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April 16, 2007

The Imus and Duke Lynchings: Hypocrisy at its Finest


It is becoming scary. It is really, truly becoming a frightening phenomenon. Not so much the nature of what comes out of the mouths of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, but more so America’s acceptance and embrace of such divisive race-baiting. What is ever more frustrating, furthermore, is America’s refusal to call the likes of these two “leaders” on their lies and blunders.


Last week David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, the three Duke Lacrosse players who were charged with first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping, were finally declared innocent by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. Crystal Gail Mangum, the professional stripper, escort and liar who falsely accused the three students of rape and assault, told a dubious story that was effortlessly and wholeheartedly adopted by Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, who proceeded to destroy the three students’ lives and reputations.


The three men happened to be white, financially comfortable and students at an elite university. The false accuser was a student at a historically black college. Hence, with complete disregard to any additional facts, the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson jumped on the accusatory bandwagon. They were accompanied by countless talking heads who spent months using Mangum’s false story to push the rich-white-athletes-are-evil theme in every possible media outlet.


For almost a year, the world thought that Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty were evil racist rapists protected by their apparently privileged status. For one year, they lost opportunities, contacts, millions of dollars and especially sleep on the prospect of going on an extended stay in jail for crimes they did not commit. And for one year, pundits and so-called civil rights leaders piled the rhetoric on the three emotionally exhausted souls and their families. Their names were sullied and their futures changed forever just to please self-righteous individuals such as Sharpton.


After spending months trashing the young men, the talking heads have disappeared and have failed to retract their words, arguments and insinuations in the Duke lacrosse case. Sharpton himself has yet to apologize for helping to destroy the lives of three young men, along with those of their families and teammates. Yet at the same time, Sharpton spent every single one of the last few days insisting that radio host Don Imus be fired for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball players “nappy-headed hos.”


Imus had only one apology to make for his stupid mistake, and it was to the Rutgers women’s basketball team. He made his apology. It was accepted. He obviously will never again intentionally say anything even remotely similar, for he is genuinely sorry. That is all that matters. In fact, the team itself has said that what was necessary was an apology, and never asked for Imus to be fired.


Yet Sharpton was not satisfied with that resolution. A race issue that ends quickly and nicely is not one that would give him the exposure for which he yearns, or the divisiveness he seeks to spread. He kept fighting for Imus to be fired and he succeeded at getting what he wanted. Sharpton explained that he sought to show America that it was not necessary to “be misogynist and racist to be creative or to be commercial in this country.” Really? Then why does he not go say the same to his hip-hop buddies who cannot complete a sentence without uttering the word “ho” at least half a dozen times?


The hypocrisy is not limited to Sharpton. Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), a factory of language demeaning women, managed to criticize Imus for his one-time gaffe. Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) also joined the vocal anti-Imus choir. It should be noted that Obama has also met with wonderful “artists” such as Ludacris, whose library of music includes such classics as “Fatty Girl,” “Move Bitch,” “Ho,” and “Hoes In My Room,” just to name a few. After such a meeting, Ludacris said that the senator and he “talked about empowering the youth,” adding that Obama felt like a relative.


There was certainly a negative correlation between the way the victims in the Duke lacrosse case and those in the Imus incident were treated on the one hand, and the severity of their respective situations on the other. The Rutgers women were called a bad name by one man, and immediately received the love and sympathy of the overwhelming majority of Americans. The Duke players spent one year in fear of losing their freedom and in the process of actually losing their respectability to talking heads and accusers. Yet the likes of Al Sharpton refuse to apologize to the Duke victims, while charging on in the Imus case in an attempt to take yet another scalp in their crusade for self-promotion.


By doing that, they are slicing yet another piece out of America’s shield against political correctness and racial division. Such behavior is to be expected from Sharpton, Jackson and company. But shame on those who pander to them, such as Barack Obama, those who succumb to them, such as CBS and MSNBC, and those who reward them, such as the media. Shame indeed.


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