When it comes to outrage in the current times, the loudest people always feel it's justified. There seems to be a kind of satisfaction people get from posting a tweet or a YouTube comment. If they can punish someone for saying something they perceive as bigoted, they feel they've done their part. Is laziness a factor? Do the outraged have no drive to become actual political activists?
I ask myself this question after the latest Logan Paul controversy. On a recent episode of his podcast, "Impaulsive," Paul discussed his resolutions for the new year. He broke it down month by month, saying he wanted to have a "male-only March."
"It's male-only March," Paul said. "We're going to attempt to go gay for just one month."
As you can expect, this ignited a backlash among users on social media. Many were condemning Paul, claiming he was encouraging the belief that homosexuality is a choice. Some were saying he doesn't understand the seriousness of homophobia. I agree with them on the latter, but I'm not surprised. Nothing about Logan Paul's social circle or lifestyle appears related to the LGBTQ community at all. How can we expect him to have such a thing in the back of his mind?
Paul's comment appeared to be lighthearted. I don't think the trauma of conversion therapy or homeless LGBTQ youth was a motivating factor. This was coming from a straight man who doesn't think about these issues. It didn't sound to me like he was taking it that seriously. I disagree with those who call Paul a bigot or a homophobe. If Logan Paul is anything, it's ignorant. The outrage that ensued offered no way of helping LGBTQ issues. All that happened was a bunch of noise on social media. The public missed what could have been a teaching moment.
GLAAD responded to Paul on Twitter, expressing disapproval. He responded to them, admitting his "poor choice of words" and invited the organization to discuss the topic on his podcast. Many people have called on GLAAD to not go on Paul's podcast, calling his response a publicity stunt. So far, GLAAD has not publicly responded to Paul's invitation.
I don't see why GLAAD should reject Paul's invitation. This is exactly the kind of teaching moment this situation needed. Paul himself was even the one who initiated it. Even if his response was a publicity stunt for his podcast, it would still further the discussion around LGBTQ issues. Those who listened to that episode would've been educated in ways they may not have before. Plus, Logan Paul himself would've heard what they had to say.
I don't think outrage is always the best way to handle these sorts of incidents. In order to improve our world, work always needs to be done. If people think all it takes is being a keyboard warrior, they have a lot to learn. Understanding a person's intent is so important. When it goes both ways, that's how you know this could be a teaching moment. When you have Logan Paul express a desire to talk to GLAAD, this is an example of the kind of work that needs to be done.
Our desire should not be to end someone's career. Projecting unkind intent will only draw the same thing back in return. In order for things to progress, we need to have open dialogue and listen to each other. We all want to be treated fairly and that is the only way we'll achieve it.