Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Duke (non) Rape Case Not Over

Yes, this case drags on and on and on. How much time do the new prosecutors need to look at the evidence? It needs to be OVER. Every minute that passes means more anguish on the part of the real victims.

When it comes to justice, Mike Nifong wants it swift and fair, for him. Here's a money quote by him highlighted over at Liestoppers:

"I wish everyone would withhold judgment until they hear the evidence, as well as my response." Nifong 2/9/07
And he's not the only one who's feebly attempting to salvage himself, his reputation and his good name. That ship has sailed. Those silly Group of 88 just can't put a sock in it and do themselves in worse. KC Johnson, the tireless blogger, again illuminates their follies:
In their increasingly desperate attempt to redeem their reputations, the Group of 88 has succeeded only in digging themselves a bigger hole. The latest example came in an article published yesterday in Diverse, in which Group members rationalized their actions in a way that appeared detached from reality.

Can Lubiano seriously contend that in the two weeks before the ad’s appearance, black students were told to “shut up,” or that the most extreme critics of the team among African-American faculty members did not dominate campus discourse? I’m not sure which option is more frightening: that a tenured Duke professor would intentionally mislead a reporter; or that a tenured Duke professor would make a statement that appears to have no basis in reality.
Yes, she can contend that. Remember the Ninth Commandment? Sheesh, Charles, get with it:
Thou shalt lie, slander and obfuscate in order to serve the greater good. Most people don't know what is good for them and must be taught the "truth" even if lies must be told to do it.
And yes, political correctness is a mental illness when taken to it's logical conclusion, but to the minds of believers it is completely rational. KC Johnson also has more of the elitist rationalizations coming from Duke faculty members.

Lacrosse returns to Duke and a writer for ESPN mocks it as no big deal. I'm not sure if the writer ever was an athlete himself, but if he is any sort of competitor and hasn't spent his entire life as an observer rather than a participant, he'd show more sympathy I would think. Or do false accusations only matter when the accused is black? You know, this acknowledgment that the lacrosse players are innocent, but they are still white, privileged, thuggish jerks is maddening. Bomani Jones illustrates how massaging the facts can leave the perception that the lacrosse players got away with something and deserved the suspended season and everything else they all got. Liestoppers doesn't let him get away with it:
For the duration of the Hoax, it has been convenient for their detractors to use each and every instance of misbehavior by any one of the team to condemn the indicted players and to fuel the Hoax. Now that a bit of joy is shared by the team and their supporters, it appears that it becomes convenient for their detractors to separate the indicted and the not indicted. While now it may be helpful to those who desire to continue heaping hurt on the lacrosse team to separate them from the three primary victims of the Hoax, one thing hasn’t changed. Misrepresentation of petty misbehavior by some will continue to be used to smear them all.
Jones continues:

“While the cancellation of the season may have been premature, plenty came to light when they left the field. Too much to be ignored.

“The ad hoc committee commissioned by Duke president Richard Brodhead and Academic Council Chair Paul Haagen found that lacrosse players were involved in 36 separate disciplinary incidents in the last three academic years, including destruction of property on campus, public urination and numerous alcohol-related incidents.”

While the ad hoc committee that Jones refers to did find that the lacrosse team was involved in numerous alcohol related incidents (including the conveniently omitted suspicion of throwing water, playing of a drinking game, and multiple instances of making noise), they characterized such mischief as:

“… their conduct has not been different in character than the conduct of the typical Duke student who abuses alcohol. Their reported conduct has not involved fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist behavior. Moreover, even the people who have complained about their alcohol-related misconduct often add that the students are respectful…”

Further, the committee Jones selectively refers to in his attempt to paint the team as a collection of sinful thugs also found:
“The members of the Duke Lacrosse team have been academically and athletically responsible students. In general, faculty who have had lacrosse players in their classes have not experienced disciplinary problems with the players. Over the last five years, however, many lacrosse players increasingly have been socially irresponsible consumers of alcohol. Their extensive record of repetitive misconduct should have alarmed administrators responsible for student discipline.”

“By all accounts, the lacrosse players are a cohesive, hard working, disciplined, and respectful athletic team. Their behavior on trips is described as exemplary. Players clean the team bus before disembarking. Airline personnel have complimented them for their behavior. They observe curfews. They obey the team’s no alcohol rule before games.11 They are respectful of people who serve the team, including bus drivers, airline personnel, trainers, the equipment manager, the team manager, and the groundskeeper.”
“Finally, the lacrosse program has a 100% graduation rate. Alumni of the program apparently contribute to the community after college. We received letters of support for the team from two recently graduated former players who are presently serving in Iraq. A remarkable number of alumni are volunteer coaches for their local lacrosse teams. Many are employed in prestigious positions in business, law, and medicine. As evidenced by their support of the current team, alumni of the lacrosse program and their families are fiercely loyal to each other, to the lacrosse program, and to Duke.”
And, if Jones had ever been an athlete, he'd know that this sort of high-lighted behavior is typical of college--forget lacrosse. Ugh. Why would he want to still paint the lacrosse team in a bad light after all the group has gone through?

As usual, there is much more over at Johnson's site and Liestoppers. This travesty marches on and on and on. On a positive note, Mike Nifong has become the What's-Wrong-With-Certain-Prosecutors Mascot. "Nifonged" has become a verb. Maybe this case will help to stop miscarriages of justice in the future.

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