Politicians seldom call for their friends to resign. Particularly when there is a joke process that gives members of Congress a pass by wearing down victims of sexual harassment. Even though this process could take months and drag the victims through the pain of repeating the allegations to the friends of the accused, sometimes someone gets it right and tries to spare the victim the pain.
U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called on her colleague John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, to resign over allegations of sexual harassment.
“Congressman Conyers should resign,” Pelosi said of her colleague, adding the women who spoke out against him were “brave” and deserved justice.
“As deemed, Congressman Conyers has served our Congress for more than five decades and shaped some of the most consequential legislation of the last half century. However, zero tolerance means consequences for everyone, no matter how great the legacy, it’s not license to harass or discriminate,” she said.
A former aide of Conyers’ publicly accused him of sexual harassment, telling NBC’s today show that she was fired for rejecting her boss’s sexual advances.
Marion Brown, 61, said her former boss propositioned her for sex multiple times over more than a decade. Brown is one of multiple women who has accused the 88-year-old Congressman of harassment, while revealing a “Hush Fund” on Capitol Hill that uses taxpayer funds to pay settlements.
Pelosi’s condemnation is not lip service. If you have ever worked in a State Capital or in Washington, you will know that to come out publicly on the side of a staffer over a colleague is not easy. In fact, it is un heard of. The usual way this goes is to shame and black ball the staffer. In this case leadership lived up to its name by calling out the abuser.