Over the weekend, indie-rock followers of a sure age had been shocked to study that “Bean Dad” — a person who posted a protracted Twitter thread about refusing to show his hungry, crying daughter how you can function a can opener — was John Roderick, frontman of the veteran Seattle band the Lengthy Winters and at the moment a podcaster. Many had been much more disturbed to study that Roderick’s Twitter historical past included racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic language. Whereas Roderick’s cohost Ken Jennings rushed to his protection, the backlash was swift: Amid many extraordinarily vital responses, Roderick deleted his Twitter account, and the podcast “My Brother, My Brother, & Me,” which had used one in all Roderick’s songs as a theme, mentioned it will now not be doing so.
Whereas his Twitter account stays inactive, Roderick posted an almost 1,000-word apology on his web site Tuesday morning, writing “My parenting story’s insensitivity and the legacy of hurtful language in my previous are each profound failures.” He claims that the bean story was an exaggerated, “poorly advised” routine. “I didn’t share how a lot laughing we had been doing,” he wrote, “how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as we labored on the issue, or that we’d each had a full breakfast collectively a number of hours earlier than.” He additionally mentioned that he hadn’t realized the story can be taken critically and can be triggering for victims of kid abuse.
“I used to be ignorant, insensitive to the message that my ‘pedant dad’ comedic persona was indistinguishable from how abusive dads act, discuss and assume,” he wrote. “I’m deeply sorry for having precipitated extra harm on this planet, for having extended or exacerbated it by combating again and being flippant when confronted, and for taking my Twitter feed offline yesterday as a substitute of dealing with the music,” he wrote.
He used an identical tack to clarify his prior use of racist and homophobic phrases. “All of these tweets had been supposed to be ironic, sarcastic,” he mentioned. “I assumed then that being an ally meant taking the slurs of the oppressors and flipping them to mock racism, sexism, homophobia, and bigotry… It was a lazy and damaging ideology, that I continued to consider gone the purpose I ought to’ve recognized higher that as a result of I used to be a hipster mental from a various group it was okay for me to joke and deploy slurs in that context. It was not.”
Roderick’s put up follows in full.
I deactivated my Twitter yesterday in a panic. I needed to replicate on what I’d performed and the harm I’d brought on and my thoughts was clouded by an unprecedented move of recent data. I need to acknowledge and make amends for the accidents I brought on. I’ve many issues to atone for. My parenting story’s insensitivity and the legacy of hurtful language in my previous are each profound failures. I need to confront them straight.
My story about my daughter and the can of beans was poorly advised. I didn’t share how a lot laughing we had been doing, how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as we labored on the issue, or that we’d each had a full breakfast collectively a number of hours earlier than. Her mom was within the room with us all day and alternately laughing at us and telling us to be quiet whereas she labored on her laptop computer. All of us took activates the jigsaw puzzle.
I framed the story with me because the asshole dad as a result of that’s my comedic persona and my followers and mates comprehend it’s “a bit”.
What I didn’t perceive when posting that story, was that quite a lot of the language I used reminded individuals very viscerally of abuse they’d skilled on the hand of a father or mother. The concept that I’d withhold meals from her, or drive her to unravel a puzzle whereas she cried, or bind her to the duty for hours and not using a break all had been photos of kid abuse that affected many individuals very deeply. Rereading my story, I can see what I’d performed.
I used to be ignorant, insensitive to the message that my “pedant dad” comedic persona was indistinguishable from how abusive dads act, discuss and assume.
I awoke yesterday to search out that I had change into #BeanDad. I used to be a locus for an amazing outpouring of anger and grief. It took me hours to completely grasp. I reread the story and noticed clearly that I’d framed it so poorly, so insensitively. Bean Dad, filled with braggadocio and dickhead swagger, was hurting individuals. I’d conjured an abusive father or mother that many individuals acknowledged from actual life.
I’m deeply sorry for having precipitated extra harm on this planet, for having extended or exacerbated it by combating again and being flippant when confronted, and for taking my Twitter feed offline yesterday as a substitute of dealing with the music. I want the mother and father I modeled didn’t exist; I want nobody needed to develop up with a father or mother who tortured them bodily or emotionally. I’d by no means deliberately make gentle of these experiences and I’ll by no means underestimate once more the ache I may cause with some poorly chosen phrases and by appearing defensively when challenged.
As for the various racist, anti-Semitic, hurtful and slur-filled tweets from my early days on Twitter I can say solely this: all of these tweets had been supposed to be ironic, sarcastic. I assumed then that being an ally meant taking the slurs of the oppressors and flipping them to mock racism, sexism, homophobia, and bigotry. I’m humiliated by my extremely insensitive use of the language of sexual assault in informal banter. It was a lazy and damaging ideology, that I continued to consider gone the purpose I ought to’ve recognized higher that as a result of I used to be a hipster mental from a various group it was okay for me to joke and deploy slurs in that context. It was not. I spotted, someday within the early a part of the last decade, helped by real-life mates and Twitter mates too, that my standing as a straight white male didn’t allow me to “repurpose” these slurs as individuals from disenfranchised communities would possibly do. They had been injurious no matter my intent, as a result of the phrases themselves have energy and since precise violence is commonly prefaced by individuals saying, “I’m not racist, however…”
That was improper, so I ended.
Yesterday these previous tweets resurfaced and harm lots of people anew. People who find themselves near me, individuals in my group who couldn’t sq. these phrases with the individual they know me to be. And individuals who don’t know me, going about their enterprise yesterday, needed to see these terrible slurs and really feel the harm these phrases encourage. They needed to endure this asshole #BeanDad casually demeaning them and their mates. I deeply remorse having ever used these phrases. I don’t need to unfold extra hate on this planet. I need the alternative.
My language wasn’t applicable then or now and reflecting on that has been a part of my persevering with training as an grownup who desires to be ally. That training is ongoing, and this expertise can have a profound impact on the way in which I conduct myself all through the remainder of my life.
I’m a middle-aged, middle-class straight white male and I attempt to be cognizant of that and of the duty my privileges entail in all the things I do. On this case, it was exactly my privilege of not dwelling in an abusive household, of not being a member of a group that routinely experiences actual trauma, that brought on me to so grossly misjudge the influence of the language I selected.
I’ve much more reflecting to do within the coming days so I’ll be taking a hiatus from my public life to let a few of these classes sink in. I apologize to my companions, my mates, and to all of the individuals affected by my phrases for the harm I brought on.