America Keeps Plowing Forward

Brett Kavanaugh (Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Someone needs to check Lady Justice’s blindfold. I’m not totally convinced she can’t see through that jawn.

We’ve recently been inundated with news about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault as well as views concerning the veracity of his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Opinions from every direction abound but what we know to be factual is this:

Kavanaugh’s  lawyers turned over five pages from his 1982 calendar to the Judiciary Committee.
They may be hoping his calendar events clears his name because, get this: attending a party that night wasn’t on his schedule. This attempt by Kavanaugh and his lawyers leaves them scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel, not only exposing the desperate nature of his defense but sending a hearty insult to our intelligence.

Now, I’ve attended various events at the Del Mar racetrack in the past while stationed in San Diego and I’ll tell you – when the wind blows, you get a nice whiff of that horse essence coming from downrange. Strong, pure and unmistakeable. What would you think of someone if they tried to convince you that that smell was from the hundreds of flowers adorning the grandstand? It’s not the flowers (nevermind what Outkast says about roses). But to the skeptics who say the flowers are the culprit, there’s one sure way to find out. Samples, please. In other words, do an investigation. Let’s find out real quick. That’s all.

Another fact we are aware of is Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s admission that despite the allegations against Kavanaugh, supporters of his should “…keep the faith, don’t get rattled by all of this. We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.” That is precisely the problem. We’re plowing further into an already deep-seated and palpable destruction.

Then we had Gina Sosa, a former Florida congressional candidate, who when asked in a television interview about her thoughts on the sexual assault allegations responded by saying this:

“I mean, we’re talking about a 15-year-old girl, which I respect. You know, I’m a woman. I respect,” Sosa told CNN. “But we’re talking about a 17-year-old boy in high school with testosterone running high. Tell me, what boy hasn’t done this in high school? Please, I would like to know.”

Hearing that level of reasoning reaffirmed a belief that I’ve held for a while. In a moment, I felt a range of emotions that quickly and suddenly settled on a feeling that could rightfully be described as upset. Not simply upset in the more familiar sense of anger or outrage but upset with an additional sense of disgust and disappointment. Though she does not represent every GOP voter’s views, Sosa’s way of thinking – as cringeworthy as it sounded – is more common than some might care to imagine. In both parties.

I also knew that the United States had been in a drunken stupor for centuries, not unlike what Sosa was claiming as Kavanaugh’s justification for sexual assault.

Drunken. Privileged. Unmoved.

This pattern of abuse did not start with Kavanaugh nor will it end with him. Somewhere in between those shameful bookends of injury are accounts by the violated that have never been heard. To suggest that the victim is somehow the perpetrator is a tactic that some in America are all-too familiar with – easily recognizable when one has seen it often enough.
The victimized are being dismissed and left in the wake of male privilege – specifically white male privilege, which is so openly connected to the white supremacy that governs the nation and its affairs.

I thought of the Marine corporal who was sexually assaulted on a helicopter. The sergeant with whom she was working decided it would be funny to take a broomstick and thrust it between the young corporals’s thighs, rubbing her vagina as he pulled the stick back and upward. He and another Marine corporal on the crew laughed. She did too, initially. But she also cried, her countenance slowly and painfully changing.

No disciplinary action was taken against the sergeant, instead the corporal was separated from the department; the sergeant and his command in agreement that it must not have been all that serious – since she laughed. Because she laughed. No one thought to take into account that laughter is oftentimes a natural reaction to embarrassment nor, more importantly, think to address the fact that a whole damn crime occured on their watch. I am almost certain that no one bothered to inquire if she was ever the victim of rape or sexual abuse in her past, to include her time in the Corps. She had faith in her superiors; in what the Corps preached daily: honor, courage, committment. Instead, she was betrayed. Instead of help, instead of justice, the Marine Corps squadron she was assigned to decided otherwise.

Other forms of abuse toward women make themselves known through other avenues.  As recently as this past summer, a Colorado politician running for Congress was forced to leave the state and relocate because of death threats to her and her family. How fragile does one have to be in order to threaten death to someone who simply asks for social and political accountability from whites? That has not deterred her fight, however. It has only made it (and her) stronger.

It is an unfortunate staple of American history that when people of color decide to speak truth, they are labeled a threat. So America keeps plowing right through it.

Since white fragility is placed on such a tenuous pedestal, should we just dexterously fail to mention the abuses on Black women? The way Black bodies are (and continue to be) considered as having a higher threshhold for pain, which translates into how Black women patients are treated during childbirth and other medical procedures? This after enduring a history of rape while their bodies were enslaved. Though their enslaved bodies were supposedly emancipated in 1863, the physical and psychological scars of those abuses reign for generations.

If Kavanaugh’s supporters want to talk about lying ass white women, why not talk about Carolyn Bryant Donham ? Because that doesn’t play into the narrative of their supremecist plans, that’s why. We will never see that same push for justice for Emmett Till and his family from Kavanaugh’s staunchest supporters.

Some have wondered why I mention white privilege so often. Because underneath all of this, white privilege is the catalyst for white supremacy. I also understand that to many, white privilege and white supremacy must be protected at all costs. Those in power will do anything to ensure that happens. In my opinion, that is part of what McConnell meant when he assured his friends not to worry; that they were going to do their job.

Lady Justice (Photo: Laurel Shaler)

In May, Lyle Burgess, a 79-year-old man, was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest after pleading guilty to raping a 5 year old. Think about that. He doesn’t even have to register as a sex offender. How do crimes like this continue to be allowed void of consequence? That is the epitome of white privilege.

This is what happens when America has already decided to keep plowing forward indifferent to truth, righteousness, or basic human decency. I have stopped expecting honesty out of some folks because I know their mindset is one of plowing forward regardless of reality. Instead of plowing forward, maybe America should take a few steps back and assess its current situation. Take Justicia along. Maybe one day they’ll both wake up and smell the horse shit.

I mean the flowers. They’ll wake up and smell the flowers.


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