When callout culture is uncharitable.
it is not a good idea to start by assuming the worst about people and reading their actions as uncharitably as possible,” Lukianoff and Haidt tell us, “This is a [cognitive] distortion known as mind reading.”
When applied in this way, the misappropriation and misuse of the term “microaggression” becomes another mechanism for dismissing and silencing the voices of others by openly shaming them and making them chronically anxious about saying anything for fear it might be misconstrued as inappropriate. Referring to this practice as the “callout culture,” Coddling says, “anyone can be publicly shamed for saying something well-intentioned that someone interprets uncharitably.” When used in this way, this misapplication of “microaggression” is not merely a form of mindreading, but of mind control.
Eklof, Todd. The Gadfly Papers: Three Inconvenient Essays by One Pesky Minister . Kindle Edition.
The idea of a “microaggression” is a helpful concept if used in the appropriate context, but when taken out of context and used as a weapon to manipulate and control the speech of people it can be destructive.
This “callout culture” and attempt to shame other people as a means of controlling them is a favorite tactic of the self righteous left in which, unfortunately, Unitarian Universalists participate. In pursuing a social justice agenda, UUs have forgotten their spiritual mission to facilitate the awareness of holiness in every person.
Unfortunately, all too often the leaders in UU congregations and the UUA instead of manifesting mature leadership have joined and enhanced this dynamic of calling out and shaming the ideas of others. Rather than handling comments “charitably” as Lukianoff and Haidt suggest, the calling out of alleged microaggressions is used as a weapon to attack others and accuse them of suspect motives and thinking inappropriately and uncharitably. These attacks give rise to silencing, marginalization, exiling, and withdrawal and our congregations and Association rather than being better are worse off for it.