i know that this story broke a few days ago, but i wanted to digest everything before i made a comment. by now, i'm sure that you've heard that the duke lacrosse team is involved in a very gruesome rape scandal. the short story is, there was a party, there were two black women at the party, the women have accused players of the team, (read the extremely disturbing police report here) alleged rapists are white, and to turn a heinous crime into something on the order of something only complete miserable human beings would do, there was some racial terrorizing involved.
in any case, it's touched off a firestorm of controversey on the lilly white duke campus. as you might imagine, the lacrosse team has circled the wagons, hoping that DNA taken by the police will clear them all. however, if there's one thing that i've learned, it is that when white dudes get together and refuse to talk to anyone all the while claiming innocence (i.e. cops, white house administrations, baseball players, enron management), it usually means there's something rotten in the state of denmark (how's that for unnecesary shakespeare reference?).
anyways, it's interesting to see how the community, the campus, and the school administration have reacted, specifically, the fact that everyone hates the lacrosse team. of course, i can understand the town not liking this, seeing as how the durham area has a very high percentage of people of color. but despite duke being a hoity-toity institution, i think it's great that most of the students can still understand what's going on. a bunch of white guys who think that because of their status as athletes they can do whatever they want. not that athletes of color aren't guilty of this, but when white dudes do it, it takes on a whole new character. in the case of the duke lacrosse team, it may have led to a rape of a black woman, but it really is just an extension of general douche-baggery. i don't know about you guys, but in high school, and to a lesser extent in college, it always seemed that the sports that were played by mostly white people, i.e. soccer, lacrosse, water polo, were always just a bunch of a-holes. they walked around camous acting like they are super studs cuz they play sports, but most people just snicker because they realize in the heirarchy of sports their stupid sport just doesn't matter. and they also realize that the reason that they're playing their lame sport is that they weren't good enough for the basketball or football team. quite honestly, i find it ridiculous that college sports even sanctions sports like lacrosse or crew. i find it even more ridiculous that in some cases you can get a scholarship for playing fringe sports. there's no way that any of these teams can generate any real revenue for their school. and so the only thing you get from including sports like these are little cliques of white dudes on campus who, in the best case scenario just annoy the eff out of everyone, and in the worst case scenario, rape black women. and we already have fraternities to serve this purpose.
anyways, i just wanted to add, that while the unique intersection of sports and race are why i am blogging about this, i would imagine that the culture of drinking, which on many campuses, including UCSB, is completely out of control and dangerous, has as much to do with this as the fact that the duke lacross team are a bunch of douchebags.