Episode 11: Cancel Culture in Social Justice Movements, Challenging Neoliberal Identitarianism, & Restorative Justice for Traumatized Individuals with Clementine Morrigan

lindsey lockett sitting on a mid-century danish folding chair with her elbows on her knees Cancel culture has created an atmosphere heavy with hyper vigilance, people-pleasing, and self-monitoring in the nervous systems of people who are canceled and in people who are triggered and respond by canceling others. The harassment, ostracization, and cancelling of individuals creates a snowball effect — folx are canceled for doing something “wrong”, but then anyone who associates with or follows them is also canceled because they are “guilty by association”. There is so much hypocrisy involved. On the left, abolitionists believe in restorative justice and accountability in community but then also participate in using social media as a courtroom, trying and convicting their peers which results in no restorative justice and no accountability in community. Leftist culture intersects with identity and identity politics. When you add cancel culture to the equation, the diversity of the voices in all groups is lost. clementine morrigan wearing a hat with pigtail braids and a black shirt Clementine Morrigan is a writer, an ecosocialist and an anarchist. She is the author of Fucking Magic, Love Without Emergency, You Can’t Own the Fucking Stars, and The Size of a Bird. She is also the creator of the Trauma-Informed Polyamory Workshop and a cohost of the podcast Fucking Canceled

Show Notes

In this episode, Clementine and I…

  • discuss the shaming, punitive nature of social justice culture and how that plays into cancel culture
  • compare cancel culture to fundamentalist Christianity
  • explain the snowball effect of canceling, ostracizing, and harassment of cancel culture
  • discuss how cancel culture has created hyper-vigilance, self monitoring, and people-pleasing (hint: all trauma responses)
  • discuss the nervous system response, nervous system literacy, triggers, and cancel culture
  • reveal the hypocrisy of the left abolitionist beliefs and other social justice movements and cancel culture
  • dive into racial essentialism and the idea that racism is real but race is not
  • explore the individual, community, and collective trauma created by cancel culture
  • expose the lack of boundaries on social media
  • talk about restorative justice and how the climate of cancel culture doesn’t provide the compassion and community for accountability and healing
  • discuss the importance of community in nervous system literacy and distinguishing between past trauma and a current (potentially not dangerous) situation
  • examine the importance and necessity of humanizing those who have caused harm

Links

JOIN THE TRAUMA HEALERS CIRCLE

Grateful Listeners

$5

PER MONTH

  • Buy me a cup of coffee if you enjoy and benefit from the content on the Holistic Trauma Healing Podcast.
Join The Trauma Healers Circle

$29

PER MONTH

BECOME A CIRCLE MEMBER! As a member, you’ll have access to:

  • 2 bonus podcast episodes per month
  • Exclusive content
  • Monthly live Q&A Zoom call with Lindsey

Transcript

[INTRO MUSIC] LINDSEY: Hello. Welcome back. This is episode 11. I don’t know how I’ve managed to do 11 episodes of a podcast when just a couple months ago, this. The idea for this podcast didn’t even exist. So I’m so thankful that I’ve had the opportunities to interview all the amazing people that I have interviewed so far. I feel like I have the greatest job ever to just spend several hours of my week, every week, just chatting with the most freaking cool people you’ve ever met. And today’s guest is no exception. I am interviewing Clementine Morrigan today. Clementine is a writer, an ecosocialist and an anarchist. She is the author of Fucking Magic, Love Without Emergency, You Can’t Own the Fucking Stars, and The Size of a Bird. She is also the creator of the Trauma-Informed Polyamory Workshop and a cohost of the podcast Fucking Canceled In this episode, Clementine and I are talking about cancel culture and I’ll be honest. I didn’t know a whole lot about cancel culture whenever we started our conversation. Clementine is a far left social activist. And so the context of our conversation about cancel culture was primarily around the shaming and punitive nature of the left social justice culture. And we also compared cancel culture too, fundamentalist Christianity, which I’m not super familiar with a lot of far left social justice culture, but I am very familiar with right-wing fundamentalist Christianity. We talked about the snowball effect of cancel culture and the ostracization and harassment of not only those who have done something that’s deemed to be wrong, but that then extends to anyone who follows them or is associated with them. And you ended up being sort of guilty by association. We discussed how cancel culture has created a hyper vigilance and self-monitoring and people pleasing and the nervous system response of people who are both canceled and people who are triggered and respond by canceling others. We reveal the hypocrisy of the left abolitionist beliefs and cancel culture. And we discussed how left his culture intersects with identity and identity politics and how cancel culture and identity politics really breaks down and hides the diversity of the voices of oppressed groups. We dive into racial essentialism, which was a brand new word in my vocabulary. Um, and the idea that racism is real, but race is not. We questioned the predominant narrative of race and explore the individual and collective trauma of cancel culture. We also discussed the utter lack of boundaries on social media and how social media has sort of become a courtroom where people are put on trial, but aren’t allowed to defend themselves. We talk about restorative justice and how cancel culture climate provides no compassion or community in which to heal. We talk about going public and how we live in this age of social media and news, where everybody feels like they have to share everything on social media publicly, but that, that should actually be a last resort. We discuss why a disproportionate nervous system response needs a supportive community so survivors can do the work of distinguishing between past trauma and current situations that might not be dangerous. We examined the importance of humanizing people who have caused harm. And we talk about the harm of essentialism. And we discussed how in communities, we need to build nervous system literacy and help people to be in their integrity instead of calling them out all the time and then canceling them. So this was a really intense conversation. The elements of race in this conversation were completely not planned. Um, that was an organic way that our conversation flowed. And I realize that this could be controversial and I’m okay with that. Um, I hope that you, the listener can make it to the end of this podcast, really with an open mind and the idea that if you don’t agree with everything that we say here today, that doesn’t mean you have to unfollow or block or completely cancel anything that Clementine or I ever put out into the world. Um, I think that the lesson that I gained from this conversation with Clementine is that it’s okay to disagree with somebody. And if you need to set up personal boundaries, because that person’s place in your life needs to shift, or maybe you’re not into the content that they’re posting or whatever that, having those boundaries as totally fine, but that’s really where it needs to end. It doesn’t need to go any further than that into shaming and humiliation and ostracization. And Clementine was very patient with me as I admit that I had to develop a, kind of a new vocabulary even to have this conversation. And she was very gracious in the way that she explained things to me. And I feel like I am in a better place now to have a conversation, not only about cancel culture, but actually about anti-racism. And I appreciate Clementine for being a teacher to me. So y’all are really going to enjoy this. This episode is full of profanity. Um, it’s full of coming out. It’s full of, um, really great resources, which I’ll have linked in the show notes. And I’m just really excited for you to listen to this one. This one is so different than anything that I ever imagined would be on the Holistic Trauma Healing podcast, but I’m totally here for it and love this interview with Clementine so much that I already have scheduled a time to interview her again, to have her on another episode. So without further ado, I give you Clementine Morrigan. Hello, Clementine, welcome to the podcast. CLEMENTINE: Thanks for having me. LINDSEY: Absolutely. I’m super stoked that you’re here. I’ve been following your work for about a year now and, did not know whenever I reached out to you about cancel culture that you had just started a podcast about culture. So the timing seems fortuitous.And I’m wondering if you can tell us about you and your work and your new podcast. CLEMENTINE: Yeah, totally. So I’m primarily a writer, but I’m also, I’m a trauma educator. I’m not a therapist, but lots of people think that I am a therapist because I do so much trauma education as part of my work. But basically I’m just a person who has complex PTSD. And who is a writer and has a way with words. And so therefore in my own journey of healing from complex PTSD, I’ve learned so much. I’m also like my therapist says that one of my strengths is that I love to learn everything that there is to know about something, So Because of that, I’ve just gone down so many roads with learning about trauma and like how to heal trauma. And, what I found is that like a lot of the resources that exist out there are directed towards therapists, as opposed to like actually directed towards traumatized people. And so they can be annoying to read if you’re not a therapist, And also, I’m queer and I’m polyamorous. And so like a lot of attachment, resources and like resources about like relationship healing can be implicitly or explicitly directed towards straight, monogamous people. And so a lot of the work that I do is like translating, the knowledge that I have about polyvagal theory and attachment theory and trauma healing generally. in a way that’s more accessible and in a way that is just like more relatable to the communities that I’m in. so I’m, well-known for my work on trauma informed polyamory. I have a workshop on that, is available online on my website. And I also have a zine called Love Without Emergency that is pretty popular. That talks about this topic. But then I’ve also recently started to do a lot of work on cancel culture. And basically like that topic as I’m sure we’ll get into is very controversial. And I mean, my writing in general, all magazines, all the work that I do is literally about helping people heal. And it’s about helping people to like grapple with the deep, painful shit inside of themselves. And what I found in my own journey is that I kept coming up against a wall where I was afraid to talk about the dynamics that were happening in my community is that actually mirrored a lot of abusive things that I have survived in my past. And a lot of dynamics that were actually like super, like the opposite of what I was learning in therapy, I was learning how to have boundaries. I was learning how to stand up for myself. I was learning like where I end in another person begins. I was learning that it’s okay to say no, like I was learning all of these things. And then I was in this like social justice culture that was incredibly punitive, incredibly dogmatic, And I was having like very intense, like hyper-vigilance around that for years actually, because I have PTSD and because I was living in this like really shaming, punitive culture. And so for years, I didn’t really speak out about it, even though I had a lot of feelings about it. And then I slowly started to speak out about it more. And then recently I’ve just sort of been like, mask-off honest about what I really think about these things. And yeah, it was really scary to talk about them because I know that people who talk about these things often are canceled for it and experienced a lot of harassment. But I was like, if I really want to be honest in my work, and especially if my goal is to reach traumatized people who are grappling with shame and hypervigilance, all of these things, like it’s incredibly dishonest of me to pretend that I don’t see that this is happening, so I need to talk about it. And so the podcast, fucking canceled that just came out is a collaboration that I’m doing with my partner, in which we’re going to go deep into all of these topics and unpack them. We’ve had two episodes so far and I’m really excited to, do more of that work and like the response that we’ve had so far, like has been amazing. And we’ve had so many emails from people. Like crying, because they’re having such an intense, emotional reaction to, us talking about this stuff out loud, openly when for them, it’s this deep secret, that they have these critiques so that they are worried about these things. So that’s just a little background, to me and the cancel culture piece. LINDSEY: Yeah. Nice. Okay. So I am coming at you as someone who just heard the term canceled, in the way that you’re describing when George Floyd was killed. So I am literally seven months old, six months old to this term. And I admit that I have very little understanding of it, but the more that I follow people like you who are talking about it, what it’s been reminding me of is I grew up in evangelical Christianity. And I was taught that, people who did not live the way that we were told to live, which is you don’t have sex before marriage, you don’t drink or do drugs or dance. You definitely don’t hang out with gay people. Being trans or gay is a sin. And that if you pray hard enough, God can change you. You definitely don’t marry or date an unbeliever. And I deconstructed from all that. I’m no longer an evangelical Christian, like I’ve unpacked all of that. And it’s taken six years and it’s been the biggest and best thing I’ve ever done. But, All of this stuff about being canceled as sort of rubbing me in the wrong way, because it’s like, Oh, this feels eerily similar to Christianity. And so that’s my very limited understanding of it is that we can’t associate with people who don’t believe the same way that we believe or who don’t say the same things we say. So I’m wondering if you could either correct my definition or expand on it or just define your perception of cancel culture. CLEMENTINE: Yeah. So it’s interesting that you say that, because lots of people have made that correlation between fundamentalist religion and, the cancerl culture that is practiced in social justice scenes. The podcast Out of the Woods is about people leaving, not explicitly cults, but things that have a cult-like dynamic and a lot of people on that podcast are interviewed about, leaving fundamentalist, religion. And also a lot of people are interviewed on that podcast about leaving or like changing their relationship with social justice culture. There’s been a few people who have mentioned to me like, wow, I grew up in this really fundamentalist religion. And now I feel like I’m in something that is like very similar. So I think that’s a really a fair comparison. I definitely think like your definition is correct. I think like the phrase cancel culture is sort of can be defined broadly. Like it definitely is. it’s based on what you’re describing around the idea that like, when someone does something that is decided to be wrong, if we have decided that what this person has said is wrong or they’re accused of something, then usually it’s responded to with ostracization and with pushing out. But also it can become even more intense than that, where it isn’t just that the person who, has been marked as having done something problematic is pushed out. But also anyone associated with them is. So there’s like this, like transitive or infectious, dynamic that plays out where. And people are actually like actively harassed. So it’s like, what will happen is someone is marked as like they, they said something or they did something that is seen as problematic. Now they’re being called out. When they’re being called out, usually the accusations are pretty vague. And instead of being specific about what that person is being called out for, it will turn into a general statement about that person. So I don’t know if you’ve heard of Contra Points? She’s like a YouTuber but she did a video on cancellation and she talks about this where basically like somebody can make a statement. And then that statement is described as a transphobic statement say. And that person might say, actually, I’m not transphobic. And I did not mean that statement to be transphobic. So I’m disagreeing with you on your interpretation of what I said, but people will be like, no, that statement is transphobic. And not just that this person now is transphobic and not just that, but anyone who continues to follow that person be associated with that person is now also transphobic. And so there’s this snowballing effect that can happen. And the amount of harassment, can be really extreme. Like sometimes Apollo might just be a comment and it’s left at that. But other times on, especially if the person being canceled has a large following, it can turn into this huge snowball effect in which like many people are canceled, like by association. Yeah, I understand this behavior to be actually like really abusive, because it’s like an organized attempt to cut people off from their entire community and support. Sometimes it can go as far as trying to get people fired from their jobs. There can be like really intense, real life consequences in terms of people like losing their friends and their relationships and their communities, as well as just an onslaught of harassment, that can be incredibly difficult for people to cope with. So I think that’s like the extreme end of it, but that kind of thing happens frequently. I can think of many examples. That’s also happened to me and many people that I know. And also if you’re just online, you see it happening to well-known internet people all the time. And then there’s like the sort of culture that creates, which is like a culture of hypervigilance and I’ve compared it to being in an abusive relationship because it’s like when you’re in an abusive relationship, well, when I was in an abusive relationship in the past, I was walking on eggshells because it’s even if the person wasn’t mad at me now, it’s like at any given moment, I might say the wrong thing, and then there’s an explosion. Right? And so I think that this also creates this like really intense self-monitoring and hypervigilance that people do where they’re constantly trying to do the right thing, say the right thing, never do anything wrong. And they live in a really intense fear of the cancellation mob turning on them. LINDSEY: Yeah. Yeah. and so from my perspective, the people who are canceling other people are like, they wouldn’t be canceling people if they weren’t experiencing trauma. Like something inside of them is so put off or whatever that to ostracize or to deplatform or, whatever to other people. So that’s their own trauma talking, but then, hurting people hurt people. So it’s like my own traumas talking when I cancel somebody. And when I do that, I hurt people which causes further trauma. And then, like you said, it just snowballs and snowballs. And I’m wondering, would you, could you give an example, like you’ve experienced being canceled pretty recently, which is why one of the reasons why you started your podcast, if I understand correctly, would you mind talking about that and sort of, from a trauma informed perspective of the people that canceled you and then also how that made you feel? CLEMENTINE: So I don’t want to talk about the specifics of my cancellation. I’m just the reason. Yeah. The reason for that is just that, I have this really strong aversion to the way in which we sort of consumed cancellations as like entertainment basically. And also the way that people, treat social media as like a courtroom in which people are supposed to get up and sort of make their case about whether or not what they did was was wrong or how wrong was it or whatever. And so I have a lot of aversion to talking about the specifics, because to me it’s like it condones the abusive behavior. But I can talk about it in a general way, so perfect. Like I wouldn’t.Necessarily say that I think that every single person who cancels people is traumatized. And the reason that I’ll say that is just because I don’t want to make grand like totalizing statements about everybody, because I don’t necessarily know all of the dynamics that are playing into the choices that people are making. But I definitely think that trauma is playing into this in like a whole number of ways. And I think that your, sort of description around people hearing something that is outside of what is the accepted discourse and then having a nervous system response to that I think is very, correct. I think people feel triggered. They feel like afraid when they hear things that to them are associated with violence and harm. And so they respond in this like self-protective way. I think part of the issue and it’s like a self perpetuating thing is that we do this collapsing, where we have no distinctions between various different, Like a range of different things are not all the same. So as I said before, a person making a statement, I don’t know. I’m trying to think of a good example to illustrate my point. Okay. So like I’ll use con the Contra Points cancellation because she’s already been really public about what happened to her. Basically, she there’s there’s a whole bunch of details involved with it, but she’s a trans woman herself. She made a video in which she used like a voiceover from this guy who’s a trans porn star actually. And he had been known to make comments that people understood to be like, specifically transphobic against non binary people. And so her sort of endorsement of him by having him in the video meant that she necessarily agreed with everything he had ever said and also. His ideas had been framed in this very specific way. So like really his comments, as far as I understand, actually had more to do with, sort of the differences between binary trans and non binary trans experiences, and that he doesn’t see them as the same thing. He’s also an older trans person who comes from a different generation in which non binary identity didn’t exist in the same way that it does now. So the way that he talks about things is rooted in his generation. But all of that gets collapsed into, he is transphobic against non binary people. And then, Natalie, when Contra Points having him on it gets collapsed into her also being that way. And of course there’s like many other details and people like create their case against her, but there’s no space for any kind of nuance in this. It just becomes condemning, and I can understand why someone who is trans or someone who is non binary, who has experienced discrimination would feel threatened by the possibility that someone might be discriminating against them. Of course. But there’s no like sort of consideration of the fact that both the people involved are also trans, that neither of them consider themselves to have any kind of issue with non binary people. And so on. Right. SO I just think that there is there’s the initial reaction of Oh my God, this person is making a statement and that statement could be, like harmful or violence, but it’s also I don’t know, like we’ve collapsed the distinctions between these things because it’s like, a statement on Twitter, even if it was like an offensive statement is not the same thing as actually experiencing violence in real life. There is actually a difference between those things. And that’s actually a controversial thing to say, People would say that’s invalidating or something, but I’m like, it’s not like I’ve experienced the physical assault I’ve experienced like harassment. Like they aren’t the same. I would say that physical assault is worse to experience in my experience, but it’s not to say that harassment isn’t bad. But there’s a range of things. So I don’t know if that’s like clear, like what I’m trying to say with that. But we’ve collapsed them all into one. And to me, I do see how that’s related to that could be related to trauma for a lot of people because as a person who researches trauma like the frontal lobe of our brains totally goes offline. Right? So it’s like we have different parts of our brains, different parts of our nervous systems that do different things. And like the parts of our nervous system that are like fight flight, come online when we sense danger. And when that happens, the frontal lobe just it’s not actually that accessible to us. And the frontal lobe of the brain is the part of the brain that allows us to think about nuance and to look at things that are complicated and to like weigh things out and be like, what is actually going on here? And to tell the difference between this is threatening. This is something I don’t agree with. This is something that is different than what I have currently been exposed to. And maybe, I don’t know if I agree with it or not, because I’ve never actually heard this perspective before. Like we can’t think about things in those nuanced ways if we are in fight and flight, like we can only be like danger. So I can definitely see sort of where you would draw the connection to trauma there, because I do think that, a lot of people are operating out of a fight flight response when they see something that is triggering to them. But I also think that like the cancel culture itself, produces this because it isn’t just that the person might be scared, for example, that they’re like, Oh that is a transphobic comment. And so that feels triggering and threatening to me because I’m a trans person, but it might also be, I just saw someone say something that is against the rules. And now everyone’s in danger because people who break the rules get punished and people who don’t stand against the people who break the rules get punished. So people are sort of, if you’re following someone and you like their work, and then they post something somewhat controversial, if you continue to follow them or you don’t actively make a comment, calling them out, you yourself expose yourself to the potential of people coming after you. So I think that is part of the dynamic as well. LINDSEY: So it’s like guilty by association. CLEMENTINE: Yes, absolutely. LINDSEY: Okay. So I’m guessing in here, like what I’m hearing is that, I mean, maybe this is obvious. It’s like we are no longer, people are the majority. I don’t want to make a big blanket statement, but it’s like the majority of people we no longer, give each other the benefit of the doubt. We automatically jump to assuming the worst about everyone. CLEMENTINE: Yeah. And what’s really crazy to me about this is that in these social justice scenes, where this goes on, there’s also people say anyway, that there’s a large politics of abolition. So like on the one hand, people are saying that they’re abolitionists and like the politics of abolition is basically the idea that we shouldn’t punish people. It’s a critique of the prison industrial complex. And it’s, saying that, walking people away, taking away their humanity and their freedom is wrong. And even in cases where people have done. Really harmful things. So an abolitionist perspective is able to offer compassion, and see the humanity in people who have committed violent crimes. An abolitionist perspective also would definitely say that, the innocent until proven guilty thing is important because the prison industrial complex keeps wanting to put people in jail and punish people and like any kind of buffer to protect people from that is important. And so it’s like the idea that like, people are allowed to defend themselves and have a lawyer is important. And we should not be trying to get rid of that. Yet, people who don’t believe in the present industrial complex at all, and who believe that justice should be practiced in communities have actually totally gotten rid of that step. There is no innocence. As soon as someone has said that you’ve done something wrong, you 100% are expected to own that. And to say, yes, I have done that thing that you’ve said that I’ve done. I agree with your interpretation of what happened. And if you don’t, if you’re like, w I actually didn’t do the thing that you’re saying that they did, or your interpretation of what I said is not actually what I meant by it, or like you’re framing things in a way that is not, in my opinion, accurate people will then say you’re being defensive. And that is an accusation unto itself, which to me is like pretty crazy, like someone, someone who is once interviewing me about cancel culture, asked me, how can we teach people not to be defensive when they’re being called out? And I think that’s a common sort of statement that a lot of people would think is not controversial. Like people should not be defensive when you’re being called out. But I’m like, if someone is lying about you or if someone is slandering you, or if someone is making accusations towards you, that actually do not align with your perception of what happened. Absolutely. You should defend yourself. That is totally normal and make sense, but in this culture it’s like super not allowed. LINDSEY: Yeah. Do you find that, I know in your bio, you’re your left leaning person, like far left person. Do you see this more playing out on the left than you do on the right? So I think it does happen on the right in different ways. I’m definitely speaking about how it plays out on the left. But I think it does play out on the right, in kind of similar ways but not exactly the same. There’s a book that’s called So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by, I think the author’s name is Jon Ronson and he talks about sort of cancel culture really broadly, not just within the social justice culture. And he talks about this one example of this woman. I don’t remember her name, but she was like at a war memorial. And there was like a sign that said, please be quiet and show respect or whatever. And she took a joking photo. Like her friend took a joking photo of her, like pretending to scream and put up the middle finger. And it was like a total joke. Like she didn’t mean anything by it, but it got leaked. And then all of these people who, to my understanding are more like conservative, right wing people like lost their minds because she was like disrespecting veterans in their opinion. And like her life was like totally up ended in huge and dramatic ways. It isn’t like the book talks about it. So I’m like, I definitely don’t think it is exclusive to leftist culture, but I think that it plays out in leftist culture in like very specific ways that often intersect with identity and identity politics. So basically the way that works is that cancel culture and identity politics work together in the sense that people ground their like authority and legitimacy of their cancellations in their identities. So a person will be like, you can’t disagree with my assessment because I am in the oppressed identity group and you are in the oppressor identity group. So you are actually allowed to disagree with me about this. Right. and. This is really, in my opinion, very essentialist. and the reason that there’s a problem with us is because it acts as if these identity groups have one perspective, which they don’t. So , the Contra points example that I mentioned earlier, all of these people being like this is transphobic against non binary people, and grounding that in their identities as non binary people, it’s like Contra Points herself used to identify as non binary. There’s many non binary people who don’t find what she did to be transphobic against non binary people. So it’s not like a monolithic objectively agreed upon assessment. It’s actually like an opinion that those people have and it’s like their framing. And I think it’s fine for them to have that opinion and to like, argue for that opinion or explain why they think what they think, but it’s like the level of authority and control that they have where they’re like, now we are going to harass anyone who doesn’t agree with us and bully them into silence because we were saying like, there’s one correct way to look at this situation, when in reality, like life is usually a little bit more complicated than that. LINDSEY: You have no idea. Like I am internally sighing with relief, as you’re saying all of these things. I know that, gosh, I want to say this in a way that’s not going to get me canceled, but, What like the way that you’re explaining it is with the identity politics and how the oppressed group says, we have the definition for what this is, and if you’re not in our group, then you are the oppressor and whatever you say doesn’t matter anymore. I saw that playing out a lot after George Floyd was killed. And I admit that I am a, a binary white woman. I live in an area of the country that we literally have three African-Americans in our town. so I’m, there’s not a lot of diversity where I live racially. I have, I always said I’m not racist. And then it was after George Floyd was killed that the concept of differentiating between not racist and anti-racist was like revealed to me. And I was like, Oh, that totally makes sense. That’s the work I need to be doing. And so I started doing personal work but the longer I followed it and I started following a lot of people of color and a lot of, racial activists. And, I don’t, I guess I risk sounding racist when I say this, but a lot of it didn’t sit right with me and it wasn’t because I’m white and they’re black. It was like as a white woman, and this is not white fragility talking, but as a white woman, I was like, Nothing that I say or do is ever going to be good enough. Like it’s never going to be enough. And if I make one statement or post one thing on the internet if the wrong person comes across it, this is how they’re going to take it. And there’s not going to be anything that I can say to defend myself because no matter what. I’m going to, I’m going to lose and I hate to use the words win, lose, cause we all know that the black community has lost over and over and over. So it’s not about that for me. I do struggle even for the vocabulary just to have this conversation because I will admit to censoring myself when it comes to these issues and being even afraid to have the conversation, because it feels like no matter what I say, it’s going to be the wrong thing because I am white. And so I am automatically in the oppressor group. Does that make sense? CLEMENTINE: Yeah, absolutely. and it’s, I understand that it’s like probably an incredibly anxiety producing topic and even say those things is like pretty stressful, to say them and knowing that you’ve just recorded yourself saying them. But okay, I’m an abolitionist. I, 100% think that police violence is disgusting and wrong. I think that, racism is disgusting and wrong. And, I think that police violence and racism are connected. All of those things, I think that you agree with me, but it’s I was actually reading this article by, Cedric Johnson recently, who is a socialist and a writer who I really respect. and he is actually really critical of sort of a lot of the. ways that anti-racism is being framed in this current moment, by a particular part of the left. And he’s not alone. There’s other thinkers who are writing these critiques. But one of the things that he said in this article is he was like the black population in the United States is larger than the entire population of Canada. Okay. If that’s a lot of people, no one is going to make a statement about the Canadian community. No one is going to make a statement, assuming that every single person living in Canada shares the same view on something. Because they understand that a population that large is going to be diverse and is going to have within it many different perspectives. Like it makes sense to me, obviously that black people in the United States are um invested in resisting racism, because it directly affects them, but how they are interested in resisting racism and even how they understand racism to operate and to function is not a singular thing. And the history of black struggle within the United States is a complex history. It’s not one movement. It’s not a singular liberation movement that has existed and has not changed. There has been many different strategies that have existed historically, and even currently. And what’s happening with the essentialism is that people can say, this is a black perspective and they do it with other identities too. This isn’t just happening with race. People will be like, this is the perspective of trans people. This is the perspective of women. This is the perspective of queer people. And they will use that to legitimize their attempts to silence someone else, to critique someone else, to punish someone else. And what’s really crazy about this is that it functions to literally break down and hide the diversity of thought that actually exists within these groups. And so I mentioned this on, on my podcast, but there’s like a thinker, another socialist who I respect, but he’s very controversial. His name’s Adolph Reid and he is, black and is, has a lot of thoughts about what racism is. And, fundamentally like he is against racial essentialism. That’s like a huge part of his anti-racism and he is incredibly critical of any sort of move to act as if race is a real thing. He thinks racism is a real thing, but he does not think that race is a real thing. And that’s a really important distinction. LINDSEY: Can you define really fast before we keep going? Can you define for people who don’t know what racial essentialism is? CLEMENTINE: So basically racial essentialism is the idea that race is real. And I know that could be a little confusing cause people would be like, race is obviously real because it has these concrete impacts on people’s lives. And what has concrete impacts on people’s lives is actually racism. and that is actually grounded in this, view that race is real. And there’s a book. I’m just trying to remember the author’s names cause it’s two authors, but one of them is Barbara Fields and it’s actually her sister, I think it’s Barbara and Karen Fields. but I don’t have it in front of me, so I might’ve got one of their names wrong. I apologize if I did. but the book is called Racecraft. And basically it’s a book that explains this concept that I’m talking about. It’s a, it’s saying that racism is real, but race is not. and I actually think that a lot of the anti-racist movements that have existed for a long time were actually really fighting to deconstruct this idea of race as having some kind of essential reality. And I guess like a way of thinking about it is that categorizing someone in a particular race means that you could know something essential about them. When in fact you don’t really know anything essential about them. You have a set of assumptions about them now, and like it’s true. Some of those assumptions could be true. Also they might not be. And I think a big part of the way that racism functions and the dehumanization that racism creates has to do with this idea that people are sort of totally reduceable to their race and that there is no possibility of them being like a fully complex person, beyond this categorization that is being applied to them. So anyway, there’s a lot, that has been written about this and I’m sure many people who could articulate it better than me. So I would recommend, Racecraft if people want to read that and I would also recommend Adolph Reid’s work. But anyway, Adolph Reid talks about this a lot. And one of the things that he’s been talking about recently is he’s been critical of the discourse around race and COVID. So he says there’s a lot of people you’re talking about, COVID being disproportionately affecting black and brown people and he says, race is basically being used as a stand in for the actual causal factors that black and brown people might actually be disproportionally in those groups. So for example, if the causal factor is taking public transit, not having a lot of money, like living in a crowded neighborhood, like any of these things. So poverty in a lot of cases, being like an essential service worker who has to continue working and so on and so forth, like these are the things that are increasing people’s, risks for getting COVID. And if those groups are disproportionately racialized, as they are in parts of the United States and in parts of the world, because of the ways that, racism and, capitalism work together. Then you will see that these groups are affected in a disproportionate way. And so some people would be like, okay, it’s fine. Then just say that black and brown people are disproportionately affected, why do you need to stay that long thing that I just said, but Adolph Reid argues that you do because glossing over the reasons gives us no information about how to address this or what to do. And it sort of implies that it’s just racism that is creating this. And like racism plays a role, but it, that gives us no sort of next steps about how to actually address the issue. Right. And for him, he’s like very, it very intensely, It contributes to the centralization of race. It makes race into a real thing and it acts as if black and brown people are just somehow more likely to get COVID because of something essential about them. Anyway, this is like a bit of an aside, but he wrote an article about this. And he’s like this, this discourse, like for him, he actually is like, this leads to eugenics. Like it’s dangerous. And it leads to like really racist, like racial essential eugenics bullshit that we should not be moving towards. So he thinks it’s dangerous and he’s he burnt her full critiquing it and he was going to present it at a talk that was put on by the DSA, the democratic socialists of America, I guess. And his talk was canceled because people frequently call him a class reductionist, because they take issue with the way that he does anti-racism, because it doesn’t follow this essentialist sort of discourse that has become really predominant on the left. And so this is a black person, a very like well-established scholar who has thought very deeply about his ideas, someone who is deeply invested in ending racism. And he is completely silenced and not allowed to speak because his ideas differ from what is currently like the mainstream version of anti-racism. And those are very long way of me saying that This is like really dangerous because it isn’t even just, It’s not even like when we’re using this thing where it’s like, Oh, the oppressed group gets to say that the one who’s, the oppressor isn’t allowed to speak, they also get to say that people within the oppressed group who don’t agree are also not allowed to speak. And so it totally crushes like diversity of thought, diversity of strategy, like the free exchange of ideas and trying to find ways of addressing really complex societal problems, because we’ve decided like there’s one way of doing it. And if anybody disagrees they’re canceled and in this case, his talk was literally canceled and he was not able to speak. And I’m like, that’s so unfortunate because he’s like incredibly intelligent. His ideas are like really important. And I think people would benefit from hearing them whether or not they agree. I’m not saying you have to agree with him, but I find it offensive that people are going to silence and anti racist, black scholar in the name of anti racism. LINDSEY: Yeah. Yeah. The irony. This is reminding me so much of an episode of, the making sense podcast with Sam Harris. Are you familiar with his podcasts? Okay. It’s I mean, it’s pretty big, but his podcast is fantastic. In episode 217, he interviews John McWhorter and the episode is called The New Religion of Anti-racism. And I wasn’t familiar with John McWhorter whenever I listened to this episode. And so as I was listening to the episode and I was hearing John McWhorter and his, how, what he says really does. go outside the mainstream narrative of quote unquote anti-racism, but the one that’s accepted by the oppressed community. His narrative goes outside of that and he really challenges that and he compares it to a fundamentalist religion. And he talks about how, these are the rules that they say we have to follow, and if we don’t follow it, then we’re racist. And as I was listening to this, I was a little bit rolling my eyes. Cause I was like, okay, here’s these two white guys on this podcast, like talking about this, this is, I should just dismiss this cause these are two white guys. And then I get to the end and John McWhorter is like, and I’m a black man. And I was like, Holy shit. and it just, I actually rewind the episode and started it over from the beginning and listened to it. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is a black scholar. Really the current narrative from my understanding is that we are expected to treat black people differently, even though they say they want to be treated the same. CLEMENTINE: I think I’ve read John McWhorter’s article about white fragility and he basically talks about it being like white almost like narcissism where we’re so obsessed with like we’re and we’re being encouraged to be so obsessed with whether or not we’re coming off as racists that the only thing we’re thinking about in that interaction is race, which is like pretty insulting and disrespectful to let a person in front of you that you’re trying to have a conversation with. Yeah. yeah. LINDSEY: Yeah. And that’s what I mean about being canceled is, to me, cancel culture is causing major collective trauma. Yes, it traumatizes the individual that gets canceled for sure. But it’s causing a collective trauma because whenever there is no room for the diversity of ideas and everything is condensed down and to the abridged narrative of this is what these are the rules, this is the Bible. So this is what we live by that is actually perpetuating trauma because people like me, like we lose the vocabulary to even have the conversation because it’s not allowed. And I found myself both online and in my real life relationships, I’m censoring myself in front of people because something will get said, whether it’s about race or anything really. I mean, you can be canceled on a fucking anything nowadays, and I. I can only be really real with the people that are the closest to me, because I know that those people know who I am and they know that my core, I’m not homophobic. I’m not racist. I’m not any of those things. But outside of that, I can’t really be myself and I have to censor myself because there’s this fear that whatever I say is going to be misinterpreted. And as someone who has a business online and that’s how I make my living. If I post to get canceled, I’m screwed. One very real example of this is before I started this podcast for the last six years, I’ve been a food blogger and, I’ve been developing recipes and doing food photography and running a website called all the nourishing things. And when I started my website, I was still a little bit Christian, a little bit, but, I attracted a lot of white Christian women audience members. And as I deconstructed religion, obviously there’s, this was this hugely personal thing. And my purpose has to be my work and my purpose have to be the same thing. Like I can’t compartmentalize my work and it not be what my purpose is. And so as I began changing my beliefs and deconstructing religion and going through the trauma that religion had caused me and all these things, and even calling it out sometimes. Personally, like using an Instagram post. And I’m just saying, this is how this affected me. A lot of the women that had followed me for years were like, I’m so disappointed that you would turn your back on God and the church this way, and I can’t follow you anymore. And so since then, I’ve had a lot of people unfollow me and it hasn’t affected my business and my income. But, since then there I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself and I’ve had a lot of experiences that I’m only just now, like I recorded two episodes ago. and I actually came out and recorded it and I didn’t edit it out. where I shared about a recent LSD trip that I had. And that’s something that I could have never said because I would have been canceled like right away and then I’ll come out now. I’ve never publicly come out. And, this is my first time. I’m bisexual and I’ve never come out and said that publicly. Like my friends know, my husband knows, my mom knows, my kids know. But I’ve never said that on the internet and why? Because I’m censoring myself because I don’t want to be canceled. So even before I had the term cancel culture in my vocabulary, I was still experiencing this sort of like fear and self-censorship, that comes from not being able to be your true self, without fear that people are going to unfollow block, slander, you harass you or whatever, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well because your online following is also pretty big. CLEMENTINE: Yeah, totally. And it’s stressful. And I mean, it’s, in my opinion, it’s like, it’s okay. If people are like, Oh look, I was following this person. And now I’m seeing that, we’re not in alignment in terms of it’s not the kind of content I’m interested in anymore, or like we’ve diverged politically. Like I think it’s good to expose yourself to like political views that are different from your own and to look at like nuance and to see things from different perspectives. But if you’re like, ultimately this isn’t for me and you want to unfollow, I think that’s fine. We don’t have to consume all the content that’s out there. We don’t have to be friends with everyone, but like the issue for me is when people take this moral authority of saying, now you’re wrong, you’re bad. You shouldn’t have done that and then especially when they take it a step further and start harassing people, it’s like completely unacceptable. And it’s just something I’ve been thinking about is how the boundaries like boundaries is such an important concept for traumatized people and like boundaries on line are so crazy. There isn’t really such a thing as boundaries online. And, I turned to the comments off on my Instagram posts. People are very mad about that. People constantly make, like stories where they tag me and they freak out about the fact that I’ve turned my comments off and they actually say that it’s violence that I’ve done that. That’s the word that they used to describe it. They call it violence. I’m like, as a survivor, I can tell you that me turning my comments off is not violence. Okay. So it’s, non-violent thing ever. Yeah. It’s called boundaries. And like the thing is that I have 60,000 followers. I do not have the time and the energy and the emotional capacity to go through and have a conversation with every single person who wants to talk to me or disagrees with me, or wants to debate with me on something. And that doesn’t mean that people have to agree with me. I’m like, this is my perspective. And it’s what I’m sharing. And people might agree with some of the things I say. They might agree with a lot of what I say. They might agree with some of what I say, It doesn’t like, that’s fine. Like they’re totally, I don’t claim like this authority that, what I’m saying is like the be all and end all. Absolutely people should think about what I say and should listen to what other people say and should ideally listen to a lot of different perspectives and then come up with what makes sense to them. And they should express themselves. But I just don’t want them doing that on my particular page, because I don’t have the time, the capacity to address every single one of those comments. And I know from the past that people are incredibly entitled and they demand that you engage with them one-on-one and I’m like, I can’t engage with you one-on-one. There’s too many people here. But like what I was thinking about with that, with some of the ways when I used to have comments turned on. The way that people would just not stop and they would comment over and over again. And they would like tag other people to get those people, to harass me and just like literally try to avalanche me so that I would be like forced to, engage with them. I’m like, it’s as if you were standing on someone’s lawn and screaming at them over and over again, and you refuse to leave until you do what they say. I’m like in real life, like offline life, this is so obviously inappropriate. Wow. It’s so obviously abusive to attempt to make someone feel so uncomfortable because you are so intensely violating their boundaries that they are going to give in and do what you want them to do. I’m like, that’s so fucked up, but like in the internet world, we do this all the time and we think it’s justice to like, mob people and coerce them. And another piece of all of this, which we haven’t really gotten into, but I think it would be good to like touch on a little. Okay. Is that like a lot of the examples that I’ve given so far are of situations where, in my opinion, no one has done anything wrong. I don’t think that Contra Points did anything wrong. No, she didn’t like she made a video about versus I don’t think she’s transphobic in any way. And I think that’s absurd. I don’t think Adolph Reed did anything wrong. I think that he’s allowed to have his, opinion about anti-racism and he should be allowed to speak it. So a lot of these people are being canceled for literally just differences of opinion. They’re not even canceled for having done anything wrong, but there are examples in which people use mob harassment as an attempt to address actual cases of violence or harm. So Someone has been abusive, right? Someone has sexually assaulted someone has done something like actually literally violent. And I would again say that even in these cases, I don’t think that this is the appropriate way of addressing this situation. And I think that there are ways for people to sort of face like harm that they’ve caused do work on it, change their behavior or correct their behavior. And I have a lot of experience with that because I’m an alcoholic and I do 12 steps. So in that context, I’ve like totally gone through that process. I had addressed harm that I have caused in my past. I’ve seen people totally transform, but like none of those people did that work because hundreds of people were yelling at them. When you shame and scold people and you corner them and you make them feel helpless, any kind of quote, accountability that they’re going to do is not going to be coming from an authentic place. It’s coming from a fear-based place of wanting people to stop harassing them. Right. And that’s not the conditions under which people are safe enough to do the really intense, deep work that is required of taking real responsibility for actual harm that we have caused if we have caused actual harm. LINDSEY: Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up. Earlier in the episode, I made a mental note to ask you this, and then you just brought it up without me asking, I was going to say, especially with like people on Instagram and celebrities and professional athletes and things like that, like when I fuck up, millions and millions of people are not going to find out about it. If you were to fuck up, like you have a much bigger audience. And and obviously if somebody like a celebrity, if they fuck up, like it’s a massive scale. It makes all the news and it, it’s everywhere and it’s tweeted everywhere and it just goes viral and, and they start getting canceled. So what is the means by which we allow that person to have made a mistake, to have done a horrible thing. Even, even if they murdered somebody like really, even if they murdered somebody, I still don’t believe that the answer because whatever hurt we caused to other people, whether we sexually harassed somebody, if we raped somebody, if we murder somebody, if we hurt a child, if we hurt an animal, like whatever we will ever hurt, we, cause we cause from our own space of trauma. That’s not who I am. That has what this like fearful, traumatized person inside of me is like trying to release and heal. So the answer, if I kill somebody is not to lock me up and put me in an orange jumpsuit forever and feed me white bread and shitty water. And the answer is, like I need trauma healing. Like just because of the way that I hurt somebody it’s considered a crime doesn’t make my trauma any less in need of healing than someone who, like my parents who yelled at me growing up, like that’s not a crime, but it still caused trauma that needed to be heal. So how do you suggest that we go about, allowing people to make mistakes, even if they’re really awful mistakes and not cancel them and give them space for accountability and healing and restoration. CLEMENTINE: Yeah, I think thank you for that beautiful abolitionist compassionate statement. It’s truly reflective of my ethics and what I believe. And I think a lot of people, because of the current, like climate around abolition being a much more mainstream kind of politics, a lot of people are talking about abolition, but I think a lot of people do not understand that abolition means what you just said. That abolition literally means that we have to be able to offer compassion and a way out, in a way back for people who have done things that are actually really serious. And as I said, I’m an alcoholic. And I, a period of my life, I was like a street involved, like really unstable, person. Like I was drunk all the time and I was like, really out of control because I have complex PTSD. This is like a common thing that, incest survivors go through, and like people with developmental trauma. And, the things that I did at that point in my life were literally violent. Like I literally did do violent things back then. And so to me, like the absurdity of being in a situation where I am being canceled and told that I’m committing literal violence for turning off my comments. I’m like, how could I imagine that climate and that culture could provide any kind of compassion for the person that I used to be like, if I’m canceled for that, like what about the real shit? And I think a lot of people live with this like terror because they did some sort of fuck up thing at some point. And they’re like, Oh my God, if anybody finds out about this, it’s fucking over for me. And I hate that. I’m like, it shouldn’t be over for you. Lots of people have done fucked up shit. I agreed that usually that shit is coming from a place of trauma. Right. And I don’t think that we’re defined by the worst things that we’ve ever done. And I really want to have a culture in which people can come back from that in which people can heal in which they can have the support and the community necessary to heal. And I think my experience in 12 step programs is like a really beautiful example of that because in like social justice culture, the idea is we’re going to take away all your friends, all your community and all your support, and we’re going to harass you and yell at you until you are accountable. And in 12 steps, it’s we’re going to surround you with community. We are going to give you unconditional love and support before you’ve been accountable because you’re not capable of taking responsibility at this point, because you’re still not okay. Like we got to get you okay first. And then you can get to a point where you start to, Figure out what the hell happened for you. And then you can take responsibility. And that was taking responsibility comes from a place of dignity and it comes from a place of inherent self-worth. And it is not about degrading yourself or humiliating yourself. And usually there’s really no reason for it to be taking place on the internet. Because as I said before, like this stuff is not, it’s not a spectacle, it’s not for public consumption. I think like in the case of celebrities and things. We live in this culture now where we think that yeah, like famous people’s whole lives are ours to consume and to use as entertainment. And we feel very entitled to them. And I don’t know, I’m like, to me a big question is what’s your motivation? If you’re going to go public with something that someone’s done, what is your motivation? Is the motivation to punish and shame that person, or is the motivation about warning people because this person is actively, continuing on this harmful behavior? And I think this can be a fine line because I do think that there are situations where people are not at a place yet where they’re ready to look at what they’ve done and they’re actually still an acting up and it can make sense to be like, okay, I think that people, the community around this person should know that this is going on. I do understand that there can be a place for that, but I think very often people sort of act like that’s what they’re doing when in fact the intention is to punish and to shame. And I actually think that going public about things should really be a last resort. If it’s like it needs to happen for like community safety, then I understand it, but it should still be happening in a way that still honors the humanity of the person who’s accused. And that’s another thing as well, is that with the new sort of, I understand where it came from, but this whole frame of believe survivors, the whole me too movement, all of this, we have totally collapsed the, distinction of accused and accuser into survivor and perpetrator. And again, it’s like in the literal criminal justice system, you actually are allowed to defend yourself, even in that horrible evil system, like people can’t just accuse you of things without any sort of backing to it. And I know that this is a really controversial thing to say because everyone’s survivors believe survivors and I’m like, I am a survivor. And I totally understand that. I also understand that traumatized people often experience things in a distorted way due to previous trauma. And I wrote about this on my Patreon. So I actually talk about how in the past, I referred to an ex of mine as abusive. And then I later came to understand that my ex was not abusive and that I was actually in a relationship that was like emotionally neglectful and wasn’t meeting my needs. But I wasn’t being abused. But because of the culture that I’m in my extreme level of distress as a person with CPTSD, I was like gutted and devastated and completely not functioning at the end of that relationship. And so the community that I was in responded to that by being like, you obviously been abused, and I took that narrative and ran with it because it made me feel more empowered until I later was like, actually a more honest sort of description of that relationship is that it was like not a super healthy relationship, but like my partner never assaulted me. Didn’t degrade me. Didn’t try to humiliate me. Didn’t violate my boundaries was just a shitty partner. And I was fully calling that person abusive. Like fortunately I didn’t do a public call-out, but I really felt that they had been abusive, because. It. I was like, if they weren’t abusive, why is my nervous system feeling like this? And the answer is my nervous system is feeling like this because I was sexually abused when I was a child. And so I have a disproportionate nervous system response two things. That’s literally the definition of trauma and like a supportive community. It needs to help me discern between what is really dangerous today and what is actually, maybe not great, but not dangerous. And that the nervous system response is about the past. I do think that like the believe survivors thing can be really misused because it’s even bad for survivors themselves, because it never allows that person to do the work in between what’s the past trauma and like whether or not this current situation, is actually dangerous and abusive, which it’s really hard for traumatize people to know that. It’s like a big issue for traumatized people. LINDSEY: Yeah. It totally is. Everything is when we see everything through the lens of our past trauma. Like it never is going to look the way that it actually is. Yeah. CLEMENTINE: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know, like I’m like a lot of these call-outs that I see are very big, people will be like, this person is a repeat abuser. They have a number of Xs who like, hate their guts. And they say very little actual details about what happened. And I’m like, I don’t know what happened actually, and to see a person now be blacklisted from everything and to not be allowed to have a life is like pretty distressing. But yeah, as you were saying before, even if the person was abusive, I would still like for them to have a life, I would still like, for them to be able to pursue the things that they want to pursue and to get the support that they need to like no longer be abusive to people in their lives. Yeah, it’s complex because I think there’s like multiple things going on at once between like compassion for people who have caused harm and also knowing that not every single person who’s been accused has actually done the thing that they’ve been accused of. Which, what was it? These things are very controversial to talk about. LINDSEY: So yeah, for sure. I just come out of that. Cool. So let’s get really controversial. Like I have nothing to lose at this point. This is a baby podcast. I don’t have a lot of listeners yet. But yeah, I think, just to shift gears a little bit into, into healing trauma, one of the big ways for me that I knew that I had really made progress in my healing of trauma was whenever I was able to have compassion on, like my parents, for example. And whenever I finally reached a point where I didn’t need to be mad at them anymore, I didn’t need to blame them anymore. I was able to be like, you know what, they were just doing the best they could with what they had. And they grew up in trauma and they probably did better by me than their parents did for them. And maybe it wasn’t what I needed as a child, but now I can’t blame them anymore. I can have compassion on them and forgive them. And then just say yeah, this shitty thing happened that was completely outside my control, but I’m an adult now. And I get to choose what I do with it and I don’t have to be a victim anymore. And so that was like, Oh, I really am healing because I don’t have to carry this anger around anymore. And I can have compassion, even on the people that, that really did a lot of fucked up things in my life. Same with religion. Now I have compassion on, pastors and people in the church and people that we used to work with because it’s you know what, they’re just doing the best they can with what they have. And like the system that they’re operating under is fear-based and it’s manipulative. They didn’t know any different. Me criticizing them for still being in that or judging them for still being in that or being like, we can’t be friends anymore because you’re still in that. What good is that going to do? it’s just going to cause more trauma, which is exactly. What we don’t need to do. CLEMENTINE: Yeah, absolutely. I think again, it’s fine if people are like, I need to have boundaries or I can’t have this person in my life because I feel like I get sucked back into ways of thinking that are not good for me when I’m around this person. And I think it is possible to have compassion, and not want to maintain a relationship. And that’s going to be different for everybody, whether or not people want to pursue a relationship in those cases. But yeah, I definitely think that getting to a place where we’re able to have that compassion, it’s not always easy. In fact, I think it’s very hard. But I would like to see that at a cultural level for that to be encouraged and for us to humanize people who have been harmful or abusive or whatever. And it’s super true with that. this stuff is, trauma begets trauma and Yeah. Like most traumatized people have acted in some kinds of fucked up ways. Like in my life trauma informed polyamory workshop, like for it’s now online, but for a long time I was doing it in person and I was like sitting in a room with 30 people. And we’re talking about polyamory and we’re talking about trauma and we’re talking about like the conflicts that partners get into. And like people were admitting all of this stuff that they had done in their partnerships that like, could totally get them canceled, to be honest, or could totally get them framed as an abuser if they had a bad breakup and the person wanting to frame them this way. But it was like behavior. That’s it’s not great, but it’s lots of people have done it. Fucking starting to yell and like totally being dysregulated and like acting in ways that later you’re like, Oh my God, like I was screaming. And my partner stays when they were telling me that they didn’t want to talk about it anymore or something like that. And people were being vulnerable and admitting that they have behaved in these ways. And I was looking around the room and everyone’s like slowly nodding. Like I was like, look in their eye, Oh shit, like I’ve done this crazy shit. And so many people have, like when we are in our nervous systems and we are really triggered and not okay. Like we act in ways that are not in alignment with like our best selves and our integrity and stuff. Like most people have had moments like that. And some people who have a lot of trauma have had like even worse have totally done crazy shit. And it’s Yeah. I think like looking at it that way and being like, okay, what can we do instead of essentializng it into you’re a bad person, like you’ve crossed this line and therefore you are bad now. Like how could we actually be like, wow, this is what happens you know when there’s so much trauma and when people are dysregulated and do not have nervous system literacy, and don’t know how to get their needs met, people act in all sorts of ways. And like, how could we as a community, build up that literacy and help people feel supported and help people to be in their integrity more often. LINDSEY: Yeah. I think I want to have you on again, just to talk about trauma-informed polyamory. Yeah. I would love to have you on again, to talk about that we don’t have to go into that today. This has been amazing. Like it’s been such a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve followed you from afar for a while now, and just being able to have a face-to-face conversation with you, you’re a real person, you’re not a celebrity. CLEMENTINE: I am a real person. yeah. Thank you. And thank you for like your courage and just like your openness in this conversation. I know that like for me, I was so terrified to talk about these things and now I’m sort of being like, Exposed to it. Cause I had my own podcast and I’ve been interviewed like a few times on this topic, but it’s like very vulnerable to talk about these things and to share that publicly. It’s super vulnerable, but it’s I know that these are the conversations that we need to be having to move towards the goals that we want to move towards in terms of a more just world. Like we actually have to have these conversations, and I know there’s so many people who are going to benefit from like your courage and being willing to share what you shared.So thank you. LINDSEY: Yeah. Right back at ya. Thank you so much. Thank you for having, a hard conversation and thank you for, like I admitted, I don’t always have the right words. I don’t have the vocabulary yet to be able to express myself in a super eloquent way when it comes to a lot of this, because a lot of it is really new to me, especially before George Floyd, like I was living in my little white bubble up here in Northern Minnesota. I mean, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I, as I develop a language for that, It doesn’t mean I’m not going to fuck up, but we need safe spaces to talk. And for us to be like, yeah, actually how you’re feeling is normal and it’s okay to feel this way. And here’s the word, like racial essentialism, I didn’t mean, yeah. One more thing I want to throw in there. I love Sam Harris’s podcast. He’s just great. My brother is the one who introduced me to Sam Harris and when he introduced me to him, my brother was like, this guy gives me an intellectual boner. Like he’s just so like great to listen to. And he’s got a great vocabulary and a way with words, but it he’s just great. But, he did an episode of his podcast right after George Floyd died and it was a solo episode and he normally interviews people, but it was a solo episode. And he talked about like how we need to live in a world that doesn’t see race. And that’s a really controversial thing to say, because ever since George Floyd, like the African-American and people of color and indigenous people, they want us to see their color because it represents who they are and their culture and their diversity and their traditions. And, but Sam Harris, his point was like, when somebody walks into an office or goes to be interviewed for a job, nobody’s looking at them and basing their worth, or whether they’re going to hire them or whatever on their hair color. Like you don’t see a red head and you’re like, Oh, I’m not going to hire her. I’m going to go for the blonde instead. I mean, I guess some creeps do. In general, when we’re just meeting people, we don’t look at people in the first thing we go is, Oh, you have black hair, like we don’t do that. So why should it be this. Any different with our skin color. we have more in common than we have not genetically we’re all like 99% the same. CLEMENTINE: Totally. And I think the book Racecraft that I was talking about earlier, like I would really recommend it, because it just, it does a good job of talking about like, how can we address the reality of racism and not dismiss racism while still understanding that race is construction. And that it doesn’t actually fundamentally tell you anything about a person. This is a construction, and that’s not to say that culture is a construction or that like ethnicity is a construction because obviously people come from different cultures and have like different languages and different religions and like whatever different customs. And like, all of these things are really important. And we definitely don’t want to collapse all of that into one monotonous thing. Like we should see differences and respect difference. but. Yeah, race. In my opinion. And in the opinion of many of the scholars that I was citing during the interview raises like a dangerous fiction, that actually has been used to, totally dehumanize and the essentialize people in this really fucked up way. And unfortunately, I am seeing that a lot of the current, like anti-racist discourse is moving back towards the essentialism when prior to that, like a lot of anti-racist work was about moving away from essentialism. So it’s a big topic, but I really, I think it’s important that people are questioning that. And also knowing that it’s not, It’s not like the people of color community or the black community that like thinks any particular thing. Right? Because this is billions of people do not think any particular thing. Like they have, Oh, huge wide range of, politics and ideology and perspectives and so on and so forth. Right. And so yeah, like the way that essentialism functions is to be like, no, there’s one view and that can work in like very overtly racist ways, but I think it can also work in these more subtle ways that I still see as racist. I still see it as racist when people won’t listen to a black scholar whose views do not alignwith, the current like mainstream anti-racist discourse. And when they totally silence him and cancel him from his not event, it’s like you’re operating under a certain kind of a essentialism. so yeah. LINDSEY: Yeah, no, I love it. Thank you. It’s you’ve helped me with my vocabulary today. Like I feel like if I needed to have a conversation with somebody about this, I have a better vocabulary and I don’t have to feel like I’m stumbling over my words. So thank you. Can you, again, so people can find you on your website, which is ClementineMorrigan.com and then your podcast Fucking Canceled, which is new, but you’ve got some episodes out and will keep pushing episodes out. And then they can also support you on Patreon. CLEMENTINE: Yeah. So I have a Patreon for my own stuff, which is patreon.com/clementinemorrigan. And that’s where I share like writing. And like most of my zines are up there as PDFs. And then, Fucking Canceled also has its own Patrion where me and Jay are going to be sharing like probably some bonus episodes and also like writings that are going along specifically with the topic of the podcast. So yeah, you can find me in both of those. LINDSEY: Sweet, thank you so much. It’s been a great conversation. CLEMENTINE: Thank you. LINDSEY: Okay. Wasn’t that awesome. I, uh, I’m just, I’m still like, wow about that episode. Um, I totally admit to not really having a direction in mind for where I wanted that episode to go. And it was not planned at all to talk about anti-racism, but it flowed so naturally with what we were discussing about cancel culture. And I actually didn’t edit anything out. Like I left everything in exactly as we said it. So, as you heard, there are a lot of links in that episode, lots of resources that Clementine mentioned articles, uh, authors, books, her podcast fucking canceled, her zines how you can support her on Patreon, on how you can support their podcast on Patreon. It’s all gonna be in the show notes of this episode, and you can find show notes at lindseylockett.com/podcast. This is episode 11. And as always, you can find me on Instagram @iamlindseylockett. [OUTRO MUSIC]  

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.