Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Morning Wooten

Can someone please explain to me the right wing's obsession with the Duke "rape case"?

Like most conservatives, my first inclination is to support the cops, the prosecutors and the men and women in the criminal justice system who are constantly under the gun. But as former governor Roy Barnes was fond of saying, “I gotta tell ya” And this “I gotta tell ya” is that the prosecutor’s conduct in the case of the Duke University lacrosse players scares the bejesus out of me.

An inclination to support the cops and prosecutors? No kidding. In most cases, right wing pundits are a breath away from advocating behind the barn shooting for anyone seen in handcuffs. Yet, from the get go the more rabid right wing spew mouths like Sean Hannity questioned everything about this case. Turns out they were right and bully for them. This fact will of course blind all to the question of why the hell did the usual law and order crowd turn so quickly on a prosecutor in a local case?

Admittedly Jim is pretty late to this party. But I can't help but compare how certain Georgia Republicans desire to emphasize that Genarlow Wilson is no choir boy yet anyone who comments on the Duke case, including Wooten, conveniently omits the less than choir boy antics of the Duke lacrosse players. Also ignored is both cases suffered from overzealous prosecution. Yet, in the Wilson case, Georgia Republicans, despite changing the obscene law on which he was convicted, continue a campaign to paint him as a rapist and sexual predator. But in the Duke case, the allies of these same politicians paint the accused as victims and scream for the blood of Nifong. It's hard to ingnore the one obvious difference in the cases.

I want to say as sincerely as possible that I do not believe Jim Wooten is in any way racist. However, if it starts to walk like a duck and talk like a duck. Maybe this is one party where he shouldn't even walk through the door.

An editorial postscript: I often find myself siding with Republicans on certain issues. And I am certainly not comfortable with how Democrats seem to be up to their asses in being beholden to certain special interests. You know the difference? Almost never does the Democratic Party pull one of these. Actions that just make my skin crawl. I mean even when they are right their actions make my skin crawl! There may be nothing more insidious. For that reason, although I am no Democrat, unless they change their ways, I sure as hell will never be a Republican.

7 comments:

Sara said...

I actually think the reaction of the right has less to do with race and more to do with class. The intial public reaction to the Duke case was largely centered on the notion that these were a bunch of spoiled rich boys whose privileged upbringing had bred them into assholes. Certain elements of the right felt like their way of life was under attack, and I think they would have defended it just the same even if the evidence hadn't come out the way it has. If those boys had been convicted we'd be hearing about how the DA and the public had improperly convicted them for being rich spoiled white kids. But, because the evidence came out in the way that it did, instead we now have the added bonus of hearing about how yet again this shows the danger of getting railroaded on a rape charge when the bitch is lying. I of course am not saying that sort of thing never happens, but I hate to see things like this reinforce the notion that most rape charges are phony. In reality, most rapes are never prosecuted PRECISELY because the victim is afraid that nobody will believe her and she'll end up being the one who is demonized while her rapist will go scot free. This case reinforces that notion for potential rape victims too, and that really bothers me. And having the right wing latch onto it and run with it certainly isn't going to help the public perception that a rape victim is better off keeping it to herself. I place plenty of blame on those who pursue bogus rape charges because they help create this perception, but I don't love how the media prefers to report on the cases like this one while largely ignoring the cases of "real rape" whether successfully prosecuted or never reported. We tend to only hear alot about the "fake rape" cases, or the particularly peculiar ones like teachers with teenage students or something extra violent or torturous that the media can sink their teeth into.

(Wow, I got to rambling there didn't I. Oh well.)

Amber said...

"In most cases, right wing pundits are a breath away from advocating behind the barn shooting for anyone seen in handcuffs."

Funny, innit, in light of that whole 'less government' thing...

Re: Wooten racist? In other news... water: still wet.

Amber said...

The intial public reaction to the Duke case was largely centered on the notion that these were a bunch of spoiled rich boys whose privileged upbringing had bred them into assholes. Certain elements of the right felt like their way of life was under attack, and I think they would have defended it just the same even if the evidence hadn't come out the way it has.

A couple other things to remember?

1. Upper-class white men / lower-class black women - who is also a sex worker? Hmmmm, geeeee, how do you think THAT one's going to play? Remember, y'all, sex workers can't be raped. Nope. Impossible!

2. Just because someone wasn't convicted of a criminal offense (is that redundant?), doesn't mean they did nothing wrong.

machine said...

Just because someone wasn't convicted of a criminal offense (is that redundant?), doesn't mean they did nothing wrong.

Convicted? They never even went to trial, having been found innocent of the charges they were indicted upon.

Sara said...

Consider what is meant by "wrong." It's not always the same as criminal or prosecutable.

Amber said...

Sara,
Yes. I thought that point was, as my friend Jenny recently put it on my blog, "ludicrously obvious" but, I guess not.

MelGX said...

"Can someone please explain to me the right wing's obsession with the Duke "rape case"?"

Granted, I'm a partisan, but I think the answer has something to do with the right wing's eagerness to point out those occasions when liberals takes tolerance to the point of intolerance.

I'm not saying that's what happened in this case necessarily, but I think that's the "shorter Wooten".