OPINION: Kavanaugh case reminds America that Justice puts politics over people

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A rally gathers outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, on September 24th. Photo courtesy of Avery Jensen & Wikimedia Commons.

 

by Jayna Dias, COLUMNIST

2 October 2018

 

Politics have become the deciding factor in what is right or wrong, true or false, good or bad. Americans are too hung up on what side of the line they stand on, so much so, that they would call a victim of sexual assault a liar and proudly stand on the side of the accused instead. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a wealthy, male, Caucasian Republican, so he could never commit a crime. Republicans proved just that.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came out as Brett Kavanaugh’s first accuser after her letter that was sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein was leaked. (At least three others alone have come forward with accusations against Kavanaugh.) Ford willingly reopened the permanent wound that was her sexual assault on national television last week, descriptively reiterating the event that took place back in high school, when Kavanaugh tried to force himself on her.

Most Americans do believe Ford was assaulted, including Republican senators. They simply cannot fathom that Kavanaugh was the one who did it. Republicans were quick to side with Kavanaugh, believing that he would never act that way, finding absurdity in the idea that he could be her perpetrator.

And it’s overwhelmingly apparent why.

Kavanaugh stated during his hearing, “I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been assaulted in some place at some time. But I have never done this, to her or to anyone.”

But Kavanaugh has no evidence on his side, no story to counter the hour-long testimonies Ford dished out, which she did while staying composed and managing herself professionally describing her story and sharing something so vile and personal with the world. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh was shook with anger and teared up over merely being accusedwith no concrete alibi.

On top of that, Kavanaugh lied under oath, on multiple occasions. He claimed that he had gone to Yale without any connections, but it just so happened that his grandfather went to the university as an undergraduate. He testified he had never been to a party, consisting of a handful of people drinking at a house, like the one where Ford described, however, “in the 1982 calendar Kavanaugh gave the committee as evidence, there’s an entry that describes a beer-drinking appointment with a small group of friends at someone’s house,” according to a report published by the Chicago Tribune this past weekend. He went on to claim that his drinking habits in high school and college were not an issue, with the only evidence to that being that he had good grades—so scholars are incapable of getting drunk. Yet, a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s during his time at Yale, Chad Ludington, stated that Kavanaugh was a frequent and heavy drinker.

When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail,” Ludington stated on Sunday, according to a report published by the New York Times.

 

Those that sympathize with that behaviordishing out an emotional tantrum due to finally having the privileged cloak stripped awayover a potential victim of sexual assault victim, at the age of 15, should seriously consider their stance and morality.

 

White lies add up, especially for someone in Kavanaugh’s position. He is a judge, he’s looking to be withheld in a high position for our country by becoming a Senator, he swore under oath to tell the truth…any rallying behind Kavanaugh due to him being accused in this whole situation, should be reconsidered as he had tarnished his own reputation on his own. Setting the allegation aside, America would still receive a liar for a Senator—never mind a possible sexual harasser.

We can surely do better.

Back to Ford. She had her letter leaked, meaning she did not want to come forth with the situation in this particular manner, but felt as though it was important enough for women and girls to speak out on their abuse. She re-lived the worst possible experience one could possibly endure, on national television for everyone to see and hear. Ford has evidence of going through therapy for the event, something that was private and not even done until 2012.

Substance.

So, those that side with Kavanaugh only have one thing to go off of for his innocencebesides his desperate pleading: he’s a Republican (although being a wealthy white male judge only adds to his credibility in their eyes).

What happened is that Kavanaugh’s privileges were finally infringed upon. His white lies were finally confronted. He was called out, accused of something for once, and immediately broke down. It was that simple. Kavanaugh was never held accountable for his high school and college years, because he attended top ranking schools and received top ranking grades. He attempted to use that, his privilege, as a scapegoat from the allegations, having never been questioned over them previously.

Those that sympathize with that behaviordishing out an emotional tantrum due to finally having the privileged cloak stripped awayover a potential victim of sexual assault victim, at the age of 15, should seriously consider their stance and morality.

And yes, the leaking of Ford’s letter and statements are speculated to have been done by Democrats, wanting to ruin Kavanaugh’s campaign. However, the fact that people would attempt to use the means of which the letters came aboutwhich have still not been provenrather than the actual content of the letter is disturbing, as it involves a story of a sexual assault. Politics have become blinders to important issues, ones that should be obvious due to basic common sense and human understanding. Instead, we are at the point when sexual assault is not immediately seen as an event that should be investigated and sympathized over. It is not just disappointing, but sickening how much Republicans can be swayed just by that very label.

This idea will only be solidified if Kavanaugh is elected. Say goodbye to the “Me Too” movement. Safe spaces can be disregarded. Mouths will remain shut. If Kavanaugh is elected, the judicial committee and Senate are boldly stating, “We don’t care.”

They don’t care about about friends that are victims, family members, children, teenagers, adults. It would speak to the philosophy that if the accused simply say “I didn’t do it,” that trumps every story and every year of sorrow derived from such a monstrous act.

In fact, it has already begun.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake was confronted by two sexual assault survivors after catching him in the elevator. Flake had said that he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, which caused the women to challenge his stance. Ana María Archila, mother and one of the women to speak to Flake, expressed how she would feel silenced if he allowed Kavanaugh to be seated in a high position. It would prove that our country is not upholding accountability, and that people like her, do not matter.

You are allowing someone who is unwilling to take responsibility for his own action to sit in the higher court of the country,” she added. “You have power when so many women are powerless,” Archila stated.

For the moment, the FBI is conducting an investigation into the allegations, according to a report published by the BBC over the weekend.

To accuse Ford of being a liar is to believe that this was a grand scheme conducted four years ago, going through therapy and having difficult conversations with loved ones just for the publicity. To accuse Ford of being a liar is to believe that it is logical for a female professor to put her job and reputation on the line for some screen time during voting season. To accuse Ford of being a liar is to silence the voices of men and women, boys and girls, who are victims of sexual assault, promising that their stories are not important, because the only thing that really matters is whether a particular candidate makes it on to the Supreme Court or not, so keep quiet because your painful story of injustice could ruin his chances of being elected to a seat of justice.

 


 

Jayna Dias is a columnist for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

 


 

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OPINION: Kavanaugh story reminds America that facts — not emotion — are the answer

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