The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

Duke Lacrosse, from the Start to Now, from a Durham, NC Perspective

Kim Roberts (Self Proclaimed Stripper) is one of the many people involved in this case that will say anything for the attention and national spotlight.Now that the trial in the Duke Lacrosse Case is a mere formality, I want to share my views on the case. For those who do not know, I attend law school in Durham NC.  There are only two law schools in Durham, and both have students involved in the case. When the news of the accusation broke last spring, I was in a class named Criminal Procedure. Of course, after class, we had our views of what was going on. The females were ready to join the protest in front of the players’ house, spoke of racism and how wrong the players’ were. I reminded them that “WE ARE IN LAW SCHOOL” and that they need some actual facts before they could make an accurate decision or opinion.

 

Then, I said something that changed my fate at the law school for the rest of my time here. I said, “What you ladies need to do is go to NCCU’s Main Campus and hold a forum with other students groups telling our black women to stop hoe-ing, stop stripping, and start acting like intelligent women” (a clear theme on this blog).  The black women thought the forum was a terrible idea. They said, “She had a child. She had to do what she had to do to put money in the child’s mouth. You don’t understand the struggles of a black woman!” To this day, many of those women will not speak to me, do not respect me, and various other things not to be mentioned here.

 

Now, we know the alleged victim lived with her parents. So, while people claim that stripping pays the bills, it did not afford her enough money to get her own place. These black women didn’t believe me, but most strippers don’t make a lot of money.

 

The truth is a stripper may make a lot of money living in a major city like Atlanta, New York, California, etc. But, in Durham, a predominately African American city, where the majority of wealth is still in the hands of whites, the average black stripper in a black strip club will not make any more than she would make working at Leaner. Don’t believe me?

 

First, most people are cheap in strip clubs and throw out one dollar bills. Further, most of the African American males in Durham are either in high school, in college with student loan money, or adult locals who are not making a decent living.  Therefore, there is not a large amount of wealth within the African American community. And, the money they do have gets spent on the frivolous things blacks spend money on, i.e., rims, a car, shoes, hats, jerseys, and just anything that does not appreciate in value. Jay Z and big named rappers are not throwing hundred dollar bills around in Durham strip clubs. Second, the club takes a large percentage of private dances for which they charge the most. So, even the money she gets is taxed.

 

Third, because Durham is not a major city, every night is not a party night. A stripper has to make the majority of her money during weekends, and specifically around pay days, because Monday-Thursday will yield low profits for a stripper. It’s just not in Durham’s culture to go out on a Monday night. This is still the south, has southern ways, and nothing has modernized the city to change that.

 

I am digressing.  These women had convicted the boys from the beginning. I wanted to wait. Never the less, asking to wait for facts, in their eyes, made me anti-black, anti-woman, and just an outcast. How could I side with the white boys?  But, I wasn’t. I just wanted to hear some concrete evidence before making a decision. 

 

The forum I proposed wasn’t totally about money. I thought it was needed to show our young black women that they won’t make enough money to pay back those student loans, so don’t use that excuse. Notwithstanding that, it was more about not placing themselves in adverse situations.

I told the black women I know, “take the victim out of the picture, no black women should be shaking her ass for money at anyone’s house.” But, the excuses continued. Men need to stop hiring them. I agree with that statement, but the issue at hand is black women and stripping. Can black women admit that stripping is wrong?

And, young black women need to know, that while no woman deserves to get raped, putting yourself in adverse situations will increase the odds that something bad will happen. No black man deserves to get killed, but dealing in drugs will increase the odds of a man reaching that fate. Can we tell women that if you strip, you may get raped, and you will have to prosecute the man, and the world will know that you are a stripper? The men will deserve to go to jail, but your secret of stripping will fade. So, if you strip, the odds of your secret being revealed are greater. Are they ready for that? Are they ready to be disrespected?    

 

Now, because the case involves the underworld of stripping, we have a situation where every stripper involved is standing up, telling anything and everything they can, trying to get national media attention, and trying to work the media like the men they work in the VIP rooms.  The case has become an embarrassment to our culture.

 

Speaking of culture, what happened to the New Black Panthers Party? They came down to our town, made a little stir, were mostly disorganized, did not raise the level of fear and shock that they wanted, and left. They promised to be back, but we haven’t seen them sense. We will likely never see them again. What a joke. If you’re going to do something, be organized and follow through. They tried to march on Duke and got shut down so fast the national audience may have missed it. I was there when they came. The media was laughing at them. CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, everyone was there. They laughed. They found it funny. They were mocking the New Black Panther Party, taunting them when they were late to arrive to their own press conference. They were left to hold their press conference at the gates of Duke’s West Campus. Hell, any other idiot can ride through campus anytime of the day or night. It’s never shut down. To be so political, I am suprised the New Black Panther Party could not find one student to reserve a room for them!

 

Further, the racial rhetoric doesn’t work well in Durham. Jackie Waggstaff  (former Durham County School Board Member) was voted out of office here for using similar rhetoric. So, when she appeared with the Black Panther Party, the credibility of the party was lessened worse than imaginable. And, before radical blacks respond about us being too middle class, she was voted out in a predominately black, lower income, part of Durham. Yes, we all know that the Duke family gained wealth using slave labor and tobacco. Tell me something new within the past 100 years. The so called refrences to Duke as the “Plantation” were only for national media. I have lived in Durham for my entire life, minus 4 years of undergraduate school, both of my African American parents work at Duke, as do many African Americans in Durham, and I had never heard that phrase until this case. So, for the New Black Panther Party to come in and tell me about my city, when they were not even here long enough to be called visitors, showed how wrong, off point, and comical they truely were.

 

Those who were ready to hang the white lacrosse players last spring are really quiet now. I hope the lesson learned is to take race out of the equation, wait until facts come out, and make as much as an informed decision as possible.

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November 3, 2006 - Posted by | African American, Black men, Black Panther, Black Panthers, Black women, club, college, Duke Lacrosse, HBCU, hood economics, Law, Law School, university

8 Comments »

  1. youngblackman,

    This case started degenerating from the very beginning, it has not improved. The revelations surrounding the accusers mental instability, previous allegations of a similar vein ten years ago, and the inconsistencies in the strippers stories, leads me to believe that there is nothing worth prosecuting here.

    This is a sad ending to a controversial media frenzy. The defense team’s strategy of dribbling out facts to create reasonable doubt has been brilliant. It may even end Nifong’s career next week.

    Comment by skepticalbrotha | November 3, 2006 | Reply

  2. If she wasn’t raped and attacked, why did she lie?

    Comment by I am not Star Jones | November 4, 2006 | Reply

  3. In reply to I am not Star Jones: I believe she lied because she was about to be involuntarily committed — she was acting in an extremely bizarre fashion and needed to be checked for drugs/mental disturbance. I think she was afraid of that happening, afraid of getting in trouble with the law or maybe with her “manager” (remember, she claims that Kim stole her money, so she’d have nothing to show for her few minutes of work).

    It really just boils down to her saying whatever she could think of to get herself out of the mess she was in. It has since come out that she is a known drug seeker at medical facilities and has a long history of psychological problems. I imagine she was afraid that she might be committed (or found to have used illegal drugs).

    She made allegations against 3 others for rape years ago and nothing ever came of it. She probably thought she could just walk away from this, too, without any consequence to her or those she accused. Then everything snowballed, and a DA with an election to win used her and the allegations to his political advantage.

    Just guessing, really, but that’s what I think probably happened. I want to feel sorry for the accuser because of the psychological problems she obviously has. However, it’s unfair of her to ruin someone else’s life to save herself from whatever she feared might happen to her. She’s had many months to come forward and tell the truth, to do the right thing. She hasn’t bothered.

    Any sympathy I would otherwise feel for her is totally negated by her continued silence and her complicit perpetuation of this fraud. She has the power to stop it and would be viewed in a much more favorable light by the public if she were to admit the truth and apologize than if she insists on dragging this out because she’s too embarrassed/scared to do the right thing.

    Life isn’t easy for any of us, and I have a feeling the accuser’s entire life has been difficult. I truly am sorry for that, but it doesn’t excuse her. If it is ultimately proven that she intentionally lied (and I believe that has already been established), then I think she should be prosecuted for making a false report to the police. She has done immeasurable harm to REAL rape victims and, of course, to the three boys and their families and loved ones.

    Grow up, Precious. Show your children an example of a decent, honest human being who does the right thing, even though it’s difficult and embarrassing. Though it may come at a price, the truth ultimately will set you free.

    Comment by Missy | November 4, 2006 | Reply

  4. May I nominate you as a write-in for DA, in place of Nifong?

    I think you probably know more about civil procedure than Nifong, and you could certainly do a better job. 🙂

    Comment by Seahawk | November 4, 2006 | Reply

  5. Missy,
    thank you for that succinct breakdown.

    Personally, I wouldn’t have made a false report because I know when a black woman does something a bit untoward as an individual, all black women get painted with that same brush.

    Unlike the pass that white women get when someone who looks like them does something illegal and janky (e.g. Susan Smith, Paris Hilton, that runaway bride — she even made money on her foolishness) — it’s all tossed up to
    ‘oh well SHE had problems. But the rest of ’em ain’t like that.’

    I thought Precious got the memo that when you are black — you have to be completely on point when it comes to everything you do but especially when it comes to accusing precious white princes of a crime.

    Comment by I am not Star Jones | November 4, 2006 | Reply

  6. Did you follow the Kobe Bryant case? His accuser (white) was mercilessly raked over the coals — and there was proof that sex had actually occurred in that case (I believe it was consensual, but still…a lot more evidence that he touched her than in this case!). I don’t believe anyone is going to think all black women are scheming liars because of this case any more than white women were thought to be because of the Kobe case. Guys might be more cautious about hiring strippers, though — regardless of race.

    I think you don’t give people enough credit for judging a situation based on the merits or lack thereof as opposed to race. Of course there are ignorant among us in all walks of life and in all races. “Precious white princes” shows your mindset, which, sadly, seems much the same as those who would stereotype black women because of the bad actions of one person. Two wrongs (or wrong-thinking bigots) don’t make a right.

    By the way, I’d hardly consider falsely reporting the extremely serious charge of rape “something a bit untoward”.

    Lastly, apologies for the length of my first post. First time I’ve spoken on the matter and I guess it all just came out at once. YBM, sorry to have used so much of your blog space, and thanks for your insightful articles….keep them coming!

    Comment by Missy | November 5, 2006 | Reply

  7. the term precious white princes was a joke.
    What kind of world would be living in if all white men were precious and princely?

    Imagine that.

    My post was making the point that
    there are still Americans who
    refuse to acknowledge that blacks can be individuals.

    It is sad but true that the actions of one person are construed to represent the reality of all.

    And it seems that white people and famous people (Kobe, can you hear me?) don’t seem to get tarred with that brush.

    And i agree with you
    falsely reporting the extremely serious charge of rape is
    very serious. That’s why I asked why she didn’t take it so seriously.

    I do give people credit to be independent thinkers. I just have to many life experiences of having that credit thrown into my face.

    Comment by I am not Star Jones | November 11, 2006 | Reply

  8. Rush to judgment is a key issue in our society today! Please let me introduce myself; my name is Barry Porter and I am the Director of Marketing, Adult Publishing Group at Simon & Schuster.

    I don’t know if you are aware but Pocket Book/Threshold Editions is about to publish It’s Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case and the Lives It Shattered by Don Yaeger, with Mike Pressler. I have attached the cover image and the press release of our upcoming publication. I would love to send you copies of the book when it becomes available; I just finished it and still cannot believe what I have read! There is so much more to this case then has been released, that is covered in this book.

    At this time our pub date for It’s Not About the Truth is 6/12. All marketing, online, and publicity efforts will kick off that week. I just thought you would like a “heads up” about our publication. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me back.

    Regards,

    Barry

    Comment by Barry Porter | May 7, 2007 | Reply


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