Call-out culture can be toxic

It’s important to let people know when they are hurting someone, perpetuating harmful stereotypes or being unreasonable. Unfortunately, we as a society don’t allow for much in the way of personal growth. We’re always out to “call someone out,” or “cancel” someone, but who exactly does that help?

There are only two results that can come from this: the person in question becomes defensive and doubles down on their behavior, or they fix it. Otherwise, correcting it doesn’t seem to matter because once it’s decided that a person is “problematic” they carry that label for years. Or the incident is buried until the person is doing well, and the Twitter hivemind decides it’s time to bring it up again.

This tactic shouldn’t be used on those who have learned their lesson. This tactic should be reserved for the particularly inoffensive. Everyone’s doing their best, yet we hold celebrities to an unrealistic standard. Then, within the same breath if we like a famous person, chances are we’re defending some heinous thing they’ve done. Isn’t it hypocritical to defend some and not defend others considering we’ve all said and done nonsense?

This is easily the most infuriating aspect of call out culture. Normal everyday people are offended by something a celebrity did 15 years ago, but won’t call out their friends and family for doing the exact same thing.

When you call out Justin Timberlake for cultural appropriation, are you also calling out your non-black friend who wears box braids and says the N-word every third word?

Human beings are complex and multidimensional  — good luck trying to find someone who hasn’t said something questionable in their lifetime. And this might be born from a hypocritical mouth, considering my own track record with being offended by the words and actions of famous people. But at least I’m aware enough to pull back when needed and it’s more than can be said for others who waste their days “cancelling” people on social media and hopping on ostracism-bound bandwagons without context or correct information.

Everyone’s social beliefs are a little problematic and while I think bad behavior deserves to be called out, I reject the idea that a good person who has learned from their mistakes must keep apologizing for doing something ignorant in their past. It’s a good thing to call out people who think it’s ok to spew slurs, but I’m not going to reprimand someone who said an ethnic slur once when they were 15.

Time can be better spent chastising people for legitimately questionable morals and ethics.

This isn’t about those who get caught saying something and apologizes only to save their career. This is for those who have done their share of genuinely apologizing and taking action to prove they aren’t garbage people who set out to purposely harm others.

I’m willing to be offended when truly heinous things are said or done, but I’m not here to senselessly call out people for mistakes they’ve already made up for.