CANCEL CULTURE…

Are we redefining history or erasing it?

“History is written by the victors.” Attributed often to Winston Churchill, this quote summarizes how history is often written, especially when it comes to politics and world affairs. One only has to look at the Tulsa Race Massacre­­—a horrifying piece of history that involved mobs of whites attacking the black residents of Tulsa Oklahoma in 1921, killing hundreds in the process and burning the business district to the ground. This attack is attributed to being the single worst incident of racial violence in American history. Yet, it wasn’t until only recently that we collectively were made aware of this ugly piece of history.

Locally, the announcement of the removal of the Fountain of the Pioneers from Bronson Park spurred anger and heated debates from both sides. Designed in 1937, the fountain featured an armed white man standing before a kneeling American Indian, and was hailed by many as a modern work of art, even gathering critical acclaim from Frank Lloyd Wright. But more recently, some saw the fountain as racist and memorializing genocide. In 2018, the City of Kalamazoo removed the fountain to the dismay and disappointment of many who viewed the decision as erasing history and catering to a select few.   

Where is the thin line between cultural evolution and erasing history, and is there a compromise? We need to acknowledge that those who have ancestors in America who have suffered at the hands of others, deserve to walk through a public park without having to explain to their children, the statues and monuments celebrating the demise of their ancestors and culture. How do we learn from history if we are only reading the whitewashed version. Can we still acknowledge these pieces of historical art without insulting differing cultures?

Of course, we can.

Moving questionable historical pieces out of public parks, and into museums and historical grounds, where the piece can be depicted along with proper data and intellectual content, is a good start.

The literary world is also dealing with Cancel Culture. One book under the spotlight is the epic novel, “Gone with the Wind,” with many calling for the book to be pulled from libraries, and the movie pulled from viewership. Actress Whoopie Goldberg argued that Americans should be careful about retracting part of our history and instead suggested that “Gone with the Wind” could feature a disclaimer at the beginning of the film. Goldberg is absolutely correct. Censorship is wrong on any level. Historical literature and films can and should remain with proper context. And rightly so, HBO Max has reportedly said that it will resume airing “Gone with the Wind” along with context surrounding its content.

In another positive move, the family of Dr. Suess stopped future publications of several Dr. Suess books deemed racist. It is important to note that these books are not banned. They are simply not printing future editions. It was the right decision.

Cancel Culture isn’t about erasing history, it’s about redefining how we view it. And it’s damn time children learned of the Tulsa Race Massacre from history books.  

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

I have two sons. While I realize I will never know the joys of having a daughter, the same can be said for the many things in life we may never experience—like not having children at all, choosing a job that is death-defying (which brings me back to parenting), or moving overseas. Simply put, we don’t miss what we don’t know. I love my choices, adore my two boys, and wish for nothing more.

Still… as I watch my girlfriend answer her phone from her adult daughter even though she just called an hour ago, I understand that their bond is different from what I share with my sons. Not better or worse, just different. The saying goes, A son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life. A bit trite perhaps (and sexist, but let’s save that for another time), but this sappy sentiment sums up the difference between mothers and their relationships with sons and daughters.

So, dear future daughter-in-law, here are a few things you’re going to want to know before joining hands in matrimony with either of my sons…

  • It’s not you, it’s him – I may be the mother of your beloved, but I’m also a woman who was in the same place you are now. And I have the luxury of having learned the many quirks, idiosyncrasies, and faulty wiring in the male species. In the event of any fight you may have with my son (and you will have them), I’m likely to ask him what he did wrong, and suggest he apologize. I don’t even need your side of the story.
  • He’s going to grow up – One British medical report states that, on average, the male brain doesn’t reach full capacity until age 43, while the female brain flourishes 11 years earlier. The truth is, that young man you’re in love with, is only going to get better with age. But then, you can say that about all of us.
  • I’m going to be the be best damn mother-in-law – I know this because I also began married-life as the new daughter-in-law. It can be an uncomfortable fit when the mother of your soon-to-be is convinced that no one is good enough for her son. You’re not only good enough, I think my sons will have to work at it to rise to your standards. Love my boys? Check. Knowing my sons aren’t perfect? Double-check.
  • I’m going to love you no matter what – If my boys decide to marry, they will not be the only ones who will fall in love. If they see something in you, so will I, because my sons have good taste.
  • It’s OK if life takes a different turn – Whatever the future holds, you need to do what’s best for you, and I will understand. Even if you don’t remain a part of my son’s life, you will always have a place in my heart.

So, dear future daughter-in-law, hear this. While the two of you may make the perfect couple, you are just as complete as one.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.netand facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Movie Review – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Described as a “Thrilling and wildly entertaining story about a delicious new take on revenge,” this Oscar nominated movie takes viewers on an exhilarating emotional rollercoaster as Carey Mulligan grabs hold of the role of anti-hero, Casandra, and chokes it to delightfully new heights.

While billed as a thriller, please note that this goes far beyond the mindless storyline of FRIDAY THE 13TH wannabe slasher movies. Rather, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN delivers on all cylinders – creating a story that encompasses the heart and compassion found in another movie billed as a thriller… THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which won several Academy Awards, including  BEST PICTURE, BEST ACTRESS, and BEST DIRECTOR. And like THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, this film peels back several layers, revealing the horrifying ramifications that can result from the victimization of women that is still gaining traction from the ME TOO movement.

Halfway through this movie, I said aloud, “This can’t end well.” Boy, was I wrong, what an ending! Rent it tonight on Amazon for $5.99 and cheer on Carey Mulligan and Director Emerald Fennell tomorrow at the Oscars.       

By Heidi McCrary, author of CHASING NORTH STAR

Letterman and Limbaugh

Why these two are more alike than different

Recent days were marked with a peculiar combination of news stories that brought two mainstays of the entertainment industry back to trending status on social media—David Letterman and Rush Limbaugh. While being two distinctively different stories, there is also a curious similarity between the two…

February 17 saw the passing of Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio personality. Love him or hate him, Limbaugh knew how to work a room and instinctively knew how to rile up his frenzy of listeners known as Dittoheads. Radio Personality is an appropriate moniker for Limbaugh because he most definitely was playing a character when sitting at the microphone. It is doubtful that he walked down his street calling his neighbors Femi-Nazis, and was, in all likelihood, a likable man. And a smart man who understood the pipeline he had tapped into, growing his base and popularity by appealing to right-wing listeners who appreciated his humor and insight while he unabashedly made fun of liberals and any caller daring to lean left.

It was a curiosity as to why left-leaning people called into his show to argue his politics and rhetoric. Surely, they understood that they would become his radio-wave punching bag. He never let up and never uttered the words, “Maybe you have a point,” to anyone daring enough to question his beliefs and insight. He didn’t have to, for his dittoheads weren’t tuning in for thoughtful discussions. They were there to cheer him on while he steamrolled differing opinions. Limbaugh knew this and never disappointed his listeners.

Which brings us to David Letterman, host for many years of The Late Show on network TV, and now on Netflix with My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. He is an entertainer who understands that his success is tied to being a smart interviewer who doesn’t shy away from asking the uncomfortable questions. He doesn’t pretend to be a nice guy. Instead, Letterman takes delight in making his guests squirm in the hotseat. So it should come as no surprise that there are numerous instances of him belittling guests—ranging from Lohan, Cher and Winfrey to Justin Bieber, back when he was just a kid invited to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman.

While there is probably extraordinarily little crossover in the target audience for these two entertainers, one thing makes them remarkably the same. Simply put, David Letterman is, and Rush Limbaugh was, a bully.

As the popularity of these two bullies grew, so did their actions, as they took delight in strangling and cutting off the voices of select guests who made the unfortunate decision to appear on their shows. While most of us mature as we grow older, so should our penchant for belittling those around us. And as we condemn or applaud the action of these two men, perhaps we should understand that they grew in power because we were clapping and cheering on the sidelines. They are a mirror of us.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and author of Chasing North Star. Keep up with her at https://heidimccrary.net/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor