Thursday, July 7, 2011

It was like Tawana Brawley all over again.


Dominique Strauss-Kahn Here was the white man raping the black woman; the IMF raping poor Guinea; the rich raping the poor; the French aristocrats overdue for their comeuppance. The public and the media fell into all that symbolism and whipped it into a froth. But at the end of the day, Western values, the rule of law and facts, worked against the alleged victim and in favor of the accused. Strauss-Kahn may yet have to face new charges of attempted rape in France, but he has money and privilege on his side and most likely will prevail. We may never know what happened in that hotel room, but it's practically guaranteed that a woman's life has been destroyed -- that she may in fact face deportation because she had the temerity to accuse a powerful man of sexual aggression. Meanwhile, the press will examine its rush to judgment, then do the same thing when the next big case comes along, all in the name of drawing more eyeballs to their websites. I just wish that all of this public soul-searching and fact-checking went so far as to include the more than 2 million prisoners now incarcerated in the U.S. -- nearly half of whom are black men, and many of whom are there not for what they did but because police needed to close a case, and the local district attorney needed to get re-elected. - June Cross