No more Scarlet Letters

To the Editor:

How typical, another political campaign is coming up and out come the sexual misconduct allegations. This practice dates back to the mid-’80s when Supreme Court Judge Thomas underwent his Senate hearings. I lost a dear friend to suicide when his ex accused him falsely of molesting his 3-year-old daughter. Another friend went through six months of hell because his 11-year-old daughter said out of compassion for her sexually abused classmate that her dad, my friend, did the same thing to her. I can understand that an 11-year-old girl cannot foresee the results of her actions and words, but supposedly responsible adults? By using sexual misconduct for purposes of political influence or vendetta, true misconduct will not be pursued and prosecuted with the seriousness it deserves. We the people, the citizens of Bayonne, create our culture, not the government, not even the press. It is by what we accept, consume and follow, that we, each and every citizen, create the culture we live in and live with. By accepting this sensationalism we fuel the forces that turn neighbor against neighbor and that have turned this beautiful country into a country driven by hatred. It is up to us to reject stories of unproven accusations, be it accusations of sexual misconduct or accusations of conspiracies. We the people have the power to be neighbor helping neighbor, to be a people of compassion and benevolence, the people that I decided to join 37 years ago coming from Germany legally. Journalists are members of us the people, are our neighbors, and as such are responsible for their publications. Let us stop publishing accusations that cannot be proven publicly. If accusations are only alleged, wait until they are proven before they are published. Lives are being ruined too easily and too quickly. And as citizens, let us reject those who accuse without proof and start to support the accused, who have become the victims of the accusers. No more witch hunts, no more scarlet letters. We must start learning from history and become better people.