Monday, December 22, 2003

WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS?
Usually, I deplore this type of thinking. It's a cheap way to disredit those who, for example, oppose the death penalty or think that we ought to respect prisoner's dignity.

But reading this article I couldn't help thinking about it. Why does Ricky Clemons, a man given an athletic scholarship despite not owning a high school diploma, and convicted sexual abuser, given all this special attention from the university president's family? Why not focus on healing the victims, and reforming the athletic department so they don't introduce any more menaces to the campus.

One of the reasons I usually reject this type of reasoning is it presents a false choice. One can have compassion for victims and still respect the dignity and humanity of perpetrators.

But in this case, it seems pretty clear that Clemons is being given attention and support at the expense of the victims of his crimes, with the wishing she would just shut up, and implying that her acusation comes from a sterotypical trait of white women.

Maybe the university's efforts with Clemons really do come from someone seeing a spark in him and trying to channel him to be a great human being. I'd be interested to see if non-athletic students who get themselves into trouble receive similar support.
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