Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"I'm Innocent, I'm VERY Innocent"...Mutha, Puh-(S)LEAZE!

"I'm innocent, I'm VERY innocent"... So said Isaiah Thomas, after he, James Dolan, and MSG were found guilty of sexual harassment of Anucha Browne Sanders in the workplace. The trial featured depositions of Mr. Thomas saying that a Black man calling a Black woman "bitch" was not as offensive as a White man doing the same thing, and another MSG executive saying that the "N" word is okay for executives to use to co-workers. You won't find any record of that in a Google search, but I saw it myself, in the early part of the trial.

Why is race relevant to a sexual harassment trial? Good question, but maybe Mr. Thomas answered it. If he sees a difference in the meaning of the word "bitch," directed at a Black woman, from White and Black men, it seems to support the case that he is insensitive to women's perceptions, which is a prerequisite of this kind of harassment.

As a man, I can say that I've seen this type of man before, and they have one defining trait. They see women as "less than" men; as something needed only for sexual gratification. They can't handle a woman being in a position of authority, and certainly will not work with one who challenges theirs.

This is where Dolan becomes liable. Did he hire her as a "token" woman, who was supposed to "sit down and shut up?" Did she have any real job at MSG, or was she hired as a "pretty face" to put on their marketing machine? The verdict on that is not going to be decided in any court, but the verdict on her treatment as an MSG executive gives a good indication.

Tough crap for the hapless Knicks, and MSG. They've made their bed, and now they have to lie in it. As for the Dolan family, they are second only to the Sulzbergers at running great New York institutions into the ground.

BTW, I wonder how the NY Times reported this story? I wouldn't know, having quit reading that rag long before I stopped watching the Knicks, and started boycotting MSG, which I did long before Ms. Browne Sanders' lawsuit was filed. I'm just ahead of the curve, I guess.

PS: There is no excuse for this behavior, and no comparison to Anita Hill, which ABC News seems to be trying to make, in a bizarre report I saw while writing this. If anything, it's closer to Bill Clinton saying "I never had sex with that woman," when everyone knew he did.

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