I do not like former Judge Moore based on his ideologies. I am not factoring in the recent sexual allegations BUT I do not discount them. Doesn’t America get it? There are many of us who have been pressured by politicians to engage in sexual acts that we resisted to the best of our ability. And I hate to hear men like Moore say why didn’t the women report Moore. Report Moore to whom? Let me give you an example of something that happened to even me that I write about in my upcoming book ‘An Absence of Honor’.
I was 21 years old, just graduated from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and headed to Washington, D.C. to attend Howard grad school. I was pumped up by the Democratic Convention speech Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had given and I was so idealistic about serving America and getting involved in government.
I was able to get a job as an abstract writer with the then combined National League of Cities / U.S. Conference of Mayors. They later split into separate groups. I was chosen to go on their annual conference trip to Denver, Colorado. I was ecstatic. I met so many politicians including Tom Bradley from California. I met all the African American politicians from communities across the country and was invited to a special dinner to honor a Black leader. I do not remember which one at the time. I always was professional and eager to absorb the entire process and even went into some breakout sessions.
A Washington, D.C. politician named Sterling Tucker invited me out to dinner with his female assistant. Please keep in mind the latter part of my statement. I did not go with him alone. I went with him and his female assistant. He was impressed with my Holy Cross background and asked me all sorts of questions. I thought I was making a great professional connection. I do remember his female assistant being very quiet and reserved.
When took a taxi back to his hotel. They were staying at one hotel I cannot recall and I was staying at the Raddison. In front of her, he turned to me and put money in my hand. I saw one of the bills. It was a $100 bill. He told the taxi cab driver to take me to my hotel and bring me back in an hour or so. He told me to back my clothes for the next day. His assistant said nothing as she quickly retreated from the cab. When the door was closed behind both of them, the young white male driver looked at me in the mirror. He smiled. “What will it be?” He was not being mean or cynical. I actually thought he was concerned because I just sat there for a moment trying to wrap my mind around what had just occurred. Tucker had patted my thigh as he got out and I remember how cold the air was with the door opened. Tears ran down my cheeks. I knew I was dead meat. He had put money in my hand as if I were a whore or something and I was far from that. Tucker had been so calm about his directions and his female assistant must have known his modus operandi. I actually saw her as the bait to get me to dinner.
I told the driver to take me to my hotel and I threw the money on his front seat. “Here’s a great tip.” I whispered to him. When I was about to step out of the cab he told me “Be careful. You’re meat.”
Tucker rang my phone all night as I sat in bed and hugged my pillow. When I went back to the convention site the next day, I was disinvited to all the great dinners different black politicians had given me approval to attend out of friendship I thought. I thought I was a brilliant diamond in the rough and that was how they had seen me. Suddenly I felt every invitation was about a possible sexual liaison.
I will always remember as the JUDGE MOORE WOMEN DO WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. And yes, I told my boss at NLC/United States Conference of Mayors about what had happened. But tell me, what was I going to do. Go to Human Resources, report Sterling Tucker to whom? She told me to consider it experience that women are mean in Washington, D.C. and so is it possible to look back over a period of 40 years and relive being sexually persecuted and punished for not “giving in”? The answer is yes.
But that is not the only experience I had. I had several in Washington, D.C. and I finally left. I gave up a two year fellowship, fully paid at Howard and returned home to New Jersey. It happened to me a few more times and once the politician asked me if I was “frigid”. Yep, I am frigid I told him just to get his focus off of me. His name? Pretty well known.
But it just does not happen in Washington, D.C. It happens on a local level. I was raped once, yes raped. That is what I call being forcefully taken from the back. And I was no kid or young idealistic woman. I was comparing anxiety meds the politician and I both took, me for the trauma of many experiences of being attacked by the Republicans for being an activist and him because I think he has always been crazy. I threatened to leave his employment and he got angry and told me I was “his bitch”. A white politician, so powerful, so rich, talking like he was a thug from the inner city. I left him and he put out a bogus warrant on me that had to involve the FBI and DOJ. I was exonerated but it goes to show WOMEN NEED TO STAND UP AND NO I DON’T WEAR TIGHT OR PROVOCATIVE CLOTHES.
By the way, as a Holy Cross alumni I have been mentored by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and have handwritten letters from him. We even had a telephone conversation about Anita Hill. He told me not to worry about him, as if I ever would. I know how he re-invented his image to attract the attention of the white establishment. But he told me he had a job for life. Men have a job for life; women have horrible memories for life.