A lot of feminist bloggers have picked up a woman's report of having been gang raped by a group of Duke University lacrosse players. The woman was an African-American exotic dancer who was hired to dance at what she thought would be a small gathering of five men. Instead she and the other exotic dancer who accompanied her found themselves surrounded by about more than forty men, many of whom began yelling racial slurs. When the dancers left in fear, a neighbor heard some of the men saying things like, "I want my money back," and "Thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt." The women returned to the house after some of the men apologized. One of the women was then pulled into the bathroom and raped by three men. She is a single mother of two children and carries a full course load at North Carolina Central University.
The horror of what this woman described cannot be overstated. An event like this puts to rest any notion that equal treatment is a given in our society. This is not a case of a single anti-social criminal. These were supposedly the best and the brightest -- a group of young men at an elite university -- who apparently never learned basic empathy, especially for other human beings who are female and black. How on earth were these guys allowed to reach adulthood without learning that torturing other people and ridiculing them based on their sex and race is not acceptable? Do these guys not have parents? Do they not read? What was going through their little minds when they hurled insults at people they had paid to be there? What were they thinking as they goaded each other on? Did they not consider for even a moment that this woman was a human being? How does stuff like this happen?
I know, I know, it does happen. But, as long as I live, I don't think I will ever fail to be shocked by it.