YOUTH PERSPECTIVES: A nation divided

October 15, 2018 /

After a controversial hearing, allegations of sexual assault, two emotional testimonies and one FBI investigation, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the senate to become a Supreme Court Justice in early October. There are two takeaways from this process, which served as a monumental part of American History.

The first being, it allowed Americans a chance to address the way sexual assault victims are treated. Despite living in the “Me Too” era, victims are still met with doubt.

After Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, she received death threats and constant harassment. All victims, both men and women, should be taken seriously and treated with respect when they come forward — something Blasey Ford was denied.

However, Blasey Ford didn’t allow the threats to stop her from coming forward. It was her “civic duty,” she said in her testimony before the senators.

When victims allege they have been sexually assaulted, they fear being ostracized from those around them, making it much more difficult to come forward. Americans should have used these hearing as a chance to send a message to all sexual assault victims, say we support them. Instead, many Americans accused Blasey Ford of trying to start a smear campaign against Kavanaugh.

In the end, Kavanaugh was confirmed with a 50-48 vote; however, nearly half of American voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. A total of 48 percent of Americans say Kavanaugh should not be confirmed by the Senate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, and nearly seven out of every 10 American voters want to see the FBI reopen its background check of Kavanaugh.

So what does this mean for us? It means the fight is not over.

Many Americans are outraged by Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It is important to channel your outrage and take it to the voting booth. Although votes won’t remove Kavanaugh from the bench, they can remove those senators who ignored their constituents.

A poll conducted by USA Today shows, by a double-digit margin, 47 percent to 26 percent, surveyors think the Kavanaugh confirmation will hurt the GOP’s chances of holding their majority in the Senate in November.

Our complaints were ignored by senators — the people who are supposed to represent us. If their values or decisions don’t line up with yours, then you have the power to vote them out.

We all have the power to create change. Now it’s time to use it.

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Nikolas Lopez

Nikolas Lopez, 16, is a sophomore at Liberty High School. Nikolas joined South Kern Sol in May 2018.