The end of an era spurs fear among some

The Taos News - - FAVOR Y CONTRA - By Rick Hal­ter­mann Rick Hal­ter­mann lives in El Prado.

I can tell you first hand as a white male that those men who have done their own work, which might par­al­lel the strides of the women’s move­ment, are few and far be­tween.

The in­her­ent prob­lem is that the level play­ing field woman have right­fully de­manded can only hap­pen with a re­lin­quish­ing of power, ar­ro­gance and en­ti­tle­ment that cer­tain men have cher­ished as if they were “un­alien­able rights.” In­stead, the new con­ser­va­tive move­ment seems to want to turn the clock back to the 1950s when gen­der roles were clearly de­fined and “boys will be boys” was a de­fense that could ex­cuse any vi­o­lent be­hav­ior, sex­ual or oth­er­wise, to­wards women.

In other words, a time when white men were in­deli­bly on top. For those of you who still be­lieve this, your time as di­nosaurs has hope­fully come to its con­clu­sion.

The cur­rent nom­i­na­tion process for a Supreme Court jus­tice has high­lighted those an­ti­quated ideas and shown that very lit­tle has changed since the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hlll hear­ing in 1991. Why was Judge Ka­vanaugh so highly praised by some?

It’s clear that ju­di­cial im­par­tial­ity is no longer a con­sid­er­a­tion but now a thing of nos­tal­gia to be re­placed by the last des­per­ately gasp­ing breaths of a dy­ing par­a­digm. If some­one came to me look­ing for a job while spew­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries, I’d go straight to the next can­di­date.

But isn’t that the prob­lem with out­moded ways of think­ing? A para­noia sets in when peo­ple know on some level that there is less and less ground to stand on. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to watch this old club try­ing to en­dure by pro­mot­ing younger mem­bers who have shared, with­out self-ex­am­i­na­tion, the same priv­i­leged back­ground of prep schools and Ivy League col­leges.

Did I be­lieve Dr. Chris­tine Blasey Ford? Ab­so­lutely.

I also be­lieve in due process and the idea of in­no­cent un­til proven guilty. Has Judge Ka­vanaugh been treated “hor­ri­bly” as claimed by Don­ald Trump? Only in the sense that his own sup­port­ers on the Ju­di­cial Com­mit­tee showed lit­tle in­ter­est in proof, or dis­cov­ery thereof, to sub­stan­ti­ate or re­fute the charges against him.

For the Se­nate com­mit­tee charged with over­see­ing jus­tice in Amer­ica, they have been a good ex­am­ple of how my then 6-year-old son once said, “That’s how you don’t do it.”

The fact that the charges brought forth by Dr. Ford have been con­sid­ered first and fore­most po­lit­i­cal by those sup­port­ing Judge Ka­vanaugh’s nom­i­na­tion il­lus­trates how de­tached from re­al­ity those with po­lit­i­cal agen­das have be­come. There is noth­ing po­lit­i­cal about sex­ual as­sault.

This may be the very prob­lem with the lack of dis­course oc­cur­ring to­day. Rather than talk­ing about an ac­tual is­sue, the cur­rent tac­tic is to con­trol the nar­ra­tive as a de­tour away from the facts along with the psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tional reper­cus­sions.

Keep­ing women as vic­tims rather than sur­vivors main­tains that old worn out par­a­digm. To see some­one as hav­ing sur­vived is em­pow­er­ing, and who knows what would hap­pen to the world if we re­ally sup­ported each other in­stead of sham­ing and blam­ing?

It is an amaz­ing mo­ment in Amer­ica when our un­ad­dressed vi­o­lence—to­ward women, to­ward peo­ple of color, to­ward the land and the en­vi­ron­ment, to­ward re­li­gious mi­nori­ties, to­ward the LBGT com­mu­nity, to­ward any­thing that varies from a white male-dom­i­nant per­spec­tive—is com­ing back to haunt us. Those in power are fi­nally be­ing held ac­count­able as they should be.

White men are ner­vous and fear false ac­cu­sa­tions as if they are the only ones who have ever ex­pe­ri­enced this kind of treat­ment. Any re­view of the civil rights move­ment will show a long his­tory of fab­ri­cated al­le­ga­tions by white males re­sult­ing in count­less mur­ders of African Amer­i­cans.

Thanks to the avail­abil­ity of in­for­ma­tion and the speed of our tech­nol­ogy, one’s back­ground is read­ily ac­ces­si­ble. En­ter­ing pub­lic life is not what it used to be when se­crets could be held in a closet in­def­i­nitely.

This is a time of great reck­on­ing when those who used to be con­sid­ered up­stand­ing ci­ti­zens in a com­mu­nity, from clergy, to po­lice, doc­tors, lawyers and ed­u­ca­tors, are no longer blindly trusted for good rea­son. The rigid views of the 1950s have crum­bled to the truths of hu­man frailty and er­ror

From the per­spec­tive of our evolv­ing democ­racy, this may be one of the great­est mo­ments when all of our voices might fi­nally be heard. Per­haps this prom­ise can be re­al­ized into a re­newed vi­sion for Amer­ica that in­cludes ev­ery­one, not just the priv­i­leged.

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