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


Senator Corker: U.S. Needs More Proactive Approach To Counter North Korean Nuclear Threat

Following a visit to China, South Korea and Japan three years ago, I argued it was long past time for the United States to get serious about the North Korea threat and China's continued support for the Kim Jong Un regime.  Yet here we are in 2016, on the heels of a missile launch and North Korea's fourth nuclear test -- a test that may well represent a significant technological ... (click for more)

Donna Horn: I'm Not A Good Ole Boy

Roy Exum continues to reload his poisonous pen.  Yesterday he wrote some untruths about me and some of the other board members that just happen to be educators as well.   For the record, one cannot run for school board if one is a teacher at the time of the election.   He said that I was still teaching when I was on the school board-not possible.  I retired in ... (click for more)

Underground Fire Closes Several Downtown Streets

An underground fire closed several downtown streets late Saturday afternoon. At approximately 5:20 p.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a reported fire in a man-hole at the corner of Chestnut Street and W. 8th Street. When fire companies arrived on the scene, they found black smoke coming from an underground electrical service line. The man-hole cover had been ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Who Was Shot In The Head In East Ridge Dies

Monserrate Ferrer, the 16-year-old who was shot in East Ridge on Friday, has died. Investigators will meet early next week with the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office to discuss the case. The shooting that involved two juveniles was at the 4200 block of Bennett Road. Responding officers found a 16-year-old boy in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. East ... (click for more)

Red Bank Beats Pigeon Forge For A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Red Bank Lions finally reached the mountain top as far as high school wrestling is concerned. The Lions had finished second to Bradley in the State Duals back in 1995 and it had been 16 years since the Lions had been involved, but they put an exclamation point on a strong dual-meet season by winning the Class A-AA title here at Williamson County Agricultural ... (click for more)

Bradley Whips Soddy Daisy For AAA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears have won more state duals titles than anyone and they added another one after going four years without being in the championship round. It’s been a remarkable season for the Bears, who beat region-rival Soddy Daisy by a 52-21 margin for their latest state title. Saturday night’s   match was never really close as the Bears had a ... (click for more)