Thursday, January 25, 2007

Our Collective Voice - John in Carolina

Earlier today, our friend and occasional mentor, John in Carolina published an essay that eloquently reflected the gratitude we share for the many Heroes of the Hoax, five of whom he has chosen to highlight in this post. Graciously, John has allowed us to share his words with you.

Yesterday the Raleigh N&O reported:

Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong withheld DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse
case and then lied about it to judges and the North Carolina State Bar, according to a complaint filed today by the bar, which licenses and regulates lawyers. […]

The test results from DNA Security of Burlington found DNA from at least four unidentified men in and on the accuser and excluded the entire lacrosse team as the source.

The bar's complaint said Nifong hid these results from defense lawyers, who repeatedly asked for all DNA test results. Nifong then lied to the court, either on paper or in direct comments to a judge, on five occasions, the complaint said.

The news came ten months to the day the N&O “broke the Duke lacrosse story” with a maliciously biased “news report” claiming the False Accuser was “the victim” and framing Duke’s Men’s lacrosse players as her victimizers.

Yesterday was a day for the innocent. It “belonged” to the players – all of them – and their families and special friends who’ve endured and pressed on in the face of monumental bigotry and injustices. We can be confident that it is only one of many such days that will now come their way.

Publicly they’ve shown only grace under pressure; their private pains we can only guess at.
With so many players, family members, close friends, Coach Pressler and his family, all surely giving thanks yesterday, there must be hundreds of “thank you” lists out there, but they’re not all the same.

The names of many former teachers are no doubt on a lot of lists but there are different teachers on different lists. It’s the same with hundreds of other people who’ve helped one or a few of the players they knew around town or one the families that live down the block.
So we have the different lists.

But I’ll bet on this: all the lists-makers will agree that the following five deserve a place on all the “thank you” lists:

Duke's 2006 Women’s Lacrosse team led by coach Kerstin Kimel had it right from day one: “Innocent.” They kept saying it in the face sexist derision from many in media and others who call themselves “women’s rights advocates.” The 2006 Women and Men laxers will stand in Duke’s memory as the first groups to tell us the Hoax was a hoax.

In April National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor let readers and frenzied media colleagues know:

“[T]he evidence that perhaps no Duke lacrosse player committed rape should make a lot of people ashamed of themselves: District Attorney Mike Nifong, the Durham police, many in the media, politically correct Duke professors, spineless Duke administrators, and others.”

Professor James Coleman chaired a committee that produced a fair assessment of the team at the height of the witch hunt. Then he spotlighted the frame-up: “Any three students would do; there could be no wrong choice.”

NY Times columnist David Brooks had the grace and character to tell his readers on May 28:

But now that we know more about the Duke lacrosse team, simple decency requires that we return to that scandal, if only to correct the slurs that were uttered by millions of people, including me.

In more than 300 blog posts, professor Robert KC Johnson has made extraordinarily effective use of the scholar's skills to expose the falsehoods, hypocrisies and failures of duty that made the witch hunt and its injustices possible. Rightly critical of the players’ “party conduct,” Johnson’s humanism and faith in the academy brought him to their struggle for fair treatment after almost all their own professors abandoned them. Among those who have "done battle in the public square,” Johnson is primus inter pares.
(We hope that you will find a moment to visit: John in Carolina)


LEO said...

What I can't understand is why Professor Gustafson, supports Reade, Colin and Dave and supports Karla Holloway at the same time. Karla Holloway has already tried and convicted these young men. I don't understand that support for he by Dr Gustofson.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you posting that list. The Players are not alone! I am sure they know it.

don t. said...

I shutter to think where this whole affair would be now if not for JIC, Liestoppers, KCJ, Bill Anderson, et al and the people who participated in this effort. The blog honchos cannot be thanked enough.


Anonymous said...

Thanks is due to the five named by John in Carolina but also to the hundreds of bloggers who kept the search for truth alive!

Vic said...

A bit off-topic, but the irony is too much.

From Women's Media Center:

"In addition to working as an exotic dancer, the 28-year-old woman had held a variety of other jobs []. She had sold cars at a local dealership..."

A car salesman?! Well, there goes any shred of credibility she may have still held.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't cousin Jakki also sell cars?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Dan Abrams of MSNBC.
Thanks to particular chaplains- who although did not publish their positions- kept the parents of their students informed in an even-handed way.