Still Playing "Let’s Pretend" in Durham Posted by: Billy Hollis
on Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The other shoe has officially dropped. Dale posted yesterday that it was likely that today would see the rape charges against the Duke 3 were dropped, and indeed they were. Some of us have long expected that, for reasons that are so obvious there's no need to recapitulate them here.
Next stop - the civil courts, in which the Duke 3 have an excellent chance to raise Durham tax rates and Duke tuitions by collecting very large sums of money from both.
I expect this because even Attorney General Roy Cooper didn't fudge when he dismissed the charges. There was no "not enough evidence" side-stepping. Cooper said:
“We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.”
When even the other prosecuting lawyers say the original prosecution screwed up, a civil case is strong indeed. The original DA, Mike Nifong, is already defending himself against ethics charges stemming from the case. It's virtually certain that he'll lose his job, and criminal charges are not out of the question. Ironically enough, he could end up being the only one to go to jail over this whole thing.
Yet, there are those who still want to play "let's pretend" because it allows them the comfort of not facing the facts that they were wrong from the start about this case. Thanks to one of the worst offenders in the "let's pretend" circle, the Raleigh-Durham News & Observer, we have some excellent examples of just how oblivious pc multiculturalists can be.
First up is Margaret Barrett, executive director of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in Chapel Hill. Here's her reaction to the case:
"I hope people who experience sexual violence in any form feel comfortable calling for help ... and know that each case is different, and they can seek help when they've been violated. There's a possibility that the way the media handles high-profile sexual assault cases, and the fear that would happen to any survivor who comes forward, can have a chilling effect and make them reluctant to step forward."
As far as I can tell, this makes no sense at all in relation to the Duke case unless there is the presumption that the accuser had a case. If, as I believe and Ray Cooper apparently believes, the accuser completely or substantially made up the accusations, then what does that have to do with "survivors" coming forward? Hey, lady, I want to discourage anyone coming forward with made-up accusations!
Rape is a horrible crime. Those who commit it deserve very strong punishment. But it's a difficult crime to handle in the legal system. Absent forensic evidence, it's mostly a matter of "he said, she said". And there are borderline cases, in which something that probably ought to be described as regret gets transmorgrified into rape. We certainly don't want women in borderline cases feeling free to make up whatever they can imagine to bolster their own case.
So blathering about the Duke case discouraging legitimate victims makes no sense. Heck, given just how far the case went, it might even encourage some non-victims. I suspect part of the district attorney's remarks were intended to prevent exactly that. Even so, the accuser looks to be getting off scot-free from a legal perspective. Exactly what about this case suggests that it discourages real victims from coming forward, or even does much to discourage women with no case at all to come forward?
The only way I can interpret Ms. Barrett's remarks is that she believes that at some level, the accuser had a legitimate case, and was somehow mistreated in the whole adventure. If so, she's playing "let's pretend".'
But there's getting it wrong, and then there's getting it so wrong that the result is actually funny. I give you William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP:
If his [the attorney general's] office believes the state lacks sufficient evidence to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of each crime took place, then it is the state’s constitutional duty to dismiss the charges. ... Now, as we have repeatedly said, comes the hard part. How do we proceed toward the healing places in our communities and our hearts?
First, that's not what the attorney general said. He said the boys were innocent. I saw nothing in the DA's statement about "insufficient evidence to convince a jury". Mr. Barber is trying hard to duck the facts - that the boys were innocent all along and he was wrong, wrong, wrong when he said things like this last year:
The strategy of the Duke 3 Support Group is as old as sex. Attack the survivors, the vulnerable women. Trash them to re-traumatize them. First the night of the assault, and then every night after on the tv talk shows, the blogs, and on the front pages of the press—trying to bludgeon them into to being afraid to testify.
They are worried Mr. Nifong and his prosecutors will be on their home court, with a home jury, that will no doubt have at least 5 and maybe more African Americans on it. They are worried the egregious racism of some of the players will affect a Durham Jury...
But that's not the amusing part. The sentence "How do we proceed toward the healing places in our communities and our hearts?" could come straight from a ScrappleFace parody of politically correct double-speak. Look, who was hurt here? Who needs to "heal"? It sure looks like the victims are:
- The three boys accused - The rest of the Duke lacrosse team - The fired lacrosse coach
Somehow, I don't think Mr. Barber is worried about where those folks can "proceed toward healing". What he's worried about is that himself and others like him might actually be held accountable for their race-baiting. I'm sure he would like to heal that problem, while continuing to pretend that he himself was just a crusader for justice, and that those boys of "white privilege" with their slippery lawyers just outmanuveured the accuser and DA Nifong.
I'm sure there are equally non-sensical reactions from other players in this drama. I'm waiting, for example, for Nancy Grace's reaction. Commenters are encouraged to post more links and analysis of "let's pretend" on the part of the multiculturalists.
(By the way, the excellent blog Durham in Wonderland is the best all round source of information on the Duke case. Today's entries include full statements from the accused players giving their reaction to the dropping of charges.)
***Update 8:00 PM CST
I originally mis-remembered the News & Observer as the local paper that had been so oblivious to the reality of the Duke case. But it was actually the Herald-Sun. So I struck through that part of the description. The N&O has actually done a good job on the case, and has been commended by KC Johnson at Durham In Wonderland. Sorry for my memory slip.
By all accounts the accuser is emotionally/mentally unstable. It would be sad to see anger over this travesty focus on her. The anger should be directed at the people who used both her and the Lacrosse players to further their own political agendas, and at the whole culture of political correctness that is smothering the intellectual life of the nation’s universities.
Well, this is odd. I went to school with Margaret. In fact, we became friends after she pulled her drunken roommate out of my room at 4 in the am one morning. Have not seen or heard from her in 16+ years, though.
What she says above is lawyer-speak, typical of any professional person who has to balance talking to the media with the mission of her organization. As such, it’s probably not reflective of what Margaret actually thinks.
This result is very late; too damn late. The DA needs to go to prison and some professors should be fired but tenure prevents that from happening. And Duke needs to find a new president; one that at least is neutral in such situations. Now the coach; well maybe his firing was rational considering that the team under his care was indulging in a bit of illegal and stupid partying. I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know the outline of what was going on, that this party was not the first one, but he ignored it. In my days in college in the 1960s a 4 day drinking party off campus was found out quite quickly by the Dean of Men and the frat responsible for organizing it was suspended from campus. BTW, our party was a bit more inhibited, no strippers, but still a blast.
Legally this is the strongest exoneration the state can make. The State also says ‘there is no evidence a crime was committed’Wrong. A crime was committed in this case. The criminal is District Attorney Mike Nifong.
He has committed perjury, obstruction of Justice, Prosecutorial Misconduct along with a long list of Bar Association Rules. He must the Justice, he denied the defendants. Mike Nifong must be indited for his crimes and face the maximum punishment.
Not only has he destroyed the reputations of three young men, he has seriously wounded faith in the American of Jurisprudence. That is a worse crime than any he may be charged with.
It is traditional to develop a word describing some one like this. Perhaps when anyone is railroaded by the legal profession,you would might call it “Being Nifonged”
While I agree with Aldo that the accuser should not the focus of anger be; I am not of the persuasion that she should go without legal action taken against her. She shouldn’t be allowed to slip into the night now that the accused have been found innocent.
The prosecuting witness in this case responded to questions and offered information. She did want to move forward with the prosecution. ... Our investigation shows that:
The eyewitness identification procedures were faulty and unreliable. No DNA confirms the accuser’s story. No other witness confirms her story. Other evidence contradicts her story. She contradicts herself. Next week, we’ll be providing a written summary of the important factual findings and some of the specific contradictions that have led us to the conclusion that no attack occurred.
Although a real case can be made against Nifong, some other real villians that in this case are the departments of anger studies (the usual ghetto of leftist professors who could never ever be employed anywhere else) at Duke. The university president was part of the hang em high bandwagon until it bcame obvious to anyone with an IQ above the seasonal temperature of Alaska in fall.
The university needs to give a more profound apology for their actions than any I have seen so far.
Marcotte didn’t write an actual post about the exoneration of the Duke players, but she said this in the comment section of another post:
People with an anti-woman/racist ax to grind are going to gloat about this as if it meant anything that a well-financed defense case managed to blow through a shoddy prosecution, but they can do it somewhere else.
Marcotte’s befuddling (or perhaps scary) implication is that either a poorly-financed defense or a competent prosecution would have resulted in convictions. For a rape that did not occur. And this would have been justice. Wow.