Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

How can it be justice if nobody got hanged?

I really thought the media zoo was over when Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges against the Duke lacrosse players (falsely) accused of raping a dancer at a team party. But then I heard that there was still a group that was holding a protest against the dismissal of the charges. I thought, "Which part of 'completely innocent' did you not understand?' "

But, hey, maybe I'm not getting the full story. Did they come up with new evidence that was not presented? Was the dancer bringing a civil suit?

Well . . . no. The "protest" was fifteen "community members," at least three of whom worked with specific causes that had been trying to make hay from the allegations. ""They took the whole process as if all the defense and all the prosecution had been heard," said Shafeah M'Balia of the Black Workers for Justice Women's Commission."We say that is a travesty."

Ahhhh. Ok, let me explain something to you, Ms. M'Balia. Just because someone makes an accusation, doesn't mean that it gets to go to trial. You have to have, you know, credible evidence to bring someone to trial. That's how the system works. If you think a mere accusation should be sufficient to run someone into court, please go watch The Crucible two or three times and let it sink in.

I fail to understand why the self-appointed defenders of the helpless consistently think they need to accept every allegation at face value without a shred of critical appraisal. These leaders no doubt feel like they need to stand by the "victim" in solidarity, and cling to the cultural mythology that any accusation by a black woman about a white man simply must be true. A century ago the inverse was true -- a black man could be strung up on the mere say-so of a white woman -- and I have no desire to embrace mob justice again. To use such rationale shows that these activists are not interested in justice, but in power, and are no better than the lynch-mobs of yesteryear.

To accuse the Attorney General's office of being biased in dismissing the case is equally jaw-dropping. It's not like the state's lawyers didn't want to run in the lacrosse players into jail -- Nifong was savoring every last politically juicy drop of the of the case. The community, the university, everyone gave that women a huge amount of consideration in hearing out her case, to the extent that the players were tossed from the university on her mere accusation. Now the deparment is facing censure and Nifong faces disbarment for being too biased in favor of the accuser. And yet the activists are sticking to their guns -- anyone who disagrees with them is a racist, a bigot, a sexist pig.

Thank goodness it was only fifteen people at their little protest. The rest of the world has come to their senses.



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