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Revs arrive, truth dies

Posted: April 21, 2006
By Craig R. Smith


Over the last month the story of the Duke Lacrosse team has been front and center on the radar screen of every news outlet in America. While I hesitate to predict the outcome of any event that may have such a profound effect on the persons involved, this one is a no-brainer.

I wouldn't have been so sure at first, but now it is clear. The arrival of the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton changes the dynamic dramatically. Rev. Jackson is even so sure that the alleged rape victim is telling the truth he is providing her with a scholarship for her college education.

All of a sudden the issue is not a rape victim and those that may be guilty of such a horrific crime; rather, it is about "white rich boys" attacking a "poor black girl." Why?

This is about a number of college students who allegedly made some very bad decisions. Why is race even an issue? I suppose the answer lies in the need for media hungry folks like Sharpton and Jackson to get camera time. They seem to jump at every opportunity to play the race card.

I wonder if they would have been so quick to enter this debate if the Duke basketball team were accused of this type of crime. Where are they when inner city youth -- black, white or Hispanic -- are killing each other? These guys make me sick and should have the same effect on any American that is tired of hearing the same old dribble from them.

Watching Bill O'Reilly interview Rev. Al Tuesday night made me want to jump into the picture and ask the reverend if this case is similar to the Tawana Brawley case. You remember the poor black girl who was attacked by a group of white boys. Rev. Al was all over the TV talking about how the racist boys smeared racial epitaphs all over her body after they attacked her.

Rev. Al wanted "justice." He wanted arrests. He wanted convictions and jail sentences and wanted them now! Sound familiar? The same language he is using in the Duke case. Only one problem: Tawana Brawley made it all up. She lied. There was no attack, and if Al had gotten his way that wouldn't have mattered much because he wanted, no demanded, "justice."

Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in this case, is either really green on handling sexual assault cases or he is desperate for publicity in his re-election bid for district attorney. I suspect the latter, for any prosecutor will tell you that you never make statements like Nifong has made this early in a case.

He originally suggested that DNA would be conclusive. He painted with a very broad brush how 46 players may be involved and demanded DNA from all of them. If the alleged victim could identify three suspects, why the need to have 46 DNA samples? I watched the pressure he was under to indict someone. Guilty or not the mob wanted arrests. So Nifong did not disappoint, and knowing that Jackson and Sharpton were on the scene, it was time for "justice" to prevail.

It is sad to watch Nifong pander to the likes of Jackson, Sharpton and the voting public in the Raleigh-Durham area. I think Nifong will regret getting so far ahead of himself in this case, and I guarantee he will live to regret any move he has made to satisfy the Revs.

I know many will think that I'm very insensitive to this whole issue. I'm not. I could care less the skin color or occupation of the alleged victim or the skin color of the partygoers. If this young lady was raped, then the rapist or rapists should be put in jail for a long time. They should be held fully accountable for their actions. Race should mean nothing.

There is a procedure for determining if they are guilty or innocent. Until such time, the system says they are innocent. It makes no difference what Jackson or Sharpton think or say. If anything, they should be supporting the whole ideal of innocent until proven guilty, especially being "men of the cloth." Both urged the public to assume O.J.'s innocence, so why not the accused in this case?

If it has to do with skin color one can only conclude that racism is playing a part here, which is unacceptable. The Revs claim they have dedicated their lives to fighting and eliminating racism, but actions speak louder than words.


Craig R. Smith is an author, commentator and popular media guest because he instantly engages audiences with his common-sense analyses of local, national and global trends. Serving as CEO of Swiss America for nearly 25 years, Craig understands that Americans want solid answers to the tough questions and that real leadership begins with servant hood. Craig's most recent book is "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," which he co-authored with WND columnist Jerome R. Corsi



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