Stefanie Williams proves you don't have to be conservative to realize that the charges in the Duke case are wicked, the prosecution of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans (aka the Duke Three) was wanton and the mainstream media went wild (United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas might call it "a hi tech lynching"). (But it helps.)
Amanda Marcotte proves that (1) the forces intent on reviling the Duke Three, their teammates and lacrosse players generally--regardless of the facts--have not given up and (2) Ms. Marcotte is John Edwards' kind of person.
Ms. Williams, a Maryland college student with liberal and feminist credentials as well as personnel knowledge of lacrosse, approached the Duke case sensibly, instead of sexually or racially.
On April 7, 2006, the University of Maryland's student newspaper published an article by Ms. Williams entitled "All Crimes Are Hate Crimes."
"What distinguishes a crime from a hate crime? A hate crime is typically defined as a crime committed against a minority; for example, gay bashing, anti-Semitism or racial discrimination. I'm sure by now everyone has heard of the allegations being presented against Duke's men's lacrosse team. And yes, the media too have slandered this a hate crime. But in the midst of all this white privileged people vs. black underprivileged people, I have to wonder: Aren't all crimes acts of hate?
"I grew up in the most segregated town on Long Island. Yep, almost entirely white. However, unlike most people I grew up with, I like to consider myself a fair and unbiased person when it comes to issues such as race, religion and sexuality. In my world, it doesn't matter if you are black, white, pink or tangerine-orange; we all have to get by and live our lives. Clearly, a lot of people don't agree with me. But when I read about hate crimes, I get infuriated - not because I'm racist by any means, but because I think the majority of racism is created not by our actions but by our categorization of our actions."
Now there's a thought for civil rights activists to ponder!
"The Duke lacrosse scandal is a great example. The entire nation is in an uproar, saying these young men acted out because of their sense of 'white nobility.' I agree the racial comments they were said to have used were wrong, but do their words represent their actual actions? No. And should this be treated as a crime committed solely against a black woman? No. This should be a crime against women. We have skewed and torn this story apart to make it into something more than it is - an accusation of rape.
"Did it happen? I have no idea. The only people who know if it happened are the members of the team and their accuser. But do I think the rape occurred because she was black? Not at all. If it happened, it happened because these guys saw a girl they thought they could abuse and took advantage of their strength and number.
"If it did happen, it was wrong on every level and the wrongdoers should be punished accordingly. But had she been a white stripper, would this have made the national news? I don't think so; I think it would have been another rape brushed under the table. Black men rape white women every day and white men rape black women every day. In fact, sometimes, white men even rape white women! Rape is rape, regardless of what color skin the victim or attacker has. If a man rapes a gay man, is it a gay rape? Or is it a hate crime because the victim was gay? Or is it just a rape because the fact that the victim was gay negates the whole thing? Where do we draw a line on distinguishing plain old criminal activity from that of a 'hateful' nature?
"My point is that racism is created by us. We stir it up and slap the label on it where it seems appropriate. I love to hear both black and white people comment on why our nation will never find a balance of equality between the races and then see those same people segregate our crimes based on someone's skin. If it were up to me, this case would be presented as nothing more than it is - a young woman alleging she was raped. There is enough tragedy in that accusation that it doesn't need to be further defined by the color of her skin. A rape is a rape, whether the woman is black, white, Asian or Latina. We gain no benefit from labeling crimes based on the victim's race, as we gain no benefit in labeling anything by means of separation and segregation. If we are constantly defining each other's actions by the color of our skin, we might as well create a separate set of laws for each race. After all, 'hate crime' seems a little redundant, don't you think?"
I think that rape is rape too. Punishing a rapist less severely for raping someone of the same skin color instead of someone of another skin color doesn't make sense to me. I know that "hate crime" advocates say that racially motivated rape is worse than non-racially motivated rape, but that only makes some victims more equal than others, doesn't it? Punish all rapists severely; don't value victims differently, based on their color.
Ms. Williams came to realize that the Duke case was baseless, by following the evidence.
Recently, Ms. Williams wrote an article that explained that lacrosse players generally have been maligned by those interested in the bogus charges being true.
The January 30, 2007 issue of the University of Maryland's student newspaper includes Ms. Williams' second article on the Duke case, a stellar personnel statement exploding the myth that lacrosse players are savage white racists and misogynists.
"I've thought long and hard about how to write a decent article about the infamous Duke Lacrosse Sex Scandal. I spent a lot of time considering my angles: Should I write about racism? Should I write about sexual abuse? Should I write about stereotypes? Finally, after a while, I decided to focus on the positives instead of the negatives and talk about what I know best: the sport.
"Lacrosse has played a big part in my life. I grew up in a huge lacrosse town on Long Island, and I was the manager of my college's men's varsity lacrosse team. When I began as the lacrosse manager freshman year, I had no idea what I was getting into. If you've paid any attention to the media during the past 10 months, you might assume that I had to deal with 'hooligans,' 'jerks,' 'arrogance' and 'male elitism,' terms that were used to paint with a broad brush not only the Duke team, but the entire lacrosse culture. However, unlike what the media have portrayed, I have had one of the best experiences of my life simply by getting the opportunity to hang out and work with those guys.
"Four members of last year's Duke lacrosse team are from my hometown, three of whom I went to high school with, and one of whom has been indicted. I watched kids I grew up with get labeled racists, misogynists, white supremacists and hooligans. I saw their names, addresses, parents' income and school GPAs turn into prime time news for months. I witnessed my hometown labeled a breeding ground for racism and spoiled rich kids. While Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy condemned anyone who had ever picked up a lacrosse stick, I defended the guys on our own team who had often walked me home from a bar, let me crash on their couch, hung out with me on away trips, picked me up when I needed rides, grabbed lunch with me, helped me in my classes and stuck up for me when other guys got too rowdy. While Cash Michaels and other race-baiting journalists continuously commented on the 'white culture' behind lacrosse, no one seemed to mention the hours of community service that 'culture' encouraged teams to give back.
"For weeks after the initial accusations, I was asked about our own team and about the guys I knew on Duke's team by students, parents and even a columnist for The (Duke) Chronicle. People seemed to be expecting me to say I was sexually assaulted, insulted, treated poorly or that the guys I went to high school with were 'bad kids' growing up. People were surprised when I told them that I considered our own team my big brothers, and that if anything, they were the people I enjoyed being around most. Again and again I explained that all the stereotypes, the rude comments and the insults were simply not true. However, none of the positive things I had to say about our team or the Duke team made it into the article the columnist for The Chronicle had written.
"And now, 10 months later, the tides are changing and suddenly people are beginning to see what I saw all along. Finally, the truth is coming out, and people are beginning to back off. But is it too little too late? Reputations have been dragged through the mud, lives have been ruined, jobs have been lost, a sport has been tarnished, a team's unity dented and a school's reputation forever changed. Acquittals or dropped charges cannot reverse time or the things that have been said.
"Clearly I cannot change this tragedy. I cannot give the indicted three back their reputations, I cannot give the graduated seniors back their final season. No one can. The one thing I can do is support the sport I love and the guys who gave me one the best years of my college career. On March 2, Maryland will host Duke. Not only will I be there cheering exceptionally loud for our own team, but I will also be supporting Duke because it is the right thing to do. Duke contributes to our own program in so many ways and is a member of our ACC family. I encourage everyone to come and support both programs on March 2. Though half of the guys I worked with have graduated, I still consider most of them my big brothers, and this program will always have a place in my heart. I encourage everyone to come and see why."
Of course, some prefer their stereotypes.
Amanda Marcotte on Amanda Marcotte: "Amanda settled for selling her soul to blogging when Satan confessed that even he had not the powers to turn her into the second coming of Diana Ross. At 29 years old, she’s spent the past decade plus being a standard issue Austin layabout and has no plans to discontinue in the future. Before her stint in the Texas oasis of liberalism, she grew up in the mountains of West Texas, a place that some say is sparsely populated for a good reason. She is assisted in the strenuous task of blogging by her two lovely assistants Molly and Dusty, whose primary job duties are interrupting her by scratching the furniture and interrupting her by walking across the keyboard, for which they get paid in kibble."
Amanda Marcotte on herself and former North Carolina Senator and current presidential aspirant John Edwards:
"This is both my first post to the Edwards blog and my announcement that I'm joining the presidential campaign for John Edwards for 2008. I'll be taking over the job of Blogmaster (mistress?) over the course of the month of February.
"The main two questions this brings up are: Why me? And why John Edwards?
"As for me, I run and write for a blog called Pandagon, which is one of the top liberal political blogs on the internet and known mostly for insightful and often humorous political blogging. We pride ourselves on being an issues-oriented blog, instead of a blog that mimics the 'horse race' coverage of politics that dominates so much of the mainstream media. Prior to my stint at Pandagon, I was the sole blogger at a blog called Mouse Words, which won the 2004 Koufax award for Best New Blog. My obsessions in politics include women's rights, ending the war in Iraq, environmentalism, and restoring the American dream where climbing out of poverty and having a middle class lifestyle is an option available to everyone.
"Why John Edwards? Well, look again at that list of political obsessions and you have your answer. John Edwards is the only Democrat in the field of potential nominees who is interested in pursuing the right policies in all these areas. Especially important to me is that he is interested in fighting poverty in America and putting that middle class dream in the hands of all Americans."
Amanda Marcotte on the Duke case (Pandagon, January 21, 2007):
"Naturally, my flight out of Atlanta has been delayed. Let’s hope it takes off when they say it will so I don’t miss my connecting flight home.
"In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good fucking god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."
The comments to Ms. Marcotte's post are attention-worthy and include more of Ms. Marcotte's malarkey.
Lamb Cannon commented:
"Forgive me for saying this but the whole rape thing seemed either fabricated or greatly misrepresented… if it did happen, the victim shot herself in the foot by not being consistent with her stories…. fortunately or unfortunately dna does cut both ways. "for me, the real nausea is generated by the entire college-jock-fratboy culture, and this 'miscarriage of justice' (and now we’ll never know) if anything has reinforced that whole universe. i’d like to see the entire lacrosse team with a few phat shovelfuls of dirt across their whitey, privileged faces, but that ain’t what’s gonna happen, now we have to hear about how they were 'Wronged', pass the sick bag Amanda (if ya ever got on that flight) "which isn’t to say that yes, CNN is the personal agent of Satan"
Was Ms. Marcotte distressed by that "whitey" crack?
Her reply: "Yes, how dare a rape victim act confused and bewildered like she was raped or something."
Natalie, a self-identified sexual assault and abuse survivor, acknowledged her mind had changed:
"I’m not going to score any points with this one, but:
"I doubt they fucked her against her will.
"I’m a survivor of sexual assault and abuse, so I too know how hard it is to stay focused and remember every detail when relating the story to someone else (particularly if said someone else is not someone you trust, like a law enforcement official) - but I think these drastic changes in her relation of the story are very suspicious. I think the line-up was tainted and due process was not what those lacrosse players got. Procedure was violated, more than once. I’m glad they got their season thrown out (no matter how much people scream about it being 'unfair') for having that party in the first place, but I also feel that this case has been used by so many, for so much, that few people even care about the facts anymore.
"I think that if the lacrosse players conducted themselves in a disrespectful or thoughtless manner, if they tried ANYTHING with her, they should be punished accordingly. However, what they were accused of, and the manner in which they were treated, and the manner in which the entire thing has progressed (or regressed, for that matter) no longer leaves me certain that justice will be served.
"A lot of these lacrosse kids can behave like immature little pricks, but did they do what they’re being accused of? I no longer think I believe it. And I was one of the first to believe it and scream my head off when the allegations first came out. As a Duke alum and a Duke employee, I’ve been told that 'feminists have been dealt a decisive blow,' I’ve been dragged through the mud by both lefties and righties alike.
"People have threatened my job when they found out I was wavering in my opinions. People have also accused me of 'not giving these upstanding young men their due.'
"There is so much swirling around this case, it’s hard to stay focused. But I don’t think that I, or CNN for that matter, am an evil person for saying that I no longer trust what’s going on.
"Had to get that off my chest. Thank you. Thankyouvermuch."
But hydropsyche was moaning, not moving: "Imagine living in Durham, working at Duke, hearing about it everyday in the local news as well as the national, having every person you’ve ever known all over the country have an opinion about your vote in a local election, having your relatives telling you at Christmas dinner how wrong you are to support your local justice system or like living in your town since it’s obviously corrupt because it believes poor black women over rich white men. It’s like being stuck at the airport…forever"
Ginmar too: "The minute this case popped up, you had to know the victim was going to be lynched in the press. Too many white frat boys have the same sense of entitlement for people not to look at the same behavior and go, 'But….wow, they all alike about women. Does that mean they’re all sexist scumbags?' It’s like you’re not supposed to look at egregiously sexist and racist behavior and culture before hand and draw any conclusions about it once the offenders are charged with rape. But there IS a connection, and these guys don’t have a leg to stand on. How come nobody looks at the past behavior of these guys and points out it’s a clear precursor to rape? Well, except for feminists."
Feminuts, not feminists. The members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team are not rapists or rapists to be.
"Natalia, do you know the details of the case? If so, why do you think a women enthusiastically jumped into a sexual situation with men making slavery jokes at her? Furthermore, what is your theory on why she supposedly looooooved having sex with guys holding her face down on the bathroom floor? There’s no 'if' they behaved in a disrespectful manner. We have conclusive evidence that happened.
"This is about race and class and gender in every way, and there’s basically no way this woman was going to see justice. In her part of the country, both women and black people are seen as subhuman objects to be used and abused by white men."
What is Ms. Marcotte's problem?
Perhaps her own tragic experience has warped her perception and judgment..
"... I’m frustrated that people are pretending 'can’t identify which one raped her' somehow equals 'wasn’t raped'. I had some initial confusion about exactly who was assaulting me when I was assaulted, but that doesn’t mean that his hands weren’t actually where they were.
"Plus, the media is acting like these men are exonerated! It’s indisputable that one of them wrote this email the day after: tommrow night, after tonights show, ive decided to have some strippers over to edens 2c. all are welcome.. however there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk in and proceding to cut their skin off while cumming in my duke issue spandex.. all besides arch and tack please respond
Sweet boys, those."
That egregious email was a foolish play on "American Psycho" (studied at Duke). The word choice is vile (like Ms. Marcotte's). But one player having written than email to teammates not make anyone guilty of imaginary kidnapping, rape and sexual offense.
Ms. Kate's post is NOT explainable as a very poor attempt at humor:
"All I can say is that I wanted to smack that one mother’s priveleged little pointy face with a solid shovel. How dare she say 'all mothers of boys should be afraid'? I am thankful that I am a mother of boys because GIRLS GET FAR WORSE from assholes like her priveleged little snot nose jock jerk, as do boys who don’t play the jock game.
"Chances are, if her jockweed ever laid a hand on my boy when he was 'just playing around', he’d have a bent in head courtesy of Her Worst Nightmare - i.e. ME!
"Zog has a book on bully culture in schools. My and how did that bitch piece of work parrot the whole 'priveleged bully' bullshit line. Meanwhile, it is too amazing that everyone seems to have forgotten one of their hellspawn’s e-mails about skinning strippers alive? Rigggght. Just kidding around."
LieStoppers: "To date, Edwards’ silence on the Hoax has implied either a tacit acceptance of the conduct of disgraced District Attorney Mike Nifong, political cowardice, or indifference to injustice in his home state. His new blogmaster, however, has been anything but silent on the Hoax. As recently as last week, and despite mountains of proof to the contrary, Ms. Marcotte continued to claim, in graphic detail, that a sexual assault had occurred...."
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.