I'm about 70% sure that Matt Damon and all of the people agreeing with his recent sexist comments are racist. I am about 60% sure that the people supporting Matt Damon in his call for "proper" outrage about sexual assault never call for "proper" outrage for people who commit blue collar crimes, more specifically, they would never call for "proper" outrage for black people who commit blue collar crimes. I'm also 100% sure that everything that I am about to say has already been written, only it wasn't Matt Damon's comments that were being scrutinized; it was another white man. Every so often, there are similar articles and blogs that are published that express what I will say in this blog. The situation may seem hopeless to some, but if I have to write a hundred of these, I will.
Before I get into my spiel, let's recap. Recently, Matt Damon decided to speak about the sexual harassment scandals that have been causing an uproar. This is just a little of what he said:
"And we live in this culture of outrage and injury, and, you know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, “Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.” You know what I mean? … The Louis C.K. thing, I don’t know all the details. I don’t do deep dives on this, but I did see his statement, which kind of, which [was] arresting to me. When he came out and said, “I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.” And I just remember thinking, “Well, that’s the sign of somebody who — well, we can work with that” … Like, when I’m raising my kids, this constant personal responsibility is as important as anything else they learn before they go off in the world".
Since then, a plethora of people, have used their social media platforms to agree with his stupid sexist comments. At the heart of their arguments is a message about love and forgiveness. It's similar to the sermon that I heard preached last Sunday. We are all sinners. We all make mistakes. We must forgive each other as God has forgiven us. In all honesty, I
would have taken this to be a beautiful message if it weren't for the fact that people only seem willing to forgive men for their "mistakes".
Why are only famous rich men allowed forgiveness? Why is it that sexual assaulters can get forgiveness but thieves can't? Time and time again I've heard that because many of the men who have sexual allegations against them were born in a "different time" they should be excused for their crimes. However, arguments that assert that people who turn to blue collar crimes, do so because the system has failed them are deemed illegitimate. Activists and politicians have been arguing for a criminal justice system that takes into account how the system has failed minorities since forever and it has fallen on deaf ears. If there is a national response, it is usually a cry for justice! Why is that not the case here? Where is the forgiveness for all of the black men in our prison systems? Where is the forgiveness for the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay?
Matt Damon argues that it isn't ethical to ostracize people for their past mistakes. It isn't moral to mess with their livelihood for their past "mistakes" because they have already paid the price. What's done in the past is in the past. According to Damon, now is the time to rehabilitate them and our culture of outrage isn't very rehabilitative. But why are pedophiles and rapist the only people who get to be rehabilitated? I wonder if Damon would also argue for companies to stop asking felonies to divulge their crime on their job application.
If you know me or if you've read my other stuff, you'd know how I would answer. Time and time again people find a way to tell oppressed groups that human rights aren't for everybody. This is just another example of this. This is just another example of people reframing the conversation so that the oppressed does not get heard, This is just another way to show women that they aren't deserving of the rights and "privileges" that they deserve. But here we go again. Here lies another black woman writing about how minorities aren't viewed as human. Who will listen? History tells us that the famous, the rich, the people in power won't.