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  • Christine Marina

when did it stop being ok to make mistakes?

I've spent a lifetime telling myself its ok to make mistakes - but apparently, one strike and you're out - at least if you're Will Smith.


Is this pink coat a mistake?

The more public the indiscretion, the more baying the mob coming for my blood. As an author of colour, the baying mob concerns me. I'm not looking for the digital equivalent of a burning cross left on my front lawn.

Don't Cancel Cancel Culture (Or Do)

I don't want to be one of those annoying people who want to Cancel Cancel Culture. I'm not Piers Morgan or Donald Trump, or any of those other disturbing types looking for an excuse to voice their own beliefs at the expense of others and thinking they should face no consequences for it; the people who used to rally around the concept of "free speech" and now use the word Woke as if it was a swear word. But I do worry about the concept of cancelling someone. Of people making mistakes, apologising, and not being forgiven. Of the idea that a human being can be cancelled, like a print job queued on your computer.


The Baying Mob

I don't want to be glib about it. It's just, I used to think I was allowed to make mistakes. That I could get things wrong and apologise and move on. And its starting to feel like I can't. Like the more public the indiscretion, the more baying the mob coming for my blood. As an author of colour, the baying mob concerns me. I'm not looking for the digital equivalent of a burning cross left on my front lawn.


The weight of expectation I've put on myself. On my need to speak for and represent all brown girls is absurd.

Filled With Fear

I've written a book about race and identity and growing up - but mostly just about learning stuff. About yourself, about other people, about life. But throughout the editing process I've found myself filled with fear: that someone, somewhere, would take offence at my story, that I'd let someone down. I've worried and worried and worried. If I've used stereotypes or tropes that could be harmful, if I've used language that could hurt. When it came down to it, I had to remind myself that this was my story, my voice, my experience. So, it couldn't be wrong - could it?


Brown Girls

The weight of expectation I've put on myself. On my need to speak for and represent all brown girls is absurd. I can no more speak for them, than Sally Rooney can for all Irish women or all white women. But I feel it nonetheless.


We all make mistakes - don't we?

Will Smith

I wonder if thats how Will Smith felt the morning he woke up after the Oscars. The feeling that he had somehow let not only himself, but an entire race of people down. Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with what Smith did in any way, shape, or form. But you have to wonder whether the extremity of the reaction to what happened that night, was in part due to the fact that he was such a successful Black man. A man known for his family values; a personal brand build on kindness and good humour. Of success against the odds. Would we have cared so much if Bradley Cooper had slapped Ricky Gervais across the face? We may have been appalled. Even disappointed. But would all his current projects have been put on hold? Countless articles written about whether the public could or would forgive him? I doubt it.


...Enough?

This is not to say I lack sympathy for Chris Rock. A man who has behaved with what can only described as pure class. Refusing to comment, refusing to press charges, refusing to pile on the pile on. But to be fair, whilst what happened undoubtedly hurt him - it's also boosted his profile and shown the Hollywood sword of Damocles come down firmly on his side. Isn't Smith's subsequent ban from the Oscars, expulsion (or resignation, as he likes to call it) and public dressing down by the Academy, not to mention his peers...enough? Aren't the Academy getting off a bit lightly in all this? Weren't they the ones who let him remain in the audience after he assaulted Rock - rewarding him with more air time when he won Best Actor? Shouldn't they be looking at themselves to ask why that happened - as oppose to just piling on Smith?


Something In Common

I don't want to downplay it - but what happened to shaking hands and getting over it? Apologising for a moment of madness, or bad judgement, of stupidly blurting out that your friends jumper makes her looks like a substitute geography teacher? We all make mistakes - don't we? If we're genuinely sorry, if we've genuinely learnt from it, can't we be allowed to make amends? I'm not saying Will Smith is genuinely sorry or even that he's shown in any real way that he is - I'm just asking when we took things so far. And also - why Mel Gibson is still...Mel Gibson. Name in lights. A known anti-semite. Why Ant McPartlin was back on television, a national treasure, within a year of a drink driving crash involving young children.


Why are only some of us allowed to make mistakes? And why do the some seem to have something in common.








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