He Went That Way: The Dirty Truth about Celebrities & Famous People Who Habitually Moralize Off the Backs of the Oppressed

Child’s PlaybookAs a kid, I saw two children playing. A girl, Terry* and her younger brother Damon*. Damon was always getting in trouble for both

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Child’s Playbook
As a kid, I saw two children playing. A girl, Terry* and her younger brother Damon*. 

Damon was always getting in trouble for bothering Terry.  Of course, he always said it was Terry. Look, Damon was like Dennis the Menace. It was hard for me to believe anything that he said.

 Until I saw what I saw. 

I was sitting down on the couch in the living room, reading a book.  The curtains on all of the front windows of the home were wide open that sunny day.  

That’s how I happened to see Terry* hit Damon* while they were in the midst of a really loud argument in the front yard.  I was still watching the action when I saw Terry lead the argument into the house the moment she saw she saw Damon’s trademark temper flare up.

I didn’t blame her.  His temper was nothing to play with.  As a matter of fact, I wanted her to put some speed on that walk. 

Just as the adults came from the back of the house to the living room to investigate, Damon reached out with both hands and pushed her forward. And that is all anyone saw.

Man, little Terry put on a performance that would easily earn her a storyline on Empire. Easily.  

Now, I know he pushed her, but it was as if there was a director somewhere in the shadows directing the scene. Little Terry played that role to perfection. I almost believed-except I saw what she did.

No one ever believed Damon.  But, after what I just saw, ever day thereafter I had my doubts.

He Went that Way!
I’m afraid that the playbook of those with high profiles, power, and influence isn’t even that sophisticated.

Some of you are old enough to remember a common storyline that was used back in the day those movies and cartoons.   

A thief would be trying to make his getaway but would encounter the cop on the street.  

Uh, oh. What was he going to do now?

In order to get away, the thief would say, “He went that way, officer.” 

Naturally, the officer would take off in the direction that the thief pointed. Meanwhile, the thief would run the other way with all of the things that he ripped off.

High profile celebrities mimic this scene often. Oh yeah. 

When they target some groups of people exclusively. You will see people praise them for “using their platform for a good cause.” 

Yes, just like the thief on the street who appears to be a “helpful American citizen”. 

Come off it. 

These people are really just covering up their own bad acts.  The more that they talk about other people the less you are talking about them. 

They are hoping that you won’t notice. 

Annnnd…….. you don’t.
And then you blame victims and Survivors for taking too long to come forward. You blame us for your lack of judgment and knowledge. 

It wasn’t our fault that you failed to notice that Bill Cosby had a habit of being extremely and exclusively judgmental of:

⦁    black single mothers who aren’t even paid a fair wage,
⦁    young black males who are unjustly criminalized,
⦁    young black women who are targeted from all sides
⦁    low-income people of color facing obstacles people act like they didn’t put there.
These are people that some people feel they have a duty and right to criticize. 
These are people that traditionally there have been no/low consequences for targeting.  
In fact, these tend to be people who are popular targets in political campaigns.

Ex: Ronald Reagan, Welfare Queen
Michael Dukkakis, Willie Horton
John McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh  

(scroll down to #6)

Revised Playbook
Lena Dunham and others seem to be doing the same thing.

1.    Wait for a rapist or a person that the people in your target audience gain popular media attention. 
2.    Speak vehemently and passionately against said person.
3.    Members of your target audience will praise you for saying speaking out and being brave.  

Except wait, didn’t YOU, write about that…? In your book?


4.    Goliath Celebrity will talk about how empowered they feel, how hard they worked to get where they are…….
5.    Optional: Goliath Celebrity may even call critics as bullies
6.    Supporters of Goliath Celebrity will appoint them to the status of hero.  They will defend their choice and their hero, for years. 
7.    Goliath Celebrity’s pals will speak out against all accusers, critics, etc. 
8.    Goliath Celebrity will receive several awards for their bravery, speaking on behalf of victims, for breathing, etc………

And, recycle.

Information You Can’t Just Google
Rape is nothing to play with. 

It is not anyone’s fundraiser, PR stunt, or comeback plan.

Rape is a separate division of hell. 

Once someone rapes you, at times your life can begin to feel as if someone is giving you a tour of hell.

It disappoints me that so many of you are choosing not to know the truth. Especially advocates, activists, experts, and organizations who are active in ending sexual violence.  

I do expect those of us who serve in this area to live up to the standards of our training, experience, knowledge, and education. 

But, who knows, perhaps this is a unifying moment. 

Perhaps it will help you to deepen our level of empathy for others who choose not to know when their heroes have issues with sexual violence. 

If people are fooled this time, especially those who do this work, it is because they want to be.

A wise professor once told me:  Don’t even bother trying to change people’s beliefs. Once someone believes something, they will change it only when they are ready to accept certain truths. 

Ronan Farrow wrote his heart out not too long ago. Survivors courageously told their stories. WE will keep fighting but at some point you do know that you have to think work too right?

*names changed

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