By now I'm sure most if not all have either watched or heard about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
Like most people, I'd never even heard the name Brett Kavanaugh before Trump nominated him to the Supreme Court.
Since then, the man has been accused of everything from sexual harassment to serial rape by various accusers.
In this piece, I don't intend to argue for the man's guilt or innocence. Whether or not others think he's "guilty" or "innocent" seems to depend largely on whether they "like" or "hate" Trump (of course!).
Instead, I thought I'd frame the Kavanaugh "controversy" in a more "historical" context, especially where false allegations against various people have occurred & their sometimes dire ramifications.
The following is a list of people throughout history and more recent times who HAVE been falsely accused of committing various crimes and what happened to them as a result of being falsely accused.
Richard Jewell was a security guard who was falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics even though HE discovered the bomb and helped police evacuate people thereby doubtless saving lives as a result.
Like Kavanaugh, Jewell was investigated by the FBI-who were themselves accused of trying to "manipulate" him into a confession-and he was the "target" of the media, including late night TV show hosts like Jay Leno who called him "Una-doofus" in reference to the Unabomber.
Richard Jewell was eventually exonerated by the FBI and another man named Eric Rudolph was tried and convicted for the crime. But the damage to his reputation-and his life-had already been done. Richard filed a number of "libel" suits against various media outlets. He died in 2007.
Before there was Brett Kavanaugh, there was Gary Condit. Condit was a Senator until he was falsely accused of killing his intern Chandra Levy primarily on the basis he "admitted" to having an "affair" with her during a police interview that was "leaked" to the media.
Condit was never charged with Levy's murder. Instead, an MS-13 gang member was charged and convicted of her murder that was later overturned. As a result, Condit's political career was destroyed and he was even "parodied" on an episode of South Park that all but accused him of being "guilty" that you can STILL watch today.
An interesting footnote: Gary Condit's son appeared on Geraldo Rivera's show at the time and angrily confronted him-who was one of his father's BIGGEST accusers-who, of course, remained unapologetic and acted like he didn't give a damn (which, knowing Geraldo, he probably DIDN'T).
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African-American kid who was savagely beaten & murdered by a gang of white men after being accused of whistling at a white woman. (The woman admitted AFTER his murder Till hadn't done ANYTHING to her.)
Two of Till's killers were tried and acquitted by an all-white jury. The two men later ADMITTED they had in fact murdered Till in a magazine interview but, of course, couldn't be tried again for his murder due to "double jeopardy" laws.
Till's brutal murder helped galvanize the Civil Rights movement of the sixties. Sadly, Till was not the ONLY African-American man who was falsely accused of-and murdered-for "raping" white women during the Jim Crow-era south.
Bridget Bishop was the very first person executed for the "crime" of being a "with" during the infamous-and horrific-Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
In all, around 20 people-both women AND men-were executed after being falsely accused and convicted of being "witches" while anywhere from 70 to 200-depending on which version you read-were falsely accused and/or imprisoned for this bogus "crime" until the trials were finally stopped in 1693.
All the people victimized by the "satanic panic" of the 80s & 90s.
In what one could call a modern-day "witch hunt" ginned up by-of course!-the media during the 80s & 90s, MANY people, including babysitters and day care workers, were falsely accused-and even sometimes convicted of-"participating" in "satanic rituals" involving children.
The most notorious of this was the McMartin Preschool case that was eventually dropped after MANY years. The case was made into an HBO movie that portrayed the day care workers as VICTIMS after YEARS of being falsely accused by the public AND the media as being abusers.
Eventually even the government had to come out & concede the "satanic panic" during this time was FALSE. A footnote: Geraldo (yes, HIM again!) aired a highly-rated TV special in 1988 on the "satanic panic" that many believed helped fuel the hysteria. (Of course he did!)
Brian Banks was an aspiring pro-football player who had his career cut short after he was falsely accused of raping a fellow classmate named Wanetta Gibson. Gibson and her mother also sued the school and "won" a $1.5 MILLION settlement.
Facing a 40-year sentence, Banks accepted a plea deal that included 5 years in jail, 5 years probation and registering as a sex offender. After his release from jail, Gibson contacted him via Facebook and they agreed to meet. During their meeting, he secretly recorded Gibson ADMITTING she had falsely accused him and that she did it for the money.
After Brian's exoneration, the school sued Wanetta Gibson to get their money back and the school won a $2.6 MILLION settlement. 60 Minutes did a segment on Brian Banks. Miss Gibson has since gone into "hiding" (and unsurprisingly so).
THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE
The West Memphis Three were three teenagers who were tried AND convicted of brutally murdering three young boys as part of a-you guessed it!-"satanic ritual" in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1994.
During the trial, prosecutors zeroed in on the teens wearing black clothes and listening to heavy metal music as "evidence" of their guilt. Two of the teens were sentenced to life imprisonment while the other was sentenced to death.
The WM3's "guilt" came into serious question after a couple of documentaries about the case were produced & various celebrities, including Johnny Depp, became "involved" with the case and pronounced them as "innocent" of the crimes. (Chalk on up for celebs!)
Following unearthed DNA and other evidence, the teens-now men-were finally released from jail in 2011 after serving over 18 years after they entered a plea that allowed them to maintain their "innocence" while conceding prosecutors had enough "evidence" against them. (Seriously, what?)
And the Duke Lacrosse AND the FAKE Rolling Stone UVA gang rape story (of course!).
You can't, of course, write a piece about FALSE allegations WITHOUT mentioning the by-now-infamous Duke Lacrosse AND Rolling Stone UVA rape cases where college men were falsely accused by the public AND the media (of course!) of raping women.
Which is rather interesting considering how the SAME media outlets who pushed both the Duke Lacrosse and UVA stories as being TRUE are now "targeting" Brett Kavanaugh as being a serial abuser/rapist, including-ironically enough-Rolling Stone magazine itself.
Hmmmm . . .
Again, I'm not entirely certain what this Brett Kavanaugh is "guilty" of if he's even "guilty" of anything at all. But, having had various false allegations thrown at me myself (as I've, of course, posted about before), I'm MORE willing to give this man the benefit of a doubt unlike others who HAVEN'T gone through something like this.
All I know for certain is that the man HASN'T been convicted in a court of law of the "crimes" he's been accused of or even been arrested, for THAT matter. But then, as I've shown, being convicted in a court of law is NOT entirely "proof" of someone's guilt as our legal system is NOT perfect.
But, as imperfect as it may be, given the choice I still MUCH prefer the court of law than the court of public opinion. At least a person can legally clear their name unlike in the damn court of public opinion (though it might be at times difficult to do so), especially through DNA evidence that didn't exist not that long ago that's exonerated MANY innocent people.
And, given their HORRIBLE track record of "convicting" people (like that Kavanaugh), I damn sure DON'T trust the media AT ALL in determining a person's "guilt" or "innocence". That's one thing I do agree with Trump on (even though the media kissed Trump's ass FOR YEARS before he became president)!
BTW, do me a HUGE favor and please DON'T leave angry comments either "defending" or "criticizing" Kavanaugh or Trump. I can see enough of THAT shit on-where else!-TWITTER.
I'm just glad sites like Twitter-or even the Internet in general-WASN'T around back when I had all those accusations made against ME. I feel sites like Twitter has only helped exasperated "lynch mob" mentality on BOTH sides.