Story portrayed American Legion as victim

I’d like to formally respond to the front-page story (Herald, May 9) spinning the American Legion as a victim in a sexual-assault case. This story gives voice to the venue where a tragic assault happened just weeks ago, while belittling the voice of the woman that it happened to.

The Legion claims to be “deplored” by what happened there, because it has given its business a “black eye.” That young woman walked away with more than a black eye, and I am absolutely disgusted that the Legion believes it is a guiltless victim in this incident.

The Legion management sadly decided it was somehow justified not to run background checks because they “could not afford (them).” This is no excuse; the cost for a criminal background check costs between $10 and $25, folks. If the legion couldn’t afford that before giving after-hour key access to criminals, then their business was going downhill before this “black eye.” If nothing else, they could take this out of their employees’ paychecks: a common practice.

The Legion also claims that it wants to make amends to the community. Not once do its people think to mention making amends to the young woman, the true victim in this incident.

The Herald should be ashamed for publishing this story which perpetuates the rape culture in America. For those who are not familiar with this term, it refers to the all-too-common statements mourning attackers. Surely, we all know about the Stubenville football players accused of rape. The nation lamented these students because their lives were now ruined, their reputations stained, rather than advocate for the girl who was silently violated at a party.

The Legion is not a blameless victim in this “isolated incident.” It became an accomplice in what happened when it made the poor decision to give after-hour key access to criminals without running background checks. This backlash is what most would call a natural consequence. The Legion should own up to their part in this incident, apologizing to the woman who paid for their shameful lack in discretion and discernment, rather than publicly bemoan its tarnished reputation.

Lacey Eckstein


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