Some call the MacArthur Grants, the genius awards. But a quick look at the recipients quickly makes a mockery of that.
Rev. William Barber is the figure on the latest list of recipients making the most headlines. Some media types are breathlessly and shamelessly comparing him to MLK.
In reality, Barber pals around with Sharpton and the media forgot his big debut during the Lacrosse Duke rape hoax.
Wells’ disturbing record on the lacrosse affair began with his April 2 sermon, when he contextualized the “disputed facts of an ugly evening” (on which, he said, he would await “forensic evidence”) as part of “a disturbingly extensive experience of sexual violence, of abiding racism, of crimes rarely reported and perpetrators seldom named, confronted, or convicted, of lives deeply scarred, of hurt and pain long suppressed.”
Wells further denounced “the subculture of reckless ‘entitlement’, sexual acquisitiveness and aggressive arrogance,” which “undermines the university because it corrupts the imagination on which the whole university rests. It breaks the university’s law.” Indeed, fretted the chaplain, “the last week has exposed the reality that sexual practices are an area where some male students are accustomed to manipulating, exploiting and terrorizing women all the time—and that this has been accepted by many as a given.”
” He asked listeners to “set aside the criminal charges for a moment, set aside what the courts will do about various things.” (So much, apparently, for the pre-Nifong recusal NAACP party line that only the courts could determine the facts.) “What about having parties with strippers and drunkenness,” mused Barber, “and reports of racial slandering?”
The lacrosse case turned out to be a hoax. And the MacArthur grant is going to an activist who jumps in first and cares about the truth second or third, if at all.