Not So Crystal Clear: Crystal Mangum’s Comments on America’s Flawed Legal System

Up until this point, I have left it to the boys to do all the blogging for CR Daily, but last night when everyone else was watching the SDS idiots make a mockery of our University, I was watching Crystal Mangum make a mockery of our legal system (again) at an event in the Stone Center, and I think it is important to share the content (or lack thereof) of Miss Mangum’s discussion with CR Daily readers.

The event purported to discuss the “harsh reality of minority treatment” in the media and in the legal system. It was in reality a gripefest for Crystal Mangum, who is an embodiment of what is wrong with our legal system and should thank the Lord every day that she is not sitting in a jail cell for her heinous lies. Instead, she complained bitterly that CNN and NBC did interviews with her and then did not publish them, although she admitted that it was because they did not believe her.

Vincent Clark, the man who helped her to write her book and who seems to handle all of her public relations, spoke also, complaining about the time that they had put into the interviews and the fact that the interviews had not aired, claiming that it was the executives of the news companies who had refused to show Crystal’s side of the story in a conspiracy to “bury her” and “make sure no one will ever believe her.” If the news stations legitimately stopped believing her story, as Crystal was prepared to concede, would it not seem reasonable to assume that they felt it a violation of journalistic integrity to publish interviews in which they knew, or at least had reason to believe, that Crystal was lying through her teeth?

Crystal stated, “They were not protecting me by not showing [the interview] – I believe they were protecting other people.” Vincent Clark referred to the Lacrosse players and the media as a “well-oiled machine.” The premise of her entire speech was that the media had refused to give her a fair shake. However, if the media knew or strongly suspected that she was lying, how would it have behooved her to have them show interviews with her which they would then be immediately forced to discredit as a pack of lies or risk losing credibility?

Interestingly, after Crystal left, Clark’s true opinion of the situation came out. Almost as soon as she exited the room, he leveled with the audience (at which point I became apoplectic with rage): “Say she is lying – what of it? Does she not deserve to finish college and go on with her life? Haven’t you ever done something you’re not so pleased with?” The fact is that for Vincent Clark and Crystal Mangum, the truth is the last thing that matters. They merely want to perpetuate the culture of victimization which has developed everywhere it is tolerated.

Crystal went on ad nauseam about how “every day is a struggle” for her, as it is for all (real) victims of sexual assault, even claiming that she suffered through PTSD. Her grandstanding and unwarranted self-pity was an unspeakable insult to every woman who has actually been a victim of rape, and her invitation to rape victims to come to her in confidence if they fear speaking out honestly made sick. She acknowledged that “because of the way [her] case went, that made it harder for others to come forward.”

She’s right about that, at least, although it is not because she was a victim of injustice; the fact that her case was brought and pursued and then proved to be comprised of falsehoods did indeed make it much more difficult for people who are victims of sexual assault to come forward. The fact is that when people like her lie about being sexually assaulted it increases the burden of proof necessary for women who have actually been raped to prove the veracity of their accusations, and that is the biggest travesty that has resulted from her indescribably selfish and utterly reprehensible actions. The fact that she held an event to speak about the “injustices” perpetrated against her after making it harder for actual rape victims to come forward and to be believed is incomprehensible.

The event planners’ idea of trotting out victims of false accusations at the end of the presentation to juxtapose with Crystal Mangum’s bald-faced lies as examples of the “harsh reality of minority treatment” was just embarrassing because Mangum’s case is an exemplification of the harsh realities of the antithesis to the subject being discussed: false accusations and injustice against non-minorities. In fact, Mangum herself single-handedly proved that minorities are not the only victims of failings in our justice system by leveling and pursuing false accusations against the white Duke Lacrosse players. Hearing the stories of minority victims of prosecutorial misconduct only put me in the awkward position of sympathizing with the Duke Lacrosse players, who are certainly no angels, but who were also victims of overzealous prosecution at the hands of Mike Nifong and at the behest of Crystal Mangum. It is an intolerable irony that Miss Mangum is now claiming to be an expert on the “injustices” of the legal system because the fifteen minutes of fame she bought with the reputations of the Duke Lacrosse players had almost come to an end.

16 thoughts on “Not So Crystal Clear: Crystal Mangum’s Comments on America’s Flawed Legal System

  1. ShannonS Reply

    You sound quite outraged. : )

    And I applaud.

    It kind of makes me sick to my stomach to think that she was applauded in this forum yesterday.

    My question is, what was this mysterious appointment she seemed to have had to go to before the question and answer segment? Was she ordered to leave by her “publicity manager” in case she said something contradicting her falsified story?

  2. bweynand Reply

    I wonder the same thing! I’m curious as to this person’s speaking ability, after all she possesses no qualifications on the matter whatsoever except for that she lied and caused a scandal. If I were her publicity manager (which I wouldn’t be), I wouldn’t trust her standing in front of a large group to speak, much less to talk about a subject so ridiculous as this. Her credibility depends on her story being true, and virtually no one except those committed to racial identity and victimization think that it is.

    It sounds like her publicity manager got her off the stage before she could say something stupid.

    The ridiculousness of this event cannot be emphasized enough. This is essentially a criminal complaining that the justice system mistreated her in the course of her committing her crime, and she is being praised for it. I would love to know what Mike NiFong thinks of this; I am extremely thankful that his career is over, but I bet he isn’t out continuing to espouse a lie to seek pity. She is pathetic.

    This is just another indicator of an extremely large problem looming in the civil rights movement today, that many blacks are committed to clinging to their racial identity as an excuse for drawing special treatment and claiming mistreatment. These blacks (which do not represent all) are ACTUALLY committing the crime for which YWC is being accused, basing identity on race. Ironic.

  3. Chelsea Walker Reply

    I’m sure that Vincent Clark just had her leave so that she wouldn’t accidentally say something Drew Peterson-esque that would completely destroy any semblance of truth to her story. All she really did was complain and read from her book, which was probably a good move on her part.

  4. One Spook Reply

    Ms Walker: You wrote an excellent assessment of Mangum’s presentation. I want to share with you a portion of a comment I made at another Blog, as follows:

    In my view, what is important to note is that Vincent Clark has never made an ad rem argument at any time in his effort to sell Mangum’s “story.”

    Mangum’s “story” is a lie, period.

    And, Clark’s statement, “What if she is lying, shouldn’t she be allowed to finish college?” reveals yet another senseless point made by Clark that is entirely irrelevant to the issue.

    No one should care whether she finishes college or not. That is up to the college she attends and whether she meets the requirements to graduate. Mangum was never charged with any crime in this case and no one on the Durham-in-Wonderland Blog to my knowledge, ever advanced an argument that she shouldn’t be allowed to finish college.

    The supposed topic of UNC-CH event was “Cracks in the Justice System,” and, according to Chris, the cases discussed included “several wrongly convicted minority individuals, including Ronald Cotton, Lesly Jean, and Hector Gonzalez.”

    Those individuals were defendants in criminal trials … Mangum was a false accuser in a criminal prosecution. Why then weren’t the accusers in the cases of the individual defendants named asked to speak at this event?

    Mangum was not a victim of injustice, her false accusations (together with the actions of other miscreants) were the cause of an injustice.

    And, if Clark wants to make a point about “prosecutorial misconduct,” the many versions of the “story” Mangum told actually abetted prosecutor Nifong’s misconduct.

    The fundamental conclusion about Ed Clark is that he represents a deeply troubled, mentally ill woman who is a pathological liar and has told myriad lies throughout this episode.

    That is Mangum’s “story” and nothing else.

    Whether she gets to graduate; her family background; whether her cousin is a transsexual; that she was sympathetic to the press coverage of the lacrosse players; whether photos were shown of her in class; what Joe Cheshire might have said about other prosecutors in NC — none of that is germane. Those are all obfuscations promoted by Ed Clark.

    It has been proven that there does not exist, and there never was, a shred of evidence to support any accusation or “story” Mangum made up in this case.

    There does exist a mountain of evidence that proves Mangum lied not once, but multiple times. That is the alpha and omega of Mangum’s story, “nothing beside remains.”

    One Spook

  5. blue devil Reply

    Your report raises excellent points. However, once again you state, “…put me in the awkward position of sympathizing with the Duke Lacrosse players, who are certainly no angels…” What exactly did they do to characterize them as not being angels? Underage drinking? Millions of college students are guilty? Peeing in public? Again, many males are guilty? Having noisy parties? Again, many college students and adults are guilty of this. Hiring strippers? Many organizations at Duke were guilty of this that spring, including the basketball team. Unfortunately they were unlucky enough to hire a drug-addled, mentally ill, lying prostitute. Maybe there were just stupid.

  6. cwjones Reply

    ^Umm…something about them having rowdy drunken parties where they hired strippers and then racially taunted them and sent emails to each other joking about killing them afterwards tends to disqualify them from being “angels.”

    Just because other people do the same thing doesn’t make it OK.

  7. Chelsea Walker Reply

    One Spook: Thanks very much . Your comments cut to the heart of the issue and coincide with many of my views on the subject.

    Chris: You took the words right out of my mouth (or my mind, rather) – I was going to make both of those comments in response. Hiring strippers is just pathetic, honestly, and sending an e-mail in which you joke about emulating a serial killer is just not cool – I don’t care how popular either of those actions makes you with kids these days. Hiring strippers is by itself enough to disqualify them from being referred to as “angels” in my mind, and joking with teammates about killing them and cutting off their skin after addressing them in an unequivocally racist manner is even more reprehensible.

  8. R.N. Samely Reply

    “Just because other people do the same thing doesn’t make it OK. ”

    True. But if you’re going to chastise some people and not others for the same behavior, it creates a double standard. You’re criticizing the Lacrosse players because they go to Duke and play sports. Just admit it. If a UNC sorority does the same thing you let it slide because they’re female, UNC students, and a sorority. If you can’t hold everyone to the same standard, maybe you aren’t in a position to judge?

  9. Chelsea Walker Reply

    Actually, I honestly don’t care that much about Duke or Lacrosse or sports in general other than football, and even if Chris does, that’s not what this is about at all. Also, I am very much unaware of the last time that a UNC sorority hired strippers or joked about killing people, so I don’t see how there can be a double standard there. I would criticize anyone who hired strippers (unless they hired male strippers, which I am all for…just kidding), and I would criticize anyone who joked about emulating a serial killer in an e-mail to multiple people (there’s no way to make that not seem creepy, sorry), so I believe that I do hold everyone to the same standard, and I think Chris does, too.

  10. cwjones Reply

    “True. But if you’re going to chastise some people and not others for the same behavior, it creates a double standard.”

    When have I not chastised others for the same behavior?

    “If a UNC sorority does the same thing you let it slide because they’re female, UNC students, and a sorority.”

    Since you can’t show a place where I have done this, it’s hard to accuse me of having a double standard about things I haven’t said.

  11. R.N. Samely Reply

    “I would criticize anyone who joked about emulating a serial killer in an e-mail to multiple people”

    Are you sure? On Halloween do you criticize those who are dressed up like bad guys? I saw a group of people dressed as the Watchmen this year, but failed to see anyone shocked by their emulation of such violent characters. Do you leave the room when people quote from Silence of the Lambs, the Godfather, Apocalypse Now, or similar movies? But perhaps most importantly, did you even bother to read the book that they are referring to? It is wildly complex, sickeningly violent, and perversely funny. But as it offends your sensibilities perhaps they shouldn’t have made a movie about it? And perhaps the rest of us should refrain from quoting it, despite the language being less graphic than what gets played on America’s airwaves?

    As for your other point, you are correct. I have no record of the last time a group at UNC hired a stripped, nor your reaction to it. On the other hand, do you really believe that none of your friends have been to a strip club, or a party where a stripper was present? Could you say the same about the members of your family? Why don’t you ask them? And if you can tell me that they’re bad people for having done so, I will agree that you are wielding your pen judiciously.

  12. Chelsea Walker Reply

    Thank you for your reading recommendation, although I don’t think I have quite a strong enough constitution to get through such a “sickeningly violent” book, even if I knew which literary masterpiece you are referencing. I’m not saying what anyone should or shouldn’t do with their own money and movie production resources, but I fail to see why it is “most important” that I “bother” to read a book about serial killers, even if it is as great as you say it is. Will it make me feel less strongly that jokingly suggesting actually killing someone (not just watching a movie about serial killers, etc.) that you have just met and cutting off his or her skin is in extremely bad taste? In that case, I would prefer not to read it.

    I am not attacking anyone’s right to free speech; I am merely utilizing mine to criticize someone who, as you say, has “offended my sensibilities” by going what seems a step further than merely watching The Godfather and Watchmen, which I have seen. I am not saying that movies like that are what offends me, although I can’t say I enjoy them. What does offend me is when people cross the barrier between what is appropriate for cinema and what is appropriate for real life. I feel that there is a difference between watching a movie or dressing like a serial killer on Halloween and joking in writing to multiple people about killing and mutilating a stripper that you have actually met and with whom you have just had an altercation.

    As far as strip clubs and strippers go, I think I can say pretty safely that none of my friends and family have ever had an experience with strippers, but if they had and subsequently asked me for my opinion, I would say that I was a bit disappointed in them. Also, I still say that if you can show me a UNC sorority that has hired strippers and then joked about “killing the bitches,” as the author of the email so eloquently put it, I will be pretty surprised. I really think you are splitting hairs on this; I never said that I am offended at every reference to every violent movie ever, and I never claimed to be the Thought Police. I just think hiring strippers is pathetic and that emails like that are creepy and over the line, and I don’t see how that isn’t common sense.

  13. One Spook Reply

    Because I’m an ancient old guy who many years ago had to walk 5 miles to class in sub-zero temperatures and driving snow, uphill both ways, I’m intrigued by all of your comments. I think you’re all correct, honestly, because your views of the behaviors run the gamut of responses any reasonable group of people would have.

    There is no question but that hiring strippers, making a lewd (but not racial) comment while they dance, and making a private, vulgar comment afterward constitutes tasteless and boorish behavior in any reasonable person’s eyes.

    But those are not crimes.

    Some people engage in those types of behaviors and other similar “experimental” behaviors during their college years, most do not, and most of those who do eventually grow out of a need to do so. It seems that a lot of folks on the planet who purport to be “adults” forget that there are a host of immature and “shocking” behaviors that are manifested year after year on college campuses. In their day, it might have been ridiculously long hair on men, or women going bra less and not shaving their legs. But today, some of these same folks are “shocked” by men wearing pants sagging so low that half of their boxer shorts are displayed, and woman wearing low rider jeans so low that they have to shave to wear them.

    Those are not crimes either.

    While boorish and even “shocking” behavior endures, more importantly so do the fundamental principles in our system of law that include a presumption of innocence, due process rights of those accused, and an impartial, dispassionate examination of facts of any incident that might occur.

    And, that is what distinguishes the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

    In that situation, a Group of 88 Duke professors all signed on to a letter
    its author stated in a accompanying cover letter that it was “about the lacrosse team incident” that very clearly presumed the guilt of Duke students and both praised and encouraged the behavior of protesters who had demonstrated against the lacrosse players with signs saying “Castrate.” This letter became a full page ad in the campus newspaper, The Duke Chronicle.

    And those actions of those “activist” professors, while arguably not a crime, clearly constitute a tort.

    And at UNC, another fundamental right of US citizens, that of Freedom of Speech, appears threatened by a similar group of “activists.”

    Those numerous rights exist for all citizens. It is folly to believe that people will always respect those rights, as we have seen. But if we do not speak out, we will lose those rights.

    I again applaud your ability to recognize the appearance of Ms Mangum for exactly what it was — a false accuser being billed as a “victim.”

    One Spook

  14. discourse Reply

    I think the reason a few commenters got upset is your use of the phrase “the awkward position of sympathizing with the Duke Lacrosse players”. Surely if Mangum’s accusations had been true, you would not feel so “awkward” about sympathizing with her, despite her flaws. These young men were suspended from school, had their lacrosse season scrapped, and were dragged through the mud for months on the national stage. I know they are not angels. In fact, I’m pretty sure they have done worse things in their private lives than attending a party with a stripper. But I think it’s safe to say that they did nothing to deserve the permanent harm done to them in this vicious prolonged witch hunt.

    Perhaps it’s because you’re a woman that you find it “awkward” to feel sympathy for a couple of rich, popular athletes. As for me, I think that any man who’s had sex (or even been to a party) on a 21st century campus can imagine himself in a similar predicament. If you’re an “angel” yourself, as you seem to believe, you especially should have sympathy for non-angels who suffer unjustly.

  15. Chelsea Walker Reply

    Wow, that assumption was just…well, incredible. Because I’m a woman I am unlikely to feel sympathy for rich, popular male athletes? If you’re going to make hugely generalized assumptions about women, which seems to be your modus operandi, wouldn’t rich, popular male athletes be the people I would be most likely to feel sympathy for? Personally, I am a big fan of them, provided that they don’t seem to find an exorbitant amount of entertainment value in the actions of serial killers. Also, it seems that you’re saying that all men must find it easy to feel sympathy for every single one of the Duke Lacrosse players’ actions. That’s kind of a slam against men….and actually, it was Chris Jones who kindly reminded me about the email we’ve been debating, proving that not all men seem to feel that unquestioned solidarity with men who joke about unspeakable acts of violence is necessary because they were accused of a crime.

    As to your assertion that my use of the phrase “awkward position of…” was what caused the controversy by making it seem as though I would have found it easier to sympathize with Mangum had her story proved true, it would take a pretty heartless person indeed to lack sympathy for a victim of gang rape, regardless of her background, but I certainly do not lack sympathy for the players, regardless of problems I have with their behavior, as my article makes plain. Indeed, my motivation for writing the article was to defend the rights of the “non-angels” who were unjustly accused and had their reputations ruined. I never said that I did not feel sympathy for their position; I merely was making the point that I would not have ordinarily felt a sense of solidarity with them had they not been victims of a witch-hunt rape accusation.

    My question is, did you actually read my article, or did you just read the posts under it near the bottom? Obviously I agree that the players did not deserve the witch-hunt; that was the premise of my entire argument. One sentence of the article was an indirect criticism of the players, and it was set within a larger criticism of Crystal Mangum, yet from that you seem to conclude that I feel no sympathy for their position. Yes, it is a bit awkward to summon all the sympathy I have for someone who spoke about killing and mutilating the person he was falsely accused of raping because under normal circumstances he would seem a pretty unsavory character, but the very purpose of my article was to attack the person who made those accusations against him for her brazen lies.

    I have never even come close to suggesting that I believe myself to be an “angel,” nor would I ever make that claim. I merely believe that I (like most people I know) possess enough common sense to point out where someone has crossed the line from joking into utter creepiness and bigotry. However, this entire point is utterly peripheral to my argument and seems to be being blown out of proportion; as I stated, the only reason I briefly brought up my distaste for the players’ actions was as part of a criticism of Crystal Mangum’s actions against them.

  16. Don Rivera Reply

    The new charges of attempted murder and arson may not be viewed sympathetically by the justice machine. The consensus may be that Ms. Mangum is a threat to herself and others. Especially her illegitimate children. I just hope that the children are taken care of.

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