Let me just paint a little picture here:
In 2012, a 15 year old Lianne Wadi posted several racist tweets. Tweets which resurfaced last week; over eight years later.
Lianne's father, Majdi Wadi, who is the CEO of a Mediterranean restaurant and grocery store called Holy Land, immediately fired his daughter, now 23, once the company began to receive public backlash.
Despite this, Midtown Global Market, a local hub for many minority-owned businesses, confirmed in a statement the same day that they were terminating Holy Land's lease.
At least two other companies have announced that they will no longer stock any of Holy Land's products and will sever their relationship. One going as far as to give away all of their remaining still rather than see it.
All of this happened within the space of a few days because a 15 year old posted racist tweets eight years ago.
To be clear, the tweets themselves were deeply offensive, and were even followed up in 2016 by a racist histogram caption. I'm in no way condoning her actions. I'm asking whether the actions of a teenager should carry repercussions for her entire family of this magnitude.
I'm asking whether we're okay with a society where we expect a father to fire his daughter for a mistake she made eight years ago and for even that to be insufficient to save the family business from the repercussions of her actions.
It's good that we're taking racism seriously. It's important that people are held accountable for their actions. But redemption has to be part of the story here too, doesn't it?
Despite the fact that she has over 20 million subscribers on YouTube, I’d never heard of Jenna Marbles before. But now that some videos she recorded have been deemed unacceptable by today's standards, she's leaving the platform.
One of the videos in question is of Jenna dressing up as Nick Minaj (as we know, impersonating someone who is of a different ethnicity to you is now inherently racist). Jenna removed the video shortly after publishing it 9 YEARS AGO (!!!), but that has made no difference to the backlash she's received now.
All that matters is that people were offended, and it hurt them, and for that I am so, unbelievably sorry…this isn’t okay, and it [the video] hasn’t existed on the internet for a long time, because it’s not okay.
Let me just say this: the standard for behaviour simply cannot be whether someone was offended by it. Can this really be all that matters? Part of life is being offended and having your feelings hurt, just as part of life is experiencing physical pain and unpleasant smells. If someone finds something offensive the appropriate response is not to wipe it from the face of the Earth.
Isn't it better to explore why it was found offensive, see what lessons can be learned and to move forward? Are you really willing to accept a world where people can't change and grow and make mistakes? Because if you are, I promise you this: however righteous you feel now, you'll find yourself on the wrong side of the moral law sooner or later.