On Harvey Weinstein and Why We Allow Women and the Law to Become Objects in His Orbit


An indication that you’re reading a mentalunrest piece is when the writer does something out of the ordinary like discuss sexual predator Harvey Weinstein’s relationship with the Democratic Party, find something like an unusual story connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, throw in a quick Republican Party comparison and then reach a broader conclusion that most media folks tend to avoid.

Let’s start by dispensing with the pearl-clutching responses from members of the Democratic celestial class: the case of #BlackLivesMatter organizer Deray McKesson gives me every reason to believe that party officials had to know about Weinstein’s serial coochie grabbing and rapes.

I recall sifting through Wikileaks emails during last year’s presidential campaign and running across a particular thread where party officials discussed whether or not McKesson can serve as a surrogate for Democrats.

To answer that question, the DNC’s finance department conducted a background check of McKesson.

A thorough one.

The vetting is understandable. The last thing you want is a walking embarrassment raising money or speaking to the media on your behalf. McKesson was cleared, by the way.

Therefore, a person would have a hard to convincing me that no one in the DNC knew about Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment.

This would mean DNC leaders ignored this data to accept Weinstein’s financial support and counsel (Kambui’s note: read The Intercept‘s piece, Harvey Weinstein Urged Clinton Campaign to Silence Black Lives Matter Message.)

Hell, I’m a New Yorker who’s far removed from the entertainment world, and even I knew that Weinstein is a sexual deviant.

And given the Republicans’ enablement of their own crotch-grabber to become President if the United States, I’m not interested in anything they have to say.

Let’s cut the games by saying sexual predation has no party and that Weinstein deserves the Bill Cosby treatmentat minimum.

We need to have two larger discussions instead.

The first — which I want to deal with in a separate piece — is America’s lack of desire to stop sexual assaults against women.

The second is how America’s fascination with serving the rich and its icons clouds any reasonable judgement in dealing with pervs like Weinstein and protecting women’s rights.

This fascination seems to explain why NBC killed the Weinstein sex abuse story it had long ago.

And why the City of New York wasn’t willing to prosecute him.

And why Weinstein’s production company baked in an employment contract provision that supported his sexual harassment activities.

And why a rich person can walk into a restaurant for the first and last time, but the establishment’s center of gravity shifts to that person upon entry.

As an aside, I love this story about the bar Milk & Honey, and its refusal to chase stars.

Many of you are punked by the presence of a rich person.

The death of a rich person — or a person associated with icons if the rich — almost invariably includes newscopy like …

“ … Harvard-educated lawyer shot to death … ”

Or “ … Millionaire found dead … ”

Deaths are terrible events — regardless of social standing — but when was the last time you saw a headline like “Bronx Community College graduate found dead … ” ?

We’re too timid to tax the rich, and state education budgets suffer as a result.

We allow the rich to buy elections.

We give them get-out-of-jail-free cards due to affluenza, their cleverness or promising futures.

As if our fragile, poor worlds would crumble if we hold rich folks to the same accountability standard as everyone else …

song currently stuck in my head: “flames and figures” – the seshen

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