How Do You Think History Will Judge Cancel Culture?
I appreciate feedback so much! Whether favorable or otherwise. Recently a young friend sent me this reply after I invited her to subscribe to my blog:
I received your invitation to your blog. Thank you for sharing, it’s so important to feel connected these days!
I respect your desire to share your voice and experience with the world. It’s brave in a way, but also deeply problematic.
I checked it out and have to say I disagree with you on many points and hope you are considering how your worldview causes harm. I was a bit taken aback to be honest.
I understand if you don’t want to engage on this level, but I feel it’s necessary to express that the internet is forever and history will not look on your standpoint kindly.
I wish you the best!
(Name deleted for privacy)
Dear (name deleted),
Thank you so much for writing to me. I apologize for taking so long to answer. But I wanted to have time to give you a thoughtful reply. I understand. There are many points of view out there.
But it is important to keep talking. It surprised me (slightly) that you pointed out that the Internet is “forever” as if I would be worried that someone might find my writing sometime later in HISTORY and decide I am a horrible person.
Interesting that you feel my worldview causes harm. Really? Why? Surely you do not think that it is harmful for people to have differing opinions. Views are subjective and depending on all sorts of factors we all see things differently. But that is a strength.
How can views be harmful? Views written in a blog post meant to simply express the feelings of one person of no particular importance, what harm?
The MELTING POT which used to be one of the things we were taught to be proud of about this country, seems to be a thing of the past. Now Identity politics rules.
And I believe that is horribly destructive because it separates us into different teams. We are all human beings. We are all created equal.
We strive to make sure everyone has equal opportunity. Equal opportunity is to be desired. Yes.
But we do not get equal outcomes. Nor should we.
Plenty of people with every advantage, schools, money, connections and white skin are total failures, drunks, drug addicts and criminals. So it is not a racial thing or an ethnic thing. It is a moral thing. Standards, ethics, some sort of moral compass, all matter; and luck, of course. But it is also to do with individual effort and focus and perseverance and cleanliness and pulling your pants up over your ass.
In my later years I am outspoken. That is true. I have had a lot of experience by now and I care about people. I care about this country. My family lived in Europe for several years when I was growing up. It made me very patriotic. There is NO country like this one. The equal opportunities here are UN-equalled anywhere else. And until a few years ago, the issue of race was on its way to being a thing of the past.
Naturally I blame Obama for stirring up hatreds because he just was not a typical black person, half white and raised by his white family (who were socialists). He could not help weighing in on issues of race. And Michelle…don’t get me started on her….(She became First Lady and ONLY then said she finally felt proud of her country. The same country where she was given every opportunity to succeed.)
For many years probably since before you were born, many groups have been styled as “victims”. This has been getting worse and worse for decades. It is awful for the people it is targeting. It is someone else’s fault that they have problems. They can blame their problems on others. On the system, and lately on the made up phrase ‘systemic racism’. NO. It isn’t.
I do not believe in victimhood. It is the most destructive idea out there. It cuts people off at the knees. NONE of us are victims. We choose. We choose how to react and we choose what we learn from the difficult times in our lives. There are plenty of examples of people who had NO CHANCE in life but they made it big. A prime example because EVERYBODY knows her is Oprah. But there are plenty of others….Dolly Parton, or Bill Clinton.
Telling someone they are a victim is a terrible thing to do. Telling a whole race or gender they are victims is horrendous. NO ONE IS A VICTIM. We are all powerful beyond what we know.
NOW the press is trying to turn people like me into pariahs. Domestic terrorists. It is pure propaganda and very mean spirited to call patriots traitors.
And they have shut us up by shutting the country down. Using the Virus as an excuse they have “taken over”. And it is destroying hundreds of thousands of people who are being thrust into poverty. The propaganda machine works to make people afraid of each other. These crazy rules and the total fear program are meant to terrorize people into compliance and stop progress. I will not comply.
When is the country going to open back up again? I am so tired of this and so rebellious against it all. I am cross with all my liberal friends who like Biden and hate Trump. I don’t feel like talking about it. But it is unavoidable.
The cancel culture and the acrimony and the mask shaming and name calling is getting to me. I am now considered a domestic terrorist because I supported and still support President Trump.
I believe the election was rigged. I believe that people on BOTH sides of the aisle and in the courts and the press and Big Tech and all the billionaires decided they wanted to get him out because he was unpredictable and would not play their game.
Donald Trump was the People’s President. They still love him. (I know he is a horrible person, so don’t start) He was a ‘junkyard dog’ type who would go up against the entrenched bureaucracy and THE SYSTEM of the inner government. He was dangerous to those people who pull the strings.
There is nothing I can do about any of it. So I write. And write some more.
This meme reminded me of your email when I saw it. I hope it is true.
One day people will look back on this as a time where we nearly lost our freedoms. They will remember it as a time that saved the county. Finally as enough people woke to what was happening, they said “ENOUGH!”
Copyright©. 2021 Bonnie B. Matheson
11 thoughts on “How Do You Think History Will Judge Cancel Culture?”
I am standing and clapping for you Bonnie!! Continue to write, to have your opinions and share them please! Bravo!
This rang true and I wanted to pass it along to my children!
Hello Bonnie, I hope you are well. I don’t know if you remember me but we have met on several occasions. While I wholeheartedly disagree with your political views and most everything you have written in your blog posts especially about race and politics, I agree the lack of civil discourse only furthers and deepens our divide and unfortunately stokes vitriol and dissension. Also, the lack of civil discourse about our opposing views only leads to further divide us and leaves little room for bridging the gap between our differences. I think it is much more effective to approach discourse and disagreement with rational thoughts and reasoning. So in that spirit I have shared some of my thoughts below…
First and foremost, I find it so incredibly shocking that you wrote the following in one of your blog posts…
“They cannot make different races equal because they are different in ways that are too hard to describe. That sort of diversity is to be desired. Equality is impossible and undesirable. It is the differences that make life rich and exciting.”
The idea that different races of people are somehow inherently unequal sounds like it is something from a white supremacist handbook. Yes diversity is to be desired but no equality is not impossible or undesirable. I question how you developed your worldview about races? I wonder how you can unilaterally deny the existence of systematic racism while ignoring and invalidating the real life experience of so many marginalized individuals?
Also, I wonder what you mean when you say Obama is not “a typical black person”. What in your opinion is a typical black person? And how would you compare that to a typical white person? I wonder how you thought Obama should have handled race issues especially as the first African-American president in our nations history? Should he have just ignored that Trayvon Martin was murdered for doing nothing other than wearing a hoodie and walking home? I know I certainly cannot imagine what it is like for an African American male growing up in this country and I highly doubt you have any insight or life experience that could inform you of their experience either.
Many of your statements scream racism and an unwillingness to examine your own personal biases. I think for those of us, myself most definitely included, who have had advantaged and privileged upbringings, taking a long hard look in the mirror can often be quite difficult. Personally, growing up, I rarely looked at the injustices in the world or even in my community. Yes, I was awake enough to be against apartheid in South Africa but did I examine the ideas of equity and equality, no – not by a long shot.
Like your children and grandchildren, I attended a private school and there were very few people with brown and black skin which I could acknowledge but was not equipped at the time to look more introspectively about why that was the case. When I went to college and graduate school at the University of Virginia, I never asked my parents how or if they were going to pay my tuition; I naturally assumed that is what parents do. I knew two students who had to leave my graduate program because their mounting school loans were becoming overwhelming and they could no longer pay for the degree that would most likely improve their lives.
Fortunately, as I matured, I was exposed to new perspectives and the reality in our world and found some truths that were certainly difficult to acknowledge. I think if you deny the ugly truths it is foolhardy delusion and demonstrates an unwillingness to consider perspectives of a worldview you have no understanding.
I am reminded of Atticus Finch’s famous quote from To Kill A Mockingbird…
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
I am very curious about why conservatives often use Obama’s full name and never anyone else’s full name; is it you think that we have forgotten his middle name or is there possibly another motive? By using Hussein, is this your not so subtle attempt to push the unsubstantiated and false narratives that he is Muslim and that he was born in Africa? I can’t imagine that would be your motive especially since you deny that racism exists, especially under the presidency of Donald John Trump.
A perspective I am currently working on trying to understand is how and why so many people embrace Trump and in many cases worship him. I find it fascinating that you openly admit that he is a horrible human and yet you seem to follow him down the rabbit hole in so many ways including that this election, despite overwhelming evidence against the whack-a-doodle propaganda, was stolen. Trump is simply a narcissist and a sore loser. he used the same tactic when he lost the Iowa caucus to Ted Cruz; he said the only way he could ever lose is if the system is rigged against him which is classic narcissistic behavior. He is wholly incapable of looking at himself in the mirror and acknowledge that he is a loser. His utter lack of insight and humility is quite frightening to me.
Compared to other presidents, I find it incredibly challenging to separate Trump from his policies and his personhood. There are several Trump policies that I agree with and just found it so unfortunate that he was so horribly rude and offensive to so many different groups of people including peoples with disabilities. As someone living with a disability, I was hurt and insulted when he mocked the disabled journalist. Perhaps, this makes me a snowflake, in your opinion, but despite the ‘sticks and stones’ saying words can, in fact, be hurtful.
Wow, I did not intend to write so much and I have so much more to say but I will stop here.I hope I maintained a level of compassion and decorum because I believe in respectful yet emphatic disagreement.
Chapin, of course, I know who you are! And I really appreciate your feedback. It is important to dialogue and not get hung up on thinking you know what the other person meant without asking. Or assuming what kind of person they are over-all just because they disagree with your views. If we don’t talk to each other and just get mad, or assume the worst, nothing will improve.
It is a lot to cover because you made so many interesting points. It would really please me if it is possible to straighten out some of the kinks in the perception of my views that you express above.
Starting with the first one, “They can’t make different races equal because…” It feels like you just went with the prevailing view here without thinking it through thoroughly. Races are different. People are different. Genders are different. This is NOT a bad thing. it is not insulting to anyone. But I know it is unpopular to think it or talk about it. There are many statistics out there to defend my position. But statistics are so boring. I just don’t want to get into quoting them. Here are some articles: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/reports/2020/05/07/484742/health-disparities-race-ethnicity/
here is another one: Brain size, IQ, and racial-group differences: Evidence …
[ http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016028960200137X%5D https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016028960200137X
The point is it is NOT racist to acknowledge differences. We have to look at things squarely in order to fix them. You are never going to get anywhere if everyone is afraid to treat reality for what it is.
Why are people so hung up on equality? It is impossible to have everything equal for everyone. Even people in prison wearing the same clothes, eating the same food, forced into the same schedule, and living under the same totalitarian rules are NOT equal. (and who wants to be them?)
We want everyone to have equality of opportunity. However, you cannot have equality of outcome without serious manipulation. You, yourself, have certain things to overcome that most people of any race do not. You are an example of all that is good when it comes to perseverance and fortitude. (Also good humor and charm and a willingness to help others.)
On to the next thing.Obama. He was not raised as a typical black person. Have you read his books? He was raised in a white family much of the time, and they were deeply socialist maybe more communist. This is NOT typical. Also, he was not raised in the United States. His mother remarried and in 1967-1971 he was in Indonesia. This was a formative time for him and it is NOT typical.
Yes, I grew up in privilege as you did, but I read. I have traveled and have a wide range of friends (and family) of every conceivable political persuasion. Empathy for others does not stop with race. There are people suffering with all sorts of injustices and it seems no one cares. I have a friend who lost her children to Child Protective Services 13 years ago. She has never been able to get them back.
When I was growing up, racism was terrible in the USA. But it has been going out of style ever since. Until the last few administrations, Obama’s being the worst, people of all races were making huge strides. The barriers were down, success was within their grasp, education was available, and even encouraged. But that seems to have changed. The Democrats have discovered that if they paint people as victims they can control them. And they set out to do just that. Now it is so bad that many black people dare not become educated because that is “acting white”.
They are told that because some of their ancestors were slaves they have some sort of collective trauma and can’t move forward without government help. And by the way, slavery still exists to this day. Why don’t these people who constantly carp about their slave ancestors do something about the people who are held in bondage right now? it is still legal in other parts of the world. but some slavery still exists under the radar, here in the USA.
I wish I had time to address the problem of our past President and his unfortunate flawed character and personality. Because the people loved him. He spoke for them, which includes ALL people, black or white or multi-color. And all religions and sexes and those with disabilities too. One time he was caught possibly making fun of a disabled reporter who was CONSTANTLY bugging him, lying about him, and egging him on. That one clip was enough for people to label President Trump as a terrible person who disrespected the disabled. No. He disrespected that one reporter. It is a whole different thing. And yet the press would not let that drop. And disabled people who hated him would not let it die either. There is absolutely no evidence of Donald Trump being unpleasant to any other disabled person…(Though he was certainly unpleasant to many other people whom he did not like!)
Yes, he is a thug. He is tough, ruthless, and often unpleasant. Clearly, he is almost impervious to criticism. And yet, he was against Globalism. He is against a strong central government. He is for private enterprise, capitalism, the individual, and he loves success. Yes, he has a terrible ego problem. He is a classic narcissist. Flaws stick out all over him. But so what? He is not a politician. Thank God. His faults have nothing to do with his believing in America and putting America first. I like the idea of America at the top of the pack, don’t you? Seriously.
He brought back the economy, made us energy independent, got us out of all sorts of terrible deals abroad, instituted prison reform, and the military loved him (and he loved them). He was amazingly effective. And now, that ’empty suit’, that ‘consummate politician’ Biden has dictatorially erased most of what he did with executive orders, like a dictator. It is frightening.
I want to thank you so much for writing your comments on my blog post. It is really hard to change the views of another person by a random comment or two but on the other hand, if it makes people think even for a minute, that is a good thing.
I spend a lot of time saying ” I am not a racist” because people misunderstand me for speaking out on issues that we just are not supposed to talk about. Just as in families it is the “secrets” that do the damage. We need to discuss why certain things bother us more than others, but it is OK to be human. We just naturally like people who agree with us or look like us or have a similar problem to overcome. That is not prejudice but preference. Sometimes we need to make a bigger effort to learn about people who appear different or whose manners or speech are abhorrent to us. And when we do, we discover a soul mate, a friend, a compatriot. I enjoy diversity and learning about what makes others think the way they do. However, I am solidly on the side of individualism, never collectivism. We can help each other up, but expecting the Government to make things ‘equal’is a very dangerous expectation.
Because word press would not let me post the original long comment, I did it in three sections. To read it in the proper order you have to start at the bottom with the comment saying “Of course I know who you are!”Then the top one “The Point is it is NOT racist” and then “I wish I had time to address the problem”
Just a few comments to Chapin Falconer.
You need to get better facts. Trayvon Martin was not “murdered for wearing a hoodie and walking home.” Look up the facts. Barrack Obama, is by no means, representative of the typical black American. He was raised in Indonesia and came to university in the U S. on scholarship as a foreign student. Similarly, Kamala Harris is not representative of a typical American black person. She spent her young years in Canada with an Indian mother.
To Ms. Lewis, I really would love to know your definition of a typical black person. I look forward to your response.
A typical black person is black, first of all. Not half white. Though of course there are all sorts of mixtures. A typical black person has lived only in the USA, though of course, I realize there are many exceptions. A typical black person has had a much more difficult time with actual prejudice than Obama ever did. A typical black person does not live in a white family. I could go on, but I believe this is enough to make my point. Obama was a great guy in so many ways. He is a great orator. He is well-spoken and attractive and funny and a great showman. Unfortunately, he does not believe in American Exceptionalism or individualism, or capitalism in the way many hardworking Americans do. He is a Globalist. He is not very helpful to black people in general and seems to distance himself from other black people preferring the company of whites, preferably millionaires and billionaires.
Thank you for your response Bonnie. Take care, Chapin