Thanks, Judge & Jury Kathleen Parker.
And from looking at the blog rants that dissect alleged details of the alleged victim's life that have nothing to do with this case, too many have decided they have the right to be her prosecutor, judge and jury. Ironically, the things they say about her tell me why so many men feel they can do whatever they want to her or someone like her without it being a crime. In short, they've provided the motivation/rationalization for the alleged gang rape.
They have reduced her to subhuman level, but since our words reflect who we are as much or more than they reflect the identity of who we talk about, their attacks tell me they have the raw capacity for subhuman behavior because the first step to harming others is to see them as less than you.
Since this case will go to trial and a jury will decide the merits of this case, the real problem facing those who attack the alleged victim is that many of us refuse to see her as a lower life form than the lacrosse players. That makes us the enemy.
If the proper way to solve crimes is to look at indicators that have nothing to do with the actual evidence, Kathleen Parker would likely be impressed with John Allen Muhammad as he is today. The crimes he's accused of didn't last very long and as she said in Sex, Lies and Prison a crime isn't as serious if it is over quickly.
Think Kathleen Parker will be writing a column any day soon advocating for his release because of a few youthful mistakes? Neither do I.
But what would she say if the type of upwardly mobile young man who wins her approval went ballistic after being accused of rape? If her college poster boy became a sniper, would Kathleen Parker and her ilk blame his deadly rampage on the alleged rape victim who ruined his life?
I hope not, but it's a hope without any supporting evidence.
Since John Allen Muhammad has already been found guilty in Virginia and sentenced to death, we know that a snapshot view of a few surface details can't tell us who the rapists and the murderers are. If this example seems like it isn't a valid one, there are plenty of criminals who are indisputably guilty of heinous crimes yet who can easily be painted as good men.
The only reason to make a judgment of guilt or innocence based on surface details rather than on the evidence is if you don't always believe the crime in question is wrong or you care more about the relative merit of the victim and the accused. With that view it's no surprise that many insisted from day one that it is the alleged victim who belongs in prison.
Ask yourself this question: If the email (sent by a Duke player) that Kathleen Parker defends so ardently had been written by the alleged victim and the target of skinning had been athletes, would she react to it in the same way?
I don't think so.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual assault feminism women Duke+rape Duke+lacrosse