When did the Message Become Less Important Than the Messenger?
Something strange has occurred in recent months; progress has completely stopped in the name of progressivism. There was once a time in the United States–thanks to the preaching of people like Martin Luther King, Jr.–where people started to care less about the immutable characteristics of somebody giving a message rather than the message itself. We were making progress as people listened–truly listened–to the words coming out of somebody’s mouth. If what they had to say was right and important, who they were did not seem to matter. Of course, some messages are more impactful depending on the person giving them, but the most important thing should always be the message. Ironically, we have forgotten this lesson and message.
Somewhere along the line, the value of the message started to get devalued. In its stead, the look of the person delivering the message became more important. As more and more Americans focused their energies on the messenger’s skin color, gender, or sexual orientation, the message itself became moot. That is unequivocally the opposite message of what Martin Luther King Jr. preached, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (Emphasis Added). What this means in practice in modern-day America is that you better be the right skin color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, if you wish to discuss a topic. This new emphasis on the messenger rather than the message completely stifles discussion and debate.
If you want to discuss the evils of the Black Lives Matter group and their Marxist, antiSemitic platform, you better be a black person. Even if you are a Jewish person who is speaking out about the evils of the Black Lives Matter Group antiSemitism, you must keep your mouth shut. Your factually based message must wait until a black person brings up the antiSemitism or until a black person denounces the evils of the Marxist BLM group. (Thank you, Marcellus Wiley):
The Ideals of Progressivism Stifle the Message
If you cannot see the problem with this line of thinking, there is an easy way to decipher why it is so illogical. Simply take the message and transpose it onto somebody else. If all you have to do to turn a message from bad to good is change the skin color of the person, then the message is good. Because the bottom line is, if the message is good, the message is good. Regardless of the person saying it.
We live in a world of such polarization that we have left no room for middle ground. Trump is evil, therefore everything he says and does is evil; even if he does something many people across the aisle want. Because the messenger is more important than the message, this line of thinking gets rational people to act hysterically and defend murderous regimes. If the messengers are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and you oppose everything they stand for, you get people defending China.
This focus on immutable characteristics rather than the message infiltrates normal discussions as well. Many women today glom on to the idea of mansplaining. This philosophy destroys any chance of a man having a balanced discussion with a woman because at their core “Men are more likely to interrupt, particularly in an intrusive manner” (but please disregard the fact women are more likely to be interrupted, including “by other women”).
Even though women are apparently predisposed to get interrupted, it is only men who are the problem. You see, men are oppressors of women, therefore, whenever a man is talking to a woman, and she feels like he is talking down to her, he is mansplaining. Case in point; this article somehow goes from standard editorial to mansplaining screed depending on the reader. That is illogical. The words are the same, the message is the same. Even if the genders of the two people in a conversation have nothing to do with the topic at hand, a man trying to explain something to a woman is ipso facto mansplaining. Heaven help all male professors.
Delving into the Theater of the Absurd for the Sake of the Messenger
Let us follow this logic to its conclusion and delve into the realm of the absurd. If the messenger is more important than the message, let us all have spokespeople 24/7 in order to avoid accusations of racism, sexism/mansplaining, and bigotry. That fixes the issue, does it not? Instead of us speaking our minds like normal, rational adults, let us instead hire spokespeople of every imaginable stratum to get the message across. Want to discuss women’s issues? Guys, you have to have a female friend of yours deliver the message. Feel like trying to hash out problems in the black community and talk about the evils of LBJ’s “War on Poverty?” Make sure you have a black friend in the vicinity.
American Indian woes and America’s despicable history towards them? Well, now that gets confusing; does a standard American Indian suffice? Or does one need a member of a specific tribe? Hmm. That is a head-scratcher. But wait, the American Black community is not a monolith either. There are American Blacks whose ancestors were brought over as slaves, and then there are also first-generation Black Americans from Ghana, Jamaica, and other places. Do you have to pick the most appropriate spokesperson or can “standard Black person” work in this scenario?
What about Jews? Do you really think you can discuss Jewish issues in America and choose the right spokesperson? Go ahead, try getting Jews of the same sect to agree on something. It is damn near impossible. That does not even take into account the massive gap in philosophy between Orthodox and Reform Jews, or American versus Israeli Jews. Is this starting to get a little convoluted?
The Message or the End of Progress
Open debate leads to progress, but progressivism stifles progress. Progressivism leans strongly upon and supports the idea of intersectionality. Intersectionality preaches that your immutable characteristics are the most important aspects of your character. It is, wholesale, the anti-MLK message; it says that your character and what you say is less important than what you look like and how you were born.
If you truly want progress, you have to be open to the idea that people actually do not care about your skin color, your sex, your religion, or who you want to bring to bed at night. That is progress. That is “the Dream” MLK spoke so passionately about. You being Black, White, Man, Woman, Asian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, fifth-generation American, or first-generation American is simply background information to your message. Your immutable characteristics are background material to your message, which should be in the foreground. So stop thinking about the immutable characteristics of the messenger and start thinking more about the message. Because that is the only message that matters.