By Taylor Armerding
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Jul 09, 2013, 09:23 AM EDT
There is a difference between blaming the victim and exhorting someone to use some common sense to avoid becoming a victim.
But it seems hardly anyone in our ultra-sensitive, ultra-politically correct world is able or willing to accept that difference.
Hence the rain of abuse from the Twitterverse and other social media on tennis star Serena Williams for questioning the judgment of a 16-year-old girl from Steubenville, Ohio, who got roaring drunk at a party last August and ended up being raped by two high school football players. The two boys, 16 at the time of the crime, were convicted in March in juvenile court of rape of a minor.
In a brief segment of a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Williams called the perpetrators “stupid,” but also said, “I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people … she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
Williams has since issued the obligatory craven apology. And it is worth mentioning at the start that she could have used a bit of common sense herself. She, like the rest of us, doesn’t know what the victim’s parents taught her, or tried to teach her. She doesn’t know if this young girl was drunk for the first time or if this was a regular event.
And, as is often the case, star athletes should probably stick to being star athletes. They should not expect to be experts on social issues.
That said, those who piled on immediately after the interview was published ought to do some apologizing too. The point Williams was trying to make — that when we put ourselves in dangerous, volatile situations and cloud our minds with drugs, bad things are likely to happen — ought to be embraced, not denounced.
March 3, 2014
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There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
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Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
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A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
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The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
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December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!
April 18, 2014
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