Sen. Alan S. “Al” Franken (D.-Minn.) issued a new statement Thursday to supplement his previous short explanation about his take on the charge made earlier in the day by Leeann Tweeden that Franken constructed a sexually awkward comedy skit for her to perform with him during their 2006 Middle East USO tour and that Franken insisted on a private rehearsal, where he groped and kissed her.
After she shook off his sexually-tinged advances, Tweeden said Franken began ridiculing her for the rest of the tour–and at one point drew devil horns on a photo of her.
Also after the rehearsal incident, Franken posed for a photo of him groping her breasts as she slept.
I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.
I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster.
But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.
Here is Franken’s second statement posted shortly before 1 p.m. Washington time:
The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry.
I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.
But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.
For instance, that picture. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.
Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that.
While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.
I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.
And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.
Democrat Black Farmers Bill Would Give Away $8 Billion of Land Yearly in Reparations Program
South Africa-style land redistribution?
Democrat Senators are touting new legislation that would purchase national farmland and give it away to Black Americans for free.
Democrats Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren are sponsoring the the Justice for Black Farmers Act, which seems likely to be the most wide-ranging affirmative action program ever enacted if it’s signed into law. It’s not inaccurate to call the bill a reparations program.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 24, 2020
The law establishes preferences for Black Americans within Department of Agriculture policy. Blacks would be granted free land purchased by the federal government, in total increments that appear to add up to $8 billion a year.
An undersecretary of a USDA “Equitable Land Access Service” would be entrusted with purchasing(using taxpayer funds) and redistributing land. The reparation bill appropriates for a massive 20,000 grants annually over ten years, adding up to a total redistribution package of $80 billion.
The under-secretary would be commissioned to “(1) purchase from willing sellers, at a price not greater than fair market value, available agricultural land in the United States; and (2) subject to section 205, convey grants of that land to eligible Black individuals at no cost to the eligible Black individuals.”
If the bill redistributes 160 acres per grant, it would ultimately end up transferring 1.6% of the total land in the continental United States for free.
Democrats cite a decline in the numbers of black farmers since the 1920’s as an impetus for the bill, pointing out that there were 1 million black farmers in 1920 and 50,000 today. Such logic ignores that the number of American farmers broadly has declined sharply as the United States transitioned to an industrial economy, and that millions of Black Americans who worked under poor conditions as sharecroppers in the American South have long since moved to northern cities.
The bill is somewhat similar to South African racial land redistribution policies, which differ primarily in that they forcibly nationalized land owned by Afrikaner farmers and redistributed them to South African Blacks. South Africa’s land reforms in the name of “equity” have proven to generally be a failure, with novel farmers unable to utilize the land they’ve been gifted in a manner beneficial to society. South Africa has transitioned from a bountiful agricultural society known as the “bread basket of Africa” to a net food importer, with experts pointing to arbitrary land redistribution as a factor in doing so.
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