Ok, let me put it out there, this post might seem a bit political, so if you’re easily offended, just stop reading. It’s not really political in nature, although that won’t stop people from thinking that it is and no doubt, some of my own personal biases will seep into the commentary.
So if any of that might potentially offend you, stop reading now because, as you’ll find out towards the end of the post, I won’t be apologizing.
Now, on with the show, consider yourself warned!
I love waking up some mornings, picking up my phone, opening Facebook and seeing what the internet rage machine got up to overnight. At least once or twice a week, something innocuous happens and a bunch of people go well and truly over the deep end with their outrage.
I’m also going to be honest, I can be a bit of a troll.
I know, I know, if you follow me on Facebook at all you’re probably sitting there thinking, “You? Really? Not true at all, Sean!”
But it is true, I sometimes get a kick out of chumming the waters.
For example, this week I posted about Joy Reid and wondered when the internet rage machine would be calling for her head over her long-term history of homophobic, transphobic and generally, all round disgusting behaviour.
Being candid, I don’t care at all about Joy Reid or anything she may have written on her blog or said about Ann Coulter. She’s a meaningless MSNBC show host. We don’t even get MSNBC here in Australia on cable, we get the occasional show simulcast on CNBC, but that’s it, so I have no dog in this fight.
I just thought it would be fun to poke the bear and the notion that time travelling hackers altered the internet archive to set her up amused me a great deal.
When I’m not trolling, I go looking for people who have upset the angry mobs – in particular, the nut jobs on the right side of politics and the more affectionately called, “SJWs” or “Social Justice Warriors” from the left are some of my greatest sources of amusement.
I gotta say, seeing the SJWs go into a blind internet rage is one of my favourite things – for people who preach tolerance and understanding, they tend to be some of the least open-minded and most intolerant people I’ve ever had the joy of experiencing.
A few weeks ago, fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, made a comment along the lines of, if she had been able to vote in the American election, she would have voted Trump because he seemed honest.
The internet rage machine from the left went into meltdown.
That even made me chuckle because Trump might be many things (I find him endlessly entertaining and an expert level troll) but you would never suggest that he’s well acquainted with the truth.
He would struggle to find the truth if he were buried neck deep in a box full of the truth.
Almost immediately, Shania issued an apology.
I mean of course she did, why would she think she’d be allowed to have an opinion that ran counter to what the SJW thought police wanted her to have.
The groupthink crowd seemed content that Shania was supine and apologetic enough that they could oversee her transgression of free thinking and free speech.
Today’s episode for me came from another Canadian, this time from Danielle LaPorte. If you’re not familiar with her, she is an author and “inspirational speaker” that sells informational woo-woo products to help you get in touch with your inner something or other. Who cares, it’s all garbage anyway.
Danielle LaPorte’s new program that she’s promoting is called “Lighter”.
No doubt you see where this might be headed, but indulge me.
It’s a program that she calls a “One Year Soul Support Program” – so it’s about spirituality, inner peace and her making some serious bank off of sounding both spiritually enlightened and intellectually relevant.
Her marketing for this program featured images with a naked black guy sitting on an oversized clock like a swing and a multi-racial collage of arms and legs going from darker skin to lighter skin.
One of LaPorte’s “things” that she also talks about is offering the “white hot truth”.
Without question, the optics on this were terrible. I saw the image of the arms and legs shading from darker to lighter skin tones and even I laughed thinking she’d had a mental breakdown when she approved that image.
Let’s be clear, this woman isn’t a racist. I think she’s a bullshit artist of epic proportions, but racist? Yeah, no, not even a smidgen.
She got caned on her Facebook Page. The SJWs just kept coming, wave after wave of telling her how her white privilege and inherent racism blinded her to the pain and violence she was causing to people of colour.
Literally, hundreds of comments like this were posted, some of which were really quite offensive and hateful towards her, I might add. I mean, nothing says “love and acceptance” like telling someone they should just kill themselves.
She took the offending post down and wrote an “apology”.
I put the word apology in quote marks because it was really what the SJWs like to call a “fauxpology”.
If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s where someone doesn’t apologize “enough”, but in this case, they had a point because LaPorte made the apology about her and even took the time to complain about how badly she was treated (which was a legitimate gripe).
The apology itself then copped a hiding from the SJWs. They were outraged that she’d taken down the original post – many of them complained that she disrespected their “work and effort” that they’d put into their replies because they were trying to educate her.
Seriously, many of them referred to it as their “work”. Clearly, I have a fundamentally different understanding of the word “work” than they do.
Anyway, her apology was not accepted by the SJW mob. She was not apologizing well enough, she’d not capitulated entirely and fully.
I also think it’s funny that these people expected her to leave up this “offensive” post where she gets called a racist bigot a couple hundred times in amongst cries from some quarters of the mob for her to commit suicide. I mean, of course, that should have been left up on her business’ Facebook Page.
The mistake that Shania Twain and Danielle LaPorte both made was that they tried to behave in a reasonable manner and apologized to the mob for causing offence. The mob was not interested in reason, they were looking for blood!
Now, let’s fast forward to a couple counterexamples.
Last week, a young lady in Utah named Kaziah Daum made the unforgivable mistake of posting four innocuous pictures of herself in her Senior Prom Dress.
Well, you see the dress was a beautiful, vintage red qipao – a high-collared and form-fitting Chinese dress.
The young lady looked stunning and good for her – she had every right to be proud of herself, how lovely she looked and for reaching this important right of passage in a young person’s life.
Immediately, she was attacked by one Asian guy on Twitter for “cultural appropriation” who said, “his culture was not her prom dress”.
Somehow, his stupid tweet got traction and this young lady was inundated with cries about her cultural insensitivity.
You know what she did, she dug her heels in. She replied, “It’s just a dress”.
And something happened that’s pretty rare – the sane people of the interwebz got involved, supported her position and shouted down the SJWs who were trying to “show her the error of her ways.”
Kaziah is also of that age where she’s pretty social media savvy because she’s grown up with it, so she leaned into her support. She started retweeting and liking high profile people on Twitter who tweeted support of her “it’s just a dress” stance.
She played the internet rage machine at its own game and won – she refused to give in, pushed back and came out ahead.
Couple interesting side points to that story – the modern qipao is actually a fusion of western style with “traditional” Chinese dress. The qipao is based off the cheongsam which many people say the Chinese appropriated from the Koreans, but the cheongsam was originally quite a loose fitting garment and to appeal to more western sensibilities, the qipao became a tighter fitting version.
So cultural appropriation? Not so fast.
And then there’s the guy who posted the original tweet, a fellow by the name of Jeremy Lam. Turns out, he’s got a bit of form on Twitter for racist tweets about black people, jews and referring to white people as evil. Whoops.
The internet rage machine was so anxious to cry foul on this poor teenager and put her in their re-education echo chamber that they failed to realize that they were rallying behind a racist bigot.
The mob doesn’t care who it follows.
But good for this girl for pushing back, she won by not apologizing and caving into their groupthink stupidity.
The second counterexample is from the ninja-level troll, Kanye West. I think this guy is master of playing the media and he understands how to position himself. Plus he’s got that Kardashian mafia behind him online, so he’s well-armed.
Kanye recently tweeted that he digs Candace Owens. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s a black conservative commentator who decries what she calls the “perpetual victim mentality” of groups like Black Lives Matter.
She’s hated by the left and the SJWs. They turned their rage blast towards Ye, but he pushed back in typical Yeezus style, he doubled down on it and said that black people don’t have to support the Democrats and that he was a free thinker.
You’d think that would be enough, but no, Kanye went hardcore and rallied his mate Donald Trump to his side. He talked about how he and Trump shared “Dragon Energy” (WTF is that? LOL). Trump couldn’t resist a Twitter fight and he got on there supporting his good mate, Kanye.
Today, some washed up rapper from Snoop Dogg’s early days called on the Crips to attack Kanye West on sight – yeah, that actually happened. Apparently organized street gangs have graduated from trying to own neighbourhood corners where they sell rock cocaine to attacking people of differing political points of views from over-the-hill, nobody rappers. Go figure.
Other people online have called Ye a disgrace to his race and some have said he’s let the entire hip-hop community down. I thought Martin Shkreli owning the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once
Upon a Time in Shaolin” album was the low point for the hip-hop community, but there you go, Kanye set a new benchmark apparently.
I find it ridiculously amusing as well that many “conservatives” and some right-wing nutjobs who have historically mocked Kanye are now flocking to him and suggesting that he’s just the kind of “free thinker” that everyone should look up to – these people are ridiculous hypocrites.
It’s worth noting, Kanye has a new album coming out in early June.
Either way, he has refused to apologize and together with Kim Kardashian, they are beating back the internet rage machine with their incredible reach.
In fact, I read multiple mainstream media stories today actually “agreeing” that Kanye is in fact, a “free thinker” and that this kind of “debate” should be encouraged.
You can’t make this stuff up – the media are giving tacit approval to free speech and begrudgingly supporting public discourse of issues.
Again though, Kanye didn’t bend, he refused to let the interwebz bully machine tell him what he was allowed to think and he is going to come out ahead.
My mate Ben Settle talks about this all the time, “never apologize to the mob” – no good can ever come from it. Every time you do, you give up your power.
Now, let’s contextualize this a bit. If you say or do something genuinely offensive and you really are sorry for what you’ve done, then, by all means, apologize to the people you’ve offended. I’m not suggesting you should be some kind of sociopath that refuses to be empathetic.
The point is, don’t move from your point of view because the mob doesn’t like it – they won’t respect you for it, so there’s no point in capitulating.
Who cares if you offend people that aren’t your customers?
More often than not, the people who make up the internet rage machine will never buy from you anyway.
These aren’t people who are disappointed that someone they do business with has taken a position on something meaningful that they find objectionable.
These rage monsters are just angry losers looking to virtue signal and feel morally superior to overcome their own internal shortcomings.
Apologizing to the mob to try and make the heat go away just stokes the fires – it gives them oxygen and fuels them with a sense of self-righteousness which encourages them to keep going.
And it turns off your true fans! You look weak and they lose respect for you. It might not be conscious, but subconsciously, you will lose esteem in their eyes.
I’m not suggesting that you become some kind of crazy provocateur that courts outrage and public angst for personal publicity, but if you say or do something that upsets the mob, don’t immediately prostrate yourself begging for forgiveness because it won’t come and they’ll just kick you when you’re down the people who remain will look at you and think, “This is a strong person, I respect that.”