Me Too Founder Tarana Burke On Kavanaugh Allegations – ‘We Believe Survivors’

The founder of the Me Too movement called for a national walkout over the weekend to show support for Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez.

Tarana Burke at MeToo movement rally
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The founder of the Me Too movement called for a national walkout over the weekend to show support for Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez.

According to USA Today, two women have come forward with allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying that he is guilty of sexual misconduct. The first woman to come forward was Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford. The 51-year-old professor claims that Kavanaugh and his classmate Mark Judge locked her in a bedroom at a party in 1982. She said Kavanaugh held her down, held his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t yell or scream for help, and attempted to remove her clothing.

The next woman that came forward, Deborah Ramirez, was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University. She said he exposed his genitals to her and shoved his penis in her face at a party their freshman year. She also admits there are gaps in her memory of this event because they were playing a drinking game at the time.

According to CNN, another accuser may come forward with more allegations soon. Judge Kavanaugh has denied all these allegations. In an interview with Fox News, he said, “The truth is, I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise. I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”

Over the weekend, the founder of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, had called for a national walkout on Monday to show solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and violence in the wake of the allegations against Kavanaugh.

During an interview with Democracy Now, Burke, said, “So many people showed up via social media. There were actions in New York and in California and in other places around the country that I think shows just how important this issue is to so many of us. This is a time for us to not just show up via a viral hashtag, but in person with our feet to the streets to say that we won’t be treated this way and we won’t stand for another survivor to be treated this way.”

Tarana Burke
Tarana Burke, the founder of the Me Too movement, says we must believe the survivors of sexual abuse. Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Burke started the Me Too movement in 2006 to focus on young women of color who had been sexually abused or exploited. She is now a senior director at Girls for Gender Equity.

She also explained, “We thought it was really important to have a show of support for — initially when there was the arbitrary deadline set for Dr. Blasey Ford to come forward and make a decision about whether or not she was going to testify, we certainly — myself and many of the other organizations that signed on to do this action on Monday thought it was really important that we came out in a show of force and support for her.”