Former Lansing Mayor Bernero Facing Assault Allegations
The headline jumped right out at me from the City Pulse and I had to click!
"Bernero Faces Sexual Assault Allegations."
Then, I read the story and my eyebrows went up. Look, the former 3 time Lansing Mayor is no saint. He was considering a run for a 4th term this year. Now, he is facing allegations from 2 women. One was a journalist who worked in town back in 2004 and said he made unwanted sexual calls to her. The other was a state worker who alleges Bernero ran his hand up her thigh to touch her nametag back in 2010. The story goes into greater detail, this is the short, short version.
Even my headline was eye catching. It paints a picture that is hard to get out of your head. Then, when you read the story, at least I have questions. Is unwanted flirtation assault? Simply touching another person is considered assault, so I guess this fits the definition... but to me, assault is something is that can't be stopped just by telling someone to stop it! Unwanted flirtation can be ended so many fun ways. Especially with public figures and politicians.
"Hey, aren't you married?"
"Hey, cut it out. If you do that again, I am going public."
"Hey, Handsy McHands... Knock it off before I have someone knock you out."
Bernero apologized and said "we should not be defined by our past mistakes."
I get people don't like confrontation. I also get we have a society who blames victims. I am not victim shaming here. I am just asking a question: Really? This is sexual assault? I get dudes can be super creepy and make things uncomfortable. 2010 lady has an intern corroborating her story. 2004 lady says it was well known he was a flirt and pretty ladies should be on guard around him.
I saw a guy once compliment a lady on how she looked and it made me feel dirty.
A few years ago, my wife and I went to take our daughter to see Santa. Santa took a candy cane and stuck it between my wife's breasts on her shirt. THAT WAS ASSAULT. We weren't at a strip club! We were at a VFW hall. We were both so shocked, we just left without going Scarface. We haven't been back to see that Santa again and never will... But I am still sorry I didn't knock his ass out in front of my daughter. Jail or not, I am prepared to do it next time.
People have to fight back now. Waiting 17 years and 11 years to say something just allows for more victims. Some things take time to simmer and boil over after some time.
At least for politicians... There is no such thing as bad publicity. It all can be spun.