Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nifong and the "Ancient Mariner"

"Kris Udekwu '08 creates an interesting juxtaposition to Seligmann.

Both were sought-after lacrosse recruits coming out of Catholic high schools. Both played for top college lacrosse teams before leaving their respective teams sophomore year. (Udekwu quit after some of the coaching staff at Brown left.)

Udekwu, who is black and grew up in Raleigh, N.C., just a half-hour from Durham, probably understands the Duke case better than anyone at Brown. He has been closely following it and wrote about it for the College Hill Independent, of which he is now a managing editor.

He believes that when Seligmann gets to campus, the skeptics will pounce.

"Historically, what Brown has been known for is making a meal out of things like this, as far as student activism goes," he says. Sign-waving and protests, he says, are not out of the question.

One of Seligmann's new teammates, Jack Walsh '09, doesn't think there will be anything of that sort, but says he's "fearful that people will be ignorant about the facts."
When I read these comments yesterday, I had a sudden inspiration. I'd like to suggest, whenever the legal dust has settled,whatever the outcome, an additional punishment for Defendant Nifong, Durham's disgraced and disbarred Inspector D.A. Modeled in part on the sentencing given often to drunk drivers, my idea was also inspired by Coleridge's classic poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" ...wherein that legendary seaman was required to roam the earth, telling his personal tale of infamy to those who most needed to hear it.

"Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale ;
And then it left me free.

And ever and anon through out his future life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land ;

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns :
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

I pass, like night, from land to land ;
I have strange power of speech ;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me :
To him my tale I teach."

Here's how I see it working: Nifong would be required to format an hour long question-and-answer lecture series on his Hoax. Then he would literally "take it on the road."

Suggested title: "The Nifong Hoax... Nothing Happened."

His first presentations would be to the student bodies at Brown and Loyola, to inform any agitated student "activists" that the Albatross belongs around HIS neck, not Reade's or Collin's or Dave's. Then on to Duke, and NCCU, the annual convention of the NCNAACP, the annual assembly of the National Sportswriters Association, the New York Times Agenda Training Seminars, places like that.

The lecture would proceed as follows: after distributing, to every audience member, handouts of the findings of the North Carolina Bar and the Attorney General's office on this case, Nifong would begin with an apology to Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans. He would assert that they are absolutely, undoubtedly, completely, and unequivocally INNOCENT. Perhaps he might start his speech with this couplet to add a little literary sheen.

"And I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :"

The second part of his program (borrowing again from the Coleridge theme) would be entitled:

"A Thousand, Thousand Slimy Things".

Here, Defendant Nifong would expound in excruciating detail on the damage he has personally done to these young men, their families, Mr. Elmostafa, real rape victims, fair prosecutors and the reputation of the State of North Carolina. Point by point, he would reveal his own transgressions. He would voice his commitment to speak out incessantly until he had made reparation to the reputations he had sullied. Like the Ancient Mariner, Nifong (and his audiences) would then understand that he can have no redemption without a very public and sincere remorse.

Next, a short video would ensue, containing clips of his infamous media statements on the Hoax, interspersed with new video of Nifong telling the REAL TRUTH of what he SHOULD have said, if truthful, in each and every interview.

A power point presentation of the questions of J. Swift on the DPD's error-ridden investigation would follow, with Nifong, as Inspector D.A., accepting responsibility for the jaw-dropping negligence it exposes.

The finale would be a short clip of Lane Williamson's statement as he revoked Nifong's license to practice law

At the conclusion of his program, Nifong would accept questions from the audience. Using that fearsome talent for argument he once assured us had the likes of Joe Cheshire all a-twitter, HE would be the one to counter forcibly any remaining Agenda-istas that refused to accept the truth.

"Nothing Happened" tee shirts would be available for sale. Those proceeds and program fees would be donated to the Innocence Foundation in honor of Collin, Reade and Dave.

I believe the Nifong "Nothing Happened" Program Tour should be a 5 year sentence. Any hesitancy, smirking, self-pity, quibbling or insincere content could make it a life-long endeavor.

It should continue until Nifong himself has laid to rest the albatross of the "Something Happened" scenario. It should continue until any burden of blame or negative notion is borne ONLY by Nifong himself. It should continue until, time after time, observing his audiences leaving, Nifong can see in their expressions the very certainty of his success:

"One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye."

"Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung."

"(Each) went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn."

Joan Foster


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That would be a brilliant sentence, Joan, but would require regret, contrition, and as the poem says, wisdom, on his part.


kbp said...

Thanks Joan!

It would be easier to just lock him up (along with Gottlieb & Himan) and let that be the something that happened.

Anonymous said...

Joan, please include an addendum for the ever lying Crystal Gail Mangum.

Anonymous said...

The only people who leave the team, particulary for a coaching change, were not competative with the rest of the members of the team. Getting a lot of bench time or mayabe even told, they would be dropped. reade will do fine at Brown.

bill anderson said...


You are good! Very good!

Anonymous said...

None of the people on your list will plead the fifth. Kim will refuse to testify without a subpoens. I doubt most of these people will even be called. THe Committee is not looking to prosecute the case.

Anonymous said...

This should be sent to Judge Smith! In addition to letters of apology, he can go on the apology circuit. LOL!

I can hear it now:

NIFONG: You wanted to see me?

PROBATION OFFICER: Mr. Nifong, you've failed to completely satisfy "The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" condition of your probation.


PROBATION OFFICER: Like the movie, your lecturing must go on forever.

NIFONG: I've been doing the apology circuit now for 25 years.

PROBATION OFFICER: What is it about the word "endless" do you not understand?

Keep it up, Joan! MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of the "Nothing Happened" T-shirt for the Innocence Project. I would buy one.

Anonymous said...

isn't being accused of rape a form of sexual harrasment? Most colleges have sexual harrasment policies...

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Brown students will be smarter than all those in Durham that can't process facts! If not maybe they don't belong there and Mom and Dad are wasting tuition money!