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Cancel Culture

Merriam Webster defines cancel culture as a social environment in which publicly boycotting or withdrawing support for people, organizations, etc. regarded as promoting socially unacceptable beliefs is widespread practice.

Dictionary.com, in its pop-culture dictionary, defines cancel culture as "withdrawing support for (i.e. 'canceling' ) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive."

Cambridge Dictionary defines cancel culture as a way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you:

  1. Mike Lindell — The CEO of My Pillow said his company was ditched by nearly 20 retailers after he publicly questioned the electoral results of the 2020 presidential election and made his election fraud claims into a movie. Lindell is an unwavering supporter of former President Donald Trump and visited him in the White House on Jan. 15 — five days before Mr. Trump left office.
  2. Chris Harrison – The longtime host of ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise decided to “step aside” after defending current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell when old photos surfaced of her attending an Old South antebellum party. “While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf,” Harrison explained. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.”
  3. J.K. Rowling — The famous author of the Harry Potter series has faced backlash for voicing her fears that the push for transgender rights will ultimately endanger women’s rights. She’s since defended her comments on her website and joined 150 authors and academics denouncing “cancel culture.” These actions have only further infuriated her critics, who called for a boycott of her books and for her publisher to stop paying royalties.
  4. Adam Rubenstein — The former New York Times opinion editor and writer resigned from the paper in December, six months after its staff went into an uproar over a piece he edited by Sen. Tom Cotton. The column by Arkansas Republican argued for the federal government to “send in the troops” to quell violence in cities throughout the country in response to civil unrest following the death of George Floyd. Former editor Mari Weiss wrote on Twitter about the resignation: “Adam was hung out to dry by his own colleagues. Then he and his work were lied about, including in this mendacious editor’s note.”
  5. Gina Carano — The “Mandalorian” actress was fired by Disney after posting on social media that being a Republican in 2021 was similar to being Jewish during Nazi Germany. Her Hollywood agent dropped her, and Hasbro scrapped her “Star Wars” action figures.
  6. Tucker Carlson/Sean Hannity/Laura Ingraham — The prime-time Fox News opinion hosts have long battled with cancel culture and advertisement boycotts for airing their conservative views. Media Matters, a liberal group that opposes Fox, keeps a list of the network’s prime-time sponsors and routinely singles them out advocating for them to drop their advertisements if it deems a host says something particularly egregious one evening.
  7. Matthew Yglesias — The liberal opinion writer resigned from Vox, a publication he co-founded, after many of his woke colleagues found his articles too right of center. Mr. Yglesias argued against defunding the police this summer and took aim at the liberal term “Latinx” as alienating many people from progressive politics and the Democratic Party. He has since joined Substack, so he can voice his opinions more freely.
  8. Washington/Lincoln/Jefferson — The former U.S. presidents’ names have been wiped from San Francisco public schools after the school board decided to rename 44 schools that had “ties to racism” and “dishonorable legacies.”
  9. Sen. Josh Hawley – The Missouri Republican was dropped from his publisher, and Democrats have called for his resignation after he raised a challenge to the electors in Pennsylvania, siding with Mr. Trump and saying the state violated its own Constitution in conducting the 2020 presidential election. In the New York Post, he defended his actions, writing: “I, for one, am not going to back down. My book will be published, and I will continue to represent the people of my state without fear or favor, whatever the left or the corporations say.”
  10. Goya Foods — Liberals called for a Goya Foods’ boycott after the company’s chief executive Robert Unanue praised Mr. Trump at an event at the White House. Mr. Unanue said Mr. Trump’s leadership was a “blessing” for Hispanic Americans. The boycott turned into a “buycott,” according to Mr. Unanue. “Our sales went up significantly since the pandemic,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “We did well because the restaurant business declined 70%, but we also did well because of the backlash of a boycott to a buycott. We have our traditional customers, we kept them, but we also have new customers.”

 

The top 10 banned or challenged books of 2020

George by Alex Gino

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by and Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Saturday Evening Post

 

  • Remember that the cancel culture comes from erroneous worldviews.
  • Support the bi-partisan rejection of cancel culture.
  • Uphold the dignity of all people.
  • Decide that hurting people is not the goal of public discourse.
  • See the pain inside.
  • Stop using your faith to justify a “righteous” kind of cancel culture.
  • Go to the source.
  • Make your case.
  • Go for change, not cancellation.
  • Extend forgiveness.

Cancel-Culture-ebook.pdf (summitfiles.org)

How to avoid cancel culture?

  • Do your own research on the situation or individual – the one being called out or cancelled as well as the individual doing the calling out or cancelling.
  • Evaluate the gradation and the consequence of the action in question, and ask yourself if cancel culture actually works.
  • Try to address how toxic it can be for your mental health and identify if there is another way to help.
  • If you do decide to engage, make sure to call out and educate instead of cancel.

Cancel Culture: A Societal Obligation or Infringement on Free Speech? – UAB Institute for Human Rights Blog

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