Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Bagaa’adwe is the Ojibwe name for the sport invented by Native Americans, commonly known as lacrosse. The Ojibwe name literally translates to the English phrase “bump hips.” In Native cultures lacrosse games went on for days and assumed sacred meaning. Riva Buckley was studying Ojibwe language and culture when she overheard her father’s voice while he spoke in his office next to her room. “We’ll get the media involved.” Mr. Buckley was saying. He was always so busy; he had become a respected attorney defending athletes accused of rape. Thirty cases tried; thirty acquittals! Yes, he knew how to sway public opinion in favor of celebrated athletes. The three lacrosse players, Moe, Larry, and Curly, were grateful he was on their side. Half the community agreed that the uneducated, towny dancer shouldn’t get the best of our University talent. This courtroom tournament kicked off when Gerald Flint glanced at the article in the paper before he went to jury duty. But his mind wandered elsewhere while he was being questioned, he’d forgotten, in that moment, reading about “Fantastic lies” and a prosecution that ignored evidence. His mind was on the real estate deal he was closing, the property in Boca Raton. “The judge should have ordered the gag rule,” said a know-it-all federal clerk far away in Chicago who’d read the same article and remembered it and seethed. That clerk’s wife used to be a dancer, and he knows what kind of public reception dancers receive. Miriam, the rape victim, wouldn’t be able to support her two children without a dancer’s cash flow. “Local residents don’t even make as much money as the college boys spend,” she sighed. Days later, Riva Buckley got on the bus and bumped into Miriam Swanson as the dancer was on her way to court to testify. When Miriam was making her way out of the bus, Riva called after her, “Ma’am. You dropped your book.” Riva bent to pick it up and saw a title she’d never read, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach their Kids about Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” But the woman had already rushed away.