The Rock Does Not Need Your Whitesplaining. None of Us Do.

I’m fed up with white liberal respect people of color what we should say, think and feel.

As one longtime Latino columnist, I give my opinion for a living, and it’s part of the job description that you’ll never be able to please everyone. This has led to many things I have clearly seen for more than three decades, often due to despise white libertarians will talk to me because they believe they are better people who care about my people more than i do.

I thought of an exchange, and it happened before I even got into the professional opinion business. When I was a student at Harvard, I openly confronted Cesar Chavez of United Farm workers. I come from the same area of ​​Central California where much of UFW’s legendary history was written. It was my insight then and now that UFW – starting in the 1980s – strayed from its original mission of organizing farm workers to focus on marketing boycotts of grapes to white libertarians in the Northeast.

Chavez was angry at being challenged, and we had a tense exchange. In attendance was Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of my hero – Robert F. Kennedy – who then came up to me, stuck his finger in my face and scolded me for my transgression. “Which side is you?” she asked scornfully.

I imagine that, right now, The Rock is relatable. Even as one of the most successful action movie stars in the world, half-black, half-Samoan Dwayne Johnson is not immune to being sabotaged by white saviors.

As Johnson recently learned, he is not free to think for himself or to express opinions that are not approved in advance by the moral umpires who represent the most ethical of us.

The man who brought himself down at The Rock is a bestselling author and freedom activist Don Winslow. During the dark days of the Trump years, Winslow began engaging in social commentary by political tweets and produced short videos of current events, greatly increasing his following in the process.

Last week, Winslow informed Johnson that he did not have the freedom to publicly express his support, admiration or fondness for controversial podcaster Joe Rogan. This is the basic story that explains how we got here.

The comedian and commentator who hosts the hugely popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience has been criticized over the past few months for making inaccurate claims about COVID-19 and vaccinations. Rogan — whose podcast episodes have been downloaded 11 million times — allegedly spent substantial airtime on dubious vaccine critics citing questionable “research” .

This angered Rogan’s critics, who said he was “spreading misinformation” to the masses and blamed him for contributing to the deaths of more than 900,000 Americans from the virus. coronavirus.

Broadcasting lies and half-truths doesn’t hurt Rogan’s bottom line. In 2020, he signed a multi-year, $100 million deal with Spotify.

In protest over Spotify’s tie-up with Rogan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the Sweden-based audio streaming and media service provider.

In response, Rogan posted a 10 minute video on his Instagram account on January 31, in which he tried to explain himself and promised to do even better in the future when broadcasting a more diverse range of opinions.

“If I offended you, I’m sorry,” Rogan told his 14 million followers in the video. “I am not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial. I never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”

However, the podcaster also denied that he spread misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.

“The problem I have with the term disinformation, especially today, is that a lot of what we thought of as disinformation not so long ago has now been accepted as fact,” he said. speak.

Clearly impressed by the sentiment expressed, Johnson posted a supportive comment on Rogan’s Instagram account which read: “Great here, brother. It’s perfect.

That seemingly innocuous comment turned out to be offensive to the benevolent policeman, and this is where the story gets nasty — a story involving perhaps the ugliest and most provocative word in the English language. Brother.

After singer-songwriter India Arie posted on social media on February 3 a movie montage Rogan has said the N word more than 20 times on his podcast over the past 12 years and even joked about the movie at one point. Planet of the monkeys and Negro neighborhoods, Winslow saw an opportunity to tune Johnson with a tweet.

“You are a hero to many, and using your platform to protect Joe Rogan, a guy who has used and laughed at using the N word dozens of times, is a tremendous use of power. your horror,” Winslow wrote on Twitter. “Have you really heard this man’s many racist statements about Black people?”

There has to be a special and concentrated form of chutzpah for a white man to even dare to claim that he is more interested in “The Negro” than in an actual Negro.

However, Johnson responded politely, retweet Winslow: “I hear you are like everyone else here 100%. I didn’t know about (Rogan’s) N-word usage before my comment, but now I’ve learned to narrate his full story. Learning moment for me. ”

Rogan apologized for using the N word. He should too.

This is a time of learning for everyone. Winslow seems to see Johnson as having some magical social media “power” that he wants to work with. But the writer has 770,000 Twitter followers, a huge platform that he can use however he likes.

The point is, in a cancellation culture, what goes around often comes around. Think of a popular journalist plunging into a male politician experiencing a #MeToo moment, only to then face his own accusations. These days, it’s a long list.

Now Winslow should try to live up to the standard he sets and use his substantial soapbox to apologize for his own hypocritical behavior. Turns out, many better books by the writer Free throw around “N-words.”

As a Mexican-American, a particular passage from his book Savagesrefers to Mexicans who are “modest, respectful of (N-word) taco.”

Mr. Winslow, consider this a learning moment. You may be a fiction writer, and the characters’ words are not your own, but your crude prose can be interpreted as “a terrible use of your powers”. That’s what happens when you decide to take other people’s words into account – you’ll inevitably be scrutinized as well. That is fair.

It’s not enough to say you want people of color to be free. You can’t legally call yourself a libertarian until you let them be free friend.

Winslow – and will be a speech cop like him – should step back. Let The Rock be The Rock, white libertarians, and let the rest of us be.

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