Why is it I feel so guilty believing that a rape did not occur in the house at 610 N. Buchannon, the party house of the Duke Lacrosse team.
I mean am I confused or biased because I am Caucasian? Certainly that is a possibility, I am white, I did grow up in a predominantly white household. So am I a racist?
Is it because I come from a fairly privileged background, I attended private schools, my dad wore a tie to work, my mother however does scrub toilets as a care nurse for the terminally ill but she does so more for spiritual rewards rather than financial gain. But I am, at best, middle-class, I live paycheck to paycheck and have no idea how I am going to cover the spread come April 15th. So how can I be an elitist, a snob?
Could I somehow be a sexist? I am a male. I have in my time objectified women by thumbing through pages of Playboy magazine and have made disparaging remarks with my guy friends about a woman’s body. I have been to strip clubs, smoked cigars and spit, burped and scratched like a lot of guys.
But I have marched in more than one Take Back the Night demonstration, I have written editorials for the Wilmington Journal, an African American newspaper, attacking injustices and inequalities.
How could I be a racist, an elitist, and/or a sexist?
But as I work to investigate the alleged rape of a woman in Durham I find no sanctuary in my own understanding of what took place.
Friends of mine in the media look at me odd when I question the credibility of the accuser. Blogsites I post my opinion in have deleted my posts and many times removed my privileges without explanation. My last post simply gave a timeline of events and the forum was shut down.
Now this is not a conspiracy against the truth, or me but it is an indication as to either how far off base I am or how upsetting the possibility that this woman could be lying is.
Maybe it isn’t about race, or gender or class, maybe it is about how much people just hate Duke.
I never thought about that but it does make perfect sense. It reminds me of the hatred spilled over from the Clinton era.
People can become blinded by the truth, unintentionally. Hatred spilling into the decision making process.
So now I wonder how often this happens. Can it happen at work? Can a supervisor hate college-educated upstarts and set them up for failure? Can an educator have such hatred against the poor and needy that they label a child a trouble maker for failing to be able to perform at a level accustom to the teachers expectations of what a child should be like? Can this hatred effect justice in the courts? Jurist swayed by deeply rooted hatred? Illustrated so well in the popular play and movie, Twelve Angry Men.
People I am not saying that those affected with such hatred recognize it. In fact I doubt that those on the peripheral edge of their world are even aware of it. Good people know better than to admit hate. In fact they will cloak themselves with benevolent activities such as participation in church or community boards. They will argue to the death, in many cases, how right they are.
But we are all capable of being wrong, I worry all the time that I am wrong. I worry that I am wrong about the situation at Duke.
If I am wrong about wanting to know why this accuser’s accusations shouldn’t be questioned then am I wrong about other things? If so what other things am I wrong about?
I’m serious I place a lot of confidence in who I am based on what I believe. If I am not who I think I am then who am I? Who are you because if I don’t know who I am I certainly don’t know who you are.
See how confusing this is getting? See how important it is to have a belief, an opinion?
So maybe I am just overreacting, maybe all this is, is that people just hate Duke.
But wait… who is Duke?
Maybe this is about race, about class and about sex.
Duke is white, primarily children of the rich and powerful and we all know it is the rich and powerful that get all the women.
No wonder people hate Duke.
Duke is a metaphor of our present day conflicting consciousness of cultural debate. The out of control students represent the seed of liberal minded America’s Bush administration and the woman? A representative of any country our government has invaded and planted it’s “democratic” seed into forcefully.
So here we are, hating Duke. Hating our country.
I'd rather be wrong.