Here’s a small sample of the unbelievable idiocy of the politics of the Duke lacrosse incident. This from a Duke faculty member:
I don’t get it. What does DNA have to do with racism, misogyny, serving alcohol to minors or blatant disrespect for one’s community? Just for a minute, forget about DNA testing or even the question of rape. There are established and profoundly disturbing dimensions of this incident being effectively shielded by the straw man of protecting the presumed innocent. By now we’ve all heard the 911 tape and read a neighbor’s confirmation of racial epithets hurled that night. Not much question about that one. And I am sick to death or hearing the alleged victim-a young black woman, student, mother-summarily referenced only as an “exotic dancer” while a mob of drunk, out of control men is described as the “the highly successful men’s lacrosse team.”
The “straw man of protecting the presumed innocentâ€? Does she prefer that there would be a presumption of guilt, rather than of innocence? What if the races were reversed — suppose a white woman accused a bunch of black athletes of raping her. Would that have “disturbing dimensions … shielded by the straw man of protecting the presumed innocentâ€? Would she presume guilt in that case? Would she want to “forget about DNA testing” that might exonerate black athletes of charges of raping a white woman?
Or does the presumption of innocence apply only in certain circumstances, based on the race of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrators?
(La Shawn Barber has some thoughts along similar lines.)