April 30, 2006

My New VDARE.com column on the Great White Defendant

"Duke Lacrosse and The Bonfire of the Vanities:"

Although few fans follows the old American Indian sport of lacrosse, because of the current "rape" scandal the Duke lacrosse team is now one of the most publicized team in America, with 24,000,000 Google hits, a 30 percent margin over the New York Yankees.

Simultaneously, the mainstream media shows relatively little interest in the not one but three minority football heroes who got in trouble with the law (one assault with a deadly weapon and two rape arrests) just in the last week.

The only justice so far in the Duke travesty: America's greatest living writer, Tom Wolfe, is getting his deserved due. Many commentators have noted the parallels between the lacrosse brouhaha and Wolfe's (originally much-denounced) 2004 novel I Am Charlotte Simmons. It is set at fictional Dupont University, Wolfe's version of Duke U., and the lacrosse players represented the ultimate in arrogant preppy machismo.

Yet almost nobody in the press has admitted that the Duke farce—in which Mike Nifong, a politically-pressed white district attorney in a heavily minority district, has arrested two white lacrosse players for purportedly raping a black stripper, despite ample evidence suggesting the strong possibility of a hoax—is even more brilliantly foreshadowed in the central theme of Wolfe's famous 1987 bestseller The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Let's review the similarities

Bonfire: In Wolfe's classic, the Bronx District Attorney Abe Weiss "was notorious in his obsession for publicity, even among a breed, the district attorney, that was publicity-mad by nature."

Duke: The Durham D.A. did nonstop interviews to publicize the Duke case initially, although he has clammed up since the DNA tests that were supposed to prove a rape had actually been committed came back negative.

Bonfire: Weiss is known to his underlings as "Captain Ahab" for his pursuit of the "Great White Defendant". The D.A. finds the perfect Great White Defendant in Sherman McCoy, a rich, pompous, adulterous WASP bond trader, whom he charges with running over an innocent black ghetto youth with his Mercedes. McCoy is Central Casting's dream candidate for the role of GWD. The only minor flaw is that McCoy is not, actually, guilty. But a little thing like his innocence doesn't stop the DA's office and the New York media from ruining his life.

Duke: On the Duke Lacrosse team, 46 of the 47 players are white. Worse, many come from WASP prep schools.


By the way, here's the NY Times' web page devoted to the Duke lacrosse case coverage, listing 25 NYT stories on the brouhaha.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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