Whether we come up to you and swing it in a stabbing motion or just not hold it with the sharp end in our hand, as we were taught in kindergarten, is not particularly relevant when it comes to whether or not we really caused it Damage.
But people will ask that.
“Did he try to stab someone with the scissors?”
“Does he seem like a stable guy?”
As any sane man should have done for the past several years, I have reviewed my own past actions. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t fall into the trap of these black and white questions.
If you start to break down actions into gradations, you miss the bigger point.
It’s too easy to think “Well, I’m not a bad guy, either way, who’s got X.”
Or: “That person who didn’t work for me directly.”
In fact, that’s exactly what Scott Stringer said when asked about their relationship.
“She was a peer,” he said. Herein lies the problem overlooked.
Somehow, Scott Stringer believes that an Asian woman ten years his junior was peered as an all-white male candidate for office simply because she wasn’t officially on his payroll or on any direct report.
This is the original sin that makes him unfit for office – regardless of what he actually did or didn’t do in the back of the cab.
While friends and supporters come to Scott’s defense and suggest that “these things are not true,” this should never be linked to whether or not he has not handled his authority and power with particular care.
I don’t know any man, including myself, who hasn’t made this mistake.
I can definitely remember situations where I did not realize that as a visible and influential member of my professional community, or even as an all-white man, a triathlete of a certain height, I was wielding power that could harm others regardless of mine Intention or specific action.
I ran with a pair of scissors.
It doesn’t matter that I didn’t try to stab someone.
To the extent that any of my actions will ever call my reputation into question, this review is the price of admission to power, be it in terms of capital, influence, votes, etc.
Most heterosexual white men who are under this control for public office cannot honestly say that they have always exercised due diligence when it comes to the power society entrusted to them.
That’s 100% ok for me. It should be so.
The standard for public office by which we should hold our elected officials is that they hold sacred the great responsibility for power and authority that is entrusted to them and that they understand how to take it from a position of empathy and awareness can insert out.
While I’ve worked on it over the years, women in our society already know how to do it – especially women with the color of skin. This is because they are not often given such power, and worse, they are often on the receiving end of their negative effects.
Our bar for choosing straight white men should be higher as they have an additional responsibility.
Maya Wiley, Dianne Morales and Kathryn Garcia need no reminder of how the system and the unequal distribution of power – even in everyday, well-intentioned social situations – make things more difficult for them.
You live it every day.
Kathryn Garcia knows her experience running the 9,000-strong Department of Hygiene is a far more complex job than that of Borough President or Comptroller – but she raised a fraction of the money Scott Stringer has.
If you’ve been a Scott Stringer voter who believed on his “Ready Day One” promise, Kathryn Garcia deserves your vote and your financial support.
In all honesty, she did it before all of this came out.
Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales are two energetic, passionate women in color who compete with Scott Stringer for progressive votes.
The Working Families Party endorsed Scott in front of both of them. Dianne is a single mother of color who lost the Working Familes Party approval to a white married man over 60.
I mean, think about it for a moment …
Who you are doesn’t define your suitability for a role, but does it as an elected representative of a community, does it?
Doesn’t your real-world experience show up in every single proposed directive and difficult decision you are ever asked to make?
Maya, Dianne, and Kathryn don’t need to be reminded of what the pitch looks like, and I know their administrations and policies reflect this far more than someone like Scott does still must be explained to him that someone who is not on your payroll does not automatically make him a colleague.
Whether you are a progressive or focused on experience or aptitude for office or not, all three of these women deserve your vote and they will all get mine.
We’ve all had situations where we were less than our best to others – but that’s not the point here. The point here is for white men to realize that their best cannot be less than an awareness of what it means to others to be part of our entourage in everything we do.
Scott still fails by suggesting that he can be aware of the scissors he is holding no matter what actually happened.
Since he obviously still has a lot to learn, he shouldn’t run with them.