Beliefs, behaviours and consequences


(If you know the specifics of the bin fire which inspired this post then you should probably understand why no names are being named here…)


consequencesIt’s currently quite a thing among, mostly, hard-right bigoted crazies, particularly anti-trans wingnuts, to insist that their bigotries count as a protected characteristic (belief) which renders them exempt from criticism or punishment. It is certainly true that you have a right to hold whatever beliefs you care to hold, however unpleasant or ridiculous. Worth, perhaps, remembering that it is not possible in any remotely ethical way to stop someone from believing something. The key issue is not your beliefs, but your behaviour. And the key distinction is between public and private behaviour, the former relating very much to professional behaviour. It is a wholly reasonable expectation that, whatever beliefs you hold about the inherent inferiority of some types of people, you treat your colleagues or customers with courtesy, and you treat them equally.

So when a person takes to social media, using the account associated with the small business they run, to share a lot of grim, unfunny, and insulting memes which directly attack a large chunk of their customer base, the consequences are likely to be the tanking of said business as horrified customers vote with their wallets and business associates back away the minute they spot what is happening. Same as posting shit on social consequencesmedia when you are identifiable as an employee of a business can result in a disciplinary hearing or dismissal if what you express could easily be percieved as insulting or even threatening to co-workers or customers. Such consequences are predictable and, importantly, proportionate to the wrongdoing. So far, so not ‘cancel culture’.

Unfortunately, when stuff like this plays out on social media, less appropriate consequences can take the form of excessive pile-ons, extreme attention-seekers and those with axes of their own to grind getting involved by throwing shit in multiple directions. Can’t say I’m awaiting further developments with interest…

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