We have three perfect examples of white, liberal privilege on display last week in both the actions of some and, more importantly, in the silence of others.
First, this is not a call to “cancel” Jessica Sell Chambers and Mary Erickson but to question why some people think cancel culture is OK to be leveled against perceived enemies but not when the behavior comes home to roost.
Michael Kudar applied black makeup for a Halloween costume 10 years ago. I don’t care. Have you ever worn a sombrero on Cinco de Mayo? Have you appropriated an accent for the sake of a joke or retelling a joke? Of course you have.
These things are not OK. Michael and his wife told me of their transgression and of their regret. I understand, and I am happy they are taking responsibility and growing from it. While I have always supported Hailey Morton Levinson for mayor and still do (and they know that), I think they did the right thing when this information came to light.
When you know better, do better. If you know better and still do it, then we have a problem. Specifically, you have a problem with me.
Which brings me to the most offensive, egregious behavior that I have ever seen and, then, the doubly offensive silence of people who purport to be allies.
Chambers and Erickson did modern-day blackface when they decided they should approach a duly elected town councilor on behalf of women of color and suggest he step down “for women of color.”
What they did was immoral, trying to rig an election, no matter how “holy” their cause. But what I find downright offensive is that they felt they had a right to speak on behalf of women of color at all.
We don’t need saving. You had no right, no right, to deputize yourself as spokespeople and then proudly go out in the community with not one ounce of shame or self-reflection. Do you understand how deep your sense of entitlement and superiority must be to assume you could do something so wrong, supposedly on behalf of people you are not?
This is the same woman, Sell Chambers, who banded with current Mayor Pete Muldoon (don’t get me started), to character-assassinate then-Mayor Sara Filtner in the 2016 election. Some of the most woman-hating, misogynistic behavior I have ever witnessed. The only thing worse: young, woke white women lining up to cheer them both on.
This year has been one of reckoning. One in which white people have had to look inside themselves and decide if they want to be anti-racist or just stay on their virtue signaling.
Well, allies, you have a perfect opportunity to look at yourself, and ask yourself, “Is this the sort of behavior that we want in our movement?”
The right-wight conservative Republicans are going to do what they do. You pointing out every flaw as reason for canceling them is not helping. You blatantly ignoring problems in your own house is infuriating.
If you were outraged by “blackface” and silent on this egregious appropriation, we have nothing more to speak about.
Do the work, or don’t ever speak to me again about doing the work.