Thursday, November 16, 2006

No, Amanda, He Used Her

He used her.

I read your opinion , Amanda. Here's mine.

Not long ago, most of us innocently placed great faith in the integrity of prosecutors, in the assumption of thorough police investigations, in the fairness of news media, and in the sincerity of folks like you, Amanda.

The Duke lacrosse Hoax has rocked all that for many of us. No matter the motives of the troubled woman involved here, in the heat of his political season, many believe Nifong used her. And now, we will never again be sheep led to simple acceptance. Nifong's selfish use of this woman, his seeming abuse of the legal system, and all that has followed, have left the general public stunned, dismayed, and sadly, disbelieving. Because he used her, Amanda, your life's work for true victims is lessened, and our level of trust in our justice system and in our purveyors of information has eroded significantly.

Because he used her, when the NEXT prosecutor steps before the cameras, we'll wonder if he, too, never SPOKE to the accuser, never tried to reconcile her story against the stories of those who were accused, or other witnesses in the case. We'll wonder if he too refused to listen to alibis from the other side. We'll wonder if the line-up was once again a deal with no wrong answers, and how many times it took for the woman to make any identification at all. We'll wonder if he's also running for re-election or what's in this case for HIM. We'll wonder if he just wants his face on TV or his name in the press. We'll remember how Nifong ignored complaints of alleged sexual harassment in his own office, when the son of an important political ally was implicated, all the time pushing a prosecution that had political benefits for him. We'll wonder if this next DA is playing us too. Because Nifong used her, our first thought will NOT be if a woman has been victimized, but if we are about to be manipulated...once again. Because he used her, we'll be wary.

Because Nifong used her, alleged victims are now accusers and media panels speak of the expectation of returning to the practice of naming accusers publicly.

Because Nifong used her, we'll wonder about the dynamics in the community. We'll remember politicians like Patrick Baker assuring us the Accuser told only one story when facts would not bear that out. We'll remember what we read now...of the convergence of professional protestors...and racial hate groups eager to saddle this agenda to a certain one of their own. We'll remember the manipulation of "FACTS" and the rush to judgment in Durham. We'll remember how revered groups like the NAACP seemed to suspend many standards of justice they have nobly stood for over generations...to demand a show trial for the Durham "community." We will fear that agenda will trump truth and fairness once again, even, sadly, among those whom we had long believed WERE the FRONT LINES of the forces of truth and fairness. Because he used her, no such naiveté exists anymore. or will ever again. Because he used her, we have seen the underside of many activist groups.

Because Nifong used her, we now understand some glaring examples of media manipulation. We know now that editors at the N&O omitted part of the accuser's statement about that night, statements "about the other dancer" that they did not deem necessary for the public to know. Because he used her, we know that the reporter from NCCU, also edited her report...to omit troubling comments about the accuser that she also had uncovered. We know that across the board, the media built a false story for us of a shy young woman, soft-voiced, and "new to dancing." They stretched language to call what she did at the house that night...a "performance obligation" to give it a sheen of respectability. They presented a story with clear villains...the "swaggering out-of-control" Lacrosse team, pictured and named on a Wanted poster versus the "Victim", sanitized in every way possible. Her criminal record, her pole dancing, her trolling strip clubs and motels, her erratic behavior...might all come out later, but, because Nifong used her...we are now aware how the media used us, especially in the important early days when outrage was peaking in Durham. How they exploited our trust and shaped the story will not easily be forgotten. Because he used her, Amanda, we won't trust press descriptions of "Victim" or "Accused" ever again. We'll remember we were duped.

Those lobbyists you challenged....who feared False Accusation...now have three faces in front of them. We will never forget. Because Nifong used her, Collin, Reade, and Dave, will be at the forefront of many minds. The "stigma" they have borne and will bear...will affect how we will look at rape cases going forward. False accusation is now center stage in a case that has drawn national and international attention. Your life's work of having a woman "believed" will now be offset by the indignities and inequities of this Hoax. We now see that false accusation with a prosecutor like Nifong is a very real possibility. We now understand that we cannot rely on the accuracy of media, the sincerity of activists or the integrity of prosecutors. Because he used her, the pendulum, Amanda has swung back the other way. We see "out-of control" behavior among all of these entities as well. Frankly, that concerns us as much as, if not more, than "out of control" behavior of college boys.

In summation, Amanda, because Nifong used her...every accuser going forward will bear a new and cumbersome burden. Every true rape victim going forward will, in her own way, be another victim of this Hoax. You may not hold Nifong's actions against him now, but when the backlash begins...remember who was the creator, the promoter of the Hoax. Every real rape victim will pay a price for Nifong's political needs, his pandering, his public statements that sadly...didn't pan out. His legacy will be an atmosphere where False Accusation and flagrant prosecutorial abuse are now in the forefront of possibilities.

The story told to us now seems to be a sham, and that is a shame, a travesty for all true rape victims struggling to tell their story. Every one of them will bear the stigma of a certain scenario, now seared in our collective minds. The memory of that Spring evening, in front of the house on Buchanan street, where good folks (who felt a woman must ALWAYS be believed) gathered to chant and pray while across town, in a seedy strip club, the wily dancer told colleagues she was going to get cash from some white boys, and "worked" The Pole to full effect.

Welcome back to the "good old days," Amanda. Those of you who feel sorry for the presumption of good faith you have lost for true victims, must remember your silence and/or approval of Nifong enabled the Hoax to wreak its havoc here in the present and in the future as well. Nifong used her and because folks like you looked the other way, or gave approval, False Accusation and its ugly implications are front and center. We will never forget the falsehoods. We will always remember the Hoax.
Joan Foster

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joan Foster..again you hit it right on. An amazing rebuttle. Well said!!! The sad part...how true!!

Anonymous said...

Joan, you are the best.

momtothree

Anonymous said...

Joan,

The role of the so-called rape crisis groups cannot be underestimated in this whole sorry affair. While the black community in Durham provided the votes for Nifong, it was the feminists at Duke who first put on the most vocal and visible displays of "anger."

The Duke feminists, with their pot banging and "castrate" signs provided the "face" of demonstrations for the television cameras. Had it not been for their rush to judgment, this case would not have gone as far as it has.

Now that the facts are coming out, we see the Duke feminists hardening their stance. No one has said, "We are sorry for jumping to conclusions." Instead, we see ridiculous comments like those from Amanda.

Wendy McElroy once told me that many feminists are against the use of DNA evidence as being exculpatory because it can call the testimony of accusers into question. This is important, because if the Amandas of the world have their way, the prisons will have even more wrongfully convicted people in them.

Bill Anderson

kbp said...

Joan,
You provided a great many questions the leaders of the pot bangers will need to consider.

The only explanation I can see that could help them explain this terrible obstacle victims will face is to blame it all on Nifong for using this accuser.

Many previously classified as members of victim support groups appear to be grabbing the spotlight, while abandoning the cause.

How many rapes are there per day in this country?

How many victims have kept silent due to the publicity resulting from Nifong's use of this accuser?

Anonymous said...

Joan,

your rebuttle.....WOW
pot banging, what a funny phrase.lol

Anonymous said...

Joan,

Your eloquence is unsurpassed, and your message is loud and clear! Thank you for all you continue to do!

Anonymous said...

Another great Joan article.

What this case has taught us.

1) False accusations are much higher than those in the rape Victims’ advocate field has told us. 40-50% is possible according to the Former DA in Manhattan in charge of sexual assaults.

2) DNA is exculpatory despite was the rape advocates say. Dr Baden remarks that the idea that no DNA (blood, semen, seminal fluid, sweat, skin cells, hair) is preposterous in a 30 minute rape as described.

DAs are routinely using the absence of DNA as a reason to not prosecute a case and have been for years.

3) Rape Victim Advocates have lost their way

Anonymous said...

Joan,
You nailed it!
Amanda insults the intelligence of the rest of us women.
We want the crime of rape to be taken seriously, that's true, but that means following PROPER prcedures and doing a complete and THOROUGH investigation, including interviewing ALL witnesses.
Anything less is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joan,

Another excellent column.

Great work.

Jhn in Carolina

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joan, for this and the many other wonderful contributions you have made to the ongoing discourse of this sad episode. Please keep up the good work. --A '67 Duke alum.

Anonymous said...

The long-term impact of this malicous self-serving prosecution are yet to be seen. Joan, great job outlining the very real possibilities. This is one of the most troubling aspects of this for me. I remember Susan Filan (yes, her) saying to Abrams that if this accusation is false, it will put rape law back 100 years. You can probably find the transcript. It was around the time it was revealed that the accuser made a similar rape accusation in Creedmore; maybe the exact day it came out. I'd like to hear what Filan has to say now. Maybe we should email her????

Anonymous said...

Joan,

Thank you for saying so well what so many of us are thinking.

The accuser has been dreadfully used as has the community from where she comes.

Unfortunately the consequences of the Hoax will reach far and be long lasting for all women. I just can't believe Amanda doesn't see it.

emmy said...

Great words Joan, as usual...one point I would like to make...what *should* make Amanda and others of her mentality angry is the fact that Nifong indeed used Precious(who, by the way, was not dragged kicking and screaming into this hoax, and so has been quite willing imo to allow herself to be used)...but it seems that many of these idiotic, pot-banging, slogan-chanting, banner-waving (castrate!)people *themselves* really could care less about Precious...for them, it's all about the cause...they care little for the individual...and these knee-jerk zealots thus give a bad name to the *real* victim's rights advocates, as much as Nifong and Precious do grave damage to the *real* victims of rape...

Anonymous said...

Nifong used no one. But, if that's what you have to console yourself with, then knock yourself out. It's not changing anything. The trial will take place in Durham where the crime was committed.

You want it moved b/c you're hoping for a dismissal and THAT won't happen. Every lie after lie that the defense has come up with is shot to h*ll. Example: 60 lie,ABC lie,(put marks on me) bouncer lie, Yolonda lie all was shot to h*ll. Stop with the excuses for these pathetic dukes. They made a point of being arrogant rude and out of control from the very beginning.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:48
What proof do you have that a rape occurred? Facts please.

Anonymous said...

10:10



Ask the defense? They have thousands of pages of discovery. Go ahead....Ask them to let you see'em.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:48 and 10:10

Please advise me of forensic /scientific proof a rape occurred.

I have read the published discovery. Nothing remotely suggests a rape took place.

Keep me posted.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:48 and 10:10

Please advise me of forensic /scientific proof a rape occurred.

I have read the published discovery. Nothing remotely suggests a rape took place.

Keep me posted.

Anonymous said...

10:30

hahahahaha

just keep looking!

Anonymous said...

I have been called a racist because I have questioned the mindset of the black community in Durham in this case. Once again, we see someone giving us conspiracy theories. Yes, yes, yes, everyone, everyone is lying -- except for the accuser and Nifong.

Now, keep in mind that at each ID session, the accuser named a person who was not even in Durham (something even Nifong was forced to admit), but I would suspect that the previous poster would say that if the accuser picked him, then he must have raped her from 100 miles away.

If the poster is typical of the mindset of the black community in Durham, then I do not see how any black jurors from that county could sit on the jury and be willing to judge the case according to the facts. The mindset is the same as what used to happen in places like south Georgia and Alabama years ago when blacks were on trial, and the evidence against them was nonexistent, but all-white juries convicted them anyway.

Organizations like the ACLU (which has taken a powder on this one) and the NAACP could have stressed the importance of things like evidence and procedure, but instead they decided to go against everything they have claimed to support in the justice system. This is very sad, but at least I know now that some organizations that claim to pursue justice really do not have justice in mind at all.

Bill Anderson

duke09parent said...

9:48 is one of those who want a conviction, she's decided they are guilty, if not of rape then of being rich and white, and therefore they should go to prison. She doesn't come to the case with a view of seeing evidence and deciding based on evidence. She has her conclusion and evidence against that conclusion must be explained away---all those who offer statements against the allegations are liars, the DNA evidence was tampered with, the toxicology report was tampered with, the conflicting stories of the AV were caused by her trauma, the time stamps on the cell phones were tampered with, the ATM time stamp on the photo of Reade was tampered with. The mountain of evidence against a rape is just evidence of how powerful is the conspiracy to cover up the rape. Every journalist who has reviewed the discovery materials has concluded the indicted three did not commit a rape, even Cash Michaels. Even though NC law does not allow a prosecutor to withhold evidence, 9:48 and her kind believe that Nifong has an ace up his sleeve. They have to believe it because otherwise there is no evidence in favor of rape, except for the conflicting words of a troubled woman. And 9:48 will not adopt an alias because even in anonymity she doesn't want her predictions to be thrown in her face later on. She just wants to taunt.

And now I'VE wasted more time and effort than she deserves.

duke09parent said...

Oh, 9:48 I am not afraid of a trial. Bring it on next week, next month, in January. I predict your precious one will crumble under the pressure of having to go to trial and will refuse to go. She'll release a statement through her lawyer (she will have hired one by then) that she doesn't want to put her family through the ordeal of trial because of those mean defense lawyers and she just wants to get on with her life. "Those boys know what they did," she'll say, trying to imply their denials are lies. Of course, that statement will be the one true statement she has made because they DO know. They did nothing to that woman.

Anonymous said...

This article belongs in something like Newsweek's "My Turn", or to replace an Anna Quindlen column.

I hope it can be published somewhere in the hardcopy media.

Anonymous said...

What is interesting is all of the slime about the Accuser has come from AA community.

HP Thomas
Jarriel Johnson
Yolanda
Kim
Doc O
Brian Taylor

Anonymous said...

9:48, 10:10
Once again, you have a lot to write with nothing to say.
Please support your case with evidense.
Prove your credibility.

Anonymous said...

9:48 It appears that Nifong is the one who doesn't want a trial.
All he does is delay, delay, delay.

The Dude said...

Very well written response. The comments show there is no way to change the minds of some people. Does nifong post here?

The moron who blames the Defense lawyers has no clue. Defense lawyers file motions to discovery issues. they haven't released anything that i have heard about. If witnesses are talking the media is responsible. And why not? nifong didn't bother to question anyone at all.

Bottom line; The elements of the crime have not been established or proven. there could not have been a truthful presentation to the Grand Jury without the elements of the crime.

Anonymous said...

My feeling is some of the supporters of the alleged victim would much rather innocents be convicted than she be exposed as a liar.I don't know if that's from racial solidarity,or a feeling if a widely publicized rape accusation is exposed as a fraud it will hurt the chances of females in the future to get objective hearings on rape.
I tend to think clinging doggedly to nonexistent facts,in essence saying nothing matters but the identity of the accuser is a great way to delegitimize people fom taking future accusations seriously.
What an excess of rage to slander innocents to be able to keep one's world view intact