Duke & Nappy Headed Hos

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Who doubted that the three Duke University students initially accused of rape by a Black female stripper would get away without facing trial?


The prosecution bowed to overwhelming white public pressure. Prosecutors had already dropped rape charges and were focusing on kidnapping –holding the stripper against her will—and other charges. Now, the book is closed and Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty won’t see a day in court before a jury.


Yet, everyone knows that something happened that night—including supporters of these three boys, who now walk around sober and nattily attired; they certainly were not like that on the night of the incident at their frat house where much alcohol was consumed. These boys are no angels.


What was their intent on inviting the two Black female strippers into their den of sin? Did they call a strip club and have two Black women randomly selected? If anyone believes that, we have a bridge to sell him or her.


Are we also to believe that the young men, in the midst of the party, watching the strippers do what they are paid to do, got aroused, and then at some point simply said ‘okay it’s time to stop; send the strippers home’? Who knows—maybe that’s exactly what happened. Now we will never get to know without a court date.


Yes, news accounts report that the woman’s story was inconsistent—not the first time in any case of possible victimization. Also, Durham County District Attorney Michael Nifong –he later recused himself—withheld exculpatory evidence, according to news accounts, from defense attorneys: That was not a decision made by the accuser. So was the accuser being punished for inconsistencies in her account and/or for Nifong’s actions?


The question we asked then and still pose today is this: Why would a Black woman –a stripper to boot, who knew that her reputation would be mercilessly attacked based on her profession –make serious accusations against privileged white men at such a prestigious university? Think for a moment.


Immediately, the white media establishment started attacking the Black woman who brought the charges—After all she was just a “Black stripper.� Meaning that she had no rights—or no rights that a white man is obligated to respect. Everyone – even strippers – deserves to have their day in court.


Finally, does anyone really believe that the decision to make the announcement today that all charges were being dropped against the Duke Trio had nothing to do with the Don Imus affair? Imus, in his now celebrated “nappy headed hos� remarks revealed what many white men –and some Black men— think of Black women. This is clearly proven by the fact that a sizable portion of the white populace, including Imus’ bosses, still wants him to keep his job. Also, what a dramatic way to shift media focus away from Imus.


A trial in the Duke case would have shed some light on what happened that night. Once again, thanks to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, power and privilege may have trumped justice.



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