Solomon Burnette's opinion piece in the Campus Echo, the student newspaper at N.C. Central University, may seem strong, but it reflects the contempt of many people toward Duke and a system that perpetuates rape in all its forms.Goff’s effort to portray Burnette’s hate speech as a voice against "racism, double standards, sexual assault and power" epitomizes the hypocrisy that has defined the “community’s” year long crusade to advantage itself via the Hoax. Goff’s letter further demonstrates that in Durham the radical viewpoints expressed by Solomon Burnette and fellow NCCU student Chan Hall are shared by other kindred spirits well beyond the public utterances of a few misguided students.
Much like the lacrosse case, rape is always an issue of power. It silences its victims and makes them feel like rape was their fault.
Because male privilege is written in our laws, actual rape is hard to prove in court. That does not mean a sexual assault did not happen March 13, 2006 at the Duke lacrosse house. Historically, the justice system ignored the rape of women of color by white men, so Burnette is justified in venting the frustrations of the community.
Burnette seems to be the target of a smear campaign by right-wing bloggers and reporter Ray Gronberg of The Herald-Sun. Gronberg quotes a blogger who said Burnette gives NCCU the image of "Thug U." This is a racist comment.
Unexamined is the image of Duke, which allows underage drinking and encourages male students to be violent with the excuse that "boys will be boys."
If there is to be any healing in Durham in regards to racism, double standards, sexual assault and power, then Burnette's underlying message must be understood. There is a culture of rape and racism throughout our country, and Duke is no exception. Burnette should be credited for advancing the dialogue.
May 3, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Durham educator and artist, Malcolm Goff, offers a frightening perspective on North Carolina Central University student Solomon Burnette’s widely criticized call for violence in response to the exoneration of the three victims of the Durham Hoax. Not surprisingly, the Snooze Room has published Goff’s letter supporting Burnette's dangerous call to arms. Claiming that Burnette’s violent screed is representative of the feeling of the “community,” Goff, whose illustrations are featured in The Cost of Privilege: Taking On the System of White Supremacy and Racism, incredibly commends Burnette’s for “advancing the dialogue.” Further, Goff hypocritically suggests that the hate piece offered by Burnette, a repeat convicted felon whose most recent court appearance on drug charges was last Friday, somehow speaks to the ills of underage drinking. Blindly ignoring the unveiled racism displayed in Burnette’s published assault, Goff characterizes “Thug U” as an example of “right-wing blogger” racism.