Actions, Consequences, and Accountability

Ed Zitron 4 min read

The discourse is once again wrapped around someone getting fired because of their bad posts, in this case actress Gina Carano’s firing by Lucasfilm over comparing being a conservative to being a jew during the holocaust.

To quote her vile screed:

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,” she wrote.

So, a few things, specifically as the son of jew, who has a big chunk of his family that was wiped from the face of the earth because of the holocaust: 𝙎𝙃𝙐𝙏 𝘿𝘼 𝙁𝙐𝘾𝙆 𝙐𝙋 .

Without getting too granular, there is a vast difference between the active victimization and demonization of jews through the media, say, through Der Stürmer, and being told to stop posting anti-semitic shit with no consequence other than people are mad at you on Twitter. Holding someone accountable for saying stuff that is vile and awful is generally the right thing to do - and this wasn’t even a case where she was really held accountable, as she has a horrible history of posting disgusting things which, up until this point had not been enough to make Disney fire her.

The vapid cancel culture debate isn’t generally about what the debate should be about, but focuses on the idea that people are being “censored” for their “beliefs.” What this usually means is that conservatives want to be free to make shitty jokes that marginalize people for their beliefs without being told to stop, which, when they are told to stop and there are consequences for not stopping, leads them to say that they are now marginalized and should be protected from people who are making them stop.

Conservatism has become the party of victimization, a childish belief that they are raging against a machine that wants to stop them having their opinions, which are oftentimes simply “I want to make fun of people and I want certain people to have less rights and choices.” It’s weird how none of these conversations seem to involve a conservative being told that they can’t discuss whatever political opinions they claim to have now - less government, I guess? Fiscal responsibility? What is conservative ideology anymore other than vague racism and restriction of people’s rights?

The reason that you don’t see this going the other way with liberals is that generally the target is not someone marginalized. Liberals aren’t attacking people for their gender, or their religious beliefs, or fighting for the right to make fun of something in the name of “free speech.” The whole “I’m just asking a question!” movement of conservative debate is entirely around dragging people into bad faith see-saws to try and elicit a flaw in their logic, to try and get away from the fact that they’re probably being bigoted in some fashion.

What They’re Actually Complaining About Is Societal Norms

Conservatives have actively mixed up censorship with the adjustment of what is and is not cool with society, except they believe it’s an attack on their free speech because they like being mean-hearted. In the same way that a lot of 90s comedy has some truly abominable shit that you don’t say anymore, society has moved to a point where, yeah, you don’t mock trans people, you don’t mock people who identify in different ways. It’s not censorship, it’s acceptance - which, allegedly, is what conservatives claim they want too. But their version of acceptance (kind of like Mitch McConnell’s idea of unity) just means “let me do what I want.”

There is a vast misunderstanding of free speech as speech without consequence, and the first amendment as a law that anyone can say what they want anywhere. The first amendment specifically refers to the government not being able to jail/fine/etc. you for freedom of speech, be able to shut down newspapers for criticizing the government, and so on. Conservatives also love free enterprise and the free market, but apparently do not like the free market and free businesses to be able to choose who they do business with for whatever reason.

Society does not “censor” someone by people independently agreeing to not work with someone because they’re a piece of shit. People choose not to hire a conservative based on the beliefs that they publicly have, which in many cases show a lack of empathy or concentration of bigotry. Plenty of Trump-loving weirdos continue to have employment, they just aren’t publicly saying “I love you Mister Trump sir thank you for everything you did” after he trashed the country and let hundreds of thousands of people die of the coronavirus. Hell, I think if you tweeted that you’d still get hired.

It is not hard to recognize what shit you don’t say, even if you believe it in your rotten little heart. Conservatives have conflated the consequences of having beliefs that they know to be hurtful with the idea of being censored, partly because they know they’re on the wrong side of history and simply do not want to be better people.

Let me simmer it down: maybe if you think that being a public conservative is such a problem you should review the reasons why people think that. Wonder why people think that all conservatives are hateful bigots? Well, perhaps you should interrogate that, and genuinely try and understand. Wonder why your friends don’t talk to you as much because you do entire Twitter threads of “just asking the questions” that are really just you trying to excuse why black people get killed by cops? Maybe it’s because there’s something inherently morally wrong about those actions. Wonder why your party keeps being associated with racism, sexism and bigotry? Perhaps you should look at history, but also like, recent history.

It’s ironic, because in a lot of these cases conservatives will challenge people by asking them to interrogate their own beliefs, but when asked to do so themselves they act as if you’ve ask them to drink poison. It’s exhausting.

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