Negotiating White Male Entitlement – the ford/kavanaugh hearing

activist, author, former political prisoner

Kavanaugh bathed in indignation yesterday, defending his white male privilege & entitlement


Camille A. Marino
September 28, 2018

Like many across the country, I watched the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings on September 27 in rapt attention. But on a personal level, I couldn’t reconcile why this spectacle disturbed me at such a visceral level. After all, the issue to which I’m committed is Animal Liberation. And, let’s face it, whether a so-called liberal or conservative takes this pivotal seat on the Supreme Court, it will not make an iota of difference for nonhuman animals. They will continue to be destroyed in the bloodiest and most pervasive genocide the world has ever known.

I intimately understand, however, that if every single one of us who fights oppression – wherever we identify on the gender spectrum/whether our skin is a shade of brown or white/whether we are among the economically-advantaged or disadvantaged — must be a fully-integrated and empowered individual within our own society to be able to make a difference for others. And it seems as if all the social inequities with which we live are crystallized in the current drama playing out; far more than I think any of us will digest for some time.

Earlier this week, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 – 10 years in prison for drugging and raping women. I think it’s fair to say that “America’s Dad” enjoyed a benefit of wealth, privilege, and impunity for some time. So when he was sentenced, my surprise was in that he wasn’t able to buy his way out of consequences. But I’m a white woman and I only interpret the world based on my own experience. I was surprised to see a post on a close friend’s Facebook page that day that said “Damn, Bill Cosby sentenced 3 to 10 years in State Prison!!!!” We call ourselves sisters. We even share a name. But I had to read through the comments of her family and friends to understand the significance in the black community of this black man being jailed for assaulting mostly white women. I still think his punishment is appropriate in a vacuum (that is, if there was an equal measure of “justice” meted out to Weinstein, Cosby, and, possibly, Kavanaugh). But these thoughts added an extra layer of embarrassment and outrage when we see Cosby in cuffs and Kavanaugh — who faces strikingly-similar allegations — on his way to the supreme court bench. The point is that Brett Kavanaugh has become an iconic symbol of white male privilege and the sexism and racism that are fundamental elements upon which our patriarchal society rests.

This is so far beyond a partisan issue. I have to laugh when I hear people say that Democrats orchestrated some master plan to stop this confirmation. I’ve never witnessed anything other than ineptitude and ineffectiveness from Democrats. Except for maybe Cory Booker, they all allowed Kavanaugh to over-talk them and evade any uncomfortable questions. These are the masterminds? That’s absurd. Democrats and Republicans are identical in that they are controlled by corporate lobbies. They may differ in social policies about which I obviously lean liberal, but the real difference is in the underhanded, organized manipulation of the right for which the left is generally in perpetual response mode — even when they’re in control. I am still a registered Democrat technically, but that’s only because as a convicted felon, I’ll lose my voting  privilege in Florida if I attempt to revise it. And for the record, the most abusive jurist I ever went before was named Darren Kugler. He was a misogynist and tyrant who was eventually removed from the bench permanently. He was also a liberal democrat.

An article called African Feminists Emphasize Key to Global Peace  analyzed a women’s conference earlier this month and discussed how the oppression or empowerment of  women within each of our own cultures affects world politics, war or peace. Yesterday we watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford give compelling testimony of a sexual assault and the profound consequences with which a survivor lives. The consensus on both sides appears to be that she was, indeed, credible. Therefore, the dialogue shifted from not attacking her veracity to rather attacking her memory of Brett Kavanaugh as her attacker. Did Brett Kavanaugh attack her? After watching him, there’s not a doubt in my mind that he did. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of his drunken tirades. Many believe the hearing was proof of a witch hunt, however, and it confirmed their suspicions. In reality, not a single one of us know for sure. That in and of itself warrants his nomination from the Supreme Court being withdrawn.

I was initially concerned because I believe this jurist wants to undo Roe v. Wade and decimate women’s reproductive rights. I only learned over the course of the week that he believes a sitting president cannot be indicted. No doubt, these positions played a significant role in his name being hand picked by Donald Trump. I’ll say that I despise Trump and leave it at that. But after hearing Judge Kavanaugh speak yesterday, it is chilling to think that hishas been sitting on a federal court bench for over a decade already. And now he is going to be pushed through right to one of the most powerful positions in the country — irrespective of the serious allegations of crimes against women swirling around him. The simple fact that he dispensed with the illusion of impartiality, aggressively and repeatedly attacking the left, should void his nomination. Considering the demagogue who nominated him in the first place, I’ll not hold my breathe waiting for any demonstrations of integrity.

I watched Judge Kavanaugh seethe yesterday as he was held accountable, clearly something foreign in his universe. His contempt, arrogance, and hostility was unbridled as he spoke of his victimization, the hell his family has endured, and his reputation and standing being questioned. Then he should be the first person trying to do everything possible to clear his name — and, sorry, his word is just not good enough. Kavanaugh rapidly went from the reincarnation of Johnboy Walton last week to a raging, falling-down drunk yesterday. His white male entitlement is what he was defending, not women, not truth, not justice. If I had any doubts before he spoke, they’ve been completely replaced with conviction — a conviction that Brett Kavanaugh represents a culture of white male entitlement born of a deeply-ingrained patriarchal culture. Laws made by white men for white men, laws applied by and adjudicated f0r white men.

The only issue in question at the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing is how our society is going to deal with the abuses perpetrated by powerful white men. Will we begin to finally stand up to demand that every man and woman deserves to be heard and is entitled to resolution? Or will we simply stand on the sidelines watching as yet another authoritarian tyrant is given a free pass on a red carpet, this one leading to a lifetime appointment.


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