As we all know, the disastrous Duke case has been closed. The prosecutor, Mike Nifong, has apologized and served a day in prison. The accused players have moved on to different schools. The accuser  well, no one knows a thing about where she is or what she’s doing now. But the bloggers and journalists who reported on the case throughout its existence continue to do injustice to everyone involved in the case (including themselves) and unbiased reporting in general.

Two full-length books have been written about the case, now available through Amazon. I haven’t read either one, so the books themselves are not my concern. My first concern arose from a review of one of them, Until Proven Guilty by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and K.C. Johnson. Charlotte Allen of the Weekly Standard butchers the definition of a book review but intitally provides a thorough examination of what we know as fact about the case now. I was surprised by how much I didn’t know about the accuser, especially about Nifong: "The various prosecutorial outrages he committed…most egregiously, concealing from the defense lawyers (via deliberate omission from a May 12, 2006, lab report) the fact that a medical exam conducted on Mangum shortly after the supposed rape revealed the presence of DNA from at least four different men on her person and underwear, none of which, needless to say, matched that of anyone on the lacrosse team…Even while excoriating the team’s "stone wall of silence," Nifong refused to meet with lawyers for Seligmann offering the young man’s airtight alibi." 

Allen says very little about the book (the whole point of her piece). But it isn’t until the end that she shows an unpleasant side of herself that is unacceptable: "On the night of March 13-14, two players (none of them the three accused rapists) flung racial epithets at Mangum and Roberts, although in all fairness this was in response to a disparaging remark Roberts had made about the sexual inadequacies of ‘white boys.’"

So, it’s acceptable to use racial insults if others insult you first? If they insult your sexuality or abilities? Personally, I don’t believe this is ever, ever justified. And where’s the line? What comes after trading insults? Swinging fists? Race war? Allen fails to review a book or present a straight presentation of facts. She only succeeds in showing the cruel biases that everyone involved in or commenting on the case harbors.

On the other side of the coin, we have Samhita of Feministing. From day one, this blogger made it clear that she believed the lacrosse players were guilty. A year and a half later, the dust has settled, the facts laid bare, and Samhita doesn’t have the ovaries to stand up and say, "I was wrong."

(Side note: the threats Samhita has received are also unacceptable, but harrassment of female bloggers is a whole other long, many-layered post).

In response to the threats, she wrote, "You will not shame me…I still stand by what I say and have said." Unfortunately, what she said was that the lack of DNA evidence indicated a cover-up (ironically, the prosecution covered up evidence of innocence, not guilt) and that female lacrosse players were "stupid" to believe in their counterparts’ innocence. Now she says: "None of us actually know what happened that night. Sorry, unless you were there, you don’t know what happened." After repeatedly stating her belief that a crime did occur that night, she wants to use the Schrödinger’s card in response to overwhelming evidence that it did not.

In what was supposed to be her defense, she wrote at length about the state of race/class/the justice system/etc., to deflect from her own mis-bloggings. She writes that, sadly, many ignorant people now believe that "black strippers are lying whores," but her whole defense of herself is based on generalizations that rich boys are guilty and blacks are unfairly discriminated against in law. You cannot refer to a history of discrimination for one side when you yourself are guilty of it for the other. The true history of injustice committed by and endured by the races has nothing to do with the fact that her statements were wrong.

You will not shame Samhita  she already shamed herself, as did Duke, Nifong, the accuser, the media, and everyone who now wants to say they were right or refuse to admit they were wrong.

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