Titles Are So Passe
So! I have been studiously been avoiding commenting on this whole "Duke in the national news media" thingie. It's hard work to think about this stuff, you know that? I mean, I'm not a total rube and have been near the epicenter of Big Deals before - Barnett Slepian lived not so far away from me - but this is different. As a member of a self-selecting group of individuals who choose to ally their identity with a particular institution, it is - let's say "difficult" - to then see the entirety of that institution slagged all up and down everywhere. I have a hard enough time controlling myself when people start to hate on JJ Redick, and they're just jealous.
It is not lost on me that I have done a fair amount of slagging myself, and I do not pretend to agree wholeheartedly with certain of the school's policies regarding personal responsibility. That said, I love this school and I love the people I know here, and I vehemently defend the administrative response to this crisis. It is my fervent hope that this terribleness will cause the school to think about the issues brought up in my slagfest and, you know, start doing something about them. Because although people are enjoying their ability to hate on the Duke student body for their richness and elitism (which, did you know that Duke guarantees to meet the financial need of every student accepted?), it is just stupid to accuse the administrators and professors taking part in the fallout of same.
At any rate, in an email exchange that took place last week between me and another blogger, some of whose viewpoints differ from mine, it became clear to me that I have a responsibility to re-talk about this stuff. After all, it's been a month since I really posted last, and a lot has happened in that month. So here's my statement:
I no longer believe anything I have heard from anyone.
I was originally swayed to believe that someone was raped that evening. Through an extensive analysis of my own viewpoints, I have come to realize that I held to that belief not because of any intrinsic hatred toward the lacrosse team or Duke, but because I have this nasty habit of trusting authority figures, especially those older than myself. So when Mike Nifong came out and said "there was a rape", I believed that there was a rape.
Now it's become glaringly obvious that Mike Nifong cannot be trusted. He talked too fast about too much and boxed himself into a corner he cannot get out of. If he finds his previous statements to be erroneous, he cannot take them back. He can whine about "wanting back his anonymity", but that just makes him look like a bigger hypocrite. In short, he has no credibility whatsoever. So everything I believed about this case is now moot. I, and everyone else in the country, are left with the following pieces of evidence:
- A history of abusive and homophobic behavior on the part of one of the accused
- Timestamped photographs that indicate the goings-on at various points during the evening, but seem to have a great big gap right around the time that the rape allegedly happened
- Victim IDs that may or may not be reliable (I hang around Aaron enough to know that picking people out of a lineup doesn't always work out, but I don't buy the arguments of the people who say using a Powerpoint to ID, as did the DPD, is inherently flawed)
Now, this stuff about the New Black Panthers coming to visit. Let's talk about that. I have gotten an email warning me to be vigilant in the residence halls. Please weigh in, my newfound community of respectfully-disagreeing people whom I appreciate and who can call me Allison, because that is my name, rather than Allistan, which is a sitename.