(Photo from the pressdemocrat.com)
The trial of the misogynistic, egotistical trainwreck that is Supervisor Efren Carrillo will soon be over. Whatever the outcome, we can be assured of one thing: few electeds or leaders, if any, will call out his slimy predatory behavior. Fewer still will offer any support, moral or otherwise, to his victim.
Why do I have to, in 2014, in “liberal” Sonoma County, tell people that stalking women, making them feel unsafe in their own homes, cannot be overlooked? That it is wrong and frightening? Why do electeds have more to fear for blasting Efren Carrillo’s despicable actions, than remaining silent and risking the appearance of complicity?
Why? Because we live in a society where a man in power, even a man of color, can behave as Efren Carrillo has behaved and still be accepted and supported.
At one of the “Recall Carrillo” Townhall meetings, I listened to a high school teacher wax eloquent about Carrillo, how inspiring he was to the teacher’s predominately Latino classes, what an “excellent role model” he was for them. A man arrested in his chonies and socks is a role model for our youth? What does that tell our young men (and women) about what is acceptable behavior? Other supporters spoke of “the many good things that Carrillo had done, and they couldn’t be discounted because of this one incident.” A man foisted his inflated ego on this woman in the middle of the night, but that shouldn’t be held against him? More than a few people, including women, questioned his victim’s motives.
Efren Carrillo’s own colleague, Shirlee Zane, instead of calling for his censure, anointed him the “leader of the Latino community,” as if it’s fine and reasonable for Mexicans to be led by a man who, half naked, climbed a fence in search of sex with a neighbor he barely knew. Like the high school teacher’s comments, this is incredibly racist: this is the best you people can produce. Even many of our own Latino community leaders have been silent, not wanting to “eat our own,” as someone reported hearing.
Where’s the outrage that we still live in a society where a man’s reputation and livelihood are more valued than a woman’s absolute right to be safe? Where, indeed. My hope is that after the sordidness is over, electeds and leaders alike will step up to the plate and say that this behavior is never acceptable. Ever. We need to hear your voices.