The Brett Kavanaugh hearings have been exhausting, heartbreaking, infuriating, and too many other emotions to list here. What should have been a routine hearing for the Supreme Court nominee, which they typically are, shifted completely when the public was aware of his background and stance on abortion. Then it became very clear that there was much more to Kavanaugh than his icky association with President Donald Trump.
The roller coaster began when reports came out that a woman was accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault. People demanded answers. But when we finally heard testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford late last week, there should have been a unanimous vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to either reject Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court nominee or open an FBI investigation. We know the Democrats on the Committee wanted an investigation but what about the GOPs? It seemed like it would be a lost cause, but then Ana Maria Archila spoke up, and spoke up loudly.
The New Yorker from Colombia confronted Republican Senator Flake as he made his way back to the hearing and she would not let him pass until he heard her out. Her voice is probably the main reason why Sen. Flake requested an investigation.
In an op-ed for USA Today, Archila writes why she confronted Sen. Flake in that elevator.
“Look at me when I'm talking to you. You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter!": Protesters confront Sen. Jeff Flake moments after he announces he will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. https://t.co/Cc5y9kura1 pic.twitter.com/qqvz3jx8JF
— CNN (@CNN) September 28, 2018
“I never thought that I would share my story of assault,” Archila writes. “It happened when I was 5 years old, before I had the consciousness to know exactly what was taking place. Even still, I knew that it was wrong. I told two adults at the time and they didn’t believe me. So I kept this as a secret, too afraid and ashamed to tell my parents. It has been a burden that has weighed on me greatly ever since.”
She says that she was in D.C. with organization that she co-leads called the Center for Popular Democracy Action and was there among hundreds of others who wanted to urge lawmakers to vote no on the Kavanaugh nomination. She says that it was because Ford that she found the bravery and strength to share her own story.
“I had the opportunity to confront Flake on Friday,” Archila writes. “I reminded him that I had told my story in front of his office earlier in the week. I asked him how he could live with himself, as a father of a daughter, knowing that Kavanaugh allegedly violated a young girl.”
Archila says Flake’s decision to open an investigation, proves how much power people have if they stand up for what they believe in. “His reaction shows the power that we have, together, when we choose to tell our stories and stand up for our vision of an inclusive society. When we take action, we breathe new life and possibility into our democracy.”