Sunday, May 21, 2006

Georgia Police Union: White Officers Were Kept From Promotions

A former DeKalb County Assistant Police Chief is coming under more criticism after being accused of delaying the promotions of white officers on the force. Police union officials released an audio recording Thursday purportedly containing the voice of R.P. Flemister, who is black. On the tape, Flemister is heard asking someone: "Have you ever thought about why I ain't promoted them nine on the list right now ... because seven of them are white."

This latest recording is another black eye for the troubled police department. DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham resigned last week after a fired officer released another audio recording of a profanity-laced conversation between Graham and Flemister. Flemister later announced his retirement.

Meanwhile, county commissioner Elaine Boyer held a news conference Thursday to criticize her fellow commissioners for issuing a weak statement about turmoil at the police department. "When a white employee or a black employee places color first it is absolutely wrong," Boyer said. "Others who are elected to lead our county must speak out to stop this. They have a moral obligation to."



Their whiteness is their major crime

I submit the following pop quiz to gauge your bias as a news consumer. After reading the following characteristics, please select the college group that most likely fits the description:

The group has a 100 percent college graduation rate. Sixty percent have a 3.0 grade point average or above. During the past four years, 80 percent have made a national honor roll. Members regularly volunteer at more than a dozen community agencies, building houses for the homeless and serving in soup kitchens, while raising more money than any other group for the Katrina Relief Fund.

Answer: (a) Tri-Delta sorority at the University of North Carolina; (b) women's rowing team at Clemson University; (c) synchronized swim team at Harvard University; (d) men's lacrosse team at Duke University.

OK, I know, you're smart. You're onto this trick. Obviously, it's (d), the infamous Duke men's lacrosse team, that rowdy drunken white-boy club that rapes black women forced to strip to put themselves through college and feed their fatherless children.

But chances are good that the lacrosse team didn't spring immediately to mind in the context of high marks and community service. Instead, conventional wisdom -- thanks to media reports and Duke's own response to charges that three team members raped a woman -- is that the entire team is a collection of privileged, alcohol-abusing knuckledraggers.

The description I presented comes from a statement prepared by one of the lacrosse player's parents for a university committee appointed to study the team in the wake of the alleged incident.

That parent, Dr. Thom A. Mayer, is himself a Duke alumnus, an emergency doc as well as one of the command physicians at the Pentagon Rescue Operation, Sept. 11, 2001. Mayer introduced himself by noting that he attended Duke on a scholarship, not as a child of privilege, and that his gratitude runs deep.

Nevertheless, he compared the university's treatment of the lacrosse team to the level of horror he experienced in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

Mayer's son is not one of the three indicted on rape charges. Mayer's point, however, was that the entire team has been tarred with the same brush, despite a record of scholarship and citizenship that belies the spin familiar to anyone following the story.

Point by point, Mayer dissected the assumptions of racism, alcohol abuse and delinquency by providing facts and context.

Much has been made of the team's drinking exploits, for instance. While a university report shows that some lacrosse team players (mostly freshman and sophomores) rack up a disproportionate share (11 percent) of complaints compared to the larger student body, they're are not, as Mayer put it, "the stuff of the legend of thugs and hooligans that the press and prosecutor would have you believe." Of the 11 lacrosse player cases adjudicated by Duke's office of judicial affairs for the school year 2004-2005, for instance, five involved underage possession and four were violations of the community standard on alcohol. The other two were for "theft" for using another student's Duke card to buy food.

Most damning of the pretrial publicity that resulted in a hasty end to the lacrosse season and suspension of one of the players from school was an e-mail clearly intended as a joke, albeit a dumb one. The e-mail said that strippers would be hired, but there wouldn't be any sex. Instead they would be skinned while he pleasured himself.

Few would disagree that the e-mail was disgusting, but it was also -- in context -- a reference to the cult movie American Psycho, in which a demented Wall Street banker kills people (men and women) after toying with them in dramatic scenarios that may be dreams. Although the film is not for everyone, apparently some Duke faculty consider it important enough to include it in at least three Duke courses. Students can check it out from the Duke library.

Without knowing what happened the night of the alleged rape, Mayer's point is nevertheless well taken. Too easily we convict alleged perps in the court of public opinion when they fit our templates of good/bad. Black strippers good (because they can't help it); white athletes bad (because they're white).

The story branded as having all the elements of a great tale -- sex, race, class, privilege, as well as town-gown issues at an elite university in the South -- has everything but the truth, which also includes this:

White males -- descendant as they are of the imperialistic, colonizing, native-raping patriarchy -- are the new culturally approved targets of the lynch mob.


Thomas Sowell comments:

The worst thing said in the case involving rape charges against Duke University students was not said by either the prosecutor or the defense attorneys, or even by any of the accusers or the accused. It was said by a student at North Carolina Central University, a black institution attended by the stripper who made rape charges against Duke lacrosse players. According to Newsweek, the young man at NCCU said that he wanted to see the Duke students prosecuted, "whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past."

This is the ugly attitude that is casting a cloud over this whole case. More important, this collective guilt and collective revenge attitude has for years been poisoning race relations in this country. It has torn apart other countries around the world, from the Balkans to Sri Lanka to Rwanda. Nor is there any reason to think that the United States is exempt from such polarization.

At one time, the black civil rights leadership aimed at putting an end to racism, and especially to the perversion of the law to convict people because of their race, regardless of guilt or innocence. Today, this young man at NCCU represents the culmination of a new racist trend promoted by current black "leaders" to make group entitlements paramount, including seeking group revenge rather than individual justice in courts of law. This attitude poisoned the O.J. Simpson case and it is now polarizing reactions to the Duke University case. Racial polarization is a dangerous game, especially dangerous for minorities in the long run.

Tragically, the way the Duke case is being handled, it looks as if District Attorney Michael Nifong is pandering to these ugly feelings. Legal experts seem baffled as to why he is proceeding in the way that he is because it is hard to explain legally. It is not hard to explain politically, however. The District Attorney may well owe his recent election victory to having tapped into the kinds of racial resentments expressed by the young man at North Carolina Central University. Now Mr. Nifong is riding a tiger and cannot safely get off. His bet best may be to let this case drag on until it fizzles out, long after the media have lost interest. His extraordinary postponement of the trial for a year suggests he understands that.

In the meantime, the taxi driver who provided the first airtight alibi for one of the accused Duke lacrosse players has been picked up by the police on a flimsy, three-year-old charge, supposedly about shoplifting. He was held for five hours for questioning -- reportedly not about shoplifting, but about the Duke rape charges. Does this smell to high heaven or what?

The taxi driver himself is not accused of shoplifting. But two women who were passengers in his cab were. Since when are taxi drivers held responsible for what their passengers did before or after being in their cab? What purpose can this harassing of the taxi driver serve? His account of what happened in the Duke rape case has already been corroborated by a surveillance camera at the bank to which he took one of the lacrosse players, as well as by other time-stamped records indicating where his passenger was during the time when he was supposed to be raping a stripper.

If the prosecution cannot discredit the taxi driver's statement in a court of law, what can they gain by harassing him? One thing they can gain could be to at least stop the cabbie from going on television again to repeat what he has said before. If nothing else, the harassment can serve as a warning to anybody else who might feel like coming forward with testimony that undermines the prosecution's case. Is this America or some banana republic?

Some people in the media saw this case from day one as a matter of taking sides rather than seeking the truth. They want to be on the politically correct side -- for a black woman against white men -- and the facts be damned. If such attitudes prevail, we will indeed become a banana republic. Or worse.

A comment on the media involvement

This Duke University lacrosse story stinks to high heaven-and the New York Times coverage of it even more so. Frontier justice is what comes to mind. Here's Jill Abramson, the managing editor of the Old Bag, on the paper's future: "We believe in a journalism of verification rather than assertion." Really? If Abramson believes in a journalism of verification, what is she doing running the columns of Selena Roberts, the Times sports columnist? I first noticed this woman's rantings a couple of years ago during the Athens Olympics. Her coverage was so biased and so anti-Greek that I wrote a column in a Greek magazine explaining how American woman journalists tend to see everything through a feminist prism, and to hell with what is really taking place.

Let's take it from the top. According to contemporary liberal mores, only worthy victims are entitled to civil liberties. Unworthy victims, on the other hand, deserve nothing more than rough justice. The most recent unworthy victims, deserving of vilification, are the white members of the Duke lacrosse team, three of whom are accused of raping, beating, and insulting a black stripper they had hired for the night. That no DNA evidence has been found so far to link any of the athletes to the alleged victim means that the hunt must intensify. That one of the men the stripper identified as her assailant had already left the party when the alleged rape occurred is also of no importance. That his account is confirmed by the taxi driver who picked him up as well as by an ATM receipt does nothing to mitigate guilt. That the alleged victim's friend who was also at the party has changed her story to gain favorable treatment in a previous criminal case against her, and that she e-mailed a New York public-relations firm asking "how to spin this to my advantage" are irrelevant matters, scarcely worth considering.

Selena Roberts must not have believed her luck when the story first broke. On March 31, she spluttered, "At the intersection of entitlement and enablement, there is Duke University, virtuous on the outside, debauched on the inside. ...The paradox lives on in Duke's lacrosse team, a group of privileged players of fine pedigree entangled in a night that threatens to belie their social standing as human beings." Wow! No one's been found guilty, there's been no trial, and as of today, no evidence has been unearthed except for the allegations of the accuser. And when Roberts penned these words no one had even been indicted. What ever happened to presumed innocence?

And it gets better. Only in last week's Sunday Times, the so-called public editor, the ombudsman, one Byron Calame, went to bat for his employer, whitewashing the paper for failing to report the accuser's criminal record: "Senior editors have decided it isn't `germane' to the pending sexual assault case..." They would, wouldn't they? Why spoil a great story by publishing all the news that's fit to print? Then Mr. Calame throws us a bone: "The Times didn't tell readers about [the possible impact of the political pressures on the prosecutor] until the middle of the March 31 article, which noted only that the district attorney was `in a heated race for re-election.'"

But back to Roberts. She wrote that the accuser "was raped, robbed, strangled and was the victim of a hate crime." What was it that her managing editor said about verification versus assertion? According to Roberts, it doesn't matter whether the rape allegations are true or not. The issue is the despicable male atmosphere at Duke: "Why is it so hard to gather the facts? Why is any whisper of a detail akin to snitching?" she cries. In other words, she assumes guilt and expects university officials and students to purge the guilty and start " a fresh discussion on race, gender and respect"-even if the lacrosse players didn't commit rape and didn't assault anyone, and didn't use foul threats. They as good as did, what with their being white male athletes and all.

But let's turn the thing around for the sake of race relations. What, I wonder, would the Times coverage have been like had a team of black basketball players been accused by two white trailer-park gals of the same crime? Would the Times have run 20 or more stories, as their ombudsman bragged it had, and on its front page to boot? Something tells me no way, Jose. Mind you, the Times was not alone in putting the boot in. There were so many liberal pundits who cried wolf, I have no space in this column to list them. If this turns out to be another Tawana Brawley case, pity the poor prosecutor. He gets to squander unlimited public funds destroying the careers of young men, forcing them and their relatives to spend vast sums on legal fees, driving their families into debt, and, because he's a government official, he is happily immune from civil suits for malicious prosecution and defamation. Here's my advice to young men out there: Forget lacrosse. Become prosecutors.

Male rape rife among Australian blacks

Politically correct refusal to police Aboriginal communities effectively bears fruit

Aboriginal boys are 10 times more likely to be raped than other Australian males, in a generational cycle of sexual violence that continues under a shroud of secrecy. A groundbreaking study of indigenous men's health, completed last week, has unearthed a culture of abuse against males that comes on top of the widely acknowledged crisis facing Aboriginal girls and women. The Weekend Australian can reveal the disturbing findings amid the renewed debate over the level of sexual abuse and domestic violence in Aboriginal communities.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough this week called a summit of state, territory and community leaders after Northern Territory prosecutor Nanette Rogers detailed the horrific treatment of women and children in central Australia.

The debate has sparked a political bunfight, with Mr Brough's criticism of policing in communities prompting a threat from Northern Territory Chief Minister Clare Martin to boycott the summit. Mr Brough now wants the states and Northern Territory to radically upgrade indigenous housing as a measure to tackle the spiralling violence.

Aboriginal men are largely blamed for the violence, but the new study shows many are also victims. The survey, of 301 indigenous men in Queensland and the Northern Territory, was conducted by way of one-on-one interviews over the past 18 months. It found 10 per cent had been raped before the age of 16 - 10 times the rate in the rest of Australia.

Aboriginal researchers, from the Queensland University of Technology, said the abuse had largely continued in secrecy, with victims saying they were too ashamed or fearful of reprisals to go to authorities. About 80 per cent of the victims told researchers they had never spoken about their suffering. The rate was even higher in the more remote communities. The survey, the first analysis of sex abuse among indigenous males in Australia, will be presented as part of a report to the International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect in Britain later this year. Interviews were conducted in communities on Cape York, near Darwin, on the Tiwi Islands and in southeast Queensland.

QUT associate professor Michael Dunne said the survey revealed that Australia's indigenous communities were defying a trend of falling abuse of boys within Western countries. "Over the past 40 years, the risk of sexual abuse of boys has been falling very substantially," he said. "This has been observed in a number of countries including Australia, Canada and the US. But our study, in which we have compared men over 40 years of age with those under 40, there is no difference in the level of abuse."

According to the survey, 33per cent of the men - aged between 18 and 74 - said they had been touched or fondled against their will, compared with the national average of 12per cent. A further 15 per cent of the indigenous men interviewed said they were victims of attempted anal sex, and 10 per cent of forced anal sex, compared with a rate of 3per cent and 1per cent, respectively, for the rest of Australia's male population. While some of the older victims claimed to have been abused by outsiders, including missionaries, most perpetrators came from within their communities.

Head researcher of the project, Mick Adams, a former chief executive of Queensland's Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, said secrecy contributed to the cycle of abuse. "It becomes a mirrored thing: if you abuse people and get away it, then you continue with it and then others learn from you," he said. "We are appalled by the abuse against women and girls but there is also men and boys being raped and sexually abused. It needs to be looked at."


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