Flipping back and forth between channels, I am glued to the coverage of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote for the Supreme Court. Some networks are putting people with differing opinions on, and debating why Kavanaugh should or should not be confirmed. Surprisingly, the debates are not always ugly.
Then, I flip to a network where three people are sitting on a couch, discussing the same topic. Only, this time they are tossing to a segment called:
“Winners and Losers”
They then proceed to list who is winning because of the news that Kavanaugh will most likely be confirmed. The commentary (and that is what it is… not news… commentary) is covered with flashy graphics, pictures and video.
The show then goes back to the three on the couch, as they proceed to discuss there are many losers in this possible decision. They laugh as they say the people are hurting over this loss.
The first picture that pops up is one of women holding signs that display their anger, concern, sadness over another event that is belittling them and their voices.
Now, I know my voice may seem bias because I’m a survivor myself. However, I truly cannot understand this dialogue. Here we have people who may have personal experiences with assault, who identify with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and we are plastering “Losers” graphics in front of them while commentary sounds overhead about how this group is a group of losers.
When President Donald Trump was rallying 20-30 minutes away from where I live this past week, he went on a tangent making fun of Dr. Ford’s testimony. He mocked her testimony about not remembering all the details. He used a demeaning voice, putting tone and reflection that belittled her and were not accurate to how she really sounded.
By now none of us should be surprised by anything Trump says to belittle women. He likes to say he is the biggest supporter of women, but he disproves that at many turns.
Just a sample of his quotes from the past, a small sample, backs up what I am saying here:
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
“Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
“A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
“So why in 1992, did you tell a writer for New York magazine, Marie Brenner that “You have to treat women like shit”?”
Trump: “I didn’t say that. The woman’s a liar, extremely unattractive, lots of problems because of her looks.”
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. There was blood coming out of her wherever.”
I digress… let’s get back to the Trump rally this past week.
So, the President of the United States is standing before an excited crowd. He is tossing out his usual talking points. The crowd is cheering.
Then, they start to laugh as he begins to belittle a woman who sat before an intense questioning of her past and what may have happened to her at a high school party with Brett Kavanaugh.
She sat in front of millions and told something that had brought her so much shame, she only began to talk about it approximately 30 years after it happened.
And, our President decides to use bullying instead of compassion when referring to her.
We all know you don’t have to agree with someone to show compassion.
We also know belittling someone is the wrong way to go. We were taught that in Kindergarten. My kids are still learning it in middle school.
But, let’s remember his words are not surprising.
What brought tears to my eyes were the sounds from the crowd.
They were laughing.
Laughing! Oh, and clapping.
I am sure I know someone who was in that crowd. He was too close for that chance to be none.
Do they have kids? Do they believe their kids should behave this way?
Again, I am not talking about agreeing or disagreeing with someone. I am talking about treating others, even those with which you disagree, with kindness.
Not laughter. Not with degrading words. Not with a belittling speech.
I could care less what Trump, or Senator Chuck Grassley or Senator Lindsey Graham has to say. They have no idea what it is to endure assault and rape. They are ignorant of the facts here. Plus, they have a political agenda at stake.
I care deeply about the audience laughing and clapping at what they have to say. These are people who probably know someone who went through something similar to what Dr. Ford described. They may not know it. Some of them have daughters. Some are daughters.
By the way, I am sickened by the people who may have threatened Mrs. Kavanaugh or her daughter. I am an equal opportunity kindness believer.
What have we come to? Who are we?
It feels like those handful of kids who bullied us at school are taking over and we have to sit back and hand over our lunch money, and then stay out of their sight to avoid being beat up.
One other comment Trump said was young white men should be scared. Today, while I was watching different media shows, another man said that white men are now being attacked and accused at every angle.
I happen to be married to an exceptional man. I do not believe they should all be lumped into a barrel and rolled over Niagara Falls. Because of this, I reached out to men in a separate blog.
I think we should all reach out to each other, and try to understand each other’s points of view, by asking each other why we believe what we believe. We have to stop this tribal categorization of “Winners and Losers”. We need to stop drawing lines and making general statements about one another. We have to stop laughing at those who are hurting.
We HAVE TO STOP LAUGHING at those who are hurting.
STOP LAUGHING AT THOSE WHO ARE HURTING
Because, if we go to rallies and laugh at “the other side” no matter what… only one group will fall under the “Winners” header:
As Bill Maher put it last night on “Real Time”…
“Power begets power.”
And, more of us have less power than the few that have most of the power. We are handing them even more power if we allow for their behavior of belittling others to continue. We are allowing abuse of others… and abuse of power.
What would we rather this world look like?
One filled with hate, division, ridicule, and bullying?
Or, one with understanding, respect, kindness and love?
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest member.” Ghandi
“We choose our destiny in the way we treat others.” Buddha
“I don’t understand why we can’t just be nice to each other.”
“Yeah, it’s not that hard.” A couple of kids I know