Honoring Tyre Nichols & Why People With Empathy May Never Understand Those Who Lack It
I know people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law- and I believe due process is a good thing when someone in a position of power and authority is accused of abusing that power by sexual assaulting victims. But have you read what many so called “spiritual” celebrites whose names many of you would recognize are writing in the comments section of Russell Brand’s Instagram denial of the accusations from the Channel 4 documentary “Russell Brand: In Plain Sight” that interviews 4 women who accuse him of rape, sexual assault, coercive controlling behaviors, and emotional abuse? What the actual f*ck?
Why are “spiritual white women” reflexively defending an accused predator? Why is Danielle LaPorte commenting, “”Steadfast, unwavering compassion to you” on Russell Brand’s Instagram? Why is Heal documentary producer Kelly Gores “liking” his denial of the claims? I understand why jerks like Elon Musk might be thumbs-upping him, but why are high profile women who claim to care about spirituality and healing siding with Russell Brand here before we even get all the facts?
If we claim to care about healing, wellness, and spirituality, shouldn’t we be taking a social justice stand with the victims until we have more information and can let the wheels of justice turn?
On what planet is grooming and coercively controlling a 16 year old girl for oral rape when he was 31 okay? Since when is objectifying, exploiting, harassing, and sexually assaulting women in the workplace something we want to even consider condoning before all the evidence is in? Has Donald Trump so normalized grabbing women by the pussies that all the misogynists, victim-blamers, women who have internalized patriarchy, and spiritual narcissists just taken the gloves off completely when it comes to rape and sexual assault?
I tried to post this comment on Russell Brand’s Instagram denial of the accusations, but it seems like comments might be closed now, so I’ll post it here.
“I am utterly shocked at how many of you are fawning, enabling, and defending this obviously narcissistic man who has been accused by four victims of rape, sexual assault, coercive control behaviors, and unsafe harassment in the workplace. Have you watched the documentary? I have and it’s pretty damning.
I know people are legally innocent until proven guilty and criminal charges have not been served. But this is often the pace of justice. It’s a long, slow, tedious grind of whistle-blowing victims who have been intimidated into silence getting enough courage and feeling emboldened by other victims coming forward to tell their stories to investigative reporters. Those journalists have to work very hard with their legal teams to make sure they don’t wind up in a defamation lawsuit. It’s not illegal to report the truth, but finding out what’s true in sexual assault cases is very difficult and takes a long time to prove. Just watch the John of God documentary on Netflix and you’ll see that the allegations started decades before he was finally proven guilty. Even Oprah had been warned of the allegations, and still she promoted him on two Oprah Winfrey Show episodes- and then wiped the internet clean of any proof that she ever did so. These things take a LONG time, so why are so many quick to defend Russell and have his back? Why aren’t we prioritizing having the backs of the brave whistle-blowers?
We often count on these brave whistleblowers and doggedly meticulous journalists to put public pressure on DA’s to press charges and hold abusers accountable criminally. This is how the wheels of justice turn. It’s how the predators like Keith Raniere and Jeffrey Epstein and “John of God” finally wind up in jail. We don’t know yet if Russell Brand is guilty or innocent. But until justice has its slow chance in court, I choose to support and believe whistleblowers and victims brave enough to speak out, and I choose not to fawn or defend the accused.
To those defending Russell, where is your empathy for these victims? Where is your heart? Why aren’t you waiting to hear what the women have to say before just sucking up to a celebrity who seems to have made many insensitive, sexist, exploitative, misogynistic, oppressive, and abusive choices in his life?
I understand that hurt people hurt people, and all trauma deserves our compassion. But shouldn’t we be extending compassion to the victims first- and withholding support for an accused predator until justice has run its long, slow course and other victims have the chance to say #MeToo? Aren’t you all exhausted from hearing all the narcissistic defenses from entitled predators who get caught sexually assaulting victims? If Russell is honestly innocent, then he should want to let the long slow arm of justice play it’s course.
Thou dost protest too much, Russell. Pipe down with all your defensive denials and preemptive conspiracy theories. Let the women and prosecutors say their piece.
I’m not saying we should dehumanize and attack predators or cast them out of the wholeness of humanity as monsters. People with perpetrator parts deserve to be treated as human beings too. In trauma survivors, predatory parts are protector parts usually caused by being a victim of predatory behavior. So yes, all trauma deserves our compassion.
But before we extend our compassion to the predators, shouldn’t we be prioritizing extending compassion to the women who claim to have been criminally violated? If Russell Brand wants to get into therapy to work on his narcissism and sex addiction, then that’s a great place to have a good therapist extending compassion to his traumatized, predatory protectors.
But right now, it’s time to listen to victims. I, for one, am listening. To all victims who have not had a voice, some of us are listening and we’re so sorry for what you’ve been through.
And to the spiritual white women apologists who might reflexively defend predators, that kind of fawning of narcissists is a trauma symptom too. Maybe work on extending compassion inwards- to your own parts that might have been hurt by narcissistic abuse- before you put your compassion on someone who needs to be held accountable right now. I’m sure the betrayal trauma of having maybe put your trust in yet another narcissistic wellness guru who turned out to be untrustworthy must hurt. It’s not easy to tolerate feeling like you’ve been “had”- again. So be gentle with those betrayed parts inside.
It’s so scary for victims to come forward that they need our support right out of the gate. I’m not saying we should automatically assume the accused are guilty. But studies have shown that victims have very little reason to make up accusations like this, especially when they frequently wind up smeared and slut shamed. Only 2-10% of rape accusations turn out to be false, so we need to keep those statistics in mind as we choose who to support in cases like this. Let’s rally around the women who have been abused, in solidarity with our sisters, rather than betraying victims even more than they’ve already been betrayed.
If you haven’t seen the documentary Russell Brand – In Plain Sight you can find it here.
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