Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Duke Case: An American Cliché
The issue of the alleged rape of a black woman among a crowd of white college jocks at Duke University this month is simply the latest object lesson of the moral wasteland that is 2006 America. The aspects of this incident is classically indicative of what this nation has become throughout the past 100 years:
On one side you have the majority media and college culture emblematic of Duke, instantly blaming the woman in knee-jerk fashion primarily because in their eyes, her color gives her no credibility. On the other side, you have the African American community defending her in knee-jerk fashion because her alleged attackers are white.
True in keeping with their political scripts, those who lean right (and generally conservative) gives deference to the upper-class boys. Those who lean left (and automatically liberal) gives deference to the woman because she is a minority.
I have not heard much from the religious community with respect to the incident, however predictably the Reverend Jesse Jackson (whom I believe is legally ordained as a Minister) offered to reward the woman with a college scholarship. I am curious as to the kind of message that this sends to young African American girls with respect to the profession of exotic dancing being rewarded by a presumed religious leader.
In this Duke case, what we have are poor decisions being made by all participants, which resulted in a predictable train-wreck for all concerned. Predictably the national reaction to all this appears to be “let’s defend our ideological niche in this case against our social and political adversaries”: black verses white, conservatives verses liberals, men verses women, rich verses poor, upper class verses lower class. All the while…evidently lost among the combatants is the moral undressing that this case represents about much of what America has become. The fact that this was a stripper, supposedly working this job because her children has no father to support them, while being confronted by “devil-may-care” (pun intended) privileged “kids”. These young men saw it as the typical American college rite of a boozing frat party being topped off by being entertained by women strip-teasing in front of them and who apparently dared to say no to being sexually engaged by the drunken mob. To be sure, in all of the public and media commentary about this case, I have yet to hear much condemnation about the events that led to the end result.
Interestingly, the Bible has this to say to perhaps someone who would previously have been part of such a crowd as those who were in that Duke campus house the other night…For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead…” (1 Peter 4:3-6 NIV). Dead! The Lord basically says that those who behave like this Duke crowd (and I include the women in this) are dead. Therefore, while the dead perform, America bickers over who is being “wronged” in this case! Not surprising however, given that by and large, America is just as dead also. Dead because it has rejected the God that was worshipped by it’s earliest settlers hundreds of years ago.
As ordinary Americans watch this saga unfold over the next few weeks and months, it would be wise for them to take heed of the following scripture: Then this message came to me from the LORD: "Son of man, suppose the people of a country were to sin against me, and I lifted my fist to crush them, cutting off their food supply and sending a famine to destroy both people and animals alike. Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves, declares the Sovereign LORD (Ezekiel 14:12-14 NLT) Remember this verse of scripture, perhaps the next time a major calamity strikes this country, and people are left asking “why would a loving God allow this to happen?”
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