The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

Suprise, Suprise! Rape Charges dropped in the Duke Lacrosse Case

Ok, the District Attorney of Durham, NC dropped the rape charges in the Duke Lacrosse case. He managed to hold on to the sexual offense and kidnapping. Some are going to wonder the difference between rape and sexual offense. The major difference is that:

(1) Rape involves vaginal intercourse. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.2 (2006).

Sexual offense involves : a sexual act defined by North Carolina statutes as, cunnilingus (oral sex on a female organ), fellatio (oral sex on a male organ), analingus (oral sex on the anal region), or anal intercourse, but does not include vaginal intercourse. Sexual act also means the penetration, however slight, by any object (including human body parts) into the genital or anal opening of another person’s body. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.1(4) (2006).  I added everything in parenthesis for clarity.

Both first degree rape and sexual offense, in relevant part, must include one of the following:
      a. Employs or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or
      b. Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person; or
      c. The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons. (clearly the element the State is going after).

Also, both rape and sexual offense carry the same punishment. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.4 (2006).

So, rape is vaginal intercouse while sexual offense involves other sex acts. Also, the punishment for both crimes is the same so this is not quite the victory it appears.  

It seemed clear from this point that a rape didn’t occur, and the sexual offense charges are a way for the State to maintain their belief in the story of the accuser. They might be the only people who still believe her. 

I wonder if all those people who were ready to burn the players’ house down, and vilify those who wanted to wait before coming to a decision will apologize. Also, when are the black panthers coming back to Durham? It’s about time for another circus act to come in town.

Also, some relevant case law to consider.

  The guarantee against double jeopardy under U.S. Const., Amend. V protects against multiple punishments for the same offense. Defendant may not be punished for both first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault, where sexual assault is used to elevate kidnapping to first degree. 

Further,  where defendant was convicted and sentenced for sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping predicated on one sexual assault, trial court was required to arrest judgment either on conviction of sexual assault or on conviction of first-degree kidnapping. Defendant could be resentenced for second-degree kidnapping, if judgment on first-degree kidnapping was arrested. State v. Coats, 100 N.C. App. 455, 397 S.E.2d 512 (1990), cert. denied, 328 N.C. 573, 403 S.E.2d 515 (1991).

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December 22, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black Panthers, Black women, college, district attorney, Duke Lacrosse, Durham, Law, NC, rape, rape charges dropped, sexual offense, strip club | 7 Comments

Slow Down Al Sharpton. You need to take a seat beside Jesse.

It is a sub-heading in most columns, but a black man was shot and killed, on his wedding day, outside a strip club in New York. The reports are they the black man was in a verbal altercation and then ran over an under cover police officer before the police shot multiple times at his car.

Now, the African American community is going to get on the band wagon because he was unarmed. No doubt, Al Sharpton, as a fellow blogger calls him, the “VP to Jesse Jackson” is ready to march and get his chubby face all over television to stir racial tensions. And, I do not condone anyone dying;  but,  is this the guy we want to riot over?

First, he wasat a strip club on his wedding day. Yes, he has rights, but come on, hours before walking down the aisle doesn’t seem to be the appropriate time to get a table dance. Maybe that’s just me not buying into the racial stereotypes that MTV, BET, and rappers have been trying to sell me since I was a child.

Second, saying he was unarmed is misleading. He may not have had a gun, but he used a car to run over someone. In the law, a car used in such a way can be considered a deadly weapon. Murder, or manslaughter, charges could have been brought if the person he hit died. Thus, the deceased used deadly force. Let us not forget that before we rally behind him before we know all the facts.

I am not from New York, and have only been there once in my life for a weekend. I do not understand the cuture nor the racial climate up there.  I can imagine that the black powers that be, who make a living over-hyping and racially thinking everything, will make this a big deal up there.  

Here in NC, we had our own racial drama. A stripper who stripped for the Duke University Lacrosse team claimed she was raped. The New Black Panthers were down here in a second. Everyone was claiming how the white boys should be executed. Now, as more facts come out, this doesn’t seem to be as much of a tragedy as it does a stripper who may not have been telling the complete truth.  We should not have rushed so quick to judgment here. I hope you all do not make the same mistake in New York.   My advice, tell that negro Al Sharpton to sit down! Form your opinion on this on your own and be a free thinker.

November 27, 2006 Posted by | African American, Al Sharpton, Black men, Black Panthers, Duke Lacrosse, Law, New York, NYPD, strip club, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

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.

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