Monday, July 14, 2008

Double standards and Jesse Jackson

In another post, I reprinted an article by writer Josh Board who noted that Jesse Jackson accused three young white male Duke students of raping Crystal Gail Mangum, but Jackson refused to apologize when it turned out the young men were innocent. Mr. Board's point was that men are destroyed on the basis of nothing more than a woman's accusation of rape, but for some reason when their names are cleared, their innocence isn't deemed to be news on the same scale as the accusation. And some people continue to treat them as if they are guilty.

It is interesting to consider Jackson's case. Consider this: Jackson rushed to judgment against three young white men and refused to apologize, but he went on the record last summer to express dismay that major league baseball was being unfair to Barry Bonds -- because it found he had used steroids before any judge or jury convicted him of the charges.

Double standard? Of course, but you judge for yourself. I reprint here a post from Prof. KC Johnson's landmark blog, Durham in Wonderland, from last year. I am the one who tipped off Prof. Johnson about the Bonds story:

Jesse Jackson, Then and Now

Mid-April 2006:

“Something happened on the night of March 13th—something so compelling that Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong was prompted to say, 'This case is not going away’ . . . We know that the two women were abused . . . The Duke scandal should lead colleges across the country to hold searching discussions about racial and sexual stereotypes, exposing the myths that entrap so many. But it shouldn’t take the brutalizing of a mother of two to raise these issues.”

Mid-July 2007:

Jackson was critical of Commissioner Bud Selig for distancing himself from [Barry] Bonds, saying, “The judge and jury will determine the outcome of the controversy. The commissioner of baseball, by inference, is suggesting he’s guilty, which I will not be a part of. That leaves Barry out in the cold without the infrastructure of baseball. That’s a very low blow.”
Hat tip: T.M.