ColumnistsD Kevin McNeirEditor's ColumnOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ — An Attitude Befitting Cavemen of the Past, Not Today’s Society

I have barely been able to contain my anger and disbelief after witnessing the constant flow of Americans step to the mic downplaying recent allegations made by two women who say that during their matriculation in high school and college, respectively, Brett Kavanaugh, the man who President Donald Trump wants to whisk through proceedings and onto the U.S. Supreme Court bench, sexually assaulted them.

In lockstep mode representative of card-carrying members of “Team Trump,” comments have gone something like this: “I suppose it’s plausible that after overindulging in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, Kavanaugh may have misinterpreted the wishes of the two young women in question and for a brief moment acted impulsively and become a bit mannish.”

The caveat they toss out, like an old card shark shocking the opposition with a forgotten trump card — one that really makes my blood pressure rise, is an old adage that a mother, blinded by love, might utter to defend her son who’s acted on his secret sexual desires and faces punishment including imprisonment for his crimes: “Well, boys will be boys.”

Let’s be clear, sexual assault constitutes heinous acts of violence, fueled by a relentless need for domination. It’s wrong, it’s illegal, it’s demeaning to the victims and there’s no way to justify the commitment of such atrocities. Nor does it matter whether the perpetrator acted on their impulses today, yesterday or decades ago, as in the situations for which Kavanaugh has been accused. Yes, people can and do change, as some have said, in defense of Kavanaugh. Then again, others do not, simply donning a different costume, taking on a more appealing persona but all the way concealing who they really are.

By the way, a lot of men have sipped from the keg or chugged a few wine coolers during their teen years while hanging out at a weekend party before getting up the nerve to woo the class beauty with an invitation of “amour.” What’s different is they did not force the young woman to comply. Instead, they did what any normal, decent person would do, accepting the rebuff, albeit reluctantly, then slinking away like a puppy with its tail tucked between its legs.

Days ago, women’s rights activists led the way in a nationwide walkout to show support for increasing public opposition to the confirmation of Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, hundreds of others flocked to Capitol Hill for showdowns on the steps of the Supreme Court, outside of the offices of several senators and finally in the Senate Building’s rotunda where a heated exchange led to the arrest of 128 participants. Protesters say they just want the women who have courageously stepped forward to be allowed to have their say in a venue where objectivity and fairness are the rule of thumb.

But on the Republican side, chaos and confusion have ensued. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called the whole thing a “smear campaign,” and part of a larger conspiracy initiated by Democrats in cahoots with members of the media. Really Mitch? What have you been smoking?

He’s appalled that Kavanaugh’s “good name” is being dragged through the mud. He asks why Kavanaugh’s accusers waited so many years before coming forward. Clearly, he either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about the emotional damage that victims of sexual abuse experience — damage that sometimes lasts a lifetime.

McConnell wants to convince the public that we should believe “the white man” [Kavanaugh] without allowing for the possibility that the two women seeking justice are being forthright and honest. If you ask me, McConnell serves as a perfect example of “boys will be boys” because in a world where such a belief maintains primacy, women don’t matter, nor do their words.

We’ve long accepted the “scientifically proven fact,” that “white men can’t jump.”

Now, we’ve learned something even more profound: “white men can’t lie.”

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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