Friday, March 23, 2007

Duke witchhunt burns out in face of reality

The absurd spectacle finally comes to its predictable conclusion:
Inside Lacrosse Magazine writer Paul Caulfield told FOX News on Thursday that several sources have revealed to him that the assault and attempted kidnapping charges still pending against Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y.; Dave Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md.; and Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Falls, N.J., will soon be dropped.
The accuser, meanwhile, retains a veil of anonymity in the mainstream press. The internet, however, cut through the fog long ago when the miscreant was revealed to be Crystal Mangum. A despicable liar, likely prostitute, all-around failure in life, Mangum's unfounded story was full of holes from the beginning. But her accusations were billed by several media organizations as evidence of a patriarchal, oppressive white society.

It's amazing how the evidence for a phenomenon so putatively ubiquitous is so persistently fleeting. Nevermind that whites (women especially) are at much, much greater risk of being the victims of violent black criminal activity than blacks are of being the victims of white criminal activity. Nevermind that more substantive cases involving the high-profile violation of women go largely underreported.

While so much disigenuity on behalf of major media sources makes a mockery of the truth, for those of a more realist nature it also makes for shooting fish in a barrel. When your powers of prognostication are as humble as mine are, you have to take the opportunity to gloat when you get the chance. Last April I predicted:
My prediction: Our Betty got inebriated and played catatonic out of fear of consequences that might arise. The DA, who is up for reelection against two more qualified candidates. That is, Nafing, who is a white man, is running against a harpy of a woman and a black man. Durham is 44% black. The opportunity to burn a gang of white yuppies at the stake on behalf of a black single-mother was a godsend.

Tom Wolfe wins again. The fatal flaw was that it all happened too quickly. The severity of the charge would have been sufficient for the Nafing to get reelected in May. But the credulous media made the story page one in its indefatigable search to prove white male oppression.
Nifong won a Pyrric victory in his reelection bid last year, with the embarrassingly credulous NYT carrying his water. When a media titan like the NYT is looking for a few well-bred white boys to burn at the stake, objectivity and veracity are hastily thrown by the wayside. He might have saved himself by dropping the case after the campaign, but instead he fell into the psychological trap known in the investment world as an "escalation of commitment".

Now he faces civil action from the players in addition to possibly being disbarred for multiple ethics violations. As these innocent boys had their lives nearly destroyed by the state in a zealous witchhunt (er, warlock hunt), we can expect the tab and manpower for a civil suit against the DA's office to be picked up by the ACLU, since this is exactly the sort of case that the group claims as its raison d'etre...

Well, at least the three sacrificial lambs don't come from impoverished families!

8 comments:

JSBolton said...

I am very relieved by the unraveling of this case. The perpetrator-prosecutor has been punished some, and stands to lose more, as he should.
One theme here is the use of race and class hatreds in combination, as a means of gaining power.
Next we will see, as in Europe, the manipulation of racial-ethnic, class and religious differences, specifically involving hostile Islam, and in combination; as a vehicle for vicious officials to gain undeserved power.

undergroundman said...

The question is: what incentive did the woman have to accuse these men?

One explanation is racial epithets. What are other explanations? Do you really believe that this woman made it all up for attention? If that is the case, why isn't she out in the spotlight?

If you believe in economics, then you should look for incentives and at least try to think of why someone would do something(there is a rational explanation for black crime, for example). The fact that the incentives aren't apparent here makes it a strange case.

Why wouldn't these men wear condoms when raping her?

crush41 said...

Underground,

Most individuals are not rational in a sense that you and I conceive to be rational. The major flaw in many efficient utilization theories is that they tend to assume that all actors are as sharp and sober as a Harvard economist working in the comfortable erudition of his plush office. Well, many people have IQs too low to coherently understand and weigh various courses of action and their immediate and long-term consequences. They are not rational.

This woman is a drug user who has been slapped with DWI who has bounced from temporary job to temporary job (some of which have skirted legality). She's been charged with multiple felonies (although pleaded them all down to misdemeanors). She has multiple illegitimate children.

Presumably she has little foresight (and likely a double-digit IQ) and made up the rape allegations in a panic after being committed to a mental health center in what was probably a drug-induced state after having been kicked out of the car she was riding in and after having argued with those hosting the party in which heated insults were exchanged. Her uncollaborated and unsubstantive shifting stories have no credibility.

Regarding black crime, that is questionable. Rape, assault, murder? Seems you are primarily alluding to burglary, although almost half of black perpetrators go after black victims. Why are Hispanics less than half as likely as whites to commit violent crimes while earning only a couple thousand more per year on average than blacks do?

More flummoxing still is the fact that middle class blacks are more criminally prone than poor whites.

undergroundman said...

Gary Becker would likely disagree with you on the rational choice theory being a problem. The problem is that you think of a rational choice as being cut and dry regardless of circumstances. People make rational choices from their position - does it even make sense for a black man to live a legal life in this society, especially if he realizes (or is told) that he is not smart enough to accomplish anything legally? His comparative advantage and opportunity cost are different than yours. I've never read Gary Becker but I imagine he would make some of the following points.

It makes sense that African-Americans commit more crimes if you work in the cultural, historical, and physical factors. Most blacks grew up in the United States. They were involved in a gang culture which grew up in a culture of oppression, discrimination, illiteracy and lucrative rewards in the drug business. We can understand why they are criminals when they grew up in an environment which did not value learning, and then found that they could make a ton of money selling drugs (opportunity cost to avoiding crime). Once people enter into the black market culture of selling drugs, other crimes begin to seem less evil. Once you've been cutting cocaine with baking soda for five years and selling crack to kids, beating down someone who doesn't pay or murdering him/her doesn't even phase you. You seem to have this idea that African-Americans are running around committing crimes senselessly. No - they have reasons which seem rational to them.

Contrast that with your typical Hispanic. He or she often hardly speaks English, is on average half the size of a black man, and is unfamiliar in US territory. Thus Hispanics are not as often thugs (they aren't big enough - blacks have comparative advantage) and they are less likely to be drug-dealers (don't have the ins - another trouble). Plus their culture doesn't value drugs, crime, and bitches explicitly.

Your argument, it seems, is that black people are simply a more violent and criminal race? Don't you think that is oversimplified as well racist?

I haven't read that book, but I doubt your assertion that middle-class African-Americans are more criminal than poor whites, but even if it is true it can still be explained by the cultural factors affecting them. (And what crimes are we talking about? Is it possible that they are targeted by law enforcement more, or convicted by racist juries more? The devil is in the details. Also, it wouldn't surprise me if high-class whites were more criminal than middle-class whites - certainly Congress is full of criminals, and certainly high-level people have more power to commit white-collar crime.)

Steve Sailer said...

"Crystal Magnum"???

Are you _sure_ that's her real name?

crush41 said...

Underground,

My point is that imposing quixotic explanations for things that are quite obviously at odds with reality has serious consequences. It's a recurring theme here.

Yes, the hip-hop culture is pathological and self-perpetuating. Subsequent generations of Hispanics are assimilating into it. The environmental factors accentuate less malleable disadvantages, both in limiting other alternatives (the payoff from pursuing higher education that will guarantee a lucrative ROA) as well as the lack of communal restraint against various bad choices (drug use, unprotected sex, etc).

There are plausible ways to go about improving the environmental situation: insuring adequate nutrtional intake, breast-feeding, criticizing urban black culture, stigmatizing drug use and illegitimacy, and restricting menial Hispanic immigration, to name a few things.

But the black-white IQ gap has been static for seven decades. Obviously the conditions of blacks vis a vis whites over the same period of time is more vicissitudinal. For blacks to become anywhere near as successful as say Koreans (who underwent oppression up to the first half of the 20th Century that was arguably more severe than that of blacks in the West), or Ashkenazi Jews (who've been targeted for nearly two millenia while constantly holding minority status the world over) strikes me as baseless.

crush41 said...

Steve,

Oops. Crystal Mangum. That would've been too perfect.

"Common Sense is No Longer So Common"... said...

Wow, Crush 41, spoken like a true ignorant majority who continually enjoys their rosy White privileged perspective. To even begin to compare Jewish, and Korean (lets add Japanese to that!!!) oppression to African Americans is a travesty at best.....whatever you paid for your education, you obviously paid too much for too little...or perhaps it was perfect for you because it has allowed you to forego real-world application and instead continue to marginalize and simplify issues so that you may maintain the pretense that you have any real intellectual basis. I suggest that you immediately seek the counsel of Underground and ask where they recieved their education, for it is obviously far superior to your own....

Underground,

You have highlighted key, if not some of the many, variables which comprise U.S. society and culture, in terms of race and gender roles....I thank you for your insight....