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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  1. noname
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Dogstar – I think you are mis-reading me. I absolutely support these three families and think that this has been a horrible injustice. I also acknowledge that $5 million in legal bills split + $400,000 in bail holdings each can financially ruin even upper class families. I just don’t think playing up stereotypes for sympathy is the way to go here. Leave that to the enablers. We have the truth on our side, and evidence to back it up.

  2. Dogstar
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Jenna, I know lots of bankers, brokers, salesmen, middle-managers, accountants, etc. that would argue your conclusion.
    I am an independent, self-employed investment advisor who manages millions of dollars in other people’s retirement and savings accounts.
    In other words, my resume could easily look like his. And I’m still a few million dollars short of having a few million dollars lying around to pay for a bogus rape charge against my son.
    So I’m going to have to disagree with you.

  3. Dogstar
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Point taken, noname. I will stop beating this extremely tired horse and move on. Thanks for the back-and-forth and I apologize for getting snippy.
    This case makes me angry!

  4. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    “Many survivors also disagree with you on how they view the case.
    Really? Well, I’d prefer to here from them, rather than from you claiming that they say that because, frankly, I don’t believe you.”
    Excuse me, let me rephrase that. How do you quantify “many”? “Many” does not necessarily mean majority, although it may. “Many” does mean that of the survivors who’ve labeled themselves as such here (a few), they were not all wanting to throw the woman in prison. If the percentage with that viewpoint here are representative of the viewpoint of the general population of survivors, than I would characterize that as “many” who would not want the woman thrown in prison. Again, you go out and prove me wrong, and I’ll step back.
    But you still did not address the larger portion of my post. Like for instance, how about the way the media handles rape cases in general? How about you go back and address that point?
    I agree with whoever said that when Hitler gets brough up it’s time to close the thread. We’re not going to agree people on the resolution of this case people. Now I’m going to go to my college party. And if anyone unwantedly gropes me, I hope I don’t break his nose.

  5. noname
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Ninapendamaishi, I promise not to grope you. Goodnight.

  6. noname
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    This case makes me angry! – Dogstar
    Me too.

  7. Erin
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Nina, honestly, I’m not addressing all of your points because only the really ludicrous ones are interesting to me.
    Your “points” about how the media handles rape cases are drowned by your continued racism and sexism. Some of your golden oldies today have been that I hate women because I won’t jump to conclusions about the Duke, that I hate women because I think that people who misuse the justice system should go to jail for trying to ruin innocent lives, that because I’m a rape victim I shouldn’t acknowledge the damage to MY credibility that false rape victims do when they lie, that poor people should get off scot-free when they falsely charge rich people of rape, and that if a woman is raped once she doesn’t derserve punishment is she later lies about a non-rape.
    Why, oh why, would you think that I would feel the need to debate your whiny “but…but…media! bad!” cop-out? You only really drug out the “media bad” snivelfest when I roundly pummeled your previous sexist and racist remarks and I feel, strongly, that at this point you’re just looking for a scapegoat. So, fine, I’ll humor you:
    Media bad. News bad.
    Happy now?
    Honestly, I DO feel like the media handled this badly, but not the way you think. The media handled this badly by lazily and slavishly reporting everything Nifong said about DNA and shifting stories without even attempting to maybe do some actual reporting. God forbid that a “watchdog group” like the media actually look into stuff and not just report this sort of shit:
    “Headline News: Nifong says Duke men “hooligans”. That settles that.”

  8. EG
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I kinda hope you do, Nina. Unwanted touching deserves unwanted touching in return.
    And EJ, how could I turn down your hope? (I’d been going to sign off and go to bed and hope to wake up Not Sick tomorrow morning…fingers crossed.)
    I guess the issue is that I’ve read conflicting versions of what the woman in question said. I know that she changed her story a number of times, but it’s unclear to me now whether she’s said that she’s not sure that penetration was involved or that she’s not sure that penises were involved. I’m not convinced that changing one’s story means that nothing happened to her, or that she is lying (as opposed to being kind of fucked up or unstable and believing what she’s saying). I can see a few reasons why somebody would change her story in a similar situation.
    I never meant to include you when talking about anti-feminists who want grovelling–I would never categorize you as an anti-feminist and I apologize that I didn’t make that clear. That was more me musing on the hostile comments that were showing up in the Feministe thread, and not making clear that I’d changed my mental context.
    I don’t know; I’m always loath to pass judgment on what Jessica, Samhita, et al should do or not do.

  9. Erin
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    EG, you came back! :)
    Hah, I did wonder if maybe you were monitoring multiple threads. There have been a few “I hate” trolls here, but I didn’t think very many people here were asking for grovelling! I knew you wouldn’t say that unless you’d seen it which made me wonder if we had “multiple site crossover” going on. :)
    I actually did read a direct quote from the woman saying that she wasn’t certain that she’d been inserted with a penis. I need to find it again, ’cause it sent up huge red flags to me. I can understand, though, that if you hadn’t seen the quote you might be loath to pass judgment on her. To each his/her own, but it’s pretty settled to me that she lied. The question of “why” will always be unsettled, I’m sure.
    I just feel kind of shitty for thinking those Duke girls were so willingly ignorant when now it looks like they really did know more about the case than the rest of us did… because a LOT of what we got, information-wise, were fabrications from Nifong and the media.
    Other than that: Get well soon, EG!!

  10. aquacat
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, Kevin J. Finnerty is not a “banker”. He’s a retired former manager at J.P. Morgan who is now on the board of one of the wealthiest investment companies in the nation. He owns over 200,000 shares in the company, and the company made over 500 million last year. He is involved with Fortress Investment Group, which has about $15 million in equity capital.
    He may not be Donald Trump, but being able to retire at 51 and buy that many shares in that sort of company most certainly does not make him middle class, unless your definition of middle class is a warped one in which only Warren Buffet-like finances makes one upper class.

  11. EG
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Hee, EJ, I’ll always come back at your request! Thanks for the good wishes–had a stressful month at work, and now that it’s over, I think my body is going on strike!

  12. Dogstar
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Ok, aquacat, I stand 33% corrected.

  13. Vervain
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    “loads of support”. Right. Sometimes takes the form of a rope after the guy is hauled out of jail by a mob. But, being six or seven feet off the ground can logically be called “support”, I guess.
    Can you provide us with a few links to articles or reports in which something like this has occured, Richard? You know, to illustrate what a frequent occurence it is. Preferably ones occuring in this century, please. Thanks.
    “You can claim murder all day long and, without a body, there’s going to be trouble. I can claim somebody broke into my house but if nothing’s broken, I’m out of luck. I can claim I was assaulted but if there are no witnesses and I have no injuries–nor does the accused–then I am not going to get very far. I can claim I was defrauded, but if I can’t show money going out from me, and going in to him, I’m not going to get very far.”
    You’ve left out a couple rather important details in your example. First, people rarely voluntarily choose to be murdered, robbed, assaulted, or defrauded, but lots of people have voluntary (aka consensual) sex. Second, most people who are raped are at least somewhat acquainted with their rapists. Your comparative examples would function a bit better as follows:
    Murder: You are accused of the murder of someone who asked you to assist in their suicide. You have to prove that they really wanted you to kill them, and were perfectly willing to die.
    Theft: You invite someone over to your house, and they leave with one of your possessions in their pocket. When accused, they insist you lent or gave it to them. You have to prove you didn’t.
    Assault: This one’s a bit trickier. A guy you’re casually acquainted with sucker-punches you. You accuse him of assault, but he claims it was all just a misunderstanding; he’d heard you liked to roughhouse, and was sure you wanted to roughhouse with him. Prove he’s lying.
    Defrauded: Someone you know asks for a loan, which they promise to repay promptly. They don’t. Finally you take them to court. They claim the money was a gift, not a loan. It was an oral contract, nothing in writing. How do you prove it was in fact a loan?
    Sydney – Sigh, I concur. I’ve been mourning that fact for most of this thread myself.
    “Honestly, if we turned rape into one of those crimes where if an accusation failed the accused could sue the accusor, the numbers in which that the accused tries to sue the accusor would escalate, whether or not the women involved were lying.
    I agree, sadly. A popular response to accusations of stalking or harrassment is to level the same accusation back at the accuser. Maybe it’s actually true, and the accuser is indeed the guilty party, but if they aren’t, it’s a pretty handy way to shut them up.
    EJ – *big hugs* I’m so sorry you were, in essence, raped twice. Some people are utter bastards. This shit shouldn’t happen, but it does, and way too damn often. I’m sorry for what happened to your husband, too. The woman who vindictively accused him, the girl who used my friend’s reputation to shield her rapist boyfriend, and the woman in the Duke case, if she did indeed lie about it, also earn my ire. Each of them is guilty of exploiting our sexist culture for their own benefit (or at least attempting to do so), though they’re doing it from opposite ends of the spectrum. If we could actually eliminate those bullshit attitudes and achieve some sort of equality, people like them would have to find some other way to “work the system,” and those of us who don’t think the world revolves around us or that it’s okay to trample other people in our quest to gain some advantage for ourselves wouldn’t be subjected to this kind of injustice. I think the ideals of feminism and equality are slowly gaining ground, and someday our efforts to make the world a better place will bear fruit, but in the face of this kind of crap, the struggle is just so exhausting…
    “Do the FACTS of this case matter to anyone here at this site?”
    Not in the context of this post, no. We’re NOT debating the facts of the case, the evidence or lack thereof, or the guilt or innocence of the accused or the accuser. *sigh* Okay, actually we are, because a vast number of commenters utterly missed the acutal point of the post, yourself included. Carry on. I’m done with this thread, it’s too damn long, and far too off-topic to recover. I’m off for the weekend anyhow. Have fun, everyone.

  14. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    EJ: I’d say with your last post you are exaggerating/misrepresenting a lot of what I said, in very similar ways to the couple of places you found me to be doing the same to you. I don’t feel a desire to nitpick every point. The point about the larger repercussions of this, or what allowing prosecutioin of accusors would do to the overall handling of rape cases in this country, are far larger points to me, not something I drug out. And I didn’t ask you what you thought about the media on this case or media bad vs. good, that wasn’t my question: go back and read what I actually wrote if you’re going to respond.
    I do not judge these kids based on their class or race, I judge them based on whether they handle the fact of their privilige with dignity. (and I assume you caught the bit where I said some of the kids on the team (I think also one of the accused, though I’m not positive) were definitely homophobic, sexist jerks at the high school my friend attended). I don’t okay that stuff, or try to rationalize it. I just don’t.
    I also think there are far worse threats to women’s status in this country than a (potentially) lying single person, so I don’t choose to focus on that.
    I don’t think a rich white woman accusing a poor black man of rape and failing deserves to be sent to prison either, so I don’t see the inconsistencies in my position that you apparently do.
    That being said, I am angered by this entire situation as well. Everyone got screwed in certain ways, and we totally don’t know exactly what happened. And I still think it’s odd so many people got so interested in this case who generally don’t pay so much attention to rape cases.

  15. Qnunc
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    According to
    According to the “Color of Crime 2005″ report, in the FBI’s annual National Crime Victims Survey, none of the approximately 10,000 black women surveyed from 2001 to 2003 reported being victims of a white gang rape. In contrast, black-on-white gang rape is, apparently according to the NCVS, a much more than daily occurrence in this country (although small sample sizes for gang-rapes make it hard to be definitive about the size of the ratios).
    White-on-black single rapist crime, while not unknown, averages only 900 cases per year according to the FBI survey of victims.
    In contrast, there are 15,400 black-on-white single rapist crimes per year, according to the NCVS.

  16. 16oz
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    The “blame the victim” mentality here is sickening.
    In this case, the Duke lacrosse players are victims. Whether or not they are assholes is irrelevant.
    The next time a woman is raped, I’m going to say “I heard she was kind of a bitch – so who cares!”
    (No, I’m not going to actually say that, but you get my point)
    Blaming the victim is something we reject when the victim is female. Shouldn’t we also reject it when then the victim(s) is male? And white?
    Many posters here are exposing their own hypocrisy and prejudice. In their minds blaming the victims is perfectly fine – as long as the victim is not female.
    That attitude is disgusting.

  17. 16oz
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Also the comment that a prosecutor can lose their job if they go up against rich white men is absurd. The proseccutor is in trouble for MISCONDUCT. He stepped way outside the bounds of proper behavior. *That* is why he is in trouble.

  18. Vervain
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Oh, almost forgot, to answer Richard’s question:
    If my friend served any time in jail, he didn’t deem it was worth mentioning, so I would guess no, or not much.
    I have another friend who was also falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit (assault this time) and did get sent to jail for it. Oddly, he claimed that the treatment he received there was less traumatic than the treatment he recieved in the army. Go figure.
    Note: I’m not suggesting that being falsely accused or injustly imprisioned is some kind of cake walk, here–just that I know people have survived it pretty much intact.
    Obviously, the same won’t be true for everyone. Neither one of my friends expressed much in the way of anger or outrage toward their wrongful accuser, which surprised me.
    They just wanted to get on with their lives, I think.

  19. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    “The next time a woman is raped, I’m going to say “I heard she was kind of a bitch – so who cares!”"
    Well first off, the Duke lacrosse players weren’t raped. They were accused of a crime, quite possibly falsely, which has been pointed out countless times is something just as anticipated and planned on by our justice system as the “20 guilty men go free is better than 1 innocent man in jail” thing.
    Now, if a woman was accused of physically assaulting a gay person, and you said “well I knew her back when she used to harass kids she thought were gay” your analogy would be much tighter and we’d be having a different conversation. But as it is, no one is saying the kids should be convicted of rape. Rather, I am saying I think there are injustices out there that need our attention far more than this case -after all, these boys had the resources to reach the best possible resolution for themselves.
    And I think that they or anyone who harasses women or minorities or gays or effeminite straight men etc. sort of deserve to have /something/ happen to them -not this case but something appropriate. People who do those things, some of the lacrosse boys, perhaps but not necessarily all, don’t deserve a golden reputatioin.
    I realize it’s virtually impossible to convict all the countless people who will yell insulting things to you on the street. However, I am a progressive. I sometimes think/wish beyond the laws. After all, 35 years ago husbands in most states could rape their wives without any fears of legal repercussions.

  20. caiis
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    After all, 35 years ago husbands in most states could rape their wives without any fears of legal repercussions.
    I think husbands can still rape wives in a few states, actually, or at least have lesser penalties than a non-marital rapist.

  21. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Yes Mel, that is accurate.

  22. caiis
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    according to:

    On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes. In 17 states and the District of Columbia, there are no exemptions from rape prosecution granted to husbands. However, in 33 states, there are still some exemptions given to husbands from rape prosecution. When his wife is most vulnerable (e.g., she is mentally or physically impaired, unconscious, asleep, etc.) and is unable to consent, a husband is exempt from prosecution in many of these 33 states (Bergen, 1996; Russell, 1990).

    Maybe more states have got rid of the husband exemptions (this article didn’t have a date and the sources are 90s), but I don’t think every one has.

  23. 16oz
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    “Rather, I am saying I think there are injustices out there that need our attention far more than this case.”
    When the case seemed to be about 3 white men raping a black woman why were you so interested in it? Surely there are worse things right?
    People die every day. Today a car bomb in Iraq killed 56 people. Isn’t that more important than someone being raped?
    Maybe instead of fighting injustice and crime we should be fighting heart disease and cancer instead?
    The fact is, people do not always focus on The Most Important Thing (TM) and it is silly to ask them to.
    A lot of posters here are assuming that this is the only injustice anyone cares about – that is false. Executing retarded people is awful. Some people have gone on death row when their lawyers fell asleep during trial! That is obviously awful and a much worse injustice. Those things also upset me.
    The fact is, this case got a lot of media attention and attention from feminist groups. It was never, at any point, the single most important thing happening in the world. It was never the worst rape, the worst injustice, the worst thing that ever happened to a woman. It wasn’t even the worst thing to happen to a woman that day!
    Feminist groups took an interest because it seemed to validate their world view – white men abusing their power. White men took an interest because they identified with the lacrosse players.
    Both those groups are guilty of paying attention to something that was not The Most Important Thing (TM) but people do that all the time.
    People who took an interest in this case did so because they could identify with the accuser or the accused, or because it was simply a compelling case – not because an objective analysis revealed that that was the absolutely best way to spend their time.

  24. Richard Aubrey
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    You’re on the right track, but permit me to refine the point:
    It may not have been the most important thing in the world, but for many it was the most important rape case in the world, measured by the attention paid to it.
    It was interesting how many insisted that rape occurred, or the dreaded “something” when the evidence mounted that neither had.
    People wanted it to be true when it obviously wasn’t.
    TalkLeft had some hysterics on initially, although Jerilyn got control of the situation and it became about facts and law.
    There are any number of real rapes which don’t get this attention.
    The difference seems not to be whether the circumstances validate the feminists’ view. And if the circs do, then facts be damned.
    Not the feminists’ finest hour.
    While ignoring the eight-hundred pound gorilla as laid out by qnunc. Ignoring the big ape doesn’t mean other people don’t know about it. We do, and noticing who is pretending it doesn’t exist is illuminating.
    Think about what this looks like from the outside.

  25. Charity
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Well just wanted to say to Richard how clearly you’ve shown that you never intended to hear or learn anything new on this board…in your last post, the derision with which you say “the feminists” is pretty obvious, as if the very word is a slur for god’s sake. You clearly still don’t even know what that term means (you seem to use it as a synonym for “women
    Richard thinks are irrational”) or how hurtful it is of you to make it into a dirty word because it suits your political agenda…you’ve seemingly just incorporated “feminism” into your low opinion of “liberuls” generally. And you continue to selectively attend to comments (or invent comments in your own mind, seemingly) that you think support your pre-conceived ideas about what feminists think and do.
    Did a little googling on you. Seems you’re (or someone else with your name is) quite busy all over the political blogs, and funny that when you mentioned TalkLeft in your earlier comment you left out the part where they considered banning you and ultimately limited you to 4 comments a day….nothing too egregious that i could make out on your part, just verbosity, inability to actually dialogue, and a rate of commenting that meant no one could get a word in edgewise. And is this you, too, at the link below?
    So if you’re continuing your “scorched earth” approach to blog commenting, you should know that this space is a little different than all your other favorite political blogs, like Dr. Helen and Neo-Neocon, or whatever else. This is one of few places where young women find a safe and supportive community to discuss issues that affect us on a daily basis (all kinds of things that interestingly enough to not all center on the Duke case), and–guess what?–we are already well, well aware of dissenting viewpoints and understand VERY WELL that we have many adversaries and detractors and–guess what again?–many of them are white men of your generation. This web site is a community that many of us, including me, are lacking in our everyday lives.
    You will no doubt take this request as some failure to effectively counter or hear your arguments, as a sign of surrender or weakness…and I really don’t care. This is my request alone. Please, please, don’t make this your next “home.” Because the more I see your name here, the less I want to be here, and it’s not because of your “superior logic.” If I lose this community I’m not sure I will find another one to replace it.

  26. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    “There are any number of real rapes which don’t get this attention. The difference seems not to be whether the circumstances validate the feminists’ view.”
    Given that the first part is true, and that many of the people ambivalent about this case are also aware of the above fact, I think it’s silly to imply the outcome of this one single case somehow invalidates the feminist worldview. In fact, if you will reread the OP one thing /she/ was doing was questionning why this one case got so much media coverage. I think you can hardly blame the extent of media coverage on this one case all on feminists. Feminists generally do become active and vocal with a variety of rape cases. Many feminists may be most inclined to believe a victim as a matter of principal (b/c victims are ususally telling the truth), and you may disagree with that. You Richard are the anomalous sort of person (who appears, prove me wrong) to just come out and vocalize on cases like this. You are the one who wants a single case to prove something. What is it you are so desperate to prove? That women sometime lie? Find me a feminist on this site who would ever deny that…
    No Richard, many of us have said we wished other cases got as much media coverage. I myself was saying to EJ earlier that if all sorts of rape cases got proportional representation in the media, one (possibly) lying woman would probably not endanger the case of rape victims everywhere. But no Richard, do not act like feminists are stupid.

  27. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to say “thank you,” charity

  28. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Oh I just realized my above post should have been equally addressed to 16 oz.

  29. Charity
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    You’re welcome Nina! Thank you too.
    Wanted to correct myself so I don’t invite any trouble…I was wrong to say TalkLeft considered banning you, Richard (or another Richard Aubrey of exactly the same age). The part about limiting comments to 4 a day was correct, though.

  30. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    16 oz, feminists don’t /need/ this one case to validate the feminist worldiview. Like I said, heck, look at the countless other cases posted about on this site. This case wasn’t on a feminist blog because feminists somehow /need/ this case. If you don’t understand the point the OP, Sydney, etc. were making, go back and reread until you get it, otherwise we can’t have much of a conversation.

  31. Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Also the comment that a prosecutor can lose their job if they go up against rich white men is absurd. The proseccutor is in trouble for MISCONDUCT. He stepped way outside the bounds of proper behavior. *That* is why he is in trouble.

    I never said the prosecutor’s behavior was proper. What creates the chilling effect is (a) the immediacy of the attacks on his behavior; and (b) the double standard about how far “outside the bounds” one’s behavior has to be to be attacked for it.
    It wasn’t as if the prosecutor wasn’t being accused of malfeasance from the start, before any of the facts about misconduct came to light, and it’s not as if some lesser degree of procedural error wouldn’t be seized upon as evidence of bad faith. This guy was a target the instant he opened his mouth and said he believed the accuser.

  32. Gahrie
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Just so I understand….
    Does this mean we are supposed to believe Juanita Broddrick or not?

  33. aquacat
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    “According to the “Color of Crime 2005″ report, in the FBI’s annual National Crime Victims Survey, none of the approximately 10,000 black women surveyed from 2001 to 2003 reported being victims of a white gang rape. In contrast, black-on-white gang rape is, apparently according to the NCVS, a much more than daily occurrence in this country (although small sample sizes for gang-rapes make it hard to be definitive about the size of the ratios).
    White-on-black single rapist crime, while not unknown, averages only 900 cases per year according to the FBI survey of victims.
    In contrast, there are 15,400 black-on-white single rapist crimes per year, according to the NCVS.”
    I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to say with these statistics and this argument, but I think its important to point out that there are a number of other facts to consider here that are left out in your argument and the information you posted. For one, the FBI reports that approximately 90% of rapes occur between people of the SAME race, not different races. So what we’re talking about is only approximately 10% of rape cases in the US to begin with, and even then that’s only 10% of REPORTED rape cases. Also, the group most likely to report being raped is American Indian women – they’re also the group most likely to be raped by someone not of their own racial/ethnic background. Intraracial rape, not interractial rape, is by far the standard in this country.
    Also, there are reams and reams of data that suggest that dominant rape myths in America influence how we think about rape to such a strong degree that black women are far less likely to report being raped, particularly if they’ve been raped by a white man/men. Black women are also far less likely to be believed if they’re reporting being raped by white men, and far less likely to succeed in court. While the NCVS says that it tries to account for reporting bias by making sure their workers are matched with the populations they’re surveying, it is imperative to consider the fact that some populations are far more likely to feel comfortable and entitled to talk about abuse than others. The most recent studies of popular rape myth bias and how it operates in juries showed that people are more likely to believe white victims, regardless of the attacker’s race, than they were to believe black victims.
    So perhaps you should consider that these statistics do not show what the site you got them from seems to imply they show.

  34. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    What does that have to do with anything?
    I googled real quick and basically, I was too young to follow that case and know virtually nothing about it. I’m assuming, however, that you are just trying to annoy people and are making the assumption that feminist (TM) liberals (TM) (yeah that’s right the TM thing is really fucking annoyng so can we all just stop it) worship Clinton.
    I don’t know anything about the Broddrick case, but the Lewinsky scandal was a pretty good instance of a rich white man abusing power as far as I’m concerned. Not a reason for impeachment, perhaps, but I wouldn’t consider him a human I look up to. (I had friends who interned in the white house, and when I think about them getting entangled in something like that considering the age-disparity, power-disparity, fact he lied to his wife about it etc. I just think *eww*)
    Now, since once again one individual case does not disprove the feminist worldview or the fact that most rape charges are valid and get dropped anyway, can we please stop meandering all over the random-ass place…

  35. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I guess for the sake of accuracy I meant that most rape charges are valid and don’t result in a conviction.

  36. aquacat
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    “What does that have to do with anything?”
    That was my question to the person who posted those ‘facts’ in the first place – how are interracial rape statistics relevant here? But since it was brought into the conversation, I was responding to it. And it is relevant in as much as we are talking about whether or not people are more likely to believe certain people who claim they’ve been raped over others.

  37. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    As to the statistics with interracial rape:
    I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove here either. It seems to me there are a lot of people here with a racism-does-not-exist-anymore-but-reverse-discrimination-does type agenda. Which I think a lot of the others of us would just say is pure foollishness. I can say, however, that I have friends who have lived in the Af-Am parts of D.C. and other major cities, and say they frequently see white guys cruising to pick up random chicks, offering them money, etc. So what I am saying by this is these stereotypes of the particular type of white man who views minority women as something less than people and there for his benefit is not completely unfounded. Again, don’t see what you were trying to prove with those statistics though; if we ruled every case based on what general statistics imply is most common, that would imply men accused of rape should be convicted. But I am not advocating chucking court cases and going purely on statistics.

  38. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    sorry aquacat:
    “What does that have to do with anything?”
    That question of mine was addressed to Gahrie’s post right before yours.

  39. aquacat
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    What I’m saying is that the person who seemed to be arguing it was more common for black people to rape white people was creating a false argument – it just isn’t true, and it’s racist. That was my point – I was trying to provide more actual evidence for the fact that there is discrimination in this country when it comes to convicting white people of hurting black people, and that those statistics point to how some of our racist assumptions about crime work. I’m clearly not advocating going purely on statistics either, just responding to someone else’s false and, in my view, racist claims about rape and interracial violence.

  40. aquacat
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Ah, I see. Fair enough.

  41. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I know aquacat, I was addressing the OP of those statistics. I guess I need to be better about addressing my posts with a name.
    Really, sorry again aquacat…

  42. noname
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    “And I still think it’s odd so many people got so interested in this case who generally don’t pay so much attention to rape cases.â€?
    I am following other cases, but none are as compelling as the Duke case and none have the wealth of information readily available as in the Duke case.
    1. I find the Eric Volz case in Nicaragua fascinating. From the available information, it actually seems quite similar to the Duke case (railroaded despite exculpatory evidence for political reasons). The only problem is that due to limitations with my Spanish and the lack of publicly available court documents, I am left to rely 0n media reports for information on the case. I already have seen how the media distorts and lies, so I cannot consider them a proper source from which to judge the case. For this reason, this case is less compelling than the Duke case, in which we had direct access to police reports, testimony, ect. Here is Volz’ site: .
    2. The other Duke rape accusation is also quite interesting if you want to check it out. A black man was accused of raping a white Duke student at a (predominantly black) fraternity party off campus. The most interesting thing here is how differently this was treated than the Duke case. Here is an idea of how differently this was handled from the Duke student newspaper:
    “There have been no protesters, no signs, no one chanting and screaming in front of the house where at least one member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. live demanding they “come forward” with what they know. No one is demanding President Brodhead take action or that we cure a sexist and racist campus culture in response to these accusations. No professors are running ads that convey guilt or claiming, as they did before, to know the alleged crime was racially motivated. (To quote professor Mark Anthony Neal’s repulsive statement: “regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed.”)
    Though people condemned the lacrosse players for the apparently anomalous act of underage drinking, not a word has been uttered about the marijuana, cocaine and Oxycontin found at the house where Phi Beta Sigma members hosted their party. The racial left claimed the lacrosse players got preferential treatment because they were white. In reality, their skin color appeared to earn them something very different-a witchhunt.�
    – Stephen Miller –
    While this illustrates the hypocrisy of those who treated the lacrosse case differently, it also shows how these cases should probably be handled.
    3. Another horrific case I have followed is that of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. Of course, it is only really notable for its sheer brutality (both were allegedly raped, tortured, mutilated, and murdered, Christian over the span of a few days) and how the media buried it (in comparison the media storm surrounding the Duke case). Also, it would be hard to deny that a crime took place in this case. For more information, this is a good source: .
    4. I have also tried to keep an eye on the alleged gang rape of the 11 year old girl by some Fresno area football players, but no updates are available. Google only comes up with old news. If anyone has information on what happened to those charges, I would appreciate it. Incidentally, when Feministing posted on this, I participated in the thread.
    5. The Duke case also inspired me to research the appalling Tawana Brawley hoax at length.
    Do you still maintain that I don’t pay attention to other (alleged) rape cases? If Feministing wishes to start updated posts on these rape cases, I would be happy to participate. Please do not continue to fault us for commenting about the Duke case in a thread about the Duke case.

  43. noname
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    They are doing another 60 Minutes piece on the case. Cooper is interviewed. For any of you doubting why he dropped the case and declared the players innocent, here is a taste:
    Among the new stories the accuser told was a fantastic account of the rape in which she contradicts the account she gave Nifong that led to him dropping rape charges back in December. “She was suspended in mid air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom,” Cooper recalls the accuser saying. “And I’ve been in that bathroom and it was very difficult for me to see how that could have occurred.” Cooper’s investigators were shocked by the situation. “A number of them said to me, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’ It was amazing how she could continue to tell different stories.”
    When the accuser was confronted with pictures from the night of the party that contradicted her statements, she answered irrationally. “It was usually that the picture was doctored or ‘that just can’t be true,’ or ‘Duke University paid someone off,’” Cooper says. The accuser has a history of mental illness and Cooper and his staff viewed her medical file; he refuses to reveal its contents, but says he believes the woman is getting help.

  44. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    “Do you still maintain that I don’t pay attention to other (alleged) rape cases?”
    I wasn’t targetting you in particular, noname. How can I know what your general attitudes towards women alleging rape are? Rather there are people out there with very specific agendas. The things Charity posted about Richard show that he has a history of having racial agendas (or what I call racism-doesn’t-exist-anymore-but-reverse-discriminatioin-does agenda), for instance.
    “‘The accuser has a history of mental illness and Cooper and his staff viewed her medical file; he refuses to reveal its contents, but says he believes the woman is getting help’”
    Well okay noname, right there you indicate that there was some validity to the points I was making, in which both EJ and Richard were disagreeing with me. If she is mentally ill (and god only knows what she’s been through in her life… or not) then that’s one more reason I don’t see this case as a situation of good conquering evil. I /definitely/ don’t like people saying we should set a precedent for sending people whose rape charges are dropped or fail in court to prison. If we don’t convict men charged with rape because of any amount of doubt about what actually happened (which we generally do), the same should be applied to people alleging rape.
    Here’s a theory:
    Maybe part of the reason this case gained so much interest from a lot of people including activists, was not just because it was a rich white man vs. a poor black woman, but also because this was an accusation of gang rape against one of the big-name well-known sports teams in the country. One-on-one rape happens all the time in all kinds of ways, the gang-rape by well known people thing seems sensational no matter what your political platform. Maybe some people were additionally interested in the case because they have witnissed or experienced racial or sexual harassment from people in the frat-boy/jock demographic (and that would be a heck of a lot of women). Which somehow makes the story seem not all that difficult to believe. I mean, heck, there was the one poster here who said her hometown’s football team gang-raped a retarded girl. At the college I attend one of the frat houses was known 10 years ago as “the house that spikes the punch bowl with rufies.” Instead of focusing on how “the feminists” were wrong in their early assumptions about one case, why don’t you go out and work to make cultural change so that so many women won’t feel threatened by these sorts of (usually, not always, priviliged and powerful) men, and therefore would have few reasons to be suspicious of them.
    If there is one thing I would hope people here could agree on, it would be that reducing the number of rape crimes is a good thing, as is properly caring for victims. I volunteer as an advocate for victims and I’m starting a group to teach comprehensive sex ed to middle schoolers. I’m happy to have all of you jump on my bandwagon and get out there to try and reduce these problems in the real world.

  45. Dogstar
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    What I’m saying is that the person who seemed to be arguing it was more common for black people to rape white people was creating a false argument – it just isn’t true, and it’s racist.
    aquacat, now it is you who are factually incorrect. Statistically, it is a proven fact that it is MORE common for a black person to commit ANY type of violent crime.
    Blacks commit rape, murder, robbery and assault at a significantly higher rate than any other race of Americans.
    This is a clear-cut fact that cannot be disputed.

  46. Jane Minty
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Blacks commit rape, murder, robbery and assault at a significantly higher rate than any other race of Americans.
    Clearly you haven’t lived in the Midwest.
    But hey, it’s nice to see that you and Parson Jim could take some time off from bashing women on to troll a bit here.
    Did anyone see the story on how one of the suspects has had trouble getting approved for a Manhattan condo (sorry if it’s been mentioned already)? Hm, yes…I feel terrible for anyone who is able to buy Manhattan real estate on the parents’ dime. Unfortunately, this means he will probably end up in MY neighborhood. Ugh.

  47. Charity
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Good thing you came back so we can all see how NOT racist you are. /eyeroll/
    I’m assuming you’re somehow alluding to the Bureau of Justice Statistics data on the demographic characteristics of incarcerated individuals when you make your claim above. Please refrain from assuming that “people who commit crimes” and “people who are incarcerated” are exactly the same groups. (Not to mention the complete lack of consideration of the criminalization of poverty, a topic you may want to spend some private time reading about.) If you’d read what Samhita originally said, it might dawn on you that part of the reason blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately represented in jails, prisons, and yes, even courtrooms, is because of institutionalized racism in our legal system. Alternatively, you could–as you seem to–believe that black people are somehow intrinsically more prone to commit violence and crime. Which makes you, if you do believe that, an idiot, and a racist.
    And you’re the person who tried to say the Duke families were “working class”, based on your own experience as an independent *investment advisor*, and then used terms like “bankers” as a catch-all as if people who manage multi-million dollar funds and sit on Boards of Trustees (and can afford to retire at age 51) are the same as people who earn $12.50 an hour to work the teller window or manage the local credit union or something. How quaint! How Rockwellian your version of America is. Except even Rockwell had a better grasp of racial and cultural inequalities and power disparities. If these families really are your idea of “working class” or even regular old “middle class” (a term that people use to include skilled laborers, farmers, and people working in retail stores; a term that is so broad now as to be essentially meaningless to everyone but Lou Dobbs), well, then based on that belief alone–even if we leave out all your other vitriol and lack of attention to accurate language–you have no credibility here, in a discussion about privilege of any kind. And since you have no credibility here, you are wasting your time.
    And just for the record, I’m not anti-white, anti-male, or anti-Christian. There are plenty of wonderful and enlightened white Christian males, and whites, males, and Christians of other stripes. I’d say I’m anti-YOU, but really, I just feel sorry for you, for how oppressed you seem to believe you are, such that hearing about other groups who face legitimate barriers in their lives makes you so angry, and that you feel so entitled to intrude upon genuine discussions with your rage. Someone may have hurt you, but it wasn’t us.

  48. noname
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    “Blacks commit rape, murder, robbery and assault at a significantly higher rate than any other race of Americans.” – Dogstar
    What exactly does this have to do with this discussion? I don’t want to be overly suspicious, but I have found that some people arguing for the players do so for less than noble reasons. I hope you are not one of those people.

  49. noname
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Please don’t get me wrong. If your numbers are correct, I have no problem siting them when they apply, I am just not sure I understand why you felt the need to site them here, in this discussion.

  50. noname
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    “Heh. Noname, it may be a powerful tool, but now you’ve gone and ruined the page layout with your overlong link. :p :p :p” – EJ

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