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Lindsey Port - The Victim Gets Punished

Category: 2016
Posted: 01/18/18 23:30

by Dave Mindeman

Lindsey Port was a victim of sexual harassment. It seems we have to make that clear because events have evolved into making her to be some kind of person to be blamed. I know that has to sound ridiculous, but that continues to be a reason why victims of sexual harassment fear coming forward. It seems to always turn around and be about the victim and not the violation.

Lindsey Port was (and is) a good candidate for the legislature. But somehow coming forward about what happened to her has become a liability of some sort. Minnpost has an article about what has happened and it is a tortured tail of how politics and logic are often at polar opposite ends.

It would seem that somehow, people are, in a very roundabout way, blaming Lindsey (and probably to some extent, Erin Maye Quade) for the eventual resignation of Sen. Al Franken. That is a nutcase argument, but, yet, in the DFL mindset, not surprising. And in a larger context, this is a continuous problem that those to speak out have to face - blame the whistleblower, blame the victim.

Lindsey noted in the article.... "I realized that I wasn't even getting my calls returned anymore," Port said, sitting in her Burnsville home.

What? What logic is followed for that result? Lindsey has nothing but the best credentials for being a candidate and has worked extremely hard to take on an incumbent Republican. And yet, she is suspending her campaign.

Senator Franken's problems are not related to Lindsey Port. Franken's issues were his own making and exacerbated by a political climate that looks to make victims of everybody and take things beyond the normal.

After all, Franken is gone - and Donald Trump is still in the White House. And that is another course of logic that makes no sense.

But all of that is another story - and certainly not the fault of Lindsey Port. I expect this sort of victim blaming from Republicans - but I really thought that Democrats were beyond most of that. I was wrong.

And here is another point that is troubling...

Port said she also feels that part of her message is being lost. She's one of several women who have repeatedly called on Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders to establish an independent task force on sexual harassment that would include experts and professionals outside of the Legislature who regularly deal with issues of harassment in a workplace setting.

I feel that we have let the Republicans steer the message. We have allowed the blame game to dominate the discussion with less focus on solving the actual problem. A task force on this issue is critical. We cannot let this moment get transferred to that political graveyard of the ignored and untouchable.

If Democrats want any kind of higher ground on this issue, then they need to support the victims - no matter which party the abuse comes from. It is personal to the victim and that should be enough.

Once again, Democrats make it hard to make any progress in moving an issue driven agenda. We, once again, get bogged down in analytic jargon and false cause and effect.

Democrats are good at that - and they need to stop it.
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