Do I Feel Bad About Duke?

I want to say that I hate to admit this, but I’m not sure that I do hate to admit it. Let’s say I have mixed feelings about the outcome of the “Duke Lacrosse Rape Case:” the North Carolina attorney general dropped all charges and so the men involved are all innocent in the eyes of the law.

Without getting into the details of the case or the ethics around how the investigation/charges went, let’s just assume that they were innocent all along.

In light of this whole Don Imus thing (and his torrid past), I couldn’t help but think something along the lines of, I wish there was something like this that could happen to straight white men that might make them (and the country and others like them) realize that racism is an everyday thing for most non-white people in the U.S. and that their white privilege lets them either pretend racism isn’t as bad as people think or that the racists are only people like Strom Thurmond or other really old, bigoted white men, etc.

And then somehow the Duke thing came today.

What these men experienced is somewhat similar to racial profiling, but sort of in reverse. Black men all across the country are accused and charged with committing all sorts of crimes that they likely didn’t commit. We see this everywhere from Driving While Black/Brown to the amount of black (and sometimes innocent) men on death row.

The way I see it, these white Duke players got a taste of what it’s like not to be privileged and white.

The criminal justice system is setup to be biased in all sorts of ways, and this was a perfect example of how it can backfire against anyone.

I just hope that if this case ends up prompting improvements in the way justice is carried out in the U.S. that it doesn’t continue to privilege white men.

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