Lady Who Tried To Cancel Everyone's Bread Baking Is So Mad She Got 'Cancel Cultured'
Back in the beginning of May, a woman named Caren White called the manager on America. Or at least those Americans who — in response to the fact that running to the store for a loaf of bread that may or may not be there was a bad idea in the middle of a pandemic — had taken up baking their own.
In a post on Medium, Ms. White excoriated those whom she believed had taken up baking as a hobby, explaining that this had led to flour and yeast — like practically everything else at that time — being in short supply. This was very bad, as she needed that flour and yeast for the same reasons everyone else needed that flour and yeast, but moreso because her family was too good for "store bought bread."
It included this line, which I just don't know that I'll ever be over:
You see, I am one of THOSE people. You know the ones. You offer them a plate of food and they look at it suspiciously asking "Is that organic?"
Naturally, people laughed and laughed and laughed, because who could even believe this asshole was a real person? Who says things like that?
The post was swiftly removed and practically the only record of it ever having existed is the fisked version here on Wonkette.
We had all assumed that Caren White had gone away forever, to exist only as a "Oh hey, remember when that awful person was the main character on the Internet for a day?" kind of thing. Like that racist yoga lady.
But she's back, she's mad as hell and she's not going to take it anymore.
In a new post on Medium, titled "I Will Not Be Silenced" (although apparently she will since she did pull that post), Caren White details what she claims is her experience with "cancel culture." How someone no one ever heard of before they decided to announce to the whole world that they are a giant asshole, with no prompting whatsoever, can be "canceled," I am not sure.
In May, I wrote an article critical of the pandemic bread baking craze. My thesis was that bored people looking for a new hobby were creating severe shortages that negatively impacted needy families in their communities who needed the flour and other ingredients to feed their families. I was trying to raise awareness about the needs of the less fortunate in our communities. I expected some pushback but hoped that it would lead to a dialogue about sharing resources in a time of scarcity.
Well, that is certainly a giant load of horseshit. She wrote a post in which she intended to shame other people, and instead got shamed herself. Sometimes, that's just the way the organic, homemade crouton crumbles.
Please to recall.
I want to know what is in my food so I make it myself. By the way, croutons? Made from my homemade bread. Breading for fried chicken? Made from my homemade bread. Stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey? Made from my homemade bread. So when you buy up all of the flour and leavening ingredients for the sake of pretty photos on your Instagram feed you are literally taking food from my mouth. And the mouths of other families who also do their own their baking so that they can provide healthy food for their families.
People were not just baking bread as a cool new hobby (and also who even cares if they were, as long as they were eating the bread and not, say, wearing it as a stylish hat?). It was a pandemic. We weren't supposed to be going to the store. Regular bread was often out of stock. This had nothing to do with needy families, as most needy families are not baking their own fresh bread every other day, because of how they are too busy working. Her family was not "needy" financially and thus unable to purchase store-bought bread — she just didn't like it and thought her family was too good for it. This was not a monetary issue, and that is why no one was having a dialogue with her about "sharing resources in a time of scarcity."
Well that and the fact that no one on the planet wants to have a dialogue about anything with the kind of person who sneers at food someone has given her and says "Is that organic?" Not the weather, not the most recent episode of the "Real Houswives of New York," nothing. Literally nothing.
She then goes on to pretend this was about "needy families" — which, you know, it wasn't.
The article went viral for all the wrong reasons. Instead of civil discussions, I was bombarded with messages filled with hatred, vituperation and personal attacks. The two favorite epithets were "bitch" and "cunt". The words "entitled" and "selfish" were bandied about by people who had never met me and therefore knew nothing about me as a person.
What was most striking to me was that not a single message contained any reference to the needy in their communities. It was all about themselves and their "right to bake". I'm no legal scholar, but I am fairly certain that there are no laws guaranteeing a "right to bake". Nor are there any court decisions affirming a "right to bake".
She's right. There is no law guaranteeing a right to bake. There is also no law saying that everyone has to make sure Caren White has all of her baking supplies before any one else gets any.
What she's quite wrong about, however, is that the people who called her "entitled" and "selfish" knew every thing they needed to know about her from that post. It's just not the kind of thing that would occur to a person who was not bizarrely entitled and selfish to write. Like I said at the time, the pasta shelves were also bare and not once did it occur to me to yell at people who might not make pasta as much as I make pasta to stop making pasta. Being that I am not an entitled and selfish jackass, I understood that people needed shelf-stable items because going out a few times a week in a pandemic was not a smart idea.
She then goes on and on for a long while about how her essay was about needy families and the less fortunate, all of whom can only eat fresh organic foods, and shares her disappointment in all of us for not caring about those people. Then she complains about people telling her that she needs to die — which is not good, but is pretty much just a thing that happens when you write on the internet. It shouldn't happen, but it happens to everyone. I got "death threats" for years over an article saying Morgellons isn't real (Morgellons is not real).
And then it came. Those who had criticized her on the internet and threatened to boycott her business were basically Vladmir Putin coming to execute her.
People who are familiar with history and politics will recognize a pattern here. The tactics used by the trolls are straight out of the totalitarian playbook for stifling dissent and enforcing groupthink.
· Public shaming
· Denial of livelihood
· False confessions
This how Putin (Russia), Xi (China) and Kim (North Korea) maintain their positions of power and keep their people under control. There is only one "right" way to think and speak in those and other totalitarian nations. Nothing else is allowed. Any divergence from the official line is severely punished and can even result in execution.
NO ONE IS TRYING TO MURDER YOU OVER YOUR STUPID BREAD OPINIONS, CAREN.
But I do not live in a totalitarian nation nor was I being pursued by the secret police. I was being attacked by an angry mob of my fellow Americans who were acting like the minions of some third world dictator intent on robbing me of my rights and forcing me to bow down to their will.
And yes, they were all Americans. Apparently they forgot that when you comment or message on Facebook, there is a link back to your profile so that I (and Facebook and the police) know who they are. Which, by the way, is how I managed to beat back the attacks. A combination of Facebook banning and police reports. The police take death threats VERY seriously.
Oh yeah, I'm sure we'll be seeing the mass arrests of people who called Caren a selfish and entitled asshole any day now.
But anyway, she then claims that all of the attention she got actually boosted her income, probably from all of the people who were like "Damn, I wanna sit next to the 'Uh, is that organic?' lady."
The trolls also didn't seem to realize that all of their unwanted attention was actually beneficial for me. All of those visits to both my Medium page and my website to post their filth resulted in a big bump in my income. I believe this falls under the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Caren ends her lament by wondering what happened to compassion, the exact emotion that likely would have prevented her from writing that essay in the first place:
Having experienced the wrath of a selfish, ignorant mob I find myself wondering about what kind of a society we have become. Why can we no longer debate issues in a civilized manner? Why is there now a need to destroy anyone who disagrees with us? And what happened to our basic humanity? What happened to our compassion for our fellow human beings?
"Why is there now a need to destroy anyone who disagrees with us?" is a very simplistic way of looking at things. It is also a question primarily asked by people who have, very recently, attempted to "destroy" those with whom they disagree.
One could say that Caren White was out to destroy those who took up baking during the pandemic. She was allowed, she feels, to criticize people whom she assumed were just baking bread for Instagram and then throwing it out, even though it is very unlikely that anyone was doing that. She hoped to shame people into not baking bread so that she could have all of the flour and yeast for her family. She hoped, probably, that people would post that essay to enlighten and properly shame people who posted bread they made on the internet. She hoped to create villains out of people who were just trying to survive and eat in a pandemic, accusing them of stealing organic, freshly baked bread from the mouths of her hungry children who were too special for store-bought bread.
It didn't work out that way, and now she's mad. She's mad that people decided to instead shame her for her crappy essay that, again, was intended to shame other people.
Why is it that when people like Caren White say something crappy, it's just "a difference of opinion" but when people criticize those crappy things, it's "cancel culture" and mere steps away from public executions? How do we work the rules on that? Because apparently, when Caren White expresses her opinion that everyone baking bread in a pandemic is an asshole, that's her opinion and free speech, but when people say "Wow, that sure is an asshole thing to say, Caren," they are doing cancel culture to her just like Vladmir Putin would.
I'm sorry, but until these people figure out the rules on who is and is not allowed to have an opinion, and whose opinion is free speech and whose opinion is "cancel culture," I don't know how we can help them. They're gonna have to get specific. I want lists. I want rules. And then, when they come up with that, we can all read it very seriously and then laugh at it just as hard as we laugh at Medium articles about who is and who isn't allowed to bake.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse