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“A Classic Example of a Date...”
Many Americans are rolling the word around on their tongues
these days in light of recent trials involving William Kennedy Smith and
vlike Tyson. Perhaps the blinding glare of camera flashes and media
hype has robbed a few of their ability to see important issues, but some
of the discourse has been somewhat unsettling. People, as they are wont
to do, have wasted their energies exchanging verbal blows on plenty of
l ake topics, while ignoring the key issues.
This month's media flavor is ex-boxing champTyson who was
convicted for raping an 18-year-old beauty contestant. Oddly, the
primary area of debate seems to be whether or not Tyson raped the
woman. Was she a legitimate victim, or just a revengeful woman
scorned? This is a typical example of a non-issue. Presumably, only two
people on the planet know what happened in Tyson’s hotel room that
fateful night, and they have told conflicting tales; at this point, debate
should logically end for the rest of us. This American tendency to
endlessly argue the unprovable also found vent during the Clarence
Thomas confirmation hearings and the Smith trial as well.
A more important matter concerns U.S. attitudes about rape
and its numerous, daily victims. Specifically, more people need to
address the outlandish notion that a woman is somehow responsible for
her own rape if she leads a certain lifestyle or behaves in a particular
manner. Even some women have questioned the legitimacy of a rape
charge leveled by a woman that would accompany a lusty athlete to his
hotel room in the early morning. Here again surfaces a pseudo-issue. If
Tyson did commit the violent crime of rape, he is totally wrong and she
is 100 percent in the clear—regardless of what she was wearing, where
she was at the time, and what kind of sexual overtures she might have
made. If a person docs not give consent, and another person chooses to
ignore this refusal, it is rape every time.
The few conclusions I did draw from the Tyson trial are
seemingly ctmtradictory and unsatisfying, which make them all the
more valid to me. Life is never black and white;
1) Tyson stood little chance of escaping conviction, guilty or noL In the
minds of many Americans, women received the short end of the stick in
full public view twice not long before his trial; Thomas became a
Supreme Court justicc despite the sexual harassment charges of Anita
Hill, and Smith was declared innocent of all rape charges. The jury could
not have been oblivious to the wave of public sentiment.
2) The jurxxs could not have known whether Tyson raped the woman.
3) Tyson, as a legal rapist, should receive a sentence appropriate to the
crime. Punishment should be harsh.
4) Most people think a woman is at least partly to blame for being raped.
5) In this great country, the victim is almost always blamed...at least
Myron B. Pitts
Inside Black Ink
Tuesday, February 18,1992
'The essence of freedom is understanding"
Editor. Myron B. Pitts
Associate Editor Corey Brown
Photography Editor: Kelly Greene Opinion Page Editor: Jacqueline
Charles Busiiicss Editor: Kevin McNair On-Campus Editor. Lee
Staff: Tiffany Ashhurst, Natalie Baucum, Keisha Brown, Delancey Bennett,
Jennifer O. Ferguson, Karen Greene, Scott Johnson, Felts Lewis, John T.
McCann, Chandra McLean, TJ. Stancil, Tonika M. Tillman, Sharilyn Seale,
Stefan Tyson, Shelley Willingham, Natarsha Witherspoon
REALIZING BLACK POWER
A University senior sees apathy as the major hindrance to the creation of an effective African-
American voting bloc and the production of black leaders. But he has a plan. Page 8.
THE BICENTENNIAL WILL LARGELY BYPASS THE BCC...
...but the Student Bicentennial Committee is not to blame, says chairman Kevin Moran.
However, he does not favor a free-standing Black Cuhural Center either. Page 3.
•The Media Issues Commitee of the CaroUna Association of Black Journalists explains
their endorsement of Peter Wallsten, candidate for Daily Tar Heel editor. Page 4.
•Has the 6-to-l ratio given UNC men a false sense of security? A humorous look from a
familar columnist. Page 4.
•One student tells of his experience before, during and immediately after the thrilling Tar
Heel victory over the top-ranked Dookies. Page 5.
HOPE AND STRUGGLE
Cory Blue, a senior, is directing the play, “BLK Love Song,” the story about the trials of a
young black husband and wife. Page 6.
SAY IT AIN’T SO
Are we really just tokens at this predominantly-white university? Two participants in the
recent Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Contest give quite different answers. Page 7.
•A diverse group tasted a bit of Asian cultiue during the New Year’s celebration...the lunar
New Year, that is. Page 10.
•In terms of a free-standing Black Cultural Center, the Black Student Movement president
thinks it past time for bargaining; he wants agitation. Page 10.
•Faye Wattleton, the president of Planned Parenthood, said making abortions illegal will
hit poor women the hardest. Page 12.
•Richard Epps, the first black student body president, may once again sit on the University
Board of Trustees. Page 12.
RETURN OF RAP TRACKS
Sir Mix-A-Lot surprises and WC and the MAAD CIRCLE, from the Ice Cube school,
amazes, Page 15.
OH BOY, WONDERBOY
As evidenced by his latest shocker, criticism has clearly failed to unnerve the caped
columnist. Page 16.
About the Cover
According to UNC senior Charles McNair, black students need to exercise their right to
vote — on campus and nationwide. In addition, prospective black leaders for the future
must begin training right now, and he has just the program to help them. See story, p^8®
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