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Tarana Burke, Tracee Ellis Ross, Amanda de Cadenet, Glennon Doyle and America Ferrera teamed up to pen open love letter to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
The letter was published on the #MeToo movement’s website on Wednesday.
“Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September was one of the most courageous acts we have ever witnessed,” Tarana Burke, activist and founder of the #MeToo movement, said in a statement following the release of the letter. “Despite the harassment, maligning and ridicule she has endured, she remains a hero for so many survivors, allies and supporters around the world.”
The letter begins with the women stating that they gathered with a variety of people to watch Ford’s testimony.
“As we waited for you to arrive, we were quiet. We remembered Professor Anita Hill. We remembered how she was treated in that committee room, by some of the same people you were facing. We remembered our trauma and the trauma of our loved ones,” they write.
“We remembered the times we had not been believed. We remembered the times we had been believed, and disparaged anyway. We remembered how long ago we’d put our pain in a box and tucked it away so we’d be able to survive in a world that didn’t care,” the letter continues. “We were quiet because you’d been called to open the box. We were afraid for you. Because we remembered.”
They noted that Ford appeared “kind, gentle and afraid” before taking the stand. “With all your fear and kindness, You Stood Up. You raised your right palm toward that committee and you lifted your head toward the sky and you closed your eyes. You stood there, in front of the world, utterly vulnerable,” they write.
“We witnessed you show up for duty not as a superhero, but as a fully human woman,” the letter continues. “You showed us that the new hero ? the kind of heroism called for in this moment ? is a woman facing the patriarchy with no weapons other than her voice, her body and the truth.”
The letter applauded Ford for her steadiness and vulnerability while testifying. “When you said ‘indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter,’ our spines straightened and we remembered that while our stories are different, our battle is the same,” the letter says. “We are at war with that kind of laughter.”
“Dr. Ford, the result of your testimony runs deeper and wider than who sits on that court seat,” the writers continue. “You showed a world of discounted people what courage looks like. You showed us that survival is ongoing and that the journey, while fraught, is also essential. You reminded us that we are neither powerless nor alone because we have the truth and we have each other.”
“Like you did, we will continue to show up for ourselves and each other,” they concludes. “We will bring all of ourselves — our pain, fear, and anger — and we will stand in front of power and we will tell the truth. Even if we shake: we will still tell our stories.”
Ross was inspired to write the letter after discussing Ford’s courage with other women. “I’ve had so many conversations with women about how thankful we are to Dr. Ford for her courage. She ignited our fury, our power and our love into a new kind of army. This love letter is an expression of our deep gratitude to her as we march forward,” she said.
“When Dr. Ford, terrified and vulnerable, stood and told her truth before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she showed us a new kind of warrior and her selfless bravery inspired an army comprised of millions who share her experience and allies who empathize with it,” said Together Rising president Goyle. “We vow to honor her courage and sacrifice by voting, walking out, running for office, and speaking truth to power — even while we’re shaking.”
Burke added that she hopes the letter acts a reminder to survivors that they are supported. “This letter is our love offering to Dr. Ford. We want it to stand as a constant reminder that she and survivors like her have enormous support not just from the five of us, but from our movements as well,” she said. “Every time she reads the letter, and each time someone adds their name to it, she should remember that we heard her, we saw her and we believe her.”
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