Tarana Burke Slams Republicans Defending Brett Kavanaugh

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Tarana Burke

The #MeToo founder responded to claims that the Supreme Court nominee is exempt from the movement against sexual abuse at the ADCOLOR Awards on Sunday.

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke has a message for Republicans standing by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as women come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.

“Republicans this week have twice said that what’s going on with Brett Kavanaugh is not the #MeToo movement,” Burke said Sunday at the ADCOLOR Awards, which were held at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. “That is a lie. It is exactly what this movement is about. It’s about survivors and not predators.”

Burke received the 2018 ADCOLOR Catalyst Award for her work supporting survivors of sexual harassment and assault. While the #MeToo movement began to globalize following the sexual assault allegations made against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, it has since expanded to include alleged sexual predators in various industries, including politics. The most recent political figure to be accused of sexual harassment on a global stage is Kavanaugh, whose second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, spoke out Sunday in a report published by The New Yorker.

“We are in a unique historical moment, and we have to be careful not to squander the opportunity that is right in front of us,” Burke continued in her acceptance speech. “This is our moment of truth. This country is in a state of disrepair, and unlike movements of the past, where we had collective action that was under guarded by the federal government, we are in a moment where we can’t count on Congress or the Supreme Court or the president for protections. It is going to take the power of people, from communities to corporations, to do the work of making our communities less vulnerable to sexual violence.”

The 2018 ADCOLOR Awards, which celebrate achievements of diversity in Hollywood and elsewhere, were full of political statements. Before presenters announced any awards, a video reel spotlighting social justice issues played on the display screens, including the Unite the Right riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, and migrant children affected by President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, as well as a soundbite from the president referring to journalists as “the enemy of the people.”

The montage ended on another note, however, championing people of color like Colin Kaepernick in his recent Nike ad, Audra McDonald in Beauty and the Beast, Issa Rae in Insecure and Oprah Winfrey at the Oscars.

Hosted by Endeavor chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John, the night’s festivities also featured a performance from the African dance troupe African Soul International Dancers and a drinking game involving ADCOLOR founder and president Tiffany R. Warren. Also honored were professionals of color and LGBTQ representatives from Facebook, CoverGirl, Microsoft and other companies and brands.