Days of reckoning for the high and mighty
After of our annual conference (which was, by the way, a smashing success), I came home to a short stack of unread New York Times. Two stories in last Saturday's edition struck me.
One featured this headline: "France Orders Strauss-Kahn to Stand Trial." The one-time potential presidential candidate faces "charges linked to his involvement in a prostitution ring prosecutors say was operating in France and in the United States." Along with "a small group of French businessmen and police officials," Strauss-Kahn stands accused of pimping, or “aggravated procurement in a group,” a charge that "carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of 1.5 million euros," about $2 million.
I'm reminded of Martin Luther King's contention that "the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice."
The other article featured this headline: "San Diego Mayor Says He Will Go Into Therapy." It described how seven women have now reported that they were sexually harassed by Mayor Bob Filner who is struggling in the face of "a flood of demands that he step aside."
Whether he's ousted or not, the Filner case shows that ever so slowly, more who have been sexually victimized are finding the courage to step forward.
Another King quote comes to mind: "No lie lives forever."
However belatedly and inadequately it's happening, I'm encouraged that the high and mighty - in both the secular and religious worlds - are increasingly being held to account for sexual wrongdoing.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.