Saturday, September 8, 2007

Not a penny!

Oh, no they didn’t! I’ve been patient in watching the unraveling of the Duke Lacrosse rape fiasco, but now those boys and their parents have forced me to roll up my shelves and take them to the woodshed.

It wasn’t enough that Roy Cooper, the States Attorney General, decided to drop all charges against Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, now they have the audacity to sue the city of Durham, North Carolina for a whopping $30 million. No, it wasn’t enough to have Mike Nifong disbarred and thrown in jail for 24 hours. It wasn’t enough to settle things with Duke University for their role in jumping too soon to dismiss them from school. Now, they want to force the 210,000 residents of Durham to pay an estimated $142 each for the police department’s role in the mess.

If I had my say in all of this, and I don’t, I wouldn’t give them a penny. Those boys and their parents have done a great job of convincing people of their innocence. They have become the national poster boys for the pain caused from prosecutorial misconduct. They want you to think they deserve some compensation for being the targets of the national media and the symbols of white arrogance. I’m not buying it.

As much as I’m willing to admit an injustice in this case, I will not fork up a dime to pay them for Mike Nifong’s mistake. I will concede no one in that house raped or kidnapped that woman, but a number of crimes were committed. Those boys aren’t innocent. They are innocent of the charges they faced, but these boys are not the victims of a ploy to destroy them. What happened to them is a consequence of their placing themselves within an environment where bad things happened.

Something happened in that house. Black women were called bad names. Someone made a comment about a broom stick. Someone thanked one of the girl’s grandparents for picking the cotton that made their shirt. Boys under the age of 21 were drinking, and they had called and employed the services of two exotic dancers.

Have we forgotten this wasn’t the first encounter members of the Duke Lacrosse team had with the Durham police department? The former coach of the team has written a book critical of officials at Duke for kicking him out based on an assumption of guilt. Please, please help me understand his position. From what I remember he was dismissed not because of what may have happened that night, but rather because of a series of altercations that had gone unchecked.

Have we forgotten that Duke University purchased homes in the Trinity Park community shortly before the fetus hit the revolving apparatus; due to complaints coming from the residents in the Trinity Park community? Duke decided to take matters into their own hands by acquiring property to give them greater control over what happened.

I have an issue with the language of innocence applied in this case. Even more critical is the application of recompense when the victims possess the resources needed to fight the system. How much did Daryl Hunt get paid after spending time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Why is it that the District Attorney in that case has maintained his license to practice law and now holds a position as an assistant in the Attorney General’s office? I’m steaming due to the way in which we, the citizens of Durham, are forced to pay for the mistakes made by public officials when those accused are rich, powerful and pissed off because someone had the nerve to come against them.

As much as I hurt over what they went through, I have no patience when it comes to their intent to sue us for the wrong they’ve endured. I would be more compassionate if they were utterly innocent. They’re not. They violated the rules of Duke University and the city of Durham, and now want us to pay.

I don’t think so!


  1. Carl:

    Thanks for the email reminders to look at your blog. I have just caught up on reading it and I have to say that we agree on a lot - particularly about the Lacrosse Rape Case. However, I wanted to make a few comments:

    1. Who says a rape/assault didn't happen in that house? These boys got their high powered attorneys to keep it from even going to court. Only a trial would have been able to determine if a crime occurred. Many rape cases have been prosecuted successfully on less evidence than what is publicly known. Imagine what would have come out in a trial.

    2. I share your angst about racism and the slow rate of progress in this country. I went to public schools. I was taught the high ideals this country is supposedly founded on. I am hurt and angry that we are so far from those ideals.

    You may have heard that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake again and again and expecting a different result. "The System" has a few tried and true ways of dealing with the opposition; Ignore 'em, Ridicule 'em, Buy 'em off, Lie to 'em, and Repress 'em. Until you become a real thorn in their side via boycotts, uprisings, direct action, up to and including in some cases using violence to oppose their violence you will never get them to do anything at all. Why should they? They have the power.

    So, playing by the rules, protesting and carrying signs is what they WANT you to do. It makes it easier to identify you when they come to put you in jail. Meanwhile you're not any real threat to them anyway.

    Protests don't work. Boycotts work. Letters don't work. Occupying buildings and filling up the jails can work sometimes. Blocking roads, work stoppages and non-cooperation actions work. Complaining about how the system has "failed" us again doesn't work.

    I am reminded of a fable about a turtle and a scorpion. The scorpion asks the turtle to ferry him across the river. The turtle declines to do so pointing out that the scorpion is - well - a scorpion! The scorpion pleads with the turtle to carry him across the river saying that he would only drown along with him if he were to sting the turtle. The turtle relents and half-way across the river the scorpion stings him. As they are both going down the turtle asks why the scorpion would do such a thing - they were both going to drown now. The scorpion shrugs and says: "I'm a Scorpion"!

    In other words "A Leopard can't change his spots" and why should we expect him to? Why petition the king? Do you really think he's going to take his boot off your neck?

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I'll check your blog out regularly.


  2. You are one racist bastard! You don't speak on the behalf of the Good Lord, instead you speak for Satan! God created rich white people too. Live with it!