Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Whither Justice?

I don't think I've written anything about the Duke Lacrosse team.

I've never written that Mike Nifong should be disbarred.

Now I need not:

In fact, the Duke lacrosse case showed a number of things. Yes, there was the issue of the disgraced District Attorney Michael Nifong running amok, suppressing evidence and cynically bartering the lives of three white lacrosse players in his populist bid to win reelection in racially divided Durham. Nifong was certainly part of that “tragic rush to accuse.” As was Syracuse University, which decided not to accept as transfers any students from the Duke lacrosse team—not just the three accused chaps, mind you, but anyone contaminated by having played lacrosse for Duke.

But there are at least two other aspects of the case that deserve comment. One is the role of the media, which with few exceptions descended on the story like Lord Byron’s fabled Assyrian and his cohorts pursuing the destruction of Sennacherib. Oh, how The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and countless other bastions of liberal self-satisfaction loved it! Race. Class. Sex. Victimhood. It was the perfect morality tale. Those white jocks at “the Harvard of the South” just had to be guilty. And what a good time we were all going to have lacerating the malefactors while at the same time preening ourselves on our own superior virtue!

What the Duke case really shows, however, is the utter bankruptcy of defining morality in terms of a class struggle. The social justice crowd was unable to withhold judgement, to let the justice system winnow out the truth, because they do not believe in Truth.

When an individual from a group is pretermined by his very membership in that group to be immoral, that is injustice.

w/t, Pejman

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