When Caroline Flack was discovered dead in her London pad by a friend in February, it was a truly tragic day. Like many people in Britain, I spent years watching the presenter on popular shows, from The X-Factor to Love Island. While her career was fairly solid, her love life was the subject of intense media scrutiny.
When she made the decision to take her own life, she was being dragged through the mud over domestic violence charges. As per police protocol, even though Flack’s partner said it was all just an argument that got out of hand, a court case was brought against the star. The pressure was too much for the 40-year-old and she ended it all. Subsequently, a “Be Kind” movement emerged in Caroline’s honor.
The premise? Keep your words kind, you don’t know what someone is going through. Now, several months after the star’s passing, Caroline is trending on Twitter again, but for a truly bizarre reason.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s right-hand man Dominic Cummings is currently caught up in one hell of a turd storm thanks to a situation of his own making. As a result, he is the target of widespread controversy as Brits are angry – and rightly so. So, what has Caroline Flack got to do with it?
Absolutely nothing. But, there are some people out there that are using the “Be Kind” movement as a way to say that despite Cummings’ actions, we should all shut our mouths. To think it works that way is utterly bizarre and, quite frankly, insulting. However, it also points to a much bigger problem with movements like this.
Being kind to everyone regardless of their actions isn’t an honorable trait that we should all aspire to gain. While there is undeniably a place for kindness in the world, and an important one, the right to receive that kindness should be earned. Caroline’s movement is important, but it can’t be pulled out to defend darkness.
If a public figure is constantly being abusive, or in Cummings’ case, doing something terribly wrong, they have to be held accountable for their actions. Sometimes, the outcry isn’t about getting pitchforks out and screaming along with the rest of the angry mob. It’s part of public duty.
At what point does “Be Kind” stop being used in vain as a way to excuse the heinous actions of others? Where does the line get drawn? In this case, we’re not preaching kindness at all. The movement is being perverted and coerced into a more palatable form of censorship.
Thankfully, the majority of people realize how utterly insane the notion is. But, it’s not the first time that “Be Kind” has been shoved down our throats in an attempt to stifle our opinions. It won’t be the last, either.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.