The Inconvenience of Accountability
Jul 06, 2020 07:06PM
By Amber McKenzie
by Amber McKenzie
Update to the Glass Houses: Nahko’s Fall from Grace opinion piece I wrote regarding recent allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women and minors by Nahko of Nahko and Medicine for the People
Saturday, July 3, 2020, Nahko broke his silence and issued a statement on
Facebook to his Medicine Tribe + Relatives which can be found here https://www.facebook.com/nahkoofficial/.
Essentially, it states:
- I’m offering my reflections, clarifications and stepping into responsibility
- I’m sad by allegations, rumors and the lies that are burning like wildfire
- I didn’t respond sooner b/c these are incredibly serious accusations
- I’m grateful for your voices, and I hope you hear mine
- All the unfounded claims of criminal misconduct are untrue, and I refute them entirely
- I didn’t do anything illegal
- My behavior and choices have caused pain and I have let women down
- I have misused my privilege as a musician and community leader
- I regret how I’ve acted. I am ashamed by my behavior
- I didn’t intend to hurt anyone
- I understand there’s a difference between intent and impact
- I’m sorry to anyone I have harmed or caused hurt or made uncomfortable
- I have a platform and responsibility through my music and message and my hypocritical behavior has betrayed that message
- There’s no simple way to get this right, but I’m here for it
- I need to be accountable for the pain I have caused, and I’m committed to changing through counseling, elders, therapists and women survivors who support me
- I’m sorry to my band, crew and their families for my behavior and choices
- I have more say and there’s a lot to work through and unpack
- There are no quick fixes on the road to restoration and redemption
- I’ve been a guide for many, but now I need guidance
- For those staying by my side and holding me accountable, thank you
- The emotional and spiritual investment of my community is sacred, and I know you are invested in the highest outcome for all
- I’m grateful to be a part of a community that holds itself accountable, cares so much for truth, for honor and for healing
I’m an empathic person and typically error on the side of giving someone who has messed up the benefit of the doubt - we are all spiritual beings having a human experience after all. So, upon first read of his statement, I appreciated some of the words he strung together. On the surface, it appeared he was taking responsibility for his actions and had a willingness to be held accountable for the pain and suffering he has caused women and children in the spiritual music community of which he is a leader. But in reading it a second time through with a more critical eye, I realized this was a very carefully orchestrated piece of writing that seems to be emphasizing the following:
- I am only accountable and responsible for anything I did that is NOT considered criminal because I didn’t do anything illegal
- All claims related to sexual misconduct with a minor is a lie because I didn’t do anything illegal
- All claims related to any type of criminal misconduct is a lie because I didn’t do anything illegal
- Anyone claiming I did anything illegal is lying because, you guessed it, I didn’t do anything illegal
- I regret how I’ve acted. I am ashamed by my behavior, but can I just mention it was all very legal?
- There’s no simple way to get this right, but I’m here for it - but only if we can all agree I didn’t do anything illegal
- I’m sorry to my band, crew and their families for my behavior and choices, which can I just emphasize was all above the law?
- I’ve been a guide for many, but now I need guidance, but only if you agree I didn’t do anything illegal
- The emotional and spiritual investment of my community is sacred, and I know you are invested in the highest outcome for all, but only if we can all agree I didn’t do anything illegal
Believe me Nahko, I get it. You want to take full responsibility and accountability for your actions over the past several years and the multiple allegations that have re-surfaced in the past week, but only the ones that don’t make you look too terrible and can’t be considered unlawful. Dang it, there’s definitely a fine line here but let’s call it, “Sexual Misconduct Light.” It’ll be interesting to see how you pick and choose which allegations are “true” and which are “lies” – or maybe it’s already been spelled out here. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
So yeah, this feels disingenuous. Like you’re somehow trying to control the narrative and keep yourself safe from harm, while those who have actually experienced harm (in a below-the-law type of way) remain unheard and disbelieved by you, your handlers and your community.
In other words, your “apology” has a lot of conditions to it, which tells me that true accountability and responsibility aren’t really at the top of your agenda. As a matter of fact, it would appear your statement was more of a warning to anyone claiming anything other than lawful sexual misconduct, if there is such a thing. A statement of self-protection with some regret and remorse added in for effect. As a woman, this comes as no surprise and is a pretty standard operating procedure.
However, that’s changing and there’s something much more interesting happening right now. The energetic consequences of these tired, old, outdated, low-vibration, ego-centered, privileged, patriarchal, masculine energies, thoughts, behaviors and actions that have ruled the world for thousands of years are finally being exposed for the ugliness they represent and protect. I see them unwinding everywhere - and I see it reflected here in your statement.
Fortunately, the Divine Feminine is making her comeback and she is like a wildfire scorching everything she touches so that it has no choice but to die to its old way of being while making room for something new to grow. I see her in #MeToo, #TimesUp, #BlackLivesMatter, #BelieveWomen and #CancelNahko. It’s the Universal Law of Cause and Effect in action, and our human laws, false sense of power and ego-centeredness are no match for it.
that you asked, but if I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to surrender