of the fraternity in 1987. Any references to DKE activity post-1984 were not Tulane-related.

What is incorrect is the end of the sentence, "all the way up to 1997." Mea Culpa. However the party originated in the 50's and ran up to 1984, that certainly constitutes decades.

Thank you for pointing that out.

UPDATE 4: I didn't make it explicitly clear in the original post that the yearbook picture with the noose was from the 1975 yearbook...I have corrected that.

UPDATE 5: Eamon Kelly was the President of Tulane, not the IFC.

154 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sidney Barthelemy was not mayor in 1984. He was councilmember at large. Dutch Morial was mayor 1979-1986, and Barthelemy's term began in 1986 and ended in 1994.

Racy story with some explosive innuendo, but sloppy fact check for sure. . .or mostly heresay? if you can't get the year and who was mayor right, sounds like sloppy research at best, or worse, a targeted hid underwritten by an opposing campaign. . .

Anonymous said...

Bryan Batt was a DKE with Georges? Surely he or someone else who was Georges' contemporary could ID him positively, no?

kman said...

Hey, that is great research and quite professional journalism. It's unfortunate for John Georges, but he claims to have a 50% black employment rate, from CEO's down to cash register employees. I think he's grown a lot over the years, but this article may haunt him on election day.

Anyway, nice article.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus.

Thanks for digging this up. It is sickening.

I hope he doesn't get a single vote.

I hope every half-decent person who has endorsed him un-endorses him.

Any black person who votes for this man is full of self hate.

By college, you know right from wrong.

The late seventies and early eighties weren't the fifties.

He didn't just turn a blind eye as this parade went past, he was part of the fraternity, he held an office in it, and may have even helped with the planning.

He certainly knew the planners and the participants, even if by some chance he wasn't one.

I wonder if they contributed to his campaign, or if he still has ties to his old frat brothers?

New Orleans will reveal its character plainly with the percentage of the vote that goes to this man, if news of this gets around this week.

GENTILLY YARD ART said...

That pic of the brass band looks like Uncle Lionel on bass drum.

I see him walking around the Quarter and the Treme all the time.

Next time I see him I'm gonna ask him about the Deke's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Batiste

Anonymous said...

"... a targeted hid (sic) underwritten by an opposing campaign..." my ass.

Anon 1, you know what to do with yourself.

Great catch, Zombie. Hope it goes viral FAST.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon: all the more reason to dislike Batt.

Alex del Castillo said...

IIRC, DKE was already kicked off campus before 1985 when I was there. There were lots of crazy stories then too, but they certainly were not operating under the auspices of Tulane.

Anonymous said...

Jay Batt was a deke too. He graduated in 83 from tulane. He and brother Brian were quite the fraternity party planners.

Dambala said...

No Jay was an SAE from what I found.

Anonymous said...

Jay Batt is a member of the Bienville Club which has a strict all white members only policy. Blacks are only allowed to serve food.

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking.

Seeing those nooses hurts like hell.

Clay said...

The Deke's have had lots of prominent members of society on its roster. I've got a cousin that was a Deke at about this time.

Also, lots of local lawyers and judges were Dekes, if memory serves. John Georges might not be the biggest name in one of those photos.

Anonymous said...

Gentilly Yard Art, you are right. I missed that initially, but it is Uncle Lionel with the brass band (Treme Brass Band?) in the photo. How sick is that--these kids of means put on blackface and hire a brass band with African-American members to play the music.

E said...

Yes, the Dekes remain alive and well though occasionally off-the-books for running afoul of Tulane policy. I bought pot from a Deke once or twice when I was at Tulane in the earlier part of the decade. The story then, which I didn't ever verify, was that they had gotten tossed off campus for having pledges kill puppies. Seriously. Puppies.

They're not the only ones. I was really astonished by what I heard from a lot of my classmates... It is quite the intersection of privilege and ignorance.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking at those old DKE photos, you should not some of the other members in previous years. They're an incredibly prominent group of New Orleanians. Rather sad.

Livin said...

When I was 16 in 1970 I went to a DEKE party. The frat brothers would disappear upstairs, strip down, paint themselves various colors and appear naked downstairs. It was the first naked grown man I had seen. It was meant to shock the women and the reaction was supposed to discern if the gal was loose. So we have misogyny as well. They were a pretty raunchy crew as well as very wealthy. I think that is why they were tolerated for so long. I must say that I have changed a lot since 1970 but if Georges was related to these incidents, he needs to perform a major mea culpa. This type of stuff is as hateful as Nagin and Riley's racism. Different brand, same old hate.

Mick said...

Incredible piece of investigative journalism, AZ. I just hope the MSM runs with it (with due credit, of course!) before Saturday. Truly disgusting.

On a side note, very much looking forward to watching Troy Henry's appearance at the Icehouse Series tomorrow at 11:30am. I think he's heading for a meltdown. See here (it's not listed because he missed his initial time "due to weather"): http://www.trumpetgroup.com/speakeasy2010/

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I heard they were involved with Watergate, the Cambodian massacres, bringing crack cocaine to the inner cities and several plots to kill Castro, Mayor McCheese and Al Copeland....

You people are both pathetic and gullible as shit....I'm beginning to question the value of my Tulane degree if the school allowed so many clueless, hyperbolic idiots in as well. Hopefully you fools went to Loyola.....

PS I'm sure all of you are pcompletely candid and standby each and every thing you did at twenty years old or so (like our president sniffing some white bag and spending time abroad in some, ahem, "interesting" countries post-Columbia U), you friggin' sanctimonious hypocrites....

Dambala said...

- I'm sure all of you are pcompletely candid and standby each and every thing you did at twenty years old or so

yeah...well...I never fucked a goat...and I never tormented people of different races. Not sure I'm following you here man...maybe you should elaborate on your point. why don't you go ahead and tell us how what these guys were doing was not that bad...i'm all ears.

Anonymous said...

Five US Presidents have been Dekes: Teddy Rosevelt, Gerald Ford, both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, and one other one, I forget which other one.

George W. Bush is their next distinguished speaker, according to their website.

My skin is crawling. Maybe it will crawl right off, and I'll have to run around and catch it like in a cartoon.

So those rich white boys get to have their actions described as youthful folly, while boys as young or younger went to Vietnam and now to Iraq or Afganistan, to kill, to be killed, to see their friends killed, to come home maimed for life?

And generation after generation, the men who sent them might have been Dekes?

I think Georges should be held responsible for those nooses for the rest of his life.

The men I know who were that young when they went to Vietnam haven't ever given themselves a break about what they did and saw.

Anonymous said...

Dumbala, You are staggering gullible if you believe they screwed a goat (only complete morons at Tulane believed that long running joke when I was there). Killing puppies? No, as I recall it was little old ladies and the homeless, actually.

As for cracking racists jokes or appearing in blackface in the '60s - '70s-'80s at Tulane? Yeah, I'm sure they were only ones doing that....not condoning it, but check out all the other fraternities there, or those at Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory, UVA and many other southern school at the time and I think you'll find this was far from isolated behavior. Quite unfortunate, not particularly enlightened, but get some perspective. As for believing everything this guy has written, the fact that he couldn't even get the name of the party correct tells you all need to know about his journalistic accuracy and thoroughness. But it's on the internet so it HAS to be true, right?

And my point, which I thought was rather obvious, is young people do stupid shit in college that they're embarrassed about later on in life -- but, then again, I'm sure you were helping orphans and transferring novels to braille for the blind all the while you were in college...if you even attended college.

Anonymous said...

If this narrative documents truths about Georges -- which as a body of evidence it does -- it reinforces the contemporary image of the man as a person who in chameleon fashion, lacks a consistency of conviction and moral character, pandering to whomever he's trying to impress.

Dambala said...

If you're not condoning it you're certainly defending it. I don't care if they did it in every University in this country...it's fucking wrong. It was wrong in 1975, it was wrong in 1997, and it's wrong in 2010.

If I got the name of the party wrong why don't you enlighten me...you seem to know so much about it. I assume you were Deke? Go ahead and enlighten us on how all this shit really wasn't that bad, or how it was just harmless fun.

Keep talking...just keep talking.

Dambala said...

I get the impression you've probably gone through your whole life thinking your "point" is obvious.

Yeah I went to College...I just didn't torment other human beings while I was there.

Adrastos said...

I recall that WWL-TV was all over the story of the condition of the Dekes frat house on Henry Clay and its subsequent closing. The neighbors were up in arms and were very important in Eamon Kelly's decision to withdraw formal recognition.

I think fraternities are ridiculous. They're what Vonnegut called "grandfalloons."

oludumare said...

"As for cracking racists jokes or appearing in blackface in the '60s - '70s-'80s at Tulane? Yeah, I'm sure they were only ones doing that"

-- hey anon, couple of real important points here for you:

1) dambala (and all the other guys who did this kind of stuff in the 70s and 80s) are not the ones in question here. they're not running a blatantly divisive campaign for mayor of new orleans under some ridiculous bought-and-paid-for pretense of unity

2) defending those images by labeling those who find them offensive as "pathetic and gullible" makes you sound desperate and sad.

yeah, okay, you're right, we all did stupid shit in our 20s. --- extraordinarily racist, abusive pranks that consisted of inflammatory, demeaning and tasteless tactics like wearing blackface, KKK costumes and decorating our yards with nooses.

do you have any fucking idea how wrong that is? how hurtful? regardless of the year it took place?

chalk it up to the folly of youth if you must in order to sleep at night, but there's no defense for that kind of behavior - no matter when it occurred - especially from a would-be mayor of new orleans in 2010.

Dambala said...

- But it's on the internet so it HAS to be true, right?

Oh...and for the record...what isn't true? I got the party name wrong? What else isn't true? You seem to be in quite a tizzy about it, so show me what isn't true.

Anonymous said...

Bryan Batt is indeed also listed on the list of DKE members on the yearbook photos attached.

Anonymous said...

I think John Georges is a pretty cool guy, eh wears blackface and doesn't afraid of anything

Anonymous said...

Dambala, besides the usual thanks (man, besides the usual $$$ maybe we should instead all buy you a kegger have it on the porch and have a Krewe of JG pee-rade (BYOG, Bring Your Own Goat)....), some thoughts:

- Yes, other schools in other states were doing it. Some were worse. (That's a comment on your commentary on TU, not Georges; you'd be surprised what donors and lawyer calls/letters can do to keep this stuff going).

- To the anons who say this is foolish, or unfair, or (in one place) "sanctimonious hypocrisy": To me the issue is that The NO Tribune and black political honchos endorsing Georges should make this issue and related questions known to their constituencies or readers, and just in general black, white, Viet, Hispanic, and all voters should just include this in their calculus. It is a little late in the game, I'll say that, but still time for Georges to respond (if he is asked right away). I can guess what it will be if he [ever] does, it will probably be like the phone camera incident, accusatory of the people raising the issues, not addressing the issues themselves.

- You should try reaching Brian Batt about this, he might just be receptive, who knows. I'm guessing if anyone's 'reformed' out of that bunch (and with a bridge or two to burn) it might be him. Hm, but what of his brother, that might pose a problem?

- Isn't Georges running on some kind of quasi-ticket with Jay Batt?

- That noose picture - that's really the key. Is that him or not? He just needs to answer that.

(That is probably the single largest political dynamite photo I can recall since Gary Hart and Monkey Business).

People will do what they do in college (or at that age). They have to live with their own demons and as far as others are concerned they just need to be honest if they want redemption, and yes redemption is a wonderful thing. But if and when someone runs for office their WHOLE LIFE must be an open book. We have a right to know *who* we are getting as mayor, their beliefs, their values, their ideology, their personal history (well within limits, but things like infidelity yes), their everything. Witness John Edwards and what we have monstrous things learned about him and how what we don't about people like George W. Bush and Barack Obama could fill tomes probably and how important that could be when we look at what policies they push or bring. Regardless of how anyone feels about all of this, just remember that if you elect a man/woman who lives with and relies upon deception and deflection by accusation you will get deception and deflection by accusation once in office. You should not expect anything different.

- So, somebody, please just ask him. If he gives the 'dangerous people are doing dangerous things with the internet' thing, let people decide if people were doing dangerous things with a Kodak in 1980 also. They look pretty proud of what they were doing, as though they *wanted it all recorded. he was president of the whole darn shooting match back then, so he must have wanted it all recorded. Well, he did, didn't he?

- Cortez

Anonymous said...

the sticks are supposed to be spears.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, one other thing:

does anyone remember the DKE house burning down? Wasn't that them?

Have to wonder what that was about. Any hiding of evidence or arson possible there?

Just kidding, right? Right?

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, one other thing:

does anyone remember the DKE house burning down? Wasn't that them?

Have to wonder what that was about. Any hiding of evidence or arson possible there?

Just kidding, right? Right?

Anonymous said...

well zombie, if it's any consolation your first anonymous attacker wrote "heresay" [sic] (I believe the proper spelling is "heresy") when I believe he meant the legal term "hearsay".

Startling work. And, I wouldn't count myself as one of your "fans."

Dambala said...

actually I read that in the file as well. I think someone was convicted for arson in that event.

George Mauer said...

Hey Anonymous, how old exactly were you in college?

My time at Tulane was between the ages of 19-23, and you know what? I haven't undergone any radical shift in values since I was there. Seriously man, if you were part of that shit you need to do some serious penance to set it right.

To the person bringing up presidents, fraternities and sororities vary widely from school to school. The DKEs were definitely party animals at Tulane but elsewhere they were likely the nerdy bookworms.

Oh and interestingly enough, during the time I was undergrad at the Tulane (2001-2005), the dekes had a reputation but were mostly not heard from. By far the worst were the Pikes.

boathead said...

Didn't your research uncover anything about the Haloween pit? It was a rite of passage for every Uptown high school kid to egg the DKE house. The DKE pledges would then run them down and throw them into the "PIT", a hole dug in the ground and filled with RIT dye and swine feces (trucked in especially for the event). How many folks reading this showed up at school Nov.1 with their skin stained from the PIT.

Anonymous said...

This is a horrible indictment of Mr. Georges' past. But there are probably more damning items that are timely and involve issues related to his business practices and his willingness to go beyond the acceptable in order to make money. Dig deeper. The story only gets better.

Anonymous said...

To the first anon: if you think this was a politically motiviated, targeted hit underwritten by an opposing campaign, you obviously don't read AZ much.

Otherwise you would realize that this is a politically motivated, targeted hit for the pure enjoyment of it. Dambla thinks Georges is a dangerous, sketchy guy who would be bad for the city and has said as much. No hidden agenda there.

What Dambala is doing is:
1) Being up front about where he's coming from and what his motives are.
2) Doing research and presenting evidence for people to make their own decisions, not just spewing innuendo.

That is 100% totally ethical. So, first anon, go suck an egg.

Personally, I think that if the Georges is indeed hiring and promoting black employees to high levels throughout his organization, then that speaks louder than some admittedly reprehensible behavior in college. But kudos to AZ for getting the facts out there...great work again, man.

Anonymous said...

Just heard from two of my friends in the Batt camp that TMZ.com and another hollywood gossip site have tried contacting them about this story with regards to Bryan Batt.

This story threatens to take down a lot of people including former Judges once their names get out.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a small town and went to a small, all-white Catholic school that admitted its first black student--into our class--in 1968 when I was in 6th grade. I suffered the taunts and vitriol of fellow students because I befriended and defended this student (who remains my friend).

I was raised in a middle class family whose pharmacy opened a credit account to anyone who agreed to pay their bill--no matter their race or religion. My parents did not tolerate any racial slurs or prejudice. As a result, I was able to go anywhere, into any home or business in town, and be treated with respect and love. This sense of security and acceptance was one of the greatest gifts my family ever gave me for it showed me the power of example, of how an honest life lived well resonates in one's community. I don't know if I will ever feel that I have reached my father's level of benevolence and love. It motivates me, long after his passing.

Some of my classmates, many the children of doctors, lawyers and other well-to-do citizens, were (and too many remain) the most racist, snobby and conservative elitists in my then-small world. I learned much from their hubris, entitlement, prejudice, narcissism, egos and callousness. I challenged them then and continue to this day.

There is no excuse for this behavior. There is no rationalization for this history. This is a disgusting and damning revelation.

I have no horse in this race. I am backing and working for no candidate. I only want the best we can find to lead. I will make that final decision Saturday. So far, I only know who will not get my vote.

Dambala, I struggle to find words to express my respect and appreciation for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this to light. I can't imagine that someone could be president of the fraternity and not, at least, condone and/or participate in the event. After watching a mayoral debate and hearing Georges speak, I knew he was not the candidate for me.

I hope you will have some more investigation into Henry's campaign also before Saturday's election. I find his comments and actions similar to our current mayor and it makes my skin crawl.

Sam said...

Anon said:
There is no excuse for this behavior. There is no rationalization for this history. This is a disgusting and damning revelation.

That noose cannot be rationalized in any way. Yes, we all did stupid things at that age, but I for one, while being the standard bearer for 19 yr old stupidity, never did anything like that.

And yes, that sure does look like Uncle Lionel. I will ask him when I see him next time. I'd love to know what he thought about this. Breaks my heart to see that fine gentleman playing music for these neanderthals.

I'm just sick. As always, great job my friend.

chronologist said...

What yearbook, exactly, is the noose picture from. You said it was the "very first picture" you saw looking through the 1975-1987 yearbooks.

Does this mean the noose picture is from 1975? And didn't you say Georges started Tulane in 1979?

nola nerd said...

I used to babysit in the next block on Henry Clay and heard about the pit - can't say I ever saw it but I definitely heard about it. I do know for sure that the neighbors were less than fond of these boys.

Dambala said...

Yes that is correct. The noose yearbook picture came from 1975, I clearly state that. While I am not certain exactly what years Georges was at Tulane I know he was there in 1980 and 81. I never implied he was in the picture with the noose. I am implying that there is a documented history of racist acts by this fraternity from at least the early 70's through 1997 and Georges was president of the frat in 1981. The debutramp event was most certainly being held during the period he was there.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Georges was born in 1960 per his online bio so if the noose photo is from 1975 that likely is not him (unless he was either a prodigy who started TU early or allowed to hang out as a high schooler).

Though was the noose a permanent feature of the house?

The blackface is really going to be impossible to prove considering the fact that even presuming it true he would never admit it.

So what you have is him being in - and being president over, and so literally presiding over - these kinds of activities.

Dambala said...

yes.


Once again, I never claimed he was in the picture with the noose.

captain sassy said...

I don't partake myself, but I hear this is tearing up Twitter today ... good job, AZ.

Anonymous said...

great dicktective work gumshoe... now get a life

Dambala said...

so clever...dicktective. are all the Deke's this witty?

Mick said...

Georges is having a block party at 1515 St. Charles St. today from 5:30 - 7:30pm; "free food, live entertainment, and dancing!" (it didn't say anything about goats).

I'm only letting y'all know this because I don't want anyone to bother him. So stop thinking what you're thinking. Right now.

GENTILLY YARD ART said...

http://www.dke.org/site/news/news.php&id=6

scroll down to the bottom of this interview.

favorite movie "animal house"

Anonymous said...

I hate Tulane
(maybe only slightly less than LSU)

I hope this does damage to Georges AND that 3rd rate institution - because it does too much to tolerate this shit, then and Now!

Anonymous said...

Let's put this narcissistic child in his place. I have many emails of depicting and telling racial jokes of which Georges and many of the "he's from a good family" are in the distribution. I will release this to the press if Georges is in a runoff which is highly unlikely. Otherwise I will keep it filed away under scum.

Anonymous said...

Look for a big story on this on one of the news stations. I think its supposed to be on either on 4 or 8 but they are doing a piece on the photos.

Anonymous said...

I hear little about Georges wanting the McKenzie's Bakery chain as a means to grow his video poker business. He was going to serve wine and make it a place where women would be comfortable gambling.

mick said...

From the article referenced by Gentilly Yard Art: "I can meet with the African-American community in the morning and the titans of business in the afternoon," Georges said.

Yeah, cuz they're mutually exclusive, right, John?

Anonymous said...

What an expose!
Don't stop there- Georges has recently asociated himself with the Democratic party, a political group that actively supported and perpetuated racist "Jim Crow" laws in Louisiana for more than 50 years.
Let's see something on that.

Fast Eddie said...

This is pretty libelous.

Let's see some actual proof.

Dambala said...

Are you smoking crack Fast Eddie? Pray tell where is the libel?

Anonymous said...

what is the "Bienville Club"? their address is 666 Gravier. uh...

Anonymous said...

Not to throw cold water on unattributed efforts at internet character assassination, but the racism accusations over the 1975 photo showing a noose are seriously misplaced.
It is only recently that the noose became a racially-charged symbol for grievance-mongers. In 1975, a noose had no more racial significance than a pair of socks.

Anonymous said...

Did it never occur to anyone that the entire Debutramp thing, including kings, queens, black face and flambeaux was a satire on Carnival and New Orleans Society in general.

Fast Eddie said...

Dambala,

The writer implies, without substantial proof, that Georges actively participated in those activities.

It's all hearsay at best.

The readers seem to be inferring that Georges is a racist and I don't think it takes a stretch of the imagination to conclude that the author was trying to suggest just that.

Civitch said...

@anon, who wrote that "It is only recently that the noose became a racially-charged symbol for grievance-mongers. In 1975, a noose had no more racial significance than a pair of socks." So, what, it was a fashion statement? A biting commentary on suicide?

We all *know* what it was, and why it was being displayed. Please spare us your pathetic attempts to rationalize this reprehensible behavior.

Dambala said...

- Not to throw cold water on unattributed efforts at internet character assassination, but the racism accusations over the 1975 photo showing a noose are seriously misplaced.
It is only recently that the noose became a racially-charged symbol for grievance-mongers. In 1975, a noose had no more racial significance than a pair of socks.

Oh really? So in 1975 a noose hanging from a southern fraternity house's tree just meant they were using it for tire swing or something like that?

This is a chrono-centric issue....yeah...that's the ticket.

And I guess Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, written in 1939, was about apples and oranges:

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

You fucking idiot...you're actually going to try and justify these assholes hanging a noose in the front yard for their yearbook picture as a harmless act? Jesus Christ...that takes the cake, man.

You guys just keep talking...I beg you...keep talking.

Anonymous said...

John Georges is a horrible candidate for mayor and I did not for him (I voted for James Perry, if you really want to know). However, this post is little more than idle speculation being massaged into an uproar, truly the sound and fury, signifying nothing.

As a former fraternity member (BLACK fraternity member, to be specific), I remember in college when people would ask me if I was made to "have sex with a goat" or forced to "raise a puppy then kill it" or "do the elephant walk" (each pledge holding another's penis while walking around a room). None of this was even close to anything we did. The truth was you sat in a weird looking room, said some greek words that you didnt understand, got a brand, drank some beer and became involved in campus organizations to meet your philanthropy hours.

Fraternities might not be the bastions of enlightened thought that you all would approve of, but the idea that they are into beastiality, senselessly killing animals, and/or forcing pledges into homoerotic situations is laughable. You have no proof of this besides a letter from a woman who wrote down a rumor in the 80's which somehow in your mind makes it true today. I also love how one picture with a goat automatically means these guys were having sex with it. Really? Did you ever think that they might have just put that in there to unnerve pledges or to make gullible people work themselves up in a furor?

Most likely, all these guys are guilty of is getting drunk and having extremely racially insensitive theme parties. Over 20 years of some of the most open hiring practices in this city outweighs any party Georges participated in 30 years ago.

If you all want to get up in arms over blackface on drunk college students go ahead, but don't delude yourselves into thinking you're doing anything for those of us who, you know, actually have to deal with real racism daily. Like the kind that prevents you from feeding your family or being promoted at your job. I'll take 1 John Georges over 100 of you sanctimonious jerks any day of the week.

Chronologist said...

Thanks for the clarification.

I felt it necessary because at least four of your self-important outraged commenters were holding Georges responsible for the noose.

Dambala said...

Fast Eddie,

Great, libel suit brings discovery and we subpoena all his frat brothers to go under deposition and we find out exactly what these guys really did.

Dambala said...

No, let me be clear, I am not holding Georges responsible for the noose.

That was 1975, he was not in school at that time. But I think the picture is important to display the history this fraternity had.

Fast Eddie said...

Dambala,

You don't deny the libelous nature of your article.

Where, on your moral high ground, do you categorize that?

I don't plan to vote for Georges. I just feel the need to defend someone who is being wronged. Isn't that what prompted you to write this in the first place?

Anonymous Fraternity Member,

Hear, hear!

Dambala said...

Fast Eddie...what I did was expose the truth. And I asked Mr. Georges to take responsibility for it.

Apparently that isn't his M.O., nor the members of your fraternity.

I stand by my words. How you perceive them is up to you.

Civitch said...

@ fast eddie (and may I say you seem to have chosen an appropriate moniker, sir!):

libel: a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person

Key word there being FALSE.

What's false in this post?

Dambala said...

- Most likely, all these guys are guilty of is getting drunk and having extremely racially insensitive theme parties. Over 20 years of some of the most open hiring practices in this city outweighs any party Georges participated in 30 years ago.

If you all want to get up in arms over blackface on drunk college students go ahead, but don't delude yourselves into thinking you're doing anything for those of us who, you know, actually have to deal with real racism daily. Like the kind that prevents you from feeding your family or being promoted at your job. I'll take 1 John Georges over 100 of you sanctimonious jerks any day of the week.

that's some mighty fine astroturfing.

Fast Eddie said...

Dambala,

Did I perceive them inappropriately?

If your only aim was to condemn Georges' involvement with an unquestionably racially insensitive fraternity 30 years ago, that's fine.

When you post a picture of a person in blackface and suggest that said person is Georges, you defame him, and that's wrong. Amend your post accordingly.

To clarify, I'm not in a fraternity. I was merely glad to see Anonymous stand up against your generalization.

Fast Eddie said...

Civitch,

I cannot say that any of it was false, because I wasn't there. But the burden of proof lies on Dambala, and I've yet to see where any of Georges suggested involvement is true.

Can you provide some proof? I would be more than happy to concede the moment Dambala or anyone can prove Georges wrong.

Hell, I'll start the list.

Items for which we have proof:
Georges was in a fraternity.
Georges was president of a fraternity.
Georges was in a fraternity picture without blackface makeup.

Y'all can fill in the blanks.

Dambala said...

- Amend your post accordingly.

Was that an order? I never took orders very well.

I stand by what I wrote, Eddie. If you want to be my editor you can try donating a massive sum of money through the PayPal button on the top right of the blog...it won't change this story, but I'll confer with you on future stories.

Meanwhile, you can always go to Blogger.com and start you're own blog.

Anonymous said...

What is damning about belonging to the Bienville Club?

Anonymous said...

Just a point of clarification in your timeline of DKE activities --

On Feb. 15, 1984, Tulane President Eamon Kelly revoked the charter of DKE.

Any DKE actions after 1984 were conducted without any tie to Tulane University, and were independent actions undertaken by a group which had no affiliation with Tulane.

The 1987 parade through Tulane's campus was held without the permission of Tulane (although the group had filed for a New Orleans parade permit). This action was deplored by Tulane officials, and in the letter of April 11, 1987, of which you show only a portion, President Kelly goes on to state that participants in the parade would be prosecuted to the fullest extent, that he was writing to the DKE national organization urging it to revoke the charter of the New Orleans affiliate {the Tulane chapter had already been closed}, and asking the Mayor and City Council to take whatever steps they could to close the DKE house on Henry Clay Avenue.

Hence, it is incorrect to say: "... Tulane allowed that stuff to go on for decades....all the way up to 1997."

Tulane initially banned DKE in 1984, and permanently washed its hands of the fraternity in 1987. Any references to DKE activity post-1984 were not Tulane-related.

Anonymous said...

You must be a person of great discernment, as you both quote poetry and assess me as a "fucking idiot" in a single post.
Nonetheless, I have the advantage over you in that I have actual knowledge of the topic at issue.

I can say proudly that I was a Deke at Tulane in 1975. We had a rope that usually served as a swing. Somebody thought it would be clever to tie a noose on it when they came by for a yearbook photo. No racial animus was involved.

Absent some malicious context, a noose wasn't a racially-charged symbol in 1975. This was decades before Jena. It was so long ago that you could call someone gay without talking about their sexual orientation.

What strikes me is the arrogance that allows you to make assertions about somebody else's state of mind (much less going back 35 years to do so). You happen to be wrong.
My observation is that people generally seem smarter if they stick to talking about what they know.
Best wishes.

Dambala said...

- I can say proudly that I was a Deke at Tulane in 1975. We had a rope that usually served as a swing. Somebody thought it would be clever to tie a noose on it when they came by for a yearbook photo. No racial animus was involved.

You keep telling people that. Let me know how it works out for you.

Dambala said...

Oh yeah...and by the way. If you are so proud to have been a Deke in 1975 at Tulane...sign your name.

My name is Jason Berry.

Testosteroyster said...

The future of journalism is work like this. You ae to be comended for giving a damn and doing what is very painstaking work in the library, as opposed to the Googleing. I suspect that fully half of you commentators couldn't find a library if you dropped them off at the front door.

It is clear to me that you have gone to great lengths and pains to present facts in an orderly and thoughtful manner. While there were a couple of MINOR factual mistakes, you fully ackowledged them and that's that.

The story needed to be told and should now be picked up by the Times Picayune and/or Gambit, regardless of the election results.

John Georges has made it clear that he intends to be political force in this state/city/parish--whomever might have him. Right now, everybody's taking his money, but someday, we may have to take his direction.

As such. Mr. Georges really needs to come clean about this. He has an opportunity to set the record straight and needs to take it.

If he does, I might actually begin to pay attention to him as a real candidate.

But I'm not holding my breath. My lungs are open and so is my mind, Mr. georges, so speak up!!!

Meanwhile, great work, Dambala. Keep it up.

Dambala said...

- John Georges has made it clear that he intends to be political force in this state/city/parish--whomever might have him. Right now, everybody's taking his money, but someday, we may have to take his direction.

As such. Mr. Georges really needs to come clean about this. He has an opportunity to set the record straight and needs to take it.

If he does, I might actually begin to pay attention to him as a real candidate.

But I'm not holding my breath. My lungs are open and so is my mind, Mr. georges, so speak up!!!

Sir, that is the point. Thank you.

If he would stand up and take responsibility I may even consider voting for him....seriously.

It's amazing to me that we have candidates that refuse to take responsibility for themselves and they are aspriring to take responsibility for this entire city's future.

Thank you for that comment.

Red said...

Anonymous said “Absent some malicious context, a noose wasn't a racially-charged symbol in 1975. This was decades before Jena. It was so long ago that you could call someone gay without talking about their sexual orientation.”

Listen up ‘Anonymous’- you are dead wrong and I’m sure you know it (I find it hard to believe you could construct full legible paragraphs in English and still be this extremely ignorant) but are perhaps hoping to fool some White readers who may have limited knowledge of American history but you’d be wrong there too. The general audience that reads this blog do so to go that extra mile to be informed because blogs like Dambala’s have broken many of the local stories that the TP, NY Times, and new stations have followed up behind to make their top story headlines.

But just to correct your attempt to sugarcoat the record, nooses have been used by White hate groups against Blacks as a way to terrorize and kill us since my people were brought to this country over 400 years ago. For over 400 years, nooses have not only been racially charged symbol, they were a weapon of mass destruction against a people that ultimately proved too strong to be permanently put down by the oppressor. In America, Noose = White race hatred against Black people. That’s the record.

Now, to you Dambala: a million thank yous for exposing this POS for what he really is. You don’t have those kind of values and belief and constitution for dehumanizing a whole race in your 20s and turn around in your 40‘s and you’re a180 degrees different person. You just get craftier with it. You learn to camouflage, say what you think your audience needs to hear to like you and expedite your agenda. Now all of a sudden, he’s the Black man’s best friend? HE’S the ‘African American candidate’? Really?? There is no way in hell this man needs to be holding the highest public office in a Black majority city when he has shown his capacity for depravity, cynicism and contempt for us. He needs to be put on permanent time out from local politics. And good for him he’s so rich he doesn’t need my money for his salary cause with his past, my taxpayer dollars need not step one foot in his direction as elected official. If he wants to make amends, he can do it from the private sector.

Anonymous said...

Zombie...

I don't know how its done, but you should really have your blog read on 88.3. For the "blind" and "print handicapped"

http://www.wrbh.org/

I'm SERIOUS !!!

oyster said...

"all these guys are guilty of is getting drunk and having extremely racially insensitive theme parties"

I think this is a legitimate point, and shouldn't necessarily be casually dismissed, even if it's astroturf. Tasteless party, even by satirical standards? Yes. Racially insensitive? Absolutely. Looks extremely stupid thirty years later? Yep yep yep.

The crucial element to this story-- which I think is a good one, and which is fairly presented-- the crucial vital element to this story, is that Georges trumpets his "leadership role" as frat president as part of his biography. He was an (young) adult in an executive position, and he presents this proudly as part of his leadership experience. So... I think it's totally fair game to question Georges, and ask whether he disavows the tasteless and racist theme parties that he, presumably, participated in and helped organize.

Anonymous said...

Ok so this anon who is trying to make the case that nooses weren't really racially insulting in 1975 is straight out of SNL.

I just can't get Seth Myers' voice out of my head.

"Oh really DKE? Really?"

"Really?"

Really."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCPg-9XySv0

Anonymous said...

I was a DKE at Tulane during the mide-1980s. I do not live in New Orleans and I have no interest in the city’s mayoral race. I just want to put forth a few points regarding Debutramp. First, it was always presented internally as a parody of a debutant ball. Second, we did form a receiving line and tear the cloths off our data. That said, we took or date shopping for tacky dresses to wear to the party and they were told to bring a change off cloths to the party and to wear one piece swim suits underneath their “party dresses” so that they would not be naked. Third, regarding the black face, it was only new pledges that wore it as they were required to be flambeaus (like they have I all the parades in New Orleans) for the parade and that is what the poles are for. They are not spears. Fourth, Tulane could not stop the parade because the street, McAllister, which runs through Tulane, is owned by the city. I can’t provide any insight regarding other portions of the article as I was not there during any of the events described and I refuse to discuss my personal relationship with Wooly the goat.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Deke's were infamous. It's all about institutional racism, not the christian stuff that you get in the country. Rich white boys scared of blacks becoming powerful. Yeah, John Georges, aka "The Floor Sweeper", would love for you to believe he came from nothing and built something. Not so...the guy built his kingdom, selling cigarettes, booze, and video poker. Even to minors. This doesn't make him a choir boy. Totally sure the guy is a racist. No doubt... However, he tolerates blacks now, cause it a bridge to power.

Was he an ass at TU? No doubt. He probably pulled of some fucked up shit, and his boys loved him for it. Dekes were useless anyhow. No one liked them.

Dambala said...

Thank you. That was the most rational response yet from a Deke.

- Third, regarding the black face, it was only new pledges that wore it as they were required to be flambeaus (like they have I all the parades in New Orleans) for the parade and that is what the poles are for.

Now here's my question...does that make it right?

Are you telling me this was all innocent fun, or are you telling me this was a stupid thing to do?

Anonymous said...

I think it's hilarious the Deke's a flying out the woodwork. Totally scared of being labeled as the total idiot/racist fools they were. Probably are in positions of power now. Man, that network is totally buzzing, and yeah I bet they still meet in some low level no one cares about.

Anonymous said...

You are letting Mr. Rational Response off way to easy. What better a way of hazing a pledge, then turning him into a black slave. Clever response as to say they were flambeuax in a mardi gras parade. Don't let these lawyers fool ya...they are all in a back channel trying damage control.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I went to Tulane then, and naievely I didn't realize that young supposedly educated people could be so extremely racist until I encounterd the DKEs.

The Tulane DKEs were giant douches then, and Georges is still one.

Anonymous said...

"Only the pledges had to wear blackface"...speaks for itself.

...we told our dates to bring extra clothes, and to wear swimsuits underneath, so that when we ripped their clothes off in public, they wouldn't be naked.

So the girls were degraded, pretending it was "hilarious" to be treated this way by their date, but not naked.

Right.

Are you a father? Would you want your daughter to be treated that way by a boy/young man/ her future husband and all of his friends?

You'd want your daughter to go through this sort of initiation into womanhood? Really?

If you were a young woman who might eventually go to law school, how would you feel about being the "tramp" in that scenario, and spending the rest of your working life around lawyers and judges who were once dress-ripping Dekes?

If you were a young non-white law student who passed these horses asses on your way to your job after class or the library, how would you feel when you later had to practice with them, or face them in court, or see their smug fathers staring at you from the Bench?

What if one of those men was your OB GYN when you were having your baby?

OK, you know, maybe it was just an "insensitive theme party".

Maybe Mardi Gras is just a parade.

In New Orleans, the social order is revealed and replicated, continued through ritual, costume, and performance.

This "mock" ball is not an attempt to dismantle the debutante culture, with its barely concealed racial and sexual violence.

The overacting of these violent attributes of the culture by young men being groomed to take over the positions of power in it is about ritually and symbolically taking ownership of, assuming a controlling interest in, this exact culture, even if you are, say, the son of Greek immigrants.

It is ugly as sin.

Anonymous said...

Next you'll say y'all were pretending to be chimney sweeps because you think Dick Van Dyke is the man.

Fast Eddie said...

"...blogs like Dambala’s have broken many of the local stories that the TP, NY Times, and new stations have followed up behind to make their top story headlines."

Stupid TP. Stupid NY Times. What with their fact checking and journalistic integrity! We want our news now, whether it's legitimate or not!

You're the man, Dambala! You must've been in that library for ages. They wouldn't let you use a flash or anything. Damn...

Dambala said...

No flash.

Hey, how would you like your ass handed to you...with potatos or rice?

Mick said...

1) There seem to be FAR more poles than "freshmen". 2) That noose looks to be FAR too short of a rope to be a swing, particularly when it's on top of the house. 3) That is CLEARLY a spear in the photo of the guy in blackface walking in front of the truck.

Oh, and I was around in '75 - gay was gay, and a noose was a racist symbol. Quit yer lyin'.

Captain Sassy said...

Any of y'all have photoshop expertise and can look at what the door says in the "last supper" photo (the last "normal" group photo in front of the house)? In the upper right-hand corner of the door it says something that's curious to me. I won't say what it looks like cuz I might be just reading into things ...

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I don't think these are former frat members. Unless this would do damage if they were named (and some are). Georges has his team probably giving very rational responses to his inappropriate behavior.

Anonymous said...

I love a guy who wouldn't even pick up his own Ashley Morris Award for Excellence in Blogging to protect his identity calling out other people about integrity. Want me to take you seriously? What's your full name and date of birth? Otherwise, you could be Mitch for all I know.

Being a journalist and getting upset when someone asks for more proof smacks of ego.

BeverlyRevelry said...

Good on you for all your work, and especially for Strange Fruit. Too bad the commenter sees it as "only a poem." Perhaps the DKE defenders have forgotten about the lynching postcards that were so popular in the late early part of the 20th century. No racial implications there. No sirree.

Again, good work, AZ.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank the author of the article "The Folly of Youth." It was a courageous, incisive, and eye-opening article.

I also want to say something to the persons who are justifying the behavior, blaming it on youth. That is a disgusting, cowardly excuse. When I was in college, I had the choice: should I run with my rich friends who had all the connections and did immoral things because they thought they were untouchable. Or should I join a church group and have them become my main core of friends? I chose the latter and am very thankful I did. Having fun at the expense of others, especially the downtrodden, is among the most evil things possible in this world. Helping those who have been abused and mistreated is what life is about. As Simone Weil wrote, "Where there is a need, there is an obligation." Never is it right to laugh at or injure the need.

Thank you again for this important work of investigative journalism. I understand that big media isn't touching on this issue because it is such a sensitive issue and Georges is just an after thought in the race. If he makes the runoff, it will become an issue.

Anonymous said...

A noose isn't a weapon of mass destruction. It can only kill one person at a time.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

And to be fair to the DKEs nooses were used to kill many white people also.

Maybe they were re-enacting "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" for film class.

Anonymous said...

At those times in US History, it was a disgrace to assert weakness and offendedness in order to censor others and other groups.

Today, the assertion of weakness vis-a-vis censorship barely evokes a criticism. Instead, the sheep herd just nods in agreement ..."we're all so very hurt, and we're all so very right."

Our enemies abroad know about this climate change, and attacks like 9/11 are evidence. Pearl Harbor was a military installation...the Twin Towers were civilian turf.

Keep asserting your soft belly, and you'll find it punched. Not that I think you're worth the jail time...ie, don't bother to whimper, "he threatened me!"

oyster said...

Speaking of birthdays... happy birthday, J.

If there's a surprise party, I promise not to spoil it.

Anonymous said...

During those years, the Assertion of Weakness and Offendedness in order to prompt Censorship of Others was considered an ineffectual disgrace.

Today, no more: as evidenced by your whimpering series of foot-stompings over Bygones, of all things.

Don't think our enemies overseas ignore you and your forward thrusting cavity. Witness the change in boldness between the attack on Pearl Harbor (military installation) and the World Trade Center (civilian turf).

Continue to encourage them by your shamelessly proud vulnerability. Perpetually Offended Countries, in a fallen world, eventually get raped, Einstein. Sure, there are things we could do to prevent it, but I think they escape you.

Ponder that. And keep stamping your feet...all you do is wear out your sole.

Anonymous said...

Dambala

Don't waste your time discussing racist behavior with people who either (1) advocate the behavior or (2) serve as apologist for the behavior. You made your point. You have posted facts, and presented documentation and photos to back up the facts. A picture says a thousand words.

I say let them speak. It is fun to read the idiocy. And by taking it seriously and responding, you give weight to the comments.

Consider it puke and leave it on the floor. Another DKE will soon come by and lap it up. That's what they are good at.

Anonymous said...

At last, a chance to look at those pictures that have been whispered about for weeks now.

Just a thank-you note for some first rate investigative reporting -- and for the chance to watch a good reporter working with passion.

If we ever have to face a world without newspapers (may that day never come), at least with reporters like you, we will NOT "go gentle into that dark night...."

Varg said...

Zombie already revealed his identity Mr. uh, Anon.

Dambala said...

Wonder Twin powers.....activate

Civitch said...

Form of......an ice goat!

Dambala said...

Shape of....an eagle?

That isn't fair, you combined water and animals together.

Dambala said...

Thank you, O, you didn't spoil it last year...I had no idea.

Anonymous said...

I guess happy birthday, Zombie.

To the anon(s) who write about "soft underbellies" "getting punched" and countries that show weakness "getting raped"...the anon(s) who wrote the strange posts about Pearl Harbor and 9/11, I want to make sure I'm following you.

You are saying that protesting against domestic atrocities, the actual lynchings of black people (and, thanks anon, some whites, too) and assaults on women, or the aspirational pop culture celebrating them weakens the USA and makes her vulnerable to violent terrorist attacks?

Protesting the forms of "domestic terrorism" (against women, "slaves", etc.) perpetrated by the powerful weakens the country?

Say what?

Do you hear how misguided you sound?

You are saying that frat boys dressing up in blackface, parading around with "spears" and nooses, evoking lynchings is what keeps America strong?

You are claiming that humiliating and degrading young women who trust you enough to date you is an American VIRTUE?

You think that strong men do those things?

They don't. Weak men do these things.

Weak leaders need to do this crap, because they do not inspire respect or obedience without terror and the threat of death.

You know, a Deke was actually President when 9/11 took place. He couldn't stop it.

I think he did his best to cope with the aftermath. I don't envy him the terrible burden of responsibility that was thrust on him that day.

But he sure missed an opportunity to capitalize on the global outpouring of love and solidarity for the USA that was the world's first response to that terrible, terrible event.

We had those Abu Graib (sorry about my spelling) atrocities on Deke Dubya's watch.

Those pictures evoked the history of lynching pictures for many.

How many people does that kind of prisoner abuse turn into violent anti-American proto-terrorist?

Even military people are telling us that now.

The real, patriotic, disciplined American officer class, the best fighting men ever, does not like this kind of shit.

These are the kinds of behaviors that HURT America.

The patriots are the ones who say, "America is not about that, and we're going to speak up against it." Zombie is a Patriotic American.

The real men are the ones who say, "A good man would never do or condone that crap."

Anonymous said...

No. You are reading between the lines and making up conclusions that I do not think, did not say, and did not imply.

You have no transcendental ability to allow phenomena of which you do not approve, in order to err on the side of permitting a free culture.

I do not approve of what took place at Tulane/Deke. I would rather allow it than drive it further underground.

You lack a short term optimism that would exercise confidence (of which you're in short supply) ...confidence that would allow your enemies to self destruct.

Instead, your censorship backfires into making persecution heroes out of those who do things you don't approve of.

Remember, in a censorship culture, as soon as your particular party of fellows falls out of power, you will be the one censored.

That much Reading Between the Lines
= post literacy, which is as unfortunate as illiteracy.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous - "This 'mock' ball is not an attempt to dismantle the debutante culture, with its barely concealed racial and sexual violence."

i totally disagree on the sexual violence and dismantling of true debutante balls. the real ones are pretty unusual if you think about it, fathers pimping out their young daughters to men but only if the price is right. once could CERTAINLY make an argument that their mock-ball is a critical satire of this process, suggesting its no different than ripping the clothes of said daughters. certainly this arg could be made.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous - "What better a way of hazing a pledge, then turning him into a black slave."

uh, no, he said flambeaux. are those guys we see in the parades slaves? or just black? because i read him say they made pledges dress like black flambeauxs, not slaves.

Anonymous said...

@red - "In America, Noose = White race hatred against Black people. That’s the record."

...actually, that isnt true. maybe for you. but when i was kid in the '80s a noose represented death (as it has for centuries, to all people), and was morbid-cool. we didnt even know what the word "lynch" meant.

Anonymous said...

@dambala - "go to Blogger.com and start you're own blog."

...ah yes, the love-it-or-leave-it argument. here you playing at Agent Mulder, when a couple level-headed posters call you on the pretty flimsy, weak argument youre making ("this MIGHT be Georges in make up! Ooohh!"). so what do you do? respond in like-minded reason? no. tell them its "astroturf" and to go start their own blogs.

nice dodge.

if you cant take the heat your attention-getting posts are designed to attract, then get the fuck out of the kitchen, man.


"My name is Jason Berry."

uh, dude? you only named yourself when you were about to be publicly outted. not before. you hadnt for years prior. so dont pretend.

Anonymous said...

Final debate is tonight on WWL, I wonder if someone will take a chance and hit JG with this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Who Said Happy Birthday to the Worthy Blogger,

In the US, most good men allow many things that they neither condone or approve of. It's a Tertium Quid: a third view, a third thing.

Please reconsider your Right and Wrong paradigm then add, "no, I don't like it, nor approve, nor condone, but someone else does, and this is a free country."

When fundamentalists on the right Rail Against a Permissive Culture, they are joined in sizeable measure, by Railings Against a Permissive Culture from the left.

HL Mencken's Puritan Definition fits both right and left feet.

Jail Cells built for the enemy invariably include friends.

Ex: the folly of Faith-Based Government Funded Programs. It caters to Right Wing Religion when Righty's elected. It caters to Left Wing Religion when Lefty's elected.

American Transcendentalism means rising above Left and Right in order to permit freedom: freedom which slightly smells, but is better than a false, offenseless, boring utopia.

Obama Gets This. Likely, it will ruin him politically however. Ex: he graciously debated at the BaptoCostal Church in SoCal...then he spoke at a Tim Tebow prayer breakfast...all in tandem with Obama's Views, which are not the views of his hosts, who are frankly -- Not Animals To Be Caged.

We are to be a noisy people. Hogan's Heroes lampooned the Nazis, as the Dekes may have been doing to the Carnival. It wasn't my idea, and I would never concoct such. But Hogan's Heroes does not "Condone or Oppose Nuremberg."

The Lord God laughs at His enemies...consider His optimism: better than The Cage Building Snarl, the Self Righteous Rush, and a Post-Literate-Seeing-Double-Between-the-Lines.

Please quit telling me "what I'm saying." What I'm saying = the words, plus a very limited amount of between-the-lines conclusions.

Anonymous said...

I was a member of the Deke house at Tulane in the early 80s. It resembled nothing of the fiction this writer has created. it was fun and spirited, there were no redneck or racists parties or attitudes that I encountered. No animals were mistreated (except for an occasional goldfish that was served for dinner) Debutramp that i attended was silly and sarcastic, not raceist. (I think I wore a dress)

FYI several US Presidents were also Dekes. Many Dekes have supported Tulane charity and the community in untold ways. This so called investigative journalism is a smear campaign to hurt Georges. If were were all judged by what our frat members did BEFORE we got to college what world this would be.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Guess y'all have idled-out for a minute so...
"Happy birthday, Zombie."
"Zombie is a Patriotic American"
I just had to stare at those statements for a second.
I mean, nobody told me Zombies have Birthdays? That has to be somewhat different than a Virgin Birth. And... Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These. Patriotic Zombies... not that I disagree one bit... it's just, America is a Cyborg that dreams of electric sheep, and Georges is a Deke that dreams of fucking goats.
Does it get any better than this? Well, maybe it could... what if Georges had been an Aggie?
Well for one think it would have bumped the IQ of both schools bada'bing!
Buuutt...
How many Texas Aggies would it take to help John Georges screw in a light bulb? 3 Aggies: one to get the goat, two to hold the goat and three to ahem distract the goat.

Your Word Verification Thingy for this comment is "gropyrat".
Yep, thas'me, An'Ah Wants Mah Sclaps!

Bryan said...

Just so we are all clear on who is writing this article:

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/08/american_zombie_blogger_outs_h.html

Dambala said...

- "My name is Jason Berry."

uh, dude? you only named yourself when you were about to be publicly outted. not before. you hadnt for years prior. so dont pretend.

Once again, my name is Jason Berry, if you're a "Proud 1975 Deke" then name yourself.

Actually....hold on...I'll name them all.

Dambala said...

I saved you the trouble of putting your name to that 1975 class.

Now you can see it proudly displayed next to the ....uh....tire swing.

termite said...

when i was in school, the DKE's never struck me as bunch of racists kids, just stupid. I went to a party at their house (LSU) where they proceeded to take every stick of furniture in the house and throw it in the lake. I knew then i wasn't in the company of our future leaders.
or was i?

Anonymous said...

AZ,

About that anon you labelled an astroturfer earlier...

That may be. But if you'll check my IP and it's earlier posts, you'll see that I'm defintely not an astroturfer, and I agree with his final point completely.

I'm making no excuses for this conduct; it's reprehensible and i agree that Georges should distance himself from it. BUT...I have heard no serious dispute of Georges' claims to hiring and promoting African Americans to meaningful leadership within his companies. If that is the case, then I think that speaks much more clearly as to whether or not he is a racist than his role with the DKE's.

If that employment track record is true, I am willing to write the incidents documented here off to his well-established tendency to alter his words and his behvior to match what he thinks his current audience wants.

That's not an attribute that I'm looking for in a mayor either. But it doesn't make him a racist, just someone who is very anxious for acceptance.

Anonymous said...

From Happy Birthday anon to the anon replying to my post:

Good ANSWER!

Yes, I actually agree with a lot of what you wrote.

But didn't those posts telling us that if we got upset about men in blackface with nooses we 'were letting the terrorists win' disturb you, too?

I mean, "let us do this, or watch the USA get raped"? The language was pretty violent.

The suggestion was that this kind of white man was all that stood between us and the void. That kind of idea seems more suited to some englishman serving in the British Raj.

To the anon who says he could see the Debutramp thing as a legitimate critique of deb culture:

Ah, yes, but this party lasted for generations, so the young men who engaged in this "social critique" grew up to be the fathers who, as you put it, all but pimped out their daughters in the actual deb balls.

I think the original point that the over-exageration of this culture at this ball is about claiming it, not mocking it, holds.

Zombie studied anthropology. I wonder what he thinks.

Dambala said...

- if you cant take the heat your attention-getting posts are designed to attract, then get the fuck out of the kitchen, man.

I'm in the kitchen man and still cooking....as a matter of fact let me tell you what recipe I'm looking at right now.

So here's what I can do for you to help you spread the message far and wide about how proud you are to be a 1975 Deke.

I can actually list everyone of those 1975 names in the post next to the picture (instead of posting them as image).

Here's what that will do for you. This post has received over 12,000 view since it went up...any search terms I list in association with it will immediately climb to the top of Google's search engine...probably forever.

So to help you out, I can post every single member's name in the post next to the 1975 picture...that way every time someone googles your name that post is what they will get. Isn't that cool?

I can even do profiles of each member and see where they are now and what they are doing...you know...like Real Estate agents, lawyers, judges, etc.

The exposure will be a great way to express how proud you and your bros are of being in that picture and the fraternity...kind of like a "Where are they now" essay, that he whole world gets to see.

You let me know, and I'd be happy to do that for your 1975 Deke class.

Anonymous said...

@dambala - "Once again, my name is Jason Berry"

...yeah but once again, youre only sporting that badge of honor AFTER you were about to be served. before you were using anonymity just like the rest of us.

and fyi - im not a DKE. i wasnt born until a year after the noose photo. i just think some of your implied messages, and worse, your attitude towards challengers of your ideas, is often petty and absurd. the guy you labeled "astroturf", for ex. as a neutral party i found his post thoughtful and raised questions which you simply failed to acknowledge, let alone answer.

you do this a lot -- somebody challenges your thought and you label them a supporter of So-And-So, or Person X, etc..

its weak. just as intellectually weak as coming back with... "Well...Go start yer own blog!"

Dambala said...

- its weak. just as intellectually weak as coming back with... "Well...Go start yer own blog!"

so you're now hovering on this blog post so you can tell me I'm intellectually weak.

got the message.

by the way...i rarely if ever use exclamation points.

and you know, you really can start your own blog...seriously...you don't have to troll the bottom of a 136 comment post. really...no kidding.

Dambala said...

- ...yeah but once again, youre only sporting that badge of honor AFTER you were about to be served. before you were using anonymity just like the rest of us.

By the way, man....I'm still waiting to be served.

Anonymous said...

@dambala - "So here's what I can do for you to help you spread the message far and wide about how proud you are to be a 1975 Deke."

do whatever you please, i dont care cuz like i said -- i have no connection with *any* frat. i just read your blog and call em like i see em. you dont like challengers, get petty with them, and its weak.

"you don't have to troll the bottom of a 136 comment post"

whos trolling? tho as for scrolling (to the bottom of a 136-comment page), its really not a problem for me. think i can handle it. nice attempt to distract from my point by attempting to get under my skin, tho.

"By the way, man....I'm still waiting to be served."

not the point. the point is, by your own admission, you came out only when you believed you were about to be unmasked. thus, you cant brag about being open. it wasnt by your own hand.

fo shizzle.

Dambala said...

- not the point. the point is, by your own admission, you came out only when you believed you were about to be unmasked.

Where did i make that admission? Show me where I made that admission.

So let me get the accusation correct because it's morphed so many times. It's no longer that I'm weak...it's that I only revealed myself because of the threat of a lawsuit? Is that it?

Ok...not.

I have been a documentary filmmaker for over 20 years. I sat across from NOPS school board members, on camera, and called them crooks. I wasn't blogging anonymously because I was timid...I was blogging anon. because I was getting really good information on the Crime Cameras, Meffert, etc. from people first hand, because they didn't realize I was the blogger.

When the Ellis story broke, I was contacted by the TP (who already knew my identity as did just about every blogger in the city). I told them to print my name. It had nothing to do with the threat of a lawsuit, in fact I told the reporter to make sure she prints that they want to sue me in the story...I wanted it known that they were threatening the suit.

I'm not afraid to look anyone in the eye that I've written about on this blog.

That's my answer to your accusation...or at least your current accusation.

Now...would you like to identify yourself? I would be happy to look you in the eye and let you bitch at me all you want. But no, you're not going to do that are you? You're going to change your attack and continue to obsess.

Would you like me to send you an autographed picture?

R.J. said...

Some of these apologists must think we're all twenty years old.

In 1975, 98% of the time "gay" meant queer. And nooses were only tied to either intimidate blacks or hang one's self.


Oh, y'all should try to dig up the memo at Lucky Coin about "not speaking to Mr. Georges unless spoken to first." Some receptionist got fired for that.

Anonymous said...

dambala-

You come across as the person of reason and righteousness who is the protector of all people who cannot defend themselves, when in reality you are only perpetuate their defenselessness by making such rash posts. You may think you are an "insider" and can get dirt of the goings-on of the city, and you probably do get inside information to post on your pretty little blog, but all you do is make things worse. This is not breakthrough journalism. Digging up things that happened over 30 years ago is not going to change the NOW. The NOW is that since being President of a international fraternity recognized as being a starting point for a very large amount of successful persons (many of which have already been referenced in these posts), John Georges has a shown that he gives equal opportunity for everyone. You forget that the right to free speech works both ways. You have a right to post this nonsense on your blog and bitch about what happened 30 years ago as much as you want, just as 30 years ago the men of DKE had just as much a right to do whatever the fuck they wanted to do. Instead of dredging up past events that have no bearing on whats happening right now, why don't you try to find some other way to slander a man who is a qualified candidate to be our mayor? This country was founded on the principle that every man should be able to decide for himself and have the freedom to do as he pleases. The best man for the job is the best man for the job. You only get from life the amount of hard work and dedication you put into it and nothing of that comes free. I am sure that you are no perfect man, and despite your saintly attitude on race you harbor deep down inside of you a form of dislike for others that all of us have. It is unavoidable. Instead of reading through this post and picking out little tidbits to repost and comment on, why don't you stop to think for once about the big picture. I do not want to start my own blog for the simple reason that I do not want to waste my time. I read through all 141 comments on this blog to fully understand your position and those of others, and I have realized that you are just as prejudiced as the people you accuse, except that your prejudice is against anyone who opposes your views. How are you any different than any of the people yo accuse of being racist? You are just as biased as them. I will tell you that I am a proud, current member of DKE, and that I know exactly what the nature of the occurrences 30 years ago. Get off of your high horse and actually come to some concrete conclusions. I am tired of your "I am just presenting the facts" bullshit. The fact of the matter is that you, sir, are just as guilty as the men you accuse. Just out of curiosity, when were you born?

Dambala said...

I was born in the 7th circle of hell on the banks of the river Styx. My mother was a jackal, my father the prince of darkness.

Or wait...I was born in the back seat of a Greyhounf bus, rolling down Highway 41.

Come to think of it, I was born in Barlow, Kentucky...population 882.

Are you asking me that because you want to write the unauthorized biography?

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, Dambala isn't running for mayor of New Orleans. You didn't illustrate a parallel as much as you would like to make believe. Not unlike DKEs very conveniently thinking that their toxic actions no longer matter after they take off the blackpaint. It's called ego-driven self-delusion and Georges suffers from it like many of you. Not a good quality in a potential mayor, either.

People do care, voters do care particularly in this city - get your head out of the goat's ass.

Anonymous said...

Dude, now THAT'S a way to make money.

How much will you sell those autographed pictures for, Mr. Berry?

The current Deke who proudly writes about knowing the history of his little club, but being part of it anyway is a total asshole.

I think you are pretty nice to people who don't share your "views or opinions."

Most people who come here express their opinions; I've seen conservative Republicans say "lay off the gays", and I know I've actually learned to respect some political perspectives I used to scoff at from reading posts from commenters here.

But blackface and some "Aryan Foundation"? Come on.

Goat fucking is less offensive than an Aryan foundation.

Dambala said...

- I am sure that you are no perfect man, and despite your saintly attitude on race you harbor deep down inside of you a form of dislike for others that all of us have. It is unavoidable.

hey man, I just re-read that comment. I'm not being a smart ass but you should talk to a therapist about that. If you think every human being harbors a dislike for others down deep inside, you should seek counseling. I'm not being an asshole, it just really worries me that someone feels that way.

Anonymous said...

As a member of one of the DKE sister sororities, I attended Debutramp as the date of one of these vile creatures, and can attest to their horrid mistreatment of females. Not only were our dresses ripped off, but the most obscene, aggressive, and obese DKE delighted in dumping full glasses of everclear punch on the girls' heads as well as other sundry mistreatments. I can attest to the moronic and mindless racism, as well.

Such is their ignorance to the inappropriateness and hurtfulness of their behavior, I have received Facebook friend requests from some of them.

I know the individuals in the photos, and can attest that, save 2 of them, they were racist and mysoginistic, nearly always incoherent, and totally uncaring about the feelings of others, with an overwhelming sense of entitlement. They loved flailing on top of one another on the floor in a delightful "dance" ritual known as the "gator." A grotesque sight to behold.

Just a couple of months ago many of the indivuals from these photos had a lovely little reunion in New Orleans as part of the Homecoming celebrations, and photographic evidence of this get-together indicates that years of privelege and debauchery have left them totally bereft of any attractiveness whatsoever. Never has a more bloated, hairless, pale, and sexless group of creatures existed. Suffice to say that they have not weathered they years well.

However, a few cocktails did manage to get a few of them onto the dancefloor in imitations of gyrations past.

In the background of the photos, one can see two sad-eyed black catering employees looking on.

The best image is of the fraternity's handsome golden boy, still married to my sorority sister, leering at some younger ladies in attendance (the median age of the female guests was 50), his wife present at the event in the next room.

Term papers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hamza said...

Sheldon Hackney was president of the University of Pennsylvania during the so-called Water Buffalo Incident, a controversial affair involving a student charged with racial harassment that raised issues involving free speech and university judicial procedures nationally. In particular, Hackney's role in the incident was a subject of his 1993 Senate confirmation hearings for the NEH appointment. Hackney published memoir about the turmoil of his confirmation, The Politics of Presidential Appointment: A Memoir of the Culture War
[ISBN 1-58838-068-8], was published in 2002.

He is listed as #87 in Bernard Goldberg's bestselling book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America.

davidbieber80 said...

I went down to the Tulane library to see what I could find out about this fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon (aka. Dekes). What I found still has my head spinning....a history of unapologetic, cavalier, racist acts which ran for decades up until the late 90's.
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isabel de los rios said...

Your hate won't be forgiven as the folly of youth. It will have long lasting consequences, should you act on it. Worse still, your fear and your hate will fester without kind old daddy to explain them away

Anonymous said...

I was one of the last Dekes at Tulane, in the late 80s. I always will be a Deke. I am not racist. My fellow Dekes are not racist. The notion that Dekes from the late 80s are pillars of the communities in which they live is correct. There are plenty in New Orleans still.

Peace.

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

Congratulations.

Gary Fretz said...

The Dekes were always just a group of fun-loving guys. These comments that allege some sinister elements are just total mis-understanding by those who were not there. For example, the picture with the noose. The noose was formerly our swing under the oak tree. For Halloween we'd string up a skeleton along with a lot of other decorations to entertain kids ... in that "noose photo" the noose was let over from Halloween... I see all this sinister speculation about what we are up to and just have to laugh