When you write weekly columns, they sometimes write themselves, and the words flow. Other times you have a message to share but have no idea how to get there. This is one of “those” columns.

As a fat, older, white guy, even thinking about race means I’m the Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoon. I have the nagging feeling that either I’m about to go off the edge of a cliff or a piano is about to drop on my head.

The Internet is boiling over because of a YouTube video by “Dilbert” comic strip creator Scott Adams. He comments on a poll that shows 53 percent of blacks agree with the statement “I am OK with white people,” while 47 percent say they are not or aren’t sure. Adams added, “if nearly half of all blacks are not okay with white people – according to this poll, not according to me, according to this poll, that’s a hate group. That’s a hate group, and I don’t want anything to do with them. And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from Black people.”

Those are bad comments. Bad enough to cause newspapers to drop “Dilbert” at warp speed. In addition, the strip’s distributor Andrews McMeel Universal announced it severed its relationship with Adams. Soon, Adams tweeted that his publisher for non-Dilbert books canceled his upcoming book. 

That’s what nearly all news accounts will tell you about the incident. They won’t tell you that the “Coffee with Scott Adams” video posted on February 21st is 70 minutes long. Adams talks about race throughout the entirety and is constantly walking a tightrope. 

Many will find Adams racist from start to finish, but there is nuance in the points he tries to make. Other statements he makes include:

  • “Generalities don’t apply to all people. I hope you know that.”
  • “Things have gotten so bad in black American communities, in my opinion, because of systemic racism.”
  • “Remember that was in context. If you hear it out of context, it’s completely different.”

What he said was stupid and insensitive. But doesn’t the fact that in the survey, 47 percent of black Americans don’t think it’s OK to be white means that we need more discussions about race relations going both ways? 

What bothers me are the double standards. What if somebody who is black had said the same thing about whites? We’ll never know because nobody will ever ask the question: “It’s OK to be black.” Even asking the question would be; racist.

Just over a week ago, CNN anchor Don Lemon made comments about women that were remarkably insensitive and stupid. Yet Lemon wasn’t canceled. Why?

There’s no denying that white men have roamed the earth at the top of the food chain for thousands of years. Some handicap is fair play. But today, the double standard is entirely out of whack. 

Biden irritated some when he picked a VP based on constituency rather than competency. The trend continued with picks like Pete Buttigieg and Karin Jean-Pierre – also chosen for what boxes they check, not the skills they bring. 

Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, is the most populated in Minnesota. The county’s library system frequently offers classes. Imagine my excitement upon learning they had a course in carving spoons from a fresh tree using Nordic carving techniques! As quickly as I experienced “the thrill of victory,” I suffered “the agony of defeat” because the instructions specifically said: “Please do not register if you are a white-bodied person.”

To my knowledge, the “error” did not result in anybody getting canceled. The updated ad states that BIPOC (an acronym referring to “black, indigenous, and people of color:) are encouraged to sign up but doesn’t specifically tell “white-bodied” people to stay away. Now we know the code. When a job posting reads, “Minorities, LGTBQ+ encouraged to apply, does it also mean, “white-bodied person need not apply?”

Sorry if this fat, older white guy quotes the “Dream” speech, but eventually, we need to get to where we’re all “judged by the content of our character, and not the color of our skin.” 

In contemporary American society, nobody would dream of doing to blacks and Hispanics what is routinely done to whites and Asians.

For example, Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Relief plan gave billions in loan forgiveness to black, Hispanic, Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian American, or Pacific Islander farmers or ranchers. After a federal judge blocked the program, Congress added a version without reference to race to last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.

In Providence, Rhode Island, there are accusations of civil rights violations by the city’s public school district. A loan forgiveness program that is only open to newly and recently hired non-white teachers is being called racially discriminatory. 

This Providence Public School District is being challenged by the Legal Insurrection Foundation (LIF), a non-profit group devoted to the fair treatment of all persons without regard to race or ethnicity. 

Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson founded LIF. The group’s guiding principle is that there is no “good” form of racism, and the remedy for racism never is more racism. More information and a slew of additional cases are on its website, equalprotect.org.

Not everybody agrees with Mr. Jacobson. Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, and authority on race and discrimination, in his book “How to Be an Antiracist,” wrote: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

Kendi is a proponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Reaching beyond CRT is ESG – environmental, social, and governance. 

The idea of investing money has traditionally been to earn the highest possible returns. ESG turns that concept on its head, putting motives first. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, invests with ESG scores heavily factored in.

Now there are organized efforts against ESG. In particular, Consumer’s Research and the Heritage Foundation are pushing back. Heritage has an effective online ad

What the nation is going through is not promising for the future. Try asking any of the AI Chatbots any hard questions about race. ChatGPT is a little more polite. Microsoft’s Bing ChatBot flat-out refuses to answer a second probing question. It continues to insist on a new topic. Big Brother has arrived.

Adding race, CRT, and ESG is “woke.” Where does “woke” leave the next generation?

Adolescence is confusing in the first place. Today some teachers (I know it’s a minority) are more concerned with a social agenda than reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Kids can’t drive until they are 16. There is a national debate about preventing anybody under 21 from legally purchasing a gun, even though they can enter the military at 18. They can’t drink until they are 21, and can’t smoke until then, either. They can’t sign a legal document until 18, but as early as age 10, children are allowed to decide that they were born the wrong gender. They can’t get a haircut by themselves, let alone a tattoo, but a sex change – before they know what sex is – sure. And anybody who disagrees is alphabet-soup-phobic.

If you think something is wrong with taking pre-pubescent children to “Drag Queen Story Hour,” you’re a hater and told, “love trumps hate.” 

It’s human nature to make mistakes and occasionally put your foot in your mouth. Saying something dumb when there was no ill intent shouldn’t lead to getting canceled or the end of a career, whether it’s Don Lemon, Scott Adams, or anybody else. The country needs one set of standards. If it’s not acceptable to say regarding blacks, it should be equally wrong to say about whites or any other race. It’s time to live up to Dr. King’s Dream of judging people by the content of their character. 

Andy Bloom is president of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT and WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc. and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at andy@andybloom.com or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.

10 thoughts on “Andy Bloom: Woke society and cancel culture harm us all”

  1. Mr. Bloom,

    These issues are as old as time. I like Morgan Freedman’s suggestion to Mike Wallace on “60 Minutes”: “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, ‘I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.’ Hear what I’m saying?”
    Reacquaint yourself with John Locke’s “Toleration.” The English translation from Latin – basic contents are listed underneath. Become your own boss so you don’t have to obey 20 something-old HR lunatics. Faith, Hope, and Love. Press on!
    1: The insincerity of the zealots
    2: The role of the civil magistrate
    3: What is a church?
    4: The limits on toleration
    5: The magistrate’s role in all this:
    6: Church and state: forms of worship
    7: Idolatry
    8: Church and state: articles of faith
    9: Individual conscience
    10. What should not be tolerated
    11: Gatherings
    12: Heresy and schism

    Mike Sweeney
    Havertown, PA

  2. These are private companies making their own decisions. Pretty sure that’s exactly what the constitution intended when it forbid the GOVERNMENT from restricting speech.

    The Right: “We NEEd TO StoP PoliCInG SPeeCH”

    Also the Right: “Isn’t it great that career politician Ron DeSantis is using the power of the government to punish private businesses because he disagrees with their political stances?”

    The Right: “CanCEl CulTurE is RUinIng AmeRICa”

    Also the Right: We need to cancel Hersheys because I don’t like their m&ms.

    The Right: “pEOPlE NEeD TO be ExpOSed TO PoliTIcal VIewS they DISAgree WIth”

    Also the Right: “We need to overrule parents and local school boards and make statewide proclamations about what teachers are and aren’t allowed to teach and what books they’re not allowed to have”

    The Right: “THe RighT are VicTIMs who aRE being SiLENced By the MEDiA”

    Also the Right: “Isn’t it wonderful that Elon Musk is personally banning journalists and users from Twitter for the crime of… publishing PUBLICLY AVAILABLE data”

    1. Cicero-

      You’re comment – which is not something that was forced upon you to make- shows just how uncredited, brainwashed and dumb you have let yourself become.

      Everyone should view all of your comments through the lense of how willfully obtuse you are at ignoring this well documented issue of racism and discrimination towards white people, white males particularly, and the inability to discuss these issues democratically as a result of speech and thought oppression from the left.

      1. You’ve addressed exactly zero of the hypocrisies I’ve brought up. But I do like how you simultaneously label me “dumb” and “brainwashed” while playing the white male victim card and bemoaning the loss of the ability to discuss issues civily (fwiw I’m a white male too. So are many of the people Elon musk has been censoring on Twitter.)

      2. Also, I invite you to go through my comments and notice that I’ve never labeled other commenters “dumb” or “brainwashed” or anything like that because I don’t believe that name calling and personal attacks help us discuss issues democratically.

  3. While I applaud your efforts to not name call and just say dumb things, dumb is dumb.

    Your issues are incorrect in some cases and also worth discussing. But these articles have nothing to do with those issues. Conflating the two is a dumb and lazy intellectual slide by someone who isn’t able to keep focus on a specific issue being discussed.

    Your obvious passion for proving Republicans are bad overwhelms any effort to pawn yourself off as civil

  4. In the US in 2021, 1,138 children between ages 6 to 17 received puberty blockers OUT OF 50.7 MILLION. 282 had top surgery OUT OF 2.62 MILLION ages 13-17.
    Stop trying to make this a thing.

    1. You don’t provide a source, so I have no idea where you got those numbers from, “no.” But you’re very clever. I see what you did there. Nothing to worry about because it’s really a small number. Well, mass shootings (defined as four or more people killed at the same event, not including the shooter), because in 2021, there were 690 across the nation of over 325 million people of all ages, killing 1,258 teens (12-17) according to the Gun Violence Archive. Should people stop trying to make that a thing too?

  5. To try to quote Mark Twain: “Don’t argue with stupid, it only drags you down to that level at which they will win because they have a lifetime of experience.” Since this is Philadelphia: B. Franklin famously said: “Everyone is born ignorant, but it takes a great deal of effort to remaine that way.”

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