Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Now, without all the complications of Race and Class

Let's talk about tragedy again. Up to 10 accused of assault of girl, 11

"'It's a tragedy on two fronts,' [Police Chief Jerry] Dyer said. 'Number one is that you have an 11-year-old victim that was obviously taken advantage of by a number of individuals and sexually assaulted. What heightens the tragedy is the fact that these are individuals that we believe to be attending our local colleges and involved in our athletic program, playing football for at least one of these colleges.'"

Let's compare and contrast: one 11-year-old victim versus up to 10 men in their late teens or early twenties who may have committed criminal acts or may have been complicit in criminal acts. Which is the greater tragedy?

Now, let's parse how the tragedy is heightened: Is it that assault by 6'3" football players is worse for the child? Or that this incident could unfairly cast all football players in a poor light? Or that this could unfairly tarnish the reputation of all men who attend junior colleges?

In case you hadn't realized, a lawyer makes it clear for us:

[attorney Michael] Idiart said [Tony] Caviglia [football coach at Fresno City College] called him Sunday afternoon to ask if he would meet with the seven players at Fresno City College. Idiart, whose son played for Caviglia in 2001
and 2002, agreed.

He spoke to the players for a half-hour in a conference room at the college, explaining their rights and answering questions.

"They wanted to know if something happened, and if they were simply there, if they could get in trouble," Idiart said, adding that some of the players were concerned about their football careers.

The tragedy is that this may be damaging to the players' future.
* * *

An amusing side note: people make contradictory statements all the time, usually without realizing it. Usually the listener doesn't notice it either. But it makes for some strange looking statements when someone gets quoted in print. Check this, from a witness about the victim:

"She looked a little mature," she said. "She didn't look 11. She was a cute little girl."

Hat tip to Feministing and Inside Higher Ed

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