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False Rape Accusation Furthers Institutionalized Racism

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m86wjCDM_gc

Video published October 1, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Last week, a 15-year-old Encinitas girl told her parents and police that she'd been kidnapped and raped by three Latino men. Before she admitted that the entire story was fabricated, the police had conducted an intense manhunt in a community already on high alert after the murders of teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. The story raises questions of how false accusations like this impact communities of color already vulnerable to institutionalized racism.

Last week, a 15-year-old Encinitas girl told her parents and police that she'd been kidnapped and raped by three Latino men. Before she admitted that the entire story was fabricated, the police had conducted an intense manhunt in a community already on high alert after the murders of teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. The story raises questions of how false accusations like this impact communities of color already vulnerable to institutionalized racism.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

LAST WEEK, A 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL TOLD HER PARENTS AND POLICE THAT SHE HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED AND RAPED BY THREE LATINO MEN BEFORE SHE ADMITTED THE ENTIRE STORY WAS FABRICATED. THE POLICE CONDUCTED A MANHUNT AFTER THE MURDERS OF CHELSEA KING AND AMBER DUBOIS. THE GIRL HAD SEX WITH A 20-YEAR- OLD MAN SHE MET ONLINE. THE MAN IS NOW IN JAIL. THE STORY RAISES QUESTIONS HOW FALSE ACCUSATIONS RAISE THE FLAG OF RACISM. JOINING ME NOW IS SARAH CLARK. SHE IS THE PROFESSOR OF STUDIES AT UCLA. WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU HEARD ABOUT THE KIDNAPPING AND RAPE ACCUSATIONS?

AS A FEMINIST OR A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY, I WAS, AS EVERYONE WAS, CONCERNED TO HEAR THERE WAS THIS VIOLENT SEXUAL ASSAULT HAPPENING IN SAN DIEGO. I HAVE TO CONFESS WHEN I ALSO HEARD THAT IT WAS THE THREE LATINO MEN THAT SHE DESCRIBED, I DID HAVE CONCERNS AS A SCHOLAR OF ETHICS STUDIES OVER THE PANIC THIS COULD HAVE IN THE CITY THAT IS ALREADY RACIALLY CHARGED. WE CAN THINK ABOUT THE SCOTTSBURG CASE OF 1981 WHERE THE WOMEN WERE ACCUSING THE MEN OF RAPING THEM ON A TRAIN. WE CAN GO BACK TO THE CENTRAL PARK JOGGER CASE IN 1989 BECAUSE THE WOMAN HAD NO MEMORY OF THE INCIDENT, THE POLICE BULLIED FOUR YOUNG BLACK MEN INTO CONFESSING AND THEN FOUND OUT THEY HAD NOT COMMITTED THE CRIME AT ALL. >> HOW ARE THESE FALSE ACCUSATIONS IMPACT AND FURTHER HURT RACISM?

WE SEE PARTICULAR RACE AND GENDER MASCULINE TY -- MASCULINEITY MEANS IT BECOMES EASIER FOR POLICE WHO HAVE NO INTENTION OF ENACTING RACISM AND TAKE ALL CHARGES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT SERIOUSLY. IT ALLOWS THEM TO TAKE MORE SERIOUS CASES THAT LACK EVIDENCE BECAUSE IT SOUNDS POSSIBLE. IT SOUNDS MORE PROBABLE. FOR ALL OF US, THE IDEA THAT BLACK AND BROWN MEN ARE SEXUAL PREDATORS HAVE BEEN NATURALIZED TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. THINK ABOUT SUSAN SMITH WHO SAID SOME BLACK MEN KILLED MY CHILDREN AND PEOPLE BELIEVED HER. >> HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE LARGER CITIZENSHIP OF SAN DIEGO?

I THINK SAN DIEGO AS A COMMUNITY IS PRIMARILY A MELTING POT. A PLACE OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND CONTACT. AT A TIME WHEN SO CLOSE TO THE BORDER, RACIAL HOSTILITIES ARE HEIGHTENED PARTICULARLY WITH EVERYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING IN ARIZONA. IT MAKES COMMUNITIES OF COLOR WEARY THAT THE POLICE ARE READY TO TARGET THEM. IT INCREASES THE IDEAS THAT MEXICANO MEN ARE SEXUAL DEFICIENTS. WHAT YOU SEE NOW IS NOT THIS GIRL MAKING UP THE ACCUSATION TO COVER UP AN ILLEGAL SEX ACT, BUFF A LATINO MAN IS IN JAIL FOR RAPE.

IS THERE AN UNDER LYING -- SEX ACT, BUT A LATINO MAN IS IN JAIL FOR RAPE.

IS THERE AN UNDERLYING ISSUE?

MAN FACES A STRUGGLE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Comments

Avatar for user 'castlelrd'

castlelrd | October 1, 2010 at 8:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Assumes facts not in evidence: "Institutionalize Racism". I know this is an article of faith among some of a leftward tilt, but after 60+ years of progress, if we still have institutionalized racisim in San Diego, please do point us to just what institutions and what evidence you have of their institutionalized racism.

Also the section failed to point out the the false complainer was hispanic.

A very poor story. More really just an exercise in liberal prejudice.

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Avatar for user 'everrrunning'

everrrunning | October 1, 2010 at 9:29 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

It is sad that you are abetting the exploitation lof the "oppressed" and
"victim" mentality by airing this biased point of view .

My four college graduate and student children of a college graduate
Hispanic mother (first gen US) certainly were not allowed to believe
they are victims..

The Hispanics I work with (in construction), went to college with, and/or am related to have NEVER expressed this "sexually obsessed" image of Hispanic males.

To me, she has done research to prove an hypthesis, to justify a basis
for a false propositon that the public regards Hispanic males as sexual predators, and thereby provide a justification for playing victim and to stir
up discontent in our society.

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Avatar for user 'anotherformersupporter'

anotherformersupporter | October 6, 2010 at 10:11 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow... "Perfesser" Kaplan's angry, ignorant, duplicitous and, frankly, racist rant here is only slightly more offensive than old liberal warhorse Penner's refusal to challenge any of her dubious claims and omissions. In this case, both the perpetrator and the victim are Hispanic and her original story was probably far more influenced by that than it was any alleged "institutional racism." And, if there is any evidence whatsoever that authorities pursued the rapist (and that is what he is) with any more vigor than they would have with a white suspect, I'd love to see it. Neither Kaplan nor Penner presented anything other than groundless accusations to support these hateful claims. Kaplan also referenced past cases where minorities were falsely accused of crimes, but conveniently omitted one of the most infamous cases of true institutional racism: the Duke false rape accusation case where a black woman accused the predominately white Duke lacrosse team of a gang rape. No rape ever occurred, but that didn't stop the media and academia from demanding a modern day lynching of the players. I guess when a case doesn't support the angry Liberal narrative, it must be ignored. A real reporter would have raised both of these issues, but apparently real reporting is not Ms Penner's objective here.

And KPBS wonders why I am no longer a supporter...

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | October 6, 2010 at 11:24 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Ironic that on the same day that KPBS does this lame story for a second time they also report on gangs in North County: "Jose was born into a gang family. He was known as a maniac, the crazy one. He says most of the gangs in North County are Hispanic, Samoan and black." Should we be angry at "Jose" for calling it the way he saw it on the street? Isn't he perpetuating a stereotype that could lead to more institutionalized racism? Shame on him for profiling.

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Avatar for user 'JayKneeland'

JayKneeland | October 6, 2010 at 6:47 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

These other responses hit the nail on the head! Shame on KPBS for sensationalizing this into a racial story where there was none. I live in Encinitas in this neighborhood. There were no inflamed calls for action, no riots, no demonstrations.
The story here is the 15 year old girl's improper behavior. A severe failure by her parents.
That, and the excellent police work by the Sheriff's Dept. to conclude this incident without delay.

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