“We better unite because this is how we stand,” Dan Rather said on AM Joy on November 11, 2017. He was speaking about Americans and how tribal and divisive they have become about major issues such as racism, sexism, the presidency, the economy, and healthcare.
I didn’t understand exactly what he meant until I thought about it. Or maybe it was after Hurricane Harvey pounded the news media that brought Rather’s words to my mind again. I’m not speaking about the horrendous storm that damaged Florida and Texas and avoided Puerto Rico, which got hammered and then steamrolled by another type of malignant neglect. But that’s a story for another day.
The hurricane I meant was Harvey Weinstein the accused alleged sexual predator haunting young women with dreams of would-be stardom. That hurricane led the other hurricanes: Alabama senatorial candidate Judge Roy Moore, who I’ll focus on. There are also accusers for actor Kevin Spacey, Senator Franken, media talking-heads Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin, Congressman John Conyers, and New York Times journalist Glen Thrush. Let’s not forget the man in the big house, who wasn’t punished for his role in assaulting women like Bill Cosby was, but rather he was rewarded with the presidency.
The republicans of Alabama have spoken. By not voting to kick Judge Roy Moore off the ballot for senator, they said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “It’s better to have a republican child molester on the ballot and possibly in the Senate than it is to have an Alabama democrat in the Senate.” Even Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey said while she believed the women who accused Roy Moore of sexual harassment/assault or molestation, she was still voting for Roy Moore.
How backwards is that?
I can’t help but draw parallels to the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties. Governor Kay Ivey reminds me of powerful White guys who were governors, mayors,
and sheriffs, standing in the doorway of schools and colleges in the Deep South, saying, “Segregation yesterday, today, and forever” as they prevented Black kids from entering doors to schools and colleges they had earned the right to enter.
I could almost hear Governor Ivey saying, “Roy Moore for senator yesterday, today, and forever no matter what sexual horrors he inflicts on young girls yesterday, today, and forever.”
Allow those words to settle into your brain for a minute before I move on.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders commented on the difference between Al Franken and President Trump regarding sexual wrongdoing with women. She said, “I think, in one case specifically, Senator Franken admitted wrongdoing, but the president did not. That’s a very clear distinction.” Several days later, Trump said, “Roy Moore denies it.” He also said, “We don’t need another liberal in the Senate.” Then he said, “Women are very special” and he’s “happy that sexual harassment is being exposed.”
Another backwards statement from a man who bragged about grabbing a woman’s genitals without her permission.
The Judge Roy Moore Effect frightens the bejesus out of me. Are we going backwards in time? We must be in a “way-back machine” if folks in Alabama would actually choose Roy Moore, a senatorial candidate with the following characteristics:
- So far, nine women have accused Moore of alleged sexual misconduct when they were between the ages of 14 and 22 years old.
- He was thrown off the bench twice for failing to obey the constitution.
- He failed to disclose that he paid himself or his family a million dollars from his charity.
- He was an active part of the birther movement, which is how he and Trump met.
The other candidate, the liberal candidate Trump mentioned, has none of that negative baggage. Doug Jones has more than a decent record on crime and civil rights. In fact, as a US District Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, he prosecuted two KKK members for the church bombing that killed four little Black girls in 1963. He did defend extremists in the 1980s. Tom Posey, from the Iran Contra scandal who had alleged ties to neo-Nazi and KKK groups, was a client. That’s been as controversial as the candidate running against Judge Roy Moore has been. Doug Jones is a civil rights defense attorney in private practice and this is the first time he’s run for office.
On December 12, if Judge Roy Moore now becomes Senator Moore, I wonder how far backwards in time Alabama voters and the big guy in the White House will go and try to drag us down into the darkness with them.
RESIST, INSIST, ENLIST, & PERSIST.
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