Archive for Sunday, April 15, 2007

Commentary: Duke case fails to provoke outrage

April 15, 2007


Any discussion of race in America invariably leads to frustration and a profound feeling of futility. It's virtually impossible to have a meaningful dialogue on the subject.

While not exactly defending Don Imus' unprovoked, racist and sexist insults directed at the women's basketball team at Rutgers, some of my white friends have attempted to rationalize the comments by redirecting the conversation in the most predictable of diversions: changing the topic.

Instead of dealing specifically with Imus, they'll cite race-based insults hurled by black comedians and athletes. In other words, if Chris Rock makes fun of whites (or blacks) in a stand-up comedy routine, or if Charles Barkley says something silly on TNT, somehow this means Imus gets a free pass.

Hardly. Wrong is wrong, but context is important. When a comedian speaks in humorous generalities about the differences between races, that's considerably different from Imus spontaneously slurring a specific group of people such as the Rutgers players, who have names, faces, identities and families.

The anger directed at Imus is on target. Sure, the piling on from discredited figures such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson is absurd, but that doesn't excuse what Imus did.

We're quick to leap and uphold the honor of the Rutgers women by beating up on Imus. But I'm just wondering: Where is the outrage over the blatant injustice endured by three members of Duke's men's lacrosse team?

The three players were formally accused of rape and other trumped-up charges that finally got tossed away on Wednesday by the North Carolina attorney general, Roy Cooper, who held nothing back in criticizing this as a shoddy, shameless and baseless prosecution.

But these Duke players will always be stained by the mud of these false allegations. Before any of the facts came in, these players were essentially deemed guilty by the Duke administration, the local Durham, N.C., community, and the national media. So how do they get their good names back?

I want to know why the angry forces, white and black, that mobilized to take Imus down aren't heading to Durham, N.C., to condemn the despicable wrongdoing that threatened the very freedom of the Duke players. Is this because they're white males who come from affluent backgrounds? It shouldn't matter; they are still victims.

Early on in this process, the New Black Panthers, a black hate group from Atlanta, traveled to Durham and made threats against the three lacrosse players. And the woman who filed the false charges against the Duke players is black. So how come Sharpton and Jackson aren't in North Carolina, speaking out against blacks who harmed the reputation of three white athletes? Must be a selective conscience. And the double standards are detestable.

I'm not playing down what happened to the Rutgers women. But they were victims of name-calling from a worn-out shock jock. And I believe that some good is coming out of this for Rutgers; because of the publicity, we've gotten an opportunity to learn a lot more about the players. And they're an impressive lineup that includes an aspiring doctor, a future veterinarian, an accomplished musician, an actual Girl Scout and strong academic backgrounds.

And the three Duke players? Well, they'll get on with their lives, except that the word "rapist" will follow them forever. And I ask again: Where is the outrage?


jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Right-Thinker: "From Duke." Let me repeat that.


Duke sucks. If it was anywhere other than Duke, we'd maybe have outrage. But Duke sucks, so we don't.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh yeah, and race is irrelevent in this. The real driver is that men are generally considered guilty until proven innocent when it comes to rape allegation. Welcome to an imperfect world.

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

Haven't men been convicted on less evidence than faced the Duke players?
Yes, it was an unfortunate series of events that faced the Duked players, but it happens all the time. The only reason we heard about this case to begin with was because it happned at Duke University. If it was at any other school, it wouldn't have hit the national news.
Luckily, they had the money to represent themselves.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

"Posted by right_thinker (anonymous) on April 15, 2007 at 7:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wrong and wrong.

The ACLU would have converged on Duke like a swarm of locust."

Errr. . . . right. In this fantasy world you live in, how tall are you?

coolhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

That article is somewhat accurate. It wouldn't matter if the white players were from Duke, North Dakota or the University of Kansas. The results would be the same. The hypocrisy is there and blatant.

The real driver is that the players were white. If they were black and accused of rape of a black woman, there is no story. No outrage. No Al Sharpton. No Jesse Jackson. Al and Jesse would hide and continue their lives of double standards.

However since the players are white, it becomes a story. I don't know the background of the players. I don't know if they are rich or poor or whatever. It shouldn't matter. They deserve an apology from Al and Jesse and from the new Black Panthers. What is wrong is wrong - just as Don Imus learned.

There is a double standard and any sane, logical person can see it. Unfortunately, the media and our supposed leaders do not have the cahunas to point it out and create the outcry over white men wronged.

If color is not supposed to matter, then why don't we see Al and Jesse coming to the aid of these white men and smoothing any issues with the Black Panthers. If they are such peace activists, why aren't they trying to promote peace among various races rather than encouraging the firing of an aging shock jock? It looks like easy pickings to me. Al and Jesse prefer to pursue the easy targets rather than tackling the bigger problem of race relations in this country.

Al and Jesse look for the spotlight and turn it to where it shines brightly upon them. They are self-promoting and I see nothing in their actions or words that encourages improved race relations. They are guilty as charged.

JayCat_67 11 years, 2 months ago

Let's face it; "Outrage" is big business. There's lots of money to be made by being pi$$ed off. You just have to know how to spin it.

paladin 11 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps Al and Jesse should be fired from their jobs. Do they have jobs?

imastinker 11 years, 2 months ago

Sure they do. They get paid to shut up when they raise a stink about something.

Godot 11 years, 2 months ago

"want to know why the angry forces, white and black, that mobilized to take Imus down aren't heading to Durham, N.C., to condemn the despicable wrongdoing that threatened the very freedom of the Duke players. Is this because they're white males who come from affluent backgrounds?"

The "angry forces" that mobilized to take Imus down were, specifically, activists and bloggers paid by George Soros. If must be so, because I heard it on NPR.

Defending the Duke players would not play into the agenda of

coolhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

One other thing. Where is NOW (National Organization for Women) and Gloria Steinem, Coretta Scott King, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, Condoleeza Rice and all other prominent women (white and black) when it comes to the denigration of women in song lyrics? Isn't there any outrage for that? And, where was NOW in regards to stepping forward and expressing outrage for the language used to describe the Rutgers womens basketball players.

Believe me, I am all for free speech. Let anyone say what they want to say. But whether it is a white shock jock or a black or white rapper, isn't it all the same? Talk is talk. Words are words - regardless of the source. Why is it that what is good for one is not good for the other? Again, hypocrisy and double standards.

coolhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I'll tell you why the spotlight is on Sharpton and Jackson. It is because they put it upon themselves. Why don't they do something constructive rather than go to the media and take advantage of a situation.

That is why. Yes, the capitalist employers made their decision to fire Imus. I haven't seen anything on this blog criticizing their decision. Don't put anything out there as a controversy when no one is insisting that it is.

Call it as it is.

coolhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Yo bennyoates,

You haven't confirmed anything. You can't even say anything with any accuracy. What are you confirming?Your post never said anything about Duke or Rutger's athletes peace of minds. Your post was mindless drivel that had no point.

My point is about the outcry. Your point is irrelevant. You don't even know what your point is because you can't articulate it. Better luck next time. I'm out.

Nuff said. Peace.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

"Posted by right_thinker (anonymous) on April 15, 2007 at 10:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Jonas, I was strictly referring to "where's the outrage"?

If they were black (with white Mike Nifong-DA)...this would be an ENTIRELY different animal, with an entirely separate theme---are you going to deny that?"

Not at all. If they were black, they would already be convicted. Especially if the girl had (just for giggles) been white.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh, and we probably wouldn't have heard about it, and no one would have supported them except their attorney, and maybe their parents.

booklover 11 years, 2 months ago

In fact, coolhawk, NOW did speak out against what was said about the Rutgers women. I saw and heard their representative do so on CNN. As for the other people you list, are you absolutely sure these women haven't done what you claim they haven't?

And for further information, Coretta Scott King passed away last year... Exactly what is it you would like her to? Swoop down from heaven and wash Imus's mouth out with angel soap?

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