Shades of gray on abuse and harassment
This holiday season finds many rolling their eyes over criticism of lyrics in the 1944 song, "Baby, It’s Cold Outside," especially the line — "...what’s in this drink?" For decades, we thought vodka? Gin? Also, recent statistics indicate there is a growing concern that #MeToo is overreaching.
Amidst this criticism, we must not forget the good that has come from the #MeToo movement. State laws are changing, including limiting nondisclosure agreements that keep victims silent. Business leaders are clearly stating that abusive behavior will not be tolerated in their workplaces.
Let’s not lose the opportunity for profound reform. Let’s advocate for women and men to join together to treat each other with dignity and respect. But, let’s get some perspective. Let’s consider Dante’s Inferno. The Inferno describes Dante’s journey through hell, nine circles of torment for sinners who have yielded to “bestial appetites….” that promote an understanding of distinctions in wickedness.
The depths of hell should rightly be the fate of individuals like Dr. Larry Nassar. Jail. But, what about Louis CK? Or, the recently deceased George H.W. Bush, who reportedly groped women while in his wheelchair?
Yes, fire bosses who prey on their employees. But consider varying punishments for distinctions in wickedness. Deny millions in severance packages. Take Viagra from oldies. Demand sinners wear a large button emblazoned with a scarlet A for abuser, aggressor, and a word that ends in “hole.” Hester Prynne, forgive us.
And, without question, prohibit abusers from running for Congress, being elected president, or being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice for life.
What 'national interest' is served by these atrocities?
How are 1.2-plus million cases of cholera; 60,223 civilians killed in violence (including 28,182 so far this year); 85,000 starvation deaths since 2016, and the systematic destruction, by bombardment countrywide, of water purification and sewage treatment facilities by the American government-encouraged-and-supplied, murderous Saudi regime, the purported "right call," as parroted by someone called Jimmy Sengenberger in supporting Sen. Cory Gardner?
How, in the words of Sen. Gardner, is this horrendous death toll "in our national interest"?
How many more Yemenis must die before those two wake up to the hell being inflicted on innocent civilians?
Or, would Sengenberger lose his radio show, and Gardner his Senate seat, if they deviated in the least from the party line of the D.C. war-hawks who justify each and every atrocity, anywhere, as necessary in their jihad against the people and government of Iran?
Russell W Haas
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