Letters to the Editor

Don’t let focus on Kavanaugh obscure a broader culture of misogyny

Culture of misogyny

The accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are serious, but focusing only on this case can obscure the widespread, festering issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The spotlight which has been on actors, corporate executives and clergy. now shines on government officials.

Congress should order a new investigation of the allegations against the Supreme Court nominee, and not just proceed with the thumbs up/thumbs down, expected partisan vote by the overwhelmingly male-dominated Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers owe that much to the many victims of male sexual violence who have suffered so long in silence and are now risking so much to bring these crimes to light.

For any senator to promise that everything will be neatly wrapped up by next week is insulting. Men are the primary purveyors of sexual violence, and not just in our country but the world over. Their crimes, in good measure, are enabled by warped theologies and centuries of bad law; and they persist because of universal male nonchalance and indifference.

Until the gender power equation changes in all the seats of power —corporate, religious and political — the problem will continue. What we have here is the proverbial: “not seeing the forest on account of the trees.” Investigating only the assault and sexual harassment in the case immediately before us, while mandatory, is not enough. Were we to leave it at that, we risk not seeing, and then dealing with, the domineering culture of misogyny that still lies beyond.

Joe Moran

Durham

In Nicaragua, the cycle repeats

In 1978 and 1979, Nicaraguans took up arms to depose a dictatorship, and I am forever thankful for their heroic actions and for getting rid of the 43-year old Somoza tyranny.

In 2018, people are protesting nonviolently to end a second dictatorship, which is made up by some of the people who fought against the previous Somoza dictatorship.

Sure, there are some violent protesters, but by and large, the overwhelming majority of killings, tortures, disappearances, and injuries have been caused by the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship, and this has been verified by reputable national (CENIDH and ANPDH) and international (UN & OAS) human rights organizations.

So even though the cycle of a dictatorship is repeating in Nicaragua, the vast majority of Nicaraguans have recognized that violence produces more violence, that an armed uprising will not bring peace, and that a lasting solution for change in Nicaragua will come about through nonviolent civil disobedience and dialogue.

And yet, people are still confused about what’s going on, because they desperately want to hold on to a vision that a self-professed left-wing government would never kill its own citizens, like so many right wing dictatorships have done in Latin America.

It’s time to wake up from that dream, and realize that truly being in solidarity with people in Latin America, should mean that we will not condone the repressive actions of a dictatorial government, regardless of how much they speak out against U.S. imperialism.

Saying that you support the poor does not give you license to commit gross human rights violations. Because this moment is not about what this government has done that was better than 16 years of neoliberal governments. This moment is about demanding the right to life, the right to voice our opinions even if they are different from the party line, the right to not be tortured and disappeared, the right to freely elect our government under internationally observed elections, and the right to demand justice for the hundreds who have been killed by this regime.

¡Patria Libre y Vivir!

Ron Garcia-Fogarty

Chapel Hill

Out of control

Everyone involved knows who pulled down the Confederate monuments in Durham and Chapel Hill.

It is unbelievable that a district attorney and judge would allow monuments to be pulled down and so much violence . Liberal Democrats are just totally out of control. Professors should be fired. Judges and the district attorney who failed to prosecute should be disbarred.

Perry Guthrie

Durham

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