Friday, April 21, 2006

Criminal Behavior

Recently, Lutheran Zephyr posted the following:

Sales of Duke University lacrosse team t-shirts and hats have sharply (and disturbingly) increased since the indictment of two white team members on charges for the rape and kidnapping of an African-American woman two weeks ago.

Is this benign support for a troubled university organization, or a new symbol of defiance for over-privledged, rich white kids in the highly stratified Old South? I'm skeptical of the former, but sure as heck hope it is not the latter.

"I have a dream," Martin Luther King, Jr. once proclaimed. Let's keep dreaming, friends, and keep struggling to achieve those dreams.

My question- why does this act of violence get so much more attention than the other 60,000 rapes committed in this country over the last year? Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.

One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10% of sexual assault victims are men.

In 2003-2004, there were an average annual 204,370 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

It's not that this case isn't important. It's just that it isn't the only crime like this that has happened of late. What makes this a national news story for weeks?

3 comments:

Lutheran Zephyr said...

Well, this is a sensational case because of the class, race, North/South dimension and the fact that it involves a prestigious university - that's a very volitile combination.

But you are absolutely right - domestic violence (with which I lived growing up), rape, sexual assault and other violence against women don't get the attention that they merit. Of course, neither do the hundreds of Philadelphia murders each year. White suburban murder? Headlines for weeks. Black kid gets shot in North Philadelphia? Page B2.

LutheranChik said...

Because it involves the sort of rich white preppies who wind up as major players in service to the "powers and principalities," with a bonus leer factor of the "fallen woman" with a(n allegedly) checkered past.

RevHRod said...

Please know that I was asking a rhetorical question. :-)

I agree- color, money, social stratification, location and politics all make this a volatile issue.

It's just that I can imagine some poor woman struggling with the events of her own life and watching the news coverage. What must that feel like? Her case didn't make the news. It barely got noticed by anyone but her most intimate friends or family. And maybe she can't even tell them.