As the curtain closes on the final act of the Duke Rape Hoax, several questions remain, but one stands out: What about Crystal Gail Mangum? Miss Mangum is the stripper — lionized as the black, female single mother, dancing to put herself through college — who was cruelly violated by the rich, white Duke Lacrosse team. It was her tale of rape and degradation that plunged three innocent young men and their families into a nightmare that may have ended legally on Tuesday, April 11, but will carry on long after in terms of damaged reputations and exhausted finances.
In dismissing the charges, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper had little to say about Mangum. He hinted at her mental problems, and said he didn’t think it would be “in the interests of justice” to pursue legal action against her. Victims’ rights advocates have fretted that if she were humiliated it could discourage victims from “coming forward.”
Terry Moran of ABC news urges us “not to feel too sorry for the Dukies.” He explained that while Crystal Gail Mangum was “either a vicious liar or a troubled fantasist,” the social status of the Duke boys “is a very large cushion under them.” They got “high-priced legal representation” that led to a “high-profile, high-minded vindication.” Mr. Moran notes that reckless, defamatory prosecution is hardly unheard of, but that the majority of victims are not nearly so well equipped to combat it. The “Dukies,” says Mr. Terry, were “young men victimized by a reckless prosecutor, who had the resources to fight him off.”
No, they weren’t. While Mike Nifong — the district attorney who filed the charges — is a loathsome character, Colin Finnerty, Reade Seligman and David Evans were not victimized by him; they were victimized by Crystal Gail Mangum. Mike Nifong made it possible. The liberal obsession with demonizing white men and romanticizing the “other” — that’s blacks, women and homosexuals in order of precedence — made it inevitable. Race hustlers have promoted the idea that if a white commits a crime against a black, it is not a crime committed by one person against another; it is a crime committed by a whole race against another. It doesn’t work the other way, of course. The media have no interest in even the most heinous assaults on whites, even as they trumpet crimes against minorities as if they were an epidemic (as in the case of James Byrd Jr., Jasper Texas). Feminists knew a good thing when they saw it, and began calling rape an act of “systematic oppression” committed by all men against all women.
Essential to this movement was the myth that women never lie about rape. Of course women lie about rape. The idea that subjecting allegations of rape to serious scrutiny will prevent legitimate victims from coming forward changes the standard of criminal conviction from “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” to “we’ll take her word for it.” The inevitable result is that innocent men are railroaded, and rape itself is trivialized by very public false allegations Let us therefore take nothing away from Attorney General Cooper. His dismissal of the charges against the three Duke boys was forceful and principled, laying the responsibility for the fiasco at the feet of a “rogue prosecutor.” This was good but incomplete. Crystal Gail Mangum cuts a pathetic figure, but she has nevertheless shown that being black, a stripper, a drug-taker, and a single mother with a criminal record are no impediments to bringing outrageous charges against anyone in our society. And if the alleged victim and perpetrator fit the right profiles, society itself has shown it will disregard even the most compelling evidence and let the mob rule.