Best-selling author (and Institute board member) Tim Tyson has an excellent piece on the important history behind the Duke lacrosse team rape charges that came out last week. Here's how it starts:

My daddy taught me that God has called us to love people and to use things but that we are often tempted to love things and use people. Rape is one of the deepest and most vicious ways that human beings deny their common humanity. Racism is another. These crimes are intertwined deeply in our history, and that history came off its leash once more on Buchanan Boulevard on March 13, as a few Duke students did great harm to our community.

Go read the whole thing.

And if you haven't picked up Tim's excellent books Blood Done Sign My Name and Radio Free Dixie, do yourself a favor and check them out -- together they constitute one of the best overviews of Southern history and politics you'll ever read.