Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Duke allegations part 3

Continued from part 2...

Perhaps I digress a bit. But as I said this is a subject that goes far beyond the case that has refocused the attention of the nation. There are multiple items this touches upon. One less spoken about is the cost of higher education. The fact that 11% of the Duke campus is Black African American, and 30% all minorities, is commendable. But the reality for millions is that $42,000 a year is far too much even if they have the grades to attend. And many, like this mother of 2, work to help pay the tuition. And anyone that faults the jobs taken is a snob and foolish in my world. I recall working through out my time in college, usually 3 jobs, many of those jobs were low end menial work. As my father once told me, “If you do a days work and get a days pay you can keep you head held up high in front of anyone proudly, no matter the job.” And I am proud to have done them and the education they provided me. If I were a woman I’m sure I’d consider stripping. It pays VERY well. It can be harmless to all involved, except when they have what I call a mental imbalance like the above mentioned McFadyen and friends - drunk or not. There are pitfalls, and people make bad judgement decisions, yet that should not be an excuse for actions like the ones alleged at this party.

And we should also realize that the media is playing both sides of this. Like most racial cases there is an opinion being promoted. Like the OJ trials, where a rich man used the best lawyers he could afford to defend himself, and police officers (or at least Mr. Furman) manipulated evidence. Yet the media screamed guilt though we are supposed to be presumed innocent. Or the case of Mr. Daryl Littlejohn. And I look at how the media downplayed the Bensonhurst murder, or Chapaquidiq (I know the spelling is wrong) or the beating of Mr. Rodney King. These are not extremes, and they are relevant. In cases of racial tension the media always picks a side. In every case I can recall, where a Black and White American is involved, the media has always sided with the White American. What does that say? Don’t make responses saying ‘well there was this one case where that wasn’t true’ ... I’m sure there is 1 for every 10 that do go as I have just mentioned.

When you look at all these factors, and there are more than I have mentioned, it tell me something. We have failed. As parents our children are not learning basic beliefs that should be there along with learning the ABC’s and toilet training. As a nation we are failing our neighbors, supporting and vindicating a biased legal system, and placing political goals ahead of common sense. As a legacy we tainted ourselves and continue to allow that to poison our future by hiding from the truth that was part and parcel of the growth and strength of our nation. Cases like this one at Duke only reminds us of the real problems we face. Until we address each issue we will continue to suffer from their effects.

But until that day, the guilty should be punished. Courts and law should be the only places to be tried. And victims should not have their innocence, lifestyle, profession or race used as an excuse for crimes done to them. The United States of America is the greatest nation on the earth at this time, not because of our military strength but our freedoms and law and justice. Occasionally people should remember that.

This is what I think, what do you think.

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Duke allegations part 2

Continued from Duke part 1

It should also be understood that for all the technology and television programing that exists today, physical evidence and DNA is not always evident, nor conclusive. While strides in CSI activities have helped to free those wrongly convicted of crimes, and ensuring the conviction of those who did enact criminal actions, they are not in and of themselves the holy grail of law. Lack or the presence of one piece of information is only a part of a prosecution or defense. It is the totality of the facts that should determine the outcome. The key word is should.

That said I am upset with Duke administration. Obviously they cannot be held entirely at fault for the obvious failures that were committed by the parents of these children. Had these boys been raised better, in my opinion, and they engaged in underage drinking and other activities that are common for youth in college, that is one thing. The alleged blatant disregard and lack of respect is not an expression of ‘leaving the nest’ or college ‘experimentation’. Given that, the administration is liable and at fault as the lacrosse team were no bunch of angels before this incident. One third of the 47 man team have had legal problems this year. And I don’t mean that this was a norm for all the sports teams, the legal problems for players in the soccer and baseball teams combined are 6. I would think that such an imbalance of problems with the law should have drawn some attention. This of course brings the question of whether the $500,000 in scholarships and $250,000 in operating expenses, and who knows how much in private donations (like the ones used in the $2.3 million renovation of Koskinen Stadium) affected their actions. Even if they had no effect they now must answer to that accusation.

I also have to wonder how Ryan McFadyen went unnoticed by the administration and coaches. Or even other classmates. Then again his undescribably offensive email was inviting someone, and mentions 2 others that had already accepted his twisted proposal. Perhaps my college was not as prestigious as Duke University but I don’t recall premeditated murder and mutilation as being on the curriculum. The question of what other individuals, or deviants as I would call them, may also be at Duke and spreading their contagion is very real.

As for the Joe’s Dartblog’s of the world, I have a problem with comments that dismiss causes of this situation. Yes part of the blame can go to the Black African American community/culture in that, more than any time in the past - separate of slavery or segregation, the image of Black women is one that is almost purely sexual. The image of Black men is equally sexual and violent. The fact that White America, as a generalization, is enjoying this display and is helping it along is not helpful. In the last 20 years the birth of ‘hard core’ or ‘gansta’ rap has been extensively promoted. With that promotion has come the expression of women, Black African American women especially, as sexual objects and Black African American men as criminals. This has been reinforced in music, music videos, and movies. While entertainers created this expression, it is the owners of media that are responsible for the pervasive nature of this image. And I agree with the observation made by Ms. Erin Texeria that this has influenced men, of all races, in their interactions with black women. Sadly it must be admitted that many women enjoy this ‘ghettofabulous’ lifestyle, just as men enjoy the ‘thuglife’ mentality that is often accompanied by incarceration and death.

Continued in part 3 ....

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Duke allegations part 1

I have not commented on much lately at vasantheworld.blogspot.com. I have had many reasons, some I have shared previously. But I have spent quite a bit of time reading and thinking on the alleged Duke rape case. There is so much going on in this matter that no cursory or short term view of information would have been productive. I cannot say that I have a comprehensive view, nor one that is unbiased, but I at least am letting you know my shortcomings up front.

The most basic overview of this case can be seen in this article by The Charlotte Observer. If this case could be seen this easily no one would be speaking on it. Like many have observed, race and wealth and perceived privilege are issues. And many have used this case to advance political agendas, which in doing so has magnified and divided many. While this case has nothing directly to do with any of those items it does encompass and represent them all.

Certain things should be understood before any further thought or comment. The first is that slavery existed in the 13 colonies and continued for centuries as the nation grew and prospered. The United States has never apologized nor offered any reparation [more of my thoughts on that can be seen at the post Reparations for Black African Americans]. This is the seed that has lead to many of the racial difficulties that exist today. This birthed the Jim Crow laws and the concept that segregation was beneficial. It created the atmosphere of 2nd class citizenship that still pervades in cultural attitudes on all levels in this nation. Examples of that can be seen in my posts on commercials, such as Burger King ad and First entertainment strike to American Express, found at www.blackentainmentblog.com. Another given that must be recognized is that from the original 13 colonies the concept of class-based society was brought and incorporated into our nation. From these 2 thoughts come the basis of many of the problems that this case has surfaced.

The next thought must be that, if guilty, the full weight of the law should be directed at these boys (men do not behave in such a manner). Rape, kidnaping and assault are some of the most heinous and repulsive crimes, so much so that to my knowledge every civilization and religion throughout recorded time have had laws to punish for their enactment. I have no forgiveness for individuals that commit these crimes and wish we had stronger punishments for those that engage in them.

I also have little truck for those that seek to try the victim of such crimes. Any woman deserves to be protected from the animals that would prey upon them. The profession these women may have is irrelevant to that protection, as is their sexual attitudes or activities. There is no justification for this act, and those that do so are - in the kindest terms - flawed in my understanding. I do feel that anyone who would question the profession of a victim, or who would state that the victim was less than a woman and human being (”Rush Limbaugh, knowing nothing about these people, comfortably dismisses the alleged victim as a ‘ho’.”) deserves to have various parts of their genitalia hit with a sledgehammer. Repeatedly. And I am sure were the woman in question the sister or mother of the individual making such dehumanizing statements they would feel the same. I at least feel that way without the compulsion of having a familial or personal connection.

Continued in part 2...

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