Some people want to extend the benefit of the doubt to James Bevel, who died last week of pancreatic cancer. Is that wise, though? None of his accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement offset the physical and psychic trauma he visited upon his daughters for decades. Indeed, he mocked the idea that he would apologize for what he’d done. It certainly doesn’t mean those other things didn’t happen, but it seems incredibly callous to suggest that the women he repeatedly sexually abused should surrender their well-deserved anger just so it doesn’t complicate other folks’ memories of the man.
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