For some time now conservatives have been using the tactic of rummaging around in a person’s past, searching for evidence of problematic behavior. They call it ‘cancel culture’. What makes this entire situation worse is that conservatives are not even doing anything original. They are attempting to appropriate a custom which has been practiced by people on the left for years, claiming it as their own. Normally I would see mob-shaming as a perfectly legitimate method of purging society of wrongdoers. The digging up and cataloguing of people’s past micro-aggressions so that we may discredit and ostracize them from the Tribe is something The Woke have been doing for at least a decade now. But people on the right have begun to appropriate this custom as a way of ‘hitting back’ at us for daring to live our best lives by erasing those with opposing views from our village.
Alyssa Milano brought up this disturbing development in a tweet earlier this week:
Cancel culture is being weaponized by the right/Putin. Take notice of who they are targeting & what is trending. Are they trying to hurt Trump’s most vocal critics? Yup. The misinformation campaign has begun. Be vigilant in what you post on social media. Truth still matters.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 29, 2020
This came off the back of a smear campaign in which she was accused of performing blackface in a comedy sketch:
The right wing trolls are using a still from this funny or die video where a parodied Snookie from Jersey Shore. If you see the screen grab that they are using maybe you can shut them down with a link to the entire video.
Here it is: https://t.co/oKauRsy32a
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 27, 2020
As you can see, in the Funny or Die skit, the ‘blackface’ in question was actually a parody of Snooki from Jersey Shore who is famous for her over-the-top spray tan. Now, what I find most insulting about this weak attempt to emulate our cancel culture, is that right-wingers are not even particularly good at it! Once Alyssa had posted the video, many of them backed down and acknowledged the context of the image which had been reposted on social media. I mean, talk about Amateur Hour!!! If this doesn’t show a complete ignorance of our culture, I do not know what does.
If this ‘blackface Snooki’ campaign against Alyssa had been engineered by liberals, we would have pointed out that Snooki is in fact of Chilean descent and the fact she uses spray tan is neither here nor there. We would loudly and repeatedly insist that Alyssa had darkened her skin to play an ethnic minority, regardless of the context. She might have responded, producing very clear intent and context to the sketch, explaining that it was poking fun at the shallowness of reality TV celebrity culture, but that ‘weak explanation’ would be flatly rejected as a selfish and arrogant attempt to save her career. She would be labeled a racist underneath every post on all of her social media accounts. She would receive death threats and abuse. Blogs would be written about her lack of understanding regarding Chilean history and ethnic power struggles. The out-of-context screen grab of her dressed as Snooki would adorn the headings of a thousand articles, all proclaiming her to be literally worse than Hitler…until eventually she caves in into the pressure and releases a tearful apology. She would say that she was sorry for any pain she had caused the indigenous population of Chile and that she understands now that what she did was grossly insensitive. This would also be rejected because if anything, it would PROVE to liberal sensibilities that they were correct to flag up her past problematic attitudes. The liberal mob would petition for her removal from any projects she was currently involved in, and her employers would acquiesce to their demands, because seriously, fuck that hassle.
Cancel culture was never meant to be used against people from the left of the political spectrum. The process of ruining somebody’s life, taking away their job, their home, their friends, shaming them and generally making them feel like garbage is something that should only be done to bad people. I mean seriously if you are attempting to cancel a good person then what does that make you? (it makes you a bad person is what I’m saying). We cannot live in a society where good people can be torn down for saying something interpreted as problematic by people who don’t even understand what problematic means. I mean, have you ever tried to explain what a micro-aggression is to a MAGA hat wearer? It’s like trying to explain quantum theory to a bear. How are these people qualified to know what should or should not be appropriate?
For example when trans-rights activists who are fighting for the right to erase cisgender women’s safeguards say something like: ‘kill all terfs’ while posing with a baseball bat, it doesn’t LITERALLY mean ‘kill all terfs’. If you have any modicum of intelligence, you will see this as a brave rallying cry, speaking truth to power, because when trans people are misgendered it causes us real harm. Words have meaning (except for when they don’t, obviously).
When Priyamavada Gopal, a professor of English at Cambridge University tweeted: ‘White lives don’t matter’, obviously she meant it in a structural sense. When a lame attempt at canceling began on Twitter, she was forced to delete her Tweet, but thankfully Cambridge University saw sense and promoted her for her brave stance against evil whitey. So perhaps there is hope that conservatives will understand that unless they have the balls to go all the way with cancel culture, they need to back the fuck off and stay in their lane because they’re really not terribly good at it 💅.
When I see this cardboard cut-out attempt to appropriate my culture, it makes me angry. Conservatives have no idea how to correctly perform this age-old custom liberals have perfected over the past 10 years. In the same way that white college students disrespect Native Americans by turning their noble heritage into nothing more than a tacky Halloween costume, Trump supporters are now doing the same to liberals. Offense archaeology is an ancient and respected tradition of my people, and this grotesque bastardization of our culture by conservative colonizers has to stop.