What happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’?

America’s identity and historical reputation was on the line this past week as the world watched us tear our country apart as the battle raged to keep Judge Brett Kavanaugh off the United States Supreme Court at any cost and by any means necessary.

If “accusation equals guilty” prevails as the new due process, the toppling of America’s institutions of democracy will accelerate — institutions that are necessary for America’s survival, in general, and Black America’s, in particular.

The key question is whether anyone can be safe if the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment guaranteeing “due process” and “equal protection of the law” is not followed?

That has been the Black experience in slavery, Jim Crow, post-Brown vs Education, and still too often now.

We remember the 1991 Clarence Thomas — Anita Hill hearings and the recent trial of Bill Cosby. When Cosby was called “America’s Dad,” Black America understood that was like putting a rope around his neck, because Americans never really accepted the identification of a Black man as America’s father. The same for Clarence Thomas, who was called an Uncle Tom for being a Republican.

Who will be safe as the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is cast aside, accusations treated as self-proving with no corroboration?

Women must ask themselves if tossing out “presumption of innocence until proven guilty” in the attempt to keep Kavanaugh off the bench is worth the cost of exposing their men (sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, friends) to the same kind of “proof,” leaving no one safe from accusations, especially young Black men?

This will continue to destroy the future of America’s institutions.

Kavanaugh stepped on banana peels that were extremely dangerous to the perception of his personal character, leaving anti-Kavanaugh and anti-Trump senators questioning having Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court bench for the next 30-plus years.

But, even if he had not been confirmed this weekend, would the next candidate, probably a strong female, White or Black, have been willing to endure uncorroborated accusations and the digging into their past going back to high school, especially when Democrats will say no to any Trump nominee?

Even the four witnesses that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, claimed corroborates her accusation have all signed letters under oath to the contrary — letters the Democrats did not acknowledge.

America is tearing itself apart, risking separating even more from each other and from the roots of our democracy that led to the creation of the Republic in 1776.

Black America is still trying to obtain a place at the table, as I wrote in my second book, A Seat For Everyone. America has not only turned its back on Lincoln’s “United We Stand,” and his “malice toward none,” but also Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “nonviolent” demonstrations.

Those who claim to offer us fairness and respect are instead purposefully causing us to miss the boat again. How many more chances do we have? What’s next?

Stay tuned.