[K.C. Johnson (guest-blogging), September 17, 2007 at 7:40pm] Trackbacks
"Conservatives" and the Lacrosse Case

Both of the comment threads dealing with the case have featured comments suggesting that conservatives rushed to judgment as well — only on the opposite side because the accuser was a black woman and the accused were white males who were perceived as wealthy.

This seems to misrepresent the pattern of early dissent in the lacrosse case. A few conservatives did criticize Nifong at a relatively early stage (Sean Hannity, Wendy McElroy, La Shawn Barber).

But by far the most passionate — and persuasive — early critic was Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft, whose posts saw through Nifong's case even before the first two indictments. The first searing moral critique of Nifong's behavior came from an African-American sportswriter, Jason Whitlock. And the key local public opposition to Nifong came from a liberal Duke Law professor, Jim Coleman.

This case, obviously, came to attract considerable conservative interest — as, indeed, it should have. Prominent liberal organizations, such as the New York Times or the state NAACP, took stances that bolstered prosecutorial misconduct, contradicting their stated general principles. But the idea that the opposition to Nifong originated from some type of conservative cabal is, to me, misguided.

(For the record, I'm a Democrat who's supporting Barack Obama for president and who vehemently favors gay marriage, choice, and fair taxation policies.)