An Open Apology To The Duke Lacrosse Team
"Paging Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, please pick up a red courtesy phone. Attention all media pundits, columnist, blowhards, schizophrenic penners and dedicated scribes, we are all needed in Durham, North Carolina to atone for an egregious wrong on three young men and turn our attention to a very guilty young woman who has put a nation into the cross hairs of racial discourse."
My fellow journalists and somewhat astute talking heads, we owe Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans an apology for professing them guilty when they were indeed innocent.
But since I don't think any of my colleagues will do this action, and I know that Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton won't even do what is right in this situation, let me be one of the first and few to say, 'Gentlemen, I'm sorry. I apologize for not giving you the benefit of the doubt in this case.'
Over the past 13 months or so this case has been pushed to the back burner and others have stepped forward. In its heyday I wrote a few scathing articles, filled with the natural anger of seeing a society that allowed privileged White men take advantage of a poor Black girl.
Yeah, I'm admitting it. My articles were as prejudicial as they came but then again (and this is not necessarily an excuse or admission) with the way African Americans have been treated in such instances over the past few centuries, it was sort of a relief to see the other side of the tracks feel the heat, the embarrassment and shame that Black America faced during slavery, after slavery and what still goes on to this day.
Did I feel good about these three young men getting a first hand history lesson on what it feels like to be railroaded by a 'racist' system? As embarrassing as this may be and as repentant as I am in falling for the okie doke, yeah it felt damn good. For probably the first time in a long time, White America now felt the pain that my community has been dealing with for years...
Yes, even with everything I wrote above, a small piece of me did get a little it of satisfaction seeing these young men suffer very familiar fate that countless Black men have done before and after them.
However that does not make it right and that is why I am willing to write an 'open' letter of apology to these three men. If no other writer in this country has the guts to pen something of a heartfelt apology, I want these three young men, their families and their friends to know that at least this African American sports writer is willing to give a heart felt apology.
Now I cannot do like Don Imus and have a face to face meeting with these young men and their families maybe if they read this op/ed on the web or hear about this op/ed on the various radio shows I appear on a local, regional or national stage, at least they know that there is someone in America who can admit their mistakes, ask for forgiveness for their actions and then move on to try and make the world a better place.