Zerlina Maxwell, a lawyer and political analyst often seen on MSNBC, posted an article this morning in The Washington Post titled ‘No matter what Jackie said, we should automatically believe rape claims.’ The key word here is AUTOMATICALLY. Now rape is a serious crime, a horrible injustice to women, and something to be taken very seriously, but when Maxwell says we ought to automatically believe every rape claim, that would deny false accusations ever take place.
Instead of apologizing for her poorly worded titled, she secretly edited the word ‘automatically’ to ‘generally’, probably hoping nobody would notice when she tweeted her new article:
MY NEW PIECE: No matter what Jackie said, we should generally believe rape claims. http://t.co/nBM5CPiqBn
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) December 6, 2014
In her article, she mentions that the FBI reports only 2-8 percent of rape allegations are false. Assuming the numbers are correct, that already debunks the claim we should ‘automatically’ accept every rape allegation to be true. Although Maxwell mentions that the claim of the alleged rapist is at the frat party is turning out to not be true, she concludes her article with the following:
“Someone is out here raping 1 in 5 American women and yes, it could be someone that you know and love. It could be the boy at the frat party.”
Although she may be referring to frat parties in general, that last sentence makes me think Maxwell deep down still does or wants to believe the narrative of the alleged rapist being at the frat party in this case.
She also acknowledges ‘innocent until proven guilty’:
“This is what we mean in America when we say someone is “innocent until proven guilty.” After all, look what happened to the Duke lacrosse players.”
If she admits the Duke lacrosse case was the result of a false allegation, then saying we should ‘automatically’ believe all rape claims is far from ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ It becomes ‘guilty until proven innocent.’
This is bad journalism, but sadly, this is what journalism has become nowadays. It is bad enough she initially said we should ‘automatically’ believe every rape claim, but even worse when she wouldn’t apologize for it. Does she think we’re too naïve? We know what she originally said, and have the original title to prove it.