The last decade of social justice vigilance has been the most depressing social era of my adulthood. We have been living in an era where speaking one’s thoughts must be rethought many times over as this current era depends upon our having collective murdered our sense of humour. Yet, somehow there are willing actors in our society who gleefully run about policing any “non-acceptable speech.” Nothing was as depressing to me to read about last year’s incident at the Oscar’s concerning Kevin Hart where Hart was asked to apologize to the “gay community” for a joke. The internet was ablaze with “share this if you think that…” pronouncements about how Kevin Hart was the latest mass murderer.
As a member of the community about whom these comments were ostensibly directed, I read them and had a laugh out of exasperation for what seems to be the insurmountable collective ignorance of now my people’s inability to understand joke from reality, hyperbole from menace, words from violence. And nowhere have we seen such a posturing of purity politics than social media in recent years. Goodness forbid all of our social media posts are put in a grand “Rolodex of sin” whereby at any moment we are called out for having misspoken, mis-thought and worse, having enunciated a question.