Members of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts, like many others, noticed and were disturbed by the “Stan” pins worn by some at the Democratic State Convention last weekend. We stand with those who were victimized by the husband of former Senate President Rosenberg, a group of people who did not have pins made on their behalf. Intentions do not equal impact and the impact of the pins was to silence those who have experienced harassment. Because a number of the victims are involved in Democratic politics and are also young Democrats themselves, it is quite likely that they were at the convention; quietly witnessing this display of reverence for someone who is a reminder of their own trauma. We expect that those who wore the pins acknowledge the pains that their actions have caused, and be more cognizant of that reality in the future.
We also note the members of the Senate demonstrated moral clarity in being willing to open an investigation into the actions of a friend and colleague they respected because it was necessary to respect vulnerable people. We see these pins as an implicit criticism of those Senators for putting the integrity of the institution and the safety of its most vulnerable members above friendship or professional respect.
In order to have our values have meaning, we have to hold even our closest friends and most capable allies accountable when they do the wrong thing. Otherwise, we will find ourselves excusing all manner of violations of our values.
It is morally wrong to make those excuses and, in practice, extremely dangerous to the institution, the party, and our people. These are the people we all sacrifice to serve, in hopes that our shared sacrifices will uplift us all.
It’s important for Democrats to hold ourselves to high standards on this issue and support survivors.