The cancel culture has come for Betty White.
Hulu took down a 1988 episode of The Golden Girls, where Rose and Blanche wear mud masks, and Betty White's Character says, "We're not black." Is that joke problematic? I leave that up to each individual viewer to decide-even if Hulu won't-but what is not problematic is the topic of the episode. In a true case of not seeing the forest from the trees, the plot of this episode "Mixed Blessing," is the son of Dorothy wanting to marry an older black woman. Dorothy is against it because she is so much older, and the fiance''s family is against it because the groom is white.
The Golden Girls S03E23 - Mixed Blessings The Golden Girls S03E23 - Mixed Blessings.
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For 1988 it was an episode that tackles, racism, ageism, and is pro the mixing of the races. You would think this is an episode those who stand for racial equality would praise. But it has a mud mask joke, that could be viewed as blackface, and we cannot tolerate any slight to the cause. But isn't the cause racial equality and the end of prejudice? Well, while that is what many of us are campaigning for, the architects of this movement aim for something a little more extreme. A high purity test for those to show loyalty to the cause, and zero tolerance or forgiveness for those who fall short. A fundamental revolution of the status quo, a reboot of the vision for America. A cultural Marxism, where those whose opinions differ will be silenced and sent to the gulag.
Cultural Marxism can mean a lot of things, so let us first dispel what it will not mean for this essay. It does not mean anything to do with the conspiracy of Jews from the Frankfurt School planning to infiltrate colleges and universities with their agenda. Or that postmodernists have slowly been controlling the media and higher forms of education to bring us to this apex. Pretty much any form of long-winded conspiracy to bring about some type of one world government is not the type of nonsense I plan to entertain. The cultural Marxism we are seeing before us, has grown organically from multiple factors, each almost independent of the other.
Factors like a generation removed from the boogey man of the Soviet Union. The horrors of the communist state not ingrained into their memory and development, allows images like white kids wearing Joseph Stalin shirts at a Black Lives Matter rally. How misshaped can one's view of history be to wear a shirt of a mass murderer with a death toll over twenty million, to a rally whose goal is how much lives matter. For the most part propaganda is a bad thing, but those raised with the propaganda of the cold war believed in values of freedom and the First Amendment. In the onslaught of those cancelled and taken off the air for "problematic" content, almost no one is arguing the First Amendment to defend them. The First Amendment in the 20th century has been used to defend music, video games, and porn. Now it is never brought up as a defense. Why have artists suddenly avoided using this defense? Because this defense means nothing to the younger generation. What the younger generation values is diversity, equality, and being able to feel safe. In their mind your right to say what you want, does not trump their right to not feel hurt. There is not an internal calculation that yes, they may feel offended or hurt from time to time, but it is worth it to maintain the power of the First Amendment. They undervalue how important this amendment has been for the progress of all maligned groups in the history of this country from abolitionists, to suffragettes, to the civil rights movement, gay rights, and even to the BLM movement today. Yes, it is important, but not at the expense of their respect. The right to offend, does not outweigh their right to not be offended.
Now for the sake of clarity, I am not referring to hate speech. No one should have to tolerate the vileness from the mouths of white supremacists, and bigots, or vitriol to that degree. The problem is the younger generation seems to not be able to tolerate any degree of disrespect. They cannot ignore jokes, faux pas, and "problematic" content. It is why older generations call them soft-skinned, and instead of proving their toughness they ask for safe-spaces. This phenomenon is not their fault. It was developed by how they were raised. Earlier civilizations were an honor culture, if your honor was insulted, you must respond. After the concept of private property became more widespread, we became more of a dignity culture. Generations like the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and some Millennials believed most slights are best ignored-"sticks and stones may break my bones," etc. The iGen and late Millennials were raised in an over-supervised childhood. Whereas earlier generations just left the house to go play outside, now, children have "play dates" were even their own parents come over. When faced with bullies, earlier generations either chose to way of honor cultures, and stood up to them, or if the transgression was slight, behaved like the dignity culture and ignored it. However, today children subscribe to neither and cede their power to authority. A culture of victimhood where they announce the transgression to the proper authority, however slight, and hope they handle it.
Kids today are no longer taught to stand up to the bully, but to report it and we have anti-bullying campaigns in schools. Ever proving true the axiom that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, we have a generation now that neither faces their own battles, or chooses to ignore them, but instead rushes to the power of authority to handle any transgression regardless of the degree. Is it hard to see that these same children when they reached college would ask for safe spaces, report every slight microaggression, and protest for professors to be removed if they said anything they had a problem with? And now we are seeing what happens when they grow up and enter adulthood. They report to HR any slight they feel, and demand people be cancelled if they said something they found offensive. We foolishly thought they would grow out of this and for lack of a better word "toughen up". They were never taught to balance if insulted should they confront and stand up for themselves, or to disregard it. Instead they were raised to report everything. The type of populace an authoritarian Marxist state would love to have.
So, with the fear of communists states nonexistent, liberty not valued as high as security, raised to report every transgression to authority, and of course a large gap in economic disparity, you can see how Marxism can appear attractive to this group? Now this is not referring to people who want more social programs. Wanting universal healthcare or supporting Bernie Sanders does not make one a Marxist. Marx subscribed to conflict theory, that history is a class struggle, a struggle of the oppressor and the oppressed class. Traditional Marxists defined it by economic terms-the bourgeois and the proletariat. The cultural Marxist defines it by class identity (race, gender, sexual orientation). The cis-white-straight male is the oppressor, and all other groups are the oppressed. Intersectionalism is then used to dictate which of the "lesser" groups oppresses the other. It is why a black comedian will not be called on for jokes about white people, but if he makes jokes about the gay community, he cannot host the Oscars (Kevin Hart). A white woman can attack the patriarchy all she wants, but if she expresses the view that she does not consider transwomen the same as cis women she must be cancelled (J.K. Rowling). It has been argued that there is a difference punching up than down. But it is still punching, and to the cultural Marxist only the oppressed class can throw the blows.
If this seems like a contradiction you are right. Marxism has always been loaded with contradictions. The content of your character does not matter as much as the identity of your character. Their morality is not based on what was done, but who did it. Currently any example of white people wearing dark make up to appear black is a serious transgression with people careers threatened, regardless when it occurred. So, it would appear the morality of these Marxists is that wearing make up to impersonate another race is not appropriate and should never be tolerated. Yet nothing is said of the movie "White Chicks", where two black male actors paint their skin white and dress up as women to poke fun of a race and a sex. The lesson to process here is not that it is wrong, but only wrong for certain groups, again punch up and not down. It is the same reason why any white comedian telling a racist or "problematic" joke, might fear their career can be ruined even if they made the joke years ago, yet no black comedian is worried about any anti-white jokes they made in the nineties on Def Comedy Jam. In fact, it seems as long as you punch up, you can say almost anything. Dana Schwartz tweeted that all white men should be banned from teaching literature, and all men should be banned from writing. You would think a tolerant society would be repulsed by these racial and sexist statements. Nope, the Marxists cheered it on. It is problematic now if straight white males take the role of a gay character or a cis-person lands the role of a trans character, yet no one has a problem with Neil Patrick Harris or other gay actors playing straight roles. White people quit jobs of them voicing cartoons of people of color. After I heard this, I saw an ad for Hamilton.
There is such a sliding scale of examples, that some may feel noble, like leaving a role for an oppressed group for an actor from that same group. While at the other end, anti-white hate speech like Dana Schwartz seems productive to no one, yet does not get flagged on twitter. The moral code here is obvious, it is okay for the oppressed group to do it, but not the oppressor. Some of you may feel allowing one group to do it, and not another is still a form of racism. Well interesting fact, the very definition of racism is now being lobbied to no longer mean an antagonistic way one thinks of another race. The new definition believes only white people can be racist, because to be racist it requires power. Literally making it so that this vile sin can now only be committed by the oppressor class.
This is cultural Marxism, where actions itself are not good or bad, but it depends on who is doing it. But is BLM a Marxist movement? Millions of people support BLM, and I would be surprised if even three percent of their supporters are Marxists. Most of the people who support BLM are good people, and it is a great cause. Who the hell should be against unarmed black men being killed by the force sworn to protect us? Who watched George Floyd's death and said he deserved it? Every decent human should be for the cause. But we must remember history. The first of three steps in an authoritarian regime is that great idea that garners public support. For Hitler it was to reclaim Germany's glory, The Third Reich. Lenin/Stalin was for the workers to rise up and get their fair share. Even Trump offered to Make America Great Again. Is asking for the police to respect the lives of black people the great idea to sucker us into a larger Marxist goal? Far too soon to say, but a look at the women behind BLM might give us a reason to caution. Co-founder Patrisse Cullors said herself and co-founder Alicia Garza are trained Marxists. Cullors was a prote'ge' of Eric Mann of the Western Underground, who the FBI would deem a terrorist organization. They have praised communism. Even an overview of the BLM webpage mentions other, more Marxist centric goals. Most of their points argue for equality, again ideas we should all embrace, but they admit they are radical, want to disrupt the Western style nuclear family and call their followers comrades. We are not calling them Marxists; they are admitting to it.
But even if the three founders of BLM are Marxists, does that make the movement itself Marxist? Well, the second of three steps authoritarians do after we are sold on the great idea, is to unfairly target who is to blame for preventing that great idea. Some of this is obvious scapegoating with racism and lies, like Hitler blaming the Jews for the economic collapse of Germany, and Trump blaming Mexican immigrants for job loss in America. However, sometimes the blame is justified like Lenin blaming the bourgeois and aristocracy for the plight of workers, and the American colonists blaming the English crown for unfair taxes and lack of freedom. The BLM cause is just. BLM is not targeting every white person; they are targeting racism and racists. Their cause is justified. But we must be careful because a cause if justified, does not mean it cannot crumble into totalitarianism. How different would America be if after the revolution we rounded up the Tories who were loyal to the crown and committed mass murder, like the Soviets did during The Red Terror. Unfair targeting and punishment are trademarks of an authoritarian regime. Is BLM unfair in its targeting?
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