- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2007

We now know with certainty that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong is a self-serving creep who played the race card to advance his career.

Whatever happens to him — disbarment, being subjected to civil lawsuits or being pelted with tomatoes at a public square — will not undo the damage his office inflicted on the three former lacrosse players at Duke University the 13 last months.

His rush to judgment fit the liberal template of the university that convicted the players, the lacrosse program and the coach before the ink on the bogus charges was dry.

All of it played into the liberal pieties of a faculty that wanted to show just how enlightened it was.

It was the make-believe story of privileged white boys gone wild on a black exotic dancer.

It was the perfect story to the whacked-out professors armed with their graduate degrees and righteous indignation.

These players were not innocent until proven guilty. They were guilty until finally, mercifully, State Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped the charges against the three former players Wednesday.

Where is the outrage, the condemnation today? Where are the apologies today? And how could those who profess to be so smart — all you have to do is ask them — get it so wrong?

We all have moved on to other racial outrages that fit the liberal template these days, namely the brain-dead shock jock who has been reduced to groveling before Tawana Brawley’s enabler.

The Brawley rape hoax should have served as a cautionary tale in the Duke lacrosse case.

But Nifong had no time for caution with a political race to win. He had the case that would put him over the top with the black voters of Durham.

It did not matter that Nifong had no DNA evidence. It did not matter that the accuser kept changing her story. It did not matter there was security camera film that put one of the accused nearly a mile away from the house at the time the attack was said to have taken place.

Officials of this so-called elite university fell sway to the twisted and corrupt commentary of Nifong, starting with Duke president Richard Brodhead.

He succumbed to the furor and perhaps his own biases in canceling the lacrosse season, forcing the coach to resign and suspending the three accused from school.

He made this decision despite being intimately familiar with the case in a way the talking heads of the nightly cable television shows were not.

In the muddled thought process of the times, much of the Duke community took the word of an exotic dancer with a past over the words of three athletes who came from good families.

The latter, in fact, worked against the three players. All kinds of stereotypes associated with lacrosse and the wealthy were employed to condemn them.

When did having parents with the capacity to send a child to a private prep school and a so-called elite university become an object of contempt and ridicule?

Of course, questioning the veracity of an exotic dancer was deemed inappropriate, as if being an exotic dancer is a sign of someone making solid professional decisions.

It was not about the exotic dancer anyway.

She was merely a convenient prop.

It was about race and class. It was about Duke’s liberal guilt and a student body lapping up the slop they are spoon-fed.

The university might want to consider the politics that led to its wrongheaded actions.

Or in the spirit of the times, it could stand by them in the fashion of Dan Rather defending the forged documents relating to George Bush’s stint in the National Guard.

The Duke lacrosse case should have been true, even if it wasn’t.

As for the ethically challenged Nifong, he goes before the North Carolina State Bar in June.

In his case, we hope for the worst.

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