A southern California high school teacher made a Tik Tok video. I assume, since she decided to first create it, then post it, that she thought it was a good idea to do so. Why?
Teacher mocks the American Flag and suggests to students they can say the Pledge of Allegiance to the pride flag: pic.twitter.com/1QTS5xjPln
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 27, 2021
Had this not already gone viral, I would not have included the video. But that ship has sailed so there’s no purpose to keeping it under wraps. Instead, it raises some questions about virtue signaling to one’s echo chamber, pathological narcissism and the disinhibition of people, from the teacher who made the Tik Tok to the flaming nutjobs who now believe it’s their right, if not duty, to destroy her.
There is no question that she has the right to believe as she chooses and speak her mind, whether you (or I) agree or not. There is a very real question whether she has the right to use her position as a teacher to engage in the conduct she describes in her video, as her role in the classroom is to teach a subject, not impart her personal ideology to students compelled to go to school by law and parents who want their children to be educated. She’s an English teacher. The students in her class are entitled to be taught English, not ideology. Their parents may not be aware of what their teacher is doing to their children, and they should be.
What does her school administration think of what she had to say in this video? That’s unclear. They may well be fine with it or not. The students and their parents may be fine with it as well or not. Perhaps this is the teacher they want at that school. Or not. But now that this video has gone viral, and the reactions to it are unsurprisingly severe, they will be put to the test. If this is what they approve of, so be it. If not, then this teacher will bear the consequences of her deciding it was a great idea to post this Tik Tok.
But these are issues for her school, her students and their parents to decide. Not for randos on social media. If she was my kids’ teacher, I would have a problem. But she’s not. And much as I find her pride in putting this rather striking display on social media extremely disturbing, it is not my place to tell either her school district or her students what to do about it. They get to make their own decisions, just as she did in putting her video out in the ether to bask in the cutesy validation of giggly wokies.
When this shifted from disagreeing with, and criticizing, her views into doxxing her and attacking to cost her the teaching job and perhaps any future she might have, it crossed the line. When I (as well as others) pointed out that it crossed the line into cancel culture, there were three primary points of dispute.
- She’s a public school teacher and is objectively harming students.
- She’s paid by “our” tax dollars and so we have a right to seek her cancellation.
- She’s put it online and asked for it.
In response to the criticism that they’re engaging in the same “cancel culture” they abhor from the left, the reactions were typically hypocritical.
- We have to fight fire with fire.
- They started it and so we get to give it back to them.
- It’s different when it’s really bad like this.
The teacher was doxxed. The school was “notified.” And her principal replied.
What Principal Wagner ultimately does has yet to be seen, but this is his proper role as principal to address the classroom conduct of his teachers. But the crazies on social media aren’t the principal. They aren’t the students. They aren’t the parents of students. They’re no different than any other narcissistic rando who feels entitled to join a swarm of gnats to destroy someone they despise.
What’s hard to see here is the narcissism that pervades all of these decisions, these choices. It’s become so endemic that it’s like asking a fish to describe water. Everyone feels entitled to have their personal view manifest into a world view. This teacher did so in making and posting this infantile tripe. The crazies who want to destroy this teacher did so in believing their nonsensical excuses, no different than the lies perpetrated by their opposites to rationalize their effort to control others, to seek hegemony. It’s not that every narcissist believe their sensibilities should rule others, but that they fail to grasp that this is unadulterated narcissism.
You disagree with something? That’s fine. You’re allowed. But that doesn’t make your disagreement some sort of universal “truth” that dictates what should become of others, what other must think, feel or do. What could possibly make you believe that you are the universal arbiter of good and evil, of truth and falsity, or right and wrong? Yet, so many of you do, and do so without shame.
A prof yesterday responded to something by noting that humility is dead. Yes, a bit ironic given the role academics have played in fostering narcissism by telling every student they’re special, their opinion matters and pandering to their infantile demands from pronouns to big rocks. But his point was well taken, that we can have views, but so what? We all have our own thoughts and feelings. We decide what matters to us and how we think that should guide our own conduct.
But that’s about us, not about how we dictate to others how they must behave in order to validate our thoughts and beliefs. We are only the rulers of our own domain, no one else’s. And to put an even sharper point on it, most of us haven’t done a particularly swell job of running our own lives, so what makes you believe you’re entitled to run anyone else’s?
It’s unlikely that the teacher posting this Tik Tok expected it to escape into the wild and bring a shitstorm down on her head. It’s likely she thought only her tribe would see it and shower her instead with laughs, validation and approval for being so brave and fierce in her woke goofiness. That’s because she’s a narcissist, just like those crazies who reacted to her Tik Tok. And yet so few can even see it anymore.