A More Sensible Reaction To Justin Trudeau’s “Black Face”: Approaches To An Effective Reactionary Culture
By David Metcalfe
September 21, 2019
Creep, Reformed, or Innocent? #MeToo vs. Kavanaugh
When Brett Kavanaugh was being appointed to the Supreme Court in the summer of 2018, it was still in the height of the #MeToo movement. Over the prior year, dozens of famous men had been outed as rapists, creeps, molesters, etc., and Brett Kavanaugh was the next on the chopping block.
It was an allegation from Christine Blasey Ford, who had claimed that in the 80s, when they were teenagers, Kavanaugh and his friend were drunk, and took her into a bedroom, groped her, and then passed out. Two more came forward later on: Deborah Ramirez- claiming that Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a party, and Julie Swetnick- claiming that Kavanaugh and his friends talked about drugging and raping girls.
Extensive investigations took place into the matter, and none of the accuser’s stories were supported by evidence. Kavanaugh ended up getting a spot on the Supreme Court on October 6, 2018, with a vote of 50-48 in the senate.
A poll appearing in Newsweek showed that, if the allegations of sexual assault had been proven true, 48% of people said it should automatically disqualify him, 28% said it should not, and 24% didn’t know.
To the 48% who think it should automatically disqualify him, I would have to ask a few questions:
If someone does something bad as a teenager, 35 years ago, should that define who they are now? Is there any way to redeem one’s self after doing something wrong, or is your life forever defined by that one event? Would it make a difference if he apologized for his wrongdoing and worked to reconcile?
To the 28% who said it should not disqualify him, I would have to ask a few questions:
Do you think there should still be a penalty for his past crimes? Are you ok with having a Supreme Court Justice who treated women like garbage as a young man? Are you convinced he’s really changed? Are you ok with the fact that he lied under oath, claiming that he did not do it?
Now, let’s be clear: this is all speculation. The investigation did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute him, so for all practical purposes he is totally innocent.
But what this whole process did- the accusations, the investigations, the trial, etc.- was create a media firestorm. It’s a media company’s dream, with all the right pieces for huge ratings- Donald Trump, #MeToo, a privileged white man, a well educated woman who had been silenced and now feels able to speak due to social and cultural progression; it’s awesome for liberals. But it’s awesome for conservatives too- the extreme liberal agenda accusing this nice, innocent man of a horrible crime just to get at him, liberals getting overzealous with no concrete evidence to support them. Basically, it’s a cultural clash, and one that gets tons of clicks.
When the average American thinks of Brett Kavanaugh, they think “sexual assault allegations”. I bet in a poll, 75% of Americans would know that about Kavanaugh. But what is his stance on abortion, climate change, gay marriage, taxes, immigration, etc.? Does anyone want to read an article about that? I myself, when I first heard about Brett Kavanaugh, didn’t even know his stance on anything until way after reading into the sexual assault scandals. People love scandals, people love superficial cultural clashes, but most of all, people love someone to attack. The actual issues? Eh, side point. The drama? That’s the focus.
What Makes Cyberbullying Acceptable? Let The New Moral Police Decide
I remember hearing the story of Amanda Todd a few years ago. It’s one of the most disturbing cases of cyberbullying that ever occurred. At only 12, she was tricked online to share a picture of her breasts with a random man. He then blackmailed her, saying that she needed to film a sex tape or he would post the picture. After refusing to do the sex tape, he posted the picture on social media to all her friends and contacts. She was taunted and insulted by tons of people online and in person, and their family had to move as a result.
But the man didn’t stop there. He again shared the picture with all of the students at her new school, where she was bullied again. After a continued series of awful people being mean to her, she killed herself on October 10, 2012. Shortly before dying, she released a video on YouTube describing her struggles. The video went posthumously viral and made a huge impact on the way our culture views and approaches cyberbullying.
Not every victim of cyberbullying kills themselves, of course. The vast majority just feel bad- depression, anxiety, loneliness. Cyberbullying is often the result of someone embarrassing someone with a picture or video, and posting it for everyone to see. Then, a culture of bullies develops, making it acceptable and fun to mock the victim.
Kevin Hart made a series of homophobic tweets between about 2007-2011. He said if his son were gay he would smash a doll house on his head, called someone a “fat fag” and a variety of other things. However, since 2011, he has not made any homophobic comments. But this did not stop people from dragging up his old tweets and accusing him of all kinds of horrible things. It eventually resulted in him not getting to host the 2018 Oscar awards.
Just a few months prior to that, Roseanne Barr had made a racist tweet, calling a dark skinned woman, “a mix of the Muslim brotherhood and Planet of The Apes”. It’s a bad thing to say, clearly. She tried to apologize- deleting the tweet, making multiple mass apologies- but the liberal mobs were relentless. Her show got cancelled, and she was essentially de-platformed and shamed by society.
Amanda Todd did a dumb thing- sharing a topless picture with a stranger online. Kevin Hart did a dumb thing- making homophobic comments. Roseanne Barr did a dumb thing- making a racist tweet. But all three of these people, after realizing they were wrong and doing what they could to correct it, were unable to separate themselves from it. There was a relentless, accusatory, destructive mob attached to them.
The moral police, throughout the latter half of the 20th century, were generally the conservatives. “Don’t show sex on TV!”, “Don’t talk about black people marrying white people in the school books!”, “Make sure all students have to keep praying to the Christian God!”, “Don’t let gays get rights!”, etc. Moral outrage on social issues was typically the responsibility of the conservative right. But that moral policing has shifted. There’s very little say that the conservative right has anymore. When’s the last time a show got banned because it had gay content, or depicted abortion as acceptable? No- no one is concerned about that stuff anymore. When’s the last time a show got banned because it had racist or homophobic content? Or more so, one of the writers or actors wrote something racist or homophobic 12 years ago? Check the daily paper.
The collective liberal agenda has told us when it’s acceptable to cyberbully. We have a sick inclination within us- like the people who would gather and cheer at the burning or hanging of political or religious dissidents in the Middle Ages, or those who would cheer at people being eaten by lions in the gladiator stadiums in Ancient Rome, or, well, anytime in human history- to gather together in a mob and delight at the “righteous” destruction of a person. This sick inclination killed Amanda Todd. And in a much lesser magnitude, but nevertheless operating on the same principle, killed the career of Roseanne Barr, and the hosting of the Oscars for Kevin Hart, and almost destroyed the career of Brett Kavanaugh.
If Not Cyberbullying, How Do We Set The Standard?
Society needs moral standards. The ideals of liberalism- equality, freedom, justice- are good ones to strive for. Things like racism and homophobia are an affront to all three of those ideals in some form. Things like sexual assault are obviously so clearly horrible that any allegations should be treated seriously.
But the answer can’t be gathering together in a mob to dig up dirt on an individual and destroy their life, like we’ve seen with Brett Kavanaugh, Amanda Todd, Kevin Hart, and Roseanne Barr- in varying degrees. We, as a culture, can learn from all of these mistakes: with Brett Kavanaugh, we need to follow the evidence where it leads, and accept its results, even if it doesn’t fit our agenda. With Amanda Todd, we need to recognize when someone is being victimized, and stop helping their blackmailer by playing to their sick game of shame and guilt. With Kevin Hart, we need to allow people to change over time, and realize that in 10 years, people can change, and move on from past mistakes. With Roseanne Barr, we need to allow people to apologize when they’ve made a mistake.
Standards can be set- through evidence, through understanding, through forgiveness, and ultimately, through understanding that people are not perfect, and always have room to improve.
People now want to destroy Justin Trudeau- shame, guilt, hatred, malice- because he wore an insensitive costume to a party 18 years ago. Just like all of us at some point, he did something dumb. Trudeau already apologized. His campaign and leadership has never shown signs of racism. He has worked hard to bridge gaps between various cultures and promote tolerance. This is not the guy to burn at the stake.
My advice: don’t get caught up in all this garbage. There are real issues going on that Canadians and Americans should be aware of. But they’re not, because the media pumps out drama after drama and we take it all in. Let’s focus on the real issues, follow actual evidence, allow for humans to be human, and create a more sensible reactionary culture.