Monday, April 16, 2007

Money Says This Won't Be On CNN

There's another athlete-rape case budding, this time at the University of Minnesota. The accused are three football players, the victim, a student at a neighboring university. All four are Black.

The hook right now is that the Black Student Union of UM has rallied in favor of the accused players, while everyone is accusing the woman of being a liar and whore. Slant Truth sayeth: "Listen, black men. You don’t get a pass for assaulting black women just because you’re black. You need to get out there and support that woman." BrownFemiPower also is working to build support for the victim-survivor.

This case is interesting to me in the wake of the Duke case, for a couple reasons. For starters, it kind of gives lie to the idea that the Duke case was some reverse-racial witch hunt on the part of the left-wing community, which is one of the more annoying memes coming out of the right blogosphere right now.

As for said conservative bloggers: I suspect their comments will not be forthcoming on the issue. I obviously suspect that it won't get anywhere near the media attention of the Duke case. But even if it does, I suspect that their suddenly-found love of due process and fair hearings and all that jazz will not be voiced when the defendants are Black men. After all, this case pits two conservative policy agendas against each other--they want to "get tough on crime" by throwing as many Black men into prison as possible, but they certainly don't want to forward the trend of believing victims of rape and sexual violence. So, I predict a studied silence--unless a misstep somewhere in the process creates an opening for some opportunistic race or gender bashing.

And as for me? I don't venture an opinion. Cases like this come at the intersection of two areas I do not trust the criminal justice system to adequately deal with: rape victims and Black defendants. I have no reason to suspect the women is lying. I have no reason to suspect that the men are guilty. And until I am given reason to change my opinion on either of these two positions, I, too, will maintain a studied (if I hope less self-righteous and hypocritical) silence on the matter.

2 comments:

Cara said...

David,

This is a great blog post and I agree with you completely. Well done.

Thin Black Duke said...

For starters, it kind of gives lie to the idea that the Duke case was some reverse-racial witch hunt on the part of the left-wing community, which is one of the more annoying memes coming out of the right blogosphere right now.

So annoying.

When I write a post about the Duke case, my email inbox and moderation queue fill up with people calling me a racist. When I write what amounts to the same post--only difference being that everyone involved is black--what response do I get? Crickets. The end result in both cases is that the women are effectively erased.