The Duke Lacrosse scandal began over a year ago in March 2006 and finally came to an end last week. The charges against the players were not only dropped, but the North Carolina state attorney general openly stated that he believed the players to be completely innocent and that there was a “tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations.”
The state attorney general could have added that not only was there a tragic rush to accuse, but that this tragic rush to accuse was entirely predictable. In today’s world, the Duke Lacrosse scandal represented the perfect crime. The crime had rich privileged white males attacking and raping a victim who was poor and black. This crime had race, class and gender at the center of it.
For most professors teaching ethnic studies and those with certain political agendas, this had to be their favorite crime. It’s no wonder then, why the media was so attracted to this case and why the prosecutor pursued the case so aggressively.
It seems that the media could care less if a group of black men were to attack a white woman. Those kinds of crimes must not be as interesting. It seems that only when a white person commits a crime against a black person it’s a hate crime or it’s racism, and it’s worthy of national attention.
If a black person were to commit such a crime, the media largely ignores it.
According to research done by Larry Elder, a radio host and New York Times best-selling author, of the 1.2 million interracial crimes involving blacks and whites, nearly 90 percent involve a black perpetrator and a white victim. Using these statistics, I would have to assume that blacks are much more racist towards whites than whites are to blacks.
Of course, I will admit that it’s entirely possible that the people who commit “hate” crimes actually hate a lot of people, not only people of one race.
Therefore, crimes that involve differing races do not necessarily indicate the presence of racism. However, in the Duke case, racism played a major role, but it wasn’t the normal kind of racism. Instead, it was the racism that suggests that rich whites inherently hate poor blacks that led to a hasty and dreadful rush to judge. It is this form of racism, one that promotes black victimization, that actually hurts our society the most.
It seems today that the media is fixated on every slip-up that a white person may make that has some kind of racial implication against a black person. In fact, using mainstream media, one would have to assume that racism is widespread. However, the media tends to ignore the fact that people tend to be make disparaging remarks about minority groups, not just blacks, all of the time.
For instance, Reverend Al Sharpton was convicted of libel for publicly accusing a white district attorney of raping a young black girl, but he never apologized. Unfortunately, Sharpton didn’t lose his job, and he still frequently appears on national television.
Other celebrities like, Jesse Jackson, have made disparaging remarks against Jews, and called New York City “Hymietown.” The worst public figure of all is probably the extremely liberal Rosie O’Donnell, who has publicly mocked the Chinese language, compared conservative Christians to terrorists, and believes in radical Sept. 11 conspiracy theories.
These people should not be fired from their positions, in the same way that Don Imus should not be fired from his position. Instead, we need to have a world absent of political correctness. It’s good to have artists, radio hosts and pundits with different viewpoints. Besides, no one forces you to watch anything that might offend you.
However, the media should not have one standard for comments made against Jews, Christians, or Chinese and another for comments made against blacks. Likewise, rich white males deserve fair treatment, just as much as everyone else.
Brian Eller is a materials engineering junior and Mustang Daily political columnist.