Ashton Kutcher: All Lives Matter people shouldn’t be cancelled, should be educated

Ashton Kutcher at arrivals for 53rd Acad...

Yesterday was “Blackout Tuesday,” and a lot of white celebrities participated in it. Which is missing the point – those white celebrities could and should be using their social media to amplify, inform, educate and engage. But so many people did it and many of them weren’t saying much of anything about Black Lives Matter BEFORE the blackout, which is also missing the point. Still, it was absolutely discouraging to see the reaction to all of those black boxes on Instagram and Twitter. The reactions were either “thank you, you’re doing the most for BLM!” or “you’re racist because All Lives Matter!” Both of those responses suck.

Anyway, Ashton Kutcher had some time to reflect on the “All Lives Matter” argument. He made a video, which I cannot access on Twitter because Ashton has had me blocked for years (lol). But I can still access his Instagram, so there you go.

“I don’t think All Lives Matter people should be cancelled, they should be educated.” Yeah but… what if we just cancelled them? Don’t get me wrong, if white people want to try to be allies by educating other white people on how they can be allies, so be it. I can think of better uses of time. Especially at this point – if you’re arguing with a 40-something white dude about “All Lives Matter,” guess what? That dude is not going to change his mind. And besides that, I can’t help but feel that most of these All Lives Matter people are just f–king bots anyway.

And yes, I think it’s funny that Ashton is pro-cancelling when it’s a Indian-American blogger who talked about all of the times he cheated on Demi Moore, or that time he did brownface and faked an Indian accent. But he’s anti-cancelling when it involves racists screaming “All Lives Matter!”

The Prince's Trust Awards, The London Palladium, UK

The Prince's Trust Awards, The London Palladium, UK

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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36 Responses to “Ashton Kutcher: All Lives Matter people shouldn’t be cancelled, should be educated”

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  1. goofpuff says:

    Well that statement tells me he’s a All Lives Matter person. Because clearly he’s never tried to talk to one and be dumbfounded at how illogical they are or how they will refuse to see the point behind their own self interest.

    • Tate says:

      I was walking to a peaceful protest yesterday with my 14 year old daughter. Suddenly we hear yelling. We turn and look and an old white guy is screaming at us from his truck “All lives matter!” We gave him no reaction and continued to the protest.

      There are a lot of people who are either incapable of understanding or don’t want to understand. I am not wasting my energy on them.

    • Portmanteau says:

      We’ll get there. Just keep pushing.

  2. Jensies says:

    There was a training I did last year as part of continuing ed for mental health professionals called R.A.C.E. Training. It was developed by a Black man and was all about how to be a better White ally by turning folks through listening to them and sharing your own journey with racism and being pretty vulnerable about when you’ve been racist in the past and how you came around. I think it works through getting through the defenses in a way that cancelling doesn’t, but it’s really hard and it’s a potentially lengthy process. All that to say, I do see his point here even though I can’t stand him.

    • Rmcgrudiva says:

      Thanks for this – I’ll look into this for my company.

      • Jensies says:

        @rmcgrudiva and @missmarierose It’s Dr David Campt who does it. Google him, he’s got some great articles that kind of explain his training in an overview way. Hope that helps!

    • MissMarierose says:

      That’s the sort of training that should be required for people in the criminal justice system.

  3. tanesha86 says:

    Ashton can get bent. We’ve been educating people but they don’t want to hear the message and at this point we’re tired. Anyone who doesn’t understand the movement and the intention behind it is wilfully ignorant and I won’t give them my time or emotional labor to try to fix them.

  4. S808 says:

    In 2020? We’re in the age where information is more accessible than ever before, people shouldn’t have to educate you. If you really care, you’d take the initiative and educate yourself.

  5. Jess says:

    I’m a white middle class middle aged woman (so, as my daughter informs me, a Karen) so I recognize that my privilege and position impacts everything I say and do. That being said, aside from my job (I still work for the man because I’m the sole support for my two kids) I’ve been getting increasingly more vocal and angry about everything in America now. And one of the most frustrating parts for me has been to see how many “liberal” white men (and women, to a lesser degree) are so willing to give a pass to the right wingers on racism and sexism and other bigotries. They always downplay it, insist we can still be friends, etc. It just shows me that, no matter how much they claim to understand, their privilege still makes it much easier for them to not see how inexcusable the “all lives matter” or other right wing nonsense is. (By the way, this is a total tangent, but a Hollywood example of “liberal” white guys not really caring about racism and abuse that still enrages me is McKay and Ferrell hiring Mel Gibson for their insipid Daddy’s Home movie.)

  6. serena says:

    Good luck educating racists and possibly fascist people.

    • Darla says:

      Yeah. No way. It can’t be done. It’s a waste of time.

    • MA says:

      Lol like Hitler and the rest of the chief Nazis weren’t educated? Including the worst of the colonizers, Republican officials, people in upper management who keep their leadership white, including the white liberals like Amy Cooper with their own biases? I hate this Poor White People myth, as if white people are well meaning and willing but just needed to be educated the right way. It’s exhausting.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      from my experience, those who are truly clueless and who can be educated *finally* got it with George Floyd’s murder. I’ve had a few two many experiences with willfully ignorant white folks (I am white) the past two days complaining about how awful it is that *they* have to pay for the sins of white slaveholders when either: (a) that was hundreds of years ago and/or (b) their families immigrated after slavery/didn’t own slaves – that person still resented when I (politely, actually) explained systemic racism. This morning, some yeeHA told me “I dont think thats what it implies at all, all lives matter, what about pakestinian children getting murdered daily, and syrians being made homelsss and murdered. So all lives do matter not everyone stands up for them all.” and then kept going on. He also says there’s like 0 racism in Ireland (I’ll leave that to the folks over there to react to).

      I hear the Trumpers are laying in some nasty humdingers about George Floyd acting as if not only was his death HIS fault but implying it wasn’t much of a loss (and that’s the most diplomatic way I can describe it) and I’m sorry to say that, based on the person who was proud to make those comments openly, that it’s being bandied around in the “Jews for Trump” groups. To me, the only thing more disgusting than someone being racist is when a fellow Jew – one who has the audacity to complain about antisemitism, no less – spouts that sort of heinously depraved crap that even soon-to-be-former Iowa Congressman Steve King would have the sense not to utter in public.

      On the bright side, I have seen a few people that usually remain silent on “political” issues start to pipe up including a few folks I’m pretty sure are knee-jerk GOP voters who are aghast at the realization of what they’ve been supporting with their votes and now doing some work to understand systemic racism, white privilege and are saying they want to vote for folks committed to dismantling it.

  7. OriginalLala says:

    It’s 2020, information is at our fingertips, discussions around race are happening everyday in the media and pop culture – if someone is clinging to their racist views, it’s a choice. I have no sympathy anymore.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    Given Ashton‘s own history, he should be using his platform to amplify other voices right now.

    There are some very well written articles out there explaining in clear terms why saying “all lives matter” is wrong. When I encounter it, I post the links. I never expect the person who said it first to actually read it or understand (one responded with “ I will never change my mind, you’re the close minded one!” without a hint of irony or self awareness, LOL) but always hope that maybe someone else will.

  9. Amelie says:

    I think you can do both, cancel and educate? They aren’t mutually exclusive.

    I don’t usually debate on social media in the comments because it’s usually pointless but I recently started following Nandi Bushell on Instagram. I had been following her on Twitter for awhile but I didn’t realize she also had IG. She’s a 10 year old girl known for her fun videos of her playing the drums. As an aside: She is a really good drummer (that I can tell, I’m not an expert) and her fun facial expressions of excitement and enthusiasm are so endearing. Anyways look her up because one day she is going to be one of the best known female drummers alive. She has performed with pretty famous artists like Lenny Kravitz.

    Anyways Nandi is biracial, her father is white and her mom is Black and she lives in England. She posted about BLM and Black Out Tuesday and some idiot white lady predictably posted “All lives matter.” Nandi responded explaining to her that statement was a micro aggression and of course the lady responded saying it wasn’t her intent and how she supported Black people in the US yadda yadda. I couldn’t let it go because I really didn’t see how it should be a 10 year old’s job to educate this lady and also Nandi is a kid and really shouldn’t have to deal with this sort of idiocy in her comments. I went back and forth with her a bit to explain to her that she was being disrespectful to Nandi with her whitesplaining and that she should go do some research on why she can’t say “all lives matter.” The commenter actually apologized saying she did some research and didn’t realize saying “all lives matter” was not okay to say and that she had learned something new. She also decided to not delete her comment in hopes of other people learning from our exchange (I later checked and other people piled on her for the comment so I think she finally realizes she should never say it going forward). I also think our exchange was restrained because it is a child’s social media account which probably helped. Look it’s not much but at least that’s one less person who won’t say it ever again. But I do think “face to face” conversations are probably more productive than debates online.

    • goofpuff says:

      That’s fine, but as a POC, I’m kind of done having to “educate” people. It’s exhausting and frustrating and relentless. Why is it my job all the F’ing time? Why can’t they take their head out of their ass and educate themselves and stop being bots?

      • Jensies says:

        @Goofpuff Totally agree, and the training/education I mentioned in my comment above was specifically meant for White people. White people need to do the work of education and change at this point, it’s not POC’s responsibility to do that.

  10. Goldie says:

    Eh. Maybe a few years ago, there were people who would say ” All Lives Matter” out of ignorance, without truly understanding why this message was harmful. However, by now, people who say it are proud racists, who understand exactly what they’re saying. You can’t change their minds. Only they can decide to change.

  11. KellyRyan says:

    You can only assist in educating those who want to learn. How many stories do we have on Cele where those who have family members who voted for Drumpf and won’t listen to reason. Another wealthy celebrity dummy who needs to donate, be quiet and learn.

  12. Jay says:

    Yes, but somehow it is always left to people of colour to do the educating!

    Well, maybe Ashton will step up and start the conversation since he recognizes the importance of his platform, and could probably use it for good. I’m sure he’s not just appeasing his followers by reassuring them they won’t be in danger of cancellation for their ignorance, and is ready to show us all what being a good ally looks like!

    Go forth, Ashton, and let the educating begin!

  13. Gigi La Moore says:

    As one black woman, I agree they need to be educated. Some would have to cancel their entire families otherwise. The only issue I see is most people will choose to remain ignorant.

  14. Ariel says:

    Translation: i have racist friends- but we are never to call them racist because i like them and they are “otherwise” cool- well cool to me.
    So, no cancelling my friends!

  15. Lanie says:

    Fine. Let Ashton do the educating then. It’s not my job or duty to educate the willfully ignorant so the Ashtons of the world won’t have to call out their friends and family.

    Certainly, not for free.

  16. MA says:

    Google is free. It’s 2020, don’t have time for his stupidity.

  17. Marianne says:

    I mean while it’s true that some people are so stuck in their ways that it doesn’t matter how many times you try and educate them, I can also see from his side that you also don’t gain people to your side by furthering alienating them. I think it all just depends on a case by case basis. If someone doesn’t want to change, then sure F Them….but if someone is trying to do better, then sure continue to educate.

  18. ME says:

    Ughh I can’t stand him…ever since he put on brown make-up and did the whole Indian accent. So insulting and gross.

  19. GoogleIt says:

    Remember, this is a guy who has stuck by (alleged) rapist Danny Masterson for years.

    And, true story, this is who the (Republican) governor of Iowa called when she needed advice on how to deal with the pandemic.

  20. emmy says:

    As a woman I am always willing to explain women’s issues to men. But most of the time you realize quickly they’re not interested in listening,they just want to mansplain. That’s when I tell them to read a book and leave me alone. It’s tiring and many of them are too comfortable in their ignorance. So as a white person, I completely understand that it’s not something we can expect of black people. Read a damn book. Educate YOURSELF.

  21. ClaireB says:

    As a very liberal white woman who has lived in a very red (and sort of rural) area for the last 15 years, the people I’ve met who support Drump and have the “thin blue line” stickers supporting the police on their vehicles are not interesting in having a real conversation about any subject at all, especially not one where they might have to admit they are not superior to another group of people. They are the result of the Republican’s successful campaign to pit the poor white people against black Americans. It’s going to take a cultural change to fix what has happened here. Their minds are closed and they are angry about their general disenfranchisement, but have been conditioned to channel that hatred and anger elsewhere. The illogic and mental gymnastics they go through to avoid facing reality must be painful, but they already have a whipping boy set up to use and they will keep using black people until they aren’t allowed to anymore.

  22. Ava says:

    It’s the same thing that happens during African American history month, Hispanic heritage month or Pacific Islander Asian America heritage month…a white person will comment “where’s white month!” “Why must we always have these separate months we are all the same!”
    it’s very frustrating. The reason is it’s not always about YOU. Those with privilege want to keep their privilege. They are not interested in education. Ima

  23. Maria says:

    Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the absurdity of Ashton Kutcher blocking you on Twitter? #goals

  24. Jill says:

    Yeah, no. The folx who are insisting on All Lives Matter at this point in the game can’t or won’t be educated. Apparently, that includes Ashton. Dude, it’s not about you. Read the f-ing room.

  25. Marigold says:

    My personal approach to it is this (and it’s just my own frame of reference on it as a white person trying to learn and do better than I did before I understood the things I understand now):

    I’m not a person of color, and it is for that reason that my frame of reference was one of ignorance for so very long. My friends of color experienced things outside of my own experience that I never witnessed and never knew about until they told me…which required serious emotional effort on their part. My blindness was not racism; it was a complacency bred from a privilege I didn’t recognize I was enjoying.

    As a white person who wants to be an ally, I don’t “cancel” other white people who are “All Lives Matter.” I feel that part of my duty as an ally is to lift the emotional burden of education from people of color. Many of the white people in the US were raised–as I was–to be colorblind, and it worked too well. They don’t see it. They don’t understand it. They have never witnessed it. So it confuses them to see bad behavior in the extremes or even the anger and upset of the peaceful protests. They don’t “get it” because they legit don’t know better in most cases. If I can be the reason that fewer people of color around me have to exert themselves again for yet another of their white countrymen who doesn’t get it…it’s the least I can do.

    As a white person, I can deal with the grief of having to explain it. If the all-lives person turns out to be a racist instead of a well-meaning person who didn’t know better, then I can be the one to listen to it instead of a person of color having to listen to it. I can be the one who expends the energy in that argument instead of a person of color having to be exhausted by it…again.

    Hope that made sense. I think what he’s saying is fine for white Americans, but I don’t presume to tell people of color whom they should and shouldn’t cancel over these subjects anymore. I just want to lift the load because it is simultaneously the least and the best that I can do.