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Is Judge Kavanaugh the Republican Emmett Till?

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on September 21, 2018 10:49

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Those who "believe all women" have forgotten the lesson of Emmett Till, falsely accused of sexual harassment by Carolyn Bryan in 1955.

In August, 1955, 14 year-old Emmett Till was accused of offending a woman named Carolyn Bryant in Money, Mississippi.

Bryant testified that Till had made unwanted advances toward her, notably whistling. She also testified Till had grabbed her waist and uttered obscenities--which she later recanted. 

A few nights following their encounter, Bryant's husband and half-brother kidnapped, tortured, and murdered Till, dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River. The killers went free.

Till's family held an open-coffin funeral in Chicago to focus attention on the stain of racism. Following his death, Emmett Till became a Christ-like symbol of martyrdom to prejudice.

His casket is now displayed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture as a relic.

Till had been killed for whistling at a white woman. 

Flash forward 63 years to see this dynamic at work in Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Now, a Republican graduate of a Catholic school has  been accused by a blonde Episcopalian alumna of a suburban Washington private girl's school of similar charges, in a letter to a US Senator.

While there are differences--Kavanaugh was allegedly 17 instead of 14, Ford purportedly 15 not 21, 36 years have passed since the incident instead of a few days--the basic paradigm remained the same:

A female accused a male of unwanted advances in order to destroy his life, based on an incident which would be trivial absent prejudice.

In this case, not race prejudice, but manifestly anti-male prejudice. For example, Sen. Marie Hirono's demand that men "shut up."

In addition, anti-Catholic and indeed anti-Irish stereotypes may be involved at a "dog-whistle" level.

Although Kavanaugh reportedly now belongs to an Episcopal church, his Catholic-school background and Irish surname would be enough to recall "drunken Irishman" cliches and derogatory "Paddy Wagon" images in the public mind.

Not long ago, Irishmen and African-Americans alike were seen as dangerous members of the lower-classes and a threat to the virtue of American womanhood. Wikipedia has an entry dedicated to "Anti-Irish Sentiment," which includes "No Irish Need Apply" employment advertisements. Likewise, anti-Catholicism in the United States.

More than religious and national bigotry may be at work, since now America has seen mob attacks on Republicans and Trump supporters in public places, restaurants, and college campuses--reminiscent of KKK attacks on African-Americans in earlier times.

Once again, political demagogues fan flames of bigotry and prejudice to destroy lives--this time of a male, Catholic-educated, Irish-surnamed, Republican: Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Those who say "believe all women" have forgotten the lesson of Emmett Till, a young man falsely accused of sexual harassment by a young woman.

Not since Clarence Thomas's disgraceful confirmation hearings have Americans seen such a crude political lynch mob in action.

Given the trivial nature of allegations against him by the feminist lynch mob, Judge Kavanaugh could one day become known as the Republican Emmett Till.

 

 

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on September 21, 2018 10:49

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