By K. C. Johnson
Next month will be the tenth anniversary of the spring break party that triggered the Duke lacrosse case. That incident probably remains the highest-profile false rape claim in recent U.S. history—rivaled only by the claim against University of Virginia fraternity members leveled, and then retracted, by Rolling Stone.
That both of these false accusations occurred on a campus should come as no surprise. A general disinterest in due process for accused students combined with a one-sided intellectual atmosphere on questions related to gender make universities poorly suited to evaluate sexual assault allegations. The lacrosse case, moreover, added race and class to the mix.
From the standpoint of a faculty dominated by the race/class/gender trinity, the purported facts proved too tempting to resist: wealthy, white males accused of brutally attacking a poor, African-American female. And so dozens of Duke professors abandoned the academy’s traditional fealty to due process to embrace the version of events offered by Durham’s unethical (and subsequently disbarred) district attorney, Mike Nifong.
In their most prominent action, eighty-eight Duke faculty members signed a public statement affirming that something “happened” to Crystal Mangum. They actually boasted of their closed-mindedness by promising to continue their crusade regardless of “what the police say or the court decides.” CONTINUE READING HERE