Firing up the base
There was an interesting contrast in Dec. 8 letters from Sen. Tillis and Rep. Butterfield regarding Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Most people with actual experience with that part of the world agree with Butterfield. This announcement essentially eliminates a two-state solution. It also guarantees an increased risk to all U.S. facilities and personel in the region. Trump gave away a vital negotiating position for peace in the area with nothing in return.
It was obviously a domestic decision to fire up his base and keep Trump in the headlines (another manifestation of malignant narcissism). Let’s hope someone in the Whitehouse is watching him closely. Peace in the Middle East is the goal, not political posturing domestically.
In a recent CNN interview, Roy Moore’s campaign spokeswoman Janet Porter dredged up the 2006 Duke lacrosse case as one in which the female accuser purportedly made false accusations about being sexually assaulted. Ms. Porter grievously misinterpreted the pertinent takeaways from that case.
I believe that two overriding reasons women are reluctant to publicly come forward with claims of carnal impropriety are: (1) the fear they will not be believed; and (2) the fear they will be subjected to harsh retaliation.
Unwaveringly Crystal Mangum has maintained she was vulgarly assaulted at the beer-guzzling male-attended 2006 event hosted by Duke lacrosse members. Without evidence, the mainstream media has asserted, as fact, that Mangum lied ... based mostly on Attorney General Roy Cooper’s 2007 promulgation of the Duke defendants’ innocence in dismissing criminal charges against the three.
Even if we assume that it can be proven the defendants are innocent, that does not preclude Ms. Mangum’s assertion of being sexually victimized at the party from being true ... there being more than 50 men at the tawdry affair. And, as exemplified in the nationally known Jennifer Thompson/Ronald Cotton North Carolina rape case in the mid 1980s, eyewitness suspect identification is not fail-proof even under the best conditions and the most reliable and cognizant witness.
Retribution against Mangum has been severe and sinister with a trumped up vendetta-driven prosecution and second-degree murder conviction (in the 2011 death of her boyfriend) as payback for the Duke lacrosse case. Evidence (a busted locked bathroom door, hair clumps, facial injuries) support physical abuse she received prior to stabbing her boyfriend. The wound Mangum inflicted was nonfatal and successfully treated at Duke Hospital with a prognosis for a full recovery. As a retired physician, it is my assessment of the records that Mangum’s boyfriend died due to errant intubation in the esophagus instead of trachea (which resulted in his brain-death) while he was being treated for delirium tremens.
In 2006, when Tarana Burke originated #Me Too, the Duke lacrosse case had emerged and spawned a series of occurrences that validated in Crystal Mangum the fears of all female victims of sexual assault by males in positions of power. Long before floodgates of sexual misconduct opened with the recent Harvey Weinstein revelations, former District Attorney Mike Nifong, courageously and alone, tried to address this longstanding and societal tolerated evil ... and hold its perpetrators accountable under the law.
We all know how that turned out.
Sidney B. Harr, M.D.
Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong