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Let History Guide Us, Not Fads and Labels
Published on June 1, 2004 By 6969jimbo6969 In Current Events

Pretense and the Suspense of Nonsense Debates
MARCUS DIXON’S SITUATION AND THE FALLACIES OF ‘RACE’ AS AN IDEA


I have yet to get really ‘barnyard’ or ‘ghetto’ in the essays and accounts I’ve been posting for the last six weeks. This note serves notice that the “JIM GOES GHETTO!” series has begun, reserved for instances such as this, where the sanctimony and the horseshit are so deep and profuse that the State of Georgia could supply its energy needs on the basis of the manure and hot air present. THE WHOLE ATTITUDE OF GEORGIA’S ESTABLISHED AUTHORITIES---ESPECIALLY LEGAL LEADERS, BUT ALSO MEDIA PUNDITS---TO THE MARCUS DIXON CASE IS SO REPLETE WITH TRAVESTY AND PREVARICATION THAT THE VIEWS THESE ‘LEADERS’ OFFER ARE, AT BEST, ‘BALANCED’ NONSENSE AND OUT-OF-CONTEXT FOOLISHNESS.

One exception to this tendency, THANK GOD, was the majority of the State Supreme Court that found Dixon’s conviction unacceptably flawed and freed him after he served fifteen months in prison. Two earlier posts provide details about what happened in Rome, Georgia on February 10th, 2003. Suffice it to say that Marcus, a big Black football star, had sex with a diminutive White girl a couple years his junior, who was yet to reach the fabled ‘age of consent.’

Convicted of Statutory Rape, for which the maximum sentence---if less than three years separates the ages of the pair copulating---is one year in jail, the jury also found Marcus guilty of “Aggravated Child Molestation(ACM).” This resulted from the jury foreman’s and the judge’s contention that “ANY INJURY” made ‘statutory’ sexual contact into ACM. The girl, who continues to contend “Marcus raped me,” had a cut lip from kissing and “vaginal bruising” due to her hymen bursting in the course of the event, and bruises on one wrist.

The jury unanimously found the young Dixon innocent of rape, and, of the members of the panel who have spoken since the trial, all but the aforementioned foreman suggest that the young woman’s account of being forced was beyond imagination, let alone belief. She spoke of having her belt, jeans, and panties removed, while Marcus held her wrists with his hands, by the big defensive lineman’s knees and feet. There are additional deep flaws in the investigation, prosecution, and climate of the case, which are available for later analysis as we see fit.

The Supreme Court of Georgia, by a four-to-three vote, decided that the Georgia Legislature did not intend to incarcerate high school students for having sex, and therefore, that the technical grounds---always a prosecutorial option, but ONLY used when a bad, scary Black boy has sex with a callow Dixie blossom---for Marcus’s conviction were unconscionable. DA Leigh Patterson is filing a Motion for Reconsideration, backed by the District Attorneys Association of Georgia. In any case, anyone hoping, in the teeth of all the evidence to the contrary, for social progress owes a debt to Chief Justice Norman Fletcher and the rest of the majority which adhered strictly to “lenity,” the important common law protection against arbitrary, selective prosecution. Perhaps Fletcher’s family roots in Floyd County helped him understand the real social and political meaning of this abominable prosecution.

Letters to the editor at the “Rome News-Tribune” anyhow, despite hundreds of submissions written and sent on Marus’s behalf, are approximating one hundred percent invective against Dixon, criticism of the Jones family’s unflagging support for their godson, and insinuations and even allegations of the rape, which the jury---nine White and three Black members---totally rejected. No Georgia media has come close to deconstructing and analyzing this important case, although all the main outlets have been punctilious in practicing “fair and balanced” protocols Whatever the individual motivations of all these parties-to-power, these positions---whether of the viciously open or conveniently ignorant bigoted sort---inevitably encourage the most noisome acceptance of color prejudice and pander to the politics of divide and conquer.

As I said above, no passeran! “This dog won’t hunt,” as folks quip in the hillls where I’m from. This is a HUGE story, about which I have collected material for multiple articles and a compelling book or two; the complete deconstruction of the color line today is possible in the matter of Marcus Dixon. Until a budget manifests itself, however, we’ll have to settle for piecemeal dissection and destruction of the following areas of idiocy, which presently pass as 1)sensible social commentary; 2)fairminded police and prosecutorial conduct; and 3) ‘balanced’ journalism.

#1---SOCIAL ASSESSMENT---
The following portion of this critique extends to almost everyone with whom I’ve spoken, with the exception of some of the students at Pepperell High School and other young people---from Floyd County, Atlanta, and evirons. Every adult with whom I’ve been talking(and this includes Marcus’s God-Parents Ken and Peri Jones and Marcus himself now)either remains mum, or follows the ‘Bible Belt’ party line that ‘sex is a sin outside of marriage.’ Part of that schtick is that children who breech the proscription are guilty of wrongdoing. Whether someone sees the transgresion as criminal or spiritual depends on the way the person doing the looking feels about what he is seeing.

We need to be clear. Such moralistic perspectives are at best stupid and disinenuous. Young adults have always had sex with each other, and until we succeed in destroying the urge with Prozac and brainwashing, they will continue to turn to each other for coital bonding. Is this a “DUH-to-the-power-of-DUH!!!” or what?? How many of us reached the altar as virgins? Regardless of a person’s individual answer, the vast majority of us know, in our hearts, that the loving in which we participated as teenagers was an important part of our lives.

To criminalize and demonize sexual contact among youngsters is to criminalize and demonize ourselves. It will be disastrous, both in terms of policy and social outcomes. That’s the best we can expect. It could be a quick ticket to mass destruction, since we’re toying with shaming and prohibiiting the most sacred expression of the life force. Whatever we sow in this most critical garden, in other words, had better be sweet and generous if we don’t long for a bitter harvest indeed.

If such laws and attitudes increase, and then apply selectively, a social cataclysm will arise more or less immediately. An attempt to further brutalize Blacks, with additional bigoted legal process, so that even the angels and scholars---that’s Marcus Dixon, dear reader, an ‘angel-scholar’---end up behind bars, will quickly explode in our faces. And so such insanity should cause conflagration. For obvious reasons, if such laws and attitudes apply universally, upheaval will come about even more quickly. Several of my student sources suggest that half of the teenage population---and two-thirds or more of seniors, are sexually active.

“If they arrested Marcus, they ought to arrest 80% of the Senior Class” was a line repeated in Rome half a dozen times, at a minimum. Students would rip the town to pieces that tried to punish them harshly for sex. And I’d be helping them, as would any parent with sense and guts instead of SSRI-induced spinelessness.

Is this a ‘wink-wink,’ ‘nod-nod’ type of situation, in which people say one thing even as they realize they are speaking foolishness? That’s a more hopeful summation than any of the alternatives---willfully ignorant moronic naivete, all smiles and unread Bibles, for example, or a proto-fascist beat-them-bloody and then castrate them for touching either themselves or each other. What I want to know is why we can’t just be honest.

Sexual energy is powerful and confusing and complex. We lie witlessly to our children and ourselves when we contend that any fundamentalist nostrum---Biblical or political matters not---has any truth value in our attempts to understand ourselves erotically. Panderring to puerile pontification simply has to be more volatile and unhealthy than looking at the situation honestly, historically, comparitively, and scientifically. Nothing short of theocratic, totalitarian dictatorship will ever yield football players and cheerleaders who regularly remain virgins, in other words. Hell, even the nerdy boys want to make some noise, and God knows the nerdy girls want to have their whirls, too.

When will those of us who know that the “sacred pleasure” of sexual loving is central to social health speak openly? When will we insist that the purveyors of backward, childish craziness keep their dirty minds off of our laws and classrooms and programs? The time had better come soon, or “When will they ever learn?” will be our epithet as a people.

As to Marcus, when he says he showed poor judgement, who can say anything other than ‘Amen?’ The lack of discretion, however, had NOTHING to do with his choice, as such, for connubial conjunction. Rather, the error was in joining with a young woman for whom and with whom he hadn’t much in the way of love or friendship or other commonality. Thus, his recent televised promise that he “will wait until marriage” for further sex has no connection to the actual poor judgement he demonstrated.

His failure of wisdom had to do with agreeing to penetrate a young woman whose father is a well-known bigot. For most young men, who now marry on average at age 24 or so, ‘waiting until marriage’ is physically, psychically, and emotionally very ill-advised. Such a path leads to sickness and sadness and weakness, in the most optimistic scenarios. Pessimistically, and Marcus should take note, a course like this can lead to sexual sadism along the lines favored by such denizens of the disgusting as the Marquis de Sade.

Georgia’s dominant ideology already is more backward than the New England Puritans, who had the good sense to have premarital sex so consistently that the average age of a marriage, at the birth of a first child, was six months. The Puritans, recognizing the heat and need of youth, openly practiced “bundling” among wooers and suitors and friends. As Leonard Cohen wisely advises us in song, “Remembered my son how they lied; you never should lie, not to the young.”

Today, the media explodes with abusively carnal innuendo, full of misogyny, androgyny, and self-loathing. We had better find ways to recognize that life, without a joyful attitude toward sexual expression, is no more plausible than if we destroy the topsoil that buds the seeds that feed us. Our own fecundity depends on loving and accepting and fulfilling our bodies; our fertility---body and soul, metaphorically and actually---will ultimately wither if we insist that, for being exactly what we have evolved to be---we belong in the charnal pit, like bursting sulfur logs on Satan’s spit.

#2---POLICE ATTITUDES---
Somewhat surprisingly, one of the few adults basically to agree with the spirit of this thinking---for teenagers different from Marcus Dixon, anyway---was Rome police officer Gary Conway. A soft-spoken man with an earthy sense of humor, disliking Gary would be difficult for one much more curmudgeonly than Jim Hickey. However friendly and forthcoming Officer Conway was, however, his conduct of the case and his statements, both before and since the trial, have been execrable vomitous that suggest the dire dark heart of this matter with perfect precision.

A constant source for the Rome News-Tribune’s typical, balanced-and-biased reports and editorials on the affair, reliably available to label Marcus a “sexual predator” or “a rapist” in spite of the hideous untruth of these allegations, Conway “knew Marcus was guilty” very quickly on the day of the charges, two days after the encounter itself occurred. I asked him if he even considered other suspects to explain the complainant’s many bruises and marks of violence(ALMOST ALL OF WHICH THE JURY FOUND HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MARCUS DIXON). “There wasn’t no need; I knew who did it.”

He didn’t consider other suspects, nor did he consider other theories, such as consent, which is what the young Mr. Dixon, the physical and circustantial evidence, and the jury all argued. Conway “KNEW” Marcus was guilty, denials and evidence aside, however. OK! He must have powerful reasons of some sort; “So in total, Officer Conway, you must have spent several hours interrogating Mr. Dixon How many sessions did you have questioning him?” I honestly figured, the way Conway was talking, that he must have given Marcus the third degree for a couple of hours anyway. I wanted to see if his grilling of the young man had been fair.

A blush crept up from Conway’s collar, the first of several at queries he found, one way or another, touchy I suppose. He shuffled papers while he reddened. “No, nah, uh, according to my notes, I spoke with the defendant....APPROXIMATELY FIVE MINUTES, more or less.” The calculation of prejudgement that this statement suggested took me aback. “You mean that first day, right? What about after that?”

Sure now, though, through flush and flame, Conway countered. “Nope! I didn’t need more time ‘cause I knew he was lying.” How, praytell, did he reach such certain conclusions? “Sometimes you just know.”

Another time I flustered the estimable Officer Gary, with a question I again did not mean to disconcert him, I inquired about whether he had ever talked to any of the complainant’s family. I did intend to cause a modicum of discomfort with the downstream follow-up to this request, about the father of the girl. It was the one time Gary Conway sputtered, once more taking me completely by surprise with the extent and intensity of his defensiveness.

“I don’t know what people are talkin’ about: ‘her daddy did this; her daddy did that’. That don’t have nothing to do with anything.” He rambled on, running out of steam as I sat and stared quizzically. I told him I hadn’t made any accusations or conjecture in this regard, since he pre-empted my opportunity. “Well, you know, it just makes me tired is all. Marcus Dixon raped her, and that’s God’s truth.”

Marcus’ use of a condom made me ask about the rape kit, which an investigator for Marcus had assured me had very strict rules attached to its disposition. “We didn’t need that, since he admitted having sex with her,” offered Gary Conway. I pushed this point, to discover this evidence no longer in evidence anywhere. I had been asking because of the rumors that the complainant had in fact had semen inside of her, when she complained about the incident two days after it happened.

My understanding is that such items as rape kits, precisely because of the availability of DNA analysis, MUST remain available for assessment. They may serve to provide exculpatory evidence or proof of extenuating circumstances. If Marcus used prophylaxis and she had sperm inside her, then this just recently virgin girl had sex a second time, between the coitus in the trailer and her breakdown on February 12th, which led to Marcus Dixon’s incarceration without bond and serving a year in prison for statutory rape. Doesn’t the thought occur to anyone else that what was upsetting the ‘victim’ was not her sex with Marcus, but something else altogether, possibly a second partner who never came to the attention of the court?

The thought apparently never crossed the mind of Leigh Patterson, the tough and skilled District Attorney of Floyd County. She has, with the same reliability as Conway, labeled Dixon “a monster,” a “sexual predator who would strike again.” To her and all hyper-moralistic hypocrites, I would warn to be on guard for self-fulfilling prophecies. As for Marcus’ enjoyment of the erotic, he was neither more nor less than a healthy, hungry boy in the process of becoming a man. He LIKED girls---White girls and Black girls---acting as protector and enforcer on the behalf of several cohorts of companeras, a combination of babysitter and “big brother you don’t want to mess with.”

How do the likes of Conway and Patterson, whose total one-on-one contact with Marcus Dixon was the five minutes Officer Gary took to draw his foregone conclusion, come to hold positions so at odds with all sorts of people who actually know and deal regularly with Marcus? This is an interesting riddle, one about which I have some tentative inclinations, but for a certain solution of which only a budget would allow for the necessary investigation. I did have an interesting exchange with Gary Conway though.

I remembered, for him, some of my volcanic eruptions as a teenager. Albeit with more Catholic guilt than young Marcus, I too had tried to ‘pet’ several girls who demurred. I noted this since a recent incident from a sixteen-year-old romp with a couple of other athletes and their girlfriends led Conway and Patterson to threaten Marcus with another “sexual battery” charge. In that instance, Marcus may have put his big old hand in the girl’s shorts with whom he was necking under the stands, as his compadres also “hooked up” in one way or other. When she asked him to stop, supposedly, he did.

To rule such a situation “sexual battery” promises total social disintegration if followed. Many, many men---likely a substantial and perhaps a VAST majority---have at one time or another placed a hand, a mouth, or an eye where no invitation had issued. Putting us all in prison would be difficult, quite likely. Perhaps the likes of Conway and Patterson only intend to threaten a portion of men. “Your situation was different,” Gary assured me, with a knowing nod. Other than his size and color, what separated Marcus’s experience exactly? Inquiring minds want to know.

One other incident places Marcus in the company of brutal rapists and serial killers. At age fifteen, a girl teased him “I heard you got a big one,” or something similar. She and he had a tense flirtatiousness between them; he would turn from his seat at the front of class to find her gazing at him from the back. After her challenge, one day when he found himself clad for a no-pads Spring workout later that afternoon, he grinned at her and spread his legs, so that she could see his ‘Johnson’ underneath his gym shorts.

I recalled one stubborn boner that arose in the middle of a ninth grade recitation, when a girl I liked made kissy-lips in my direction as I spoke. I don’t feel like a serialized abuser of the feminine, somehow. The titters took a month to die away at Longfellow Junior High School, where South Texas ninth graders like me went in 1967. Marcus served a ten day suspension, his intention different enough from mine to exonerate me again to the Rome police.

At the University of Alabama, meanwhile, to my chagrin ultimately past an assembled field full of my soccer mates---who had wondered where I was, our Zimbabwean captain turning to shout as I sprinted past with my characteristic lope, “Look, dere goes JIMMY!!”---I streaked naked at midday, along with three other ‘predators’---three honor student seniors and me in my first year of American Studies grad school. I recalled the effect, for Officer Gary, of what I acknowledged was a pointless prank, on a young girl who walked along the sidewalk in front of the Student Center, from which this quartet of man flesh clad only in running shoes and socks emanated. She had her nose intently in a book, but the bustle and gasps and approaching footsteps caused her to look up. She spied me, at the front of our pack, and she shrieked, dropping her oversized science text to splay on the concrete in order to cover her eyes in the classic pose of mortification.

I offered, again, that I could not measure any mostrosity in my actions, although the campus police caught the quickest of our number---a hilarious young gymnast and the madman who suggested the stunt in the first place---and the lot of us received social probation for a term. Once more, Conway conclusively stated that “this was different, it was all up in her face.” So, something about Marcus’ act, across a crowded classroom with his pants still on, to a girl who may very well have asked for such a show, made him more culpable than four of us, penises waving like little flags, frightening a freshman sorority girl, and disrupting things all over campus before we scampered away.

What distinguishes Marcus Dixon to Gary Conway, other than the fact that the young man’s ancestors were African, may remain ineffable. Perhaps the fact that Mr. Conway’s play of the defensive end position yielded no scholarship offers discomfits him somehow. Marcus’ color is clearly a more likely explanation, given the historical, cultural, and social context of North Georgia, and Dixie in general.

Leigh Patterson’s motives are even less certain. Why should she so bedevil a young man of such obviously excellent character, a hero to friends and family and god-family, Black and White and all hues intermittent? Politics is one explanation, the funding spigots perhaps a little easier to turn if she takes a ‘keep-’em-in-their-place,’ no-holds-barred stance on such cases. Or, maybe some tortured personal history clouds her ability to see. The simple explanation, that she is a proponent of White superiority, of the paleface privilege, seems mundane although also obviously plausible.

I do notice one thing. It is probably a grotesque anomaly but is nonetheless noteworthy; I called Ms. Leigh several times to set up an appointment to pose this and other questions. In Patterson’s approach to ‘statutory’ carnal knowledge---which was Marcus Dixon’s ‘crime’--- neither lesbian sex nor a girl’s seduction of a youthful fellow need ever be actionable as the dreaded ACM---aggravated child molestation. Since ‘broken cherries’ inevitably bleed, however, always leaving signs of an “injury,” an elevation of statutory rape to ACM would always be available to send boys to prison for ten years, for the crime of sex with a virgin classmate.

My questions to the DA were all to be pretty straightforward, in this instance whether she intentionally wanted to exempt lesbians and women from the reach of the ACM law. Is it possilbe that she is a female who finds male sexuality more threatening and less acceptable than the sexuality of other women? Attorney Patterson never called me back, but this and many other questions about the conduct of this case---a comparison of the procedure followed against Marcus Dixon with the approach against numerous other defendants on Rome’s docket over the past year or so, among several others---still seem apt and reasonable to pose and answer.

These are just a few of the actual police and judicial actions in this matter that seem pretty obviously the result of a profound prejudice against Black people. The Judge’s conduct of the trial was at LEAST as one-sided as either Patterson or Conway. As I indicated above, plenty of material exists for several books; one could deal with official abuse of process and color hatred apparent in this matter, and seek some explanatory resolution and mutual understanding of both tendencies. However all such possibilities play out, the story here of official malfeasance and opportunistic grandstanding---it was Tom Watson who taught every politician in the region to be wary of “being out-’niggered’” by opponents---is something I insist on reporting, despite the time and effort it costs, and the lack of any recompense.

#3---MEDIA PRETENSES---
I have insisted on troubling myself to look deeply into this matter. A really thorough analysis would take months, anyway, and would be a gigantic project, but I have garnered important information from interviews, history, and wide current reading, at my own expense and because the endeavor strikes me as important, and I have sought with heartfelt intellectual honesty to really look at this bizarre and horrific case. Under the circumstances, I can’t help but wonder why NO MEDIA ANYWHERE have seen fit to go to the trouble to achieve the same depth and clarity. The horrifyingly ludicrous paradigm of contemporary news---essentially the unnatural guillotining of historical context from almost every story, among other ideological insanity---will need to await other essays, however.

What I can do now is note the surface ‘professionalism’ of reporting by local news outlets, which by-the-numbers “balance” is inherently biased and conjoins a total lack of any meaningful analysis, as well as historical ignorance of frightening proportions. The TV coverage has inevitably favored Marcus, since a camera will always discover his angelic cast. The darling idea now abroad among the video cognescenti---and it is a tendency, as I note above, prevalent in almost everyone’s for-the-record statements about all this---is to blame human sexuality as the culprit. Deeper deconstruction of this madness would be marvelous, but it must await another forum. The Rome and Atlanta papers are the primary press we examine here, with four ideas the locus of the conversation.

As noted already, the “Rome News-Tribune” accepted for publication very few of the many letters they received in favor of Marcus. This decision was similar to offering a forum almost exclusively for UGA football fanatics, and then explaining to Georgia Tech boosters that the paper bore no grudge against Yellow Jackets. This practice, essentially a lobby for a climate of acceptance of color bigotry, is awful enough for indictment by itself.

Alongside of what impartial observers might call this breach of trust, moreover, they will also discern more subtle irregularities---which apply to both the Atlanta and the Rome press. The first of these is an utter absence of any attempt to scrutinize the background, social causes, or history of the matter, either in relation to Rome or the region. The attitude of a daily paper in Dixie toward such an admonition might very well be, ‘the truth may set YOU free, but it would drive us broke.’ Without doubt a substantial slice of the reading public believe White people superior to Black, or at the least they see Blacks as criminally or socially or otherwise negligent somehow. For an organ of information to allow discussion that would threaten such ethnocentric and unscientific viewpoints might be commercially risky.

Nonetheless, until both cities’ papers insist on just this sort of rigor and scholarship, they will be fraudulent in what they say they are doing, which is to inform us about the world in which we find ourselves. Facts without a social context, an apparent present with no connection whatsoever to the past from which we have sprung, these offer no more understanding than the words of science articulated without the development and consideration of the underlying ideas and hypotheses. Our role as citizens is impossible in such a situation, and if we don’t insist on a more honest approach we will inherit the social whirlwind we deserve for our blissful and insistent ignorance.

The second set of problems with local print journalism concern the intrinsically ludicrous results that flow from ‘balanced’ reporting, especially in a context of already prevalent bias in one direction---or toward a certain coloration, so to speak. Thus, as just one example, the fact that I could not find a single mention of the Scottsboro boys in relation to Marcus’ imprisonment is crazy. Joseph Lowery, Tyrone Brooks, Terrence Shields, Vincent Fort, among many other African American and White onlookers and commentators brought this similarity out in their remarks.

I know this because I circulated the initial e-mail, which demonstrated that the forty mile and seventy year trek, between Rome and Scottsboro, was not at all a long jaunt. The cases have MANY striking elements in common, and dozens of other such stories, of Black incarceration or worse, in order to placate wounded sexual pride and the obsessive restatement of White supremacy, also circulated. Where did such contentions appear in print? If they showed up, I missed them, and so did Google and Altavista. A “Washington Post” columnist’s introduction of this history is the sole print acknowledgement outside of the socialist and African American media.

Leigh Patterson and Gary Conway and any number of opportunists and idiots receive verbatim quotations about their almost brutally stupid assessment of human sexuality, and their equally reactionary estimations about young Mr. Dixon also find an audience. But widespread and valid historical and analytical argument receive zero notice. Such abstract, journalistic ‘balance’, when what we desperately require is historical and anthropological and psychological insight, is barely better than useless.

Another aspect to this part of the problem is in the numbers-game-inequities that flow from ‘balanced’ reportage. Thus, even though in aggregate tens of thousands of people rallied around the country---and to some extent, worldwide---alongside millions of people who spoke out in one way or another on the internet, all in sympathy with and support of Marcus Dixon, this merits just a bit more notice and words than the few hundred people in sum---at a few different gatherings---who basically agreed with the police and the District Attorney. Such purported fairness and accuracy is only at best a caricature of equal time, and it is only truthful in the sense that all parties concerned had some type of representation and no blatant lies occurred, in spite of consistent, sometimes apparently constant, distortion, half-truth, and omission.

The final comeuppance for the papers, for now, is in the provisions they make for ‘balance’ on their op-ed pages. The “Atlanta Constitution,” in particular, has mastered an almost sinister method for seeming to let everyone speak but ending up with progressive positions with no voice whatsoever. Jim Wooten gets two columns to demonstrate both that he can spout Klan rhetoric without ever once using the “N” word, and that he can distort and misrepresent important and relatively easy-to-understand legal arguments at the same time. Maybe Mr. Wooten sees a future for himself if Leigh Patterson---God help us---ever runs for higher office.

Steve Hummer, meanwhile, manages to conflate a youngster with six felony drug raps against him with Marcus Dixon falling prey to Leigh Patterson’s exploitation of the lack of common law lenity in two Georgia statutes. He then blows a lot of hot air about the mixture of greed and perfidy characteristic of sports these days. This off-the-shelf, off-the-cuff journalism, with not even the most meager attempt to connect commentary to concrete reality and what-in-hell actually took place, is at best tired and worthless; at worst, it contributes to the continuance of color hatred that is the bane and could be the end of this country.

Mike King came close to having some interesting things to say, what with his identification of a “master narrative” about sexual expression. But he does little to elucidate what this ‘master narrative’ is or how it connects with Dixon or Kobe Bryant, whom he sees fit to throw into the mix. He uses this intriguing idea to suggest that the “context” of this case was that Marcus had on his record the two ‘incidents’ I discuss above.

TO BE CONTINUED

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