Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vive la diffėrence? Not in this case!

Let me say up front that I believe Nafissatou Diallo. That, despite the fact that I also believe she probably embellished her immigration story. When you are fleeing for your life, I don’t think it’s so unusual to tell a tale you think your potential rescuers want to hear before they will help you.

But did she lie about being sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn in that NY hotel room last May? Hell, no!

Something happened. That is clear. She called it rape and he called it “consensual”. The prosecutors had to acknowledge that “something sexual had occurred”, because a DNA test concluded that it was his semen on her clothes. But they cannot take the case to trial, they now say, because Nafissatou Diallo had been caught in earlier lies, e.g. her petition for U.S. asylum. Ha!

Once a liar, always a liar? Hardly!

Let’s have a reverie for a minute and assume he is right. They had sex, because they both wanted to have sex. Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Nafissatou Diallo. Now that’s an odd couple (-ling), isn’t it? One of the most powerful men in the world takes a besotted, not-to-be-denied fantasy to a lowly hotel maid? When instead he could have . . .? Well, you get my drift. And she, at that same serendipitous moment, develops a twinkle-in-the-eye animal instinct for him?

My aunt Johanna, who was afraid that my perpetual reading would lead to no good, often admonished me with: “Real life is not like that!”


If she, Nafissatou, is the kind of person the district attorney now says she is, after earlier talking about her “compelling story with powerful details” and concurring with the investigators finding her “credible”, I bet you money that money would have exchanged hands. You don’t think that this powerful, rich man, who had paid, what, $3,000 a night for the hotel room he was about to vacate, would not have slipped her a few hundreds after the “consensual” deed had been done? And she, with that eye twinkle still present, would have taken the bus home with bills in her pocket and kept silent – or maybe secretively told a girl friend later that night? That one can image as “real life”. But that’s not, I believe, what happened.

The differences here are powerful, wealthy, white men (the accused and the district attorney) on one side, and a poor, black, female menial worker on the other. If anyone ever needed an example of a stacked deck . . ., here it is! How awful, in 21st century America. Are we still that primitive, this ruthless and so class distinctive?

I hope the jury that will hear the civil case will draw the right conclusion (semen: his, on clothes: hers – what more is there to say?).

Memo to Anne Sinclair: divorce him. He not only did “something sexual” with Nafissatou Diallo, he also made you look like an idiot. It’s over. You’ve done your “job” – stood by your man. Get on with your life.

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