As the events transpired not too far down the road from where I attended graduate school, I find it hard to remain silent. The headline today, “All Charges Dropped in Duke Case” is an indication that some justice has finally occurred in this horrible display of prosecutorial power abused.
This case has dredged up a lot of emotion since it first hit the news. Many found it hard to ignore. Sadly, it wasn’t because of any good evidence that would indicate that the accuser’s claims were truthful. Instead, the media ate up this story since it was a perfect story- a story of privilege vs. poverty, white vs. black, men vs. woman, powerful vs. powerless, etc.
A real problem has been exposed by this case. It is reported that the Duke players’ families have incurred a debt close to 3 million dollars for their respective sons’ legal defense fund. What of the boys who can’t afford the best lawyers? How many prosecutors like Nifong have steamrolled over innocent young men because they lacked the material resources to defend themselves?
In all their paroxysms over the guilt of these evil, rich, privileged white boys, the media forgot one very important thing. If they had been the opposite, if the accused were poor black kids, could they have received a fair trial? Most likely not. Why?
First, the media wouldn’t have even taken notice. The story wouldn’t have garnered much attention, since it didn’t fit the ideal narrative present in the Duke case. The media took notice because this case fell within a narrative framework that fits well in the weltanschauung of modern liberals. It is revealing that few in leadership positions at Duke and in the media were willing to consider the innocence of these young men when the accusation first surfaced.
Second, their attorneys would have been overworked and underpaid public defenders- juggling too many cases and without the necessary resources to confront a rogue prosecutor.
Third, the North Carolina system has almost no checks against this kind of prosecutor run amok, and without press coverage there would be little chance of getting anyone in power to act.
Foxnews has come out with an article on the accuser– Crystal Mangum. It indicates that she had a very troubled past. It is worth reading, as the article is highly informative and helped to explain some questions I had about why anyone would present these kind of false accusations.
What Lesson have we Learned?
Lesson One: God’s laws regarding sexual purity, moderation in alcohol, etc. are given for a reason. Had these young men not celebrated by hiring a stripper and consuming alcohol (excessively) this whole drama never would have occurred. While they are not responsible for her false charges, they are responsible for their own actions.
Lesson Two: People who describe themselves as “Victims’ Rights Advocates” have a severe hatred for the truth. They seem to be interested in one thing- proving the guilt of any accused individual. I am sure that even now many VRA’s will be condemning the A.G.’s actions and bemoaning how this case turned out.
For the life of me I can’t believe that there are people out there who believe (and I saw these words in print in reference to this case several months ago), “Women don’t lie about rape.” This kind of thing is really ridiculous, especially if you apply the Feminist perspective to the above statement. If women are mostly powerless, and they seek avenues to gain power, rape accusations present the perfect opportunity to be empowered. The female accuser in a rape case gets near unconditional support, no condemnation or criticism from those interviewing and counseling her, and a near blank check for future support and care. Of course as the case moves on the accuser might be rightly or wrongly maligned by the defense- but does this kind of thing really enter the mind of someone seeking immediate love and acceptance (or revenge)?
Lesson Three: Being restricted by a world view that paints all blacks as helpless victims, whites as privileged oppressors, and sets guilt or innocence based on the former categories is severely limited and biased. Our judgments in these matters can’t be based on broad categories that find support only in our own prejudices, but in facts and a reasoned approach to those facts. Whether it be local newspaper editorial section or the Group of 88, most were quick to convict these men before they were even charged, and punish them before they had even the slightest inkling of the facts. Worse yet, many have remained steadfast in their wrongful claim about these young men to this day.
I hope now these young men can begin putting their lives back together. I am glad they are lucky enough to have that chance. I pray for those who lack the same resources and who now sit inside a jail cell, righteously suffering a wrongful conviction. I also pray for the accuser, that her wounds (those wounds that led to this horrid accusation) might be healed, that she might be restored.
May God turn this to good for everyone involved, even Mike Nifong (after he receives his just punishment from his peers- the North Carolina Bar).