Deconstruct this

Dick Meyer at CBSNews.com brings his keen cultural eye to the subject of Lacrossegate. Dick divides the story into the knowns and the unknowns. The most important element is an unknown — did Duke lacrosse players rape the stripper who came to the team party. But some of the knowns Meyer cites are disturbing enough:

We know that the lacrosse team at Duke has been notorious and complained about for years. Just since September, the police were called to 610 Buchanan — the party house where three team captains lived — four times. Fifteen of the players, according to Durham County records, had police charges against them for things like underage possession of beer, having beer in a car, noise violation or public urination. Most got “deferred prosecution” deals whereby the charges would be dropped if they stayed out of trouble.

If this is so, I wonder how Duke’s administration explains itself. This is an institution known for political correctness. The Duke English department made its name by “deconstructing” texts, which often meant combing them for hints of sexism, racism, and other symptoms of male oppression. How did this hyper-sensitive university miss or fail to react to the evidence that its men’s lacrosse team may well have been veering out of control? As Meyer points out, Tom Wolfe seems not to have missed it, and he was just passing through.

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