The hell of self-defeating hypocrisy

Dear President Trump,

I’d like to continue to say “la, la, la” to myself and not think about Joy Reid, her old blog, and her apology. Basically it pretty much sucks to have people on “my side” mess up and behave in ways that show ugly bias and poor judgment. Things would be so much simpler and easier if you all were always the only ones saying mean things, lying, being insensitive, and hypocritical. Alas, however, this is real life and we don’t get to have such neat narratives; people all along the political spectrum behave badly and it won’t do any good to indulge in hypocrisy and rationalize it just because that’s what the other side does.

I realize this likely won’t make me very popular among a lot of left-leaning people, but I’m not willing to give Joy Reid a pass on her statement that she “genuinely does not believe (she) wrote those hateful things.” It sounds like self-protective double-speak to me and I wouldn’t buy it for a second if you or Ryan or McConnell said it. Although I think on balance Reid has been and will continue to be a force for good, I think she is letting herself and the American public down by not owning up to having written those posts. Plus, I don’t see how it helps us move forward if those of us who she was bashing say “hey, it’s ok that she said crappy things about us and that she lied and only owned up to some of what she said, I’m just so glad she’s taken such a brave first step in confronting her homophobia and transphobia” – where does that get us? To me, that gets us admitted to the hell of self-defeating hypocrisy so many evangelicals find themselves in having given you passes on your abominable behavior towards women and adultery when those family issues are at the heart of their belief system. No thanks.

Maybe there will be more chapters to this story and our flawed, but extremely likeable protagonist will step up and admit she wrote all those posts. She has already said she is not the same person now that she was when she wrote the ones she admits to having written, and tomorrow or the next day she could say she is not the same person she was when she chose not to take responsibility for rest of the hateful statements. That would be huge.

May we be safe to reckon honestly with our past mistakes.
May we be willing to keep working at this reckoning until we get it right.
May we be healthy and strong even when we don’t want to be.
May we not to indulge in double standards even when we desperately want to.

Tracy Simpson

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