"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
Catotti Country: Where you can try competence and character, but the appeals of race, gender and class are supreme.
In today’s Durham Herald Sun we read:
City Council members have named five of the 12 people who will investigate how Durham police and District Attorney Mike Nifong handled the Duke lacrosse case, and expect to appoint the rest by June 8. …Welcome to Catotti Country, where you’re judged by the color of your skin and your gender.
Since the initial group of appointees includes four white men and a black woman -- Norris -- officials conceded the desire for balance would complicate the remainder of the appointments. Bell said later that compromises might be necessary.
"We might not hit the diversity goal," he said. "We might not hit the [stipulation] that you have four criminal defense people. But we're trying."
The demand for diversity came from Councilwoman Diane Catotti who, last week, was the only council member to vote against launching the investigation. She said Friday that given the initial appointments, the remainder of the slate should include two white women, three black women and two black men, thus leaving the panel 50 percent black and 50 percent female.
"This case raises so many race and gender issues it's important to have that parity," she said, conceding that the panel's eventual composition might vary by "one or two" from her ideal. …
At Friday's meeting Bell began assigning members to look specifically for people fitting the gender and racial profiles Catotti suggested.
What about character and competence, you ask? Don’t they count for anything in Catotti Country?
Well sure, but not nearly as much as race and gender.
That’s why, in Catotti Country, if you’re setting up a committee to investigate a police department that a distinguished attorney recently said very likely committed crimes during an investigation headed by a DA the Attorney General publicly said was a “rogue” DA, you don’t go looking for the most qualified people to serve on the committee. Just imagine what could happen if you did that.
Instead, you use formulas and quotas to select committee members.
You’re not comfortable with that? It’s too much like those quotas and formulas many country clubs and colleges and universities used to use for admissions: Five percent Jews, ten percent Catholics, and of that ten percent, no more than a quarter of them Italian, etc, etc.
You were taught that sort of thing is discrimination. Doesn't Councilwoman Catotti oppose discrimination?
Well, I haven’t interviewed her but I think I’m safe in saying Catotti would tell us she’s very opposed to discrimination. What’s more, she’d never use the kind of formulas and quotas that trouble you. She’d say they trouble her, too.
I think what Catotti has in mind is something more like: “Five percent Conservatives, ten percent white males, and of that ten percent, no more than a quarter of them athletes, etc, etc.
Life in Catotti Country.
The entire H-S story is here.