Kavanaugh Hearings Show That Any White, Male Scalp Will Do For Progressives

Kavanaugh Hearings Show That Any White, Male Scalp Will Do For Progressives

The hearing was an exercise in high-tech reparations, demanding a white male scalp to satiate History’s bloodlust for rectitude.

Whatever one’s opinion of Thursday’s national circus — both parties came off as relatively sympathetic, in my judgement — the typical cast of progressive Twitter personalities were out in force, demanding the all-but-literal spillage of white, male blood. #BelieveWomen was trending on Twitter well in advance of any exposition of the facts or relevant information. It was Christine Blasey Ford’s sex alone that verified her account and Brett Kavanaugh’s anatomy that likewise doomed him, regardless of evidence.

Author Daniel Mendelsohn gave a characteristic take from Twitter’s insufferable population of self-flagellating white progressives. The emotion palpable in Kavanaugh’s testimony was, according to Mendelson, “an astonishing high-resolution closeup of white male heterosexual privilege at work: the incredulity, the tears, the outrage, the rage that he’s not getting his cookie.”

Indeed, Kavanaugh’s mere insistence upon passionately defending himself against uncorroborated allegations of three-decades old sex crimes is “white male heterosexual privilege at work.” Better he sit there quietly and wallow in self-hatred (whether or not he’s guilty!) than offer a word in his own defense, lest he draw the ire of similarly-pigmented progressives on Twitter.

Kavanaugh was not, in Mendelson or any of the other sneering onlookers’ eyes, defending himself against specific allegations made by a specific woman regarding a specific incident of sexual malfeasance. No, Kavanaugh was an anti-messianic figure, standing in for all straight white males — Brock Turner, George Wallace, and that jock from high school who was more popular than you.

Every emotional protestation was not an earnest attempt to clear his family name or defend himself against allegations of sexual misconduct, but a Freudian exercise, projecting a deep, unspoken fury at the “browning of America” on behalf of the nation’s non-progressive white population. After all, History herself demanded that he be guilty, even in the absence of proof — other white men at other times and other places have been guilty of other crimes with other victims, and the Senate Judiciary Committee was charged with meting out retroactive justice on those victims’ behalf.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s verbal accosters said as much — Flake’s failure to vote in their preferred fashion told “all women in America that they don’t matter.” It was an exercise in high-tech reparations, to borrow the beginning of a now-famous phrase, demanding a white male scalp to satiate History’s bloodlust for rectitude. The truth (singular, not prefaced by a possessive pronoun) of what happened that fateful night 36 years ago was not the object of inquiry — Democratic Sen. Cory Booker all but said so.

It wasn’t Ford who accused Kavanaugh, it was History’s marginalized testifying in unison against white heterosexual men past and present. And the prosecutors in this cosmic trial were verified accounts on Twitter, hurling stupid portmanteaus and jargon (Whiteness! Mansplaining! Male fragility!) invented in between the walls of American prefix-studies departments.

It isn’t enough to hear both sides and make a prudential judgement based upon facts and evidence as our legal inheritance prescribes — hey-hey, ho-ho, Western civ has got to go, after all. Social justice, in the most fundamental sense of that term, demands more. Because some woman at some point in history made an allegation against some man and wasn’t believed, the ledger of History cries out for rectification. If Kavanaugh’s children are forced to wonder whether their father is a gang-raping sex predator based upon an uncorroborated allegation from 36 years ago, it’s of little consequence. History’s ledger would be one white male closer to being rectified.

There is a possibility that at investigation’s end, we will have definitive evidence that Kavanaugh groped Ford in high school, rendering the overwhelming majority of Kavanaugh’s under-oath testimony false and disqualifying him for the bench. I don’t doubt that Ford has experienced sexual assault, and I don’t deny the possibility that it was indeed Kavanaugh who was her assailant. But we don’t yet have that evidence, or anything close to it.

The logic that has been used in antecedence of any corroborating evidence — that justice demands we pillory Kavanaugh’s reputation and good name on the basis of historical redress — sets a horrifying precedent for American justice.

John Hirschauer is an award-winning essayist and sits on the board of directors of an advocacy group affiliated with a state institution for disabled adults.
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