An American Outrage

American Outrage of the moment is a guy on a cover, „He is currently being shamed for being uninformed, for being a normal teenager.“ Actually, he is shamed for being white and being male and Esquire daring to put a white male on a cover of a magazine for men, daring to write down what he actually is: An American Boy. This is our world now.

The NYTimes‘ article about the mess, as fair as this piece may be, adds to injury by inviting a trans ex-conservative to defend the cause, supposedly to show that even the weirdest combination of identity markers is able to, you know, behave like a decent human being and maybe to balance out the space that a white boy on a cover is inhabiting. I wish they would just give a pass on this dangerous identity nonsense. This is so in your face it hurts the message and some old white fart would’ve been more honest, but that’s just me.

I also want to talk about the first sentence in her closing remarks: „Digital shaming is arguably the only punishment that does not have a statute of limitations.“ This is 100% correct and we should start to think about the legal consequences of public shaming on the web. Where public shaming offline is limited by local boundaries, economics, geographics and the natural limits of offline social bonds, on the web this shaming process is potentially endless. Therefore the damage done to any individual caught in that process is, too, infinite and constitutes a lifelong punishment even for the mildest of offenses. This is highly unethical, goes against human rights and the dignity of the individual. Everyone participating in these viral outrage mobs should be made aware of this and we need to think about legal implications of these processes.

New York Times: Esquire’s Cover Boy and Our Culture of Shame – I’m a trans woman living in Brooklyn. And I have tremendous empathy for the conservative teen in Wisconsin.

Things are far worse for Americans younger than me — those who don’t know a world without the internet.

The one on my mind this week is Ryan Morgan, a 17-year-old from West Bend, Wis. He’s the cover boy of the latest issue of Esquire — the subject of a story called “An American Boy” by Jennifer Percy. Morgan is a white, middle-class teenager growing up in a conservative home with parents who support President Trump. He’s a sneakerhead who loves video games and the Green Bay Packers. He hates how politics are dividing his friendships. “Last year was really bad.” he tells Esquire. “I couldn’t say anything without pissing someone off.”

In Wisconsin, white people account for 87.3 percent of the population. In the 2016 election, President Trump took all of the state’s 10 electoral votes. Ryan Morgan may not be the American boy some want, but he is the American boy who is.

Still, his presence in Esquire sparked rage online. Zara Rahim, a spokeswoman for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, called out Esquire for running the story during Black History Month. “Imagine this same ‘American Boy’ headline with someone who looks like Trayvon talking about what it’s like to have your mother sit you down to tell you how to stay alive,” she wrote on Twitter. Others echoed the complaint. […]

Digital shaming is arguably the only punishment that does not have a statute of limitations. Do we really want to live in a culture like this? Where no one has the room to grow or change or become a new version of him or herself? I’d like to think that the differences between me in 2019 and me in 2004 is a sign that we all can. The question is whether we can give one another the generosity to do so.

And I hate that the illiberal left makes me agree with Fox News:

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