I think I’ve been on this rollercoaster before: David Silverman Suspended Pending Investigation Into Touching Incident.
Silverman was accused by Vitsmun of violating her bodily autonomy by “caressing” her back as she put on her shoes at a party with other like-minded non-believers. She provided screenshots purportedly showing their interactions following the incident.
Yeah, I was following this story as it was emerging on Facebook. It sounds harmless at first — she’s bent over to put on her shoes, he just touches her lower back — but then I thought about it, and realized I would never do that to anyone. Why? Why are you touching her? Especially when you’re on notice already for crossing boundaries? And when I read Vitsmun’s account, it’s clear that she is very sensitive to these kinds of touching issues for good reason, and it stressed her…and it doesn’t matter if you think your behavior was fine, if the other person doesn’t, you did wrong.
Now Silverman is calling Vitsmun “evil” and a “shitty fucking asshole liar”. I think it’s clear who the bad guy is here.
So AAI is suspending him with pay while piously climbing up onto a high horse.
“AAI has very high standards of behavior for its Board of Directors and staff. We fight for human rights around the world and do not tolerate any Board Director or staff member violating anyone’s rights,” the statement says. “We also believe strongly in evidence, reason, and due process. We have today initiated an investigation into this incident and we will make our conclusions known in due course. In the meantime, we have suspended David Silverman on full pay until the investigation is completed.”
Where were these “very high standards of behavior” when they first hired him? That statement is not honest. Since hiring him, AAI has received nothing but shocked dismay and bad press, and they’re slowly realizing that this person might well be a catastrophe for their organization, and that’s why they’re trying to kick him to the curb.