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


Discrepancies About The Power Uprate At Browns Ferry

Some facts regarding the power uprate at Browns Ferry to share with the Scottsboro Environmental group opposing the uprate:  1.  The reactor does not run at a higher temperature due to the uprate.  There is simply more flow of feedwater, thus more steam.  So the concern about higher temperatures is unwarranted.   2.  The change in the fuel was ... (click for more)

We Lost A Great Broadcaster In Jack Hatcher

This past week we lost another great broadcaster, Jack Wright Hatcher Sr.   I worked with Jack in the 60’s and 70’s.   Jack always would tell you what he thought.   Most of his thoughts were very conservative.   He was a trivia expert.   He could tell you just about any hit record from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   He also knew who starred in ... (click for more)

Family Forced From Home After Storm Blows Tree Down

As a severe thunderstorm blew through the Chattanooga area Sunday afternoon, high winds knocked down a large tree onto a house around  4 p.m.  at 1105 E. 13th Street. Captain David Thompson, Jr. said no one was injured, but the damage was severe enough that the family would have to stay elsewhere  tonight . Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast ... (click for more)

Michael Wilson Back In Bradley County; Due In Court On Monday

Michael Wilson is back in Bradley County, and was escorted into the Correctional Facility around 8:15 p.m. Wilson’s first appearance in court will be on Monday, at 9 a.m. in the Bradley County General Sessions Courtroom at the Judicial Complex at 2290 Blythe Ave. Wilson was arrested last week, after e ndangered Bradley County child Skyla Wilson was found safe in Colorado ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Baylor Volleyball Sweeps Three Region Foes

The Baylor Lady Red Raider volleyball team made a successful trip to Nashville this weekend where they remained unbeaten after 14 matches with wins over three region foes. Friday's match had Baylor sweeping Pope John Paul II by scores of 25-5, 25-10 and 25-11 before sweeping Ensworth and Father Ryan on Saturday.  Scores in the first match were 25-15, 25-12 and 25-5 while ... (click for more)

GPS Splits Matches With Father Ryan, Pope John Paul

Girls Preparatory School split two Division II-AA volleyball matches on Saturday, losing to Father Ryan, 3-2, and beating Pope John Paul II, 3-0. Reagan Long posted 25 combined kills in the two matches. Emma Moore had 45 assists and Preslee Brooksbank added 21 digs. The Bruisers now have a 9-4 record. Match 1 Father Ryan 3, GPS 2 Set Scores: 25-13, ... (click for more)