Nov 122012

Racist Teens Forced to Answer for Tweets About the ‘Nigger’ President

I have some mixed feelings about this. Obviously it is good that they are being held to account, we can’t tolerate this kinda shit in our society. Honestly, it’s probably best for them to get this smack down right now, while they are still young and can learn these lessons without long-lasting effects on their lives. Right now they just get disapproval and reprimands from adults, once they’re considered of majority they can lose a lot more.

An acquaintance commented that “since their legal names were used, that’s going to suuuuck when future employers look up their names for jobs, or college applications.”

I think this is one of the things people fear about radical transparency. In a transparent society, people will have to be much more understanding and empathetic. I recognize that they are just stupid high school kids, probably just acting out. They must change, and demonstrate they’ve changed, but for this to be held against them for decades is unreasonable. No one is perfect. When people recoil in fear of a transparent society, this is what they’re afraid of. “I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve managed to hide them fairly well. Thank goodness no one knows how I stupid I was.” The secrecy is a shield so we can all go on pretending we’re perfect to each other, and most people are afraid that once their shield of secrecy is broken, they’ll be torn apart by the ravenous hounds of society.

But those hounds only exist because they have shields that let them pretend to be perfect as well. Transparency breaks ALL shields. When everyone’s flaws are exposed, people stop throwing stones. While his homosexuality was a secret, Ted Haggard struck with fury at all those who were openly gay, cloaking himself in secrecy. Now he’s open and happy (or happier anyway), and that minority has one less zealot persecuting them. A google search for a kid’s name with idiot remarks like these won’t automatically disqualify him if the employer knows his own stupid high school fuck-ups are out there for everyone to see as well.

The problem is self-righteousness, which is fueled by hypocrisy. People seem to think the defense is to hide everything they do that someone might criticize, to live in the shadows. But playing defense only allows the aggressors to make the rules. The solution isn’t to be more hidden and wrap yourself in a straight-jacket of secrecy, it is to have transparency pierce every aspect of society so that hypocritical posturing of righteousness will become impossible.

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