After this bit of news, I think people will be wishing it was just the Al and Jesse Show headed to Durham:
An official with the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense said the black nationalist organization is providing security for the woman who has accused Duke lacrosse players of raping her.
And the organization is distributing recruitment brochures with information about a rally planned near the Duke campus for Monday. The brochures ask, “Had enough of disrespect and racism from Duke University?” The materials contain photographs of Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, the two white lacrosse players indicted and charged with raping a black exotic dancer at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. the night of March 13–14.
“We’ll do the escort and the security, going to court, whatever it takes” to protect the accuser from threats allegedly being made against her, said Minister Na’jee Shaka Muhammad, national field marshal with the New Black Panther Party who is based out of Atlanta but working in Durham with the dancer and her family. ...
Founded in 1989 in Dallas, the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense has chapters across the U.S. It preaches self-determination for a black nation through revolutionary changes. Among other tenets of the organization are calls to free all incarcerated black people, exempting blacks from military service, education that “exposes the true nature of this devilish and decadent American society,” and demands for trials by a jury of black peers.
The organization has been assailed by the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation in an open letter on the foundation’s Web site. Newton was the founder of the Black Panther Party that was active in the 1960s civil rights struggles. The organization Newton founded has no connection to the New Black Panther Party.
The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which tracks hate groups across the country, lists the New Black Panther Party as a racist, black separatist organization.
Also, there may be some more problems with the identification of the (alleged) third attacker:
[A]ttorney sources said the accuser was only 90 percent sure about her identification of one of three men she said attacked her, and she tripped up over a mustache.
Looking at a photo lineup, the dancer told police the man in question “looks just like him without the mustache,” the lawyers said, citing a written investigative report.
But the alleged third rapist had no mustache on the relevant night, if he ever had one, according to attorneys. They said photographs and eyewitnesses would prove their point.
Elsewhere, ESPN’s George Smith has apparently gotten a few Duke lacrosse players to talk:
Several Duke lacrosse players who say they were at a team party the night of the alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman have told ESPN‘s George Smith that an argument over money and the amount of time two exotic dancers were expected to perform was at the center of a dispute that night.
The players, who agreed to speak with ESPN on the condition their names not be used, also admitted that slurs and bad language were used by some players and the dancers during the argument. ...
The players, who would not go on camera, also would not discuss many details about the case or answer more specific questions about exactly what happened.
But they told ESPN‘s Smith that not all 47 players were at the party at the time the woman said she was raped; some had already left. The players told Smith they admit it was foolish to have the party, but deny that any rape occurred. They also believe the two students charged so far will not be convicted.