Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Four more years of pain

UD passes on news that makes me glad I am getting the f*ck out of Dodge… er, Durham.

In a completely unrelated development, expect this blog to get a lot more hostile toward Townies in the near future.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

So, Chris what do you predict is going to happen to the case? Someone had commented that they thought Nifong would conveniently find some duplicitous reason – “victim doesn’t want to pursue; not enough evidence to pursue, etc.” – to drop the case once the elections were over.

[Permalink] 2. Durham Resident wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 11:11 am CDT:

don’t let the door hit you and all that.


The people elected him fair and square, and I don’t think the case helped him win votes. (All one had to do was watch the town meeting to NCCU to see how upset many Black residents were with him.)

That said, Chris, I don’t think you are being fair to the town folks. I know that there are a lot of problems with the school and the town, but let’s be real the students and the University bear some responsibility for how they are perceived. I can only imagine that the race/class dymanics only exacerbate this.

I went to Bowling Green State University, which is another university town that has bad town/gown relationships (minus the race/class dymanics). In my experience, there was a great deal of stereotyping on both sides. The town people resented the students partying and tearing up properties. There were entire streets that become rental streets because of the students bad behavior chased out residents. On the other hand, many of the town people were really nasty to anyone they thought was a student. They frequently complained about the University even though the town simply wouldn’t stay afloat without the school. I can’t imagine that this situation is that much different.

[Permalink] 4. Skeptical-Hog wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 12:59 pm CDT:

Not getting drunk and being obnoxious to neighbors etc. goes a long way. No wonder Durham residents aren’t in love with Duke undergrads…. they act like a bunch of spoiled brats. Mommy and Daddy bail them out whenever the mean mean police break up obnoxious loud parties because Junior’s 4th Amendment right to get drunk at a party was infringed, and gee, Durham townies aren’t so thrilled and are willing to think the worst about a bunch of jocks who threw a drunken stripper party…..

Amazing how the world works, eh?

[Permalink] 5. tuocs wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 2:13 pm CDT:

I don’t think the Durham population voted on some sort of referenum about the lacrosse team or for that matter Duke students. Rather they were voting to see who represents them as DA. If by the DA being halfway aggressive towards drunken students acted stupid represents their interests…then more power to them.


Interesting tidbit in the third to last paragraph


[Permalink] 7. craig henry wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 5:06 pm CDT:

Ahh, yes. The righteous Durham residents were appalled that Duke lax hired strippers.

Gee, i wonder why they let those jocks own those escort services in their town and staff them with co-eds.

Oh, wait, that’s right. Those are townie businesses. and that’s OK. But the student customers are evil.

[Permalink] 8. Thinking in Jerz wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 5:18 pm CDT:

Skeptical.. Did these people overlook the fact that Duke was in Durham when they moved in?

Having attended a University smack dab in the middle of a ritzy suburb, it always amazed me that residents were surprised to find college kids around town since the school had been there for close to 170 years.

[Permalink] 9. Skeptical-Hog wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 5:50 pm CDT:

Not everybody “moved in”; plus that’s no justification for bad behavior by obnoxious undergrads.


I was surprised as anyone when I found out this morning that Nifong had been reelected.

Then, my wife reminded me who he was running against. I had never heard of Nifong before this case, but I’ve known (indirectly, of course) both Freda Black and Keith Bishop for years now. While I’ve only recently discovered Nifong’s incompetence, I’m very aware of Bishop and Black’s lack of competence and ethics. Given everything I know about them all, if I were a Durham resident, I’d have glumly voted for Nifong as well.

[Permalink] 11. A Political Scientist wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 10:30 pm CDT:

You know I used to occasionally read this (after being led here by Drezner’s blog). There were items of interest to political scientists. Now it’s all Duke Lacrosse all the time. Knowing you only from this blog, my impression of you has dropped 100% over the last month; not so much for what you write (I could really care less about the whole thing) but because that is all you write about.

[Permalink] 12. whackamole wrote @ Wed, 3 May 2006, 10:31 pm CDT:

Of course, Durham residents weren’t the class of people who were allowed to glumly vote for or against Nifong. I went in hoping there would be a write-in slot on my ballot, but no.

With that irrational hope in hand, I had steeled myself to voting for Freda Black. She’s creepy and unethical, but I don’t believe she’d’ve stooped to media games Nifong was playing in late March and early April.


Re #11: To each his own, I suppose; I found myself in the middle of what looked like an interesting story, had a small amount of comparative advantage, and milked it. Now it’s settled down a bit, the little permalink at the top will disappear and there’ll be more of a mix of stuff, particularly once the semester is over and I will have time to think again.

Matter of fact, the next post which I am working on has nothing to do with lacrosse.

[Permalink] 14. Dan S. wrote @ Thu, 4 May 2006, 12:36 am CDT:

I think what had the biggest impact on the election, and is the saddest statement of all, is that only 10 percent of Durham County’s population (~17 percent of the county’s registered voters) turned out for the primary – cum – election.

And, Rachel, while the more vocal members of the NCCU student body were dissatisfied with the fact that Nifong had yet to try, convict and publicly execute the 46 white lacrosse players, I’m sure the recent comments by Freda Black and Keith Bishop, criticizing Nifong’s very public rush to judgement and apparent missteps in the case, reduced confidence amongst some segments of the population in their willingness to bring the Duke players to “justice.”

Personally, I believe that Nifong’s conduct has served only to sabotage his office’s ability to effectively and swiftly prosecute anyone and everyone who committed a crime in the course of, or subsequent to the party at the lacrosse house. If the suspects did commit rape, their identification might well be thrown-out due to the botched photo identification and Nifong’s public comments tainting the potential jury pool; if the alleged victim’s accusation is false, Nifong’s failure to thoroughly research her background could easily leave the AV to use a mental distress defense, and likely subject Nifong and the city holding the bag in a handful of civil suits by the suspects, the other lacrosse players and even the University.


As someone watching this whole thing from afar, it certainly looks as if you have a vanishingly small chance of getting a just verdict without a change of venue…say to Anchorage, perhaps. I don’t care much about sports, but I do care about justice, and from reading all y’all’s local press, it’s pretty clear that, if the case stays in Durham, it will be decided the moment the jury is chosen, regardless of the evidence. #11’s disingenuous comments are a perfect example. Clearly they’re written by someone who does care about this case—what political scientist wouldn’t!—but resents the way the facts are playing out, and lashes out at the messenger. BTW, unlike #11, I’ve been reading your blog only because of this case. Great job!

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