Yesterday I saw a You Tube clip in which Whoopi Goldberg, who outed her co-host for not knowing that the earth was indeed round, said that Al Sharpton ought to apologize to the Duke Lacrosse players. While a whole mess of people got it wrong on that case and some, mostly so called feminists, still insist on believing that which the evidence clearly contradicts, I didn't get it wrong. However, that the young lady was not raped does not negate the other things that went on and was discovered at the house, namely the threatened use of a broom, the racial epitepths used and the note in which a player said he'd like to skin the women while "cumming in his shorts". But back to Sharpton.
Going back to an interview given on Fox (Faux) News with Bill O Reilly we find what Sharpton has said on the matter:
I think that there are certainly a lot of racial factors. Whether it is directly in the case, we'll see, because some reports said that there was racial language used. But I think that when you look at the racial atmosphere, when you look at the fact that there again were the allegations of racial statements, when you look at a lot of people feeling that they have been treated differently, where this girl has basically had a character charged in the media, there is a lot of racism that's in the air. Having said that, I commend a lot of the blacks and whites who stood vigil and to come together in that community to stand up for this girl. So I think in the midst of this, there is some good.
You will note that Sharpton, at this point does not declare the Duke students to be guilty, he states that there are reports of "racial language", that there was a "racial atmosphere". So far there's nothing he said about the players at all. He was even so careful as to use the word "allegations".
SHARPTON: Well, first of all, the authorities have charged there was a crime, so they are not saying that at all. Second of all, people on any side of an argument have the ride to advocate on behalf of who they believe. Thirdly, I think that when the prosecutors went forward, they clearly have said this girl is the victim, so why would we be trying the victim and not the...
You'll note that Sharpton referred to the "authorities" not his own opinion. So if there is any fault it is with the "authorities" who mis-informed the public
. Secondly Sharpton clearly states that people on "any side of an argument" have the right to advocate. So again, he's staked his position based on supposedly authoritative reports and not on what he simply thinks is the case. Also he put the word of the prosecutor out. If the prosecutor was wrong, then the prosecutor was wrong. Al doesn't have to apologize for the actions of the prosecutor. Even if you wanted to hold Sharpton responsible, you can't get by the fact that he still hasn't said anything about the players themselves.
SHARPTON: But I think that all of the facts that you have laid out the DA had — and I know this DA is probably not one that is crazy. He would not have proceeded if he did not feel that he could convict. So it tells me that all of what you said is either not true or he has convincing evidence that would certainly knock that out and no one is not letting him proceed. You know, a lot of those community leaders down there, pro and con, wanted a lot of people to come in. I know for a fact asked Jesse Jackson to come, we said we don't want to be (INAUDIBLE)...
Again, Sharpton is simply repeating that which now disbarred DA Nifong was putting out. And even then, Sharpton made the case that there is the possibility of one of the arguments (pro or con) is wrong. What is also of interest is how Sharpton shows that certain leadership was invited to come to Duke. So all the people acting like Sharpton was ambulance chasing, as it were, are flat out wrong.
SHARPTON: First of all, they better be prepared to see if she is the only witness. You don't know what other people are going to testify. You don't know what other evidence they have. So let's not get ready to discredit the girl until we see the whole passage. That's what happened with Louima. We had more than Louima, so let's not assume just discrediting the girl will work this time.
Again, Sharpton, who clearly has taken a side has still not said anything of opinion against the Duke students. Also he clearly states that people should wait until "we see the whole passage"
O'REILLY: Let me be clear. Your stance is let the system work.
SHARPTON: My stance is that Reverend Bob of the NAACP and others down there are advising a lot of the community what happened, we're in touch with them and we're going to work and advise through them. We'll do whatever is necessary or not necessary.
O'REILLY: All right, but you don't know yet, You, Al Sharpton, don't know what happened.
SHARPTON: I don't know yet and I think that the proper thing to do is to support those that want justice.
O'REILLY: All right. I'm all for that. I support justice. Always a pleasure. Thank you.
So it is pretty clear that Sharpton, even though he had taken a side, was advocating that justice be served. Note he didn't say he wanted to see the Duke students convicted or anything like that. He said clearly that justice is what he wanted. Justice happened. End of story. Sharpton has nothing to apologise for because he didn't say anything that was out of order. He spoke on the evidence as presented to the country. He clearly had staked a position, but was clearly open to what the evidence showed. Most importantly he had nothing to say specifically about the students in question.
So Whoopi is out of order, and so are all the other people looking for an apology out of Sharpton for his statements on the matter.