Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another alleged college rape is a hoax (as I suspected), yet students are still worried about security

I suspected the alleged Seton Hall rape from this past week was false, because a scary stranger rape on campus is incredibly rare (and in this case, "scary" is a code word for "an allegation of rape involving a big, frightening black guy" -- yes, believe it or not, these false rape cases frequently have an element of racial animus).

Here's the message from Seton Hall:

Following an investigation led by the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office, I am able to share with you that the sexual assault as previously reported in Wednesday?s safety alert to the community did not occur. The student who was involved in this incident has changed her report and indicated that she was not sexually assaulted by a stranger on campus. The University worked with the South Orange Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office in reviewing her allegations.

We strive to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community. In response to this matter, we enhanced our safety measures to include additional services to students and cooperated with local law enforcement to ensure that all measures for campus security and safety are maintained. The safety and security of all on our campus continues to be our paramount concern.

Laura A. Wankel, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs

Before anyone from the Seton Hall community has a conniption over my prediction that this claim was false, please know that I follow these issues much more closely than you do, I am quite certain.  The story had all the makings of a lie.  Sorry. That's a fact.

But let's put it in perspective.  Before it was revealed as a hoax, how did the news media report the unsubstantiated accusation?  As a fact, of course. It didn't just rush to judgment in concluding a rape had occurred, it did a a 60-meter sprint in record time.  On Wednesday, the Seton Hall student paper, wrote this:

A female student was sexually assaulted around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night in the parking lot near the Rec Center, according to a broadcast e-mail sent to the Seton Hall community on Wednesday.  The suspect in the incident is at-large and sought after by the South Orange Police Department, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and Seton Hall Public Safety personnel, according to a release from the South Orange Police Department.  Authorities say the suspect is a black male, about 20 or 21-years-old, 6-feet-1-inch tall with a muscular build. He is also described as clean-shaven with short hair, according to the broadcast e-mail. At the time of the incident, the suspect wore a dark blue shirt, black pants and was driving a four-door black car, described as a Toyota or Chevrolet.  Dr. Laura Wankel, vice president for Student Affairs, spoke with a group of student leaders in a Wednesday afternoon meeting in the University Center Faculty Lounge. She said the administration was "extremely concerned" about the sexual assault and would have an immediate "enhanced presence" of security personnel on-campus at night.

See also this news report: A New Jersey college campus was on high alert Wednesday night after a student was attacked and sexually assaulted.  On the campus of Seton Hall University, there’s reason for concern, reports CBS 2′s John Slattery.  “I feel absolutely horrible for this girl, and it could literally happen to anyone at any time,” student Jackie Wood said.  A first- or second-year female student, who lives on campus, was sexually assaulted at around 11 p.m. Tuesday just after she left the main library for her dorm, police said.

But now that the story was revealed as a hoax, are the students breathing a sigh of relief?  Nope.  They've been whipped into hysterics over security. Because of a rape that never occurred. Because of a kind of crime that hardly ever happens.

Funny, no one seems concerned about the security of innocent black males, given that one of them might have been arrested and had his life effectively destroyed over a lie.
Seems to me we've seen that before, haven't we?  Too many times, actually.