If you were on Twitter yesterday you more than likely came across something interesting. Jessica Williams who almost everyone unanimously loves, found herself having to defend her position from a few tweets she posted in regards to her being a potential candidate for the next Daily Show host. She sent out these tweets after many people declared their hope of having her be the next host:
Obviously, Williams was flattered by the internets cry for her to be the next host that even included a change.org petition. So, when these tweets were posted many people were obviously disappointed. This is where it took a turn for the worse.
There was then a flurry of “thought pieces”, tweets, etc all deciding it was their duty to fill in the gaps for Williams thinking. The one that struck the largest nerve was this post by Ester Bloom. William's clearly took offense and responded to Ester via Twitter, to which Ester eventually apologized.
Bottom line is this, we all have belief systems, but we’re all human. Something very dangerous happens when we assume someone doesn’t understand or know what they want from life without knowing who they are as a person. Ester’s mistake was thinking she understood Williams better than William’s understood herself. This is silly because who understands Williams better than Williams? If anything, William’s has a track record of show using that she is very aware of her strengths and weakness. I think that’s what made people uneasy. She was intelligent and reflective enough to look inside her self and say, “Yea, I’m not the right person for this gig.” How she came to this conclusion, is her business as well as if she chooses to go into why she came to this conclusion. The problem is this… I think honesty scares most people. Most of us would rather prop up an image of what we want to be seen as vs who we really are.
The internet continues to be a gun that many of us, unfortunately, do not know how to handle. We have access to so much knowledge but lack the wisdom to apply thoughtfulness to our thinking. It is so easy to throw words out on the internet that we forget about the weight they carry; especially when directed to an individual.
We’re obsessed with the idea that there can only be winners and losers. That by William’s saying, “I don’t want to be the host” a certain group of people have now “lost” and feel the need to speak up on her behalf. It’s a way of thinking that exist inside every ideology and it’s not helpful. Life isn’t that linear.
It would make sense if William’s was being contradictory in her language, but she wasn’t. Saying that she didn’t want to the be the host in no way diminishes the fact that she is a feminist, and a damn strong one. It can best be summed up in her tweet, which to me, was extremely powerful at drawing the line between a belief systems and just being an individual.
I know for me this is something I have to continually remind myself to get better at doing. I don’t think anyone of us could claim perfection in valuing the person above beliefs, but I can keep working to improve. It’s because of individuals like William’s that I’m excited about the future of The Daily Show because she is damn smart, but she’s very aware of herself. Besides, if Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is right, then we’ve got some time to watch Jessica Williams decide for herself what her future looks like. What could be more powerful than deciding your own future?