THE REAL OLIVIA POPE IN AMERICA
How America’s version of Olivia Pope Will Destroy Your Reputation
If you are an American and love political dramas, you’ve probably heard of or even seen the political thriller television series, Scandal, starring Kerry Washington. Washington plays the facy, brainy, and temperamental Olivia Pope, who is a former White House Communications Director for the President of the United States.
Pope leaves to run her own crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates—a firm that protects the public images of the nation’s elite. Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a major event that threatens to harm the government official, it’s stakeholders, or would cause the public to distrust that government official or it’s stakeholders.
Everyone knows someone who had a mug shot appear online. If you don’t know anything about the mug shot publishing industry, it is a niche market of tabloid journalism. “Free Speech” advocates made claims that blocking the publication of booking photos may infringe on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, and the public should decide whether such photos are newsworthy. But is each and every booking photo newsworthy?
We know in the United States, the doctrine of qualified immunity shields government officials (like police officers) from claims of false imprisonment. A police officer can detain you, arrest you, and bring criminal charges against you fraudulently, and your booking photo can still be published on the internet.
The only way to get the photo removed is a court order outlining that the charges against you had been dropped. Like in my case, I plead guilty to the criminal charges, not because I was guilty, but because I didn’t have effective representation to take the case to trial.
With arrest photos, no matter the severity of the crime, they will disappear in time. But what if the American government hires their version of Olivia Pope to keep these photos on the internet? What is the fixer accomplishing by doing this? What is the fixer trying to exploit, and better yet, what is the fixer wanting to conceal? Why do you the government hires people like Olivia Pope to get you, the public, to believe things that aren’t true?
- What the American government does not reveal to the public, is that they will protect the elite at all cost. If you read Running From Empty Shoes, my memoir outlines my experience of how America’s Olivia Pope protected two corrupt police officers.
Have you ever had relationships just drop off for no reason? Have people around you been distant, cold, and unfriendly? I know exactly how you feel. One of the ways I attempted to recover in the wake of my sexual assault, was creating new and fruitful relationships with men and women. In the process of connecting with new people in Austin and trying to build new relationships, I discovered many of these people have severed their connection with me, avoided coffee and tea dates, and actually called me to break off our friendship. One of these acquaintances, who I will not name, has even called and told me a suspicious person called them and spitefully criticized me.
We know viruses and hacking is a growing trend in the 20th century. If anyone remembers Edward Snowden, the American CIA employee who revealed numerous global surveillance programs, which were ran by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance in his efforts to cooperate with the European governments, you know this is all too real. The government will monitor your cyber activity.
I’m a writer, I use written words in various styles and techniques to communicate ideas and earn a living. Every writer knows that its important to proofread and edit, and after that, proofread and edit. I can recall a manuscript I proofread and edited extensively, and had someone else do the same. When I reviewed the manuscript, there were words placed in areas of the page that had not been there before, and grave solecism errors that no good writer makes.
My computer would wake itself at night when they thought I was asleep. When this happened, I crept to my computer to see what they were looking at, and sure enough, it was Running From Empty Shoes.
When I went to my bank to deposit a check from my insurance company, I was told they needed to hold the check for two weeks. This sounded strange, so I asked to speak with the manager. After my inquiry, I wanted to know how other customers were treated in the same incident.
I asked, “If someone else came into the bank with the same check, would they be subjected to the same scrutiny?” I kid you not, the manager said they probably would not be— and this is when I realized I was mostly likely red-flagged in their computer system.
The manager’s justification for wanting to hold my check was that “Sometimes insurance companies put the wrong amount on the check.” So I gave him my insurance company’s telephone number and asked him to call them. While he verified the authenticity of the check, he and I made an agreement: if my story checks out, if the funds are verified and available, and if the insurance companies confirms the check is not fraudulent, he would release the funds of the check that day. And about ten minutes later, the funds were released.
GOVERNMENT INTERNSHIPS PREVENTED
This is where it gets crazy! You know you’re living in a crazy world of scrutiny when you can’t even work for free! I had three internship interviews in the Texas State Capitol. Two (republican) internships with the Texas House of Representatives (just to see if I could get in), and one with Representative Eddie Rodriguez. I also interned with the Texas Democratic Party, which I loved. There were many people there I enjoyed working with and talking to, but I was treated differently from all other interns in the office.
All the other interns were engaged in challenging work, while they stuck me editing spreadsheets. Now, I understand this can be the duty of an intern, and at the beginning of any internship, your skill-set is tested so they initiate easy to moderate tasks, but editing spreadsheets for two months? I sent Deputy Executive Director, Emmanuel “Manny” Garica a couple of email asking to take on challenging work and more responsibility, but he never responded to my emails. Before my internship ended, I was informed by TDP that all employees from the party had to park on the street, and not on the parking lot. If anyone knows my story, you can understand why I was frightened by this proposition to park at a meter. What if my car gets towed? What if I get ticketed? Not to mention, parking at the meter everyday can get pretty expensive.
Later that month, TDP brought on an adorable intern named Sarah Herzer. The day Sarah arrived was the first day press clips were mentioned. I noticed a couple times Sarah was given the press clips (Communications pos4" target="_blank">Intern job description) task, while I was stuck with the task of editing spreadsheets. Perhaps she caught onto it before I did, who knows. But before I left, I brought my concerns to one of the directors, and they gave delegated some responsibility over to be, but with the parking lot issues and being in between campaigns, I didn’t know if staying was worth the entanglement.
“THE GLADIATORS” PREVENTS EMPLOYMENT
This is the firm’s favorite. I’ve been barred from getting employment. The only thing a potential employer needs to do is Google search my name, and you’ll see two or three shady mugshots (all relating to the same incident) on the internet. Interview and job gone out the window. The government knows employment is crucial to an American citizen’s livelihood, even more crucial for people that have once been arrested. The Fair Chance Hiring ordinance was passed on March 24, 2016 to help ex-felons reintegrate into society, but the question is, will it work? We know:
- An employer can conduct a background check despite the ordinance by searching the internet;
- A Google Search for an arrest photo constitutes a criminal background check;
- Paring a potential employees name with arrest in an internet search constitutes a background check;
How will the city of Austin hold employers accountable that purposely try to prevent someone from reintegrating, and most importantly, how can they prove an employer has done this? People seeking to reintegrate into society need jobs, not just an interview. The Fair Chance Hiring ordinance permits any person to be interviewed by a potential employer—holding off background checks until a conditional offer of employment is made. So what is this conditional offer of employment? A Conditional offer of employment refers to an offer of employment that is dependent on the successful completion of certain conditions. The employment becomes final only on the successful completion of all the conditions, and will vary from employer to employer.
Did you know that a conditional offer is contingent upon a background check? Yes, until you complete the remaining phases of an application process, medical examination, or drug test, wait—but aren’t these robust fair-chance employment laws suppose to ensure a fairer decision-making process by requiring employers to consider job-relatedness of a conviction, time passed, and mitigating circumstances or rehabilitation evidence? Do any of you out there believe they will do this?
Because of this severe discriminatory conduct and economic persecution, I’m strongly considering renouncing my United States citizenship, moving out the country, and living in a nation where I’m protected from vengeful government officials. There is no doubt, America’s “Olivia Pope & Associates” will continue their cruel mission of maligning those that don’t agree with them. Thus, employers, potential friends, and partners will misunderstand my intentions and I believe here in America, they will forever misjudged me. Running From Empty Shoes, and starting fresh in a new country is most likely the only answer.