The woman who brought rape charges against the Duke LaCrosse players was a young, black, hardworking single mother of two small children, a veteran of the U.S. military. She was summoned to a gathering comprised of young, strong, athletic, big, rich, intoxicated, privileged white college men who thought nothing of paying strippers to be humiliated and degraded for a few hours for their viewing pleasure.
If I knew nothing else, these two statements:
The accuser said she and the second dancer were barraged with racist remarks and wanted to leave. “We started crying,” she said. “We were so scared.”
The new timeline was contradicted by records of cellphone calls made from her phone and time-stamped photos of her at the party, clad in a negligee.
And that devastating photo up there, tell me everything I need to know about this situation. She, a young black woman, barraged with racist commentary by men looking to degrade and humiliate her sexually, is dancing in a negligee a private home among young, drunk, white, racist men. It is likely she was drugged right after she arrived.
I don’t need to know anything else.
She says she was raped.
I believe her.
And I know this. This decision, and all of its apologists, every last one, including pro-feminists so-called — “allies” my ass — every one who says “I don’t believe they did it,” “I think she was confused,” “I think she lied,” “I think she is mentally ill,” sends a revived and reinvigorated message out across this fucked up, racist, misogynist nation of ours that if you’re a white boy, it’s open season on young black women. Call them any names you want to call them. Do anything you want to do to them. You’ll walk. I know what these boys do. I know what they do. They do it, they do it to young women of color, and nobody cares, everybody thinks it’s funny, and nobody believes the girls, or if they do, they say the girls are making a big deal of it, are making shit up. They — and all of you who defend these and similar men and feel sorry for them — can run it by someone stupid, or racist, or misogynist, or ignorant or naive.
Maybe it was, in fact, this turn of events which empowered Don Imus to call young black woman athletes “nappy headed ho’s,” to figure that was a-okay. In fact, with most white men in America, it was a-okay, and still is. All sorts of people want to talk about rappers and how what they do or don’t do might figure in to, what, I don’t even know. Myself, I am wondering why nobody is talking about the way the Duke Lacrosse players walking might have figured in to what Don Imus said, about the way the repeated victimization of a young, brutalized black woman, by white men, and white people, might have figured in.
I have an idea Imus’s career is far from over. The decision in the Duke rape case pretty much ensures that it is not.