One little thing to add to the discussion around Bill Cosby, who has taken some heat about a number of long-standing allegations of sexual assault. The new swarm of attention started when the comedian Hannibal Buress decided to do a little attention-grabbing shout-out on stage. Though a lot of the subsequent attention has focused on why a man completely unrelated to any of the incidents has credibility when the original accusers were ignored, and many have underestimated how career-boosting this move might be for Buress,* it remains a remarkable thing to do. It's the very rare example of someone with a public platform--a man with a public platform--using the sensationalist tastes of the internet-media complex to bring attention to an issue that is actually important.

See also Chris Kluwe on that troubling internet phenomenon: he will say a number of things that need to be said about the way women get treated because he has the unimpeachable confidence that, as a man, no one is going to attempt to hurt him as they have hurt the women who have done the same.

When you're in a position of power, or relative power, there are a lot of options: a problem can be ignored, or it can be subjected to an analysis that makes it partially the fault of all involved, it can be understood as a call to dignified suffering on the part of those who are hurt, it can be made the fault of those who provoked a response, or one can look with incredulity on the behavior of people who are like you to people who are not. The thing about being an educated white male heterosexual Christian in America is that while there are both many people who are like me and many who aren't, my thoughts, opinions and perspectives are going to be more respected on average than those people who are 'other' in some relevant respect. For people like me, Buress and Kluwe have to be the model: when a situation is intolerable, you have to use your position, no matter that you've done nothing to deserve it and it's not quite fair that you have it, in order to do something. For a few years now, the central question I ask myself about an issue is: "would any consequences flow to me if I chose to ignore this?" When the answer is 'no,' that's a sign that I should be concerned, that this is a place for moral inquiry to begin.

* "Fearlessly dedicated to the truth no matter the consequences" is a good look for a comedian, see also Chris Rock, Louis CK, Jon Stewart, and the long run of Lewis Black.

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