Saturday, July 07, 2007

INNOCENT: Durham & America

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

Today’s Durham Herald Sun contains a letter from Steve Bumgardner, a Durhamite who for many years has been a regular contributor to the H-S’s letters section. Or maybe I should say he’s been a chronic contributor.

Anyway, what I want to do is take one of Bumgardner’s emotings (Bumgardner no doubt would call it a “thought”) and use it to say things I’ve wanted to say for some time.

Bumgardner begins:

I find it very interesting how all of these people that don't live here are telling Durhamites how they should feel and react to the lacrosse case.
To paraphrase an old expression: “your not from Durham” is the last refuge of those who still wish Nifong had been right.

People like Bumgardner don’t write letters saying they’re upset that Nifong repeatedly lied to them and worked to frame innocent men.

They don’t complain that Durham police lied about a “horrific crime” being committed and a “wall of silence;” thereby inflaming racial tensions to the point that Durham’s Mayor, NC Central’s Chancellor and Duke’s President felt forced to take out full-page newspaper ads calling for community calm.

But let someone from Wisconsin write a letter that begins, “We should all respect the Constitution and I’m concerned Mike Nifong hasn’t…,” and it lights the Bumgardners’ fuses, and they start booming about “outsiders telling us in Durham what to do.”

Never mind that the Constitution is supposed to be the law of the land. Or that as citizens we are all supposed to take care that it is enforced everywhere in America.

And never mind that if we were all like Baumgardner we wouldn’t have listened to Don Abrams, William Anderson, the late Ed Bradley, La Shawn Barber, Tom Bevan, Mary Katherine Ham, KC Johnson, Betsy Newmark, Kathleen Parker, Dorothy Rabinowitz , Thomas Sowell, Stuart Taylor, Jason Trumpbour, Jason Whitlock, Philip Wood and so many others whose work helped slow the witch hunt and expose the frame-up.

Well, folks, you’re all smart enough to ignore Bumgardner’s last refuge argument and hoot his H-S letter and ones like it.

I hope you also know how much most of us in Durham appreciate all the help we’ve had from outsiders to get rid of Nifong. What would have happened if he hadn’t been stopped and could have gone on for anther four years?

It’s too bad Bumgardner and some others here don’t think about that and instead worry about “outsiders” who might say things they don’t want to hear.

Keep those letters coming and stay with us. We need your help.



Anonymous said...

John, how can you stand living in Durham?

Anonymous said...

Duh? Wonder where BUMgardner thinks the Duke folks lived when they went to school or worked there? I was in grad school and lived in town and eventually worked at the hospital and had two children BORN there. I don't live there now, but does that qualify my opinions enough to count?

Duke University is ( maybe was?) a player in the world-class educational leagues. Because it is in Durham, that sleepy little town is, obviously in the spotlights of the WORLD.

Maybe Baumgardner needs to understand that some of the REST of the WORLD have larger sand boxes than just their back yards.

Hmmmm... How VERY provincial.

Not ALL people in Durham are that way. Not ALL people in Durham are biggoted and myoptic. But I am afraid that MANY of them were duped into believing that their thoughts and ideals would not really be heard or valued unless they were like the Nifong and Brodhead mentality.

So enough of them did NOT speak up when they should have.

But there is still time.

If they want to take back their city.

Otherwise, thank God for John and his buddies, who don't intend to rest until the good, decent folks in Durham, and the good decent folks at Duke find their voices and SPEAK OUT.

David said...

It's all pretty simple. Nifong beongs in prison. Like many all over the country we hope for the worst for him as he represents the DC culter of theives, liers and basically insane White House staff. I find Feragama Rice almost the most odious of all. She is truly a putrid being. Boy did Trumpt for once get it right about her silly plane waving nonesense

Anonymous said...

John, bumgardner is brain dead but at least he cares enough to express himself. Try to ask Durham's Chief of Police about what he thinks and you will get what we have seen for the past two years. That Chief Steve Chalmers is always "not available for comment". And he is an elected official. Maybe Mr. Bumgardner should worry less about what other Americans think about Durham and figure out how to help fix the mess that is Durham.

Anonymous said...

I supported the team from the beginning. Durham must be exhausted by this entire ordeal. I am sure they want the outsides to go away with the case. Really can not blame them. Duke should move out of Durham, but it won't happen. I really do not care about Duke or Durham.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of New Orleans where people died because of incompetent city government but then they re-elected Mayor Nagin. I'm sure they don't appreciate opinions from "outsiders" either but they certainly accepted (demanded) our help when they needed it. If that sounds a little snarky, sorry. My small town in Texas was hit by Hurricane Rita and I don't think I would have minded the additional problems the Katrina evacuees caused for us if so many of them hadn't been complaining all the time.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, isn't that what people like George Wallace and Lester Maddox used to say? "It's them outsiders comin' down here and stirrin' up trouble." History repeating itself?

Anonymous said...

David: What are you smoking?

humboldtblue said...

I was far too young to have been an outside agitator during the 60's, but it sure feels good being one now.

JWM, that parochialism is not restricted to Durham, because I've heard the same argument, just in different forms, such as "why is a case in Durham all over the national news?" or,"why is this case soimportant, don't you know there's a war on?"

In the end, it's a story about the abuse of power by an elected official ofgovernment, and that means it all our problem.