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Remembering Scottsboro

Another intriguing piece in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. This one by the economic historian John Steele Gordon. He makes the counter-intuitive point that the disaster at Duke is very much like the Scottsboro Case more than 75 years ago. You don't know what the Scottsboro Case is? Nine young black men arrested and tried (several times) for a rape (actually of two women, a gang-bang) they did not commit. The article is not only intriguing. It is persuasive.

The three Duke lacrosse players may not have been students you'd want in your seminar (there is no evidence of that actually either). But they were thought guilty just because of race, as the innocent Scottsboro Boys were thought guilty just because of race. Duke's President Broadhead played an ugly role -supported by 80 odd faculty and 13 departments--in the recent racial fracas. How about the trustees of Duke putting him out to pasture? University presidents now get thrown out for telling the truth. Here's a president who whipped up hysteria based on lies.