Sunday, May 17, 2015

Race Hoax Column by Duke “Historian” William Chafe

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Duke history professor William Chafe wrote the following work of fiction, inspired by 1970s’ Blaxploitation flicks, as his contribution to the 2006-2007 Duke Rape Hoax. Although the Duke Rape Hoax was completely debunked, to my knowledge he never apologized for his racist blood libel.

See my VDARE investigative report:

“Nicholas Stix` Absolutely Definitive Account of the Incredible Disappearing Duke Rape Hoax.”

Sex and race: Guest column
By William Chafe
Posted: 3/31/06
Duke Chronicle (Duke’s student newspaper)

Sex and race have been intertwined since the beginning of American history. They remain so today, throughout America and here at Duke. The events that occurred on Buchanan Boulevard two weeks ago are part of a deep and troubling history.

Racism has always constituted the original sin of our democracy. Slavery, and then Jim Crow, systematically contradicted our commitment to the equality of all citizens. Race also stood as a primary source of power for those whites with privilege.

But so did gender. Women were denied the vote, just as blacks were. Women could not pursue careers in medicine, law or higher education until the late 19th century, just as blacks could not. Sex stereotypes, like race stereotypes, provided vehicles for the collective denigration of whole peoples-witness the pernicious humor associated with portraying women as scatter-brained, or blacks as lazy buffoons. Sex and race were both instruments of domination. White men of means could access and exercise power. Through most of our history, African Americans and women could not-and those who tried to act otherwise were perceived as "uppity," and slapped down.

Worst of all, sex was an instrument by which racial power was manifested and perpetuated. Why are most African Americans of a lighter hue than Africans from Nigeria? Because at some point in the past, or present, white males have "had their way" with black women. White slave masters were the initial perpetrators of sexual assault on black women, but subsequent generations continued the pattern, which is why black parents, for so many generations, feared letting their daughters take on domestic service roles in white households, where white males could molest them.

To make matters worse, white men portrayed black women as especially erotic, more driven to sexual pleasure and expressiveness than white women; and then, in a perverse form of projection, created the specter of black men seeking to rape white women. That is why most lynchings of black men in the late 19th and early 20th century were justified by accusing black men of lusting after white women-even though there was little evidence that such attacks ever took place.

So sex and race have always interacted in a vicious chemistry of power, privilege, and control. Emmett Till was brutalized and lynched in Mississippi in 1954 for allegedly speaking with too easy familiarity to a white woman storekeeper. And in 1958, two black male children under age 10 were imprisoned in North Carolina because they allegedly had kissed two white girls in a game-the infamous "kissing case" in which North Carolina became a target of ridicule around the world.

What has all this to do with America today, and with Duke? Among other things, it helps to put into context what occurred in Durham two weeks ago. The mixture of race and sex that transpired on Buchanan Boulevard is not new. Whether or not a rape took place (and this is an issue that needs to be assessed objectively and with full fairness to everyone), there is no question that racial epithets were hurled at black people. Nor is there any question that white students hired a black woman from an escort service to perform an erotic dance. The intersection of racial antagonism and sexual exploitation is all too familiar.

The real issue is how we will respond to this latest example of the poisonous linkage of race and sex as instruments of power and control. Who are we, the student body and community, of Duke University? Do we seek to be a community of inclusion, where in action as well as in theory, we encompass and embrace people of all races and backgrounds? Or do we seek to replicate patterns of racial and sexual control that have constituted such an affront to our claims of being a society of equal citizenship?

The choice is ours to make.

William H. Chafe is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of American History. From 1995-2004 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Duke University and Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education.

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