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Interview #52 - The CRT Moral Panic with Chris Watson

Hey, folks. Welcome to another episode of The Mind Of a Skeptical Leftist. On this episode, I'm talking to Chris Watson from the Postmodern Polymaths podcast. Chris has been a guest on the show a couple of times already, and we talk about CRT and some of the moral panics that are coming from various conservative movements in the United States.They have like they don't say gay bill and stuff like that. I don't know. I can't remember if we talk about this exactly in this episode, we cover quite a stretch of topics. We recorded this back in, I think, early February. Chris has been really gracious in waiting for me to get this out and I've been really kind of putting it off because I've been bumping it for fresh content from various people that I really wanted to get the content out, like Professor Flowers and Tory Williams Douglass and Sara Birrell stuff, people like that, and Kaytlin Bailey. So Chris has been bumped a few times, and I apologize. It's not his fault that he got bumped, but I just got excited about other content and decided to put it out instead.

This is finally coming out, this discussion with Chris Watson, I think the third time that he's been on the show, once we talked about Q Anon and once we talked about the use of redneck as an insult and in this one, I think we talked mostly about CRT and kind of conservative moral panics.

Before I send you over to the interview, I want to talk a little bit about a couple of things that have been on my mind. My partner and I recently watched the documentary We Need to Talk About Cosby by W. Kamau Bell on Showtime and I think it really did a good job, I thought of discussing the impact of Cosby as a black man who was pioneering in media for black folks. He donated tons of money to HBCUs, and he had a huge impact on the community in a variety of ways that were very positive. But then also behind the scenes was this monster who was drugging and raping women.

And the documentary really does a really good job of dealing with that in the context of the society we live in, a deeply racist society, him being a black man and also these crimes that he committed, I don't really have a ton to say about it except that I think it's really impactful. He had a huge impact on many women and to the effect where many people just literally can't see past his crimes, his rape, the raping he did of these women. And I don't blame them one bit. It's not for me to judge if you can't separate the work he did from the actions he took, I actually can't either. It's not something that I'm capable of.

And while there's a lot of context within society about that, once you reach a certain number of accusations, even without any other evidence, it becomes pretty apparent. There were people in the video, in the documentary who are saying at 15 people, they were like, “okay, well, this is no good. Obviously, 15 is too many for us not to believe them.”

And at this point, I think it's 60 or 65 women have come forward over the years. And many women who were very public women. They were actors, models, people of various other jobs that their position in their job was impacted by this action that Bill Cosby took and it impacted them the rest of their lives by him committing these heinous crimes.

It's pretty serious stuff if you can handle it. It's four episodes. I recommend watching it. I enjoyed it in the way that one enjoys something very serious that is very important and that deals with tough subject matter.

Which brings me to the other thing that's kind of been on my mind, which is this Amber Heard, Johnny Depp trial, that's been going on.

A lot of people have picked their sides. They picked their whatever. And I guess I have, too. I read a few articles. I didn't follow the trial closely when it was going on. I tried very hard to avoid any TikTok videos or any quick take Facebook videos that I saw. And oh, my God, did Facebook ever try to force those down my throat? I really tried to avoid them as much as I could.

And I think I did a fairly good job of that. I saw them. I saw the headlines. I didn't watch them. And I got quite annoyed by how often I was seeing them It was always the same. Amber Heard was the bad guy in these videos and on these TikToks and whatnot. And I find it less than convincing, I guess, because society does this, as a society we vilify women as quickly as we can in order to defend men who have done something awful.

It's related, I guess, in a way, to the Bill Cosby thing, because a lot of the women who first came forward were vilified. They were questioned as to why they're trying to take down this powerful black man in society who has worked hard and pioneered all this stuff. But he was doing these awful things. And Johnny Depp is an abuser. The evidence is there.

It's really weird. The verdict ended up being really strange to me because they said in the trial that if Amber Heard proved that Depp had abused her, then they couldn't rule against her but she did prove that, and yet the jury still ruled against her. And there's a lot of discussion about why that is. The evidence was pretty clear in my books. I'm not really up for debating it, but I think there's parallels right in the way that we treat women. Even though there's a racial element in the Cosby situation versus the Depp situation, I think there's a parallel with the way that we treat women who come forward as victims of abuse or sexual assault or rape or other crimes. It's usually blaming the victim. It's usually blaming the person, the woman or non binary person who has suffered at the hands of usually a man with power over them.

And this is just the status of our society. It's patriarchy, it's rape culture, it's misogyny, and it seems pretty clear to me.

I'll provide some links in the show notes or description box for this so that you can read up on it too.

I don't want to to say I know 100% sure that everything that Amber heard wasn't also a bad person or what have you. Even the articles that I've read, they often say that she wasn't a “perfect victim”. Like she hit back on occasion and she took revenge in various ways. But I know people who have been abused by their partners and who then reacted after the fact and they hit a wall where it was like, enough is enough and I'm not taking this anymore and they've done other things that could be called abuse or theft or count as revenge. I know people who did this and it's a reaction. It's how you react when you're abused. And I don't know, the evidence seemed pretty clear to me. There's great articles and great content out there about it. It just seems like a practice in societal misogyny overall to me. So I'm not particularly impressed with the way our society has handled this situation. I know nobody wants to talk about this anymore, but in my head the two things are linked with the way that we treat women. And I think we really have to re-examine. We really have to keep examining the way that we treat women in society and if we are turning them into a villain, if we're making fun of their abuse stories, if you’re making fun of their sexual assault stories, then I'm sorry, you're the shithead. If you're making fun of somebody who claims to be a victim, then you're the shithead.

And we've got to stop getting our fucking information from Tik Tok and fucking Facebook and this shit.

Like, it's just absurd. The quick takes that people take. You watch some grifting streamer who's watching the trial. And it's free content for them. They can watch the trial. It's public domain. They can watch it on their stream. It's easy content, and they can have hot takes and say, oh, yeah, this is bullshit. This is bullshit. Look at how she's sitting. Look at how she's doing this.

That's the other thing that’s absurd. Other videos and stuff have said this, but a lot of the things that grifters on their streaming chats have said is how Amber heard was sitting funny or she was acting. She was clearly acting based on her body language and you're not a body language expert and even body language as a way of reading people is a pseudoscience, it's nonsense and you're an amateur at this bullshit, so don't pretend that you know how people act.

Anyway, I've gone on longer than I Intended to on this, so that's all I've got to say. I've still got a lot of interviews in the queue that need to be processed and edited and my production schedule is still ridiculous and I'm working overtime shifts, but I'm getting this stuff out as fast as I can and that means that I won't always be able to record at home so this is a rare exception. I get to do the recording in front of my camera and I'm going to have a little bit of time hopefully to edit this.

But right away I want to say thanks to all my patrons, thank you to everyone for watching and listening and thanks for sharing this around.If you share it, that helps to get more views, more listens. Give it a retweet and what have you. This show is available on all the podcast places as well as YouTube and I stream on Twitch whenever that's possible.

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Anyway, I think that's everything. Thanks so much for being here and I hope you enjoy the interview.

Links for more info on the Cosby doc and the Heard/Depp trial


There are people who will think these links are one sided and they’re probably right. To those who are wrong the truth often seems like a bias

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