Friday, February 16, 2007

Hypocrisy revealed: The OTHER Durham rape case

An instructive comparison with the Leftist persecution of the Duke Lacrosse players. Post below lifted from Townhall

There's another accusation of rape floating around Durham this week. The accuser was allegedly attacked at a house party this Saturday. The accuser is white. The suspect is black.

Heard anything about that? Yeah, I didn't think so.

The mainstream media has bent over backward to keep race out of this. Even those who first gave a description of the alleged rapist as a “black man” later redacted that from their reports. The News & Observer never printed it at all. And none has pointed out, as the Duke Chronicle has done, that the alleged victim was white, making this a mirror image of the Duke lacrosse case.

Some maintained all along last spring that their protests were not about race but about men’s violence against women. Still others tried to fan racial and class tensions by saying that if these were black men accused of raping a white woman, the man would be in jail. Well, now we know two things: it was always about race for the pot bangers and the Group of 88 professors at Duke, and it is demonstrably true, after Sunday’s incident, that a black man can be accused of raping a white woman and still be on the street.

It was never about protecting women. I know that because I live in a neighborhood that has the dubious honor of being the namesake of at least one serial rapist. There were few candlelight vigils; there was no national media attention; there were no pot-bangers when the women of my neighborhood couldn't take their dogs for walks at dusk. And, those black-on-white rapes just didn't bring the activist out in people the way the Duke non-rape did.

The News & Observer's omission of race is laughable:

The man is described as being in his late teens or early 20s, about 6-foot-1 and wearing a black do-rag, a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans, according to a police news release.

Why laughable? Because the same story appeared in the Charlotte Observer, written by the same reporter, with "black" included, since it was part of the original police report. It was clearly removed in the Raleigh edition:

Police had not charged anyone late Sunday in connection with the allegations but released a description of a suspect: a black male, in his late teens or early 20s, about 6-feet-1-inch tall and wearing a black do-rag, a gray sweat shirt and blue jeans, according to the news release.

And, isn't this uncharacteristically respectful of the judicial system, coming from Duke University?

Duke University administrators will wait for Durham police to finish their investigation of a freshman's allegations that she was raped at an off-campus party before doing an inquiry of their own.

What? Not disbanding the African-American fraternity-- Phi Beta Sigma-- whose members threw the party? I mean, we don't have to wait for anyone to be charged, do we?

K.C. Johnson notes a difference in treatment by the D.A.'s office, too. I'm shocked-- shocked!

"We haven't made any arrests or anything yet," said Maj. L.A. Russ of the Durham Police Department. "He would not get involved this early."

"But in the lacrosse case," Blythe correctly notes, "Nifong assumed control of the investigation, according to police reports, before any charges were filed."

I'm glad things will be handled more level-headedly this time in Durham, but I'm sad to say it's probably not because the people and politicians of Durham have learned any lessons. But regardless of the reason, it's good to know this case will go more fairly. I just hope the dear "victim" in last year's case hasn't made things harder for this girl if, in fact, her story is true.

The Duke lacrosse season starts in the next two weeks. Please support them as you can. I'll be going to a few games.

British swim centre bars two-year-old girl because she isn't Muslim

Discrimination OK if it favours Muslims

When Lee Williams saw a parent-and-toddler session advertised at his local pool, he thought it was the perfect chance to teach his young daughter to swim. Arriving at the leisure centre already in her swimming costume, two-year-old Darby was desperate to get into the water. But she was left in tears when staff said they were not allowed in the pool because the session was for Muslim women and their children only.

Mr Williams, 34, bitterly criticised Manchester City Council yesterday after it admitted that advertising for the session, on its website and on leaflets, had been misleading. 'I can understand why Muslim women need to have this kind of session, but the council should not be advertising it as parent and toddler,' he said. 'They made out I'd got it wrong, but I had checked on the council's website for the times.'

The incident happened at Abraham Moss Leisure Centre in Crumpsall. Mr Williams, a delivery driver from Blackley, had seen the parent-and-toddler session being promoted on the council's website and a leaflet. But when they arrived, reception staff told Mr Williams he could not swim with Darby because it was a women-only session and they would have to come back later. Despite his protests that he had specifically checked the time of the session, the staff were insistent.

It was only when he telephoned the council to complain that he was told the session had been privately booked for Muslim women. According to Islam, women are forbidden from exposing their bodies to any man but their husband. A spokesman for Manchester City Council apologised to Mr Williams. He said: 'We were sorry to hear that he had been turned away. We are ensuring that our website is updated and staff are briefed so this does not happen again.'

The incident is the latest in a series of rows between local authorities and the public over swimming lessons for ethnic minority groups. In December last year, Croydon Council in South London came under fire for running Muslim-only sessions at one of its leisure centres. Non-Muslim members of Thornton Heath leisure centre were angry that they could not swim during the Muslim-only sessions on Saturdays and Sundays unless they obeyed the strict dress code. For men, this involved wearing shorts which kept the navel hidden and were extended below the knee, while women bathers had to wear a swimming costume which covered their body from the neck down to the ankle. Similarly, Wolverhampton Council and South Lanarkshire local authority have also been criticised for operating women- only swimming for Muslims.


Australia: Meddling with families rejected -- so far

[Queensland] Premier Peter Beattie has rejected a call to close a legal loophole allowing parents to smack their children, saying it would make him a hypocrite. Former Education Minister Dean Wells yesterday called for a legislative ban on parents smacking their children, saying as it was "unlawful to hit your next door neighbour with a stick, it ought to be unlawful to hit your kids with a stick". Mr Wells, the member for Murrumba, said corporal punishment of children was not linked with better behaviour.

But the Premier yesterday said although he respected Mr Wells' view, he did not share it. "I have to plead guilty, I'm not going to be a hypocrite," Mr Beattie said. "I have smacked my three children. It's about moderation. "It's not about crazy violence in any way but I think that any parent has the right, in my view within reason - provided there's no permanent damage or injury - to smack their child." Attorney-General Kerry Shine echoed the Premier, saying there were no plans to change or appeal the laws on domestic discipline.

The issue will be discussed at a public forum on children's rights today at Parliament House. The forum, presented by Just Rights Queensland and Concerned Psychologists Queensland, will also include Children's Commissioner Elizabeth Fraser. Ms Fraser will tell the forum that parents have responsibility for raising children and encouraging their involvement in society, including discouraging inappropriate behaviour.

Section 280 of the code states it is lawful for a parent or person in place of a parent to use "by way of correction, discipline, management or control, towards a child or pupil. . . such force as is reasonable under the circumstances". A group of 12 Queensland psychologists lobbied the State Government in 2005 to repeal the law, which dates back to 1899. Dr John Reddington, who represents Concerned Psychologists Queensland - a lobby group opposed to the physical punishment of children - said smacking should be banned, just like capital punishment and drink-driving. He said the practice had been outlawed in schools and in the case of foster parents, creating an "absurd situation". "The whole thing is an illegal mess and needs to be sorted out quite apart from the ethical consideration," Dr Reddington said.



How Australians see themselves has become a theme for the coming election

The small town of Taylors Arm, in the rolling farmlands of northern New South Wales, was once famous as the setting for "A Pub With No Beer", an Australian country song. The customers who flocked to the pub for Australia Day on January 26th were displaying a fashion that has not been much in evidence in the 50 years since the song was a hit: many were carrying an Australian flag, or had one stamped on their bodies. Until recently, the flag was rarely flaunted. Now, few politicians risk a television statement without being seen to be standing next to it.

As Australia's federal parliament came back this week from its lengthy summer break, the flag's rebirth has become a symbol of the so-called "culture wars" that are likely to reverberate through the general election later this year. John Howard, the prime minister, who will be seeking a fifth term for his conservative coalition government, has successfully stoked these wars to win four elections since 1996. But this time he is facing Kevin Rudd, who took over as leader of the opposition Labor Party in December and who has staked out a tough response to Mr Howard's cultural definition of Australia.

An opinion poll on February 6th gave Labor a 12-point lead over the government, after the distribution of second-preference votes, compared with the two points it had just before Mr Rudd's ascension. Voters also rated Mr Rudd 16 points ahead of Mr Howard in their approval rating (compared with an 18-point deficit for Kim Beazley, Mr Rudd's predecessor). Despite these good showings, however, Mr Rudd faces a big battle to persuade voters to buy his picture of themselves.

The culture war stems from a bid, by the Labor government defeated in 1996, to redraw Australia's national identity. Labor's picture of the country focused on multiculturalism, closer ties with Asia, breaking the constitutional link with the British monarchy and making amends for past wrongs to indigenous people.

Mr Howard robustly rejected all that. On Australia Day last year (the holiday marks the British settlement of Australia in 1788), he launched a campaign to revive the teaching of Australian history in schools and to recapture the "values, traditions and accomplishments of the old Australia". This was code for the old British, pre-multicultural Australia.

In a speech last October the prime minister lauded certain historians who had rebuffed "the black armband view of Australian history". To Mr Howard, this mournful version paints the country's story as "a litany of sexism, racism and class warfare" and is a product of the "posses of political correctness".

Mr Rudd countered in November with "Howard's Brutopia", an article in the MONTHLY, a centre-left journal. He called the prime minister's culture war a strategy drawn from the American Republican Party, designed to raise fears and then offer voters what appear to be old certainties: "tradition versus modernity, absolutism versus moral relativism, monoculture versus multiculture". All this, pronounces Mr Rudd, is a cover for "the values debate...that Howard is desperate not to have". He defines the debate he wants as a battle between treating people fairly and the "market fundamentalism" of Mr Howard's economic policies.

The unfurling of flags in Taylors Arm and elsewhere suggests that Mr Howard's brand of inward-looking Anglo nationalism may still be doing rather well. But, come the election, Mr Rudd has other things on his side: relative youth (at 49 he is 18 years Mr Howard's junior), stability and drive. He has made the running with climate change and education, two issues that register strongly with voters. On the other hand, Mr Howard has the advantage of incumbency, a successful record as a ruthless political strategist and an economy that is humming into its 16th year of uninterrupted growth.

The opinion poll identified a large corps of swing-voters. No doubt it will be they who decide which way the election goes, and perhaps the culture war too.


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