Neil deGrasse Tyson is my hero, am I biased?
As a supporter of the #MeToo movement, and true believer in fair trial and due process. In the past it has been fairly easier for me to make a judgement call on sexual accusations, not just because of what the public was leaning towards but because I paid attention to the victims and what they had to say.
In the case of Kevin Spacey, as devastating as it was to admit that I won’t be able to separate the man from the art; I did fail to do so.
In the age of trial by media, which has given undoubtedly an emerging voice of freedom to victims of sexual assault and harassment; I’m a believer in support for justice and factuality.
Realising this isn’t always the case, events unravel from years ago and there is at times the only reliance of recollection and testimonies on which one can rely to make a judgement call.
In most cases in recent history, I’ve always been in favour of the victims; without a shred of a doubt.
During the Kavanaugh hearings, Weinstein Trial, Cosby Trial, Spacey accusations, I felt that I could make a fair assessment of the matters being presented.
But what happens when a person whose public image has been so clear in vision that not even a blemish was ever found in a personality I’d grown to adore so much, suddenly reveals a darker sider — and I am lost, and I am questioning if this is truly the case.
I am too feeling guilty.
This is not a defence of Neil deGrasse Tyson, neither is it a call to action — I do not know, because I am so divided, because I am biased in this scenario.
What I must admit, and what any person should be able to admit is that we are biased; we have blind spots.
We adore some and others we find easy to dismiss.
In the case of Harvey Weinstein; I saw him as an ugly, vicious, authoritative figure — hence when the accusations came to light, of course I could form a conclusion.
Kavanaugh’s behaviour in the court, was childlike, rambling of a mad-man; convinced me that he had something to hide.
But a personality such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has been a hero of mine since I was a child; suddenly all images of him come crumbling down, and I’m left wondering how my heroes have deceived me.
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My mind rambles as though I’d just been thrown into a pit, without a navigation map and I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it.
Is this how dismissal feels?
It this how it feels to be biased?
Is this how women feel when men don’t believe them?
Because right now, thats how I feel — I feel deceived, and I feel tormented.
I feel that I am truly lost, for putting too much faith in people that I cannot truly comprehend.
I keep reading and re-reading Neil deGrasse Tyson’s statement.
On Being Accused
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At first glance, it felt like a legitimate defence.
At second glance, it felt like he was using his image to dissect the accounts.
At third glance, it felt like he was misdirecting the accusations.
At fourth glance, it felt like he was trying to justify them.
At fifth glance, I gave up.
Because it was the final part of the statement that I’m left restless at;
I’m the accused, so why believe anything I say? Why believe me at all?
That brings us back to the value of an independent investigation, which FOX/NatGeo (the networks on which Cosmos and StarTalk air) announced that they will conduct. I welcome this.
Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage. Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant — a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public. I am grateful for the support I’ve received from those who continue to respect and value me and my work.
It’s not “why” but rather “how” — and that’s the part I’d like to understand.
How do I believe, and Who do I believe?
For now the true test has come of my judgement, because in this case I admittedly am biased.
To the victims, my deepest sympathies.