Thursday, February 7, 2019

Angry Mobs Rule

This week there was outrage when a photo of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam came out that showed him in blackface or a KKK costume. He has gone back and forth on if he is either person in the photo. For me it doesn't matter if he is in the photo, what concerns me are the calls for him to resign. The photo was taken 35 years ago while he was in college. I've been told it was a party and the theme was to come as something offensive.

I've spent a lot of time on twitter speaking out in his defense, not because I believe he is a good man, but because I've seen no evidence that he is currently a racist. The fact democrats elected him to office would suggest they didn't believe him to be a racist. I have no idea if he is or isn't so I must assume he isn't based on his record.

Amy Holmes asked me "why the emotional energy defending 'the behavior'" of these people and others who confessed to having, at one time, worn blackface. I am not defending the man, but speaking out against the angry mob. Most people have done dumb things when they were young. If a person must be perfect their entire life to hold a job or be elected to office, there will be few people working.

I once wrote Symbols of Hate about how too much power is given to words and objects. I talked about how you can remove the power given to objects by no longer being offended. I wrote about how white southerners have been called many derogatory names. Those words never gained power over us because we laughed instead of becoming angry. We even took some of the words such as “redneck, hillbilly, and white trash,” and embraced them.

A few weeks ago we saw the angry mob go after a 15 year old boy because he had a Make America Great Again hat on while standing face to face with a Native American. When later video showed it was the native who approached the boy and not the other way around, some of the media apologized, while many maintained the narrative that the boy was a racist. There was also video of a native telling one of the young boys from Covington Catholic school, who were in DC for the Right To Life rally, they should leave the country because they are living on Stolen Land.

During this time there was a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites who were shouting hateful words at the natives and the boys. I won't bother to quote their hateful words, just imagine the most hateful words you've ever heard said to natives and white people. The reason I mention this is because of how the angry mob of the political left reacted—the only group attacked was the Catholic school boys. The racist words by both minority groups was ignored.

The young boy who stood face to face with the native might have his life changed forever. He might not get into the college of his dreams, or hold the job of his choice. He has been labeled a racist simply because he wore a hat some have equated to a Klu Klux Klan hat. The Catholic boys were the only ones who acted like civil adults, yet they will pay a price for a lie perpetrated by the angry mob.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted going to a party dressed as Michael Jackson. The angry mob has called for him to resign as well. It seems, having ever worn blackface, even when it's to honor a black person, is an unforgivable sin.

If this mob rule continues, I can imagine a future where our streets will be filled with homeless people whose only mistake was to anger the mob. Imagine going to a job interview and you are asked, “Are you the one who once wore a MAGA cap?” You nervously reply, “Yes, Ma'am.” You're then told to leave and to never return. The question could have as easily been about blackface, or even a false rumor spread on social media. The results would be the same and you find might yourself homeless with no chance of ever getting a job.

Being refused a job because of the mob might not even be about what you said or did, but fear that the angry mob will come for the employer. We often see products being pulled because they were thought to be offensive. I once wrote about the CEO of Mozilla being forced to resign because he donated to Prop 8 in California(essentially banning gay marriage). The angry mob didn't stop until he was forced to step down—his only sin was disagreement.

Over the past year we've seen different men accused of sexual assault. We've seen the angry mob go after some while ignoring others. Even worse than the bias of the angry mob, we've seen them go after men when there is no evidence the accuser is telling the truth. The angry mob tells us we should believe all women who accuse men of sexual assault when it's politically advantageous, but then says we must not always believe women when it's one of their own.

No matter if it's a simple political disagreement or blackface, the angry mob will seek to ruin your life. It doesn't matter who you are today, it doesn't matter because once the angry mob sees an infraction, you're doomed. The only defense against the angry mob is for people to find forgiveness in their heart. We must work to get the full picture before jumping to conclusions—we must look at who people are today and put yourself between them and the angry mob. People have a right to do stupid things in their past.

No comments:

Post a Comment