Less than a week after the world watched Christine Blasey Ford bravely testify against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump took it upon himself to say it’s a “very scary time for young men in America.”
Obviously it is not.
He said this particularly offensive thing while speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday: “My whole life, I’ve heard you’re innocent until proven guilty. But now you’re guilty until proven innocent. That is a very, very difficult standard.”
“It’s a very scary time for young men in America, when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.” the president went on. “This is a very difficult time.”
In wake of Ford’s wrenching account of her sexual assault, Trump’s comments seemed especially insensitive. The day after her testimony, nonprofit anti-sexual assault organization reported a record number of calls to its victim hotline during the hearings. But now, Trump says, it’s the men of America who have to fear.
Predictably, his statement did not go over with many online. Some have felt compelled to call out the fact that it’s a hard time for women, especially since Ford’s testimony shows that even when women do come forward about sexual assault they’re not always taken seriously.
What about the accusing party though? If a man is considered “innocent until proven guilty” that means women are considered “attention seeking, political opportunistic liars until proven raped”
so one more time for the people in the back: BELIEVE WOMEN. https://t.co/gkEPzSKhXG
— Southee (@JackieSouthee) October 2, 2018
It’s a scary time for young (and old) women in America when we have a president who thinks he can just “grab em by the pussy”. https://t.co/c8Pfa35oX0
— Emma T (@emmaakturner) October 2, 2018
A number of people also responded by calling attention to the Central Park Five, a group of five black and Latino teenagers wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in 1989. After they’d spent years in prison, someone else confessed to the crime and they were exonerated. Trump had initially advocated for their execution and refused to back down later, despite DNA evidence proving their innocence. Earlier this year he tweeted a remark about the importance of “due process,” which was condemned by the exonerees.
Donald Trump called for the execution of five young minority teenagers, despite DNA evidence conclusively showing they did not commit the crime. https://t.co/zsjtEEAdYR
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) October 2, 2018
Trump, who famously and falsely accused five Black and Latino teens of rape in the Central Park Five case, now complains that we live in a scary time for young men because “somebody could accuse you of something and you’re automatically guilty.” https://t.co/DLsNUhT9Fb
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 2, 2018
Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five Central Park Five https://t.co/Cs8kIGWRBP
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) October 2, 2018
Donald Trump paid $85,000 for a full-page ad calling for the Central Park Five—innocent young boys—to be executed. In 2016, he continued to insist that they were guilty even though they had been exonerated and the real attacker had been found. https://t.co/Gx5r1pmTFV
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 2, 2018
Tell it to the Central Park 5. Trump encouraged their execution. They served their time. Were vindicated and won a 40 million dollar settlement for their wrongful incarceration. They were young men in America. But they were black. https://t.co/qEO9k5aoyb
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) October 2, 2018
In the past, Trump has also publicly offered support to Kavanaugh and vouched for his character, while with defending his own nomination of the judge. At the same time, he publicly addressed Ford on Twitter, casting doubt on her allegations and arguing that “if the attack… was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed…”
Following Ford and Kavanaugh’s hearing, the Senate confirmation vote was delayed to accommodate a requested week-long FBI investigation from several senators. President Trump granted the short investigation, and it’s expected to wrap up by Friday.
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