Cancel Culture on Campus

If you are interested in a deep dive into a story of cancel culture on campus, try this one. Bret Weinstein has many views that I disagree with, so I will always wonder if he was pushed out of his position as a professor at a progressive college for some unspoken reason. Regardless, the story, of how he made a few remarks about how a protest was to be conducted, and as a result, student activists threatened him and refused to discuss the issues, shows a culture that looks more like mob rule than a college debate.

(32) Part One: The Evergreen Equity Council - YouTube

I just randomly selected this one. I might be able to find better. But Haidt was studying this phenomenon on campuses before it became news.

The Death Of Conversation with Jonathan Haidt - Bing video

Loretta had a book coming out, I don’t what happened to that. She was introduced to the internet later in life, by her grandchildren. It gave her a great outsiders viewpoint.

Media and Publications — LORETTA J. ROSS (

Here’s a good look at it

As I understand it, “cancel culture” also applies to deleting parts from US history that pertain to slavery, because acknowledging and discussing that cultural period “tends to evoke feelings of guilt” and “confusion” in young people.

It is also used to remove individuals from history books as if they never existed.

This was also practiced in Russia during the Communist rule. Entire historical epochs were deleted from history books as if it never happened.

It seems to be a peculiar but common practice by autocratic regimes.

“Cancel culture” has mandated the wholesale removal of any monument to any man deemed iniquitous by modern progressive standards.

Not surprising you didn’t know about this already. Those particular students disliked Weinstein because he was White. It’s as simple as that.

English editors are rewriting Roald Dahl books to take off everything which could be offensive to anyone.

Caroline Fourest, A French writer reminded people that in 1984, books are rewrited to remove everything, every word, every fact which does not conform to the ideology of the party.

Now, i think that we must not mix 2 phenomena :slight_smile:

Canceling information, fact and people for ideological motives

Canceling a movie or a book for ideological reasons.

In university, students wanting to cancel a teacher because he displeases them is one thing, students who don"t want to read a book because the contents " hurts their sensibility " is another form of cancelling.

Not sure about this one. Anyone can still read the original if they want. I had a children’s book called “Little Black Sambo”, I wouldn’t show that to a kid until they were old enough to understand the context. The people who use the term “woke” perjoratively are the ones who were indoctrinated into a culture where putting down people was acceptable. I don’t see why we should continue to expose children to terms like fat and ugly simply out of some reverence to the past. When the slippery slope argument of “what’s next, Shakespeare” is made, that proves my point. Kindergartens don’t read that.

Yes! That’s what this current woke/cancel business reminds me of. A form of thought police. And unfortunately, like so many so-called progressive movements/ideas that are correct in intention but utterly stupid in execution, it’s perfect fodder for the conservatives. I mean heck, I find myself agreeing with the Cons about some of this cancel/woke crap, and believe me, I’m as liberal, un-conservative as they come.

The problem is not that it is controversial material, The problem is that it is readily available on the internet for all ages.

So, rather than censoring speech altogether, a means must be found to separate adult/mature speech from access by non-adults.

The irony is that SCOTUS has declared that money, the most corrupting “means of exchange” or “quid pro quo” for adults, is free speech and cannot be “censored”.

This is liberalism run amok.

“Fat” and “Ugly” are very mild insults that accurately describe some people. No matter how much you try to protect children from negative feelings, they will encounter people in their lives who are those things, and they will be repulsed by them.

More to the point, changing an artist’s work for ideological reasons does establish a dangerous precedent that will corrode the foundations of liberal society.

I would agree, except that I see these cries of outrage being applied arbitrarily. One of the foundations of liberal society is the ability to set new precedents and amend old norms. We do this through legislation, the courts, constitutional amendments, and school boards. So how do you apply this rule universally? Should we still include only men in those who are created equal? Do we allow all books in school libraries, like those from before WWI promoting anti-semitism and communism?

Whenever I see an “anti-woke” headline, it’s almost always something minor, like an owner of the material made a decision about a few words in a new version. Meanwhile, schools ban Where the Wild Things Are, and Helen Keller’s activism has never been taught.

The matter is that each one censors what displease him. And, as you say, the norms can change.

If one of ultra right censors in a book everything which displeases him and if a liberal does the same, not much stays.

To illustrate that, imagine a vegan pancake, without any milk and any butter. It may be good but it is no more a pancake.

It is much better to keep the opus as it is and examines it in the light of ones centers of interest, to show its wealth and its limits.

Now, the idea that people don’t want to read or watch art works which contains elements that antagonize their sensitivity shows a lack of education.

To learn means to be confronted to unpleasant things.

When students register to a class about racism and USA literature in the 19th, and don’t want to read racist works, they deserve to be spanked as the brats they are.

(Seriously ? :grinning: no in fact as i am against corporal punishments)

French student at la FEMIS, one of the main French school of cinema have refused to watch movies as " le Mépris " of Godard, but not only.

They should better watch and analyze it, to understand it before rejecting it.

I agree with you about college level courses. This conversation has veered into children’s books, which are a different topic. I can buy a Shakespeare book that is rewritten for young people for example. This in no way reduces the impact of Shakespeare on culture.

Some arbitrariness is inevitable because different people care about different things. We can’t sacrifice the good for the perfect – which is at the heart of the cancel culture mentality.

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This might need a different thread, but yet it seems to fit here. DeSantis is attempting to ban gender and racial studies. What makes this even worse is that he wants to run for president. He could do more damage than the dotard. Women’s history and gender studies, African-American Studies, Asian-American Studies, Native American Studies, etc are all important courses, IMHO. I hope he doesn’t succeed in becoming president or we will have another racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic egotistical bigot in the Big House again.

Thought this was relevant. From Karl Popper.

“We want the unavoidable and difficult decisions that govern our lives to be taken by someone stronger than ourselves who nevertheless has our interests at heart, as might a stern but benevolent father; or else to be given to us by a practical system of thought that is wiser than we and makes fewer or no mistakes. Above all we want release from fear. And in the end most fears – including the most basic such as fear of the dark, fear of strangers, fear of death, fear of the consequences of our actions and fear or the future – are forms of fear of the unknown. So we are all the time pressing for assurances that the unknown is known really, and that what it contains is something we are going to want anyway. We embrace religions which assure us that we shall not die, and political philosophies which assure us that society will become perfect in the future, perhaps quite soon.
These needs were met by the unchanging certainties of pre-critical societies, with their authority, hierarchy, ritual, tabu and so on. But with the emergence of man from tribalism and the beginnings of the critical tradition, new and frightening demands began to be made: that the individual should question authority, question what he had always taken for granted, and assume responsibility for himself and for others. By contrast with the old certainties, this threatened society with disruption and the individual with disorientation. As a result there was from the beginning a reaction against it, both in society at large and (this was partly Freud’s point) within each individual. We purchase freedom at the cost of security, equality at the cost of our self-esteem, and critical self-awareness at the cost of our peace of mind. The price is steep: none of us pays it happily, and many do not want to pay at all.”
Bryan Magee, ‘Popper’. (The US-edition has the title ‘Philosophy and the real world: an introduction to Karl Popper’)

Life is hard work for almost all living things.