The various attempts to paint the stripper as a struggling student and mother trying to support herself, of course, ring hollow. No one has to do this kind of work for a living. No one with any kind of sense of value or personal respect would. It's even more troubling now that her parents are weighing in. That is, we now know she has them and they are in contact. Where have they been all these years, and what kind of parents are they?
After the brutal gang-rape scene in "Leaving Las Vegas," you feel outrage at the two-legged animals who ravaged this woman. Yet, one feels pathos rather than sympathy toward the beaten and swollen prostitute. She is not an innocent victim.
The issue of race that has been injected into the picture here is also sordid. If violence did occur, would somehow that violence been more acceptable if it were black athletes who were the perpetrators, or if the stripper were white?
And, of course, there is the media, loving every minute of this. In a world with no shortage of real issues and problems, including a holocaust taking place in the Sudan, where there really are innocent victims, this rather unremarkable story is getting breathless national coverage.
I have written that the dysfunctional behavior we see in so much of black America is really just a reflection of what is happening in the country as a whole. If there is anything positive to say about hip-hop culture it is that it is honest. When blacks say they are "keeping it real," they are keeping it real.
The perception of reality that hip-hop culture reflects is one that says that life is just about getting and exploiting. Why pretend that anything else is going on?
This is the meaning I see in the scandal at Duke. It reflects the emptiness of the crass materialism and relativism that seems to grip all social strata our society more and more each day.