Cancel Culture

https://braverangels.org/race-antiracism-and-growing-up-biracial-thomas-chatterton-williams-and-john-wood-jr/

An excellent conversation across the divide here. It helped sort out the subtle difference of speaking up for justice and something you might have heard of, sometimes called “cancel culture”. I point to a couple bookmarks if you don’t have the hour for the whole thing:

After talking about their own multi-cultural histories, about half way through they get in to just what race is in America today. We now know race is not a scientific term but we also know that since it has been created it has been used to repress and dominate people based on skin color or country of origin. This can’t be ignored. Some of it gets pretty in depth with current authors and scholars as well as history.

If that’s too much, skip forward to around 44 minutes. Thomas makes the important point that in any case, we must be able to distinguish between what causes harm and what does not. Then they discuss a letter that appears in Harper’s magazine earlier this year.

https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/

The problem of “call-out” culture is not a left or right problem. We are moving toward greater equality, but we can’t separate equality from freedom. If you have to get equality by diminishing freedom, then that equality will not last. Down the road, someone will flip the tables. We are maximally equal when we are maximally free. If you have minorities, which any large society does, they will do better when diverging viewpoints are tolerated.

Criticism of the Harper’s letter included that you can’t regulate “cancel culture” without diminishing the right of oppressed people to challenge the status quo. That is, if one has the right to complain about “cancel culture” others should still have the right to claim some people should be “cancelled”. This right is stronger when the call for cancelling is of someone who is maintaining the oppression or benefiting from it. How do we sort that out?

Thomas clarified that anyone should be able to criticize, but institutions should not quickly fold to the collective pressure of any and all voices. Technology allows for this, multiplying numbers without sorting out the due process. Twitter should not be part of an HR department. We need to hear more speech and bad ideas need to be countered, but we shouldn’t be attaching an idea to a person and creating consequences that don’t fit the discussion.

At 52 minutes, he says, when someone is “cancelled”, that adds to the fear of speaking up, minimizing the free speech culture. The story he tells is very important. Established norms already come with established punishment. This new culture punishes people for transgressing norms that are in the process of being established. Establishing new norms is the conversation we have been having for decades now and that needs to continue and needs to come to all ages and walks of life, and in public places. People should not lose their jobs for doing that, especially not strong public voices.

Minorities should be speaking up against the status quo that has repressed their freedoms for centuries. That might result in someone losing a privilege that is unequally and unfairly given to them. That doesn’t mean it is fair and equal for another to lose or never acquire a privilege or freedom that is or will be equally and fairly provided. We should err on the side of maximal tolerance and maximal grace when having these discussions.

Cancel culture is mainly a White Millennial and Generation Z social media phenomenon. It stems from the same thing as “safe spaces” on college campuses. It is also a 100% Left Wing mentality. The majority of people involved are shrill Whites who could be called very privileged, which is why they are leftists in the first place.

There is confusion about what cancel culture actually is – what really constitutes it, as the usual suspects are too unstable to be consistent. That might be the biggest problem with it.

In my view cancel culture doesn’t really affect many people who matter; it’s mainly in academia and pop culture. However, it is definitely big problem for those who support debate and free inquiry.

Of course some celebrate the growing divide and doing all they can to fuel the flames.

It is also a 100% Left Wing mentality.
Absolutely not true. The right wing has been doing it for decades. They just aren't that good at it. I'm an Ozzy fan. I remember the RIGHT WING cancel culture of the '80s targeting mostly music and video games. It just failed because they were inept and their arguments were not reality based. And have you ever heard of a "book burning"? The cancel culture is neither specifically left wing nor is it new. It's just easier to get a show canceled than it is to cancel a rock star, a book or, in more recent memory, Oreo cookies or Golden Gram crackers and a handful of other products and companies supportive of LGBT rights.
It is also a 100% Left Wing mentality. -- one
Exactly what an extremist like yourself would say. The distinction that I highlighted is what widdershins briefly stated. "Cancel culture" is the new term for "boycott". But boycotts actually were pretty tame and usually well organized and targeted. So, we changed killing little furry animals and smoking and brought attention to how a chocolate company was doing terrible things to people and the planet. We got major institutions to stop investing in South Africa, creating one of the greatest modern freedom movements. It took a while for the right wing to get the hang of it, but they finally found a way to make it look bad, with these new terms.

Meanwhile, there was a more nefarious dynamic happening, one that is not so connected to politics. Kids were given participation ribbons, parents hovered and didn’t let them go build things with rusty nails. As they began to get leadership positions, they didn’t tolerate the slow road of kissing up to the old guard and they found these new found powers and open forums could be manipulated. It’s such a mix of questioning authority and misunderstanding the value of tradition, it’s going to take a while to sort it out.

Absolutely not true. The right wing has been doing it for decades. They just aren’t that good at it. I’m an Ozzy fan. I remember the RIGHT WING cancel culture of the ’80s targeting mostly music and video games. It just failed because they were inept and their arguments were not reality based. And have you ever heard of a “book burning”? The cancel culture is neither specifically left wing nor is it new. It’s just easier to get a show canceled than it is to cancel a rock star, a book or, in more recent memory, Oreo cookies or Golden Gram crackers and a handful of other products and companies supportive of LGBT rights.
That's called censorship, not cancel culture.
Exactly what an extremist like yourself would say. The distinction that I highlighted is what widdershins briefly stated. “Cancel culture” is the new term for “boycott”. But boycotts actually were pretty tame and usually well organized and targeted. So, we changed killing little furry animals and smoking and brought attention to how a chocolate company was doing terrible things to people and the planet. We got major institutions to stop investing in South Africa, creating one of the greatest modern freedom movements. It took a while for the right wing to get the hang of it, but they finally found a way to make it look bad, with these new terms.
Boycotting is just one aspect of cancel culture.
Meanwhile, there was a more nefarious dynamic happening, one that is not so connected to politics. Kids were given participation ribbons, parents hovered and didn’t let them go build things with rusty nails. As they began to get leadership positions, they didn’t tolerate the slow road of kissing up to the old guard and they found these new found powers and open forums could be manipulated. It’s such a mix of questioning authority and misunderstanding the value of tradition, it’s going to take a while to sort it out.
Partly true. Millennials are weaklings and they were made that way by the adults around them.

Most older people probably heard something like, the world doesn’t revolve around you so shut your mouth, when they were growing up, and it used to be true. It’s not like that for Millennials since they were treated like superstars their whole lives by society in general – not just their parents – so you can’t really blame them for thinking the world does revolve around them… because it really does. Colleges are just continuing the trend and Cancel Culture is simply just a part of that.

Partly true. Millennials are weaklings and they were made that way by the adults around them.

Most older people probably heard something like, the world doesn’t revolve around you so shut your mouth, when they were growing up, and it used to be true. It’s not like that for Millennials since they were treated like superstars their whole lives by society in general — not just their parents — so you can’t really blame them for thinking the world does revolve around them……… because it really does. Colleges are just continuing the trend and Cancel Culture is simply just a part of that. - @thatoneguy


Good analysis.

@thatoneguy What makes you think that Millennials are “weaklings”? I’ll also bite on another question, what is “cancel culture”. If there is confusion as to what it is, then we need a definition as to what it is.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has an amazing story of escaping Islam. She has been “cancelled” more than once, so she knows how it works. She can also parallels of Islam to to “woke” “cancel culture”. In this exchange, which is onngoing, she and a conservative friend discuss how “liberal” has taken on new meaning in the next generation, 40 and under. It’s not as much about actually caring and increasing freedoms as much as it is about avoiding “harm” and “trauma”. Those are bad things, but if your thinking is wrong, then it can be traumatic to change it, someone will need to do harm to poor reasoning. Wokeism has become more like libertarianism, maximizing freedom to point that an ideology that includes slavery should be considered a freedom.

Most older people probably heard something like, the world doesn’t revolve around you so shut your mouth, when they were growing up, and it used to be true. -- oneguy
And that was wrong. That's the wrong kind of trauma to impose on a young person. A young person should be told that they can do anything, and then the people in control of the levers of power should be doing everything they can to educate them and give them opportunities to become whatever they want. The problem is getting in to the details of what is an opportunity and what is a handout, when are you strengthening someone by putting tools within reach and when are you weakening them by doing something for them.

Advocating either the old way, of spanking children or just ignoring them, or this new thing of being overprotective, we stop the conversation before it gets started. Each side claims they’ve got it figured out when both have been shown they are destructive or at best not constructive.

That’s called censorship, not cancel culture. -- oneguy
Good example. I tried to speak to the definitions and you just throw in another word. Yes, it's censorship. The major networks used to censor black people from their shows or a word like "homosexual". Now, a network that got caught doing that would be boycotted, and I agree with that. So words like "cancel culture" only have meaning when you talk about what exactly they are trying to cancel.
@thatoneguy What makes you think that Millennials are “weaklings”?
Their inability to handle when things don't go their way. Of course not all millennials are like that, but most are.
I’ll also bite on another question, what is “cancel culture”. If there is confusion as to what it is, then we need a definition as to what it is.
There isn't really any definition of it -- it's just several common things that happen to people who make controversial statements online.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has an amazing story of escaping Islam. She has been “cancelled” more than once, so she knows how it works. She can also parallels of Islam to to “woke” “cancel culture”. In this exchange, which is onngoing, she and a conservative friend discuss how “liberal” has taken on new meaning in the next generation, 40 and under. It’s not as much about actually caring and increasing freedoms as much as it is about avoiding “harm” and “trauma”. Those are bad things, but if your thinking is wrong, then it can be traumatic to change it, someone will need to do harm to poor reasoning. Wokeism has become more like libertarianism, maximizing freedom to point that an ideology that includes slavery should be considered a freedom.
Yes! This is a good description of the difference between younger and older liberals.

OK I was thinking you- @thatoneguy - were saying that some people think they know what it means, but their definition is wrong. You are also right some Millennials can’t handle it when things don’t go their way, but like every generation there are those who can. Even in the Boomer generation there are people who can’t handle it when things aren’t going their way. A prime example is the dotard.

Their inability to handle when things don’t go their way. -- oneguy
Millenials didn't invent the adult temper tantrum. What generation kept the KKK alive? What generation murdered doctors to prevent abortions?
Most older people probably heard something like, the world doesn’t revolve around you so shut your mouth, when they were growing up, and it used to be true. It’s not like that for Millennials since they were treated like superstars their whole lives by society in general — not just their parents — so you can’t really blame them for thinking the world does revolve around them…….. because it really does. Colleges are just continuing the trend and Cancel Culture is simply just a part of that. - @thatoneguy
This seems to be a cultural phenomenon unique to the US in particular. Although the younger Japanese are into American pop culture, they would never think of tearing down their traditions. They are a monolithic culture distinctly Japanese. The resistance to the idea of assimilation into a white Christian culture is problematic to social cohesion in America. Despite the resistance, we are a distinctive cultural type recognizable to foreigners.
That’s called censorship, not cancel culture.
When right-wingers are daydreaming about how capitalism will work in the perfect utopian society created after we get rid of all regulations they call it "free market". What you are currently decrying as the "cancel culture" is literally how the "free market" approach to deregulation is supposed to work. If you're unhappy with a product, don't buy that product and it will go away. If you're unhappy with a company just don't do business with that company and it will die. Tell everyone you know about your terrible experience and they'll band together with you to punish the offending corporation.

So it’s “good” when we’re talking about getting rid of all regulations and letting the free market decide. And I’m sure it was “good” when Politically Incorrect got cancelled. But in this case, which is exactly the same, it’s totally different and it’s “bad”. I actually believe conservatives literally cannot see their own hypocrisy.

Even in the Boomer generation there are people who can’t handle it when things aren’t going their way.
Like every Republican for most of my life. An election is only "fair" if they won, no matter how much they cheated or how many people's rights they violated to prevent them from voting. And a bill is only "fair" if they get everything they want in exchange for allowing Democrats to have what both sides want.

A prime example is when Ted Cruz shut down the government. The offer was “We’ll pay America’s bills”, something both sides wanted. The ask was, “Get rid of Democrat’s greatest accomplishment in a generation”, something Democrats were very, every against but Republicans had a giant boner for. They ask for EVERYTHING and offer NOTHING. They’re doing the same thing with stimulus. Democrats passed a stimulus bill, Moscow Mitch ignored it. Wouldn’t even bring it up for a vote to fail. Instead he “negotiated” by saying, “This is what we want and it is NON NEGOTIABLE! And in return we’ll give you SOME of the things that you want. Specifically the parts that we also want.”

This is essentially the Republican playbook and has been the entire time I’ve been aware of politics. 30 years ago a Republican state rep pitched to me the idea of only allowing land owners to vote. “That way people can only vote if they have a vested interest in the country,” was the idea he pitched. Never mind that EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN had a vested interest in THEIR country, regardless what they do or do not own. What he really wanted is to stop people from voting “not Republican”. And he was all too happy to literally sell our democracy to get it.

And I saw talk about impeaching Obama 2 months BEFORE he was elected for his first term. That’s what the birther movement was all about. And the Tea Party, which sprung out of nowhere the MOMENT we have a black guy running for president and just fades into obscurity the moment he’s out of office. But they weren’t racist! It wasn’t about race! It was a grassroots movement! It just happened to be very “white” grass. Total coincidence.

OK I was thinking you- @thatoneguy – were saying that some people think they know what it means, but their definition is wrong. You are also right some Millennials can’t handle it when things don’t go their way, but like every generation there are those who can.
Yeah, but it's more common in younger generations than older generations.
Even in the Boomer generation there are people who can’t handle it when things aren’t going their way. A prime example is the dotard.
Nah, Trump handles adversity well because he's the type of guy who has naturally high self esteem. He acts like a fool a lot of the time but he doesn't let that hold him back -- which is not always a good thing, of course.

 

 

Nah, Trump handles adversity well because he’s the type of guy who has naturally high self esteem. He acts like a fool a lot of the time but he doesn’t let that hold him back — which is not always a good thing, of course. - oneguy
He does act like a fool, but they make him do it. I had no idea how corrupted the federal government was until Trump came along to drain the swamp. Critters came out from everywhere to take him down. We are no better than the Philippines or Indonesia.