Logan Paul Controversy Shows People Don't Know How To Deal With Ignorance

Logan Paul Controversy Shows People Don't Know How To Deal With Ignorance

Logan Paul came under fire for saying he'd "go gay for a month." In the outrage that ensued, we saw how people missed the mark on what could've been a teaching moment.

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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.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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