An Open Letter to the “Yeah, But…” Culture
Dear “Yeah, but…” Culture, Your Time Dominating Culture and History is Coming to an End
I’m sorry you are scared. Truly, I do hear your anxious sighs and nostalgic laments. I can imagine how at this point in time the world you know feels as if it’s coming undone. Quite frankly, it is. I’m not going to sugar coat it, or try to frame this in a way that makes it sound as though this moment in time is just a speed-bump. It’s not. Instead, this point in history is long overdue road work with a sour smell. The smell, by the way comes from the many bodies you’ve tried to bury and bullshit you attempted to cover them with. I don’t type those previous words with malice or contempt, I’m just being honest.
Now, you can deny and/or obfuscate that all you wish, but that’s not going to change the facts of this current situation, which is that your time as leaders and influences of cultures around the world is coming to a close. I’m sorry if this is the first time you’re hearing this, though I would be remiss if I didn’t say the writing was on the wall.
You can fight this if you feel like it. And while all appearances suggest you do feel like fighting, I can promise you that this is not something you can win. It doesn’t matter how many guns you have, or how many hours you’ve spent in church and/or reading/listening to Qanon/Fox News Opinion conspiracy riddles. History is not going to look kindly on you.
I know this because, whether you recognize it or not, you belong to a certain group of people that persist throughout history I like to call the “Yeah, But… Culture.” Oddly enough, the tribal customs of this culture you belong transcend race and religion, as it’s found to be practiced by civilizations throughout history. The customs, in case you’re curious, are simple practices and thought patterns that exclude and/or segregate others through acts that vary in measure from uneasy (stares?) to full on violence, all as a way to build an egoic heir of superiority. Regardless, the end result is the same, a culture that essentially says “Yeah, we’re all human, but… those people are less than.” I understand that statement might sound harsh, and rest assured, it is. But it’s only equally as harsh as the many times your “Yeah, but culture…” has sewn seeds of division and segregation.
And yet, the funny thing is that those active participants in the “yeah, but… culture” make it so easy to discover who they are by opening their mouths and talking/typing about it. It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves. You make it so easy when you try to change the subject. We know that game. We notice when you attempt to pivot the conversation, saying things like “yeah, but this other group is doing bad things,” or “yeah, but now is not the right time time for this discussion,” or “yeah but nobody can tell me what to think,” “yeah, but free speech,” “yeah, but the economy,” or “yeah, but what can I do,” or “yeah, but this isn’t my fight,” or “yeah, but she was asking for it/the way she was dressed,” “yeah, but all lives matter,” or “yeah, but thoughts and prayers/love and light.”
In case it’s unclear, we know what you’re really saying whenever you try to change the subject or shut down the conversation.
One could argue that the “yeah, but… culture” has been responsible for some of the most egregious human rights abuses throughout recorded history. It could also be argued that this mentality has been the impetus for some well known cultures that history does not look upon favorably.
The yeah, but… culture was part of the Egyptians who used Jews as slaves.
The yeah, but… culture cheered the crusades as Christians decimated Jewish and Muslim people.
The yeah, but… culture were those in the church during the inquisition that treated everyone who didn’t agree with them as a heretic who should repent or die.
The yeah, but… culture was the puritans who tortured (mostly) women in Salem.
The yeah, but… culture was within the England elites who created(?) the slave trade.
The yeah, but… culture moved to America and continued the slave trade, and then when that didn’t work out, evolved it to jim crow and segregation. The yeah but.. culture also tried to silence the voice of women in america.
The yeah, but… culture found its way to Germany several times and sparked world wars.
The yeah, but… culture has a intermittent history in Russia, from keeping the Russian monarchy going to those who supported Stalin.
The yeah, but… culture has been thriving in China for years.
The yeah, but… culture has had a pretty impressive run throughout history. But as I said, this time it stops. I know you might feel like myself and others like me are doing the exact same thing to you. Again if I’m being honest, we are. But, let’s also be clear that we are not excluding people based on primitive statistical factors such as race, religion, ancestry, mental capacity, gender and/or sexuality. We are evolving past those ideas, into something inclusive and global, without borders, except you’re not invited. Sorry not sorry.
Again, you can try to fight this. I suppose that’s your prerogative. I understand why you feel the need to win, as one of your compatriots Bill Barr smugly expressed in an interview that “history is written by the winners.”
But just know that regardless of how close you get to “winning” your fight, the eyes of the future will always see you as being on the wrong side of history. It’s inevitable.
Stop trying to change the subject. Some things are not up for debate anymore.
Even if you try to (white)wash away or tweak the details of your machinations, the eyes of the future will always see you for who and what you are. It may take some time, but truth and justice always find a way to excavate what others have tried to bury. The microcosmic world of sports offers plenty of examples; from Barry Bonds to Lance Armstrong to Joe Paterno to Tanya Harding to The Houston Astros, you too will find that your legacy will carry a permanent blemish in the shape of an asterisk. That is happening. Except this isn’t about sports games and sponsorship deals, this is about human life, and how throughout history you have degraded and abused the life of those you deem less than.
You can cry all you want about cancel culture and thought police. Honestly it doesn’t matter. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; everyone can speak their minds as long as they are willing to accept the consequences. Unfortunately for those in your group, as more from within the “Yeah, but… culture” express support for the “Yeah, but… culture,” you’re going to face backlash, either in person or online. Sorry not sorry you’ve had friends and family members block you, shun you, ghost you or whatever. The rest of us are sick of your shit. It’s annoying and outdated, not to mention hurtful and dangerous. Like the eyes of the future, we see you.
There is no excuse to continue practicing “yeah, but this other group is doing bad things,” or “yeah, but now is not the right time time for this discussion,” or “yeah but nobody can tell me what to think,” or “yeah, but what can I do,” or “yeah, but this isn’t my fight,” or “yeah, but all lives matter,” or “yeah, but thoughts and prayers/love and light.”
To be honest, it’s amazing that so many people even take you seriously when a majority of people support certain policing reforms, when a majority of people think marijuana should be legalized (as many have been educated to see how marijuana criminalization has affected black and brown communities), when a majority of people think climate change is a real threat to the world, when a majority of people don’t think capitalism is working for them, when more and more people are turning away from Christianity.
You might not see it, but myself and others know that continuing down the path of “Yeah, but…” endangers the lives of not only us, but generations from now. I know that the “Yeah, but… culture” has enabled you a certain privilege to feel like you only need to look out for yourself and your group. But at some point, you’re not going to have anything left. Maybe you don’t give a shit because you take the Gary Johnson libertarian view on climate change about how it essentially doesn’t matter since you’ll be dead by then. If that’s ultimately your view, it’s an extremely selfish one that punishes (and potentially eradicates) future generations. But in a way, that’s ultimately the “Yeah, but…culture’s” apathetic cynical prayers, isn’t it? There’s that one and also “As long as it doesn’t affect me.”
The time for “Yeah, but…” is over. It’s happening.
Luckily there’s still time to reorient your worldview before the pages of the history books begin to be written. There’s still time to be on the right side of history if you want to be. Sure, it may take a little adjusting, but at least it gives you a chance to grow, instead of complain about how the world just isn’t like it was because things were simple back then because free speech or whatever.
Brycical is by no means a sociologist or a revolutionary. He doesn’t even hold a degree in political science or psychology. But still, like many people, Brycical isn’t immune to noticing certain patterns about how the world apparently “works” for some. So Brycical writes about it, hoping more will notice these patterns, get inspired and perhaps feel inclined to also speak up. Feel free to read more of the patterns Brycical notices on here or check out his website to learn more about him.