Ah, the whisper campaign.
It’s back, yet again, and the subject it’s trying to push is making the rounds very slowly.
The subject at hand is Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, and whether this woman was actually raped.
Forget the fact that the man who raped her is serving time for having done so – on her insistence that her case be reopened. Forget, as well, that due to her being willing to come forward about the attack she endured, her attacker was convicted by DNA of 8 other rapes.
Hell, Laura Neuman even has an advocacy website (http://lauraneuman.org/) which has “Advancing the cause of justice for victims of rape and sexual assault nationwide” as its header and upon which Ms. Neuman makes the statement, “…rape should not be a label of shame.”
Yeah, you can forget all of that. Because, you see, the Whisper Campaign insists that you do forget it and listen, instead, to the voices whispering in your ear. The whispering voices that are saying things like…
“Was she really raped?”
“We don’t KNOW whether she was actually raped.”
“Did she make this stuff up about her being raped?”
(Did you hear?….Raped….or not….)
The thing about Whisper Campaigns is that they are so damned hard to kill. Here is a woman who’s on the record about having been raped, who insisted that her case be revisited – which led to a conviction of the animal that raped her, as well as at least eight other women…and, yet, the Whisper Campaign continues.
But where did it come from? And, why is it prevalent now? Hell, twice in the last four weeks, I’ve heard variations of the questions I asked above regarding Ms. Neuman being raped. And I fully realize that certain of you may think that by writing this, I’ve fallen prey to the wiles of the Whisper Campaign. But, I don’t think so.
Well, the Whisper Campaign’s topic is getting some play right now because Laura Neuman is locked in a (not that tight, really) primary battle to be elected Anne Arundel County Executive. Having been appointed to the position Anne Arundel County Executive in February of 2013, she is now trying to win election in her own right. And, if Neuman were losing the race, which by most accounts she is not, we wouldn’t be hearing any of these whispers right now.
But, “hear them,” we are. Or, at least I have heard them. Twice in a month – and I don’t even live in Anne Arundel County.
And, that’s how Whisper Campaigns work. Someone hears it said to them, and then they ask other folks if they’ve heard them – and, so, the whispers get spread via the questioning of them by most folks rather than through malice. They can be rather effective. Or not. This piece is written with the singular goal of bringing this Whisper Campaign to a crashing halt. Or, if I can’t do that, at least try to get you to see through it.
So, who’s responsible for this smatter of whispers concerning the veracity of Laura Neuman’s rape claims?
That’s the question.