I remember way back in the day when Tommy Hilfiger was hot in these streets, there was a rumor about how he went on Oprah of all places and basically said he ain’t like niggas rocking his shit. No one saw this interview but everyone knew about this interview and so it spread through the barbershops, the salons, the playgrounds and with no internet to disprove it became something we all just accepted as fact until, well I’m sure your auntie still thinks it happened. She probably remembers the episode. It’s the Berenstain effect. And so Tommy Hilfiger wasn’t hot in these streets, if you DID wear it, someone somewhere was probably going to tell you about that Oprah interview that never happened but happened. And so, we went to Ralph Lauren and never looked back. All because of fake news. Sad.
Fast forward to 2018, armed with the internet and screenshots, you ACTUALLY come for us, we’ll get you up outta here. (or at least try to… More on that later). Over the years, Black Twitter has developed a reputation for paint removal of the racist, problematic and ashy. Make a racist joke before your flight to Africa and you will land unemployed (and then end up with a cushy low profile job at DraftKings because that privelege is just too strong). Wearing black face on Halloween with your employer listed on Facebook, sucks to be you. But then there’s the other side of it, where sometimes people just…get it wrong. We were all born woke, some people need to get dragged a few times, others might have some growing up to do, then of course there’s the irredeemables. Where is the line? Is there a committee? Maybe there’s an app that tells you who and what is canceled. Like a woke Yelp, we can’t eat there the owner is a Trump supporter. Or the star of this movie is rapey. (*adds that to list of ideas I’ll never follow through on*)
Where I struggle with cancel culture is that I feel like there isn’t much forgiveness. To forgive surrenders leverage that I think people want more than they care to admit. Plenty of people jump at the chance to humble someone whether they’re offended or not. I do think there’s a difference between someone saying something fucking stupid and being a trash person overall. For example, Kevin Spacey is a monster who should never work in the industry again. Matt Damon is just a fucking idiot who shouldn’t be asked things. I’ve been on the other end of that, I’ve said dumb shit got dragged and learned from it and so I’m far more likely to forgive when people say some dumb shit. That doesn’t mean others have to as well, it means I’M moving forward. I don’t have time to keep track of everyone I’m supposed to be mad at. (At least until I make the app) Most fuck ups fuck up again anyway. Like every time I forget Charlamagne is trash he does something else. Michael Vick paid his debt to society and hasn’t gotten a parking ticket since. (*ahem* people say fuck him forever and while that’s their right I wonder why that is…). R. Kelly has been R Kellying for a quarter century. (At least. Sickening. Also can artists just start remaking his songs, I miss When a Woman’s Fed Up)
Woke Phi Woke™ Twitter will have you believe they never not knew better as if most of us didn’t grow up in problematic black ass households where you were told to pull your pants up and little girls were called fast. We’re all still learning and growing and nothing productive comes from acting otherwise. (There’s exceptions tho, some of these niggas are like 40, been online for well over a decade and still gotta be told why “what was she wearing is wrong”). But at the end of the day, is the purpose to get an apology or drag? Do you want people to be better or just like having the moral high ground? I know I enjoy unleashing the dragging every now and again but part of me wishes people would grow the fuck up already. To quote the mumble singer SZA, aren’t you tired of always making amends?
It’s exhausting. Some have the stamina for it, I do not. I simply take my time, money and energy elsewhere. Don’t listen, don’t watch, don’t invest, and frankly, don’t care if anyone else does. Say something stupid I’ll probably tell you how and why that was stupid, make fun of you, and then proceed with my life because I don’t actually care if how or when you apologize, or whether or not you work again. It’s simply, fuck you.