Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, it’s likely you’ve heard or even engaged in debates regarding the legitimacy of the sexual assault claims recently brought against Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. In an already divided country, this scandal has seemed to do the impossible, and divide us even further.
On September 16th, the Washington Post released an interview with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a former high school classmate of Brett Kavanaugh, who alleges that he sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the summer of 1982. Kavanaugh immediately and unequivocally denied the claims against him.
Skepticism over the allegations grew in the following weeks as a result of the lack of detail in Dr. Ford’s accusation. Subsequently, the Senate Judiciary Committee delayed the confirmation vote and invited Ford to come testify in front of the committee.
On Thursday, September 27th, Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh both testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Dr. Ford began her testimony on Thursday morning by stating that she was “100% positive” that it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted her in 1982. Dr. Ford’s extremely emotional testimony was nearly impossible to not sympathize with and came across as extremely credible and believable. The only shortcoming of the testimony was that Dr. Ford could offer no corroborating evidence.
Brett Kavanaugh had an opportunity to testify later that afternoon. His testimony was also emotional in which he referenced the impact this ordeal has had on his family, and specifically his 10-year-old daughter. Kavanaugh was able to offer up a very detailed calendar from the summer of 1982, nowhere on the calendar was there any evidence Kavanaugh attended the party Ford alleges he did. Additionally, Kavanaugh has been able to use Dr. Ford’s best friend’s testimony, Leyland Keyser, to his defense as she said she “wasn’t even sure she knew Brett Kavanaugh”.
At the conclusion of both testimonies we were essentially back to where we started. As polling numbers suggest, our nation is nearly split down the middle on the credibility of both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford.
Every single sexual assault allegation needs to be taken seriously if we, as a nation, want to maintain our civility. Additionally, if we want to maintain our civility as a nation, we must maintain the basic judicial concept that someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
If we are to dismiss any allegations without hearing the victim’s story we appear as “rape apologists”. Conversely, if we are ready to convict and oust anyone accused of sexual assault without due process and incriminating evidence, we are simply weaponizing the “Me Too” movement.
The most unfortunate circumstance of this entire ordeal is that for some politicians, Dr. Ford’s sexual allegation falls in line with a political agenda. When you make sexual assault a partisan issue – nobody wins.
Despite your political affiliation it’s important that we maintain the values stated above, not only in Senate Judiciary meetings, but in our everyday conversations.
So I challenge you, when forging an opinion on this case, look not at the emotion, look at the facts and circumstances of the case, then make your decision.