The author of this piece hosts Ideologue Review, a blog devoted to the case study of fanaticism. He wishes to remain anonymous.
Article: “You will not shame me.”
This article is classic Feministing, published April 12, 2007. It covers the ideologue reception to the aftermath of the Duke Lacrosse verdict, and is a good insight into typical fanatic behavior. The author, an “activist, writer, and Executive Editor of Feministing.com” who identifies herself as “Samhita,” implies from the title that she is wounded and confrontational. How dare the justice industry not put these innocent men – erm, boys – in jail! Do they know how bad that makes me – I mean, women – look?
Let’s begin with the title – “You will not shame me.” One would think that after her articles complaining about the solidarity shown by female Duke students equating to ‘complicit oppression,’ she would be ashamed. Had she had an ounce of foremost knowledge that the stripper, Gail Magnum, had made numerous false accusations in the past or not outright omitted this information from her articles, perhaps she would not be in this embarrassing situation to begin with.
Moving on to the first paragraph, which reads:
“I have gotten email upon threatening email to rescind what I said last year about the Duke Women’s Lacrosse Team and their uninformed support for the accused rapists in the Duke rape case. The case that was mishandled, manipulated and finally dropped on Wednesday.”
“I usually ignore emails that intend to *put me in my place* but I think we owe it to our supportive readers to say something outside of “black strippers are lying whores” and the “we won” mentality that seems to have overtaken the public imagination with the dreaded interplay of rape and race.”
I never saw any claims equating Black women or strippers to liars. In fact, the only people I saw who fixated obsessively on the ethnicity of the accuser were the self-righteous ideologues. I never heard on any talk show, nor saw in any paper, that her race somehow made her testimony any less reliable. In fact, the media, academic, and justice industryofficials harped on this clear-cut case of a poor victimized black woman and these evil, ‘privileged’ white men. Once again, I challenge one of my readers to find an article from a mainstream source which actually claims her race negatively affected her reliability. Hell, even a two-bit tabloid wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole.
She goes on to claim papal infallibility for her past bigotry:
I just want to say first and foremost, I still stand by what I say and have said. It does look bad for people to support accused rapists, at that point we didn’t know the facts either way.
It looks bad for people to support the accusers before a case is even made, actually. In fact, I presume the notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ has never rung well with her beliefs.
She goes on to point her digits at everyone and everything except herself, because she would be the last person to warrant scrutiny.
Furthermore, women of color are in fact OFTEN sexually assaulted and usually the criminal justice system and/or the media either overlook it or mishandle it. Women of color often have a higher burden of proof that they are not lying about rape.
Really? I never knew there was a burden in ‘proving you’re not lying about rape.’ There is that pesky ‘innocent until proven guilty’ notion that ideologues are trying to do away with – and with some success, the system is rigged against men from the beginning.
“A longitudinal study conducted by Professor Eugene Kanin concluded that over a period of nine years, 41% of rape allegations studied were fraudulent, concocted by the alleged victim to either create an alibi, seek attention and sympathy, or to seek revenge.”
He goes on to link to numerous studies and police estimates which point to similar percentiles – about 40-50% are confirmed innocent.
Case in point (as Amanda and others stated ): when the lack of DNA evidence was announced — before we even knew whether the players were innocent or not — people were quite quick to accuse the accuser of being guilty of lying. So be it.
So DNA evidence is now suspect? And this was because of her race, not her past history of false allegations? Or perhaps the fact that there were about 40 people there who all, conveniently enough, had the exact same alibi?
So, to make a long story short:
The charges were dropped. Does this mean that they are innocent? None of us actually know what happened that night. Sorry, unless you were there, you don’t know what happened.
But you weren’t there! It might have happened! The earth is flat! The moon is cheese! People never lie!
Typical fanatic attitude – all snark and no logic. “I’m right, end of conversation.” That’s the attitude you expect from a small child, not a grown woman.
This is a clear intellectual black hole. It’s the same argument nutcase creationists argue on the other end of the spectrum. “You weren’t there, so it’s not your place to say how the Earth was created.” It’s a precept of rational thought to accept the most logical conclusion, and a sign of some semblance of emotional and intellectual maturity.
Now for the rest of you that have such a die hard belief in the criminal justice system and evidence, well quite frankly I pity you. This is a system that arrests a disproportionate number of people of color, subjecting them to unfair trials, inadequate representation and longer sentences (in a prison system that resembles slavery). SORRY, I don’t trust the courts.
What do what all those people arrested have in common? Nearly all of them are men. I don’t trust the courts either, but I think she just invalidated her case. It’s anti-minority, but it’s by far more anti-male. Additionally, it’s not necessarily the courts which directly cause this, but the legacy of slavery, oppression, and a lack of economic (and by proxy, educational) opportunities for minorities.
This breeds the social conditions which cause increased crime, and increased arrests of men. To just point a finger at one part of a very complex machination and say it’s the sole cause – and deliberately omit the anti-male bias of societal and court systems alike – is either a sign of severe mental ineptitude or a malicious desire to misinform. Either way, it does not speak well for her cause
But hey, let’s just give a big “Feminist Fuck You” to all the factual evidence against the felon and fixate on race and money.
When you’re a woman of color who’s a sexworker, up against white kids with money that can afford *good* lawyers, the outcome is not looking so good.
She left out the part where the District Attorney did a few things like omit evidence, lie, etc. Small things which imply a bias against these men, and not our innocent, angelic sex worker with her golden ovaries.
But, but, but – the charges, they were dropped! Uh, that makes me right!
‘They were not found to be innocent, the charges were dropped from lack of evidence.’
By that logic, I could accuse the author of raping me, drop the charges before they hit the courts, and claim that she’ll “never be found to be innocent.” I won’t because I don’t have a narcissistic need for attention and callous disregard for human life like some people, but I could.
‘Oh, but these white men are getting treated poorly, but so do other people! That somehow means they deserve it!’
Moreover, innocent until proven guilty only applies to certain people. Ideally, it would apply to everyone but a lot of people are guilty at arrest, just for being who they are and where they are. We are not operating in a vacuum, but within a long history of corruption and injustice in the supposed justice system. So, if these guys were in fact falsely accused, they got a taste of how black men are treated EVERY DAY by the criminal justice system.
And what is the outcome of all of this? The general public now believes that black strippers ARE in fact lying whores and the worst thing that could happen to a strapping Duke lacrosse player is that his lily white reputation is marred by false accusations. Beyond this being a terrible precedent set for women that bring up rape accusations (still something underreported) to never ever report rape again, the racist and sexist reaction from the media and public have been to say the least profound.
So you’re somehow trying to shift the blame to the victims for having the gall to be falsely accused of rape. “Their ‘lily-white reputation’ being marred” is actually something a lot of men have to deal with. Additionally, I’m surprised she can’t find one article or link to support this ‘racist and sexist’ reaction from the media. As I mentioned earlier, the odds were stacked in this sex worker’s favor, and she still lost the case. Not only that, but she was conferred a degree in police psychology.
Oh, but look at these emails I claim I got. I won’t include any excerpts or anything, but I got them and after proving myself irrational and unreliable, I’ll just paraphrase them:
I have gotten emails reminding me about not only the details of this case (because you know I can’t read), but how the possibility that this black woman lied shows us that blacks, in general, are liars who play the race card. And strippers are also liars who deserve to be raped.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she was semi-literate. As for the facts of the case – well, if she knew them all, why would she side with a convicted felon to begin with?
However, how relevant are things like ‘innocent,’ ‘guilty,’ ‘liar,’ ‘wrong?’ It’s all relative as long as I’m still right.
Why do I say all this? Because the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here.
Indeed, many facts are only tangentially relevant to a bigot.
Oh, and it’s totally her race – and my race fetish – that makes people question the stripper’s reliability. I’ll just slather that claim on all my opponents and ignore any of those pesky, irritating ‘facts about the case.’
What is relevant is that certain folks are very quick to jump on the offensive when there is a little bit of evidence that perhaps a black woman lied about a rape.
No, not a little bit. This would be like setting Mike Tyson against Ghandi in the ring, and then giving Tyson an assault rifle to ‘even up the odds.’ It was an unfair fight which people like her had decided from the beginning, and these innocent men still were able to walk with only their ‘lily-white’ reputations sullied.
But look – somehow this other injustice, this other injustice waaaay over here, makes this injustice, look how far away it is, it makes this injustice alright! It’s okay now that I supported the incarceration of these innocent men because they’re WHITE!
You know because people NEVER accuse (random) black people of crimes that they did not commit. I mean, seriously.
That would be black men. Samhita and her ‘sisters’ at Feministing.com have been quiet as church-mice about the issues facing black men in comparison to the deafening roar for black women and cataclysmic quaking for (Western) middle-class women, despite the fact that black males are incarcerated at an exponentially higher rate than women of any race.
Now, I’m going to ascribe some meaning to this tragedy and take the moral high road after, you know, maliciously fetishizing the destruction of these innocent mens’ lives. Yes, because of my ideology, I am God.
So what is the moral of the story? That much of the American public does in fact hold very racist and sexist beliefs and when given the opportunity to air these sentiments, goes ahead full force.
Clearly, as the author has shown immense bigotry against white males. If this were written with Jews substituted for white men, it could be in a Klan pamphlet.
Look, I hallucinated that this stripper had an ounce of credibility to begin with! And she might have been right, so those Duke students deserved it anyway. A few sacrificial lambs to our insane religion.
It is this same culture of racism and objectification of people of color in most sectors of our society that would create a situation where a black woman would potentially lie about a rape (which we don’t know if she did). And the same culture that would allow for the subsequent manipulation of her story for political gain.
No, I’d have to say the moral of this story is that ideologues are incapable of accepting defeat, no matter how wrong they are.
The title is the one appropriate aspect of this article, however. You can’t shame that which is clearly shameless.