Al Franken Must Resign

Leeann Tweeden & Al Franken

Just hours ago, sports commentator Leeann Tweeden bravely revealed that U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) groped and kissed her without her consent on a 2006 USO tour.

I completely believe Leeann Tweeden and admire her for finally telling her story after years of feeling forced into the shadows. No one should be afraid to go public regarding sexual assault, but unfortunately, we live in a society where survivors and victims are shamed and attacked while assaulters, rapists, and abusers are defended and trusted.

Franken should resign from the U.S. Senate immediately and let Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton appoint a woman to his Senate seat. There is no excuse for Franken’s actions and he is an embarrassment to the people of Minnesota who twice elected him to represent them in Washington.

When news broke that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl and harassed three other girls between the ages of 16 and 18, liberals immediately called for Moore to drop out of the race. If liberals have any integrity, they will call for Franken’s resignation as well. Sexual assault is not a partisan issue.

Democrats rightfully denounce the right for sending Donald Trump, a known sexual predator, to the White House, yet there seems to be caution among party leaders as to whether or not they should call on Franken to resign. Several Democratic senators have demanded an ethics investigation, but that is simply not enough. What in the world will an ethics investigation change? It will likely find nothing we don’t already know, and moreover, it presumes that we need an investigation to be able to validate Tweeden’s story.

I understand why liberals are saddened by this news. I get it. I loved Al Franken. I watched his documentary. I laughed at his jokes. I met him. I shook his hand. He signed my copy of his book. I told him that I appreciated his support for civil rights. I shared videos of him to my timeline.

But none of that matters anymore. This isn’t about us, or the Trump Resistance. It’s about justice.

I have no doubt that Leeann Tweeden is telling the truth. It is essential that we believe victims and survivors, regardless of their or our political leanings. Predators must be punished and we must demonstrate that we as a society will not tolerate sexual predation, whether it be by Democrats or Republicans.

Donald Trump should be impeached.

Roy Moore should drop out of the race. If he is elected, he should be expelled from the Senate.

And Al Franken should resign.

Jordan Valerie is a cinephile, filmmaker, journalist, political activist, and proud queer woman of color dedicated to civil rights, civic engagement, diversity, and watching at least a movie a week.

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