Women have been sexually harassed on the job for years, and they are not standing for it anymore. Powerful men from Harvey Weinstein, to Jeremy Piven, to Kevin Spacey have been accused by several women with harrowing stories of abusive behavior and physical assault. Now lawyer Melanie Sloan is accusing Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) of abusive behavior and actually attending a meeting in his underwear:
A lawyer who formerly worked for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, and later ran an ethics watchdog group in the nation’s capital confirmed for the Free Press on Thursday that Conyers verbally abused her, criticized her appearance and once showed up to a meeting in his underwear.
Melanie Sloan, a well-known Washington lawyer who for three years in the 1990s worked as Democratic counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, where Conyers remains the ranking Democrat, told the Free Press that Conyers constantly berated her, screaming at her and firing her and then rehiring her several times.
“I’m no shrinking violet,” said Sloan, who went on to become the executive director for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and later to open Triumph Strategy, a public affairs firm specializing in crisis response. “His constant stream of abuse was difficult to handle and it was certainly damaging to my self-respect and self-esteem.”
Sloan says Conyers’ abusive behavior oftentimes left her anxious and depressed. There was also no mechanism or person she could talk to. Conyers also knew this. Like many powerful people Conyers knew he could get away with abusive behavior and without any repercussions.
Black folks sure weren’t going to say anything. Conyers is black, well-spoken and a native of Detroit. He is a civil rights legend and fought for his country in Korea. Conyers is well-spoken. In many respects, he represents the best the African-American community has to offer, and black folks will defend Conyers until the cows come home. If Sloane had gone public years earlier the black community would have turned on her, called her liar even when the evidence suggested otherwise. Sloan would have been known as “that crazy lady who lied about John Conyers.” She would have lost her career and her reputation would have been destroyed. Hell, Conyers would have told people it was Sloan who made a pass at him.
John Conyers In His Underwear?
The Shock Exchange can’t get the vision of John Conyers in his underwear out of his head. That alone would have been grounds for a sexual assault and “creating a hostile work environment.” The thought of sleeping with Sloan had obviously crossed his mind, but nothing came back so Conyers appeared to have left it alone. The other forms of abuse likely signaled that Conyers thought Sloan was his property and he could say to her and do with her whatever he wanted.
Sloan did not accuse Conyers of sexual harassment, but she did not have to. The implication is already there. Why else would Conyers walk around her with his clothes off? This marks the second time in the past week the congressman was accused sexual improprieties. Four former employees accused Conyers of improprieties and one accused him of sexual harassment. She claimed he touched her, rubbed her and made sexual advances towards her.
Conyers paid the lady a settlement out of government funds, which does not sound legal. He claims he will not step down. However, the congressman has clearly been wounded and the Shock Exchange finds it hard to believe he can be effective. Who could take Conyers seriously when every time he opens his mouth his colleague envision him in his underwear? Conyers is done. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Trump And The Global Economy
The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.
The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?