Patterico's Pontifications

6/2/2021

Actress from the Office Smeared by Phony Narrative of Racism

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Ellie Kemper, who played Erin on the TV show The Office, has been the target of a race smear campaign more ridiculous than usual. The absurdity of it is summed up in this headline at The Root: Ellie Kemper, Who Appeared on TV Show That Actually Starred Tituss Burgess, Outed as Former ‘KKK Princess’ on Twitter:

It all started this weekend when Twitter user @HereIsMySpout posted a thread with the leading sentence, “Ellie Kemper the actress who played Erin Hannon on The Office and starred in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been outed as a KKK Princess.”

Oop! Not Ellie KKKemper! Tell us more!

Well, apparently the rabbit hole was opened when it became apparent that there are basically “Klan Balls” in Kemper’s native St. Louis, Mo. They’re called Veiled Prophet Balls, and they were historically exclusive to elite white folks. According to Newsweek, African Americans were eventually allowed to join in 1979 after protest…but…why would we want to???

Go figure that something created for the elite in 1878 was “historically exclusive to elite white folks.” Kemper was named “The Queen of Love and Beauty” at one of these events in 1999, 20 years after blacks were allowed to join, but somehow she is now a “KKK princess” and has been smeared as a racist for the crime of winning a beauty pageant.

The “KKK princess” thing is all over Twitter, in one of the more blatant smears in recent memory.

Alex Griswold has a nice thread on Twitter debunking all this nonsense which you can read here. As for the notion that these were “basically Klan balls,” this is apparently based on this description from Scott Beauchamp at The Atlantic: “In fact, to underline the message of class and race hegemony, the image of the first Veiled Prophet is armed with a shotgun and pistol and is strikingly similar in appearance to a Klansman.” Sounds pretty Klanlike!!!! . . . until you learn that KKK members did not dress that way until 1915 at the earliest, and the robes did not really take hold until the 1920s. No matter to the “KKK princess” crowd, Griswold notes:

This urge to label people racist on the flimsiest of pretexts is totally out of control in this country. It’s a sickness and social media spreads it like the contagion it is. Maybe it’s time for people to socially distance themselves from Twitter.

41 Responses to “Actress from the Office Smeared by Phony Narrative of Racism”

  1. Then again, I found the evidence debunking this nonsense on Twitter too, so . . .

    Patterico (e349ce)

  2. I know of several definitions of racism; malice against members of another race, disparate impacts based on race, negative stereotypes based on race, harmful stereotypes based on race, perpetuating system that does any of the above.

    I can’t really see how any of these apply here.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  3. ‘[Just] 22% of Americans say they have ever used Twitter, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Noting how demographics of Twitter users differ from the average Americans, commentators have cautioned against media narratives that treat Twitter as representative of the populationadding that only 10% of users Tweet actively, and that 90% of Twitter users have Tweeted no more than twice.’ – source, wikitwitcounters.org

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  4. So much evil in this kind of effort, but I understand it. We want to make a difference and serve justice, but how do you do that if you’re only on twitter, only know about stupid celebrities? There’s all this potential from our easy access to information, all this energy to set right a world leaning further and further astray, but people don’t know how to actually serve justice.

    I think that’s just the fuel, the conditions, and I sincerely believe western civilization’s enemies are exploiting that over and over and over, hoping we eventually collapse.

    With some leadership, this energy could be something good. Imagine if all these social justice warriors had to go through a boot camp and then patrol inner cities, taking actual risk and stopping actual evil? Instead of saying a tennis player living a dream can be expected to refuse to do a press conference, while a cop getting kicked in the face should patiently de-escalate, they could just see the actual grey of the world, get their hands dirty trying to fix it, perhaps be less judgmental about people falling short. There are obviously 100 other areas actual work is needed. We need to take this Wall-E lifestyle and change that first.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  5. Looks like this click bait did its job. Twitter ready to destroy her. I hope she invested wisely because who knows when she will work again.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  6. We want to make a difference and serve justice, but how do you do that if you’re only on twitter,

    Some people want to make a difference. Others — probably more numerous — want a cheap and easy way to say “I’m better than you.”

    A white person calling other white people racist on the flimsiest pretext might be just posturing as morally superior. A POC reflexively calling white people racist might be claiming an innate moral superiority, and might also be trying to compensate for the kind of disappointment that anyone can face in life but is seen as an injustice. (I’ve heard some black people express a belief that every white person has an easy ride through life. And many are blind to the ways that white people have often given an explicit advantage to POC.)

    It’s all very damaging to social comity, and sometimes I wonder if that’s the intent. It also feeds the idea that all claims of racism are merely ideological propaganda to attack white people as such.

    Imagine if all these social justice warriors had to go through a boot camp and then patrol inner cities, taking actual risk and stopping actual evil?

    Or we could be more modest and say: They should talk with people in the inner cities and learn what their main concerns really are.

    Radegunda (2ba443)

  7. If you can’t find real prominent people who have links with something bad, you have to find false links.

    The same thing with statues.

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2020/06/24/hans-christian-hegs-abolitionist-statue-toppled-madison-what-know/3248692001

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  8. it’s just that people disagree on stuff

    and people who disagree with me must have something innately wrong with them

    they’re racists, white supremacists, or homophobes, transphobes, fascists, orange cultists, covid lab leak conspiracy theorists, rothschild space laserists

    it just reduces the brain workload so no breakers get tripped cuz then you have to call an electrician $$$$

    JF (e1156d)

  9. My favorite part of this is that Ms. Kemper was born in 1980, one year after the Veiled Prophet people integrated, yet somehow the taint of racism is still applied to her.

    I’ve noticed that the majority of this stuff comes from The Root, Vice, and Buzzfeed, so it’s pretty easy to see what their strategy for getting pageviews is. The Internet and social media were supposed to free up media and make it more accessible to the people, but it’s really just made it vastly more stupid, and in a world in which The New Republic, the New York Times editorial page, and Fox & Friends all exist that’s no mean trick.

    JVW (fade4c)

  10. The Internet and social media were supposed to free up media and make it more accessible to the people, but it’s really just made it vastly more stupid, and in a world in which The New Republic, the New York Times editorial page, and Fox & Friends all exist that’s no mean trick.

    JVW (fade4c) — 6/2/2021 @ 11:51 am

    It’s also a product of the long tail. There are enough people interested in niche stories like this to sell meaningful adds. If Patterico hadn’t written his post I’d never have heard of it. I don’t read those much and I didn’t recognize the actress when I googled her. But I’ve spent a few minutes on this today….

    Time123 (66d88c)

  11. “Maybe it’s time for people to socially distance themselves from Twitter.”

    LOL! What was your first clue?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. @10. Never seen the show; U.S. nor UK version. Not a big fan of anything Ricky Gervais.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. Others — probably more numerous — want a cheap and easy way to say “I’m better than you.”

    Everyone wants to do that. I can be judgmental, and it’s only through humility and maturity that we get over our crappy human nature.

    It is easier to display fashionable virtue on twitter than it was to burn witches, and it’s much easier than getting your hands dirty actually helping people these days (hell, those who help people are basically targetted these days).

    sometimes I wonder if that’s the intent. It also feeds the idea that all claims of racism are merely ideological propaganda to attack white people as such.

    Good points. I think it is the intent a lot of the time. Just tear America down.

    Or we could be more modest and say: They should talk with people in the inner cities and learn what their main concerns really are.

    If we did this (crazy and stupid) idea of mine, drafting youth to be police and other roles in society, where we all universally had a hand in it, we wouldn’t have to ask the inner city what they need ‘us’ to do, because they would be doing it for themselves. They would later be making decisions based on experience. We have it very easy, very soft. We need to use our advancement to be more productive on building this society instead of spending more time on twitter or the xbox.

    I don’t say that as the judge of twitter trolls. I think a lot of this ugliness like this post describes just reveals what idle people naturally become.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  14. A lot of people live in communities that had racial covenants at one time (none are enforcable today). I see a lot of opportunity there for smearing progressives as racists.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. If we did this (crazy and stupid) idea of mine, drafting youth to be police and other roles in society,

    I say we draft them to be old people! It’s a job old people hate!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. No worse than my idea

    Dustin (4237e0)

  17. In other news of cancel culture that actually did make a person’s life measurably worse, as opposed to random crap on twitter, a Stanford Law Student has his graduation postponed, threatening his ability to take the bar because of an obviously satirical poster he distributed mocking the Federalist Society,

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/06/special-snowflakes-at-stanford-federalist-society-demand-student-be-sanctioned-for-brutally-owning-them

    Only after this became a scandal did Stanford suddenly say, oh, never mind.

    Victor (9ebafe)

  18. The problem Victor, is that the Federalist Society abhors Trump and those justices that belong[ed] to the society all voted against Trump’s inane lawsuits.

    Apparently someone has confused the Federalist Society with “The Federalist”, a Trumpist hate site that has nothing at all to do with the Federalist Society.

    So, I too would want his graduation questioned for being too stupid to be a Stanford Law graduate.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. This should be evidence in the Federalist Society’s trademark case against “The Federalist”, if there were one.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. Then again, maybe they did hold their tongues while Trump appointed all those judges. But still, since there is a movement to toss Cruz and Hawley out of the Society (along with other supporters of the insurrection), that “satire” misses rather completely.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. I think the fact that Cruz and Hawley were Federalist Society members and that they push Federalist Society judges and Justices, is link enough. The fact that Amy et al were smart enough not to wreck the country by openly overturning an election really doesn’t absolve the society. (And let us all know when that “movement” succeeds)

    And if it’s really all that stupid than the satire should have been even more obvious, right? And if so, does having an stupid and wrong political opinion a basis for being denied graduation? And where does that put you vis a vis “cancel culture”?

    Victor (9ebafe)

  22. @21 the laughable juxtaposition of a stanford law student having graduation postponed compared to someone who’s name and reputation is trolled on twitter as a kkk princess for doing nothing tells us where you are vis a vis cancel culture

    JF (e1156d)

  23. You mean like:
    — Just to get into Stanford Law School requires class and brains and seventeen years of hard study; followed by three more years of hard study, and work, and demonstrating more class and brains; and a reputed premier institution of higher learning should not lightly rush to f**k with its matriculates’ two decades of hard work and study, and and their livelihood and possibly their entire future;
    versus
    — Some nobody on Twitter should not be taken seriously when he spuriously calls a B-list actress and former small-time beauty queen a racist?

    That’s what you meant, isn’t it, JF?

    nk (1d9030)

  24. JF,

    Have you ever studied for law school finals while being investigated? I thought not.

    Had your opportunity to take the bar, and thus actually getting a job justifying large amounts of money spent on law school, threatened? No?

    Compare that to being slagged on the internet by various trolls. Ooh, so terrible.

    But I forgot, being called racist is the absolutely worst thing possible, compared to which no torment is remotely comparable.

    Victor (9ebafe)

  25. Oh here’s another example of out of control cancel culture oppressing good hearted Americans,

    In Ohio officials cut the microphone of a veteran who was speaking at a Memorial Day festival during the two minutes in which he was talking about the role freed slaves had in the origins of Memorial day at the end of the Civil War

    https://www.beaconjournal.com/story/news/2021/06/02/veterans-audio-cut-when-he-discusses-blacks-role-memorial-day-speech-hudson-ohio/7508217002/

    My goodness cancel culture is out of control everywhere! Even in Ohio! But don’t call the woman who reached over and turned off the microphone, the head of the Memorial Day ceremony, racist because that would be the most hurtful terrible thing ever.

    Victor (9ebafe)

  26. Victor, Interesting article, thank you for sharing it.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  27. @23 seventeen years! + three more!!

    don’t sell preschool short, nk

    JF (e1156d)

  28. @24 ooo, i never went to law school

    don’t break the rim on that slam dunk, victor

    the prospective super genius grad with 17+3 years hard schooling did something dumb, uninformed and lacking in education

    absent that, he would be as incognito as any other law school grad

    the z list actress did nothing to provoke her name getting smeared

    JF (e1156d)

  29. Whatever! The point is to what standards we hold what kinds of people.

    The individuals and institution who are the real elite, and the famous for being famous who amuse those proles who don’t do opium.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. And, oh, yeah, one more thing. The law student has a contract with Stanford which entitles him to good faith and fair dealing. Ellie Kemper has no such contract with either the Twitter nobody or the chimerical people who believe him resulting in harm to her career.

    nk (1d9030)

  31. putting that 17+3 years of hard schooling to work i see, nk

    too bad it’s really not a legal issue, more of an ethical thing, and 17+3 teaches us to keep them wholly separate, amirite

    JF (e1156d)

  32. amirite

    No.

    nk (1d9030)

  33. “the prospective super genius grad with 17+3 years hard schooling did something dumb, uninformed and lacking in education”

    What did he do, JF?

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  34. @33 see @18

    JF (e1156d)

  35. JF,

    Why do you thinking satirizing the Federalist Society and the support of some of their senators for 1/6 is stupid? Do you think the FS shouldn’t be a target? Or do you believe 1/6 shouldn’t be a target? Or both?

    Actually, I think the reason the FS got upset was because the satire was too close to the bone. You could pretty readily see contemporary legal scholars celebrating 1/6 as an outburst of originalism.

    Victor (9ebafe)

  36. stanford, being a private entity like twitter, can do what they please

    probably best to populate the host’s new kemper thread with your whatabouts

    JF (e1156d)

  37. Elite institutions (and elite people) don’t do what they please. They do what’s right.

    nk (1d9030)

  38. “@33 see @18”

    Both Josh Hawley and Ken Paxton, mentioned specifically in the satire, are members of the Federalist Society. They’re both 1/6 supporters. This seemed obvious to me, but I’m happy to help out.

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  39. @38 so this 17+3 super elite genius stumbled onto something tenuous

    do you just chime in on whatabouts or do you have a take on the actual post?

    JF (e1156d)

  40. If you’re mad about “whatabouts” just don’t respond to them.

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  41. if you’re mad about a post, hype whatabouts

    JF (e1156d)


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