Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Will Durham Recover?

Durham is, and historically has been, a very diverse community where residents have openly and passionately shared differences, shared power and worked well together. These attributes have always mystified many in nearby communities and across the state.

But the current media frenzy over the allegations about members of Duke’s men’s lacrosse team have some worried that it may drive wedges of distrust so deeply that the community may never recover. Using extreme contrasts and hunting rabidly for story angles, the news media can be viewed as often inciting behavior, e.g., if you’re repeatedly asked if you’re angry, and if not then why not, eventually human nature is to become angry.

But I believe the inherent core values of this community will survive the intense arc of this news story. Oh, it will take years to repair misimpressions across the nation, and some people’s lives will never be the same. And individuals invigorated by accentuating divides may be disappointed and attempt to refuel the adrenaline rush.

But the community will rebound and be better for it. The core values that make Durham unique have survived generations, and they will survive this.

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