UPDATE: LieStoppers reports that Duke is to reinstate Seligman and Finnerty:
Citing the "unwarranted harm" that continued leave would impose on the falsely persecuted young men, Duke University has invited Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty to return to the University for the spring semester as students in good standing.Pardon me for being an ungrateful observer, but if it were me, I'd say, "Screw you, Duke." The school administration and coach ruined an athletic season. Readers may find that the least of these guy's worries, but time will make this loss more profound. It takes years of hard work and discipline to get to these guy's level of play. There's that. And then there's their academic careers. Going to school with their friends. And then there's their professional careers.
A commenter at Liestoppers says: This is what we call an attempt to mitigate damages in legal jargon.
Absolutely. Remember, too, that the WHOLE team was considered suspect and hung out to dry. That's 43 kids or something, none of which had squat to do with this accusation. It defies imagination that the girl was raped 43 times (or more) but that didn't stop the faculty adnd administration from jumping on ALL of them.
Imagine how different their lives would have been during this difficult time had the school presumed their innocence. Oh sure, Duke would have received castigation from the politically correct within and without. Had the school taken a week or two to gather information, put the kids on a temporary suspension to check things out, perhaps the case against the men would have looked as suspect as most every fair-minded person thought it to be at first glance. But no, the institution rushed to judgment. They participated in the ruin of reputation, achievement and futures.
Screw Duke. (UPDATE: OK, that's not a very Christian reaction, I know. I'm still working on my attitude. I just can't imagine why any parent, forget Seligmann and Finnerty would go back to the school. They would be targets--locals, police, students, faculty. They wouldn't be physically or in any other way, safe. Duke's president knows this. He's just covering his rear. The whole thing is a joke.)
Are you following this? Greta Van Susteren was all over this the week I watched cable. Mostly, she was all over Mike Nifong. What I couldn't believe was that she actually had guests who attempted to defend his actions. The most notable defender was, of course, a feminist. Here's Nifong's latest blasphemies via Rhymes with Right:
"I don't feel that I'm part of the problem. I feel that I have assisted in revealing the problem," Nifong said. "Durham has some healing to do. And I need to be part of that healing process, and I need to have something to do with how we move forward."The man is delusional. He seems to perfectly represent Durham. Parents, don't send your kids to Duke.
I read some feminist blogs about this case and found them depressing (an older link--it was difficult to find anything but silence on most feminist blogs) and outrageous. The basic premise was: ignore the facts of the case, believe the woman until proven otherwise. Which translates to: assume guilt on the part of the alleged rapists until proven innocent. The only proof that she wasn't raped would be a complete retraction by the victim and even then, it was probably coerced because of the pressure she felt. There is no way a woman would lie. Women don't lie. Here's one example by Suzanne Reisman at BlogHer:
The Duke rape case. Charges ofSome feminists though, only see the men as responsible. And that would be true, IF a rape happened. In this case, it didn't. In this case, a woman falsely accuses men. She is wrong. She is responsible. She is, as Susan Estrich says, A LIAR. This is what makes me crazy as a woman. How can women be liberated if they refuse to take responsibility for their actions? In addition, false accusations are doubly damaging--they hurt the wrongfully accused and ultimately, they hurt the cause of women, and in this case, black women especially.
sexual assault(see comments) rape were ultimately dropped against the three white lacrosse players from privileged backgrounds. The alleged (not my choice of term, but the charges were dropped, so I suppose I need to use it) victim was a black student who was hired to strip (notice the passive voice and victimhood inherent--she's not a stripper choosing her profession, she's a student who strips, why she is noble!) at a party at the team’s campus house. A nasty smear campaign was launched by the defense from day one. Regardless of the outcome, I’d like to know why there was not much outcry over alcohol-soaked parties featuring strippers for sports teams. (This is no doubt a "teachable moment" for parents of college-aged men. Their behavior while wrong in my book, was not illegal. They should know that they have A LOT to lose and should refrain from putting themselves into positions where one person's word can ruin their reputation, if not life. Likewise, I see a teachable moment for parents of college-aged daughters. Being a stripper and prostitute is dangerous business. You are always unsafe in this situation, especially when alcohol and groups of rowdy men are involved. Stripping is not illegal, but it is unwise. You have a lot to lose. You could be hurt or worse. When you choose this profession you already lose your reputation and good name. Don't be a stripper and don't prostitute yourself.) [my comments in red, -ed.]
The only plausible outcome, if you're a feminist, is that this case would have been good if it weren't for Mike Nifong's conduct. Well, that, we'll never know. But looking outside his gob-smacking (channeling a little Andrew Sullivan there) behavior, the facts aren't on the alleged victim's side. But the liberal elite, even the New York Times, the professors on Duke's campus, even the lacrosse coach and college president assumed the worst. They bought the fundamental "racist" narrative. No facts could dissuade them. Jim Kouri says this via Modern Tribalist:
When it comes to interracial rape and sexual assault, the statistics contained in the FBI's Uniform Crime Report and the Department of Justice's National Crime Survey during Wilbanks' study revealed that white rapists chose black victims 8,448 times.
However, black rapists chose white victims in 17,572 cases. In other words, according to Wilbanks, there were more than twice as many black-on-white rape cases as there were white-on-black cases. Overall white-on-black violence cases numbered 100,111, whereas black-on-white cases totaled 466,205. Therefore, blacks using violence against whites is over four times more likely than the reverse.
LaShawn Barber notes the lack of concern for other rapes and crimes committed in Durham. She calls is "Selective Outrage". Indeed. The notion of diminishing race and class as an issue, a noble idea of Martin Luther King, will continue to be undermined by selective outrage. Fair-minded people don't want to worry about being wrongfully prosecuted or being ignored as a victim. Mike Nifong did both as Betsy notes.
So will the liberals among us learn anything from this? Will they take some time for "critical self-reflection"? Doubtful. You know, these people talk about the "dehumanization" of blacks and women when these cases happen. That the victim is removed from her person-hood and this disembodied non-entity. And yet, that's exactly what happened to the accused. Their faces plastered everywhere with the words WHITE, RICH, PRIVILEGED (See above). They were not people.
Well, here's a little bit about one of the guys involved. His name is Colin Finnerty, the skinny guy with floppy hair. He has a mother (I know, shocking). He has a family. And these people, as I've noted before, have had to endure this process, that isn't anywhere near over, I might add. Until all charges are dropped, this case has legs. About Collin (via Johnsonville News):
“What gets me so angry,” Mary Ellen told me, “is that I held this child in my arms; I protected him. He was a good kid in high school. He was never a curfew breaker — and I was the strictest mother in America, according to all of the kids. The boys always worked hard and their spending money they earned. It was never handed to them, despite all these articles that talk about spoiled rich kids.” Mary Ellen explained that her grandparents were Irish immigrants who lived in the Bronx; her grandfather was a New York City firefighter. “Everybody had a brogue in my mother’s family and drank tea out of the saucer, not out of the cup. When I met my husband, he was working seven days a week and has supported himself basically since he was 15. He paid off college loans for the first 10 years of our married life.”And then the Finnerty family experienced this:
In May, they went to Durham for their second son Kyle’s graduation from Duke. The visit had been planned as a celebration for the whole family, but they wound up leaving Collin and the younger children at home. After the festivities, the Finnertys caught a yellow cab back to the airport. “We were guarded, talking about graduation, the weekend and Kyle — nothing else,” Kevin said. “The black cab driver drove us to the airport and got out to help with our stuff. Out of left field, the driver gives me a hug. And then he’s crying, he’s teary, he’s shaking my hand with two of his hands. He’s holding on to me. ‘You don’t know me,’ he said, ‘and I don’t know you, but I am a parent, too. I want you to know that I am praying for you and your son.’”It is a story like this that gives me hope. While the race and gender and class-mongers foment rage and division, many common people see the truth of the matter. And anyone who has a sense of fairness worries during cases like this. Wrongful prosecutions and wrongful abrogation of justice harms all Americans black or white, male or female, rich or poor.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." --Martin Luther King Jr.