Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The following is a cut and paste job from yours truly. (I am getting a little lazy so sue me)

Anyway, anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about the Dukies. I have no love for them, and I am sick of everyone crying a river about how they were "railroaded", and what a terrible guy Nifong was, and their lives are ruined.....and on and on. Give me a break! The Dukies will be just fine. And articles like the following from Jonathan Zimmerman in my local paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, makes me realize that other people are thinking like I am.

"About 30 years ago, I heard a statement in a musty college lecture hall that has stayed with me: 'The most important thing you'll learn from history is that victims are not always angels.'
I thought of my professor's remark last week as I read about the ugly denouement to the rape case against three Duke University lacrosse players. Local district attorney Michael B. Nifong resigned and gave up his law license shortly before an ethics panel charged him with "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation" in his prosecution of the case. Nifong still might face criminal penalties and civil lawsuits from the three players, who were cleared of all charges earlier this year.

If the panel's report is correct, Nifong deserves everything he gets, and more. The panel found that Nifong played up the racial dimensions of the case - three white men accused of raping a black woman - to win a tight election. Worst of all, he misled defense lawyers and a judge about DNA evidence that could have absolved the accused.
So the students are the victims here, railroaded by a devious prosecutor with a political ax to grind. But that doesn't make them angels, as my professor warned. These kids didn't break the law, but they did behave like fools. And none of us should pretend otherwise.
Consider the forthcoming book by Mike Pressler, the good-guy coach who was forced to resign following the scandal. To their credit, Pressler and coauthor Don Yaeger don't sugarcoat what Pressler's players did on March 13, 2006. And it doesn't make for easy reading.

Our story begins in the afternoon, when somebody proposed that the lacrosse players go to a local strip club. But when several underage team members were denied entry to the club, they decided to bring the strip club to them. "Every guy that we know in every fraternity and on every sports team had had strippers to their house," one player explained. "We thought, 'What's the downside?' "

So team captain Dan Flannery got on the phone, using the name Dan Flannigan, and hired two strippers. But when they appeared, they were not as young or attractive as the players had hoped. Even more, one of them was so intoxicated that she could barely dance.
Now it gets really ugly. After the intoxicated dancer collapsed, the two women simulated a sex act on the floor. But that wasn't to the players' liking, either, and one of them asked if the dancers had brought any "sex toys." They replied with a joke about the size of the player's genitals. Then another student grabbed a broom handle and said, "Well, how about this?"
Visibly shaken, the dancers retreated to the bathroom and locked the door. Here's where prosecutor Nifong said three men raped one of the dancers.

But that's not what happened. Instead, students slipped bills underneath the locked door to encourage the dancers to come out. The dancers emerged and announced they were leaving; then they quarreled loudly with the students, who demanded a refund.
As the women drove away, one white student yelled at a black dancer, 'Tell your grandfather I said thanks for my cotton shirt.'

So let's do a little experiment. If you have a son, raise your hand if you'd like him to act like these students did. And if you have a daughter, ask yourself if you'd like her to date them.
No volunteers? I didn't think so.

That's because the Duke lacrosse players were exhibiting the very worst of aspects of American male conduct: crude, sexist, violent, and - in at least one instance - racist. As we now know, they didn't attack the dancer who accused them. But their words and deeds help fuel a culture where attacks of this sort are routine, expected and acceptable.
And they're even more acceptable in fraternities and on sports teams, the epicenters of college bad-boy behavior. As a slew of social-science research has demonstrated, fraternity members and varsity athletes are more likely than other students to engage in violence against women and also to agree with "rape-supportive statements" such as "about half of women who report rapes to the police are lying."
In this case, ironically, the woman who charged rape was lying. But that doesn't make the general statement true. Some drivers are falsely accused of speeding, after all, but no one suggests that half of the tickets issued on our highways are invalid.

So, why do so many of us think it's true that so many women lie about rape? Why do we ignore, downplay or deny violence against women? The answer is complicated, but it must start with the boorish, misogynistic conduct that young men learn in school.
Let's be clear: None of the Duke lacrosse players deserved to have their names and reputations dragged through the mud by a zealous, deceitful prosecutor. But they should be ashamed, anyway. And so should the rest of us, for teaching them all the wrong lessons about the right way to behave."

Co-sign with you Mr. Zimmerman, except we didn't teach them anything. These supposedly educated children of privilege learned their behavior all by themselves.


rikyrah said...

The Innocence Project has freed over 200 people -yet, not a peep about going after the cops and prosecutors who obviously got their cases wrong.

I'm from Illinois, where THIRTEEN MEN were set free from DEATH ROW..

Not on some technicality..


And, yet, not a peep about going after the cops and prosecutors who put these men on their way to the gas chamber.

In fact, one of them was rewarded with the GOP Nomination for Lt. Governor last election cycle.

This case was about MONEY MONEY MONEY.

Nifong did what many a prosecutor does to poor Black men all across the country.

Without spending that million dollars A PIECE...

Those lacrosse players would be like poor JimBob and Bubba - trailer park residents - even being White, they'd be behind bars.

And Nifong would still have his job.

This was about money...not ' justice'.

That they are getting ' paid' practically before the case is closed, while INNOCENT MEN who spent YEARS in jail for things they DID NOT DO, are STILL waiting for compensation....ugh

Angela L. Braden, Writer, Speaker, Professor said...

Again, Rikyrah took the words right out of my mouth.

Yes, it's not cool to be falsely accused. But I have no pity for them. I have pity for the poor blacks, whites, and other poor folks that get locked up when innocent.

I spent a little time at the criminal court building with a family member. I was amazed by the number of poor folks that were getting railroaded right to prison. It was an experience that will travel with me until death.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Dang, I can't add anything to this because Rikyrah hit the nail on the head.

And when Silverman refers to "we", he's referring to what white parents have taught their kids about people of color. Especially if they're kids of privilage.

I live in DC, grew up in California (Oakland) and went to school with kids who had working parents like I did, and kids who had parents who were ballers. It is not a matter of having material wealth or possessions; what values you had, either you're going to pass them on to your children, or not. In the case of the Duke Lacrosse players, what Nifong did was perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Lacrosse coach, because like many collegiate coaches at universities like Duke, he's at the mercy of those moneyed, privaledged, spoiled brats, who thought nothing of hiring strippers just because they could, and just because "boys will be boys" old-world thinking.

Sometimes, the victims aren't angels, especially when the decisions they make land them in the crap pile they land in. If they hadn't believed they were entitled to strippers, the whole incident would never have happened, and an opportunistic DA wouldn't have tried to manipulate his way to higher political office or affiliation (What, y'all thought he was content to just be the local DA?).

So, now he's disbarred, and won't be making a living anytime soon, because rather than the Dukies learning their lesson, they're going after him for his remaining shit.

And the cycle of bigotry continues...

Anonymous said...

amen to what's above.

dag though, it's like if someone could have masterminded this it couldn't have worked out better to somehow submerge the realities of these very REAL atrocities farther from the surface view, and grant even MORE allowance of the racist/sexist/homophobic behavior that goes on CONSISTENTLY -- especially on college campuses.

At my alma mater, we had a "serial rapist" and by serial rapist, i of course mean, a big black beast... who's description (i kid you not) was something like "dark to medium skin, height 5'5"-6'5", eyes very white"...and a picture of a generic looking black man was posted up EVERYWHERE. Ridiculous articles would pop up consistently in the racist times (the main paper, of course) and at one point they even started doing random testing of black males.


And then there is the area with all the white frats and sororities (oh black frats and sororities didn't have houses, of course). Ah, this bastion of violent, misogynistic, white supremacist, homophobic hate...the pride and joy of the university, absolved from all sins (follow the money - if alumni are contributing money, hands off their kids)...

these men rape women on a REGULAR BASIS and no one blinks an eye. this behavior is somehow condoned we can keep our focus on that big black serial rapist...oh yeah, and every other black person, ever.

ai. this was more of a rant. apologies - glad you are all talking about this. needs to be said. and said again. and again. so the focus can be that one false claim isn't utilized to negate ALL such VERY VALID claims. just gotta keep doing the work, i guess, keep raising hell about each of the very real examples of this SH*& that goes on every day.


Anonymous said...

"At my alma mater, we had a "serial rapist" and by serial rapist, i of course mean, a big black beast... who's description (i kid you not) was something like "dark to medium skin, height 5'5"-6'5", eyes very white"...and a picture of a generic looking black man was posted up EVERYWHERE."

A double WTF?

Wow! Thanks for sharing that Elizabeth; now that's some scary shit.

christian prog, rikyrah, and angie, I know I am preaching to the choir with you guys, but you still had me nodding my head with your comments.

Anonymous said...

oh yes and i don't think this is abnormal. i think this shit is pretty common, especially in elite white's like there's a plan to be constantly developing new ideas for developing supposedly "valid" reasons for fearing/hating/possessing/suppressing/denigrating blackness.

and an added bonus is that it helps mask white pathology.


There's some further perversion of the north-south paradigm whereby a lot of "northern" kids travel to this southern school and get to take up this "good ol boy" identity and practice their racism and sexism in a fresh way, while entirely self-deluded and still convinced of their northern tolerance and innocence.

it's amazing. let me tell you.


Hathor said...

What bothers me is not that those boys are being beatified, its that Ms. Mangum has become the most despicable woman on earth and a subliminal symbol for the black female; check out this language and follow his link.
Don't ever recall a white women being prosecuted, required to apologize for falsely accusing rape or make restitution.

Francis Holland said...

I "don't ever recall a white women being prosecuted, required to apologize for falsely accusing rape or make restitution" either.

I think I know what "a-symptomatic racism" is, but what's "late-stage racism" and what are the symptoms?

MartiniCocoa said...

My friends and I have discussed what those boys said/did to the woman to make her want to make a false claim of rape.

Now we know. My other thoughts:

***The entire time the Duke case was going on I kept thinking of the Scottsboro Boys case. I wondered if the parents of the Duke Lacrosse players thought of the Scottsboro boys.

When I saw one of the mothers express her amazement that prosecutorial misconduct and false accusations could happen in America on 60 Minutes, I had my answer.

What I wish I could say to all the white people who are expressing outrage at the persecution of the Duke boys:

***So it's an outrage when a bunch of spoiled college boys face false accusations but it's okay and normal when some poor mofo does. WTF?

***And Mr. Nifong is not the first or last DA to allow his ambition to prosecute a case. You really care? Check out all the judges, DAs and cops playing with brown and black peoples lives in the name of their ambition.

And you know what, those little mean spirited spoiled fuckers had it coming.

Also, I do hope it follows them on every job interview, every date, every family gathering until the day they die.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about the Central Park Jogger Case and how those five young brothers were wrongly convicted for the crime. They spent 15 years in prison before they were acquitted for that rape.

The local racist shit rag of a paper here in NYC is the NY post.
That paper labeled those five young men Savages, when the cpj story first broke. 18 years later that paper had posted the picture of the rape victim from the Duke case and had a nasty headline for her.

A white female columnist had the nerve to ask Al Sharpton to apologize to the Duke players, after they were acquited. Of course the whole tone of her column was very snarky and racist.

I e-mailed her and asked, no suggested that her employer apologize to the five men who were accused in the cpj case for calling them savages.

I am not holding my breathe to hear her reply

Anonymous said...

There's an article about the Central Park jogger case at:

Village Voice.

Forgiven said...

I blogged about this case a couple of months ago and I have to say that while it was an injustice what happened to those young men, a wise man once said, "that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

While these 3 men were not guilty of what they were charged with, they are not innocent. It bothers me to see them paraded around like they were just released from death row after 20 years false incarceration. If anything this will enhance, not diminish their careers, as has been proven by the six-figure job of one of them already.

But while we are throwing out our indignities let us remember that it was our willingness to believe the worse about each other that made it all possible, our desire for revenge that Mr. Nifong played upon. I read talk about the male syndrome and the strippers, but how many men who post or read here have gone to strippers?

Judge not or be judged...

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.- Martin Luther King

The Disputed Truth

Hathor said...

"But while we are throwing out our indignities let us remember that it was our willingness to believe the worse about each other that made it all possible"

Just how do you know what person's initial reaction? I hadn't form an opinion about whether there was a rape or not, but I was pissed off at the bloggers that were trying the case on the net. They were also reveling in her background as if a woman had to be a saint to be raped. Some even tried to prove she was lying just because she was a stripper. All that crap that could not be used against the victim in a court; was thrown at her. That is what I am indignant about. It might make it harder for a black woman to be believed when she brings a rape charge. The whole discourse was racist and I am not supposed to indignant.