“Make way, good people, make way, in the King’s name!” cried he. “Open a passage; and, I promise ye, Mistress Prynne shall be set where man, woman, and child may have a fair sight of her brave apparel, from this time till an hour past meridian. A blessing on the righteous Colony of the Massachusetts, where iniquity is dragged out into the sunshine! Come along, Madam Hester, and show your scarlet letter in the market-place!”
That’s from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, a story set in Puritan New England in the mid-1600s. It tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman who’d had an affair and gotten pregnant outside of marriage and endured public humiliation as punishment. She was made to wear the letter “A” on her dress to indicate her sin—and she was to start her punishment by standing for three hours in the town square to be gawked at by anyone who passed by. From that day forth, the scarlet letter on her dress would tell anyone who saw it that she was a social pariah. The shame extended to her daughter as well, who grew up without playmates or friends.
Moral of the story aside, I want to focus on that letter—that kind of “branding” that turned the woman into something other human beings would be ashamed to associate with.
How far are we from that today?
No, we’re not whipping people for falling asleep in church or throwing them in the stocks for publicly kissing on a Sunday—and we’re certainly not forcing unwed mothers to walk around with clothes announcing what they’ve done. Thankfully we’re many, many generations removed from that kind of Puritan legalistic insanity.
I’m talking about societal shame. I’m talking about the full-court push to ensure society sees certain people as shameful “untouchables.”
Except, instead of societal exclusion and shaming for breaking a moral code, it is societal exclusion and shaming for holding beliefs contrary to (or not as radical as) the American left wing.
Worse still, if you’re part of the media or entertainment industrial complex and you’re found to be associating with a deplorable, well—how dare you. How COULD you.
I see the scarlet letter when I see singer Lana Del Rey, and the backlash she faced for dating … a cop:
“When Lana Del Rey’s first photographed date with Sean ‘Sticks’ Larkin, a police officer turned law enforcement community influencer, made the rounds on the internet, fans had a lot to say about it. Given the history of police brutality, the domestic abuse rate among police officers, and the many documented instances of abuse of power in the police, there was some concern from fans.”
The left doesn’t like police. Therefore, police are pariahs—and anyone associated with them must pay.
I see the scarlet letter when I see singer Demi Lovato (of Jewish and Christian background) shamed into apologizing for taking a trip to Israel and being baptized in the Jordan. “After being castigated as a Zionist tool,” Lovato took down her posts and apologized.
The left doesn’t like Israel. Therefore, Israel is a pariah—and anyone associated with it must pay.
I see the scarlet letter when I see Ellen DeGeneres, who dared to sit and enjoy a game with her friend and this country’s former president, George W. Bush. She was demonized by those of her same political persuasion for daring not only to sit with the former president, but for continuing to defend it afterward. Vanity Fair called her view that we should be “kind” to one another “out of touch with reality,” and celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon accused her of cozying up to a “war criminal.”
The left reaaaaallllyy doesn’t like Republicans. Therefore, Republicans are pariahs—and anyone associated with them must pay.
There’s such a rabid, ferocious anger afoot in our nation today. It is a searing, passionate hate emanating from the political left wing that wants to see anything and everything it doesn’t agree with silenced—and it definitely doesn’t want anybody on its “side” to fall out of line. Not only are we “right wingers” supposed to stay silent in the supposed backwoods we came from, but no one else even remotely in the same zip code as “left wing” should be seen with us. People like Lana Del Ray aren’t supposed to be cool with cops. People like Demi Lovato aren’t supposed to be cool with supporting Israel. People like Ellen DeGeneres aren’t supposed to be cool with Republicans.
No. They’re supposed to HATE. IT. ALL.
Fearing the scarlet letter themselves, these celebrities often cave. Del Ray made a point to emphasize that her boyfriend was a “good” cop and that he “sees both sides.” Lovato removed her post and apologized profusely. DeGeneres has stood her ground for now—but we’ll see.
Ironically enough, today in Minneapolis it was “Love Trumps Hate” day. Why? Because President Trump was coming to town and Mayor Frey couldn’t stand it. Instead of using his own office as an opportunity to show tolerance towards a man he strongly disagrees with, Mayor Jacob Frey did everything he could to be a thorn in the side of the president and the 72,000+ people vying for a spot to come and see him at The Target Center.
How can love trump hate when those purporting to love are the ones pinning a societal scarlet letter on everyone they don’t agree with? How can the very people who pride themselves on their “tolerance” show such incredible intolerance?
This isn’t who we are, and it’s not how we heal this ever-growing division (and the left’s obsession with it) in our country. This is, however, exactly how the human race has gotten to its lowest points in our history.
And it ought to terrify you to your core.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston, and on Newsmax TV. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree