"In an era when everyone is online, everyone is a public figure." — Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBill Maher criticizes NFL for playing Black national anthem 9/11 sparked a surge in Islamophobia — for years, the media fed the flames Psaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards MORE on HBO's “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Mar. 26
That's 100 percent correct. Social media gives everyone and anyone a broadcast studio that can potentially reach millions in a viral minute.
And that means everyone is a potential target for the woke brigade as it continues to add scalp after scalp to its trophy room.
How utterly ridiculous is our country getting thanks to an increasingly woke media that is replacing the isms in going from journalism to activism?
Consider Exhibit A: The Washington Post publishes a guide called “Social Justice for Toddlers.”
Social justice for toddlers: These new books and programs start the conversation early https://t.co/yWtMAftxCW— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 22, 2021
"Leigh Wilton and Jessica Sullivan, Skidmore College psychology professors who study race and social interaction, say that children develop implicit bias as early as 3 months old, and at 4 years old are categorizing and developing stereotypes,” the Post reports.
Yep, you read that correctly: Children begin to become racists at three months old, before they speak or even crawl. At four years old, before even beginning kindergarten, kids are developing stereotypes.
The books hatching from this mentality include “‘A to Z’ for Preschoolers,” where "A" isn't for apples, but for activists, and “E” isn't for elephant, but equality. “T” isn't for train, but for Trans.
This is utterly confusing to kids (for no good reason) and insulting to parents for the assumption that their kids are racist and need to be reprogrammed.
Exhibit B: Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne.
The story highlights a growing pattern in WokeLand.
Summary: Morgan expresses an opinion about Prince HarryPrince HarryCourt rules Prince Philip's will to remain sealed for 90 years Piers Morgan joining News Corp., will host new show on Fox Nation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden's .5 trillion plan will likely have to shrink MORE and Meghan MarkleMeghan MarkleRoyal family supports BLM movement, senior representative says Culture editor Emily Jashinsky says groups like Time's Up pose conflicts of interest UK media watchdog clears Piers Morgan over Meghan remarks MORE by stating that he didn't believe her claims that the royal family didn't provide assistance when she was having suicidal thoughts. Nor did he believe her allegation of racism within the family since she didn't name names. One could agree or disagree with that opinion, which is what Morgan is paid to provide. But on cue, a petition to remove Morgan from the air is drawn up. Tens of thousands sign it. The British governmental regulatory aim, OfCom, opens an investigation... into an opinion.
Sharon Osbourne, a good friend of Morgan’s, appears on CBS’s “The Talk” to react. Osbourne defends Morgan — not the opinion itself, but his right to it.
. @piersmorgan I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) March 9, 2021
Like Morgan, CBS pays Osbourne for her opinions and has for more than a decade. And for the sin of the most benign opinion in the history of talk shows – defending one's free speech rights – the show decided to go on hiatus before parting ways with Osbourne. Again, over her opinion in defending someone else for giving his opinion.
What is happening to this country? Seriously.
Exhibit C: Alexi McCammond's teenage tweets means she may never be able to work in journalism again.
She was offered the job that any 27-year-old journalist would dream of: editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, which falls under the umbrella of publishing giant Conde Nast. The possibilities from there would have been endless.
But McCammond, like so many her age, grew up at a time when social media was prominent, particularly during her teen years. And like clockwork, a few of McCammond's old racially insensitive tweets were unearthed, albeit a few years ago. McCammond apologized for them at the time. She also proactively broached the tweets in question during the interview process at Teen Vogue, where she was assured they wouldn't cause a problem.
But this could not stand. McCammond, who is African-American, could not be permitted to work again because of what she wrote on social media when she was just 17, according to the mob. Staffers internally at Teen Vogue implored management to nix the deal to bring her on as EIC.
Ultimately, the Teen Vogue powers folded: Earlier this month, it was announced that McCammond was out. Worst part: She will officially be deemed “toxic” to most other publications for the foreseeable future.
A recent CATO Institute poll showed that 62 percent of Americans are afraid to share their political views. That's nearly two-thirds of the country saying their First Amendment rights are sometimes too scary to exercise, even if most of those views are perfectly reasonable and pragmatic.
For more on this, take Exhibit D in Justin Kucera, now a former teacher and coach of Walled Lake School District in Michigan.
The “former” part comes because Kucera tweeted the following: "I'm done being silent. (Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE) is our President.”
He was fired shortly thereafter.
Kucera later explained his dangerous, unhinged thought process around the basis for the tweet.
"I felt a lot of people were rooting against our president and I just felt like we should be rooting for him to succeed," Kucera told Fox 2 in Michigan. "Because when he succeeds. we all succeed."
Yep. Don't let this guy around children. Fire him in the middle of a pandemic instead.
It also begs the question: What if Kucera had written "Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE is our president" in 2015 or "Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE is our president" in 2021. Does he keep his job after sharing such sentiment?
Fortunately, there appears to be some pushback from the left and right and everyone else in-between.
A group of alumni from the San Francisco school system, for example, is suing its school board in hopes of permanently blocking any effort to change schools over their allegedly racist names. The list of horrible racists that need to be erased from history in the Bay Area include Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Earlier this year, the Board had voted 5-2 to change the names before backlash from parents forced it to walk the decision back, albeit temporarily.
"(Americans) see a problem and we ignore it, lie about it, fight about it, endlessly litigate it, sunset clause it, kick it down the road and then write a bill where a half-assed solution doesn’t kick in for 10 years," Bill Maher explained brilliantly on “Real Time” this month. "China sees a problem and they fix it. They build a dam; we debate what to rename it.”
Overall, a solid majority of Americans see cancel culture that stems from wokeness as a threat to their freedom, while 54 percent say they are "concerned" they could be fired if they express their opinion on social media.
Overall, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris survey released Monday, a solid majority of Americans (64 percent) see cancel culture that stems from wokeness as a threat to their freedom, while 54 percent say they are "concerned" that they could be fired if they express their opinion on social media.
More than a few of you reading this agree with that perspective. You likely avoid fiery debates between friends on Facebook. You've taken your Twitter app off your phone.
At parties or at work, perhaps you'd like to join in on a discussion about the border or schools reopening or unprecedented spending but decide in the name of self-preservation to walk away or stay silent.
That's not who we are or have ever been in this country.
Apologies don't appear to be the answer. The mob doesn't care if you feel remorse or have learned a lesson if you said or wrote something idiotic or insensitive in high school. The scalp is all that matters.
"Criticism is great. What cancel culture is about is not criticism,” former New York Times writer Bari Weiss correctly told Maher on his HBO show not long ago. “It is about punishment. It is about making a person radioactive. It is about taking away their job."
So, if and when the mob comes for you, here's some free advice: Don't apologize. Don't back down. Tell your employer or boss to do the same. There is no appeasement in this culture war. May common sense eventually prevail.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.