Alyssa Milano’s op-ed: sexual violence ‘exists at every level of our national institutions’

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Before we get into this, I wanted to acknowledge that #MeToo founder Tarana Burke was at the Kavanaugh hearings too, but that Alyssa Milano got the lion’s share of attention. As a white woman, this is a blind spot I have and which I am trying to recognize and am sorry for not mentioning her earlier. White female celebrities get most of the headlines when a woman of color started the movement.

Alyssa Milano has published an op-ed for CNN in which she draws parallels between Kavanaugh’s record and the current incarceration and mistreatment of refugee children by our government. I first wondered where she was going with it but by the end I was even more disheartened. Kavanaugh is upholding Trump’s war against women, but he’s also of course backing Trump’s racist war on people of color, immigrants and vulnerable refugee children. Remember how Kavanaugh ruled against a detained immigrant teen who was seeking an abortion? Not only will Kavanaugh refuse to hold Trump accountable for his crimes but Kavanaugh will also aid and abet those crimes on the highest court of the land. My only criticism is that Milano focuses on Dr. Ford’s compelling testimony and does not mention the fact that at least two other women have come forward, on the record, to detail sexual assaults by Kavanaugh. It’s been reported that only one of those other women will be interviewed in the limited scope “investigation” which will be conducted by the FBI. Milano is bringing our attention to the bigger picture and to the agenda and it’s chilling. I’m just excerpting portions of her editorial below, which is well worth reading at the source.

Both Kavanaugh and Trump have denied allegations against them. I wish so deeply that the alleged sexual violence — and overall cruelty toward those who are vulnerable — committed by those who wear the mantle of our nation’s government began and ended with these two men. It does not. It exists at every level of our national institutions, and even at agencies working on behalf of our government who are tasked with the sacred duty of caring for children.

Until we root out the institutionalization of sexual violence and child abuse in our government, too many will continue to be victims — some in our name, under the false premise of protecting our borders.

Hidden behind the glare of the cameras pointed at Judge Kavanaugh is the ongoing plight of immigrant children in the United States. A New York Times article recently told the tale of hundreds of immigrant children from around the country being moved to a government-run tent city in Texas under the cover of darkness. There are no schools. There is limited access to legal services, and the children are frequently forced to represent themselves in immigration court.

Nearly 70 days after a court order demanding that immigrant children be reunited with the families from whom they were torn, hundreds still languish in shelters run by Southwest Key. Hundreds more who arrived without parents are also in their charge.

As one of the largest organizations charged with the care of migrant children separated from their families by the Trump regime’s cruel and unnecessary family separation policy, Southwest Key has received over $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars in the last decade, including nearly $500 million this year alone to house more than 1,500 children in several states. Their actions are undertaken on our behalf, using our money.

Over and over again, Southwest Key and other organizations tasked with the same cruel service have been accused of crimes against children — sexual violence, abuse and neglect…

The predatory sexual behavior alleged against — and bigotry displayed by — the President makes it sickeningly easy to understand how this behavior remains so pervasive in our government. He sees women and nonwhite immigrants as less than human. He sees these people as nothing more than objects on which he can act out his worst impulses, and now those impulses have the full weight and power of the United States government behind them…

Can we doubt that, if we confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, this further institutionalization of sexual violence will not rear its ugly head in myriad unseen ways throughout our nation? Like it has in the facilities where we forcibly detain children? In my name? In your name?

[From CNN]

These past few weeks have been difficult for so many of us. As Milano points out there are countless children, people of color and immigrants who are in dire circumstances and whom we need to keep in mind. They have much more at stake than we do and we have to speak out and fight for them. Kavanaugh is so much more than an angry alcoholic entitled piece of sh-t, he’s a tool of a racist and sexist government trying to strip our basic rights and control large segments of the population. The world is watching and waiting to see if our government is about to go the way of the dark side.


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Photos credit: Getty and

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15 Responses to “Alyssa Milano’s op-ed: sexual violence ‘exists at every level of our national institutions’”

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  1. Pandy says:

    I think Alyssa was “noted” more only because she’s been on our TV screens since she was about 10. And she was sitting behind him. I didn’t even realize that (didn’t notice her, just his wife) and couldn’t figure out why they had her cut out on SNL.

    • TJ says:

      Agreed. I don’t think it’s because she is white, it’s because she’s been famous for decades.

      • Janet says:

        Yes. That’s what institutionalized racism is.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. She also happened to be positioned where she was highly visible for a large chunk of the proceedings. I was actually a little distracted by her presence at first but managed to tune her out eventually.

      • perplexed says:

        She’s famous, but I don’t think she’s THAT famous. If she were as famous as Julia Roberts and someone who commands movie star attention like Julia Roberts or politically the way Angelina Jolie does, I would have understood the hoopla around her appearance more. She seems to have received more attention this week than she ever did when she was on Charmed. It’s been a little strange — I don’t think people, other than maybe teenage boys who grew up with her, have ever concerned themselves much with her existence. She’s more like Jennifer Love Hewitt ore Melissa Joan Hart famous to me.

        That said, I do think she had the right facial expression on to easily turn into a meme that you could spread around on Twitter and Instagram to illustrate how confused we are at seeing Brett Kavanaugh act like a temperamental weirdo and get away with it.

      • Esmom says:

        perplexed, she’s politically active on twitter so I think she’s become pretty famous among the deplorables as someone to reflexively demonize.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think it’s both – she’s getting attention because she’s a celebrity, but there’s also a definite tendency for people and the media to give the attention to the white woman over the woman of color.

      I really applaud both Tarana and Alyssa for all that they are doing.

      • Pandy says:

        Yes, Lucy2, I do agree with all of your comments. Thank God for these women standing up and speaking out!

    • Mac says:

      I was at the Supreme Court rally when she spoke. She said raise your hand if you have been sexually assaulted and at least half the women and men in the crowd raised their hands. It was such an emotionally powerful moment no one who was there will ever forget it.

  2. Esmom says:

    No arguments with any of this. And if Kavanaugh is ultimately not confirmed (fingers crossed), it’s not like we’ll end up with anyone better.

  3. felicia says:

    Some else pointed out a case that is coming on the Supreme Court docket this October, they will be ruling on double jeopardy, meaning if you are pardoned on federal crimes you cannot be charged with the same crime at a local level. Guess who benefits from that.

    Btw, hats off to the Alyssa Milano, and Glenn Doyle………, white women that are busting their asses because they are really doing the work and not seeking attention. Am not dismissing black women or any other women, I am just grateful that White Women are using their privilege. We should give all women working towards this cause black, white, pink all credit we need every single one of them.

  4. minx says:

    I give her credit, she could be just another Hollywood fluffball. She’s trying to do good and I like that.

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    Tarana Burke and Alyssa have worked out a viable partnership and friendship…Tarana understands that in the reo-world of racism/sexism…Alyssa’s voice would be amplified more than her’s…so they work together to for the greater good…

    It’s like that scene from the underrated 1988 movie “All American Hero” starring Jessica Lange/Timothy Hutton/John Goodman and Dennis Quaid (EVERYBODY could have gotten an Oscar nod for their performances)…where Dennis played a football hero in the South from back in the day…but in his middle age…had fallen on hard times…and Jessica, who played his wife…had to go and beg for a job from one of the Black businessmen that they grew up with…who had went from sharecropping to running a successful restaurant chain…and when the Owner asked her…”Why should I hire you…” Jessica told him…”We’re in the South…I can get in places you can’t…and I’ll front for you and make sure you get in too…”…he of course hired her…cause he knew she was right…

    It was true then…unfortunately it’s true now…

  6. Jerusha says:

    She’s been politically active for a long time. The day after the hearings she was in Florida stumping for Gillum. Her twitter is worth checking out.

  7. Bea says:

    I thought Milano was pretty thirsty -!! Though I wholeheartedly agree with everything she said; really? Sitting right at his shoulder with a top bun? It really distracted me. Looked a little desperate to insert herself in a moment of history, in my opinion.