DNA lead in Morgan Harrington case

Morgan Harrington was the 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who disappeared last October while walking alone at night, provocatively dressed, in clothing which her mother helped her choose that morning, trying to hitch a ride outside a concert stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her murdered body was found four months later on a farm ten miles from that city. Now police have made a DNA match between Morgan’s suspected killer and the suspect in a sexual assault that took place several years ago. The suspect has not been identified, only his DNA, plus the victim’s description of the suspect in the earlier crime. The news story of course does not mention the suspect’s race, but the police drawing shows it.

Morgan%20Harrington.jpg Suspect%20in%20Harrington%20case.jpg
Liberal society’s designated prey—and predator

In the bad old days of discrimination, race-conscious white society segregated and oppressed black men in order, among other things, to keep them from raping and murdering young white women. In our more virtuous and humane times, race-blind white society commands young white women, in the name of female freedom and empowerment, to behave in ways that will get them raped and murdered by black men.

There is another difference between the two periods. In the old days in the South, white society stated plainly why it was segregating black men. In our time, the fact that black men are regularly raping and killing white women, and the fact that white women’s own socially approved and mandated behavior makes such murders infinitely more likely, are never, ever, ever mentioned.

This is not a call to hate black people or to regard all or most black men as dangerous criminals. It is not a call to oppress blacks or return to Jim Crow. It is a call for our society to acknowledge certain vital realities which are currently being systematically ignored, and for us to change our attitudes and behaviors accordingly.

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Several times at VFR I have satirically paraphrased the title of Midge Decter’s 1975 book, Liberal Parents, Radical Children. When I think about Morgan Harrington’s mother sending her out to the world in the black miniskirt and high black leather boots she was wearing when she was abducted and killed, another paraphrase occurs to me:

White Liberal Mothers, Dead White Liberal Daughters

Speaking of which, last week I saw a fascinating two-hour program on MSNBC about the Natalee Holloway case. There is a lot to say about it, but one thing in particular stood out: the continuing absolute cluelessness / lack of any sign of consciousness on the part of Natalee’s mother, Beth Twitty Holloway, that there was anything unwise or unsafe in sending her 18 year old daughter with a bunch of her fellow high school students to a tropical island to “party” (i.e., get drunk and have sex) for four days. Also, MSNBC was an accessory in this denial. While the program had all kinds of remarkable information and photos on the case I hadn’t seen before, it nevertheless avoided the slightest suggestion that there was anything wrong about the high school trip to Aruba in general and about Natalee’s behavior there in particular. It did not mention the fact (attested to elsewhere by one of her fellow students on the trip) that she was drinking heavily from morning till night for the entire four days. It did not remotely hint that there was anything untoward in her getting into a car late at night with three strange young men who were not part of her group. Nor did it suggest that there was anything wrong in the fact that her classmates, seeing her get into a car late at night with three strange young men, didn’t say anything to her about it or perhaps try to stop her. In liberal society, the precepts of liberalism—including the absolute freedom of girls and women to do whatever they want—can never be questioned.

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Roger G. writes:

I hate the use of “party” as a verb, and I refuse to surrender “gay.” I come from old Virginia, where all is bright and gay.

LA replies:

Agreed, but I used “party” in quotation marks.

Roger replies:

No, no, no, I’m sorry. I wasn’t criticizing your use of the term. Quite the contrary. I was referring to what has become accepted—and more broadly, I was commenting on a society that would turn this noun into verb.

Joseph writes:

I wonder if there is another relationship between the two stories other than clueless parenting and the naivety of thinking that female “empowerment” really protects women from violence.

In our society, women appear not to have been trained to identify potential sexual predators, and you often comment on the racial aspect of this phenomenon. I think of the case where a research doctor in Atlanta who wanted to sell her condomnium allowed a young black man to come unescorted to her apartment because she did not want to appear (to herself, it seems) as a racist. Is it possible that women have lowered their guard — an excised their judgment — for anti-racist reasons?

It also seems true that society as a whole has lowered its standards to accommodate the common dysfunctions of black American culture. We Americans are egalitarians, and it pains us to set different standards for blacks. Thus, in the name of equality, we lower standards for everyone.

If we combine the two factors, then we may see another aspect in the Holloway case. If women refuse to acknowledge strange black men as potential predators, then they cannot allow themselves to see strange white men as such. Indeed, in the subconscious of these young women likely lies the belief that black men are dangerous. They are not able to accept such a racist and offensive thought, but it may make them more trusting of strange white men when they come along. It perhaps floated through Miss Holloway’s mind that she would be safe with van der Sloot, even if he was with the Kalpoe brothers. Dutchmen cannot be dangerous when we cannot even allow ourselves to perceive feral Oakland “youths” as threats. When we weaken our mistrust of the other, it may likewise foolishly increase our trust of that which seems closer to us.

Of course, the simpler answer is that our liberal society has been negligent in instilling caution and prudence in our young women for feminist and non-judgmental reasons. However, I wonder if there is a racial aspect to it.

LA replies:

This is very interesting. I’m not ready to reply to your specific idea at the moment, but my general answer would be this: for Americans, guilt about blacks and the resulting need to overcompensate toward blacks has been the primary driving force of liberalism. Thus Toni Morrison’s black racist notion that blacks are the secret obsession behind all whites’ thoughts and feelings may be true, but in the exact opposite sense from that intended by Morrison.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 02, 2010 12:26 PM | Send

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