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This past Friday a judge ordered a paternity test to determine whether any of the three Duke lacrosse players had fathered the child of a woman who accuses them of rape. That’s correct, she’s pregnant. And correct, those who cling to the idea of an actual rape taking place quickly point to the pregnancy as possible “proof.”
Uh not so fast…
When the Duke lacrosse alleged rape case broke, many of us in the African-American community were drunk with anger and rage. The idea of a multitude of white, privileged college students sodomizing an African-American exotic dancer (and college student elsewhere) struck a chord with virtually any African-American knowledgeable about the South and American history.
When the Duke lacrosse alleged rape case broke, many of us in the African-American community were “sure” of the Duke lacrosse players guilt, although none of us had any inclination as to what did or did not happen. Although none of us could qualify as a character reference for either of the dancers or any of the lacrosse players…folks were “sure” of innocence and guilt.
Although there has been no DNA evidence found to implicate any of the players…many of us are still “sure” of their guilt.
When the Duke lacrosse alleged rape case broke, Mo’Kelly remembers admonishing people to wait and see what happens before we rush to someone’s aid, simply because they share the same ethnicity as you and me. “Susan Smith,” and “Tawana Brawley,” should’ve been painful reminders of a sword that cut both ways.
Those people who know Mo’Kelly, knows that he loves his fellow African-Americans. And those people who know Mo’Kelly, knows that he’s also hard on his fellow African-Americans. This is one of those times in which Mo’Kelly needs to administer some tough love.
When Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was accused of raping a white hotel worker in Colorado, African-Americans (by and large, and yes I know I’m generalizing) argued tooth and nail how Kobe was innocent, removing all possibility of guilt and blame from Bryant, primarily because the alleged victim was thought to be a…well, you know. The woman was torn apart and ridiculed in a shameful manner publicly, including radio and TV. We all know to what I’m referring.
Granted, the fact that she had another man’s semen in her undergarments can be exculpatory in nature…but even before that evidence was released…Black folk were adamant Kobe was innocent.
Note which side the sword cut on this occasion…
This time around, we again have accused athlete(s) and a woman of supposed questionable moral direction pitted against one-another in terms of an alleged sexual assault. We again have an accuser found with an unrelated man’s semen in her underwear.
Minus the celebrity element of Kobe Bryant, these situations are not very dissimilar…needing only a switch in color between the respective accusers and accused. But what has been markedly different is African-Americans unjustified and unbridled rush to aid the accuser in this instance specifically, complete with press conferences and marches. ‘We’ were offended at Rush Limbaugh for referring to the accuser on air as a…well, you know.
Now, note which side the sword has cut THIS time.
Originally when Mo’Kelly broached this subject, he recommended that we all wait to find out more about the case and hopefully find the truth. Instead of simply siding with race, seek to side with “right.” Invariably there would be revelations and disclosures that will greatly impact the pendulum of public perception. Of course we wouldn’t ever know for sure what might have transpired at the Duke lacrosse party, no more than we would ever know what happened that night in Kobe Bryant’s Colorado hotel room. Nevertheless, our opinions would be much more informed at the minimum and another Tawana Brawley fiasco would be avoided.
Since the alleged incident of March 14th, we’ve not heard any testimony to corroborate the accuser’s story and even her dancing partner has since recanted much of the original testimony. As mentioned, there has been semen of “another” person found in the underwear of the accuser. And since we are certain that the accused is STILL pregnant, and the incident in question took place MORE than 9 months ago…we really don’t need a paternity test, do we? Mo’Kelly stayed awake in sex education class back in middle school. He distinctly remembered the part in the movie where it said that a full term pregnancy is 9 months…not 10. Doctors typically induce birth if the pregnancy is more than 9 months.
It’s time for ‘us’ to be honest with ourselves and each other. Our blind support of this alleged victim, simply because she shares our ethnicity is going to blow up in our faces and ‘we’ will absolutely deserve it. This is an unnecessary and avoidable situation. All anyone had to do was wait and see.
Let’s turn this on its head.
If three African-American football players (since ‘we’ don’t usually play lacrosse) were accused of raping a white exotic dancer and DNA evidence had already excluded them…where do you think our allegiance would lie? If the white exotic dancer was then found to have semen in her underwear from some other man …wouldn’t ‘we’ see it as exculpatory in nature as ‘we’ did with Kobe Bryant? If the dancer turned up pregnant (and is still pregnant) more than 9 months after the alleged incident, would “we” be pleased at the call for a paternity test? Or would ‘we’ be alleging consistent and continuing racism?
The problem with the blind allegiance to the alleged victim in this Duke case is that there will come a time in which an African-American woman WILL be raped in the future. She WILL need the support of the African-American community and WILL deserve justice.
And it won’t be there for her, because ‘we’ spent all of our morality money and credibility elsewhere in an incredulous way.
This will not be a popular stance or even arguably an appreciated stance…but it’s truthful and fair. There’s little if any reason to support the assertions of this alleged victim…and that’s a conclusion after almost 10 months of changing testimony and disappearing corroborating witnesses. It has nothing to do with her chosen career or supposed lack of morality.
Mo’Kelly WANTS to believe this accuser and in his heart believes “something” transpired that night. Mo’Kelly WANTS justice for this woman…provided she’s actually a victim. Whether it was sexual assault…one can’t be sure. But what is clear to me is that this accuser is shaky all the way around. And in criminal proceedings, we’re talking beyond reasonable doubt with a burden of proof landing squarely on the accuser’s shoulders not the Duke lacrosse players.
If Kobe’s accuser was nothing more than a gold-digging…well, you know; then the same should be said of the accuser here. Race aside, justice demands consistency. ‘We’ can’t have it both ways. If we want this accuser to be respected and given a fair shot at justice, then Kobe’s accuser deserved the same. Rape is far more important than race. This disparity/double-standard is glaring and indefensible. If and when we rid ourselves of blind loyalty, we then can point our interest and efforts at addressing real racism like the murder of Sean Bell.
If Mo’Kelly is wrong, you can guarantee that you’ll see a full and heartfelt apology to the accuser. On the other hand, if the accuser’s case quietly goes away, we’ll feel the sting of “Tawana Brawley” for another 20 years and like it or not, we’d deserve it.
Mo’Kelly would much rather be wrong and write an apology…
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mokellyreport.blogspot.com. Morris W. O’Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he welcomes all commentary.
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