Old white men just don’t get it
By: Jim Longworth
Watching Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and John Cornyn standing side-by-side at a recent press conference was like looking at the Mt. Rushmore of misogyny. The message that they and other old white Senators (including our own Richard Burr and Thom Tillis) have sent to women is clear: if you are sexually assaulted then don’t bother to report it because no one will believe you. If you do report the assault, you better do so immediately, or else you are either lying or conspiring with the Clintons. These old white men feel so entitled, are so drunk on power, and are so out of touch with reality, that they believe men who are accused of sexual assault are the real victims. Unfortunately, their warped view of justice is buoyed by a number of studies that point to the fact that some women do, in fact, lie about being raped and sexually assaulted.
But Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had no reason to lie about being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh. Neither did Deborah Ramirez. Moreover, it is absurd for old white male senators to say that Ford is part of some left-wing conspiracy to smear Kavanaugh. After all, there is written proof that she told her therapist and husband of her attack back in 2012, a full six years before Kavanaugh was even nominated for the Supreme Court. And yet, some old white senators say that poor Dr. Ford is just mistaken, while others argue that since she didn’t go to the police, then the attack never happened. Most disturbing of all, is that according to a recent NPR poll, 54 percent of Republicans say they would have supported Kavanaugh even if he did sexually assault Dr. Ford.
Last week, to placate a few swing votes in the Senate, McConnell agreed to let the FBI investigate all allegations against Kavanaugh. However, the so-called investigation was so restrictive and so rushed, that dozens of key witnesses were never interviewed, including 20 people identified by Deborah Ramirez, who could speak to Kavanaugh’s behavior on the night that he exposed his private parts to her, and rubbed them against her face. In all, only nine people were interviewed by the FBI, and all but two of them were old drinking buddies of Kavanaugh. According to the FBI, the Bureau has 13,412 special agents on staff, and yet there was only enough time to interview seven frat boys, one victim, and one friend of a victim.
Old white male senators say the FBI report proves that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent and that Ford and Ramirez were just trying to ruin the reputation of a good man, a man who came unhinged during his confirmation hearing. Call me crazy, but if I’m interviewing someone for a job, and he screams at me, accuses me of conspiracy, cries at the drop of a hat, lies about his drinking problem, and lies about the sex games he and his buddies perpetrated on girls, I’m not going to hire that person. Of course, it’s no accident that the 11 Republicans on the Judiciary committee are all old white, entitled men, so it’s not surprising that they would stand behind another white, entitled man.
Clearly the dynamic must change in the Senate and elsewhere so that women and minorities in this country don’t continue to be judged by a bunch of old white men. I’m an old white man, and I don’t know what’s best for women and minorities. I don’t even know what’s best for me most of the time. I’m an old white man, and I don’t know what it’s like to be sexually assaulted. I’m an old white man, and I don’t know how it feels to testify in front of a bunch of people who don’t look like me. What I do know is that we need more women and minorities in Congress and serving as judges on the local, state, and federal levels. However, that’s only going to happen if you vote for change in the upcoming elections. If you don’t vote, then don’t complain that everybody in power looks like me.
Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).