I don’t care about Rachael Kirkconnell or Chris Harrison. I don’t wish them ill. I hope that everyone is able to move on with their lives successfully, but they are not my primary concern. My concern is laser focused on micro-activism and it’s ugly older sister, retro-activism, once again stepping out all over social media, dressed up like social justice. For Kirkconnell, her misstep was taking pictures at an event while dressed in hoop skirt. The tweet claims it was an antebellum plantation themed formal, but without that description, just looking at the pictures, is that the conclusion you would have come to? Are we now convicting people of wearing the garb of a southern belle? And who, pray tell, are the BIPOCs who were so greatly offended by this picture?
According to reports, the event was organized by the Kappa Alpha Order, who had long since banned ‘Old South’ formals and renamed it, the Rose Ball. Under the guidance, Confederate imagery was no longer allowed, but dresses of the era were. Why does this matter? Because she (and Harrison for defending her) are being accused of upholding racist traditions. (I will say the only thing that Harrison is guilty of is the overuse of the word ‘woke’ in his conversation with former Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay).
Here’s what I don’t want: I don’t want the very serious allegation of upholding racist traditions to be muddled with wearing tulle and a bustle. I don’t want unseen faces in the media and entertainment news deciding what should be offensive. I’m sick of the very real problems that cause genuine harm to Black people being lumped together with absolute foolishness like this. To know American history, is to know that this is not what our forefathers and mothers fought for; this is not what they died for; this is not worthy of an apology. There is real work to be done and it actually seems to me that if someone really wanted to be racist, they would use ‘issues’ like this to help minimize what racism really is; help move the bar low enough so that we end up fighting for any and everything, looking like people that have no sense or discernment, perpetually antagonized. There’s something furiously insulting about this.
I use the term retro-activism to describe past events used to ‘hold someone accountable’ in the present day and micro-activism to describe small-minded focus on individuals in the fight for justice rather than on institutions and issues. As I said before, the problem with these practices are that they work, quickly and quite effectively. Kirkconnell issued an apology a few days ago and Harrison did the same, stating that he would be on hiatus for awhile from the show.
Great job everyone! Our lives are better! Thanks.