Posted on | January 28, 2017 | 1 Comment
Tre’Von Armstead (left) and Shamycheal Chatman (right).
A Baylor University graduate who says she was raped by football players in 2013 sued the university Friday. Her lawsuit includes an allegation that 31 Baylor football players committed at least 52 acts of rape, including five gang rapes, between 2011 and 2014 — an estimate that far exceeds the number previously provided by school officials.
Those figures could not be independently verified Friday, and Baylor officials declined to comment on their accuracy.
The woman, identified in the suit by the pseudonym Elizabeth Doe, reports being gang raped by then-Baylor football players Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman after a party on April 18, 2013.
Those football players were previously named as suspects in a sexual assault police report related to that date but were not charged. They could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.
The woman, a 2014 graduate of Baylor, is now suing the university for Title IX violations and negligence. . . .
The lawsuit describes a culture of sexual violence under former Baylor football coach Art Briles in which the school implemented a “show ’em a good time” policy that “used sex to sell” the football program to recruits. That included escorting underage recruits to strip clubs and arranging women to have sex with prospective players, the suit alleges.
Former assistant coach Kendal Briles — the son of the head coach — once told a Dallas-area student athlete, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players,” according to the suit.
Well, what shall we say of this? One is tempted to make jokes — Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles, “Hey, where the white women at?” — except for the fact that, if true, these are very serious allegations. And if we were prepared to believe the worst about Baylor’s football program, or about black athletes in particular, then we might nod along in agreement with the feminists who see this case as proof of “rape culture.”
On the other hand (he says, recognizing the problematic nature of the previously asserted hypothetical) we may doubt that the situation at Baylor was as extreme as described in this lawsuit. Was the plaintiff actually raped by Armstead and Chatman? If so, was there any demonstrable link between their actions and the words attributed to Kendal Briles? That is to say, if Armstead and Chatman did what the plaintiff alleges, was their behavior condoned by their coaches?
Sam Ukwuachu (left), Tevin Elliott (center), Coach Art Briles (right).
Baylor definitely had a problem with its football team, as a timeline published by the Waco Tribune makes clear. Two football players — Sam Ukwuachu and Tevin Elliott — were convicted for sexual assaults that occurred in 2012 and 2013. In a May 2016 meeting with Baylor’s board of regents, Coach Art Briles reportedly broke down crying:
The scandal involved 17 Baylor University women who reported sexual or domestic assaults involving 19 football players, Baylor regents told The Wall Street Journal. Those reports, made between 2011 and 2015, included four alleged gang rapes. . . .
“There was a cultural issue there that was putting winning football games above everything else, including our values,” Regent J. Cary Gray said, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. . . .
The Wall Street Journal reported that Briles met with regents in Waco two days before his May 26 firing. Briles was asked what he would have done differently, and he began to weep, according to regents’ account in the story.
“He couldn’t speak he was so upset, and all of us were,” Gray said. “Art said, ‘I delegated down, and I know I shouldn’t have. And I had a system where I was the last to know, and I should have been the first to know.’ ”
In May, the board released a “findings of fact” document, reporting a “fundamental failure” in Baylor’s Title IX implementation and a football program operating “above the rules.”
So, it would appear, Baylor admits that its football players committed numerous sexual assaults during Briles’ tenure as head coach. And we have clear evidence — the names have been named — that it was black football players who were accused of these crimes.
What inferences are we permitted to make from this case? We may presume that the arguments made about Baylor on feminist web sites will differ substantially from the arguments made at, e.g., Stormfront. That is to say, the feminist sees this as a story of male evil, whereas the racist sees it as a story about black evil and, because the feminist is generally a progressive who condemns racism, never the twain shall meet.
A conservative discussion of the Baylor, case, by contrast, would reject both the progressive ideological certainties of feminism and the racial essentialism of the Stormfront crowd, and instead seek to explain this situation from a general knowledge of human nature. A conservative must, for example, think of the attitudes and habits involved. If, for example, it was true that a “sex sells” pitch was used to recruit Baylor players, and that these black athletes were specifically told that “white women” at Baylor were eager to demonstrate their, uh, love for the football team, what could we expect the players to presume?
Furthermore, what if this “sex sells” recruiting pitch had some basis in fact? That is to say, what if there actually were white female students at Baylor who were football groupies, more or less? The Baylor student body in 2013 was reported as 65% white, 14% Hispanic, 8% black, 8% Asian, and 5% other/unknown. Undergraduate enrollment is about 14,000 and 58% of Baylor students are female, so we may estimate that there are roughly 5,300 white female undergraduates at Baylor. NCAA rules permit 85 football scholarships for Division I programs, so the question could be presented as a grade-school arithmetic problem: If there are 80 black football players at Baylor, and 5,300 white women on campus, what percentage of the white women at Baylor would have to be football groupies in order for the average black football player at Baylor to have at least one white girlfriend? You don’t need a Ph.D. in math to figure that if only 2% of white women (i.e., one out of 50) at Baylor were interested in dating a football player, that’s more than 100 potential girlfriends for the team. So even if 98% of white women at Baylor were hard-core racists (or hard-core lesbians, for that matter), the “sex sells” pitch might actually have some basis in fact.
Now, we must ask, how does reality affect perception? Assume that most female students at Baylor are neither racists nor lesbians, and assume also that the university’s Baptist affiliation doesn’t prevent the drunken hook-up culture that is common among American college students. Parents pay $42,006 annual tuition to send their kids to Baylor, and many of those kids like to party down, and does anyone expect the football players to abstain entirely from such activities? Don’t be absurd. So here you have these Division I varsity athletes, many of them just 18 or 19, on a campus where a bunch of rich white kids are partying down all the time, and if only a single-digit percentage of these partiers are interested in hooking up with a football player, the typical Baylor athlete has no shortage of hook-up opportunities. How could such a situation lead to numerous accusations of gang rape? How is it that Baylor football players, who weren’t suffering from a lack of female companionship, would so often resort to sexual violence as to produce this ugly scandal?
Anyone could speculate about the factors involved, but my own hunch is that any guy who gets used to success in the campus hook-up culture comes to expect “yes” and is ill-prepared to cope with “no.” A star athlete at a major university may have a more or less constant parade of females offering themselves to him as willing sexual partners. This may lead him to believe that every woman he meets wants to have sex with him.
It is simply human nature to expect that the future will resemble the past. If a Baylor player went to a frat party last week and scored with a Tri Delta sorority sister, what does he expect will happen the next time he goes to a frat party and meets a Tri Delta girl? How many Tri Deltas does a Baylor athlete have to hook-up with before he assumes that the entire membership of this sorority is his for the taking? Beyond even this, how is his attitude affected by peer pressure and the stories he hears from his teammates? Suppose that two Baylor football players meet a Tri Delta girl at a party and she eagerly assents to a threesome with them. Such an incident is certain to become the topic of gossip in the Baylor locker room, and an impressionable freshman on the team might get the idea that orgies with sorority girls are a routine occurrence on campus.
The Tri Deltas were chosen randomly, as a hypothetical example, to illustrate a point. I’ve never set foot in Waco, and know absolutely nothing about the reputation of Tri Deltas at Baylor. My point is that perceptions can influence attitudes that in turn influence behavior, and if any particular group of women are generally perceived as promiscuous, this will tend to influence how men treat them. This basic principle of human nature therefore causes women to avoid associating themselves with any group of women who have a reputation for promiscuity. And the way sororities choose their members reflects this principle. The most popular sorority on campus is never the sluttiest sorority on campus. If the Tri Deltas at Baylor were to get a reputation as a bunch of drunken tramps, this would be disastrous to the chapter’s recruitment efforts. Sorority membership is about social status and prestige, and there is no prestige in joining a group of cheap whores. And the reader wonders, what does this have to do with “rape culture” at Baylor?
That’s a direct quote from a Baylor coach, according to a federal lawsuit. The plaintiff was formerly a member of the “Baylor Bruins,” a group of female “hostesses” for the team’s football recruits:
The lawsuit says that [the plaintiff] Doe originally applied to Baylor, the world’s largest Baptist university, because of its Christian-centered approach to education. She enrolled in 2010, with the intention to pursue a degree in medicine and in 2012 joined the Baylor Bruins.
On April 18, 2013, according to the lawsuit, Doe attended a party at the home of former Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman, who has since been charged with sexual assault in an unrelated incident.
Doe became intoxicated at the party and apparently returned home with Armstead and Chatman. When her roommate’s boyfriend arrived later that night, the suit says, he heard “what sounded like wrestling and a fist hitting someone,” a loud bang and a woman saying “no.”
When the boyfriend asked if everything was OK, one of the men inside yelled that Doe “was fine.” Armstead and Chatman then emerged from the room, and the boyfriend saw Doe partially unclothed on the floor. The woman had a bruise on her cheek and a bite mark on her neck, according to the suit.
Doe initially told police she had not been sexually assaulted but later decided to file a report because she woke up with bruises and a feeling in her vaginal area that indicated she had had sex, even though she did not remember.
One of the woman’s teammates on the Baylor Bruin group to host prospective athletes instructed Doe to tell police she had “consensual sex with one white male” to protect the athletes, the lawsuit alleges. It cites a Title IX investigation into the incident, which later showed that Chatman had called the Bruin and given her the “assignment.”
Doe made a complaint to the Waco Police Department but declined to press charges, records show.
Again, what inferences are we permitted to make? Did members of the “Bruins” customarily party at the homes of Baylor players? Did no one at this April 2013 party attempt to prevent the intoxicated plaintiff from leaving the party with Armstead and Chatman? What sort of assumptions do we suppose Armstead and Chatman made when this drunk “Bruin” girl decided to leave the party with them? Also, what are we to think of someone who has shown a willingness to lie to police?
Understand that I am not trying to defend Armstead and Chatman, nor is it my intent to exculpate Baylor University. What I am trying to do is to have a discussion that feminists insist we cannot have. That is to say, we must understand the facts of exactly how and why rape happens so that we can figure out ways to prevent it from happening. We need to discard the prejudicial ideology of feminism when discussing this, or else we might as well have no discussion at all, because feminist ideology excludes from consideration every circumstantial influence that does not support their categorical denunciation of patriarchy.
If we cannot apply the basic “5 W’s and an H” questions of journalism — who, what, when, where, why and how — to rape cases, what good can journalists accomplish in covering such stories? The ideology that prevents us from examining the full scope of issues involved cannot be dismissed with jests about “political correctness,” because real people are suffering real harm because these discussions are silenced. We can’t criticize the reputation of the “Baylor Bruins” without being accused of “slut-shaming,” and people are afraid to mention the racial aspect of the situation for fear of being accused of racism. If it weren’t for the allegations in this federal lawsuit, we wouldn’t even be aware of these controversial claims about how Baylor was recruiting black athletes, or what kind of expectations were created for this group of “hostesses.”
Perceptions have a way of mirroring reality, and vice-versa. Bad reputations don’t just materialize out of thin air, and if a particular group of women — whether it’s a sorority or the “Baylor Bruins” — gets a bad reputation, the perception will tend to become self-confirming. Why? Because if the group has a reputation for promiscuity, women who aren’t promiscuous will refuse to join the group. Insofar as we can choose which group we are associated with, people always make these kinds of calculations, and where associations are involuntary in nature — as in the case of racial or ethnic groups — we are naturally concerned about negative stereotypes of the group to which we belong.
Because I am a man, I resent the insulting falsehoods that are implied by feminist “rape culture” discourse, just as I am sure black people must resent any racist interpretation of the Baylor scandal. And what about the implications of the “sex sells” pitch that Baylor coaches were alleged to have employed in recruiting athletes? Should our discussion of these subjects be restricted by the limits of political correctness? If we start playing Thought Police in these discussions — with people trying to silence anyone who says the “wrong” thing — what do we expect will happen? Well, I guarantee you the commenters at Stormfront don’t observe any such limits, and so the attempt to suppress honest dialogue has the effect of driving honest people toward extremism.
Really, why do you think none of the geniuses in the liberal media anticipated Donald Trump winning Michigan or Pennsylvania?
This is very serious. People who use “political correctness” as a humorous punch line are guilty of ignoring the real damage done to our culture by the false beliefs that political correctness encourages. Suppose you were a parent paying more than $40,000 a year to send your daughter to Baylor and she told you she was joining the “Bruins” hostess group. Hang out with the football team, and what could possibly go wrong?
Just another unfortunate encounter with the reality of human nature.
Have you ever been down in the ghetto?
Have you ever felt that cold wind blow?
Well, if you don’t know what I mean,
Won’t you stand up and scream?
‘Cause there’s things goin’ on that you don’t know.