True heroes rarely set out trying to become one. They are ordinary people who, in extraordinary circumstances, put the needs of others above their own. That is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, has agreed this afternoon to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. In coming forward and allowing herself to be identified last week, Ford already showed a tremendous level of bravery. In agreeing to go before a committee made up of men who do not want to actually hear her testimony, and who instead desire to prove that she is lying, she demonstrates courage few will ever have to display. Those of us who witnessed what Anita Hill endured in 1991, know what Ford will face.
An email sent Saturday afternoon by her lawyers, Debra S. Katz and Lisa Banks, states she “accepts the committee’s request to provide her firsthand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week.” However, the email also criticized the committee for the conditions they proposed on Friday for Ford’s testimony as “fundamentally inconsistent with the committee’s promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations.” They expressed concern about the leaks and bullying and requested time to continue the negotiations.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the committee, actually apologized to Kavanaugh for the delays in a tweet sent Friday, making it clear that he sees Kavanaugh as the victim in all of this. Instead of recognizing the enormous bravery that it has taken for Ford to come forward, Grassley’s continued attitude has been one of annoyance bordering on scorn. It is obvious that Ford will face tremendous hostility when testifying.
In deciding to testify, Dr. Ford is signifying that she will not be further victimized by men. She will not be intimidated by those who wish she’d just go away and she will stand up to the man who assaulted her. I hope that in facing down those who wish to silence her that it brings a measure of healing. Christine Blasey Ford never wanted to be a public figure, she simply wanted to live the best life she could, in spite of the trauma she endured as a teenager. Her courage has made her a hero.
Wendy Luxenburg writes for Palmer Report