This weekend, the entire world witnessed an unspeakable horror. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, violent racism was deployed in the most damaging manner possible. A young MAGA hat-wearing bigot got in the face of an innocent and totally upstanding Native American elder. He stood there. He looked through his arsenal of privilege and he chose his weapon of choice.
Everyone of sound mind and heart instantly recognizes the hatred, rage, and condescension that comes with that smirk. Most of us have been on the receiving end of a smirk like that. It is a searing knife, plunged into our very souls. Sadly, it is not the only facial expression deployed by the depraved and craven in their attempt to silence those of us on the right side of history. No, there are many more facial expressions of hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and intolerance that confront us on a daily basis. Here are five of the most offensive that you need to recognize and eradicate from your life, posthaste!
The Single Eyebrow Raise
There is nothing wrong with your average single eyebrow raise. You know when you lift one eyebrow a little higher than the other. It is an extremely time-honored expression. Abraham Lincoln often raised an eyebrow at his fighting men. So did Helen of Troy when she launched a thousand ships. Very elegant indeed. That being said, the eyebrow-raiser is well advised to avoid it these days. Such expressions are frequently taken as sarcasm, pretension, and various other forms of belittling. This dreaded expression is often effectual in instigating feelings of rage and inferiority. It is henceforth deemed inappropriate if one eyebrow is lifted a least one millimeter higher than the other, and/or if causes the forehead above said eyebrow to be furrowed.
The Non-Flirtatious Wink
We are all aware of the total devastation that occurs when a person (99% of the time a man) winks at another person (99% of the time a woman). We have made great strides in eradicating such toxic behavior in society. Yet the wink’s destructive powers do not end when decoupled from flirtation. The wink, in all its forms, contexts, and deployments is a thing of unbridled hostility, superiority, and vulgarity. If you are a winker, you are a part of the problem. Repent of your winking ways and come to the side where no non-verbal communication of the visual kind will ever be tolerated or condoned.
The “Jim Halpert” Face
Jim (from TV’s “The Office”) was a nice guy. A decent guy. Almost everyone liked him, except for Charles Miner for some reason. He had fun at work, drove Dwight crazy, and got the girl of his dreams. And while he never had a catchphrase, like so many classic TV characters from days gone by, he had a catch look. The look. The “Jim Halpert” face.
Yeah, that’s the one. The problem with that face is that it was often used as a way to deflect any responsibility for all the sexism, racism, and generally offensive behavior of his boss, Michael Scott. It was the look of a coward. In light of how things are progressing in Donald Trump’s America, we have no room for cowards.
The Yucky Food Face
This is something civilized diners should never do. Naturally, it is not good to offend the food preparer in this way, but that is a secondary issue. Of primary concern is 1) disrespecting the animal, fruit, and/or vegetable who died to give you sustenance and 2) offending a stranger who happens to see you across the restaurant and thinks you have been talking about him or her and therefore also thinks that your grimace is directed at them. According to social media, this second is one of the top ten social problems facing our country today. When eating in a public place it is, therefore, best to maintain a straight face at all times so as to avoid this sort of thing. It may even be a good idea to wear a hockey mask when you go out so no one will be mistakenly offended by your Yucky Food Face.
Let us be honest here: there are some of us who are simply not allowed to smile anymore. Our smiles are loaded weapons and even if we intend no harm, they leave a swathe of destruction and chaos in their wake. Smiles are just the latest manifestation in a long line of hate and privilege and we just cannot afford to be party to that sort of evil. Until further notice, stop smiling. Our betters in society will let us know when it is safe and proper for all of us to smile again. One last point: If you are unsure if you are allowed to smile, then your complete ignorance about how a progressive and tolerant society works is a clear indicator that your smile is not needed or wanted for this moment in time.
As you can see, if we are not careful we can do great damage even with something as seemingly innocuous as our face. Therefore, we humbly suggest that until the “all clear” is given, let this be your only facial expression: