Until Proven Innocent: Cultural Marxism at Duke
By: Carey Roberts
How did a drug-addled stripper succeed in smearing the reputations of three Duke lacrosse players, dividing a community along racial lines, and making a mockery of the American legal system? Thatâ€™s the question that Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson pose in their recent bell-ringer book, Until Proven Innocent.
Unless your news source is the New York Times, you know by now that Crystal Mangum accused three young lacrosse players of brutally raping and sodomizing her in the early morning of March 14, 2006. (My August 30 editorial was one of the first to publicly disclose the accuserâ€™s name. I surmise the Old Grey Lady editors didnâ€™t take note.) Now fast forward to April 11, 2007 â€“ thatâ€™s the day North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper stood before a hushed crowd and declared, â€œWe believe that these case were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations â€¦ we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.â€
Call it the perfect scandal. The Duke lacrosse case emerged from the rarified nexus of a mentally-imbalanced lady of the night, a racially-divided community, a cabal of Duke University professors, a politically-ambitious prosecutor, and a media enterprise that cared more about hyping a morality tale than getting the facts right.
For the first time, Until Proven Innocent weaves the delicate strands of the story, rendering the outrageous at least comprehensible.
>From the very beginning, the Durham police knew Crystal Mangum was a crock. At 1:22am they were summoned to pick up a semi-conscious female at a local grocery store. Not a word was mentioned about rape.
Fearing she might harm herself, the officers decided to have her committed to a local detox facility. But Mangum knew she could side-step the detention center if she played the rape card. Problem was, she couldnâ€™t make up her mind whether there had been three assailants, five, or twenty.
But there was one person stood by her to the bitter end â€“ Tara Levicy, the hospital nurse who later said she never doubted a woman who screams â€œrape.â€ Over the ensuring months, Levicy would repeatedly amend, back-fill, and embellish upon the details of her hospital encounter.
Now enter district attorney Nifong who once proclaimed, â€œMy name is Michael Nifong, and Iâ€™m the chief asshole of the Durham County district attorneyâ€™s office.â€ He knew the case was a flaky as grandmaâ€™s pie crust, but after all, probable cause means different things to different people. Plus, Crystal Mangum would be a godsend for his stalled political campaign.
Nifong, 56, was already mapping out his retirement plans. If he could win the May 2 primary, those four extra years in office would be worth an extra $15,000 to his annual retirement pension. Playing the chivalrous defender of a single mom who claimed to be brutalized by three well-heeled Dukies would translate into a boatload of Black votes.
Within days of the alleged attack, the campus potbangers were brandishing signs that read, â€œYou Canâ€™t Rape and Runâ€ and â€œCastrate.â€ All that was missing was the scalpel and hang-noose.
The story also fit perfectly into the neo-Marxist morality tale of race, class, and gender oppression. So the Duke Gang of 88 issued its guilty-until-proven-innocent manifesto, â€œWhat Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?â€
Equally reprehensible was the conduct of the media, which modeled itself on the yellow journalism of a by-gone era. On March 25 the local News and Observer ran a steamy front-page article titled â€œDancer Gives Details of Ordealâ€ â€“ somehow omitting the word â€œalleged.â€ Within days the New York Times, CNNâ€™s Nancy Grace, and the rest of the media posse were in hot pursuit of the â€œscummy white malesâ€ who refused to own up to their heinous crime.
The American legal system is founded on the principles of due process and the presumption of innocence. Mob rule is the antithesis to what our country stands for. So exactly what went wrong?
The roots of the Duke fiasco can be traced back to the Frankfurt School, founded nearly a century ago and modeled on the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. â€œThe traditional idea of revolution and the traditional strategy of revolution have ended,â€ wrote philosopher Herbert Marcuse. â€œ[W]hat we must undertake is a type of diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system.â€ [source]
And exactly what did he mean by a â€œdiffuse and dispersed disintegration of the systemâ€?
Marcuse was outlining a breath-taking plan to weaken constitutional protections, bias the media, politicize the academy, portray men as the unruly oppressors of women, and eventually turn American society against itself.
And thatâ€™s what happened at Duke University.
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Carey Roberts is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.