You will not shame me.

I have gotten email upon threatening email to rescind what I said last year about the Duke Women’s Lacrosse Team and their uninformed support for the accused rapists in the Duke rape case. The case that was mishandled, manipulated and finally dropped on Wednesday.
I usually ignore emails that intend to *put me in my place* but I think we owe it to our supportive readers to say something outside of “black strippers are lying whores” and the “we won” mentality that seems to have overtaken the public imagination with the dreaded interplay of rape and race.
I just want to say first and foremost, I still stand by what I say and have said. It does look bad for people to support accused rapists, at that point we didn’t know the facts either way. Furthermore, women of color are in fact OFTEN sexually assaulted and usually the criminal justice system and/or the media either overlook it or mishandle it. Women of color often have a higher burden of proof that they are not lying about rape. Case in point (as Amanda and others stated ): when the lack of DNA evidence was announced — before we even knew whether the players were innocent or not — people were quite quick to accuse the accuser of being guilty of lying. So be it.
The charges were dropped. Does this mean that they are innocent? None of us actually know what happened that night. Sorry, unless you were there, you don’t know what happened. Now for the rest of you that have such a die hard belief in the criminal justice system and evidence, well quite frankly I pity you. This is a system that arrests a disproportionate number of people of color, subjecting them to unfair trials, inadequate representation and longer sentences (in a prison system that resembles slavery) SORRY, I don’t trust the courts. When you’re a woman of color who’s a sexworker, up against white kids with money that can afford *good* lawyers, the outcome is not looking so good.


They were not found to be innocent, the charges were dropped from lack of evidence. Moreover, innocent until proven guilty only applies to certain people. Ideally, it would apply to everyone but *a lot* of people are guilty at arrest, just for being who they are and where they are. We are not operating in a vacuum, but within a long history of corruption and injustice in the supposed justice system. So, if these guys were in fact falsely accused, they got a taste of how black men are treated EVERY DAY by the criminal justice system.
And what is the outcome of all of this? The general public now believes that black strippers ARE in fact lying whores and the worst thing that could happen to a strapping Duke lacrosse player is that his lily white reputation is marred by false accusations. Beyond this being a terrible precedent set for women that bring up rape accusations (still something underreported) to never ever report rape again, the racist and sexist reaction from the media and public have been to say the least profound.
I have gotten emails reminding me about not only the details of this case (because you know I can’t read), but how the possibility that this black woman lied shows us that blacks, in general, are liars who play the race card. And strippers are also liars who deserve to be raped.
Why do I say all this? Because the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here. What is relevant is that certain folks are very quick to jump on the offensive when there is a little bit of evidence that perhaps a black woman lied about a rape. You know because people NEVER accuse (random) black people of crimes that they did not commit. I mean, seriously.
So what is the moral of the story? That much of the American public does in fact hold very racist and sexist beliefs and when given the opportunity to air these sentiments, goes ahead full force. It is this same culture of racism and objectification of people of color in most sectors of our society that would create a situation where a black woman would potentially lie about a rape (which we don’t know if she did). And the same culture that would allow for the subsequent manipulation of her story for political gain.
So predictable.

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441 Comments

  1. Erin
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m not criticizing you, Jess, since I don’t think you did anything wrong, but I think it’s a bit…. well, odd, to say that the question of innocence hasn’t been pretty much settled. The woman has come out and said she “isn’t sure” whether she was penetrated or not. Despite the fact that this massively contradicts her previous statement, my own experience with rape is that, unless you’re in a drugged state (and she claims nt to have been) you fucking well know whether you’re penetrated. You know all you life, for that matter.
    I’m very disappointed in this whole case. The retracted statements, the lack of any evidence to support her claims, the alibis and subsequent shifting time lines… sigh. This one will be brought up over-and-over again the next time someone actually is raped. It’s a pretty bleak ending to the whole thing.
    Now, feel free to post the emails of the nasty-grams you’re been receiving so that we can all sign them up for women’s literature. (grins)

  2. Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU SAMHITA.
    last night i saw Bill O’Rielly and Dennis Miller talking about how these Duke kids should sue the prosecuter and the woman (yes, i said WOMAN, not “stripper,” everyone deserves to be treated with respect) who pressed the charges. not that i expect anything intelligent to come out of either of those men’s mouths, but wouldn’t that be a lovely precedent to set? suing women who make rape allegations when they don’t result in a prosecution, and the attorneys who actually take up these women’s cases? the sad thing is how many people probably agree with them. yeah, no misogyny there at all.

  3. Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Samhita – I agree with part of what you’re saying, and in general, I think people who allege rape should be given a certain degree of leeway that is normal not afforded to people in our “presumption of innocence” system.
    I applaud you and the other Feministing bloggers for standing up for this particular woman, and for acknowledging that yes, even to this day, we will never know what happened in the moments that these people were alone, and in some cases, intoxicated, in a frat-party atmosphere.
    But I do object, on a certain level, to the idea that a rape charge always sticks against an accused individual. I mean, we have to admit the possibility that sometimes innocent people are accused of rape, and its unfair to slander them with that mere accusation without proof for the rest of their lives, otherwise unproven threats become lifelong stigmas.
    What I want is a balance, wherein we encourage victims of rape to come forward and challenge their accusers, but we don’t always assume guilt, and let the evidence, rape kit, and other factors speak for themselves.
    In that regard, I do think it may have been the case that everyone, including myself, may have rushed to judgement on these individuals accused of rape.
    It is true that NOBODY KNOWS what happened, and as a result, the presumption of innocence should have some meaning for the party accused, as well as a presumption of good faith on the part of the accuser. In that regard, I do think that we all were a bit too quick to assume the worst and potentially contribute to damaging a person, who as you say, may be innocent under our system of laws.
    That being said, I do understand your emotional feelings about this issue, and I also understand that rape victims have often conflicting accounts of a very difficult moment, and we all want to believe this woman. I just don’t want to harm these individual men with permanent slander if it is the case that they did not rape that woman. Otherwise, the mere accusation of rape becomes the punishment.
    Best wishes,
    steven

  4. Erin
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Typo: I should have said Samhita, not Jess. God, I’m tired.

  5. bunny
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Does it bother anyone else that the “vindicated” boys are using the language of “tragedy” and “injustice” to describe their experience? Did they even spend one night in jail? I really don’t think that qualifies as an injustice or a tragedy. Try being a Black Panther in the 70s, or for that matter a Black man today.

  6. buffythewhite
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Well I AM criticizing you. You hold completely opposite standards for causes you support and thos you don’t. You’ll cry why why why do people not believe women when they say they are raped. Then this woman is believed – and good that she was. If there was sufficient evidence a case should have been brought. But clearly the abuser of the justice system was the DA here. This never even made it to trial because there was not enough evidence for a cleafr thinking prosecutor to take this forward once the idiot Nifong was replaced. So now every woman who claims she was raped for a while now will be disbelieved on some level because of this nutjob – these kid’s parents paid $5M to defend them against bull, and you claim that “we really don’t know” what happened. Yeah we do – she lied, and you are lying now.

  7. Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    bunny – true but their reputations were harmed by this experience, since there will always be a percentage of Americans who believe they are rapist, even if prosecuters now believe that is not the case.
    I do agree that the “right wing” of the country has kind of latched on to this experience as a kind of “i told you so” to Progressives and a subtle message that it’s just another crazy woman making up stories. But I do think a rape-charge does cause harm to the accused even if they don’t spend a night in jail.

  8. Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Samhita. For just everything.

  9. Erin
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Rereading, my eye caught this:
    They were not found to be innocent, the charges were dropped from lack of evidence. Moreover, innocent until proven guilty only applies to certain people. Ideally, it would apply to everyone but *a lot* of people are guilty at arrest, just for being who they are and where they are….So, if these guys were in fact falsely accused, they got a taste of how black men are treated EVERY DAY by the criminal justice system.
    I just know I’m going to get called a “concern troll” for this, but so be it: I have a huge problem with this statement and this sentiment. I have a problem with it for the same reason that I have a problem when I hear someone say that a guilty black man (*cough*OJSimpson*cough*) should go free because so many innocent ones were killed unjustly.
    Two wrongs do not make a right, not even close. To say, basically, that even if they WERE innocent, they’re still privileged fucks and it serves them right to get a taste of discrimination really makes my head spin. It’s certainly not a type of “feminism” I identify with. If these men are innocent (and I think they are), then they have been treated unjustly by many. The fact that innumerable black men have experienced similar unjust actions doesn’t make it right.

  10. Antahkarana
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Samhita, this has passed and the verdict has been given and bitterness remains, but thank you for being a resounding and passionate voice for women of color. Your point is appreciated greatly, the constant objectification and resounding prejudice of this case echoes the compound problems of racism and sexism that WOC have internationally endured. Good on you for not backing down. You really inspire me.

  11. Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    All I’ve learned is that trying cases by blog is just as bad, if not worse, than trying a case “in the media.” Speculating as to if they’re “actually innocent” is a dead-end. All I know is that the special prosecutor declared them as such in yesterday’s press conference, which was somewhat remarkable.
    I for one am going to stay out of the pop-pscyhologizing of the alleged perpetrators or the victim and, of course, any sort of racial generalizations about anything.
    I will say that shitty prosecutions only harm future victims in coming forward, thereby compounding what should be the true national story (underreporting).

  12. natmusk
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    This is just a rotten situation for everyone involved.
    I do not believe that it is fair to the men that have been accused because of the wide spread media attention of this case and the harassment they must have incurred.
    I do believe that if they had not been upper middle class white boys the problems in the handling of the case never would have been discovered
    Whether or not the woman lied we will never know. There are many things that could have happened. Maybe she was drugged and raped elsewhere which could affect her long-term memory. Maybe, in their eagerness to make an example of the boys, her case stopped being her case anyway. People saw money when it came to this case and that’s what it came down to. Not a woman’s rights.
    However the backlash already is ridiculous in this case. I heard a talk show host on TV ranting about how he will only call her a stripper and that the “exotic dancer” label was crap and now that she has proved herself to be a liar she deserves the more trashy name(his insight, not mine)
    But like everyone has said and like my dad said while we were watching this
    “This just is another nail in coffin in the belief that women do not make up rape because they are vindicitive bitches”
    I already know that many police officers go into interviews with those alleging rape witih the intent to prove that they are lying. It’s a sad world we live in….

  13. kpsisu
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    There is a difference between being able to prove something in court and knowing it happened. There is no slander in alleging in good faith that a crime has been committed.
    This is why less than 1% of rapes are convicted- NOT BECASE THEY DIDN”T HAPPEN, but because it is hard to fucking prove.

  14. Frau Direktor
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I just want to add a big AMEN to Samhita! You go, girl!
    For buffythewhite–How do you know the victim lied? You do know that legitimate cases are dropped all the time due to things like insufficient evidence or police misconduct?
    So, Samhita’s right. Just because the charges were dropped does not mean that the men are innocent. Further, I find it hard to believe that the same men who wrote that horrible email about flaying the skin off of a dancer or prostitute, who live in a house with men that shouted racial epithets at two passing black women THAT SAME DAY (and that WAS documented and proved) didn’t do ANYTHING. Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the accuser “forgot” stuff because she was threatened. Look at what happened in the Kobe Bryant case. Plus, I was born and raised in NC, about an hour away from Durham. There are still plenty of crazy crackers there.
    For Steven Guess: More people have doubted her story from jump than have supported her. It’s a sad comment on the sexism and racism still rampant in our society, but it’s true. So, I doubt very seriously that these guys will weather any real damage from this.

  15. Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    sami,
    the true test of a person is how s/he behaves against all odds… you received a huge amount of flak from many quarters for your coverage of the case.
    you took a strong stand and stood by your word… that’s honesty if anything is…
    i’d like to know, buffythewhite, exactly how you KNOW the woman was lying and exactly where samhita has contradicted herself or lied in reference to this case…
    because, really, i think you’re right that the way this case played out in the media is going to be really hard for future survivors of rape… especially when the scales of race and gender are so skewed…
    however, i don’t see how that destabilizes sami’s point at all… i think, actually, that’s the point she was making at the end of her post…
    and, ej, i don’t think sami’s point was that it would be JUST for innocent white men to be assumed guilty, but that it is a reality for people who happen not to be white men… and on a regular basis.
    there’s nothing just about either of those situations… and i’ll bet sami would agree that it’s not a good thing for innocent people to be caught in criminal justice system or for guilty people to walk…
    she was just nodding to the fact that many people go through the system without proper support and are assumed guilty off the bat… it’s just more notable when it’s a white guy.
    all that said, i wanna big up sami once more and just say ‘thanks’ like all these other folks, for all the intellectual labor you’re doing to set this world spinning right
    heights and blessings,
    puck

  16. ccall
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Colin Finnerty, one of the “vindicated� lacrosse players, may have been wrongly accused in Durham. But not in Washington DC, where he was convicted in 2006 in the beating of a man who Finnerty and his friends were hurling homophobic epithets at.
    Nobody deserves to be falsely accused of anything. At the same time, if someone has been convicted of participating in the beating of someone, it shouldn’t be shocking that people would take a rape allegation against him seriously.
    Finnerty’s conviction: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/11/AR2006071100806.html

  17. bettieclem
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to comment on the case, but on Samhita’s post and her strength in the face of nastiness. I didn’t read Feministing for a long long time in part because of the crap she got as a WOC writing on this case. Do not be silenced or shamed, especially by so-called allies who can’t deal with their own privilege and racism. You go on girl, and all the other Feministing ladies as well–thanks for what ya’ll do, and try to do, every day.
    And buffythewhite? The sandbox is thataway.

  18. grrrlriot
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Samhita completely. The way this case has been covered is just incredibly rascist and misogynistic. Even though black men are falsely accused of crimes everyday, we don’t hear about how hard it is until rich white boys claim they have been wronged. I’m sure they will have no problems “rebuilding” their lives, considering how many people are convinced they are innocent.

  19. Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes, there’s harm in being accused of a crime you didn’t commit. It’s unfortunate, but it happens, in ANY accusation. Even if there’s an acquittal (I mean, just look at OJ). It’s just an unfortunate result of a justice system that gives people the right of a trial by jury (rather than, say, by judicial fiat). Frankly, I would rather have the generalized risk of a little bad publicity than the risk of a secret trial in which I would have no guarantee of due process, but I’m all silly and lawyery like that. There’s no reason to treat rape accusations as especially harmful — the sentence and the stigma isn’t worse than, say, murder, and there are definitely false/unproven accusations of murder. Yet (and maybe this is my memory malfunctioning) I don’t remember even OJ or Michael Jackson whining the melodramatic sob story these little wusses are whining right now. I think everyone can agree that being accused of murder or child molestation is more damaging than being accused of sexual assault. Right?
    These guys were accused, potentially falsely. They got a lot of publicity for it, and now they’re sobbing about their poor tattered reputations.
    Um.
    These guys all but BEGGED for the publicity they got. They did media interviews OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL. They whined and screamed the whole time that the simple existence of charges against them was itself discriminatory. And because they are rich and white, the MSM ate it the fuck UP. Make no mistake: these assholes WANTED the publicity. They MADE the publicity happen. Their LAWYERS made the publicity happen. This was a calculated media attack meant to intimidate the DA into fucking up, and guess what — he did. Now, instead of taking their victory and going home, they want to re-write history and pretend that the MSM was against them this whole time.
    I don’t think I’ve EVER read an MSM story where a stripper was believed over a rich white guy she claims raped her. I read a few blogs supporting the woman in this case. Please, if someone could point me to an MSM article that ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THE NOTION THAT THESE PRICKS WERE GUILTY, I would really appreciate it. I’m not talking balanced articles. I’m not talking articles reporting the facts. I’m talking articles that came out and said “these scumbags did it. Listen to the stripper.” I mean, crazy I haven’t seen one, I know, Time and Newsweek print stories like that all the time, right?
    I hope someday these whiny little asswipes will get theirs. Even if they didn’t rape this specific woman, make no mistake, they are BAD PEOPLE. And, yeah, guess what people, I’m allowed to say spoiled snotty assholes are bad people when they are KNOWN to have uttered racist and sexist remarks, and have ACKNOWLEDGED that they demean women (though they wouldn’t use that term). These fucks are bad people. They should take their fucking victory and GO THE FUCK HOME.

  20. Mark Adams
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I can only assume Samhita and others have not followed this story closely. I hope that when the attorney general releases his report you all take the time to read it. To say that the accuser’s story changed does not capture the thing properly. It changed at least 10 times and the changes were not small quibbles. One of the men she accused had an air tight alibi while the rape was supposed occurring. And the other dancer who was with the accuser at the house and left the house with the accuser called the story a crock.
    Among the contradictions from the accuser’s version of the rape:
    *sometimes she had 20 people raping her; sometimes five; sometimes three; sometimes two
    * Sometimes, she claimed rape; sometimes it was sexual assault; sometimes it was just “groping.�
    * Sometimes, the attackers (Adam, Matt, and Brett) were each one person; sometimes Adam and Matt were interchangeable, and the three names described only two people.
    * Sometimes, Dave Evans had a mustache; sometimes, he didn’t.
    * Sometimes, Kim Roberts stole the accuser’s money; sometimes, she didn’t.
    * Sometimes, there were three accomplices to rape who separated the accuser from Kim Roberts; sometimes, there weren’t.
    * Sometimes, the accuser remembered the precise time the non-rape occurred; sometimes she didn’t.
    Frau Direktor,
    You wrote: “men that shouted racial epithets at two passing black women THAT SAME DAY (and that WAS documented and proved)”
    What documentation and proof you have that this took place?

  21. Tom
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    “The charges were dropped. Does this mean that they are innocent? None of us actually know what happened that night. Sorry, unless you were there, you don’t know what happened. Now for the rest of you that have such a die hard belief in the criminal justice system and evidence, well quite frankly I pity you.”
    Not everyone is as deliberately ignorant of the case as you are. One of the accused was seen on camera at an ATM at the time (well, one of the many different times) the accuser said the assault occurred. The accuser was told that everyone in the lineups she saw was on the lacrosse team, so there was no way her identification could be falsified–whoever she picked, even at random, would be demonized by people who think we can deny basic laws of physics about people being in two places at once because “we weren’t there.” The other two accused, besides the one who is absolutely innocent, were no more likely to have raped that woman than anyone she met that day—less likely in fact, since someone else’s DNA was found inside her. And this is only if in fact a rape even occurred, which is unlikely because the accuser constantly changed her story, accused a demonstrably innocent man, identified another indicted player (except that she claimed he had a mustache, or was talking about getting married which he did not and was not), had a picture taken after the rape that showed no facial bruising (even though she later claimed there was facial bruising), and had an incentive to fabricate a rape claim to be released from what was basically a forced mental-health commitment.
    Really, you can’t just assume everyone shares your ignorance of the topic. Just because you choose not to know basic facts about the case you repeatedly post about doesn’t mean everyone else has to pretend your opinion is wise or legitimate. In fact, it pretty much demonstrates the opposite.
    This case has been one large embarrassment for radical (not all) feminists like yourself and race-baiting figures, including academics, nationwide. Your insistence in continuing to defiantly bring it up is not courage, but foolishness. You’re ruining your credibility for the times that someone actually is raped. And by the way, those “ignorantâ€? women’s lacrosse players were much more informed about the case than you even are now, and got information both from their friends, the accused, and from the biased, protesting feminists and race-baiters who wanted them summarily convicted, or at least expelled.
    The closest analogy to this post is a religious fundamentalist who just refuses to believe, despite all evidence people try to show him to the contrary, that the world is no more than 4,000 years old. Is that the kind of comparisons to feminism that you want to promote?
    Sad.

  22. cupcakesofdeath
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    bunny, I think this is the quote you’re referring to:
    “This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed.” (said by one upper-middle-class white male)
    granted, I haven’t really been following this case – I’ve been turning a deaf ear to the MSM for quite some time now.
    however, I can’t help but feel like the verdict of this case is going to set a precedent for future rape cases (a.k.a. “is she faking it?”)
    …and I can almost hear the pundits now, talking about a woman accuser “pulling a Duke”…
    …sigh.

  23. femalechauvinist
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    The Law Fairy, I believe Newsweek did blast the accused men when the case first caught public attention. Or at least that’s what I thought….
    And how do you know they are scumbags? We would never know that. (except for Collin Finnerty) I read Collin Finnerty’s statement, and it didn’t sound like whining.
    I would like to agree with Mark Adams about the lack of evidence and the inconsistencies in this case. If you lay out all the facts in this case, it would lean in favor of the accused. Maybe she just got stuck with a bad DA and they got good lawyers as Samhita said.

  24. Mark Adams
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    cupcakesofdeath, Here is the whole quote from Reade Seligmann. I would think you find it admirable.
    “This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed. If it is possible for law enforcement officials to systematically railroad us with no evidence whatsoever, *it is frightening to think what they could do to those who do not to have the resources to defend themselves.* So rather than relying on disparaging stereotypes, or creating political and racial conflicts, we must all take a step back from this case and learn from it. This tragedy has revealed that our society has lost site of the core principle of our legal system, the presumption of innocence.”

  25. Tom
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow, there’s just so much more that’s irrational about this post:
    “They were not found to be innocent, the charges were dropped from lack of evidence.”
    Untrue. The Attorney General said they were innocent, not just that there was insufficient evidence. So the charges were more than just dropped.
    “Why do I say all this? Because the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here.”
    Wow, details don’t matter? You sound like Bush and his “fuzzy math.” I thought liberal bloggers were supposed to be wonkish and detail-oriented. I guess that applies only for “good” details. You cared a lot about details when you thought they guys were dead-on guilty.
    “You know because people NEVER accuse (random) black people of crimes that they did not commit. I mean, seriously.”
    And your point is? Accusing innocent whites balances out accusing innocent blacks? How exactly?
    “So what is the moral of the story? That much of the American public does in fact hold very racist and sexist beliefs and when given the opportunity to air these sentiments, goes ahead full force. ”
    And that a few radical feminists hate men, hate white people, and so really don’t care if innocent white men go to jail. Again, is that the image of feminism you want to project?
    “It is this same culture of racism and objectification of people of color in most sectors of our society that would create a situation where a black woman would potentially lie about a rape (which we don’t know if she did). ”
    Huh? She had a reason to create a story about rape to get her out of a jam at the hospital. You mean the fact there are black strippers is the real injustice here? Funny, when conservatives point that out they’re told to get rosaries off said woman’s ovaries. Weird how Puritanical radical feminists can be (FYI, there are white strippers too. Some actually think it’s, gasp, empowering. But I guess you want to wait to trot them out for a later post, attacking conservative moralists).
    “And the same culture that would allow for the subsequent manipulation of her story for political gain.”
    Yes, by you and other race-baiters and other radical feminists. Those and certain leftist academics loved this story last March. But when facts became harder to manipulate, they by and large stopped. Thankfully.

  26. femalechauvinist
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    And one more thing. Is it okay for them experience the injustice black men go through everyday because they are white and rich?
    The court system has flaws, but it doesn’t mean they deserve to go through it because they are white, just like it’s not okay for black men to go through unfair trials because they are black. This is racist.

  27. oenophile
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Why do I say all this? Because the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here.
    EXACTLY. You and Amanda Marcotte don’t think that the facts matter – facts like whether or not these young men actually committed this crime. It doesn’t seem to matter that the DNA of five other men were found in her panties; it doesn’t matter that she couldn’t identify a single man in a line-up; it doesn’t matter that the cops changed their notes when she changed her descriptions of her rapist.
    What matters, apparently, is that a female black prostitute said that those men raped her, so they are deserving of all the scorn, derision, and hassle that we can heap on them.
    There are good reasons to defend your initial reaction. There are NO GOOD REASONS to defend her. These men were declared to be innocent by those who know the facts. The prosecutor may lose his license to practice law.
    Bottom line: there are NO SET OF FACTS under which you would condemn a black whore for a false accusation of rape against a rich, educated, white man. Yeah, that’s racist all right.

  28. mooserider
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    um, tom (and others)? are you actually reading the post here, for all your quotes? I think samhita’s point that “the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here” isn’t to say that details don’t matter in this case or in a court of law – but that she is making a post about the LARGER ISSUES that this brought out – i.e. how quick people are to feel justified in the belief that women lie – and as tom seems to imply, lie to manipulate people.
    i, for one, would rather live in a world where any woman’s word is taken seriously in rape accusations, even if this means that some men are accused unjustly. that, for me, was something that was a bit heartening in this case. i’d rather have this happen, even if it did turn out that some men had damaged reputations as a result, than the current reality, in which so many women who are raped aren’t believed, and whose cases are not taken seriously.

  29. Tom
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    “Please, if someone could point me to an MSM article that ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THE NOTION THAT THESE PRICKS WERE GUILTY, I would really appreciate it. I’m not talking balanced articles.”
    That’s the problem. To be “balanced” the New York Times and other MSM outlets had to pretend even into this year that there was a case, and a competent DA running the case, and proper procedure being followed, when in fact it was clear none of that was true. Durham in Wonderland pointed that out months and months ago.
    People keep worrying that future rape victims won’t be believed after this incident. That’s why it’s so important for those who want to help rape victims to actually accept truth, acknowledge facts–even detailed ones–and save their credibility for cases that merit it.

  30. oenophile
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Well, Samhita seems to think that these people are still guilty, so why not point out that yes, the facts are relevant to that judgment? Sorry, she can’t run around screaming, “I’m justified in this because they are probably guilty anyway!” and then say that the facts don’t matter.

  31. Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    these comments make my heart hurt. and i don’t know what else to say.

  32. mooserider
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    also, for posters who keep pointing out that there was evidence that this women had sex previously on that day – this fact is irrelevant. completely. she had sex with others (consensual or not) previous to the party at duke – not relevant. to the case, or the discussion here.

  33. altoonapalooza
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I am somewhat sympathetic with those who rushed to judgment. Looking at the people involved, rich lacrosse players at duke, and the stripper party, I immediately thought-These guys did it. It didn’t help that nearly everyone pushing their side were people I can’t stand. However, as the case unfolded, it was clear that there was little evidence of a rape. While it’s true that they weren’t found innocent in a court of law, nobody who is indicted and later has the charges dropped is. The NC representatives in this case came as close to doing that as is possible. It’s sad for all involved. The woman appears to have had a rough life, and perhaps mental problems, and her case would have never been pushed forward (and thrust into this media circus) but for a zealous prosecutor seeking to win reelection. And if Nifong can behave this way to a bunch of well heeled white kids, imagine how he treats those with less in the way of resources, and without this kind of media scrutiny involved?

  34. femalechauvinist
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Oops, I guess I should have read more carefully. Especially the part where Samhita emphasized the larger issues that were brought out surrounding this case.
    I would like to recant the part especially where I said the post was racist, but I still have to say two wrongs don’t make a right as someone have said above.
    I kinda got carried away by comments that were quick to call the three men “scumbags” etc.

  35. Tom
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    “I think samhita’s point that “the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here” isn’t to say that details don’t matter in this case or in a court of law – but that she is making a post about the LARGER ISSUES that this brought out”
    The facts and details change how the LARGER ISSUES look. Feminists realized that last March.
    “i, for one, would rather live in a world where any woman’s word is taken seriously in rape accusations, even if this means that some men are accused unjustly. that, for me, was something that was a bit heartening in this case.”
    Does it carry no weight that most men would disagree?

  36. femalechauvinist
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    “i, for one, would rather live in a world where any woman’s word is taken seriously in rape accusations, even if this means that some men are accused unjustly.”
    This quote seems to justify racial profiling which bothers me. Ironic that Magnum is a woman of color.

  37. Mark Adams
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    “for posters who keep pointing out that there was evidence that this women had sex previously on that day – this fact is irrelevant.”
    I’m not sure that any posters “keep pointing [this] out” but the fact that semen was found inside the accuser is relevant for a couple of reasons.
    1) It would explain why the examination by the nurse indicated she had recently had sex.
    2) (More significantly) She said the men who raped her did so without condoms and that they ejaculated inside her. The fact that there *was* semen inside of her and that none of it matched the DNA of any of the lacrosse players hurts the credibility of her story.

  38. Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Okay, confession time, ladies: who put out the troll food?

  39. altoonapalooza
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    “i, for one, would rather live in a world where any woman’s word is taken seriously in rape accusations, even if this means that some men are accused unjustly.”
    All rape allegations should be taken VERY seriously. It is an unspeakably vile crime. But if they don’t stand up to scrutiny, they should be quickly dismissed, for the fact that it is such a horrible crime has awful repercussions for those falsely accused.

  40. mooserider
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    i wasn’t justifying a line of thought along the lines of racial profiling.
    this is what i am saying: today, many women who are raped (or abused) a) do not report the rape; b) are not taken seriously when they do report the incident.
    ideally – these accusations would be taken seriously. if false? they would be found to be false. like they were here. granted, the DA dropped the ball in some major ways, but *that* is what i found heartening. i hope there’s nothing controversial about that.
    is this like racial profiling in any relevant ways? i don’t think so. if it still is, i’d appreciate if you’d clarify.

  41. Samhita
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Law Fairy-
    LOL.

  42. Mark Adams
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    “who put out the troll food?”
    I just wanted to see what feminist blogs were saying on the topic and I knew Feministing was a fairly prominent feminist blog.

  43. mooserider
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    i wasn’t justifying a line of thought along the lines of racial profiling.
    this is what i am saying: today, many women who are raped (or abused) a) do not report the rape; b) are not taken seriously when they do report the incident.
    ideally – these accusations would be taken seriously. if false? they would be found to be false. like they were here. granted, the DA dropped the ball in some major ways, but the fact that the case was investigated seriously is what i found heartening. i hope there’s nothing controversial about that.
    is this like racial profiling in any relevant ways? i don’t think so. if it still is, i’d appreciate if you’d clarify.

  44. Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    1) Women of color (and men of color) get a raw deal.
    2) The Duke guys were pathetic excuses for human beings (no other kind requires strippers at parties).
    3) The accuser in this case was a pathetic excuse for a human being. The accuser happened to be a women of color, which has no bearing on her status as a pathetic excuse for a human being. Pure coincidence.
    4) We should throw the whole lot of them under the train tracks. The accuser deserves no support because she clearly is a lying pathetic excuse for a human being. The Dukies deserve no support because they’re assholes who created their own situation and have been exonerated from the legal consequences of their assholery.
    5) Next.

  45. I Got Cixous's
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    “i, for one, would rather live in a world where any woman’s word is taken seriously in rape accusations, even if this means that some men are accused unjustly.”
    The lynch mobs of the South certainly thought that was a decent rule of thumb.
    History and context can’t be left out, and I think that’s where Samhita is right to push past the smug self-satisfaction of those lashing back at her.

  46. mooserider
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    because arguing that a charge of rape should be investigated with respect and seriousness within the legal system is exactly the same as arguing that communities should lynch anyone accused of rape.
    I Got Cixous’s, thanks for clarifying what I was saying.
    snarkiness aside, you’re right – history and context can’t be left out. couldn’t agree more.

  47. jerry
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Look we don’t know what happened that night, but we do know this: women and people of color are oppressed each and every day in this country by angry white men.
    We know what to do about that, but does anyone have the guts?

  48. jerry
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Check this out grrl!
    You and Althouse in agreement!
    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/kos-hates-blogger-code-of-ethics-so.html

  49. jerry
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Oops, apologies, the last post is in the wrong room, this is “hating”, I was looking for “abuse.”

  50. Mark Adams
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    “Look we don’t know what happened that night”
    No, see, that’s the thing. We do know what happen or at least we know what did not happen. There is no evidence whatsoever to indicate there was a rape and there is plenty of evidence indicating there was no rape.

One Trackback

  1. By Feminism Review on October 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Samhita: Shameless…

    Article: “You will not shame me.”My review:This article is classic Feministing, published April 12, 2007. It covers the feminist reception to the aftermath of the Duke Lacrosse verdict, and is a good ……

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