women’s march

How to Free Speech

How to handle speaking out on line is one of the biggest issues of this era.

Because let’s be honest. Sometimes a joke or a meme or a picture is super funny.

But sometimes, it’s super racist or sexist, too.

BuuuuuuUUUuuut, that doesn’t mean it’s not funny and it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just go ahead and post whatever you want wherever you want.

I mean, it’s basically nothing but a complete abortion of your Constitutionally protected right to free speech not to post that shit. Sure, there are a lot of difficult topics of national importance to talk about right now, and the best way to do that is with a funny-as-heck-jokey-joke. And bonus, a joke is much quicker than a whole conversation and allows you to get back to watching Dr. Thorne on Amazon. (That’s what I’m doing with my time, anyway, I can only assume we’re all following the latest from Julian Fellowes).

Now when it comes to people setting great examples for posting offensive shit and just not giving a flip about it, there are a lot of examples to choose from, but let’s focus on a couplefew that made news this week. Just like these folks (one of which is a physician, two of which are elected state senators), you shouldn’t be afraid to share your controversial opinion. You worked hard on those barbs, now’s the time to just let them out.

heatherwick

sandlin

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Now, some people might call these joke “tasteless,” or “offensive” or “completely fucking tone deaf and awful” or “definitely not part of the job duties of being a g*ddamned senator.” But these guys were probably super proud of what they came up with and so posting it was just self-care. Something I think we can all agree that we need these days.

But even thought these proud Americans were just being good and expressive citizens, the Internet’s response was quick and harsh. Heather’s work was contacted and the senator’s facebook pages filled up with vitriol and news media were contacted. Yikes!

So what do you do if you find yourself in this kind of situation? Harassed online because your funny joke just happened to also be quite racist/sexist/horrible?

It’s simple: Just follow these steps to keep your klout score up and your employers from being flooded with calls and emails asking for your head and resignation.

  • Claim you were hacked. If it’s good enough for the US election, it’s good enough for you. Do what Dr. Wick did and say that you lost control of your account for a while and unkind forces put words (funny ones) into your tweet mouth. People won’t believe you because you will be lying, but at least you’re making an effort.
  • Apologize, the right way. Say something Kellyanne Conwayish like “Well, I’m sorry if anyone got their feelings hurt.” This kind of statement lets you get credit for saying the word “sorry” without the pesky burden of taking responsibility for your actions or releasing any amount of your narcissism. Don’t apologize the way the SNL writer Katie Rich did–with sincerity and humility. All that will do is make you a “good person” and get you another, equally cool, job. But you won’t look nearly as awesome.
  • Lash out/double down. Lean in to what you said in the first place. If folks aren’t on board with it, that’s their problem.
This is one of the senators speaking.

This is one of the senators speaking.

  • Make like one black or female friendNot to give you a pass and absolve you of guilt. But to maybe stop you from doing this stupid thing in the first place.

Heather, Senators, I am available for consultations and coaching. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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What was the last worst thing you said online? How did you recover? Let us know in the comments!

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