- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2006

The imbecilic lacrosse players of Duke University are book-smart Neanderthals.

Or worse.

Theirs is a twisted tale involving race, gender, alcohol and privilege.

The supposed rapists are white, the exotic dancer black.

The black/white element is lending fuel to the story, typically enough, for America’s national press is conditioned to frame sick behavior through the lens of race whenever it meets the white-on-black crime variable.

This story would not have the same staying power if the exotic dancer were white, although the suspicion is that whatever transpired would have transpired, regardless of everyone’s complexion.

Young men who become loutish under the influence of alcohol are hardly unusual. Even referring to them as men is being charitable. They are scared, little boys living off mommy and daddy.

This could have happened anywhere and does. The elitist reputation of Duke merely enlarges the target for those with grievances, real and imagined, in racially divided Durham, N.C.

Yet this sexually predatory behavior, if that is what it turns out to be, is mostly about the demonic urges in all too many males.

America’s notion of justice around men who take indecent liberties with women or those not of legal age is to lock them up a few years and foist rehabilitation on them before letting them out on the streets again.

That anemic response abets the uncivilized nature of males. Our judicial system is far too lenient and institutionally confused with sexual predators, which is why too many woman are reluctant to come forward if they have been victimized by a man.

Predictably enough, the accuser’s past is being brought into play, which is defense law 101, the chapter titled: Smear the accuser. Let it be known that she is hardly a model citizen.

To which can be said: Her past is largely irrelevant, as is her means of employment. If she were looking for “dates” on the streets of Durham — and she was not — that would not somehow legitimize an unspeakable crime against her.

Men who rape women are savages and should be treated with extreme prejudice.

The little boys of Duke are not lurking behind bushes in a park waiting to prey on women, although the one who penned the icky e-mail appears to have a serious mental issue or three.

If killing and skinning a woman is his idea of a sexually charged fantasy, he should be hiring doctors as well as lawyers. Or his parents should be doing that.

The parents of the little boys are not talking, which perhaps is a good sign. Maybe they are too busy knocking their little boys upside the head.

The coach has resigned, undoubtedly because of the culture of wrongdoing endemic to the lacrosse program. It has a long history of alcohol-laced misdeeds that the university refused to address persuasively until this incident last month.

Otherwise, many of the shots being directed to the university smack of envy. One of the easy criticisms of the Duke students, and the lacrosse players in particular, is their snobbery. They think they are a little better than everyone else, which is beside the point. There are lots of snobs in the world, and most of them did not attend Duke.

This incident is not about the sense of entitlement in the offspring of the wealthy. It is about what happened between a group of little boys and a woman. And it happens all the time in all kinds of settings. And it transcends race and class.

The Durham district attorney believes a rape occurred and expects to make charges.

The little boys have not cooperated with authorities yet, perhaps because they have watched the “Stop Snitching” video too many times.

The little boys ought to consider the incident in the context of their mother or sisters.

How would it hit them if the victim were related to them?

If guilty, we hope they grow up to be men in prison.

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