Kentucky State Rep Dan Johnson kills self over sexual misconduct allegations

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by KnightBrolaire, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I don't know if it's more sad that he made that decision in the first place, or that now, as a result of it, he's cemented his legacy as "the guy who killed himself over sexual misconduct allegations". Rather than being a bullet point, now it's the defining point of his life.

    Sad situation no matter how you look at it I guess.
     
  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    I think it's interesting just how much these scenarios have escalated, with people just being accused at first, and now people losing their careers/lives over allegations (whether they had merit or not). The cynical side of me could see people dredging up these allegations as a way to gain power/screw over another person. If this keeps going like this it might just become a veritable witch hunt like McCarthyism, where the allegations alone are enough to screw you over.
     
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  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ Reading the comments section from the linked article would suggest people think we're already at that point. Seems like it's daily at this point that we hear about yet another person getting accused of some kind of sexual misconduct. Maybe this particular case illustrates the power of an accusation.
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    So his family had to deal with the allegations, making their lives pretty rough and now they have to deal with his suicide, making things 1000x worse. I really feel bad for them. Suicide never makes anything better. :(

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again: This movement for women to come forward bravely facing the men they are accusing is commendable, but now that you have everyone's attention, we need to figure this out. Everyone's focus is now on sexual misconduct, so ... let's define once and for all what's acceptable and unacceptable in various circumstances, and don't just cop out of it and say "zero tolerance" or something like that, because we all know there are people who need things spelled out for them in no uncertain terms. Also, as a side note, accusations are accusations. Anyone can make an accusation without any proof of anything. We have to all understand that in cases like this there may not even be a possibility of there existing any proof, but we have to still follow justice. No one person's word is any more valuable than any other person's word when it comes to recollection of events that transpired and people who were there to see it transpire. If person A says person B did XYZ and person B says X was done, but not Y nor Z, then the only thing settled at that point is that X was done. We cannot say Y and Z were done, and likewise cannot say that they were not done. WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT WE DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING! It's a huge problem with contemporary culture, and it needs to be addressed.

    On the other hand, if person C is an expert in some field, that person's analysis of something relating to that field necessarily carries more weight than the analysis of someone who is not an expert in that field. This can n ever have anything to do with simple recounting of witnessed events, though, but it's worth saying, since it's an important distinction that many people seem to try to make falsely equivalent.

    Did Johnson molest a 17 year old child? She says he did and he says he didn't. There's obviously more to it than that, but if none of the more to it parts ever come out, then it's simply unknown. In criminal law, unknown is supposed to mean not guilty. It seems like it rarely works out that way, in practice, but that's the way it is supposed to be. In society, we seem to follow no rules anymore with respect to these sorts of things, or we establish rules and change them moment to moment.

    I honestly hadn't even heard of the allegations against Johnson prior to the news of his suicide this morning. I don't know that much about the guy, personally, but I still feel really bad for his family having to go through this, since whether it's his fault or not, it's certainly not their fault this happened.
     
  6. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I'm no psychologist, but I interpret dudeman's suicide as tantamount to admission of guilt :shrug:
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    given his suicide note, i think the allegations were more likely the straw that broke the camel's back than an admission of guilt. He mentions having PTSD in his note which does tend to cause a great deal of anxiety/depression/suicide (provided he actually has it and isn't trying to use PTSD as misdirection). No point trying to psychoanalyze a dead man :shrug:
     
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I don't think that's a fair jump to make. If anything, my gut reaction was the exact opposite, but realistically, this event has 0 to do with whether or not he was guilty.

    All the more reason not to try to stretch one way or another to tie his behavior to anything.

    I kinda wish we weren't defaulting to putting the word 'women' and 'men' in there, in those particular places. Lots of progress has been made in the last few years to vilify 'men' in general, and zero attention is given to when women are the ones acting inappropriately (at any level). To me, this reads as being less about the misconduct, and more about social power. I think the discussions about misconduct are important to have, and I'm with you in terms of supporting people who come forward, but it does us no good if we're just wielding it as a weapon for social/political power, or trying to 'take down the man' or what have you. I know I'm going off on a tangent as far as the original story, and painting a target on myself as "that guy" who makes it about "not all men" etc., and that's not the angle in particular I'm trying to take so much as I'd rather we have some real discussion or make some real progress in terms of defining what's appropriate, and curbing behavior that isn't appropriate, rather than turning sexual misconduct accusations into a tool to be wielded by activists to make a point out of the people they don't like.

    Otherwise, I'm with you in terms of everything you said.
     
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  9. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Are you a psychologist, or have a formal knowledge of it? j/w because I feel like if you aren't then to say "this event has 0 to do with whether or not he was guilty" is only just as speculative as my saying that it does. (Though I never said "it does", rather just that my natural reaction to the information is that it seems like it does)
     
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  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That's a good point. My choice of wording was regrettable. I think we have absolutely seen some evidence that this may have been the case in some of the recent allegations. The fact that an allegation is made and immediately the accused is fired and vilified in the media is very dangerous. This same argument came up in another thread at a totally different level, and there were tons of folks on this board who were vocally uncomfortable with the point even being brought up that it is possible for a person to make false accusations against another person as a form of attack. I've seen such be the case firsthand as well as several instances secondhand. It's not just women and not just men, it's people in general being assholes, because, sometimes, people are simply assholes.

    Interesting discussion.

    Here's a relevant article from Psychology Today magazine: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...se-accusations-scapegoats-and-the-power-words

    And in terms of the humiliation one faces from false accusations leading to suicide: http://www.businessinsider.com/humiliation-kills-the-wound-that-will-not-heal-for-men-2011-9

    Which leads to a question:

    Hypothetically, if a person whipped up false accusations toward another person of a crime, which led that person to suicide, would the accuser be liable for criminal charges once it was discovered that the accusations were completely false? I think the "right" answer is yes. Providing false information to authorities with the sole intent of harming another person is a serious crime.

    In this particular sort of situation, though, as I said, there really is no proof of anything one way nor the other, and it's simply the nature of these sorts of things, nothing for nor against either party. If the woman involved has no history of misleading authorities and Johnson has no record of sexual transgressions otherwise, then it's really a coin toss in the dark. It's uncomfortable, sure, but you have to compare credibility of their stories, even if it offends some people, when deciding a case like this one.
     
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  11. n4t

    n4t SS.org Regular

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    I have zero doubt that more and more of these are politically motivated, and would not be shocked if these 'accusers' were being sought out and paid.

    There is a precedent for 'heinous' crimes based on an accuser with dubious, if any, evidence beyond hearsay. In most of these cases the accused were killed.

    Salem Witch Trials.

    I suppose the Inquisition would work too.
     
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  12. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    also McCarthyism, like I said in an earlier post.
     
  13. n4t

    n4t SS.org Regular

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    Ah I missed that. Good call.
     
  14. Mike

    Mike The Traveler

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    Seeing the sheer power of allegations alone, I think the next election is going to be a shit storm.

    One has to wonder what this is leading us to.
     
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  15. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    There's no doubt that accusations such as these can and will be weaponized to that end. What becomes a zero-sum situation, though, is that the allegation of a conspiracy to invent accusations is equally as diabolical than the alleged behavior. What are conspiracies- powerful people using their influence and power for malfeasance against those below them. How can most of these allegations of abuse be characterized- powerful people using their influence and power for malfeasance against those below them.
     
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  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Conspiracies in general are just people using something they hold secretively to gain influence and power against other people.

    This whole movement seems to be taking a turn more and more toward a political game of secrets and lies as time goes on. It started out getting everyone's focus on it, but instead of moving into a second phase where we figure out the appropriate corrective action, phase two has now been marked with all sorts of political volleys to take people down and make others look silly in the media. I'm certain that is not the most constructive path to move forward as a society, but the 21st century so far has only been a lot of forgetfulness of the lessons of the 20th century and backsliding into political nonsense where actual solutions are needed.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Splitting hairs, maybe, but that reads a little bit like a defense, so... I don't think it's fair to say Johnson "lost his life" over these allegations. It's not like someone killed him in retribution or he was executed for his crimes - he took his own life, committed suicide, after being accused of sexual assault. Your phrasing is incredibly passive, especially in equating "losing their careers/lives" and suggesting that someone being fired or forced to resign - having someone else remove them from their job - is akin to this guy pointing a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. He was only a "victim" in losing his life in the most tenuous sense - he was also the one who pulled the trigger. No one is being put to death over accusations - rather, he chose to end his own life.

    This is only an important distinction to make, I think, because he's been accused of sexually assaulting a minor, and by making his "loss of life" a passive and not active move on his part, you're implicitly blaming his accuser for his death. Unless you have hard evidence that this was a forgery and a baseless character hit job, that's completely unfair. She certainly didn't WANT to be assaulted, I'd hazard.

    As for the veracity of her claims, well... "Nothing is the way they make it out to be" is a pretty weak protestation of innocence. Taken at face value, he's not questioning the facts or events, just how they've been interpreted.
     
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  18. n4t

    n4t SS.org Regular

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    Props to Demiurge. "Weaponized Accusation". Love it.
     
  19. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Man, comments sections on these articles are disgusting. I get this one-sided view of conservative idiots putting politics above all sense of decency ("Bombing in Turkey kills 6" ~-> "AND OBAMA HUSSEIN BROUGHT HUNDREDS OF THESE TERRORISTS IN! KICK EM OUT! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"), now this is the most exemplary news event I've seen to illustrate how each side of the political spectrum has an unending supply of these people.
     
  20. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    You need to calm down and quit reading into things, I never implied that people losing their careers/lives were equivalent. There may have been other external factors that led to his suicide but it seems naive to think the allegations don't play a part in his suicide. Johnson committing suicide is still him losing his life, since he's dead now, I don't really see what there is to take issue with on that matter. You're just being needlessly pedantic about that.
    "whether the accusations have merit or not"- I deliberately made the phrase ambiguous since I don't know if the accusation is warranted, that's not for me to decide, that's for a court and for the body of evidence to prove it. "Unless you have hard evidence that this was a forgery and a baseless character hit job, that's completely unfair. She certainly didn't WANT to be assaulted." Ok, fine, ever hear of innocent until proven guilty? The total body of evidence that I know of right now entails her account versus his. There's no other evidence as far as I know (though I haven't looked into this). If you have any extra evidence/information that unquestionably damns Johnson then I'm all ears.
     
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