Fairness? No Such Thing
Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to the Senate vote yet after his terrible testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I vlog about the then impending vote. A man publicly accused of sexual assault by three women — there may be more — was seated on the highest court in the land by 45 male and five female Senators. He faced accusations of repeated bouts of public intoxication, belligerence, and attempted rape as a young adult. The most prominent of his accusers is a lettered, courageous, upstanding woman; not that any of these adjectives indirectly measures the caliber of her story; from Northern California. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford faced death threats, public yet passive aggressive ridicule by male Senate Republicans, and undeniable hatred from her compatriots. So-called passion for country aside, the most egregious of Kavanaugh’s supporters harassed Dr. Blasey Ford and her family so heinously they relocated to an undisclosed location as a safety measure.
Why? She challenged white male supremacy which has governed the United States of America since 1776. Obviously, she is not the first to do so and she hardly will be the last.
Blasey Ford stood tall in her values — as an educated white woman, yes her race matters — against a dwindling force of Caucasian male superiority upheld not by their allegedly grand DNA, unparalleled bootstrapping, made-up birthright, and entitlement. Some of her worst critics probably see standing up to Brett Kavanaugh in her testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee as the epitome of selling out the white race – siding with them. How dare she not fall in line – the stupidity goes?
More than Just a SCOTUS Seat
Blasey Ford threatened in a very public way a false sense of the best genes ever and world domination — a fairytale nourished by:
- Voter suppression efforts targeting nonwhites who find Caucasian male political ideas unpalatable – this is often touted as a measure to preserve democracy, protect it from nonexistent and repeatedly refuted voter fraud
- Career stifling racial profiling oftentimes based on one’s name and other factors unrelated to their ability to do/learn on the job
- Fatal police brutality experienced disproportionately by American citizens of color – almost exclusively African American men – explained away with reckless use of intentionally poorly contextualized black-on-black crime retorts, calls to just comply, irrelevant statements about murderous cops fearing for their lives and/or having wives and children to support – while true does not change unarmed citizens of color are murdered by those sworn in to protect them
- Incomplete yet damning narratives about non-whites’ willpower, motivation, intellect, and patriotism – conveniently mischaracterizing the fallout among African Americans’ ancestors being enslaved for two centuries. This is not to be confused with present day African Americans making self-defeating decisions, a phenomena prevalent among our white counterparts as well
- Naked fear mongering of the other, dishonestly touted as kitchen table issues consuming real Americans
- Overt race baiting pitched as economic anxiety
- Institutionally perpetuated discrimination hidden behind fables such as due process, law and order country, the letter of the law, and God’s will
By no means is the above list exhaustive — there are other things that contort Caucasian Americans’ mediocrity into a mirage of superiority – citizens of color mere existence into an unshakable life or death threat. Not all Caucasian Americans perpetuate or believe in the items stated above; yet enough of them do. Sure, it may seem natural for one to think Americans of European descent – by divinity, the laws of nature, or just because they say so – are supreme over human beings originating from the African and Asian continents. Of course, a sense of superiority and corroborating narratives to boot have prevailed for so long. The running narrative has been made possible by every imaginable governmental policy, social norm, business practice, and environmental context created by white people, for white people.
Nowadays the established manifestation of white supremacy endurance is becoming fuzzy. The lies told about Native Americans’ genocide starting in the late 1490s if not earlier are dissolving fairy tales of good-natured Europeans exploring a “new” land. The increasingly expensive modern day mass incarceration of black and brown male citizens has been shown time and again to pre-date the crack/cocaine epidemic it was supposed to fix. Social media, blogging, and videos – in a love/hate way – are debunking Orwellian fear-based messaging transpiring since the Nixon years. Systemic oppression of black Americans since 1619, are slowly being contextualized in explaining present day persistence of disparities and inequities.
The thread once holding them tightly together; upholding the incomplete narrative describing the Land of Opportunity is unraveling. Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony of Brett sexually assaulting her as well as his disdainful display of heterosexual, cis-gendered, white male privilege in his Senate Judiciary Hearing’s opening remarks symbolizes the unraveling thread. The Brett Kavanaughs of the United States will only become more quarrelsome and unscrupulous.
But, Female Republicans Voted to Confirm Kavanaugh…
— Shannon Fx Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 5, 2018
I separated the Republican Senators’ by gender because there are women in positions of power who can be a voice for their counterparts around the country who lack the microphone and visibility they have; to check male privilege and right very obvious wrongs in a prominent, long lasting way. There are men who have not sexually assaulted women or anyone for that matter who whole the female Republican Senators to the same standard. It is not about women solely scratching the backs of other women. That is what the good old boys do.
Instead of witnessing this female Senatorial power, we saw for the umpteenth time the falsely touted undercurrent of white Republican women being moderate by nature and seen capable of rising above politics to save the country from their male counterparts – who by the way are not held to such expectations. The undercurrent did not morph into the much needed reality of no votes.
Of the five female Senators who had the power to deny Kavanaugh a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States are Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Deb Fisher (R-NE). Two of the five were really held in high regard for their overly hyped tendency to vote and view issues via a moderate lens. Only one actually voted no on the Kavanaugh confirmation vote – Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Stating their names is not an act of shaming — it is an act of truth-telling, its public record four of the five held their noses or insert meaningless phrase when casting their vote for Kavanaugh.
The oft glamorized Susan Collins (R-ME) disappointed tone deaf journalists feigning for a no-vote cast by non-existent moderate female Republicans. I too thought she would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh, given his complete lack of judicial temperament and stomach turning sense of entitlement. As Joy Ann Reid discussed with her panelists on her Saturday, October 6, 2018 show AM Joy; Susan Collins is the same person who happily sat in front of cameras or otherwise lambasting former Senator Al Franken on twitter for accusation of his sexual misconduct. Franken’s allegations were far less egregious than Kavanaugh – especially in an age of having to choose the lesser of two evils or I suppose the more of two evils. But sure, Franken’s situation is different as Collins tweeted in November of last year.
Sexual harassment and assault have no place in any workplace. The reports involving Senator Franken are disturbing. His belated apology was certainly warranted.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 16, 2017
I also thought Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) would vote no too – and she would have if her counterpart Daniel Daines (R-MT) had not put family first. Daines flew home to walk his daughter down the aisle in Big Sky Country. She decided not to vote instead of voting no given Daines was not there to cast his yea vote for Kavanaugh. Sure, courtesy. It was Murkowski’s way of voting no without casting the vote. I guess we should be grateful for Murkowski’s vote-no-vote. Regardless of all the tightrope walking she did along procedural lines, Trump dragged her through the mud during one of his self-esteem inflation tours. The Imbecile in Chief said, “She will never recover.” Even if the five Republican female senators were not sexually assaulted themselves, how is it they were able to vote in lock step with men? These men are not threatened by the Kavanaughs of the world like the enabling Senatorial women are, irrespective of whether they may think sexual assault happens to “other women” allowing themselves to be assaulted.
Much Needed Basic Skill – Making Inferences
There are many things — terrible, life altering things — I have a low likelihood of experiencing. I would also never invalidate someone else who is more susceptible to those threats. I predicated the previous paragraphs on the notion of Kavanaugh being guilty of sexually assaulting Dr. Blasey-Ford and the two other women that publicly accused him of doing so. I have no way of knowing if he did — yet I believe the three women in my hearts of hearts. Why is that? 1) I can relate to Blasey-Ford and the others on certain levels; my being a male notwithstanding. 2) I am able and willing to make inferences about others’ experiences that are not my own. I have gone through situations of being treated terribly — not sexually assaulted just to be sure. The threat of story being cast as implausible can be as soul crushing as the act committed against you. Not speaking your truth can very well result in equivalent bouts of invalidation.
Even though Kavanaugh was confirmed – Blasey Ford credible accounts of her experiences and those of the other two women were not shared in vain. It is my hope the stories of those courageous women have empowered millions of other women to deal with their pain – people with truths to tell to speak up – across the United States.
I am committed to a person who loves me for who I am. He and I have two dogs. Cascadia is home for us. I know for sure no one makes it alone; bootstrapping is a cliched dog whistle. I surround myself with truth tellers. I am healthy and grateful for what I have (on most days). I wholeheartedly believe reading gives us super powers. Vote. Exercise. Eat Healthily. Sleep Soundly.