Today I'm blogging from my parents' home in Chapel Hill, where I came for some dentist appointments. Yes, that's right, I could begin today's commentary on what it means that as a 37 year old woman with a PhD and a tenure track job that I have to go to Mom when it's time to get my semi-permanent bridge replaced. If I do it here, which it looks like might happen, I'll be back in the sunny South three times this Summer. But on to more important things.
As my Mom and I were walking to lunch across the UNC campus, we heard two guys talking about what everyone's talking about down here, and that's the Duke Lacrosse team and the rape case. I overheard one of them saying, "I hope he doesn't make it so black and white." I don't know why, but it sounded to me that these two guys thought that the latest DNA evidence isn't enough to exonerate, that the evidence of the doctors that she was raped meant that there was enough evidence for a trial. As Blackacademic says, "how can there be evidence of rape in the emergency room and then no DNA evidence?" My original thought was "OJ Simpson in reverse??" But it's also true that these DNA tests are being publicized by the Defense attys, and that it's been said that the prosecutors are also doing their own DNA tests. DNA evidence often involves duelling experts. But, I hesitate.
It's rare that I'm on the side of the prosecution, but in this case I am. There are just too many incidents like this to think there's nothing to it - and what exactly would this woman have to gain? I'm very curious to see what Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, DNA evidence pioneers and co-founders of the "innocence project" have to say about the whole thing. One thing...I think it's fair to say that it's a post-civil rights movement phenomenon for a rape case involving a Black female victim and white male perpetrators to stir up anger like this in a Southern town - a generation ago, there would have been no press attention. However, it's also business as usual for that woman to be disputed and the "boys" defended. If I hear more word of it on the Southern street tomorrow, I'll surely post.
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Also, as one of you noted, Chris Hitchens, everyone's favorite drunken spewer of right-wing talking points recently referred to Richard Armitage as "Colin Powell's bitch." Counterpunch has an article about it today. The ad-hominem keeps coming, and what a target for it.
For less political news. On my first day back home, I already ate some grits - with wild mushroom sauce and baby lettuce - at a bar and grill and pasta place that's a favorite with alumni, parents, and local college sports fans for the "business casual" kind of a meal. On the TV? Nascar, natch. "And that's what they think Red America is all about," I said to my Mom, as the college girls next to me discussed how drunk they had gotten last night/were planning on getting this weekend. Couldn't tell for sure, but I think they had some grits and mushrooms too.