All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Friday, September 28, 2018

We can learn from Maria and Anna Maria!

An interesting thing happened on the way to the hearing room.

The U.S. Senate was marching toward a confirmation vote for a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

I’ll not enter this fray with my opinions, (I have a lot of them!). What I want to focus on is what may have seemed an insignificant occurrence. This has to do with one of my favorite subjects: the little guy.

In this case, the little guy was a woman. Actually, two of them.

One of the senators who was about to vote on this motion got on the elevator and found himself facing Maria Gallagher and Anna Maria Achilla…two sexual assault survivors. They recognized Senator Jeff Flake, and wasted no time or words on him. They were in Washington to support a woman who claimed she had been abused by the nominee years ago, and they let him have it!

The senate hearing to determine whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be seated in the land’s highest court, as you probably know, was focusing on accusations of sexual abuse that had allegedly occurred during high school days. The hearing was a difficult and torturous experience for both the accuser and the nominee.

One of the major issues, however, was whether the accusation should be more thoroughly investigated. Democrats said the FBI should look into these matters. Republicans said it wasn’t necessary, as the senate was very capable of doing this, and the voting should proceed.

Then came that confrontation in the elevator, when Senator Jeff Flake met Maria and Anna Maria. With raised voices, he clearly heard “You’re telling all women that they don’t matter;” “You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter;” “Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me…that you’ll let people like that go into the highest court in the land and tell everyone what they can do with their bodies!”

Senator Flake won’t say that this experience made the difference. But the record shows that he went back and was able to encourage a delay until the FBI conducts an investigation into these matters.

Again, I’m going to restrict my opinions to the incident, not the subject.

There's a segment of our society here in Michigan that has been clamoring for prison reform, protesting mass incarceration, encouraging release of elderly and ailing prisoners, shouting that too many have been in prison for too long, and insisting that inhumane treatment of inmates is not acceptable.

Little guys (and by “little guys,” I mean people like you and me) can make things happen. Plopping our fat butts on the couch and yapping at the TV won’t do it. Shooting off our mouth to the guy on the next bar stool accomplishes nothing. It’s time to get on the elevator and get in the face of our elected officials and demand that they look at us! And listen to us!

Our opinions are important.

Our voices can make things happen.


Robert Bulten said...

Thanks, Doug. This needed saying and you put it so well.

Cindy Anderson said...

Thank you Doug, for this well put and important message!

janice Heerspink said...

I appreciate your posting this, Doug. There is so much that is wrong in these situations today!