Calling in the Calling Out Culture

Michelle Choi MD Journal

The process of Calling-out in our culture today can be dehumanizing. I found Professor Loretta Ross so inspiring because she speaks so honestly about how derisive calling-out is, and brings up a more productive and humane approach to correct the wrongs.⁠

Let’s be real. Who hasn’t made a mistake? And I think the word mistake should be plural- Mistakes! Do we ever stop learning?!? And who isn’t ashamed of some of the things we’ve said in our younger days when we were more ummmm, More IgNoRaNt. ⁠

A version of call-out culture, is important to reveal the injustices that exist and the need for greater reform. And while it’s important to recognize mistakes, it’s important to show our fellow humans what could be the right way, explain and discuss, so that the mistakes can be avoided in the future. That if we want to correct the indecencies that occur, that we are decent in the process! If you are going to call someone out for the mistake, then it seems only right that you are also there for the process of change. Kind of like King Arthur’s table, Britain’s legendary king, where he and his knights sat at a round table, so that there was no head, and everyone who sat at the table had equal status. Meaning, no one is better nor worse than the other. ⁠

But now with the power of social media, when your mistake happens to occur on or posted on social media, it can feel grave and irreparable. It feels more like public shaming such that there is a possibility that one may never talk again. If we are not careful, only the loudest, the most abrasive, the biggest bully will be heard- and they may not necessarily be right. I can’t help but feel that if one deliberately hurts and feels better at the expense of another, there’s something wrong there. Let’s be honest, we all have to learn. Sometimes, I feel like I have to learn all the time. Is it painful sometimes? Oh yeah. But I’m still standing. ⁠But maybe the key thing is to stand with others, and sometimes you need some hand holding.

Michelle Choi MD