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Exploring The Racial Component Of The Duke Lacrosse Case FOX News Style – By Demonizing African Americans

Reported by Ellen - May 2, 2006

There are legitimate issues of race and class surrounding the Duke lacrosse rape case that have been largely ignored on Hannity & Colmes. So one might have thought that last night’s segment with Black Panther Hashim Nzinga would have provided an interesting forum to address those issues. But before Sean Hannity completed his introduction, it was very clear that the only question on the table was just how big a boogeyman could Nzinga be portrayed as.

One of our readers pointed out yesterday that when FOX News asks a question in its headlines, it’s really making a statement under the guise of “just asking.” That proved true in Hannity’s introduction in which he “asked” whether the arrival of the New Black Panther Party Nation at Duke was “adding to an already unstable situation?”

Hannity’s own bigotry was evident again last night as he made no attempt to hide the disgust in his voice from the get-go. “Why need a trial? You… have declared her (sic) guilty… Do you have ANY evidence?” (Comment: Freudian slip, Sean?)

Nzinga attempted to raise the issue of race in the justice system by responding that he had read the book “Black Robes, White Justice,” by Judge Bruce Wright, but Hannity wasn’t interested and cut him off. Then, just in case the viewers weren’t already prejudiced enough against Nzinga, Hannity asked, “What do you mean when you say ‘black power?’ You were shouting “black power, black power, black power.’”

Alan Colmes started his portion of the discussion with a quick attempt to “help out” Nzinga by offering up the evidence that a hospital report based on an examination of the accuser said her condition was consistent with a sexual assault. But after that, Colmes seemed determined to find his own reasons to disparage Nzinga.

First, Colmes demanded to know, “Who invited the New Black Panther Party to be there?” Nzinga almost had a great answer, “Who invited FOX to sit in their living room?” If only he had asked “Who invited FOX to be in Durham?”

After a bit of back and forth, it appeared that Nzinga admitted that his group had been called to Durham by the accuser’s family. But Nzinga never answered directly and Colmes spent a lot of time demanding a direct answer. Comment: What was the point of trying to nail down that information, other than as a means of discrediting Nzinga and, perhaps, the accuser’s family?

From there, Colmes went on to his next point of “concern.” “Are you carrying guns?” Colmes claimed there was a concern in the community that Nzinga’s group was armed and dangerous. But in an article in Duke’s own paper entitled Black Panther Party Rally Goes Peacefully, no such worry was evident. It appears that the event was over long before Nzinga's appearance on H&C. The article reports:

About 30 members of the New Black Panthers Party held a demonstration outside Duke University’s Chapel Drive entrance Monday morning before marching to an off-campus house where a rape allegedly occurred at a March 13 party.

...“We have not come to play the race card,” (Malik Zulu Shabazz, the national chairman of the New Black Panther Party) told members of the media, who outnumbered his New Black Panther Party contingent, as the 10:30 a.m. demonstration began. “Racism existed before we got here. Racism existed at Duke University long before we got here.”

Shabazz unveiled eight demands by the group, which included the “vigorous” investigation and prosecution of the alleged sexual assault that occurred during the party held by Duke men’s lacrosse players, the expulsion of all Duke students involved and an end to “private” meetings between Duke President Richard H. Brodhead, North Carolina Central University Chancellor James H. Ammons and Durham Mayor William Bell.

...Once the speeches were completed, members of the New Black Panther Party stepped into a waiting convoy of vehicles and drove away."

Sounds like an interesting event. Too bad Hannity & Colmes didn't cover it.

NOTE: Interestingly, FOX News chose to showcase this video and make it one of the few segments posted to its website. What was the importance of this segment if not for a deliberate effort to bash a black man? You can watch the video on the FOX News website. Click on the "Free Video" Box at the right and look for "Making Trouble?" The title says it all. But, given the Duke report on the incident, you have to wonder who's making trouble for whom?

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