The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions.
well, i know i'd have some questions, if 18 dudes i knew kidnapped an eleven year old girl and filmed each other raping her! for instance, "would it be possible for us to take those dudes out back and shoot them?"
just kidding, i don't believe in the death penalty.
however! read on, plucky adventurers!
Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?
"It’s just destroyed our community," said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. "These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives."
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and the rest of it goes on like that. she dressed like a much older girl, so it's her fault. (and apparently 20-year-olds deserve to be raped for...dressing like 20-year-olds?) her mother didn't keep an eye on her, so it's her fault. these "boys" (the eldest is apparently 27) were "drawn into" this business; they didn't make a conscious decision to abduct and repeatedly rape a child.
this is truly atrocious on so many levels that i barely know where to start. didn't stop me from calling the NYT correction/retraction line (888-NYT-NEWS) and demanding an apology in writing, but there have been good responses elsewhere:
This is the point at which, as the writer's editor, I would send him an email. "Dear James," it would say. "Thanks for getting this in! I have some concerns that we've only got quotes from people who are worried about the suspects ('The arrests have left many wondering who will be taken into custody next') and think the girl was asking for it, especially since, even if she actually begged for it, the fact that she is 11 makes the incident stupendously reprehensible (not to mention still illegal). We don't want anyone wrongly thinking you are being lazy or thoughtless or misogynist! Please advise if literally no other kinds of quotes are available because every single person who lives in Cleveland, Texas, is a monster."