Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Duke's week gets WAY worse

A story that has somehow traveled under the radar for almost a week is just starting to creep out into the open.

Last week the Duke lacrosse team held a bachelor party in which two strippers--both black, both students at nearby North Carolina Central University--were allegedly heckled with racial slurs shortly after the dancing began. They say one was then taken away from the nearly 50 players present (after being told they would be dancing for just a handful) and led into a bathroom where she was allegedly beaten, choked, and raped.

Even though the players have stonewalled the authorities, the University is taking action. 46 of the 47 players were forced to give DNA swabs, and the season has been canceled. It is worth noting that Duke is the #2 team in the nation.

The race of the strippers is notable because the Duke lacrosse team looks like almost every other team--no matter the level: 46 of the 47 players are white. The black player was not made to give a swab because the strippers said the attackers were white.

Lacrosse has always been chock-full of the same types that later commit the white-collar crimes like Enron: rich, white kids whose only possession greater than their wealth is their cockiness and general sense of untouchability. The only difference between them and what they will become thirty years down the road is a total misunderstanding of consequences, a dangerous ingredient.

We still live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty. There are a few aspects of this case that do not paint things positively for the stud athletes:
1) Duke's severe--and admirable, in the face of passive institutions--actions. If they thought their students were innocent, they would not have taken the drastic actions they have.
2) Rich, white, cocky athletes paying $43,000 a year to go to an almost all-white school in a town, Durham, where half the population is black. Mix that with two black students from the low-income community, and you've got yourself some old-fashioned, Southern-style racial tension.
3) The aforementioned teflon sense of many rich 21-year-olds, combined with the fact that none are cooperating with the authorities.

A tragic story that we all hope comes to a swift, fair conclusion. Monitoring...

5 Comments:

At 3/29/2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never heard of public high school lacrosse teams, at least at urban or ordinary suburban schools. Teams at non-sectarian "country day" prep schools and at the more pricey Catholic high schools, however, are almost standard, and these are the feeder schools for Duke. It is a sad fact that jock types at expensive prep schools are as protected from prosecution, expulsion from team or school, or suspension for minor juvenile offenses as the star quarterbacks of Texas suburban public high schools - it doesn't surprise me one bit that a third have college-era arrest records, and I would bet that many others may have high-school-era alcohol, ID, drug offenses. The parents have the will, connections, money, and poor judgement to bail their kids out and not impose some form of punishment.

NancyP

 
At 3/29/2006 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your wrong public schools all over the country have lacrosse programs from grammar school to highschool from Oregon to New Hampshire. Surprisingly a large amount of lacrosse programs have been started in the city of New York from Brooklyn to Queens,etc. To associate the students as being products of Prep Schools is absolutely wrong. Many of these students come from families of hard working blue collar families. Just because it is duke dont stereotype all of the students as rich spoiled brats, considering many of these students recieve scholarships to play at duke. Don't get me wrong some of these players are from prep schools but lets just stop the steroetyping and accusations and let the investigation be completed. College era arrests give me a break I went to a tech college filled with quote on quote nerds and I would say half of the student population had a alchohol offense because of the school cracking down on underage drinking.

 
At 3/29/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Through-a-Glass-Darkly said...

If you go to my site , I have all of the Long Island team members' names, pictures and the names of their parents posted that were originally on the goduke.com site but later pulled. I also have several posts on the matter that have received a lot of traffic and comments.

 
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