Scapegoating and makin’ change



Pet peeves are interesting. I don’t really have anything too strongly that I have a real issue with. Except, actually, maybe people not being sure of themselves. Which is what I just demonstrated in the previous sentence. I get annoyed at the sound of people coughing, really dry, dry coughs. I’m afraid that this post is going to turn into one giant rampage about things I hate, which I don’t want it to become.

Thinking about pet peeves, things that annoy me, I think about recent news of this umich kid Jake, who was caught on camera verbally abusing an Uber driver. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. Over Facebook there had been a variety of responses– a lot of people furious, “disgusted” at him for his behavior. And his behavior was awful. But over the day today, I heard a few people say some pitying comments about him, how this one event in his life is going to follow him for a while now, as it’s immortalized on the internet. I hated the fact that people were pitying him.

But, then I read a Facebook post from one of my FB friends, which basically described how those sharing the video and calling him out for his behavior was just “bullying the bully,” which, in the end, does no good, and that we should stop assuming this self-righteousness as we criticize this guy for his actions, but then don’t take any “real” action to make change in the larger governmental and society systems and on people who actually have power. I’m still forming my opinion on this. I do agree that no one benefits from extreme bullying, trying to demonize one person and creating a scapegoat out of him. But, at the same time, I also believe that it’s still important to call out classist, racist, homophobic situations, to bring these (unfortunately) norms of our culture to light.

One thought to “Scapegoating and makin’ change”

  1. My pet peeve right now is the fact I can’t comment with gifs because this one deserves a solid “YASS” gif. I like and understand the point one of your FB friends made. I’m still struggling how I feel about it too though. On one hand they were very right in that we shouldn’t bully the bully because it doesn’t result in any “real” change. But on the other I almost beg to differ. This kid is going to lose a lot of opportunities from that bullshit he pulled and tbh he deserves to. I agree it’s important to call people out for being terrible. The more we just idly sit by and allow it, the more it’s going to happen. Idk, it’s a complicated subject.

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