As noted in The Chronicle, Duke University’s daily newspaper, the previously maligned Duke lacrosse team has just made its way into the national championship game by defeating Cornell. This seemed to highlight something about the Duke non-rape case we have long suspected: The only beneficiary of this sordid affair will be college lacrosse, which suddenly has a modicum of excitement surrounding it.
As we have all long since recognized, however, things look pretty bad for most of the folks associated with the Duke lacrosse fiasco. Houston Baker Jr., a professional Mau-Mau artist, has been exposed as the race-baiting charlatan he is. William Chafe, a deeply radical American history professor, comes across as a mindless twit without the slightest concern for the presumption of innocence. And the aptly named Dick Brodhead, president of Duke University, seems like a craven coward.
Yet the Duke lacrosse brouhaha, like herpes, appears to be the gift that keeps on giving. For some reason, many of the folks who made complete fools of themselves whilst the fiasco played out simply can’t shut their mouths. They resolutely refuse to make amends for their missteps, and thus they dig deeper and deeper holes for themselves.
For those opposed to the media and academic nutters from the start, the results are simply delicious.
Take, for example, Wendy Murphy, an adjunct professor at the New England School of Law. Ms. Murphy made regular rounds on the chat-show circuit during the brouhaha, and generally made Nancy Grace seem like a beacon of moderation and care. A vitriolic denouncer of the accused students, she has more than her fair share of egg on her face.
And yet she appears to have learned absolutely nothing from the case. In fact, she recently penned a letter to The Boston Globe asserting that the three exonerated students could still be guilty as sin. Someone needs to learn how to quit whilst she’s behind.
Let us not forget a Duke student called Shadee Malaklou, who routinely used her columns in Duke’s Chronicle to castigate the accused. In her swan song column, Ms. Malaklou asserted that it didn’t really matter whether the lacrosse players were guilty or innocent; what really mattered was that it was conceivable that they could have been guilty of the offense.
Does an argument get any weaker than that? We can imagine lots of stuff: A strong Kansas City Royals team; a heterosexual Ryan Seacrest; an intelligent Shadee Malaklou. But this doesn’t mean that any of these things exist, which strikes us as more than a bit important–at least to those folks who had their lives forever altered by the affair.
One thing we must say we dislike, however, is the perpetual ultra-focus granted to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong’s machinations. To be sure, Nifong was the prime malefactor in the case; he well deserves the opprobrium he has received.
And yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think that pouring contumely on Mr. Nifong has served to exonerate others who also deserve blame. Generally, the media have portrayed the black community in Durham as the witless pawns of an evil Nifong. According to this rationale, Mr. Nifong simply used these poor sods.
There is, we think, a hint of racism in this line of argument. In addition, we seem to recall a meeting in Durham during the early days of the fiasco in which some members of the black community berated Mr. Nifong for going too easy on the players. They screamed and screeched, implicitly berating Mr. Nifong as a racist.
If you ask us, it is unfair to see these particular members of the Durham community as misled pawns. They, along with the national media, egged Mr. Nifong on. It may make some feel better to point the finger solely at Mr. Nifong, but that doesn’t make it fair.
(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently wondering whether Larry Summers and Dick Brodhead were separated at birth. If not, how did they both grow up without backbones?)