Thursday, August 31, 2006

Duke Drama

Betsy has a good round-up. She mentions an ESPN piece by Jon Pessah (via KC Johnson) that I hadn't seen that explores how the case affects six people--players, coaches, professors.

You know, I think this Nifong guy is going to go to the ropes over this case. And you know what? I have flashes of the O.J. reverse. If the jury can be set up to Nifong's satisfaction, these boys will be hung before they're tried no matter how feeble the evidence.

While the boys at the New York Times opined about race and privilege, they meant exactly opposite the problem being exposed in Durhum. There is a bias against white, educated, athletic, "in crowd", popular men. These guys are the younger version of the stereotype it's okay to hate in America--they're just not fat, bald and in senior managment, yet. If they can be stopped while they're young, though, the world will be saved! Why, Mike Nifong is doing everyone a favor: one of these guys could be a future President Bush.

As long as college towns have existed the "Townies" have hated students. Sometimes for good reason. More often, it is simply malicious jealousy. If you read some of the history, you'll see that a couple of the police officers in Durham made sport of putting students picked up for some drunken misdemeanor into a cell with hardened criminals.

While Mike Nifong and his keystone cops exploit this case and seem to be making a sport of the whole thing, lives are at stake. Reputations are at stake.

And the biggest loser of this case, ultimately? Women. This case is having a chilling effect on truly traumatized women coming forward to press charges. More men, true criminals, will get away with rape in the future because of this. And that is what upsets me most about this case.

Background here and here.

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