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Monday, May 8th 2006

Poor Management at Duke

A former president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and a former president of Princeton University find massive holes in Duke’s response to the supposed rape of an African American stripper by three (or two) white lacrosse players.

Here’s the New York Times on the report.

The senior leadership of the university five white men, an Asian-American man and a white woman had been “handicapped by its own limited diversity” in responding to the situation. Only the five white men were at the initial meeting called to deal with the crisis and many of the subsequent ones, the report said.

It also criticized administration officials for being too heavily influenced by Durham police reports that the woman “kept changing her story and was not credible”; that “if any charges were brought, they would be no more than misdemeanors”; and that “this will blow over.”

Apparently the authors of this report don’t believe in innocent until proven guilty either. The authors present a picture that the lacrosse team should’ve been slapped harder by Duke once the racial accusations became apparent.

What is kind’ve amazing is that despite the criticism to Duke’s response the report reveals that police officers told Duke officials that the woman kept changing her story and wasn’t credible.

It said that the woman initially told police she was raped by 20 white men [!!], then said she was attacked by three.

Maybe she was just labeling everyone at the party.

In any case, I’m going to stray away from the report here.

Do chunks of African American society suffer from a culture of victimhood? Is that part of what we’re witnessing here in terms of extreme responses to the Duke lacrosse case? Its never good to paint many groups with one brush, but it does seem we’re getting a lot of belief in guilt rhetoric from African American advocacy groups. At times it seems outrageous (my immediate response to the Black Panther press conference near Duke), and at others its hard to imagine any other sort of reaction by black leaders when you look at African American history.

There are several things that need to be considered when looking at this touchy subject. For one, I may be getting a biased picture with media reporting. Still, this idea of victimhood is a very studied one, although difficult to bring up and speak about.

The more and more I try to objectively look at the evidence against these lacrosse players the less and less I think you can stand there and demand they be convicted.

Let the justice system play out.