Topic category: Other/General
Duke Case: NAACP, Apologize!
NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? Or, in North Carolina, Negroes Asserting A Canard Publicly?
Canard: “a false or unfounded report or story, esp : a fabricated report.”
Like Crystal Gail Mangum’s gang rape story.
The North Carolina NAACP was right to demand that the story be investigated, but it was much too eager for the story to be true. In its zeal it went so far as to call for the gagging of defendants Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans (aka the Duke Three) and other potential witnesses in the Duke case. Apparently it forgot that (1) criminal procedure must be colorblind, (2) blacks probably still are more likely to be victims of prosecutorial abuses that whites and (3) freedom of expression for all is the American way and needs to stay.
By now (really much earlier), it should be apparent to the powers that be in the NC NAACP and Durham’s black community that the gang rape story was a lie. Reparations are in order and the Duke Three should be receiving, not paying.
The “About the NAACP” blurb at the NAACP website (www.naacp.org) states: “From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.”
In the Duke case, however, the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP not only championed the prosecution that is a persecution, but also the judicial silencing, of three innocent young white men, essentially upon the “naked” word of a person who is not credible, an ex-convict stripper whose shocking gang rape charge against the Duke Three is not only unsupported by any other person at the party at which the alleged gang rape allegedly was committed (allegedly in a small bathroom somehow accommodating the Three and two strippers, one fighting hard to protect herself), but refuted by the presence of DNA of five males in or on the panties of the accuser (Crystal Gail Mangum) and the absence of any DNA of any of the three (or any other white member of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team in Ms. Mangum or on her panties.
Criminal procedure is supposed to be colorblind.
If the facts in a hypothetical case were the same as the facts in the Duke case except Ms. Mangum was white instead of black and the Three and the other forty-three white lacrosse players were black instead of white, I’d be calling for dismissal of the charges instead of a trial and I think the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP would be with me.
The folks in that chapter would be well advised to read Dr. William L. Anderson’s latest article on the Duke case—“Durham and Scottsboro”—available at www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson156.html. In the article, Dr. Anderson “revisit[s] the Scottsboro Boys case – recognized today as one of the great travesties in American jurisprudence – and show[s] how it has many parallels to the false charges of rape and kidnapping against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans.”
The North Carolina NAACP shamed itself by calling for a gag order in the Duke case, AFTER Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong had done his rabble-rousing worst to win an upcoming Democrat district attorney primary by casting himself as the champion of black womanhood: “I’m not going to allow Durham’s view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham”).
Good News: That’s NOT the public perception of Durham.
Bad News: The public perception of Durham is a place where a desperate white district attorney decided to play the race card and pander to Durham’s black voters by trying to railroad the Duke Three on bogus felony charges and, by doing so, succeeded in winning pluralities in both the Democrat primary and the general election (the latter with a share of the black vote about as great as Tennessee’s Harold Ford, a black Congressman, won in his race for the United States Senate this year).
Fortunately, the Duke case is moving toward dismissal. The defense will not (and should not) assume it, however. So, in addition to moving this week for more DNA-related discovery and suppression of Ms. Mangum’s fundamentally flawed identification of the Duke Three and any subsequent identification by her (as the “poisoned fruit” of that fundamentally flawed identification), the defense also moved for a change of venue and, sadly, made an irrefutable case. (Sad, because that means the racial atmosphere in Durham is poisonous too.)
The section of the motion titled “The Response of Members of the African-American Community” exposes the North Carolina NAACP about as fully as Ms. Mangum exposed herself at that party last March and DNA Security Director Dr. Brian Meehan exposed Mr. Nifong when he testified about his agreement with Mr. Nifong not to report DNA test results that obviously constituted exculpatory evidence and, as such, was required by law to be provided to the defense.
I doubt that The Herald-Sun will publish it (even though it is prominently cited), so I am setting forth the section here, in full:
“20. As a direct result of the extensive public statements made by the State about the accuser’s claims --and specifically the repeated references to the racial aspects of these claims--many in the African-American community in Durham became outraged.
“21. On March 31, 2006, the Herald-Sun reported on the reaction of students at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). It noted that one of the students, a junior from Durham who was running for Vice-President of the student government association, was organizing a March on Duke University: ‘It seems like Duke is trying to sweep these things under the rug.’ The article noted that a member of the Durham School Board was nearby and nodded during this statement. ‘Both said the investigation would be proceeding differently if the victim had been white and suspects black. “Right now, it’s all talk and no action,” [the student] said. “I don’t think true justice will come out of it.”’ The next week, at least three separate groups at NCCU held several events in response to the rape allegations. Herald-Sun April 1, 2006.
“22. These comments were echoed by other NCCU students. As reported by the Herald-Sun on April 4, 2006, one student stated that ‘[a] lot of people are saying that if the roles were reversed, if it was our football team and a white stripper, it would’ve been solved by now.’ The student continued: ‘If no one is charged, I believe there is going to be some racial tension.’ The same article noted that the president of the student government told one gathering that ‘[i]f she’s [the accuser] here, if she’s heard, she needs to know we love her. . . . And what’s done in the dark will come out in the light.’
“23. On April 7, 2006, the President of the State Conference of the NAACP held a news conference in front of the Durham County Judicial Building. In it he announced that ‘[w]e are in the middle of a community and legal crisis.’ Herald-Sun April 7, 2006. Speakers at the news conference ‘expressed concern about the truth being covered up by the lacrosse team’s mass of lawyers. “All this money, all this cover-up, that’s why we’re not getting anywhere.”’ Another speaker declared that ‘”[i]t’s a hate crime and they [the players] made it a race issue when they called her what they did,” she added as the audience applauded loudly.’
“24. Subsequently, on April 9, 2006, at still another rally at 610 N. Buchanan, Bishop John Bennett claimed that, ‘[i]f truth be told, if it was another ethnic group they would have been charged and a high bond set.’ Herald-Sun April 10, 2006. During that demonstration close to 100 people ‘nearly all of them black and most of whom appeared to have come straight from the church, yelled along with Bennett as he pointed to the house and shouted, ‘Why?”’ Bishop Bennett continued, noting that ‘until justice is served, the house at 610 N. Buchanan will remain a symbol of a system that “caters to and protects the rich.”’
“25. In an interview on MSNBC, the assistant editor of the ‘Campus Echo,’ --the student newspaper at NCCU -- revealed that among ‘the people in the community,’ it was the belief that the entire lacrosse team should have been arrested: ‘the overall feel is that they want, you know, the team should have been arrested.’ ‘The Abrams Report,’ MSNBC, April 11, 2006. That same day, when it was revealed that the DNA tests performed by the State Bureau of Investigation had not found any DNA from any of the lacrosse players in or on the accuser, the Herald-Sun quoted the accuser’s mother as stating that the SBI lab ‘must have tampered with [the results] or something.’ That same day, a senior at NCCU was quoted as saying that ‘the DNA tests took a suspiciously long time and that the results did not surprise him, “dealing with this racist system.”’ Herald-Sun April 11,2006.
“26. On April 16, 2006, interviews with those in the African-American community conducted by the Herald-Sun included one woman who said that ‘I think something did happen in that house. As far as racial [aspects are concerned], if they don’t do something about it, there is going to be a big mess. I wouldn’t say so far as a riot.’
“27. On April 18, 2006, the Herald-Sun published a column by a person identified as a ‘scholar-in-residence’ at NCCU. In that column, the author wrote that:
What happened on Buchanan Boulevard did not begin on Buchanan Boulevard. Rather, it began decades earlier in organized institutions within the lacrosse players’ respective communities. What is termed ‘the Duke culture’ is American culture.
The stereotypes and images of all minorities are indexed to words such as exotic, greasy, lazy, noble savage, smart promiscuous, crime and poverty. The words are deeply imbedded into the American psyche. Sociologically, they project an image of dependency, vulnerability, cultural inferiority, and, at the same time, the exalt the sanctification of whiteness, which is power.
“28. On April 19, 2006, the Herald-Sun reported on the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. In one article, it quoted from a press release issued by the Chancellor of NCCU in which he wrote: ‘Our hearts continue to go out to the young lady as she goes through this process. We will continue to do everything that we can to support her.’ In another article, the President of the NAACP announced that his group would ‘monitor the work of investigators and prosecutors as the case against... Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann moves forward.’ He then stated: ‘the allegations against the pair “suggest a downward spiral from privilege and advantage to decadence and deviance.”’ Herald-Sun. April 19. 2006.
“29. The next day, the NAACP sponsored a ‘mass prayer meeting’ at the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. According to an article published in the Herald-Sun on April 21, 2006, the audience included members of 35 congregations. It noted that part of the prayer meeting included a ‘breakdown’ of the case by the NAACP attorney:
Barber’s comments followed a breakdown of the case by NAACP lawyer Al McSurely, who characterized District Attorney Mike Nifong as an ‘honest’ public servant, and the accused members of the lacrosse team as ‘white boys mainly from the North who started drinking beer at 2 p.m.’
McSurely said the players’ defense attorney would be quick to roll out complex, ‘minute-by-minute accounts of the night of March 13-14, verified by ATM receipts and testimonies of cab drivers in an effort to obscure what really happened -- a crime that, in his estimation, probably took only 10 minutes.
‘That’s all it takes.... I won’t say anymore on that,’ McSurely said.
The article further noted that when a request was made for ‘even-handed justice,’ it was met by laughter and giggles.
“30. The Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Durham to assist in the African-American community’s response; he immediately pledged to fund a scholarship for the accuser to North Carolina Central University. Newsweek Magazine, May 1, 2006.
“31. The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense also led a protest march. The head of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz, spoke directly with the District Attorney and claimed that they discussed the case at ‘some length.’ News and Observer May 2, 2006. On April 27, 2006, the National Field Marshall for the New Black Panther Party reported that the accuser had received death threats. Herald-Sun. The article further noted that the New Black Panther Party was handing out brochures that asked ‘Had enough of disrespect and racism from Duke University’ and showed photographs of Reade Setigmann and Collin Finnerty. In connection with a demonstration that took place on May 1, 2006, at 610 N. Buchanan, the New Black Panther Party issued eight demands which included the demand ‘that defendants Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann be found guilty.’ Herald-Sun, May 2, 2006. During the course of the demonstration, Malik Shabazz, an attorney, led the following chant:
‘How do you find the two defendants in this case?’ Shabazz shouted. ‘Guilty,’ the crowd shouted back.
Among the demonstrators noted to be present was ‘activist Victoria Peterson,’ the cochairman of the District Attorney’s citizen’s committee.
“32. During the course of Reade Seligmann’s initial appearance in this case, he was met by a mob including members of the New Black Panthers Party; once in the courtroom one of the members of the New Black Panthers Party told Reade Seligmann that he was ‘a dead man walking.’ Nothing of significance was done in response to this threat; indeed, the person who made the threat was not even removed from the courtroom.
“33. Since that time, the District Attorney has claimed that his political opponents see this prosecution ‘as a threat to their sense of entitlement,’ a theme that has been repeated by prominent members of the African-American community. One commented that the Defendants should be prosecuted ‘whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past,” Newsweek Magazine, May 1, 2006, and that ‘[tjhis is a race issue…[p]eople at Duke have a lot of money on their side,’ Newsweek Magazine, May 1, 2006. The Bishop of the Church of Apostolic Revival International openly worried about civil unrest ‘if people don’t think the victim is treated fairly.’
“34. On May 25, 2006, the attorney for the NAACP announced that he intended to seek a ‘gag order’ in these cases, claiming that defense attorneys were violating the ethical rules of the North Carolina State Bar. Herald-Sun May 25, 2006. The same article quoted a journalist with a predominantly African-American newspaper as saying that ‘[w]e are seeing powerful forces trying to remove that right [to have the accuser’s allegations tried] from her.’ This claim was repeated by the attorney for the NAACP the next day at a conference in Durham. Herald-Sun May 26, 2006.
“35. The NAACP Chapter in Durham County has included on its website a ‘Duke Lacrosse Update: Crimes and Torts committed by Duke Lacrosse Team Players on 3/13 and 3/14 as Reported in the press, mainly from the Three Players’ Defense Attorneys.’ NAACP Webslte. The ‘Update’ then lists 82 separate paragraphs of ‘evidence’ which it claims proves that the Defendants were guilty of these and other crimes. [Note: my emphasis] This ‘evidence’ includes the following posted ‘facts’:
‘After Duke outlawed drinking on campus, some its more affluent white students merely rented or bought a nearby satellite “frat” or “party” or “team” house, to hold keg parties and hire female dancers for stag parties. A recent UNC study found that only about one out of three students took part in the binge-drinking parties held at these satellite party houses that are found near both Duke and UNC-CH. These satellite party houses have no means of direct control by the Universities, although they are the scenes of massive underage drinking, date-rapes, and other sexual assaults. Although some of the satellite party houses are informally sponsored by fraternities or athletic teams (such as 610 Buchanan Street in Durham), the University maintains it has no authority or legal liability for the acts of its students at these houses.’ Paragraph 4.
‘The satellite party houses, although owned or rented by Duke students, are not under the jurisdiction of the Duke police. Thus, if a Duke coed were to be given a date-rape drug at a party in one of these houses, and was gang-raped, Duke police and Duke would not have to report this in the annual sexual assault reports that Federal Law mandates.’ Paragraph 5.
‘During the early morning hours, according to notes of the different police officers and staff at the ER, [deletion] account of the rape included an accusation that Ms. Roberts had urged her to have sex with her and with the men, arid that [deletion] was taken into the bathroom and raped anally, vaginally and orally, and the three men used racial and sexual slurs during the assault.’ Paragraph 51.
‘The serial killer in American Psycho followed a similar pattern with his female victims.’ Paragraph 52.
‘Mr. Evans consulted with his father, a Washington, D. C. lawyer, who in turn, hired one of the best criminal lawyers in North Carolina and a man with good skills at working the media, Joseph Cheshire. Cheshire had close working relationships with one of the best investigative reporters in North Carolina, Joe Neff. Cheshire and Neff together had pieced together enough evidence to help get Cheshire’s client, Alan Gell, exonerated for a crime that a jury had convicted him of, and sentenced him to the death penalty.’ Paragraph 60.
“The Evans family and other parents who had watched their boys play Lacrosse for Landon Prop school in the Montgomery county suburb immediately worked out an arrangement with Robert Bennett, a powerful D.C. lawyer who had represented Pres. Bill Clinton against the accusation of sexual harassment by a state employee in Arkansas, Ms. Paula Jones. Mr. Bennett and other supporters of Pres. Clinton spent much time and energy trashing Ms. Jones. In fact, one of the favorite names for her was “Trailer Park Trash.” Ms. Jones had not brought criminal charges against Pros. Clinton for the alleged advances he made toward her -- she had merely sued him in civil court for violating her rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.’ Paragraph 61.
‘The cousin of [deletion] has reported that Duke supporters have approached her with an offer of $2 million if she will retract her testimony. Other people who have access to [deletion] also have reported being approached with offers of huge sums of money if the case will go away. Sam Hall, the communications director for the Duke Alumni Affairs, checked with other officials to see whether Duke Alums had made such an offer. Mr. Hall told the press that “We have no information about that. I think there’s been a rumor of it since the beginning, but I’ve never heard it discussed.”’ Paragraph 65.
“The defense lawyers are paid large fees to zealously represent their clients. A tactic in every sexual assault case is to intimidate the survivor/witness of the attack into refusing to testify. As part of this tactic, they released their photos of the dancer, they have dug up old stories about how she was traumatized as a teen-ager, and have tried to put her past character on trial, knowing well her past sexual history is off limits before the jury.’ Paragraph 74.
“The strategy of the duke 3 support Group is as old as sex. Attack the survivors, the vulnerable women. Trash them to re-traumatize them. First the night of the assault, and then every night after on the TV shows, the blogs, and on the front pages of the press—trying to bludgeon them into to being afraid to testify.’ Paragraph 75
‘The three defendants they have two mountains to climb. First, they must deflect public attention from their boorish, racist, and illegal behavior by mounting outlandish attacks on the survivor and the D.A. Second, they must deal with a mountain of physical evidence, that is corroborated by, we have reason to believe, accounts of some of the men who were at the party who have cooperated with the police and the D.A. from early on.’ Paragraph 78.
“36. Since the re-election of the District Attorney, members of the African-American community have announced: ‘This goes to show that justice can’t be bought by a bunch of rich white boys from New York,’ said Harris Johnson, a former state Democratic party official and Durham resident for 56 years. ‘Duke has a habit of sweeping things under the carpet. I guess this goes to show that no matter how much money you have, Durham is owned by its citizens.” The Chronicle November 8, 2006.”
Will the North Carolina NAACP announced that it was fooled?
For its own good as well as the sake of doing the right thing, it should!
Michael J. Gaynor
Biography - Michael J. Gaynor
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.
Gaynor's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.