Hi Minhions, I know it’s been a while since I last wrote a blog! Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy with all my responsibilities with my career and family that I couldn’t write. Nonetheless, I’m back with another blog filled with my thoughts and a rant in a sense. Let’s talk about the world and cancel culture!
You’ve probably have heard about cancel culture, but let’s first define it anyways! According to Merriam Webster, cancel culture is the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling to express disapproval and exert social pressure. I understand that I shouldn’t use the word to define something I’m discussing, but that’s beside the point.
Now, I believe there are levels to cancel culture I can agree with and disagree. Globalization has increased our connectivity and shined a light on the terrible actions of many that should be held accountable. Important figures within our society that seemed untouchable, at first, are finally pitted against reality when their despicable acts are pulled and plastered for the world to see, like Bill Cosby or Jeffery Epstein. In these scenarios, a cancel culture should be welcomed to hold these figures accountable.
However, I have a problem with how many have weaponized and perverted this social phenomenon in an attempt to bring others down. There have been multiple cases of problematic cancel culture that people have taken out of context and place, while the “world” demands an apology. In 2019, Kevin Hart’s offer to host the Academy Awards was rescinded because of a tweet from 2011 reading, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'” This is a prime example of something being taken out of context, weaponized, and exerting societal pressure for Kevin to apologize or have his livelihood be taken away. This is only one of the thousands of instances where people have abused this power. I don’t condone this type of speech, but we have to be aware that from 2011 to 2019, Hart could’ve developed and accepted this way of life. I have been feeling strongly about this topic recently and, coincidentally, my best friend and I had a discussion about this. What led to this conversation was about Jesus and specific attributes of the Holy Bible that didn’t align with our thoughts. I’d like to note that I have studied the Bible concurrently with my own faith. However, I can only speak through my experiences and share my perspective, which I hold closely.
In short, the discourse between us followed, “Can’t people change? What once was won’t dictate the future.” It is very optimistic of us, but the issue remains why and how can a global social power feel justified to judge so harshly that it will cost an individual’s life? One can say I’m dramatic, but am I really? Young adults like myself or children are at the mercy of the world, and it doesn’t take much either, like the Salem Witch Trials, where individuals are persecuted quickly without given second glances. This is a detrimental social phenomenon that I’m afraid won’t end soon and exacerbates society’s mental duress.
The most recognizable and modern case of this culture falls to Monica Lewinsky. Of course, we can discuss other problematic things about the 1995 sex scandal, but having her name and face humiliated all across the world was the tip of the iceberg. After her single mistake, Monica Lewinsky’s life was flipped upside down, so much so that she became an activist against this destructive social warfare. After the release of Lewinsky’s documentary, 15 minutes of Shame, she has been touring across universities, sharing about the bullying and dangers of “cancel culture.”
How frightening to imagine in a moment of immaturity and short-thought, with no intention to harm, an individual’s actions could be used against them and affect their livelihood.
A positive example, in recent news, of “cancel culture,” Dr. Seuss’s estate was a self-induced canceling. If you haven’t heard of this issue, Dr. Seuss’ estate recalled a few of its books because of racist rhetoric and didn’t want it to stay in circulation. As a result, the estate’s own recognition made a pre-emptive action to better a future world that most of the younger generation accepted. Yet, there are those inciting that it’s toxic cancel culture. I’m sorry, but this isn’t cancel culture. It’s progression—nothing more and nothing less.
There is a time and place for this, but we have perverted and cultivated an environment of fear, outright righteousness, and public execution without considering the human behind it. It goes back to an optimistic and theological question of morality and one’s motivation to change. Who knows, this blog may come back to bite me in the future. . .