LieStoppers is right as usual: The Weekly Standard's Charlotte Allen has written a must-read look back on the Hoax and those who enabled it. After an excellent overview of why no charges should have ever been brought, Ms. Allen focuses on the two groups whose active participation encouraged Defendant Nifong's malicious prosecution - the career victimologists and intellectual elite within Duke's faculty and their kindred spirits in the mainstream media."
"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."
"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.'"
First, although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the suggestion that Crystal Gail Mangum , the false accuser, is a tawny-skinned beauty reminiscent of Josephine Baker goes much too far.
Wikipedia on Josephine Baker's civil rights involvement:
"Though based in France, she supported the American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s, and protested racism in her own unique way, adopting twelve multi-ethnic orphans, whom she called her 'Rainbow Tribe.' She also refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and worked with the NAACP....
"In 1963, she spoke at the March on Washington at the side of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Wearing her Free French uniform with her Legion of Honor decoration, she was the only woman to speak at the rally."
Ms. Baker might fairly be described as tawny (a brownish orange to light brown color) and she was nicknamed "Black Venus," "Black Pearly" and "Creole Goddess."
Ms. Baker never falsely cried rape and precipitated a spectacle like the Duke case. She doesn't deserve to be compared to Ms. Mangum, as a beauty, as a civil rights advocate or as a stripper.
If polygraph tests and DNA tests do not persuade some that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans (aka the Duke Three) were falsely accused, perhaps photos of their girlfriends?
Second, and much more important, while describing members of Duke University's deplorable "Group of 88" as tenured is accurate, describing them as vigilantes is an affront...to vigilantes.
Vigilantee: "a member of a voluntary committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law appear inadequate)."
The Group of 88 have been out to punish pseudo crime, not crime. There was no rape, kidnapping or sexual assault to punish and stripping, hiring strippers and watching strippers are not crimes in North Carolina.
If the Group of 88 had been out to punish crime, by now they would have called for an investigation of whether Ms. Mangum should be prosecuted for filing a false report, only a misdemeanor in North Carolina but still a crime worth punishing.
The Group of 88 give the "good" vigilantes a bad name!
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.