Cult of personality: the use of media to create a heroic image of an individual that is worshipped without question or criticism.
Normally used by oppressive and totalitarian governments, the concept is one that is successfully used within our own society by those that hold prestige and power or seek such positions and expect to be believed without question and without criticism. It is those individuals that should be highly suspected. Those that wish to silence the opinions of others. Those that will embark on a vindictive rampage any time that their moral character and intention is questioned. There are most certainly blacks that become cults of personality but they are far fewer and much less dangerous than white cults of personalities within our country.
Let me be clear, this is not an attack on white men. I’m very much aware that there are many white men that are honorable and would much prefer their propensity for success was entirely based on their commendable talents and hard work as opposed to having a foot in the doorway of success due to color and gender. Most men in general, do not consider themselves to be above critique and have no issues being questioned as long as there is an open dialogue.
However, it still does not distract from societal white privilege in our country or dismiss those that use white privilege to avoid criticism. For example, in November of 2011, an upstanding member of society was arrested for multiple counts of child molestation. As details were reported to the media, an appalling portrait of a man that had managed to rape and/or molest no less than fifteen children spanning back to 1994 without being held accountable for his actions; was vividly painted. Why was this child rapist allowed to run his campaign of terror for so long, while destroying the innocence of one child after another?
The reason is because he held a position of power and prestige that led people to turn a disbelieving eye on allegations. The events where he was actually caught raping children were quietly swept under the rug. He was not only a wildly popular sports hero but a man much admired for his non-profit organization that was established to help disadvantaged children. He had a reputation for being a dedicated family man, a loving husband and doting father to his own children. He was the darling savior of children, the outspoken voice of the poor and disadvantaged; or so people believed.
Prior to the arrest of Jerry Sandusky that November, a local newspaper reported allegations and the investigation of Sandusky in March of 2011. Instead of outrage over children being molested, the focus of the outrage was against The Patriot News for even having the audacity to question the good reputation of Coach Sandusky and that of Penn State University.
It was much easier to believe a carefully constructed image of untouchable goodness than to assume a skeptical stance of Sandusky’s reputation and dismiss the cries of children that had been forced to suffer through rape. As a society, we simply do not want to believe that people we consider of good moral character can be capable of evil deeds. We need to believe in the infallibility of our heroes. However, blind faith can lead to serious consequences for victims that are easily preyed on, especially by virtue of age, gender, color and socioeconomic class. Such is the background of Sandusky and other white cults of personality. Who could forget that seemingly benign Jim Jones that did much more to combat racism and the under privileged members of society that Sandusky could possibly ever accomplish? Yet, under the benevolence lurked a much darker personality that preyed on the pain of others in order to accomplish his own personal goals of power and fame. What if enough people had the courage to call out Sandusky or Jones? How man victims could have been saved if we had more people that were supported in their critique of these individuals before they obtained such success? This is why in the fight for social justice that we need to be aware of such individuals. Individuals such as Jorge Eugene Moran.
Last year, I wrote two articles critiquing Mr. Moran and as a result, Mr. Moran engaged in attempts to have my article removed. He threatened to sue me for slander, he refused to address any points of the article that he considered slanderous. He posted my private information in a public forum and left nasty comments on the article that were later removed. An alleged friend of Mr. Moran also left comments that suggested violence and Mr. Moran sought to discredit me solely based on the color of my skin. Ironic, considering that the color of his skin is no significantly different than mine. He then turned the tables around and lamented that he was the victim of an outrageously false article. The second article I wrote addressed those issues and his only response was an attempt to intimidate me by threatening to sue me again. Mr. Moran was invited to write an article explaining his stance, which appeared to soothe his seemingly wounded ego. Every once in a while, his face would pop up in my groups and newsfeed on Facebook and I would criticize those postings. Other than that, he became a distant memory. However, a new article has been posted to the Onyx Truth. An alleged event of sexual degradation and harassment committed by Mr. Moran agains the writer. A writer that had considered herself a supporter of Mr. Moran’s message. In response to the writer, there is no apology. There is no demonstrated attempt to work out a potential misunderstanding between the two of them. Nor is there any demonstrated remorse for such a loss of friendship. Instead, she is dehumanized as a conniving manipulator that is set against fighting for social justice (though the writer is a young, black woman) as evidenced in the posting under his alter ego of Dixon D. White:
Perhaps more appalling are those that chose not to question a man born into privilege just by the color of his skin and gender that is alleged to have committed an offense against a member of society that arguably suffers more harm than other members of society due to not being born white and/or male. Instead posters engage in shameful victim blaming:
According to these posters, we have yet just another sad, angry woman that is seeking attention through harassing Mr. Moran. The most disturbing of all these comments, in my opinion?
There we see how one poster states how the allegations of a victim is none of her business. Another seemingly disturbing tend consistent throughout these posts is the hero worship of Mr. Moran. How can people dismiss the allegations of a victim that appears to be based entirely on their opinion of one man, even though it is clear that the victim claims to have proof of these allegations? How can anyone claim to be in favor of social justice but claim that a potential act of sexual harassment is none of her business?
Why would people rather believe a white man claiming to be an activist for social justice over a victim that represents the very group of which historical crimes of humanity and injustice have been committed against? Why would anyone follow another person blindly, so blindly in fact that they are willing to participate in victim blaming and not even question Mr. Moran’s behavior? How many more women could possibly become future victims if this issue is not satisfactorily addressed?
I understand that we need people to unite and fight against social injustice but we must hold not only ourselves and our motives accountable but those that belong to other individuals. A person attempting to rise through the use of media to become a public darling that does not respond positively to and/or rejects questioning and critique is much more than a failure of morality. It is symptomatic of a cult of personality.