White Violence, Apparently
The story of how I was accused of white violence for refusing to apologize for an April Fool’s joke where I said I was turning my instagram account into fitness account.
Up until very recently, being called racist would have been the worst thing I could ever imagine happening. The worst. Especially publicly, on a huge scale, like I now have been. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still terrible. But it’s also now my reality. So what am I gonna do? I’m gonna write about it.
Being racist is the last thing I want to be. And before I experienced what I experienced, I would have thought that I’d have done anything and everything to try and avoid that accusation, to say anything I could to prove it wasn’t true, and to try and right any wrongs I was being accused of.
But what’s happened over these past few years, is that I (and so many others) have been accused of racism and white supremacy so many times now, so flippantly, and for such confusing and unclear reasons, that I’ve begun to become desensitized to the accusation. (Which, I don’t think is a good thing, big picture, btw. In my opinion, accusing everyone and their mom of racism is only going to result in people tuning out when the accusation is used legitimately… like the boy who cried wolf…)
But, this is the story of how I was accused of white violence because I refused to apologize for my 2021 April Fool’s joke where I said I was turning my instagram account into fitness account. (Yes!) It’s the …odd story of why the mob finally came for me, and how twisted all of the allegations became.
And it shouldn’t need to be said but… not the mafia mob, obviously, you know what I mean.
I am talking about the online, “social justice,” group-think mob.
I keep looking for ways to describe what is happening in our culture, without using the term “cancel culture,” (hence me saying “the mob”) because depending on who you’re talking to, the term cancel culture shuts down the conversation before it even starts, because lots of people say that “cancel culture” doesn’t even exist, it’s all just about “accountability,” they say. Nobody is being cancelled, they say. Instead, the term cancel culture is apparently a conservative dog-whistle and used by people who want to avoid taking responsibility for their abusive behavior. (And that’s what they say about me.) But, because of that, if you’re trying to talk about the ethics and the impact of these socially acceptable mob campaigns, using the term cancel culture usually stops the conversation right there.
Though there are people on the left who use the term, and usually it’s once they wake up to how toxic the whole thing is. F*cking Cancelled Podcast is one example of this. They explain how destructive cancel culture is from a leftist perspective. It breaks down the psychology of these mob campaigns, and how deeply hypocritical it is: how at odds it is with police reform, how horribly not trauma informed it is, etc. (For what it’s worth, I am not on the left anymore. I am nowhere.)
I hoped I was going to avoid using the term cancelled in this entire story. I thought I’d be able to just use terms like “the mob” the whole time, but it’s actually really hard to do that. Also, my purpose for avoiding the term “cancel culture” would be to have a chance to get through to people who think cancel culture doesn’t exist but… let’s be real. They are not reading this. And if they are it will only make them dislike me more. Why resist it. So I will be using the term “cancelled” and “cancellation” both ironically and un-ironically, because that’s how most people refer to it these days.
I think the most important thing for me to note is this is not a post trying to, like… exonerate myself with the people who hate me, or prove how good and not racist I am to them. I mean, I hope you’ll see that I’m not racist, but funny enough, the definition of the term racist seems to be different depending on who you are talking to. So I think, to some people, me writing about this at all as a white person is inherently racist, and others will see that this whole thing has been twisted in the oddest way. Most people who follow me don’t even know that this whole thing happened a year ago, and most who do know it happened are either: not reading this post because I’ve been written off, or if somehow they’ve decided to pay $7 to hate-read it, this will not make them like me more. I’m only writing this because it’s a crazy and real story that I went through, that shines a light on how some of these online mob campaigns work.
Lastly, this is not going to be a comprehensive breakdown of what “cancel culture” is and why it’s toxic, and all of the destruction it brings. There is soooooo much more to say, but this story is already long enough. This is just a story of a few formative experiences I had within this culture, and how I came to think it’s a big ol’ hypocritical piece of poop.
So let’s backtrack first to Summer 2020…