I have been reading the fascinating new book by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor on the Duke Lacrosse fiasco entitled, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.
The book brings to light the factors that led to three innocent men being railroaded by the criminal justice system and by a society that presumes white men are guilty by virtue of their sex and race. The opening chapters describe the milieu at Duke, including the hardcore partying that was going on by both the men and women on campus. There is mention that the Duke women were as horny as the guys there with more than one sorority on campus hiring male strippers (page 2) but this was never picked up in the media (of course not, male strippers for women are considered empowerment, while for men they're sexist).
Much of the book sets the stage for the context of the Duke case, including the increase of far left academics at Duke, the racial tension between Duke and Durham, the police who built the case without evidence, and the match that caused the case to ignite--prosecutor Michael Nifong. The book is also about heroes and champions of justice: the defense team, the defendants themselves and the bloggers and others who came to their rescue, from both the left, right and center.
My favorite chapter in the book is entitled "Presumed Guilty: Feminist Overkill" as it describes the statistics for false rape allegations. The chapter opens with a look at Catharine MacKinnon's Yale commencement speech in 1990 in order to understand the eagerness of so many journalists and academics to find the Duke lacrosse players guilty. MacKinnon's words that day, capture the radical feminist line clearly that has permeated current PC circles. She stated, "Look to your left, look to your right, look in front of you , and look behind you. Statistics tell us you have just laid eyes on someone guilty of sexual assault." The radical feminist line is that women never lie about rape. But statistics belie this belief.
The book lists these false rape statistics including one from Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex-crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office who wrote, "There are about 4000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen" (page 374). I wonder how many more men across the nation are caught up in false claims or mistaken identities because so many are eager to rush to judgment? Rape is a horrible crime but so is convicting an innocent man of a sex crime. The authors of the book state: "Terrible as it is for a victim to see a rapist escape punishment, it is far, far worse for an innocent person to be convicted of a sex crime."
I remember talking to a professor about the Duke case when it first captured the attention of the media, her response? "Those guys are guilty as hell, have you ever seen how some of those athletes and fraternity guys act--partying and making noise? They'll rape anyone." She had no interest in the facts and used as her frame of reference all partying noisy fraternity guys and athletes as if that is how justice should work. "Oh, they are loud and party a lot--guilty just for having fun while male
." I now have the pleasure of buying several copies of this book and dropping one off on her desk next time I see her. Will it bring her around? Not by itself, but it's a start ....
Update: The book is up to
#752 436 265 on Amazon
and is #1 in the category of rape
#10 3 in sports.
This is an important book; stand aside Harry Potter,
I hope it reaches #1!
Labels: men's rights, political correctness