Thursday, February 18, 2010

I hope history doesn't repeat itself

Unless you were living under a rock about 4 years ago I'm sure you heard about the Duke Lacross case. In that case a young woman named Crystal Magnum claimed that three players from the Duke University Lacross team raped her. After a lot of finger pointing, blaming, assuming of guilt, and calls for blood it was shown that those three guys did not rape her on the night in question. To this day Magnum was never charged for the wasted police resources or the damage done to those three accused (but she did manage to get a book deal out of it). Well she is making headlines again and it looks like she is the accused this time. From CNN and WRAL. WRAL:
A judge set her bond at $1 million during a Thursday morning court appearance. Mangum, 33, has been appointed a public defender and is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.

Police charged her with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, communicating threats, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, injury to personal property, identity theft and resisting a public officer. (fyi the identity theft charge is from her giving a fake name and age to police)
Now at first I will admit that my first reaction was to be happy that she was getting charged and she deserves what gets for never paying for the harm she did four years ago. That's not a good attitude to have about this.

Thing is while she did do a lot of damage back then this is unrelated and to hope she goes to prison because of what she did then and not what she may have done now is not only wrong but expresses some of them same ill sentiments towards those three guys four years ago (there were some that said to the effect of, "well even if they didn't rape her they probably raped someone so they should be punished for something"). Its not right to hope that someone gets punished for one thing because they did or you think they did something else. You can try to call it karma but that's just revenge.

Now to the matter at hand I find it odd that despite, "punched and threw objects at Walker and told him, "I'm going to stab you, (expletive)!"" the term domestic violence never comes up (this isn't the first time people have avoided that term when talking about female against male DV).

More importantly I honestly hope that unlike last time she crosses paths with the law that there will be a more thorough investigation into it and I really hope that the bloggers, commentators, and the court of public opinion in general have learned how to not proclaim guilt at the first sign of charges. But I doubt that and most will just run the gender check and take to their predetermined sides.

Last time it was male against female rape so the lines were pretty much drawn between those that assumed they were guilty because of their views on gender (who were suspiciously silent once it turned out they were innocent and even some claims that bloggers went back and deleted posts as well), those that assumed they were innocent because of the their views on gender (who went nuts when it turned out they were innocent but for the wrong reasons), and the few that actually wanted to find out what happened before considering action (who were such a minority that it was hard to find out what they thought on the matter).

If Magnum did indeed abuse her boyfriend then she needs to be punished (and remember with three children in the picture the ante is even higher). If she didn't then she needs to be left alone, or at least be left alone to answer for the damage she did four years ago.

I'm hoping that the media and court of public opinion give her the fair shot that those three did not get three years ago.

3 comments:

womanistmusings said...

I think that you are painting this in a very biased way. When she made the false claim that she did, part of the reason that people became so defensive is because of the history of rape by White men of Black women. There was a lot of slut shaming in the media as well because of her profession. I am not defending her actions, I am simply pointing out that the blind support that you are alleging is in fact a historical inaccuracy.

Danny said...

The history of white men/black women is a big part of why people reacted that way they did but at the core if it was still man/woman thing and people a lot of people were basing their reactions on that (automatically taking one side or the other simply because of gender). Fact of the matter is a lot of people want to act as if she was the only one that got mistreated in that entire affair when that is not the case. Yes there was slut shaming be there was plenty of "their male and men want sex all the time so they must have done it!" going on too (and funny enough those people when silent when the truth came out).

<blockquote>...I am simply pointing out that the blind support that you are alleging is in fact a historical inaccuracy. </blockquote>
I'm not sure what you mean by "blind support" here. It seems like you're trying to say that no one assumed those three were guilty. Can I get a bit of explanation here so I can respond proper?

Danny said...

The history of white men/black women is a big part of why people reacted that way they did but at the core if it was still man/woman thing and a lot of people were basing their reactions on that (automatically taking one side or the other simply because of gender). Fact of the matter is a lot of people want to act as if she was the only one that got mistreated in that entire affair when that is not the case. Yes there was slut shaming but it is unfair to pretend there was no "they're male and men want sex all the time so they must have done it!" going on too (and funny enough those people when silent when the truth came out). When it comes to rape there are sizable groups that assume she is lying and sizable groups that assume he must have done it (and it bothers me more than a little bit in feminist discourse when they act as if the latter does not exist).

...I am simply pointing out that the blind support that you are alleging is in fact a historical inaccuracy.
I'm not sure what you mean by "blind support" here. It seems like you're trying to say that no one assumed those three were guilty. Can I get a bit of explanation here so I can respond proper?

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