"Woke" and "cancelled" don't mean what you think they mean

posted by Jeff | Saturday, March 26, 2022, 11:45 AM | comments: 0

A significant part of the white grievance movement is the assertion that the aggrieved are being systematically persecuted for what they believe, and their way of life is being threatened. Now, I'm not saying that I speak for all white, heterosexual, middle-age, American men with a healthy 401k, but from where I'm sitting, I can say with certainty that there are little to no cultural conditions that will prevent me from thriving. In fact, there never has been. Even having ASD, which has certainly made life more difficult, has not prevented me from achieving success in my career, fiscal standing and place in society. For the 30 to 50 years I have left, nothing will change that aside from climate change, and by then I can probably afford to buy my way out of difficulty there.

But you often hear people participating in white grievance that they're being "cancelled" by "woke" people for what they believe, or worse, for being white. Again, anecdotal observation here, but being white has not been a limitation for me, and it's not becoming more of a liability either. So if it's not about being white, maybe it's what you believe. Maybe it's what you say.

What you may consider being "cancelled" by a "woke" person is really just getting called out for a fundamental lack of basic empathy and human respect. Even Putin, not to mention our former president, insists that the victims are people “do not fit into modern templates, no matter how absurd they really are.” Here in the US, the "templates" appear to be people of color, LGBTQ folks, non-Christians, women, and their allies. These groups aren't looking for special treatment or an upper hand, they're only looking to be treated as equals, because they never have been in the history of our nation. The legacy of hate and legal discrimination have had a lasting effect on our society. Pretending that if we don't talk about it, mostly because it makes people uncomfortable, it will go away, is absurd. If you're being called out, I can assure you it's not for being a white, heterosexual, middle-age, American man, it's because you're being an asshole toward other human beings who pose no threat to your way of life.

In fact, no one wants me to feel bad for being a white, heterosexual, middle-age, American man. Literally no one. But what I have been asked to do by marginalized groups, for as long as I can remember, is try to see the world from another perspective. Talking about race makes you uncomfortable? Imagine how you would feel if you were Black, when your whole experience is predicated on the color of your skin, and that experience hasn't been great. Gaining and expressing empathy for people who are not like me does not come at my expense or change my standing in the world.

And honestly, I don't know what to do with the people who think that kids will "choose" to be gay or trans because they know about gay or trans people, or the folks who can't reconcile that George Washington was a great leader but morally on the wrong side by being a slave owner. You can't really reason with people who believe without evidence that there is a conspiracy by pedophiles to commit election fraud against the people they want elected. No one is trying to "cancel" those people, but they're certainly being called out for the actual harm that they create toward those who are not equal in the eyes of the law and our society.

White, heterosexual, middle-age, American man here. No one threatens my happiness or way of life.


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