Lots of other folks are covering the downfall of Mike Nifong (D-NC), formerly the Durham DA and infamous for running with the allegation, in the face of objective lack of evidence, that one Crystal Mangum had been raped by members of the Duke University lacrosse team.
Nifong may no longer have his job or his bar certification (and it may be that he'll lose his freedom for a time), but the ramifications of his misdeeds will far outlive the just conclusion of this saga.
Many are wondering why Nifong behaved the way he did. Stupidity? Evil? I'd say that it was a little bit of each, especially since the two often go hand-in-hand. But the stupidity and the evil aren't necessarily apportioned in the way some might believe.
When Mangum made her allegations, Nifong saw a way in which he could ensure his subsequent reelection as DA in the mostly black and, therefore, mostly Democrat Durham district. He could hold himself up as the defender of black womanhood in particular and black people in general. And, in their turn, many of Nifong's constituents saw him that way.
Know this. There are many black people who will jump at the chance to "get back at" white people for the wrongs done to them and their ancestors because of race, even if the individual white person(s) have done nothing. Even some of those same black people who call themselves Christians hold to "the sins of the father" notion--I'm even related to some who hold this belief. That's part of what this post was about.
I think that Nifong counted on this phenomenon, but is not intelligent enough to have thought things out far enough to a logical conclusion. Getting reelected was his immediate goal and other things regarding the rape allegation--the line-up irregularities, the DNA problems and the fact that one of the accused, Reade Seligmann, had an air-tight alibi--could be worked out later. Or so thought someone as cynical and short-sighted as Nifong appears to be.
So now, Nifong will pay for his shortcomings as an individual, but what of the rest of us? By playing into the stereotypes that too many have for white, black, men, women, rich and poor, Nifong has done all of us--and those of other races--a great injury. Nifong's dubious legacy--along with that of the O.J. Simpson jurors--is that it has made it that much harder for any of us to get real justice when we have been wronged in reality.
Thanks a lot, Mr. Nifong. :::spit:::