by Elizabeth Oldfield
Tuesday, 23
March 2021
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07:00

What St John has to say about Teen Vogue

The Bible sheds light on some very modern issues
by Elizabeth Oldfield
Alexi McCammond lost her job at Teen Vogue for tweets she wrote at 17. Credit: Getty

The latest victim of what is now known as “cancel culture” fell last week. This time it’s not a middle aged white man, but a young woman of colour, who lost her job as editor of Teen Vogue over racist tweets sent a decade ago, when she was 17.

Many people have expressed disquiet that, despite apologising and making clear she in no way still holds those reprehensible views, Alexi McCammond still felt she needed to resign.

“Cancel culture” is, like most phenomena to catch the public imagination, more complex than it appears. Sometimes it’s a label slapped on a long overdue reckoning, and other times, it really is just a self-righteous lynch mob throwing their weight around. It is, however, usually seen as less of an issue by younger people.

As usual, the founding text of the West has some light to throw on this. In the story of the woman caught in adultery in St John’s gospel, Jesus famously tells the surrounding mob poised to punish her: “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”. At these words the crowd slowly disperses “starting with the oldest”.

I think that at least part of the reason that older people are more disturbed by these repeated defenestrations is that they have had more time to screw up, to say stupid things they later regret, and to change their minds. Age is the natural enemy of idealism. The painful process of growing up, for most people, involves coming face to face with our own inability to live up to the ideals of our youth. It’s uncomfortable and exposing, and as the long withdrawal of religious practice continues to ebb, most people have nowhere healthy to process it.

It is possible that incidents like these may trigger a rethink. Alexi McCammond is 27, and many watching will wonder if horrible views held in your teens should tank your career before you even hit your thirties. The proportion of leaders in public life with a full record of their youthful missteps will only increase, and so learning to distinguish between genuinely unacceptable behaviour now and in the past is going to become more urgent.

Neither age nor youth have a monopoly on wisdom, but it feels like both have part of the answer. Rather than surrendering to the slide from idealism to cynicism, we should seek to combine the earnest hope for goodness and justice with humility while avoiding self-righteousness. The possibility of forgiveness and redemption would have to be in the mix, for individuals if not always for careers. And that old book might hold some clues.

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Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago

What is at the heart of the woke witch-hunts has been with us from time immemorial – bullying . More specifically It is the pleasure that human beings experience from exercising power and domination over others and seeing others brought down and humiliated.
When one considers the typical social justice warrior, they are typically physically unattractive, socially unpopular and they, along others who feel done down by society, would naturally be attracted to movements in which they could gain self-esteem by being able to bully those who are in a higher social position above them, or even those below them.
The woke mob have become intoxicated by their victories and the craven capitulation of powerful individuals and institutions to their demands. The hunt is always on the hunt for their next victim.
I don’t doubt the age of woke will come to an end in the near future. Ordinary people will tire of it and oppose it in ever greater numbers. It will also consume itself internally like other movements of the Left, as the woke turn on themselves and the less ideologically pure become the targets of the zealots.
It will be fascinating to watch the post mortem of the woke phenomenon and the incredulity of how this oppressive movement based on instilling fear and the threat of social ostracization and ruin managed to sweep through our institutions and culture with such little resistance.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Many are not at all unattractive. That doesn’t mean that your argument is totally wrong. But I hope masses of the public will take actin. Here in VT, I’m aware of occurrences that are frightening. No one seems to want to listen.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago

Many are not at all unattractive.

I beg to differ. Please check out this set of mugshots on this website: https://www.wethegoverned.com/they-want-to-hurt-us-but-first-defund-the-police-meet-antifa/
They look like the Joker’s henchmen.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

The moral of this, and many similar sorry tales is: Never, never, but never apologise to the woke mob. Ever.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

‘Let they who is without sin tweet the first tweet’.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Exactly. Twitter is a sewer, inhabited by rabid rats. Avoid it!

David Allsopp
David Allsopp
1 year ago

Every person we can spoil makes us feel a little bit more righteous. But it is only temporary so then we are after our next victim.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  David Allsopp

The astounding part is the Tweets were nothing much at all.

“Outdone by Asian. #Whatsnew.”

“Now Googling how to not wake up with swollen, Asian eyes…”

“Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what I did wrong… thanks a lot stupid Asian TA [teaching assistant]. You’re great,”

“Hahaha you’re so gay,”

So What. Are people so frail that this causes them psychic pain? Bunch of Dr Seuss Canceling crazies. (sorry if that word is offensive.)

(Tweets Taken from article from the Independent, the writer not quoting them above I thought they must be really bad.)

Simon Davies
Simon Davies
1 year ago

Reddit UKPolitics subreddit was been shutdown last night because users have been posting links to an article concerning Aimee Challenor on Graham LInehans blog, the guy who wrote Father Ted and was cancelled after his trans views were publicised.
Aimee Challenor’s husband was exposed on Linehans blog as a paedophile. Challenor who is trans was recruited by reddit as a trans diversity hire last year. In her capacity as a reddit admin she has completely shutdown the UKPolitics subreddit which has a user base the last time I looked of about 80,000 because of an article on Linehans blog linked to the subreddit by a moderator. She has also been deleting numerous other postings about her and her husband on reddit.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Davies
Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Davies

Challenor’s activities are truly frightening.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Davies

Challenor isn’t a woman.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
1 year ago

So we are no longer allowed the space to say stupid things and grow up. Social media is a cancer. There is none of us who hasn’t said something that with maturity we regret saying.

As a parent I have found myself warning my children about things that when I was young, was simply not an issue. All because of social media.

We are betraying our young and they are taking the sins of their fathers into adulthood and paying for them still.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

this party started long ago but people like this Teen Vogue woman said nothing so long as it was “those people” being attacked. She and others said nothing when liberals in otherwise good standing were attacked for deviating from leftist doctrine. Now, their Frankenstein has turned on them. And they will learn nothing from it.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

If you are serious about freedom of speech, the fact that someone is a hypocrite doesn’t mean you can say that in there case I am willing to allow an exception.

I haven’t heard of this woman before today, so if you could supply examples of her un-platforming or calling for people to be shut up I’d be grateful.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

But I think Alex has a valid point. There are many that get involved in promoting cancel culture on others and then it comes back to bite them when cancel culture ramps up to even higher degrees.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

I’m sure it does. Have you got an example of her promoting cancel culture I can look at?

It shouldn’t really matter, I try to abide by my standards. I don’t need to behave the hypocrite just because others are. I stand by what I said. People should be allowed to make mistakes and change. If we allow the door to be slammed in the face of our opponent’s, we are no better than they are.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
1 year ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

The fact that Teen Vogue was going to hire her in the first place makes it pretty much 100% certain that she is part of the woke, not-really-liberal-at-all left. I.e. the people who have been willing participants in cancel culture for the last few years.
They wouldn’t have hired a republican voting conservative.
The one thing I do know about her is that her partner/husband was an operative in the Democrat party who just got fired for harassment.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

Many people have expressed disquiet that, despite apologising and making clear she in no way still holds those reprehensible views, Alexi McCammond still felt she needed to resign.
Many people should have considered the foreseeable consequences of this idiocy. Yes, this is ridiculous but this is the environment the wokeltarians have created. Don’t clutch your pearls before the left took down one of its own.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
1 year ago

I think that at least part of the reason that older people are more disturbed by these repeated defenestrations is that they have had more time to screw up

No, it’s because we know evil fanaticism when we see it, and are not afraid to say so.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Perhaps the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act should be amended to cover historical tweets as well as historical crimes?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

In My life If I had done the ‘Time’ for all the crime I did I would have worn orange half my life. Which makes me glad I was not on camera, GPS, a cell phone, listening device back during my foolish years.

How horrible it must be to always be looking over your shoulder waiting for the outing. Statue of Limitations works for actual crime, and it should for thought crime too.

Jasmine Birtles
Jasmine Birtles
1 year ago

So true. Everything good in self-help books is already in the Good Book. Worth constant study.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Cancel culture is very much in vogue, so to speak, so she can’t really complain.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

I don’t do religion so I won’t comment on that aspect but I have to say I find it very entertaining as well as satisfying to watch the guardians of morality on the left eat their own. With it now emerging that the main TV proponent of the ouster of the totally unacceptable McCammond has used racial slurs on social media herself, she will have to go as well. And that can’t happen quick enough. This is all well deserved career ruining behavior for the left.

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

I don’t do religion” – Golden rule? Sorry.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

No, just not into organized religion. I have no objection to others indulging in organized religion and I do support the 1st amendment right to freedom to worship.

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
1 year ago

I feel very sorry for Alexi McCammond and wish her well for the future. That people should be castigated for what they said at 17 is simply ridiculous and shows to what a terrible place wokery has brought us. This phenomenon is a blip in our national story and sooner or later we’ll come to our senses.
I’ve no idea of the personal pressures upon Ms McCammond and others who have resigned in similar circumstances so I hesitate to make the following point. In order to combat wokedom effectively it would be good if people simply refused to resign, or if sacked to claim unfair dismissal. Apologise? – yes if you think you should, but face these people down and stay put! If people did this we should make sure they felt supported.
This does raise the question however of the importance and significance of the words we say. Of course allowances should be made where appropriate, but words can be powerful in their effect and can bring blessing or curse into people’s lives. Jesus says their will be profound judgement on those who insult others. (Matthew’s Gospel 5.22) As a Christian I find it extremely upsetting when I hear the Name of Jesus insulted by being used as a swear word, and His Name misused with casual use of the phrase”oh my God”.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

McCammond did not resign. The solution is not for lefty’s caught up in cancel culture to refuse to resign. They do, after all, subscribe to cancel culture so they cannot complain when it bites them in the butt. The solution is for lefty’s to stand up against cancel culture bullies who go after their political opponents. When I see someone like McCammond defend and support a cancel culture victim of opposing political views to her own, THEN I will say that she should not be victimized by it either.
In fact, McCammond could make an excellent career becoming a supporter of cancel culture victims based on her own experiences. She could lead the charge to stop cancelling people for ridiculous reasons.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

McCammond did not resign. The solution is not for lefty’s caught up in cancel culture to refuse to resign. They do, after all, subscribe to cancel culture so they cannot complain when it turns and bites them. The solution is for lefty’s to stand up against cancel culture bullies who go after their political opponents. When I see someone like McCammond defend and support a cancel culture victim of opposing political views to her own, THEN I will say that she should not be victimized by it either.
In fact, McCammond could make an excellent career becoming a supporter of cancel culture victims based on her own experiences. She could lead the charge to stop cancelling people for ridiculous reasons.

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
1 year ago

The article says she did resign

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

The article is incorrect. She was fired. Over the objections of Anna Wintour no less. She did not have the option to stay but they let her write a nice “parting ways” tweet.

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
1 year ago

OK. Thanks.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago

It has all gone too far. In the U.S. we lost Al Franken and Garrison Keillor over unfounded “Me Too” reports. Why should people even have to apologize without debate as to whether their actions or words were actually wrong?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

unfounded? In Franken’s case, there was photographic evidence in addition to the people who came forward.
As to why people should have to apologize for their words, you’ll have to ask the SJW since that is who demands it before tossing them out regardless. And precisely who in this “debate” will make the final determination as to whether someone’s words were wrong?

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

At the same time, “we” are desperately hanging on to Andrew Cuomo and Joe Biden, both of whom are accused of far more serious acts than Franken.
Stupid games have a way of yielding stupid prizes. This is one example. There will be others. It’s a bit amusing that the creators of Frankenstein only noticed a problem when the monster turned on them.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

One day everyone who can be proved to have supported cancel culture, those that took the knee, those that played the race card or victim card, they must all go to South Georgia and our first Gulag.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard E
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

Not funny

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Not joking.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
1 year ago

Pretty hard to execute an editorial clic bait policy of defenestrating ideological enemies as white racists if you yourself are complicit. Thus she had to go for business reasons alone. She will be just fine in less than 3 months

Jill Mans
Jill Mans
1 year ago

Teen Vogue is a revolting magazine aimed at sexualising young women with articles such as ‘a**l Sex: Safety, How tos, Tips, and More – How to do it the right way’, ‘How to Use Sex Magic to Manifest Your Best Self’, ‘How to obtain an abortion Without Parental Permission’, ‘Why Sex Work Is Real Work’, and many more.
These are the real reasons this woman should be cancelled, not because of some silly remark made years ago.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

Young versus old is just sooo natural. It was when I was young, too.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

It isn’t just the young who are on the Woke bandwagon. Many of my longtime liberal friends are in the social justice warrior groups that are active in their retirement communities. I have received photos of them marching with their BLM signs yelling at passing cars. Of course it costs close to half a million dollars to live in this community so except for the BLM signs, you will not find a minority of any color.
I sometimes reflect on why these friends have fallen for the Woke/SJW programs so completely and the only answer I can come up with is that they are horrified to be considered one of the “old” who turn conservative as they age. They marched when young with MLK, voted against the Vietnam war, supported the farmworkers and in many ways those were the best of days. We were all idealists who gained meaning in our lives because thought we were doing something to change the world and in many ways we did.but obviously not totally. Since there is little to do at 70 plus for liberals to do except play pickleball or plan a cruise, we pick up our signs and head for the streets.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Hi. I think it is young people but they are being led by very clever, older people. It is at the student level and not really for ordinary people. It combines with thoughts about the environment. It states:
‘Old people have made a mess of everything and it is time to stop worrying about wealth and concentrate on the important things in life – having fun and having millions of friends on the internet.’
The old idea of students moving to the right as they get older could be out of date. That was all about getting a steady job, getting married, then children and finally, a mortgage. Today, at least three of those things are not fashionable so what will trigger the move to the right?

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

“I sometimes reflect on why these friends have fallen for the Woke/SJW programs so completely”
Its a bid for attention. I have a 20 year old niece who now devotes her life to BLM activities and enjoys screaming at anyone she believes is somehow disrespecting her Latino boyfriend. In NYC no less. She doesn’t have much else in her life, no education beyond high school, no career plans or ideas. It makes her feel important and relevant to be seen to be a white SJW. It’s hip, it’s exciting, it’s totally unlike anything she has ever experienced at her $24,000 a year private high school. Sadly, for her, she will be left with some old signs in a few years and likely several more boyfriends by that time. Interestingly, the boyfriend, who grew up with not one of my niece’s advantages, has finished college (borrowing the funds to do so) and is hard at work on advancing his own career. He is at work and not out marching with a sign.
If you unwisely suggest that she do something a bit more concrete, like volunteer at a public school or community organization loaded with minority students, she is absolutely furious. She can’t be seen with a big sign that way, you see. No one will be able to watch her high morals on display.

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago

I hope she eventually comes around. Your story puts me in mind of Jordan Peterson’s maxim of ‘making sure your own room is in order before criticizing someone else’s.’

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Me too. Peterson would be very educational for her but we have to get them younger before they have decided they are right about everything.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

at some point, the boyfriend will tire of being treated like a pet or mascot, too. There are quite a few minorities who shake their heads at the specter of young people who engage in violence to supposedly benefit the minorities.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

yes indeed. The boyfriend doesn’t have the luxury of marching around with signs, he actually has to earn a living. And he made sure that he was equipped to do so. He may want a partner equally equipped and interested in building her own life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Andre Lower
Andre Lower
1 year ago

Woke itself is indeed a problem. But one needs to consider what brought it. No point in denying the harm done by people broadcasting horrendous ideas with impunity. The real issue to address is polarization + impunity.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andre Lower
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Andre Lower

“Woke itself is indeed a problem. But one needs to consider what brought it.”
what brought about wokeism was proponents figuring out that being a victim was very profitable in many ways.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andre Lower

What brought it was a brand of puritanism only Big Brother could love. Wokeism has no room for youthful indiscretions or for someone having a bad moment for whatever reason, to include youthful naivete. It seeks to rewrite history to an extent, by judging any and all past actors and events by values of the present. It is the No True Scotsman fallacy at a weapons-grade level.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I’m sorry but ‘woke’ has nothing at all to do with ‘Puritanism’. a type of Protestantism whose most notable exponent, John MIlton, wrote the classic defence of free speech and media.

Jill Mans
Jill Mans
1 year ago

Teen Vogue is a revolting magazine aimed at sexualising young women with articles such as ‘a**l Sex: Safety, How tos, Tips, and More – How to do it the right way’, ‘How to Use Sex Magic to Manifest Your Best Self’, ‘How to obtain an abortion Without Parental Permission’, ‘Why Sex Work Is Real Work’, and many more.
These are the real reasons this woman should be cancelled, not because of some silly remark made years ago.

Sean MacSweeney
Sean MacSweeney
1 year ago

The modern version of the Salam witch trials, the woke SJW’s are the new bigoted fascists

Greg Greg
Greg Greg
1 year ago

Idols (like all political utopian projects) are akin to cement life buoys. They promise heaven but deliver deliver hell. Their demands are insatiable, requiring an ever increasing purity, until a singular misstep is identified, at which point even the most devoted will, too, be consumed by the very deity that they helped to create and empower. Trotsky comes to mind, for example. The gospel is exactly the opposite. Grace and forgiveness expands, as our impurities, lack and devotion and sins become ever more apparent. . Jesus invites these who’ve been consumed by their idols to, ‘Come unto me you who are weary and heavy laden and I (unlike idols) will give you rest.’ That is why, in a post Christian western world, idols inevitably increase as does the inability to cherish, receive and to extend grace. The good news, however, is that the more scrutinizing, demanding and condemning things get, the more compelling the alternative community we call ‘the church’ becomes.