Unequal Justice: Duke Lacrosse Team vs. Three (!) Minority Football Heroes
Although few fans follow the old
American Indian sport of lacrosse, because of the
current "rape" scandal the Duke lacrosse team is now
one of the
most publicized team in America, with
24,000,000 Google hits, a 30 percent margin over the
New York Yankees.
Simultaneously, the MSM is totally
uninterested in the not one but three minority football
heroes who got in trouble with the law (one assault, two
rapes) just in the last week.
The only justice so far in the Duke
travesty: America`s greatest living writer, Tom Wolfe,
is getting his deserved due. Many commentators have
parallels between the lacrosse brouhaha and Wolfe`s
(originally much-denounced) 2004 novel I Am Charlotte Simmons. It is
set at fictional Dupont University, Wolfe`s version of
Duke U., and the lacrosse players represented the
ultimate in arrogant preppy machismo.
almost nobody in the press has admitted that the
Duke farce—in which
Mike Nifong, a politically-pressed white district
attorney in a heavily minority district, has arrested
two white lacrosse players for purportedly raping a
black stripper, despite
evidence suggesting the strong
possibility of a hoax—is even more brilliantly
foreshadowed in the central theme of Wolfe`s famous 1987
bestseller The Bonfire of the Vanities.
Let`s review the similarities
Wolfe`s classic, the Bronx District Attorney Abe Weiss
"was notorious in his obsession for publicity, even
among a breed, the district attorney, that was
publicity-mad by nature."
Durham D.A. did nonstop interviews to publicize the Duke
case initially, although he has clammed up since the DNA
tests that were supposed to prove a rape had actually
been committed came back negative.
is known to his underlings as
"Captain Ahab" for his pursuit of the "Great
White Defendant." The D.A. finds the perfect Great
White Defendant in Sherman McCoy, a rich, pompous,
adulterous WASP bond trader, whom he charges with
running over an innocent black ghetto youth with his
Mercedes. McCoy is Central Casting`s dream candidate for
the role of GWD. The only minor flaw is that McCoy is
not, actually, guilty. But a little thing like his
innocence doesn`t stop the DA`s office and the New York
media from ruining his life.
Duke: On the
Duke Lacrosse team, 46 of the 47 players are white.
Worse, many come from WASP prep schools.
Why was the Bronx
D.A. fixated on finding the almost-mythical Great White
"Weiss had an election
coming up, and the Bronx was 70 percent black and Latin,
and he was going to make sure the name Abe Weiss was
pumped out to them on every channel that existed. He
might not do much else, but he was going to do that."
Nifong`s Durham, North Carolina is
45 percent black.
"Every assistant D.A.
in the Bronx … shared Captain Ahab`s mania for the Great
White Defendant. For a start, it was not pleasant to go
through life telling yourself, "What I do for a living
is, I pack
Latins off to jail."… It was that it was in bad
taste. So it made the boys uneasy, this eternal
prosecution of the blacks and Latins."
leading expert on contemporary status wars, observes
that nobody wants to be suspected of political
"These days the thing
about bigotry was it was undignified. It was a sign of
Low Rent origins, of inferior social status, of poor
In New York state,
blacks are imprisoned at a rate 11.9 times as often as
non-Hispanic whites, according to a
new analysis based on 2000 Census data by the
La Griffe du Lion.
common in more politically conservative states, the
black-white incarceration ratio is lower in North
Carolina at 7.2 times, but it is still huge. As every
careful student of American crime patterns has
discovered, racial bias in the criminal justice system
does not play an important role in causing these
radical racial disparities. Wolfe points out:
black and Latin defendants] weren`t guilty. One
thing [Larry] Kramer had learned within two weeks
as an assistant D.A. in the Bronx was that 95 percent of
the defendants who got as far as the indictment stage,
perhaps 98 percent, were truly guilty. The caseload was
so overwhelming that you didn`t waste time trying to
bring the marginal cases forward, unless the press was
on your back. They hauled in guilt by the ton…
Third, persecuting a Great White Defendant provides a
vacation from the depressing day-to-day routine of
prosecutors: "the shoveling of the chow into the
gullet of the criminal justice system." Wolfe
explains that unlike on TV, prosecutors are not normally
engaged in a battle of wits with criminal masterminds:
“But the poor bastards
behind the wire mesh barely deserved the term
criminal, if by criminal you had in mind the
romantic notion of someone who has a goal and seeks to
achieve it through some desperate way outside the law.
No, they were simpleminded incompetents, most of them,
and they did unbelievably stupid, vile things."
Fourth, prosecuting minorities is a thankless job, one
the press takes almost no interest in, which is galling
to ambitious D.A.s:
"The press couldn`t
even see these cases. It was just poor people
killing poor people. To prosecute such cases was to be
part of the garbage collection service, necessary and
honorable, plodding and anonymous."
New York Times, which seldom deigns to notice crimes
committed in New York City, has given this distant case
a couple of dozen articles.
Three years after Bonfire,
TV producer Dick Wolf took Tom Wolfe`s basic procedural
framework of detectives and district attorneys and
turned it into the television drama
Law & Order.
Its first few seasons were among the best and most
realistic in the history of television.
The only problem was that ratings
were lousy. Sure, at the time, New York City was in the
hideous gang wars among black and Latin
crack dealers, with
4,298 people human beings murdered within the city
limits in 1990 and 1991 (an annual toll about three
times higher than the average during the current Iraq
Unfortunately for TV producers with
aspirations toward realism, less than
ten percent of the NYC victims, and even fewer of
their murderers, were white. The white television
audience found that L&O`s initial set of
heavily minority murderers boring and depressing.
What white people like are stories about bad white
people, especially, snooty bad white people, to whom
they can feel morally and culturally superior. Whites
just don`t really see minorities as competing with them
Great American Status Game.
So, Dick Wolf turned Law & Order
into exactly what Tom Wolfe had satirized: a hunt for
the Great White Defendant. That helped make it the most
successful franchise in television history. Today,
sixteen years later, the original L&O is the longest
running drama on network television, and three spin-offs
are also airing. Several times a week, heroic New York
District Attorneys prosecute Great White Defendants for
the diabolical murders they have perpetrated in their
Park Avenue lairs.
Indeed, it`s possible that
more murders are committed annually by fictional
Great White Defendants on the L&O shows than by
real whites in all of New York City. From 2003 through
2005, there have only been an average of
27 homicides per year in Manhattan south of Harlem,
where most L&O episodes are set, or about six
percent of all murders in New York City.
You might think that the news media
might have noticed that Law & Order has become a
very silly show. But that would require the press
blacks and Hispanics commit more
violent crimes per capita than whites do, which, as
Wolfe points out, would be in the worst possible taste.
And here`s the kicker:
Just in the last week, three
prominent minority football players have been arrested
on felony charges.
- Defensive back
Ricky Manning Jr. celebrated his new $21 million
contract from the Chicago Bears by getting nabbed
for assault with a deadly weapon in a Denny`s on a
laptop computer-using stranger whose nerdishness
seems to have offended him.
- Utah St. quarterback
Jerod Walker was arrested on charges of raping a
- So was USC quarterback
Mark Sanchez. (Playing quarterback for the USC
Trojans, this decade`s top team, is perhaps the most
glamorous position in all of college sports—two of
the last four Heisman Trophy winners have been USC
quarterbacks, Matt Leinart in 2004 and Carson Palmer
Yet none of these cases have
received a fraction of the attention that the Duke
Lacrosse team has garnered—even though
football is the most popular sport in America and
lacrosse is close to the most unpopular.
Why not? Well, the press likes
Man-Bites-Dog stories ripped from the commercials for
Law & Order.
According to the
Color of Crime 2005 report, in the FBI`s annual
National Crime Victims Survey, none of the approximately
10,000 black women surveyed from 2001 to 2003 reported
being victims of a white gang rape. In contrast,
gang rape is, apparently according to the NCVS, a
much more than daily occurrence in this country
(although small sample sizes for gang-rapes make it hard
to be definitive about the size of the ratios).
White-on-black single rapist crime,
while not unknown, averages only 900 cases per year
according to the FBI survey of victims.
In contrast, there are 15,400
black-on-white single rapist crimes per year, according
to the NCVS.
Blacks and Hispanics committing
violent crimes against whites are Dog-Bites-Man stories
to the press, tedious and unseemly. We`ve heard it all
So America`s ace news hounds
fell for a drunken stripper`s tale.
And some college boys` lives will
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and