The Duke Chronicle marked the first anniversary of the Duke University men's lacrosse scandal with a big package last week. It reads like a body count. Among the casualties:
- The lacrosse team. The team that saw its season canceled, its beloved coach fired, and three of its teammates racked with rape charges spent the year rebuilding under the leadership of a coach who likes to give hugs. Their motto for the season: Succisa Virescit, cut it down, and it will grow stronger.
- The "group of 88." The 88 professors who published this newspaper ad, known for its "This is a Social Disaster" line, have received hate mail and death threats. They say they never meant to target specific players but rather a broader culture of racism.
- Dialogue on racism. The discrediting of some of the scandal's specific charges also has discredited its broader allegations of generalized campus racism, too. An unlikely spokesman, one of the lacrosse captains, sums it up this way: "Ideas of marginalization or discrimination on campus, issues of race and class and gender, are extremely important," he tells the Chronicle. "Looking back, I had a great appreciation for people wanting to address those issues. But I think it's sort of a problem when you use specific individuals or a specific case as the lens through which we're going to view all these issues." (One plus: the university's report on campus culture.)
After the jump, some of the quotes from that "Social Disaster" ad.
- "This is not a different experience for us here at Duke University. We go to class with racist classmates, we go to gym with people who are racists. . . . It's part of the experience."
- "Being a big, black man, it's hard to walk anywhere at night, and not have a campus police car slowly drive by me."
- "You go to a party, you get grabbed, you get propositioned, and then you start to question yourself."