Until Proven Innocent

A post by Maynard

[BUMPED from 9/15/07. The modern racial double standard is glaringly obvious. I respect Breitbart, but he pushed the Sherrod story forward as an example of a very real problem without having the full background. The racist/racialist orientation of the NAACP and the like are clear enough, but we now know this wasn’t the case to illustrate it. That the Left does this all the time is no excuse. Just as the Left has no standards for itself, I hold my political allies to the highest standards. That’s why I’m on this side; because this is where far more integrity is to be found. So we should regard this incident as, as the man said, a “teachable moment”. We’re all capable of “acting stupidly” now and then (I certainly am, anyway); let’s not follow the lead of our opposition and make stupid and mean a lifestyle choice. The Duke rape allegation is a textbook example of pervasive institutional racism and dysfunction in one of our most elite institutions, with almost everyone in power refusing to admit they were egregiously wrong, even long after the irrefutable facts were laid out for all to see.]

We heard about the infamous Duke University rape case in bits and pieces over time, and most of this “news” was driven by political agendas. Now that the story has wound down, it’s worthwhile to step back and contemplate the lessons to be learned. Here’s a succinct summary from The Economist‘s Lexington column: “Presumed Guilty”.

The most essential information is that the case was absolutely untenable from the beginning, and that the entire incident illustrates how political correctness has metastasized into unabashed and systematic racism. The sad, but unsurprising, conclusion is:

The only people who, it seems, have learned nothing from all this are Mr Nifong’s enablers in the Duke faculty. Even after it was clear that the athletes were innocent, 87 faculty members published a letter categorically rejecting calls to recant their condemnation. And one professor, proving that some academics are as far beyond parody as they are beneath contempt, offered a course called “Hooking up at Duke” that purported to illustrate what the lacrosse scandals tell us about “power, difference and raced, classed, gendered and sexed normativity in the US.”

I guess it’s unreasonable to expect the elite educators to learn anything.

The article was prompted by the release of this book, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. A Time Magazine columnist acknowledges the depth of the problem:

The analysis of the notorious Duke rape case in this book is hard to accept. According to Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, this episode was not just a terrible injustice to three young men. It exposed a fever of political correctness that is more virulent than ever on American campuses and throughout society. . . . Unfortunately for doubts, the authors lay out the facts with scrupulous care. This is a thorough and absorbing history of a shameful episode.

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10 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Beldar says:

    For a more generic book on political correctness, I strongly recommend America’s Thirty Years War. I’m not going to try to describe this book here. Instead, I encourage you to go to Amazon.com and find the book there, and read the Editorial Reviews for the book.

    One of the benefits of this book is that it helps emphasize that there’s nothing new under the sun (even though the history is recent). But beyond that, I think it explains a lot of what we are seeing today…time-tested techniques for subjugating a populace for one’s very own perfidious reasons, for instance.

  2. I guess it’s unreasonable to expect the elite educators to learn anything.

    Duh. What, exactly, should they learn? They buffed their “street cred” among the Angry Studies crowd at no cost to themselves. What, from their point of view, was the downside? I can’t think of any.

  3. Sean Arther says:

    “Some ideas are so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” George Orwell

  4. Mike says:

    I’ve been trying to buy this book at Barnes and Noble and Borders this week, trying five different stores in my area (Dallas/Ft. Worth). No luck, and none of the clerks could say more than that they really didn’t know why it wasn’t in stock (it has not, to date, been in stock in any of the stores, nor could they tell me a sister store where it was in stock.

    I wonder…

  5. robert108 says:

    IMO, Don Imus was also a casualty of the blatant race pandering that was generated by the phony rape case, as well.

  6. St. Thor says:

    For “academics” to learn anything there have to be consequences for their errors. That isn’t going to happen so long as administrators choose college trustees who are eunuchs and compliant to the administration’s empire building and neglect of academic responsibility. Only when college boards of trustees get the balls to say to tenured professors, “You keep your tenure, your salary is $1.00/year” will academics get back to basics and teaching students rather than posturing for the latest cause celebre.

  7. robertraybishop says:

    Yes their were many at fault. I believe the lions share of actual blame goes to media. Over the last decade or so reporting has become no more than repeating, innuendo and conjecture replace fact. And as with Duke a story can perpetuate itself into spectacle. Current happenings are considered entertainment first and information when all else fails.

  8. Kelly says:

    To piggyback on Maynard’s take on Breitbart and the Sherrod story, I fear that Breitbart’s misstep has set us back in terms of credibility in exposing the double-standards and hypocrisy of the Left. Unfortunately, we have to be almost perfect in our analysis and accusations and while that is itself an example of the hypocrisy and double-standards, it’s the reality.

  9. thierry says:


    nifong was trying apparently desperately to get re- elected in a largely black district. as well as committing a grave injustice against the men, he manipulated , used and abused a woman who was clearly a Mess to his own ends. he withheld evidence. yes, it was a race card waving jamboree but when those who work within the judicial system are the ones waving the cards, we are f’d.

    we now have a justice department on the federal level that is running on a race based platform. and no one is doing a thing about it because one assumes as miss lindsey would say, ” elections have results” and if obama thinks sticking it to white people is justice that must mean that is what the voters also want. the election of 2008 means that therefore we are all required to be hyper color aware . nifong was removed from the case and disbarred. when is congress going to take action against the holder /urkel justice department?

    instead everyone is in a tizzy over a low level government hack who plays the race card the second she gets her paw slapped rightly or wrongly.

    if the media would finally have even half the volume of yapping over the new black panther depravity in the justice department. if only the obama white house would apologize for dismissing the case and burying it and actively promoting race based justice ( and how about the race based portions of the financial reg bill…). if only they were MADE to pay for an actual incidence of racism promoted by the federal government. if only someone would apologize to all the voters who were victimized by such thuggery that is tacitly endorsed not punished by the holder justice department.

  10. Lamplighter says:

    It would have been better if Breitbart had reviewed the entire transcript first for only one reason: to keep the focus where it belongs—-not on Shirley Sherrod, but on the NAACP. Remember, it was the NAACP that accused the Tea Party of being a racist organization. The video clearly recorded members of the audience who quite audibly expressed their approval as she recounted a story of her mistreatment a white farmer who came to her for help.

    Revealing that Ms. Sherrod’s story was one of insight and redemption would have kept her from becoming a victim and put the spotlight on the racist audience members for being the asses that they are.

    Don’t lose sight of how and by whom Ms. Sherrod became a victim in the first place. Remember, Shirley Sherrod only made news because she was so abruptly fired.

    So why the sudden Whitehouse auto de fe on Ms. Sherrod (and yes, I do believe the Whitehouse was involved)?

    The answer, I think, lies in where all of this really began: with the DOJ dropping the case against the New Black Panther Party thug who was intimidating voters on election day. It was a PR nightmare for the Obama administration. Regardless of Holder and Obama denying any complicity in the matter, it looked bad—-racist bad. Then the video of Shirley Sherrod, the guest of honor at an NAACP event, surfaced. They set the fire before tying her to the stake.

    Had the Obama administration not done the wrong thing in the New Black Panther Party case, they wouldn’t have done the wrong thing with Shirley Sherrod. And the video of Ms. Sherrod only surfaced because the NAACP hypocritically accused the Tea Party of harboring racists.

    The wrongs of the NAACP and Obama administration in this matter far outweigh any oversight on Breitbart’s part. Shirley Sherrod was harmed by the Whitehouse, not Mr. Breitbart.

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