The problem with guys like you is that you don’t realize who you are … you got ambition.
– John Shaft from the movie “Shaft” (2000), dialogue with a two-bit drug dealer
Finally, on April 11, all charges against the three Duke lacrosse players were dropped. All rational people of goodwill knew this day would come. We had suspicion of it going back to Jan. 14 when that shyster district attorney from Durham, N.C., Mike “NiFraud” Nifong, was forced to resign as prosecutor in the now infamous rape case, due to increasing public pressure and a lack of evidence as his case collapsed at his feet like Nebuchadnezzar’s image with feet of iron mingled with clay.
Although much has been written about this villainous prosecutor, here I would like to address a subtext of this ignominious, Shakespearean drama from tobacco road – the seductiveness of ambition.
On one level Mike Nifong is no different from the average Joe. A man of marginal-to-average skills who went to college at the University of N.C.-Chapel Hill, then three years later to the University of North Carolina law school, achieving more than even his classmates or colleagues thought. After several years doing odd jobs where he even volunteered as a non-paying assistant DA, he worked his way up through the ranks until he was appointed DA of Durham, N.C., by Gov. Mike Easley in April 2005. Durham, the city that boasted one of the most prestigious law schools in America – Duke University. What a story! A hometown boy makes it big. Nifong had arrived. He was the man. He was like Richard the Lionhearted … yet there was a small chink in his armor.
Nifong was well on the road to achieving a successful and respectable law career before the Duke rape case came across his desk. We all know the facts, so I won’t repeat them. What is important is that Nifong’s craven, arrogant, perverse nature came into shining display when, after the alleged rape allegations were first made against the entire Duke lacrosse team, but later reduced to three students: David Evans, 23, Collin Finnerty, 20 and Reade Seligmann, 20, Nifong grandstanded. This was his first step into the abyss.
At the urging of the usual suspects – the propaganda media, the political hacks of the Congressional Black Caucus, black demagogue leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the majority of the Durham black community were whipped up into an irrational frenzy. Sensing a book deal, an appearance on Oprah and a Hollywood moment, Nifong rushed to judgment against these boys before the trial commenced, judging them publicly before he had all the evidence. Nifong realized from the beginning that the evidence he possessed against these three Duke students was flimsy at best, non-existent at worst – but welcome to the Alice and Wonderland world of liberal politics where up is down, down is up, good is evil, and evidence isn’t an impediment to discovering the truth (against the right defendant).
To this ambitious DA, all the elements for a conviction were there – a house full of rich, horny, white college boys, a poor, vulnerable black maiden who was forced to perform demeaning dances for their lustful entertainment, sex, gang rape, interracial entanglements, a public mob yelling for blood, a shyster lawyer out to make a name for himself – what further evidence do we need?
Armed with this new liberal perversity paradigm, Mike “NiFraud” fraudulently, cravenly and with Machiavellian tactics publicly championed the alleged rape victim’s case, which he knew to be utterly untrue. He knew the alleged victim was no Joan of Arc and merited closer scrutiny, which is why he refused to even interview her, lest he be on notice of the truth. (To the ambitious, ignorance is always bliss.) Even the other dancer (Kim Roberts) refuted the alleged victims’ account and claimed the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, tried to get her join in the conspiracy that they both were raped. She refused.
With re-election only a few weeks away, Nifong vigorously hit the black church circuit (Durham having a large black population of about 40 percent) and played on racial hatred, class envy and economic resentment against those rich white Duke college boys. Like America’s dark, racist history of unrestrained white mob trials of the slavery and segregation eras, the blacks of Durham were blinded by their own racism and overwhelmingly re-elected Nifong. The fix was in.
The DNA test results, (which for six months Nifong and the DNA analyst conspired to keep hidden from the defense lawyers), not only presented definitive evidence that none of the three Duke defendants had violated the rape victim; it definitely showed that none of the 45 Duke lacrosse players who were at the party appeared on Ms. Mangum. However, there was semen of five other men in her vagina and anus, one of which presumably had now fathered her third child, which was born in January 2007.
Ambition, which should be considered the eighth deadly sin, had driven this lawyer with a respectable academic background, but mediocre lawyer skills and intelligence, into the abyss of humiliation and infamy with the worst yet to come.
In the end, what has ambition done to this diminutive liberal lawyer with an oversize ego? He abused the power of his office for craven political purposes, ruined the lives of three innocent young men and exploited the black voters of Durham, bamboozling them to re-elect him into the DA’s office with the promise that justice would be served. He forgot to tell the black voters just one thing: Justice will indeed be served; however, it won’t be served on the innocent Duke lacrosse players, but on Mike NiFraud’s hoary head.
Related special offer: