Cancel culture destructive
“And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street,” Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Ulysses Grant, some independent minded college professors, several editors of center-left news organizations and now Pepe Le Pew — canceled. The publishers of Seuss canceled themselves, but it was the direct result of external pressure.
Cancel culture will likely become more pervasive and arbitrary, until enough unsuspecting and non-conforming liberals get canceled and realize that free speech applies to everyone and must be cherished, whether or not it’s personally offensive or triggering. You know, sticks and stones.
Whether caused by decades of helicopter parenting or race baiting for gain, this challenge is cultural, arguably more difficult to combat than a political challenge and can often be a catalyst for opportunistic political movements with lasting, historically significant and often horrifying consequences.
The solution is audaciously simple and a founding principle of this great country. Unfortunately, to many people who have been softened or woke, it’s unimaginable. Short of yelling fire in a movie theater, let people say, write and read what they want. Otherwise, it seems that it may be time to get rid of “Mein Kampf,” the writings of Louis Farrakhan, the Quran and the Bible. All four offend or trigger many more people than any of the above canceled U.S. heroes, teachers, literary pieces or imaginary characters.
While it may be counterintuitive and difficult, it seems we should be protecting our antagonist’s freedom of speech, even if it means feeling frustrated, angry or hurt by them. If you’re offended, voice your displeasure and seek satisfaction from another solution, but don’t rob others via cancellation of the ability to have their own learning experience and make their own choices.
Canceling behavior isn’t new and history has witnessed its devastating effects many times before. What seems good for all in one group’s view usually isn’t, especially when it comes to ideology. I’m tempted to provide readers examples of some of the brutal world changing episodes of cancel culture … but I’m afraid I might be canceled.
Vaughan M. Reale
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