The response to the new rape allegations from two weeks ago has revealed the sickening hypocrisy in our community. To start, let's quickly review a little history.
When white Duke lacrosse players were accused of raping a black stripper and student at North Carolina Central University, the "racial left"-those whose worldview is dependent upon that belief that America is a racially oppressive society-unleashed unholy hell.
Protesters swarmed our campus and the city streets, they screamed vulgar condemnations, they tarred the whole team as complicit in a stonewall cover-up, they put up wanted posters, banged pots and pans. They cried out for justice and vengeance, demanded suspensions, expulsions and incarcerations. Worst of all, as they feverishly disregarded due process, they helped create an atmosphere of hysteria and madness which could only serve to embolden an unhinged district attorney who had the power to breathe life into the fantasies of the growing mob.
But when a black man was recently accused of raping a white Duke student at a party hosted by members of a black Duke fraternity, suddenly these great defenders of virtue fell silent.
There have been no protesters, no signs, no one chanting and screaming in front of the house where at least one member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. live demanding they "come forward" with what they know. No one is demanding President Brodhead take action or that we cure a sexist and racist campus culture in response to these accusations. No professors are running ads that convey guilt or claiming, as they did before, to know the alleged crime was racially motivated. (To quote professor Mark Anthony Neal's repulsive statement: "regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed.")
Though people condemned the lacrosse players for the apparently anomalous act of underage drinking, not a word has been uttered about the marijuana, cocaine and Oxycontin found at the house where Phi Beta Sigma members hosted their party. The racial left claimed the lacrosse players got preferential treatment because they were white. In reality, their skin color appeared to earn them something very different-a witchhunt.
Even as early developments cast a shadow of vexing doubt on changing accusations, the "social justice" activists were unseeing and unfeeling, and the mania charged forward. The racial left made the lacrosse case their flagship for dramatic charges of endemic racism on campus and in society at large.
Professors and student activists directed their screams and cries toward bullying Duke into ever more institutional backing for their pet agendas, the first product of which was the backward Campus Culture Initiative.
The lacrosse allegations provided a fantastic opportunity to advance a social agenda and to keep the distance between the paranoid delusions of widespread racism upon which so many of the careers and the lives of the activists have been built and the rather obvious reality that the overwhelming majority of whites in America are not racist (and in fact commit rape against black citizens with disproportionate infrequency).
Is it any surprise radical students, activists and faculty latched onto these charges with such euphoria? Or that to this day they have neither apologized nor retreated?
And if America is the racist society that the racial left so fervently believes we are, then where are all the members of the white establishment rushing to judgment in the new rape case? Where are the assaults against Phi Beta Sigma? Where are the racist professors making insane statements akin to some of Duke's last spring?
If only the racial left had showed the lacrosse team the respect for due process everyone is rightly showing those involved with the new allegations.
If only their commitment to justice was colorblind, then perhaps three demonstrably innocent members of the Duke community would not be facing trial as we speak.
The greatest irony of all may be that the only people who seemed to prejudge a rape allegation on the basis of race are the very same people who cry out that racial prejudice is a crippling problem in America.
But the racial left is quite right about one thing-there is racial disharmony in our society. And if they want to know the cause, they need look no further than the mirror.
Stephen Miller is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Monday.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.