The independent news organization of Duke University

Letter to the editor

I am responding to the Editorial Board's March 25 column "(Purchase) power of donors." In the column, the authors made a disturbing reference to the Duke lacrosse scandal, mentioning that the scandal highlighted "sexual assault, gender privilege and racial discrimination" at Duke. In short, no, it did not, because it simply did not happen. And that is a fact.

The Duke lacrosse case happened because a deranged, power-hungry district attorney named Mike Nifong so badly wanted to advance his political career that he falsely accused three completely innocent young men of sexual assault to gain national attention. As if this action were not despicable enough, Nifong was found to have covered up facts that could have led to the exoneration of the three student-athletes. The lacrosse players were acquitted, and Nifong was disbarred and sentenced to one measly day in jail for contempt of court.

This column is a thoughtless, despicable attack on three innocent young men who did nothing wrong. Worse, careless statements like those of the Editorial Board do not help but rather do tremendous harm to the victims of sexual assault on campus and around the world and work to cast doubt on their very real experiences.

This column is not the only one The Chronicle has published that makes a borderline libelous reference to the Duke lacrosse case. In fact, last year, I wrote a response to fari nzinga's letter that made a very similar comment on the lacrosse case. The fact that not only that letter but also this editorial, which was published and passed on the consensus of thirteen voting members who serve on the board, were published shows a frightening yet sadly common lack of awareness of a scandal integral to Duke's history. The Editorial Board should be ashamed and condemned for publishing this column. They are not only doing harm to themselves and to the university, but also to the many very real victims of sexual assault.

- Davis Lovvorn (T'18)


Share and discuss “Letter to the editor” on social media.