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calendar   Thursday - January 25, 2007

Vigilante Justice

District Attorney Mike Nifong is being set up to take the fall for his unethical handling of the “Duke Lacrosse” rape case. There are however more than one guilty party in this sorry mess, including the media, the cops and most importantly ... the Duke professors who publicly vilified the lacrosse players long before they ever went to trial. These tenured leftist bigots pushed Nifong and convicted the boys more than a year ago. Now they refuse to back down even after their hasty assumptions and actions have proven to be false. For further enlightenment I suggest you read ”Dukes Tenured Vigilantes” by Charlotte Allen in the current issue of the WEEKLY STANDARD. Here is an excerpt ...

Mike Nifong’s handling of the case was clearly outrageous. But he would probably not have gone so far, indeed would not have dared to go so far, had he not been egged on by two other groups that rushed just as quickly to judge the three accused young men guilty of gross and racially motivated carnal violence. Despite the repeated attempts by the three to clear themselves, a substantial and vocal percentage--about one-fifth--of the Duke University arts and sciences faculty and nearly all of the mainstream print media in America quickly organized themselves into a hanging party. Throughout the spring of 2006 and indeed well into the late summer, Nifong had the nearly unanimous backing of this country’s (and especially Duke’s) intellectual elite as he explored his lurid theories of sexual predation and racist stonewalling.

“They fed off each other,” said Steven Baldwin, a Duke chemistry professor who finally broke his faculty colleagues’ own wall of silence on October 24, publishing a letter in the Duke student newspaper, the Chronicle, denouncing his fellow professors for what he called their “shameful” treatment of Seligmann and Finnerty and rebuking the Duke administration for having “disowned its lacrosse-playing student athletes.” In April, Duke president and English professor Richard Brodhead had abruptly suspended not only Seligmann and Finnerty but also the remainder of the Duke lacrosse season, plus a third player, Ryan McFadyen (also recently reinstated), who had nothing to do with the alleged assault but had made the mistake of sending an email to his teammates on the early morning of March 14 describing a plan to “kill” and “skin” some “strippers” in his dorm room (like the “cotton shirt” remark, this was another tasteless joke, parodying Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho). That same day, April 5, Brodhead told the lacrosse team’s coach, Michael Pressler, that he had until the end of the day to leave campus for good.

There was a fascinating irony in this. Postmodern theorists pride themselves in discerning what they call “metanarratives.” They argue that such concepts as, say, Christianity or patriotism or the American legal system are no more than socially constructed tall tales that the postmodernists can then “deconstruct” to unmask the real purpose behind them, which is (say the postmodernists) to prop up societal structures of--yes, you guessed it--race, gender, class, and white male privilege. Nonetheless, in the Duke lacrosse case the theorists manufactured a metanarrative of their own, based upon the fact that Durham, North Carolina, is in the South, and the alleged assailants happened to be white males from families wealthy enough to afford Duke’s tuition, while their alleged victim was an impoverished black woman who, as she told the Raleigh News and Observer in a credulous profile of her published on March 25, was stripping only to support her two children and to pay her tuition as a student at North Carolina Central University, a historically black state college in Durham that is considerably less prestigious than Duke. All the symbolic elements of a juicy race/gender/class/white-male-privilege yarn were present. The theorists went to town.

The metanarrative they came up with was three parts Mandingo and one part Josephine Baker: rich white plantation owners and their scions lusting after tawny-skinned beauties and concocting fantasies of their outsize sexual appetites so as to rape, abuse, and prostitute them with impunity. It mattered little that all three accused lacrosse players hailed from the Northeast, or that there have been few, if any, actual incidents of gang rapes of black women by wealthy white men during the last 40 years. Karla Holloway’s online essay was replete with imagery derived from this lurid antebellum template. She described the accuser and her fellow stripper as “kneeling” in “service to” white male “presumption of privilege,” and as “bodies available for taunt and tirade, whim and whisper” in “the subaltern spaces of university life and culture.” On April 13, Wahneema Lubiano, a Duke literature professor, wrote in another online article, “I understand the impulse of those outraged and who see the alleged offenders as the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy, the politically dominant race and ethnicity, the dominant gender, the dominant sexuality, and the dominant social group on campus.”


image
John Cole - The Scranton Penn. Times


Nifong Faces Additional Charges
N.C. State Bar augments ethics complaint against Duke lacrosse prosecutor
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - January 24, 2007, 3:28 PM EST

The state bar lodged new and more serious ethics charges Wednesday against the district attorney in the Duke lacrosse case, accusing him of withholding evidence from the defense and lying to both to the court and bar investigators.

Mike Nifong—who withdrew from the case earlier this month—could be disbarred if convicted by a disciplinary board. The bar previously charged Nifong with making misleading and prejudicial comments about the athletes under suspicion.

The new charges are tied to Nifong’s decision to use a private lab for DNA testing as his office investigated allegations three men raped a 28-year-old stripper at a team party last March.

Those tests uncovered genetic material from several men on the woman’s underwear and body, but none from any lacrosse player. The bar complaint alleges that those results were not released to the defense and that Nifong repeatedly said in court he had turned over all evidence that could benefit the defense.

The new charges “have significantly increased the chances for a serious sanction, possibly including suspension or disbarment,” said Thomas Metzloff, a Duke law professor and member of the bar’s ethics committee, which is not involved in prosecuting the case against Nifong.

Nifong’s trial on the ethics charges is set for May, though bar officials said Wednesday they expect it to be delayed until June. He declined to comment Wednesday.

“I’d say any time any charges are filed with the state bar, they’re all serious, and we want to make sure we handle them all properly,” said his attorney David Freedman.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/25/2007 at 02:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Colleges-ProfessorsCrimeDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsRacism and race relations •  
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