It is especially painful to see the local NAACP joining the stampede to convict the Duke players, not only without evidence but in defiance of a growing body of evidence that points in the opposite direction. How many black men have been railroaded to jail or even to the gallows by the same lynch mob mentality, whether carried out by a jury or by the Ku Klux Klan? And is all that the NAACP has learned from this tragic history is that it just depends on whose ox is gored?
Anyone who expects either higher intellectual standards or higher moral standards from the academic intelligentsia should be disabused of such notions by the way so many Duke University professors and administrators have kow-towed to the shrill shouters and threateners, on and off campus, by joining in the lynch mob rhetoric.
It would be sad enough if this was just about three young men at Duke University. Unfortunately, this shabby episode is only one sign of a much more pervasive moral dry rot in our academic institutions and in our other institutions.
It took centuries to establish the rule of law, at the cost of painful struggles, blood and tears. Nor did the blood and tears end when law was established, for maintaining the rule of law requires fighting those who wish to pervert the law for their own purposes and who will abuse their power to do so.
Will we destroy this and other pillars of our civilization even before our enemies have a chance to finish us off?