Vanderbilt, Alcorn State And The Media: Building A Culture Of Misogyny

Monday, September 16, 2013

When college athletes, usually football or basketball players, commit crimes, the stories are reported in starkly different terms than when anyone else commits a similar crime.  I’ve noticed, over the last few months, that the rape case at Vanderbilt is no exception.  Coverage of the case encourages a culture that devalues women.

When writers and commentators discuss the Vanderbilt rape case, they primarily are concerned about:  1) the impact this case will have on the Vanderbilt football program as a whole 2) whether Vanderbilt will have all its starters for the next game, including the starting quarterback who now appears to be in some way implicated, and 3) that the prosecutor is possibly being “over-zealous” in prosecuting those involved.

At what point did the gang rape of an unconscious young woman become about football?  Why is no one, at Vanderbilt University or elsewhere, discussing how to change a culture in which a horrific gang rape is covered up so that the football season isn’t ruined?  Why are we talking about football at all?  The fact that these monsters play football is completely irrelevant.  They have been indicted on felony charges, which means that a grand jury determined that they probably committed the crime, and should no longer be college students, and by extension college athletes, at any school. 

Chris Boyd, the player who pleaded guilty to a crime in connection with covering up the rape, has been “suspended” from the football team.  His football eligibility is irrelevant; he should be expelled from the university.  Does Vanderbilt have no code of conduct for students?  One would hope that Vanderbilt, which proudly touts its purported "academics over athletics" philosophy, would do better.  Yet the school has managed to stall, not release information, and try to hush things up at every opportunity. 

Even more shocking, Jaborian McKenzie, one of the accused Vanderbilt rapists, immediately became a starter at Alcorn State University after being dismissed from Vanderbilt him, while on bond for aggravated rape.   Alcorn State said that it didn’t “sufficiently examine” the charges against him before allowing him to play.  Apparently, Alcorn State's first reaction to a woman being violently gang-raped in a Vanderbilt dorm was "how can we capitalize on this to win some football games?"

Heather DeGaetano


Technology In Education: The Future Is Now

Professional Educators of Tennessee are uncompromising advocates for more effective schools.  Because we now live in a technology-based world, we believe in the smart use of technology in the classroom to facilitate student engagement is no longer optional.   The use of online education and technology can also effectively address the age-old problem of having students ... (click for more)

Randy Fairbanks Will Make Rails To Trails A Priority

If you think the Rails to Trails is important to our community then please, join me in voting for Randy Fairbanks for the County Commission seat in District 1.   Randy is committed to revitalizing this important project and plans to make it a priority if elected.   Jamie LeMay Soddy Daisy (click for more)

Berke Names Fred Fletcher, Of Austin, Tex., New Chattanooga Police Chief

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that Fred Fletcher of Austin, Tex., is his pick for Chattanooga Chief of Police. With 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Fletcher has served in an executive, command, or supervisory role for 12 years.  As commander in Region III of the Austin Police Department, Mr. Fletcher spearheaded community initiatives including a drug market ... (click for more)

Child, 23 Months, Found Dead In Crib With Fentanyl Patch On Back; Death Ruled Homicide

A 23-month-old Chattanooga boy has been found dead in his crib with a Fentanyl patch on his back. The death of Demarcus Bryant at 7655 Borris Dr. last month was ruled a homicide. An autopsy report says he died from "Fentanyl patch placed by someone else." Chattanooga Police are investigating. No one has yet been charged. The child was found face down in his crib. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Soccer Remains Undefeated, Clinches 7-A/AA Regular-Season Title

The Signal Mountain boys’ soccer team did more than just spoil Notre Dame’s senior night on Thursday. After Robert Schorr scored off Graham Eschmann’s throw-in in the opening minute, the Eagles went on to preserve their unbeaten record and secure their first-ever District 7-A/AA regular-season title with a 2-0 victory over the Irish. But even the very early lead wasn’t ... (click for more)

Ninth Inning Rally Gives Lookouts 5-4 Win Over Barons

The Lookouts trailed by a run entering the bottom of the ninth  -- headed for their third consecutive loss. Chattanooga rallied for two runs to pull the game out, 5-4.  Details to follow. (click for more)