Michael A. Wood Jr. is the 11-year Baltimore police veteran and former U.S. marine behind a Twitter account that has drawn widespread attention, when he began tweeting about things he said he witnessed during his time on the force. He was instantly criticised as a whistle blower, but his criticism was a form of self reflection on the culture that force the police to become the problem and not the solution. Michael discusses with Rogue Culturism, Teams and the Future in this candid and revealing interview.
You seemed to have put yourself in the firing line for your comments on policing, could you tell us how people are reacted to your words?
At this point, I believe I have seen just about every reaction you can imagine, but what would stand out as surprising to most people is that I have had hardly any pushback from police. They do not talk to me, but they do not seem to have a problem with what I am saying. In a broader sense, there is the group that enjoys hearing the police stories and a whole bunch of people who do not like the core of my focus. The best way that I can say that quickly is that my whistleblowing and arguments demand the question why?
The reason is an emotional version of cutting myself in critical self-reflection.
The resulting perspective and my ultimate message requires others to do the same because it is the only way to fight oppression, else you end up competing to be the oppressor. The fight to end oppression demands standing outside ideologies.
America and indeed Europe seems to have become a very fragile environment for people, when do you believe things went wrong on the social schema?
Oh, I do not think anything is very new, and all is part of a cycle. I will say that I believe that the flaws in our hopes for the press, mainstream media, and social media were exposed during the Presidential Campaign. That is a long and nuanced subject to get into, but I have been on the ground. I answered the call. I am an atheist doing my best Jesus. And the people of America and not what the media and public discussion paints them as. I must say, I do not even see much racism out there. I found a lot of culturalisms. Example of which what the black male on the Confederate side of a rally I attended the counter-protest for in Washington D.C. They embraced him. He probably slept with their sisters. They did not care. I found people that just wanted things to stay familiar to them. And they want to be safe. Like everyone else.
Now, my most prominent critics are attacks from the right by the “left.”
The discussion has collapsed since then. Everyone wants to be on a team, and I fucking hate teams. I am team human, and that is not a popular message right now, no matter what these liberals portend. Well, a statement like that feels a bit like a coded, pick yourself up by the bootstraps, kind of mentality, and I stand quite opposed to that.
Everybody seem to want to blame others for their personal predicament, but Jordan Peterson has said “to clean up your room first, before sorting out the world”, what steps would you make to initiate change in American society?
My challenge is for those of us who see ourselves as intellectuals or worthy of admiration to get off of those high horses, get on the ground and come to the student. I have been dealing with these faux intellectuals for a few years now and I am sorry to come off as lashing back, but the media always about their agenda and “public intellectuals” talk debate and scholarship, but they are just media entertainment. Bottom line, if you are lofty enough to have a position, I want to see some works. I feel like I am in the armchair quarterback days of intellectuals.
Jesse Lee Peterson believes there is no such thing as racism in America, while Ben Shapiro uses statistics to argue his opinions what would you say to public figures who make such claims?
In my time trying to listen, I believe I have come to understand a little bit better what people like Jesse Lee Peterson are saying. A lot of these people have a perspective on the country that comes from a different understand and language. We have to listen and that means to everyone. So, now I think he is trying that say that same thing that I have observed. It is not racism.
The racism is deeply instilled in our systems and institutions and does still exist, but a lot of what people are interpreting as racism, is not. It is culturalism.
They really do not give a damn if you are black, or Mexican, or illegal, if you get up and work like them, go to square dancing and listen to country music, they really do not care. I have gone into many rooms and homes of people who the public discussion would see as racist, who would much rather have the vast majority of black men in their home then my tattooed, slick talking, know it all ass, radical leftist. I guess, I hope people do not take any of the media people very seriously, but I am thinly vailing a bit of respect I have for JLP because he is willing to engage with me. That is an infrequent thing for me to encounter. I am intimidating to argue with. I get that.
Where do you see yourself in one year from now, any projects you can discuss?
Well, I have decided to commit to doing a bunch of podcasts, videos, and other media projects where I have complete control. After trying to have this discussion on a public platform,
I feel I have failed significantly at communicating my message and winning over the people who I guested with. I have found my manner of communication was ineffective on social media. So, I am focusing on monologue and writing more.
The first podcast about to release is 60 episodes based on my essays, Crimes and Punishments: In the 21st Century and the other is me going back to the very beginning of my public speaking and reviewing the interviews, then critiquing the arguments I have made, where thoughts have evolved, supporting evidence, and a bit about the behind the scenes of the conversation. I am going to argue with myself I suppose. Ha-ha.