Too seldom asked, however, is why it is so important what white people think of us. To precisely what end must white people master a complex, nuanced social history lesson when it comes to black people? What are the chances that this ever will, or even could, happen, given that very few people are historians or professors? Of course, we must battle the kind of acrid contempt that leads to violence and murder. However, when it comes to matters of whites’ quieter dismissive attitudes and misimpressions, the black intelligentsia’s Ahab-like commitment to transforming their mentality has always perplexed me. Under what conception of human strength do we teach a group of people to obsess over how they are seen in the eyes of others?
Your email signature pronouns are wack. I have never seen anyone include in their email signature pronouns that don’t match their name. Matt’s pronouns are always he/him/his. Jenna’s pronouns are always she/her/hers. Maybe including pronouns would make sense if you had a name that was ambiguous? But it’s always the Matts and the Jennas (hmmm, why *is* that?), and it’s always he/him/his or she/her/hers — never they/them/theirs or (jeebus forfend) byte/byte/byteself or whatever the effing eff. Since by email no one can tell whether you’re a “Jenna” who really looks like a Matt and you’re trying to head off “misgendering”, your pronoun email sig just makes you look like a toady.
Your nametag pronouns are wack. I don’t even understand the reasoning behind this. Sweet, gender-conforming Matt and Jenna are going to put “he/him/his” and “she/her/hers” (respectively) on their name tags, while all their woque colleagues do exactly the same, and someone gender-confused or -nonconforming is supposed to walk into their institutional sea of perfectly predictable pronoun pronouncements and think — what, exactly? “Wow, I feel so welcome in my gender nonconformity among all of these gender-conforming peeps who can absolutely relate to the experience of being incorrectly sirred or ma’amed on the daily. I’m so excited to announce my unconventional pronouns to them! (Which I would have to do, were I into that sort of thing, as I’m a visitor here and not wearing a name tag!)” I don’t think so, you weenies. If you imagine your pronoun puckering is helping anyone who doesn’t already fit in, you’re wrong. All you’re doing is emphasizing your tedious normality and savoring those sweet, sweet self-awarded “ally” cookies.
Honestly, did anyone, before last night, ever think of using pronouns other than she/her/hers to refer to Kamala Harris? It’s nothing but blatant pandering and virtue signaling at this point, people. Please stop drinking that Kool-Aid and spare the rest of us your foolishness.
If triggering emotions is the highest prize, and negative emotions are easier to trigger, how could social media not make you sad? If your consumption of content is tailored by near limitless observations harvested about people like you, how could your universe not collapse into the partial depiction of reality that people like you also enjoy? How could empathy and respect for difference thrive in this environment?
To keep the internet free — while becoming richer, faster, than anyone in history — the technological elite needed something to attract billions of users to the ads they were selling. And that something, it turns out, was outrage. As Jaron Lanier, a pioneer in virtual reality, points out, anger is the emotion most effective at driving “engagement” — which also makes it, in a market for attention, the most profitable one. By creating a self-perpetuating loop of shock and recrimination, social media further polarized what had already seemed, during the Obama years, an impossibly and irredeemably polarized country.
“The Internet Apologizes…” by Noah Kulwin, 4/13/2018
Seriously, this story first came up in what, 2012? You’ve had 6 years to hire some brilliant strategist to plan a response, and this is the best you could do? Even though I am just nobody, let me do you the solid of a prepared statement.
“The family story of my grandparents getting married despite parental opposition has a lot of personal meaning for me, even though there’s no evidence it’s true. I was wrong to claim Native American heritage based on that story, without investigating first. I compounded that mistake by being defensive when it was pointed out to me, and by refusing to listen to some women who wanted to help me understand the issues involved more deeply. Unlike some of my colleagues on the left, I do not believe that a person can claim any biological or cultural identity they’d like. And unlike some of my colleagues on the right, I do not believe that Native people get special advantages because of their ethnicity or tribal affiliation — quite the opposite, in fact. I won’t be discussing this issue in interviews or answering questions about it going forward, though I will consider all communications about it from my constituents as I work to represent them all to the best of my ability.”
Now was that so hard?