Let’s talk about why women don’t come forward


Again and again over the last few days, I have watched as both men and women, Republican and Democrat, have questioned the veracity of the women who are stepping forward to say they have been assaulted by Donald Trump.

Of course, his reaction is to threaten to sue everybody and everything in sight to protect his reputation.

Well, here’s the thing. He is on tape bragging about assaulting women. It was not locker room talk because they weren’t in a locker room still hyped up by athletic competition. They were on a bus.

He thought it was fine to offer his permission to a radio shock jock to refer to his daughter as “a piece of ass.” In fact, he has said repeatedly that he would “date” her if she weren’t his daughter.

That’s the kind of respect he offers his own daughter. Do you really think he has any respect at all for other women?

Contestants in his beauty pageant have said he walked into their dressing rooms while they were naked. He has unwittingly backed up their complaints by bragging about doing it.

He is a very powerful and wealthy man, and he can ruin any woman who crosses him. He is also vindictive enough to do it. I certainly would be afraid to come out and talk about being assaulted by such a man.

Remember Anita Hill? She had no reason to come out and have her career ruined by testifying against a man who sexually harassed her. And when she did, she was destroyed.

I believed her then and I still believe her.

It starts when we’re little girls, being told we have to give people hugs and kisses as though our bodies don’t belong to us.

And when men do things to us, we know nobody is going to believe it.

I was 3 when my grandfather started molesting me. It continued until I was 11. I told no one because I knew nobody would believe me. My grandfather was a school custodian and crossing guard and a church sexton. Everybody loved him. There was no way anybody was going to believe me.

So I accepted the quarters, the hush money, as it were.

In fact, I didn’t say a word until I was in my early 30s and my sister asked me about it.

“How did you know?” I asked.

“He tried it with me and I told him to stop,” she said. “So he told me you let him. I never did.”

She didn’t tell anyone, either because she knew she wouldn’t be believed and that I probably would get in trouble.

That reluctance to speak out doesn’t go away as we grow up.

Think about this: The conviction rate for rape is 6 percent. Do you really think 94 percent of men accused of rape are innocent? I don’t.

Women are blamed for sexual assault all the time.

She shouldn’t have gone out for a drink with him after work.

She shouldn’t have stayed late at work to finish up a project.

She shouldn’t have gone to a nightclub alone.

She shouldn’t have walked out on the street alone, worn that dress, those shoes.

She shouldn’t have laughed at his jokes.

She shouldn’t have let him kiss her goodnight or allowed him to walk inside her house, or gone to his place, or allowed him to give her a ride home.

In the conservative Christian tradition, women are all guilty of Original Sin, which is, as we all know, sex. We are temptresses, every last one of us. That’s why we can’t have leadership roles. We can’t be trusted not to tempt men.

When a pastor in my childhood church had an affair with a teenage girl, it was kept very quiet and he resigned.

Was he charged with a crime? No. He was allowed to go on his way and the teenage girl was told to keep it quiet.

Catholic priests aren’t the only ones who violate children.

When a girl grows up knowing that any sexual assault is her fault and that she’ll be the one blamed if she says anything — and then that’s exactly what happens — she learns to keep her mouth shut.

These 10 women who have come forward with allegations about Trump assaulting them are telling the truth. I would bet my life on it.

Trump can bluster and steam all he wants. I know better, and so should you.

When you question their stories, you question mine. When you blame them, you blame me.

I will not sit still and allow that to happen any longer.

Trump’s words were not just idle chatter

I believe the women.

I believe the women.

As an increasing number of women come out and say Donald Trump assaulted them, some of his supporters still snort and say he’s innocent of such things.

But let me tell you, I believe the women. The former writer for People Magazine painted a picture so real I felt like I was watching a video clip.

I have been a woman in the workplace and I know what unwelcome advances are like.

There was the supervisor who turned down the heat in the office so he could see women’s erect nipples. When one of us overheard him bragging about it, we all started wearing loose sweatshirts at our desks.

Then there was Bob, a man at a small newspaper who pursued me every damn day for weeks, even taking to calling me at home with lewd suggestions. When I reported him to the publisher, the man said, “Oh, that’s just Bob.”

So, I went back to my desk, and within a few minutes, Bob was there, suggesting we take a couple hours away from the office.

I asked for his home phone number, and, leering, he gave it to me. I stood up.

“Attention, everyone,” I said. “I need witnesses to this.”

I turned to Bob.

“If you ever utter another word to me that isn’t work-related, I will call your wife. I will tell her what hell you have put me through here at work, and I’ll bet I can find other women to back me up.”

Bob skulked away and behaved himself after that, but I found another job as quickly as I could because I didn’t want to be in the same town as Bob anymore.

Another time, while I was on a sales call, a man cornered me and started groping and trying to kiss me. I managed to get away and he made some remark about how he understood why I was divorced because I was a “frigid bitch.”

My boss found out about it and went to visit the offender, offering to take a baseball bat to the creep if he ever made a move on a person in his employ again. I didn’t need my boss to do that, but it was nice to know a man in a position of authority had respect for me.

There was the company president who didn’t hire me because he didn’t like having women work for him because of their “monthly unreliability.”

I was fired once because the boss thought my shoes were “slutty.”

I have been paid less than men doing the same work because of my gender.

I have been called Baby and Honey and Sweetie.

I have been talked over and interrupted as though my professional opinion meant nothing.

I have been groped and pinched.

I have been molested.

I have been raped.

Women don’t make this shit up, and when a man admits he can kiss a woman without permission, that he can grab her genitalia, simply because he wants to and he can get away with it because he’s rich and/or famous, that doesn’t come from thin air.

Yes, men talk smack and exaggerate, but when women start coming forward with stories as detailed as these women, when first one, then another, and then another come forward with credible, creepy stories, I tend to believe them.

Don’t start talking to me about Bill Clinton or Bill Cosby as though I somehow defended their behavior because I never have. I have only said that Clinton’s Oval Office blow job was consensual, which it was.

If Trump were running for dogcatcher, perhaps his utter disrespect for women wouldn’t make a difference, although he still wouldn’t get my vote.

But he is running for President of the United States, and he actually has millions of supporters — or at least millions who think he’s somehow a better choice than his opponent.

This is just another example of the rape culture that is so pervasive in American society now. We believe men who make comments like this and then say they were “only kidding,” but we either refuse to believe women who say they have been assaulted or we blame them.

We tell them they were wearing the wrong thing or we were in the wrong place (alone with a male colleague in his office, for example). We shouldn’t have accepted that invitation to talk about an ad campaign over dinner or to work on a project after hours so we could make a deadline.

Or in the case of the People reporter, we interview a man for a story. As a former reporter, I can attest to the fear we sometimes feel when we land alone with someone we think might be a predator. I made it a practice to do interviews in a public place or with people nearby who could hear me if I screamed. I never let story subjects buy me a meal.

Still, there were plenty of men who made suggestive remarks (although there were fewer as I got older) when they thought no one could hear.

So, why don’t we say something then and there?

Because he’s more powerful than we are and he could ruin us, and to defend himself, he probably will. Because we know we’ll catch the blame for the incident in the end.

If you want to support Trump, that’s your choice. If you believe he’s innocent of all charges, fine. Believe what you want. It’s your vote.

However, if you come onto one of my posts on social media and start telling me I have no right to be creeped out by this monster, I will block you.

If you troll on another woman’s post in the same manner, I will block you. Because if you have so little respect for women that you can’t understand why we find him abhorrent in what he says and does, I have nothing in common with you.

My experience with men like Trump is real and I will not allow anyone to invalidate it.




I’m going to survivor-splain this to you: Trump is a vile man

Last night, Trump stalked and glowered, obviously hoping to intimidate Clinton as she spoke. She kept her cool.

Last night, Trump stalked and glowered, obviously hoping to intimidate Clinton as she spoke. She kept her cool.

Something has crystallized in recent days as I realize why Donald Trump has always been creepy to me: He is the embodiment of all the abuse I have endured at the hands of men.

Growing up, I was molested by a family member from the time I was 3 until I was 11. It was “our secret,” and I can still see my chubby little fingers closing around the quarter — the hush money.

He had power over my body because he wanted it and he knew I was too afraid to call him out. He also knew nobody would believe me.

I attended a church where “Christians” blamed women for all the world’s ills and the pastor was screwing a teenage girl. They did all they could to rob us of any power over ourselves and then took advantage of us. We were the daughters of Eve, and we were all guilty of her Original Sin, which, of course, was sex. It was always our fault because all of us were temptresses, and that reinforced the shame I felt over the abuse.

I grew up and was with a man who told me I was stupid and worthless and lucky to have him, a man who forced himself on me again and again because it was his “right.” I had no say in the matter.

It seemed as though everyone had a right to my body but me. I was left wondering if even random men could do what they wanted to me against my will.

Along comes “The Donald,” who gets whatever he wants by intimidating, by talking over people, by bullying. He’s been doing it for years, in case you haven’t noticed.

My early life made me a strong feminist. I learned to stand up for myself and to not be submissive or polite when the need arises. I will defend myself. My existence is not for the pleasure of any man.

Maybe it was the day my partner raised a fist to me and I picked up the 12-inch steel skillet with hot grease in it and told him if he hit me I would beat him senseless with my “equalizer.” He punched a hole in the wall. The emotional abuse didn’t stop, nor did the rape, but he never hit me. There was a line drawn now and he would not cross it.

It didn’t take me much longer to summon the courage to leave the relationship, and to learn I didn’t have to tolerate abuse in any form.

I make all the decisions about my body.

I still remember feeling so powerful the first time I stood up in a restaurant and loudly told a man he wasn’t going to have sex in exchange for dinner. I knew the restaurant owner, who offered to call a cab for me. I still get a little giddy over the memory because it was the moment I realized I didn’t have to feel guilty about saying no.

Then there was the time a man I turned down said, “Don’t you find me attractive?” and I said, “Frankly, no. Not at all.” And then I walked away, knowing I didn’t have to stroke his ego — or anything else.

Yes, he could have overpowered me, but it would have been a hell of a fight.

At the first debate, I could feel my anger rising every one of the 51 times Trump interrupted Clinton. I could see a qualified, competent woman being dismissed by a man who clearly thought he was superior because of his gender, all the while acting like my sons did when they were toddlers.

I could see clearly this is an abusive man and it triggered anxiety like I haven’t felt in years.

Still, when the tape was released Friday, I started feeling sick to my stomach. When Trump issued his non-apology it was clear he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong. It was just boys being boys.

In reality, it was just disrespectful, abusive, entitled, predatory boys being disrespectful, abusive, entitled, predatory boys, and nothing about that is ever OK.

And when I posted something to that effect on Facebook, men came onto my thread to mansplain why it wasn’t so bad — men who never have been scared to walk across a parking lot alone at night or to have a repairman come to the house while they were home alone. Men who never have had unwelcome hands running over their bodies by people who feel entitled to what’s under their clothes.

I blocked them, but I am left with a feeling of unease knowing they’re out there thinking “The Donald” hasn’t done anything all that bad.

Now, if you think women are better off now, that we aren’t shamed for being victims of sexual assault, then why are our names published when our cars or purses are stolen, but we can’t be identified if we are raped?

It’s because we’re still blamed for that crime. We lured him in with our attire or by accepting an invitation for a drink or for talking to them at a bar or a ballgame. We teased him by letting him kiss us goodnight, or by taking off our pantyhose to walk barefoot on the beach.

If you’re a man who’s chanting about “our wives, our daughters,” you have a sense of entitlement over these women. You enjoy male privilege and it’s time you understand it.

We are not yours. We are not delicate flowers. We are strong. We belong to ourselves and you need to respect that.




Trump’s words are those of a sexual predator

The man is a sexual predator.

The man is a sexual predator.

Let me start by saying Donald Trump has always been creepy to me. There’s something icky about the man.

So, yesterday’s revelation that he bragged about sexually assaulting women comes as no surprise.

See, he has objectified women all along.

He wants sex with beautiful women, but he has no respect for them, and I would venture a guess that he has no capability to love a woman anywhere near as much as he loves himself.

He has said he would love to “date” his daughter. No decent man says that.

My son thinks all three of his daughters are beautiful, but he would never phrase it in sexual terms. My sisters and I used to joke that our father never looked at us from the neck down after we reached puberty.

But Trump fantasizes about “dating” his daughter.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I don’t have any sense of humor about sexual abuse or assault. Sexual predation is never funny. When men exercise their physical power over women by grabbing, kissing or otherwise assaulting them, it is not funny, and it is not excusable.

What Trump talked about was sexual assault, which is a trigger for me and many other women who have been victimized by men like Trump. It can bring on nightmares or panic attacks, or just feelings of anxiety and depression.

Fifty years after my abuser stopped assaulting me, I would have loved for sexual assault to be nothing to brag about, but people are still defending Trump.

In the fundamentalist Christian tradition of my youth, women were always to blame for abuse or assault. We were the daughters of Eve, who committed the original sin, and we were as guilty as she was. If we were assaulted, it was our own fault.

I must have had a hell of a come-hither look when I was 3 and the abuse started.

I know women in the fundamentalist Christian tradition who were raped by clergy and then forced to pray for forgiveness for tempting them.

When our mere existence is an excuse for sexual assault, something is wrong. Very, very wrong.

A man who brags about wanting to date his daughter, who says he needs a breath mint because he might see a woman he just has to kiss without her permission, who says he can grab “pussy” because he’s a celebrity — that man deserves nothing from the rest of us but to be completely ostracized.

When people defend Trump by saying Bill Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office, I have to remind them that as icky as that is, it was consensual.

My husband says he has never heard his male friends talk this way about women, not even in locker rooms. It is deeply offensive to him (that’s one reason I love him).

I don’t care how much you hate the Hillary Clinton, she is nowhere near as reprehensible as this creature. It’s not even close.

So, if you want to defend Trump, do it out of earshot of me because I will call you out for your misogyny.

There is no defense.



The lies of racism

Clergy from around NC and other parts of the country led a peaceful protest in Charlotte Thursday night. No none was violent and no one was injured.

Clergy from around NC and other parts of the country led a peaceful protest in Charlotte Thursday night. No none was violent and no one was injured.

Why do so many people, comfortable in their middle-class homes and neighborhoods, buy into the rhetoric that black people hate whites?

Why do so many insist that black people bring all their troubles on themselves?

Did black people buy tickets to sail from Africa to America during the Middle Passage?

Did they voluntarily submit to being bought and sold and used as livestock?

Did mothers voluntarily offer their children up for sale?

Scientific studies have shown that these kinds of trauma are written into the DNA of humans and can have an effect for generations.

So, after slavery ended, did black people volunteer to be arrested off the street and placed in prison camps where they labored for free?

Did they offer themselves up for lynching?

Did they freely choose to live in abject poverty because they couldn’t get a decent education in segregated schools so all that was left to them was sharecropping so white people could profit?

Were segregated and inadequate schools the ones they wanted for their children?

Did my friends in the 1950s and ’60s choose to be relegated to the backs of buses and back doors of restaurants and balconies of theaters — if they were allowed in at all?

Did they not dream for better lives for their children?

And today, as schools have been re-segregated, and black children trapped in crumbling school buildings with lead pipes and mold contamination, schools with far fewer computers and not enough textbooks, why are black children cruelly held to the same standards as the children in wealthy districts, where there are no school-to-prison pipelines?

Did you know that for-profit prisons calculate future “inventory” based on fourth-grade reading scores in mostly black neighborhoods? Doesn’t that sound like black children are being set up to fail so they can make profits for somebody?

When black people are trapped in poor neighborhoods with no banks, no grocery stores and lousy public transportation, are they supposed to look at the lack of opportunity and be OK with it?

Don’t talk to me about how people can rise out of poverty because a few have been fortunate enough to be able to do it. Before you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you have to have boots.

I was raised in a white town. We weren’t wealthy. In fact, when I was young, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, we were downright poor. But we were white. Doors were open to us that weren’t open to black families.

We attended excellent schools, even though we lived in a house that once was servant’s quarters on an apple farm in Massachusetts. We didn’t have central heat or hot water, but we did have access to great schools.

I had — and still have — a healthy dose of white privilege. Cops don’t see me or my husband or my son as a threat just because we exist and walk into their field of vision.

I have been accused of being driven by “white guilt,” the racist term for people who care about what is happening to our black brothers and sisters.

I am not guilty of anything more than having that privilege I described. It’s what I do with that privilege that matters. Do I sit in my living room and watch events unfold in Charlotte, or do I go there and stand in peace and love with fellow human beings who are being oppressed and try to protest the blatant racism of our public policy?

Do I try to understand the pain that is inherent in their existence or do I pound my fist on the arm of my sofa and wonder why they want to destroy everything “we” built?

Do I criticize every effort oppressed people make to be heard as “inappropriate,” even when it’s peaceful, or do I stand (or sit) with them?

I choose to be part of the protest.

I choose to stop waiting patiently for change and to demand it begin now, with the release of the police video of the execution of Keith Lamont Scott.

I choose to stand with my brothers and sisters in peaceful protest of systemic racism.

I choose to get angry when people judge the violence that breaks out when militarized police forces show up in riot gear and begin pushing people back and using tear gas and billy clubs if people don’t want to move.

I have been in such situations and I can tell you, I feel furious when it happens. It feels as though our valid concerns are being invalidated by people who have all the power and care nothing for our lives.

For some people the only answer is to fight back. When nonviolent protests are met with violence, some people will become violent. I’m not excusing it; I’m saying it happens, and it might not happen if there was any evidence people in power would listen to the grievances of the protesters.

And don’t talk to me about “proper channels” because those have been closed off. I have been arrested twice for trying to exercise my Constitutional right to talk to lawmakers.

It began with the death of my child, but it continues with the deaths of other people’s children because I know the pain of losing a child to injustice, and I know it happens more often to people of color, and I know that’s wrong.




Again, a black man dies at the hands of police

Keith Lamont Scott was gunned down by police in Charlotte, NC, last night.

Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was gunned down by police in Charlotte, NC, last night.

Keith Lamont Scott was 43 when he was gunned down by police last night in Charlotte.

Police claimed he had a gun, but his daughter says he was unarmed, and that he was holding a book.

Look, I get it — our country is gun crazy. This culture of swaggering cowboys is a dangerous thing for police, who never know whether someone is holding a gun or a wallet — or a book.

But it’s hard to believe police when most of the mistakes are made when police are facing people of color.

Scott was not perfect. He had a record and was convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon 12 years ago.

But a 12-year-old misdemeanor charge does not warrant the death penalty, especially when whites routinely are taken into custody alive after heinous crimes.

I’m tired of hearing that a dead person of color was threatening to police because he or she committed some petty crime when white mass murderers are taken into custody alive. These things are NOT equal and we need to stop listening to racists telling us they are.

I’m tired of hearing that protests over these killings are misguided. If you say you understand but that the protesters should take a different tactic, then you don’t understand.

When you say Colin Kaepernick is wrong in his nonviolent protest, when you say frustrated and angry people who are fed up with systemic racism shouldn’t display their anger, you are showing your complete misunderstanding of the issue.

Well, tell me which form of protest meets with your approval, then?

Must it be quiet so it doesn’t disturb you?

Must it be out of your way so you’re not inconvenienced by it?

Must it be something that doesn’t provoke you to think about the meaning of your patriotism?

Notice I used the word misunderstanding instead of ignorance. In reality, it is ignorance. It’s too easy to deny the validity of people’s issues when you have the privilege of not having to bear those same burdens.

It’s easy to say “all lives matter” when your life and those of most of the people you know are not in danger because the color of your skin intimidates police.

If you think there’s no prejudice involved here, think again. Prejudice means pre-judging someone based on a characteristic they possess, in this case skin color.

Police answer these crimes committed by their ranks with lies (just look at police reports that have been debunked by video of these executions) and by arriving at protest scenes in riot gear and with military equipment.

What if police apologized to families and rooted out the bad apples among them instead of protecting them? Don’t you think the communities from which the victims came would start to heal?

As it is, police and their allies line up to defend the actions of a few, making them all look bad when (if) the truth comes out.

Here in North Carolina, video from police body cams and dash cams has been taken out of the public domain. Tell me, how should I react when I know there’s evidence, but it’s kept hidden by the very government that’s supposed to be seeking the truth and protecting me?

I’m in tears again this morning. I don’t know what more to do or say to make this overt racism visible to people who are refusing to see it.

What is it you fear? Are you afraid of losing your nearly unfettered access to guns?

Are you afraid people of color will gain truly equal rights and take something you consider yours?

Are you afraid of losing the white privilege you deny you have?

Stop saying “all lives matter” and recognize that at this moment, when black lives are being snuffed out by police bullets and by lack of access to health care and other unjust causes that are hugely disproportionate, we need to focus on the lives we’re losing.

At this moment in history, we already know that white lives matter. It’s time to concentrate on saving black lives and indigenous people’s lives and Latino lives.

It’s time for real justice, not the Wild West crap we’re seeing now.

Keith Lamont Scott was 43.

My son is 43.

My son is white.

My son also has made mistakes, but so far, he has not suffered the death penalty for those bad choices.

Don’t for a moment forget why I still have a son and Keith Lamont Scott’s mother does not.


A Trump protest turns violent

Shirley Teeter talks about her experience being assaulted outside of a Donald Trump rally.

Shirley Teeter talks about her experience being assaulted outside of a Donald Trump rally.

Shirley Teeter has a long history of participating in protests, beginning in the late 1960s with civil rights marches and protests against the Vietnam War.

So, when she heard last week that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was coming to Asheville, appearing less than a block from where she lives, she decided to go and speak her mind.

Before the rally, as people filed in, Teeter says, everyone seemed in good humor.

But after the rally, the demeanor was different, she says.

“They were angry, ready for a fight,” she says. “People should know how Trump works people up in those rallies of his.”

Still, Teeter, who is 69 and uses oxygen because of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, never imagined a man would haul off and sock her in the jaw.

“I told him he’d better learn to speak Russian as he walked by me,” she says. “And that his first words should be ‘ha, ha.’”

She says she was referring to Trump’s cozy relationship with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.

The man, later identified as Richard Campbell of Edisto Island, SC, hauled off and punched her in the jaw, Teeter says.

“I guess I lost consciousness because I don’t remember hitting the ground,” she says. “He tried to say I grabbed him, but that’s not true. I never touched him.”

Bystanders helped her up and emergency medical personnel tended to her wounds – bruises on her jaw and ribs and a badly skinned elbow.

“I asked the police to please arrest him,” she says. “But they didn’t.”

Apparently, if police don’t witness the assault, they can’t arrest the perpetrator, even with video evidence and a number of people offering to testify against him. A warrant was issued the next day, and Teeter said then she will press charges.

Teeter has had X-rays and no bones were broken, but two days after the assault, she was sporting a large bandage on her elbow and an ice pack on her badly bruised ribs.

Photos of Teeter on the ground, her eyes closed, went viral pretty quickly. The story made national news, including reports in CNN and the Washington Post.

“I don’t feel famous,” she says, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. “I feel violated. I feel people are being manipulated by Trump. I’ve never seen a candidate behave like this. … There are those of us who listen to his words and don’t hear the same thing. I hear the lies and the call to hate people and I see him for what he is – a very dangerous man.”

Just seeing the difference in people after the rally, Teeter says, makes her want to speak out even more. Without hesitation, she says she would go again and protest.

“You can’t let hate stop you,” she says. “I don’t know why that man thought it would be OK to punch me, I really don’t, but I refuse to be angry. I’m sad about what happened, but nobody will rob me of my sense of peace. Nobody can take that away from me. Nobody.”

‘But both sides do it!’


“Both sides do it.”

What a load of crap.

Yes, Hillary Clinton called some of Donald Trump’s supporters “a basket of deplorables.”

That’s because they’re acting in a deplorable fashion.

Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers and I didn’t hear a single one of his supporters ask him to scale it back.

Donald Trump has said repeatedly that Muslims are terrorists, and his supporters have cheered.

Ah, yes, but Hillary has been accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, and there are witnesses.

No wait, that was Trump.

But Hillary has defrauded thousands of people with her fake university.

No wait, that was Trump.

But Hillary stands at the podium and encourages people to hit opponents at her rallies, offering to pay bail for people who get arrested.

No wait, that’s Trump.

But people at Hillary’s rallies punch opponents while her supporters cheer.

No wait, that’s Trump’s rallies.

But people at Hillary’s rallies call for her opponent to be hanged.

No wait, that’s Trump’s rallies.

But Hillary held that huge fundraiser for veterans and then didn’t give any of the money to veterans until she was shamed into it.

No wait, that was Trump.

But Hillary has cheated on two spouses and brags about her sexual prowess all the time.

No wait, that’s Trump.

But Hillary was endorsed by David Duke, the white supremacist and then tried to deny she knew him.

No wait, that was Trump.

But Hillary cozies up to Vladimir Putin and then denies she has ever met him.

No wait, that’s Trump.

But Hillary’s spouse stood at the national convention and plagiarized the current president’s spouse’s speech.

No wait, that was Trump’s (third) spouse.

But there’s evidence that Hillary’s spouse was working illegally in this country before they were married.

No wait, that was Trump’s (third) spouse.

But Hillary’s family has taken millions of dollars from her campaign fund.

No wait, that’s Trump’s kids.

But Trump’s foundation has provided clean water and more to tens of thousands of victims of natural disasters.

Opps, sorry. That was the Clinton Foundation. No one has figured out yet what Trump’s foundation funds.

But wait. Trump helped open negotiations for a settlement with Iran that stopped it from developing nuclear weapons — and the settlement, finalized in 2015, is holding without a single American soldier dying in “boots on the ground.”

No wait, that was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But Hillary’s the crooked one, right? And the press is giving her fair coverage because, after all, she’s the candidate of her party, right?

Uh, not so much. At a rally here in Asheville on Monday, Trump opponents stood outside and called his supporters rude names. At least five opponents were slapped or punched and they were escorted out while their attackers were allowed to stay.

In my 64 years, I have never seen a campaign as violent and mean as this one, and it’s not Hillary who’s doing the damage.

Trump has been allowed to get away with disgusting racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, xenophobia, with suggesting we could use nuclear force, with calling for wars and more wars … He has been shown to be crooked and mean-spirited at every turn, while the corporate media have given him a pass every time, not calling out his hate or his lies.

But calling his behavior and that of his supporters deplorable somehow disqualifies Hillary?

What a load of crap.



Why am I so pissed off about Brock Turner?

This is Brock Turner. He's a rapist who walked away from his crime with little more than a slap on the wrist.

This is Brock Turner. He’s a rapist who walked away from his crime with little more than a slap on the wrist.

That’s right, I’m pissed. Really pissed.

Brock Turner ruined a woman’s life. She will always be his victim, no matter how many people reach out to help and try to heal her after he raped her while she lay unconscious behind a dumpster.

The scars will remain throughout her life, affecting her ability to form and sustain intimate relationships, to trust other people, particularly men.

Sure, she was drunk. That doesn’t give anyone permission to violate her.

But a judge decided Brock Turner was just a poor, misguided boy who deserved compassion and a short — very short — sentence so that he could go back to life as usual.

Brock Turner has an immense amount of white, male and wealth privilege; the woman is meaningless in its wake.

We make excuses for this kind of “youthful hijinks.” He’s just being a boy. Boys can’t control their urges so it’s up to women to protect themselves.

I can remember sitting on the couch in the living room with my boyfriend when I was 16. My father told me later I shouldn’t cuddle so close because boys aren’t known for being able to control themselves. I told him they should be pressured to learn self-control, not have excuses made for them.

What I didn’t tell my father was that I had already been violated by someone he knew and trusted.

I didn’t tell him the abuse started when I was 3 and continued until I was 12 because I knew it had to be my fault somehow. Males can’t control themselves, so women have to do it for them.

I must have had one hell of a come-hither look when I was 3 to tempt my abuser so. I must have made myself irresistible somehow because it’s never the man’s fault. That had been made very clear to me.

So, let me tell you what it’s like to be a survivor of the kind of theft that was perpetrated on me — and on Brock Turner’s victim.

We are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs to dull the pain.

We are more likely to endure clinical depression and have severe self-esteem issues.

We are more likely to enter into abusive relationships because we don’t realize we deserve better than that.

We are more likely to become obese in a subconscious effort to be less attractive to men who might want to have their way with us.

We are more likely to die by our own hand.

The shame and guilt remain with us all our lives, no matter how hard we try to erase it. We can integrate what happened into who we are and not let it define us completely, but we can not go back to who we were, nor will we ever be who we might have been. That has been taken from us.

So, we don’t have a lot of sympathy for abusers and rapists.

But God forbid Brock Turner should endure disruption to his life because he’s such a good swimmer.

This is not an isolated incident. I could recount a number of cases of people I know who have never seen justice.

Just the other day, a 23-year-old man was given a non-sentence for molesting an 8-year-old. The judge in that case said he was “just a boy,” and he didn’t want to ruin his life.

Well, what about the real child whose life he ruined? Does that life not count?

There was the lesbian woman who cops decided was the guilty party because she probably just wanted to try sex with a man and then decided to accuse him of rape when she didn’t like it. The charges against her rapist were dropped.

If you doubt me, read the book, “Missoula,” by Jon Krakauer. It chronicles in painful detail the rape culture at the University of Montana, and if you think it’s only at the University of Montana, think again.

Time and again in our culture, male athletes are given a pass — unless, of course, they’re protesting the oppression of people of color. Then they’re vilified.

Yeah, I’m pissed, and you should be too.

It takes courage to stand up by remaining seated

Unless you're doing something to bring injustice into the light and protest it, you need to be quiet about Colin Kaepernick's protest.

Unless you’re doing something to bring injustice into the light and protest it, you need to be quiet about Colin Kaepernick’s protest.

Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem the other day in protest to the injustices suffered every day in this country by people of color.

A lot of Americans are pretty pissed about that, but those same Americans will ignore or excuse the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of cops.

They say nothing as dozens of veterans commit suicide every day because they can’t get the care they need after four, five or six deployments to war zones.

They remain silent as the maternal and infant death rates go up because access to women’s health care is shut down by people who call themselves “pro-life.”

When the courts find that the new voter “protection” laws actually were written to make it harder for black and brown people, students and the elderly to vote, these same people claim those laws are fine. “Surgical precision” was the way the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals phrased it. The people who wrote North Carolina’s voter law actually requested and reviewed statistics on black people’s voting habits and wrote the law to maximize the hurt. I know because I was in the courtroom when the state’s lawyer reluctantly admitted it.

When transgender people are singled out for discrimination in “bathroom” laws, these same people who hate Colin Kaepernick turn the other way because it doesn’t affect them.

We complain about people “taking” from the government. “Something for nothing,” we call it. But at the same time, we refuse to pay people a living wage for 40 hours of work.

“Get off your lazy ass and work,” we say to people who hold down two and three part-time jobs because huge corporations don’t want to help people get health care, so they only hire part-time workers to avoid offering health care, sick time and other benefits.

But when a football player — someone they love because he provides them with entertainment — has the temerity to bring these injustices to their attention, they just hate him.

“He’s a coward,” they say.

Really? He’s willing to sacrifice all he has to make this statement.

The national anthem is a song, a symbol; the people Colin Kaepernick stood up for by staying seated are very real, as are the injustices they face every day in our society.

In my book, whether I agree with his action or not, he has courage.

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