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Cancel Culture

southernhybrid

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I made a remark in another post about an opinion piece I read concerning cancel culture. I didn't want to put this in the political forum for various reasons, but let's just say that cancel culture is more of a social movement than a political movement. Hopefully, this can be discussed, assuming anyone is interested, in a reasonable, intelligent way.

I read about the history of cancel culture. Apparently, it started around 2014 and Stephen Colbert was one who was attacked early on. For those of us who are fans of Colbert, we knew that his earlier show was all satire. He played the part of a far right news anchor. But, some people didn't understand the satire and they wanted Colbert to be cancelled. I just learned about that today.

President Obama is one of the people who criticized cancel culture, among others. It really didn't get too much attention until a few years ago, when all of a sudden people in the past as well as in the present were being criticized for making even one inappropriate remark, that might have been perceived as being racist or sexist etc.

While people on the right often blame people on the left for cancel culture, the truth is that it comes from both sides and from all kinds of people. The most recent example of right wing cancel culture is the right wings attempts to ban books from schools, to refuse to teach children about the systemic racism that has existed throughout the history of the US, refusal to allow schools to discuss such topics as the issues that the LBGTQ community faces etc. When it comes from the left, it's usually related to a remark that someone made, or words in a book written decades ago using words that are no longer considered appropriate.

I read surveys about who is most likely to support cancel culture and it's those who are ages 18-34 that are most supportive of it. Some people don't care and others don't have strong feelings about it one way or another. People over 65 are the least likely to support cancel culture, so I suppose we could say it's a movement of the younger generations. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish It seems rather extreme to me to punish someone for something they said 20 years ago or something hey said last week without fully understanding they used words that are no longer considered acceptable in today's society.

I mentioned the liberal intellectual John McWhorter who currently writes as a guest columnist for the NYTimes. He is a highly educated, dare I say privileged Black intellectual, who's parents were both college professors. He has said some controversial things, mostly in the past, but I think he's also written some excellent pieces on the status of cancel culture. For that reason, I'm going to gift at least one of his recent columns to start things off.

I'd like to know exactly why any of you support or are disgusted with the status of cancel culture. I'm posting this at the risk of being cancelled myself. ;)

How did our society become so super sensitive that words make one subject to such harsh criticism, including the loss of a job, or status in a community where they've been respected for years? Why are some of us so upset over the fact that some of our US founders or politicians of the past aren't perfect? Why do we judge people in the distant past for using words that were appropriate during their times, but are inappropriate these days? Why do some people judge someone based on a few things they say or believe instead of looking at their entire character and contributions to society?

Below is McWhorter's recent article. Hopefully, I've done it correctly so everyone can read the entire piece.

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and one of the most accomplished and respected psychiatrists in the world, recently tweeted about Nyakim Gatwech, the celebrated American model of South Sudanese descent who is known for her dark skin, writing, “Whether a work of art or freak of nature she’s a beautiful sight to behold.” A number of people on social media and within and outside Lieberman’s profession found his words offensive, particularly his use of the phrase “freak of nature” and specifically the term “freak” in a tweet about a Black woman, and the sequence of events that followed was, sadly, all too predictable.
As the Times’s Lola Fadulu reported Wednesday, Lieberman has resigned from his position as executive director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, was suspended by the university and will no longer serve as psychiatrist in chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
The day before he was suspended, Lieberman apologized in an email to colleagues, saying, according to The City, that he had tweeted “a message that was racist and sexist” and contained “prejudices and stereotypical assumptions I didn’t know I held” and that he was “deeply ashamed and very sorry.” He offered that “an apology from me to the Black community, to women, and to all of you is not enough. I’ve hurt many, and I am beginning to understand the work ahead to make needed personal changes and over time to regain your trust.” Note, here, his understanding that the apology by itself was not the whole job, that he has learned much from our current culture and was trying to do the right thing.
But in this current culture, that’s not enough. Even after his sincere apology for a single mistake, Lieberman probably won’t be able to continue serving society — at least not as before — as the brilliant doctor he is.
 

southernhybrid

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I found an article that mentions the positives and the negatives of cancel culture. I can see that there are times when it can be beneficial, but it also seems to me that lately, these cancelations have been extreme.

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-me...mething considered objectionable or offensive

Interestingly, although canceling is often used to call out sexism, the term itself originates from sexist “humor.” Possibly the first reference of canceling someone came from the film New Jack City, where Nino Brown played by Wesley Snipes states mercilessly to his ex-girlfriend “Cancel that [woman]. I’ll buy another one.” But the term really took off in 2014 thanks to a 2014 episode of VH1's reality show "Love and Hip-Hop: New York." In it, music executive and record producer Cisco Rosado ended an argument with his girlfriend by saying "you're cancelled.” From there, the word took on a life of its own, often among Black users on Twitter. It was used as a way to show disapproval for a person's actions as a joke or lighthearted criticism. It wasn’t until later that canceling someone involved boycotting them professionally. Mental Health Effects of Cancel Culture Cancel culture has been incredibly effective at combating wrongdoing, especially sexism and racism. It demands social change and addresses many inequalities. In 2016, many members of the film community boycotted the Oscars because of the lack of diversity among nominees. And canceling the Oscars resulted in real social change. In 2019, the Oscars set a record for the most wins by Black nominees ever. A community that unites against someone who has done something unforgivable can be empowering. It can also make people think twice before behaving inappropriately or posting potentially offensive views. But there are also negative effects resulting from cancel culture.

The Canceled Unfortunately, canceling often turns into bullying. Like bullying, if you've been canceled, it can make you to feel ostracized, socially isolated, and lonely. And research shows that loneliness is associated with higher anxiety, depression, and suicide rates.3 It can feel as if everyone is giving up on you before you've even have the chance to apologize. Instead of creating a dialogue to help you understand how your actions hurt them, the cancelers shut off all communication with you, essentially robbing you of the opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes or insensitivities. In order to truly grow and become a better person, you need to be able to realize a mistake was made, fix that mistake, and take the proper steps to ensure you don't make the same mistake again.

So, sure, there are times when a person or name needs to be cancelled, but what about when it's taken to extremes, like the example in my first post? Is it rational to bully someone for saying something stupid, especially when the person never meant to be offensive? Isn't okay for us to sometimes disagree about things without condemning each other? When someone says something to me that I find a bit racist or sexist, I usually correct them, give them reasons why what they said may be offensive and even suggest that they read a book on the topic. But, I don't disown them or think hey are terrible based on what might have been an ignorant remark. A person's character is about a lot more than one remark. Imo, some of the critics are worse than those who they criticize, as they are making value judgements based on one tiny aspect of that person.

What's the answer? Quite frankly I'm the type of person who doesn't get her feeling hurt, who doesn't care what others say about me, so it's very difficult for me to understand this era of overly sensitive way of reacting to a few words that someone says. If you disagree, please give us a reasonable explanation. I grew up saying the mantra, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me". Who's with me on that? :D
 

rousseau

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My guess is that it's a movement among young people because they're the ones using social media, which allows these stories to blow up with scale. Fifty years ago you'd read a story in a newspaper, and maybe chat about it with a couple of your friends and co-workers. Today, social media and the internet takes these people's opinions and amplifies them.

I was a Twitter user for nearly a decade, and most people on the platform loved responding to everything, regardless of whether or not they had any understanding of that thing.

Basically, it's an internet / social media thing.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Are we talking “cancel culture” or “cancel culture” or “cancel culture”? That is important. The term has multiple meanings, it is worse than culture warrior.

There is “cancel culture” which is the recognition that certain things need to go after someone does something wrong. Oddly letting Jussie Smollet get cancelled is okay, but Keven Spacey... let’s not get rash here. This is complicated and based on the issue. Spacey assaulted younger males, Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child, Michelle Obama suggested having fruit for dessert. It is complicated. How do we deal with that. Some of these people did great things before doing something wicked (or while we didn’t know). I know I’m not seeking to ban Mel Gibson, but learning how he is an anti-Semite really makes watching him on screen very hard. Cosby is the same way. It makes it much harder to enough watching a predator. But this probably is best left to the viewer.

Then there is “cancel culture”. Old racist shit we might not want to see. This applies generally to media. Think black face Fred Astaire. The initial thought is we don’t need to see this stuff. But some argue we do need to see it. And not in the Song of the South bitchery when Disney+ came out and racist fucks wanted to whine. But stuff like Gone with the Wind (or most cinema with African Americans in it until the late 60s). Generally this is an opportunity to discuss it, why it existed, why it matters, why it is wrong.

Then there is “cancel culture” which means whatever the hell alt-right assholes wants to say it means. This includes old racist statues erected in the 1950s to glorify treasonous assholes in the south in the rise of the Civil Rights movement. Do we keep these statues up? Fuck no! These people were anti-America... literally. But we could put them up for view in a museum dedicated to enemies of the Constitution and decency.
 

Angry Floof

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Pffth. "Cancel culture" = technology giving voice to everyone, and white people, especially affluent men, are unaccustomed to not being able to silence whoever they don't like or whoever criticizes them as they've done in times past, meaning literally all of Western culture history.

In any movement or ideology, you can find a few people who do not fit the general demographics of that movement. John McWhorter is one and insecure, privileged white people love him because they think he "cancels" their privilege. Y'all have been canceling the SHIT out of non-white people for centuries. Get the fuck over yourselves. "Cancel culture" is just you having to face the reality that you're not central or special or entitled to authority in the world. You'll be okay! :rotfl:
 

rousseau

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Are we talking “cancel culture” or “cancel culture” or “cancel culture”? That is important. The term has multiple meanings, it is worse than culture warrior.

There is “cancel culture” which is the recognition that certain things need to go after someone does something wrong. Oddly letting Jussie Smollet get cancelled is okay, but Keven Spacey... let’s not get rash here. This is complicated and based on the issue. Spacey assaulted younger males, Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child, Michelle Obama suggested having fruit for dessert. It is complicated. How do we deal with that. Some of these people did great things before doing something wicked (or while we didn’t know). I know I’m not seeking to ban Mel Gibson, but learning how he is an anti-Semite really makes watching him on screen very hard. Cosby is the same way. It makes it much harder to enough watching a predator. But this probably is best left to the viewer.

Then there is “cancel culture”. Old racist shit we might not want to see. This applies generally to media. Think black face Fred Astaire. The initial thought is we don’t need to see this stuff. But some argue we do need to see it. And not in the Song of the South bitchery when Disney+ came out and racist fucks wanted to whine. But stuff like Gone with the Wind (or most cinema with African Americans in it until the late 60s). Generally this is an opportunity to discuss it, why it existed, why it matters, why it is wrong.

Then there is “cancel culture” which means whatever the hell alt-right assholes wants to say it means. This includes old racist statues erected in the 1950s to glorify treasonous assholes in the south in the rise of the Civil Rights movement. Do we keep these statues up? Fuck no! These people were anti-America... literally. But we could put them up for view in a museum dedicated to enemies of the Constitution and decency.

One aspect that I don't know I made entirely clear in my last post: I don't know that 'cancel culture' really exists. There isn't a 'culture', there are platforms that can put public, social pressure on people and organizations. Meaning that if you took the internet and placed it at any time in history, among any given culture or political segment, the same thing would happen: whoever they didn't like would be put under the microscope.

The problem with these platforms is that anyone targeted (of any gender, identity, or political persuasion) is convicted automatically without a fair trial. And undoubtedly this has been weaponized by political parties, which is a serious problem.
 

southernhybrid

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Pffth. "Cancel culture" = technology giving voice to everyone, and white people, especially affluent men, are unaccustomed to not being able to silence whoever they don't like or whoever criticizes them as they've done in times past, meaning literally all of Western culture history.

In any movement or ideology, you can find a few people who do not fit the general demographics of that movement. John McWhorter is one and insecure, privileged white people love him because they think he "cancels" their privilege. Y'all have been canceling the SHIT out of non-white people for centuries. Get the fuck over yourselves. "Cancel culture" is just you having to face the reality that you're not central or special or entitled to authority in the world. You'll be okay! :rotfl:
John McWhorter is a Black man, certainly a privileged Black man, who was raised by two highly educated people, but regardless if I don't agree with all of his writings, I think he's made a lot of good points lately. I respectfully disagree that cancel culture is always about white people. A lot of Black people have been critical of cancel culture, including one of my friends. We discussed one of McWhorter's recent articles the other day. McWhorter was saying that old books that used the words, "colored people" should not be cancelled as some have been. That usage was acceptable back in the day, despite it no longer being acceptable. His points are often about how words and actions that in their time were considered normal or acceptable are not any longer. We should take that into consideration before we cancel something.
My guess is that it's a movement among young people because they're the ones using social media, which allows these stories to blow up with scale. Fifty years ago you'd read a story in a newspaper, and maybe chat about it with a couple of your friends and co-workers. Today, social media and the internet takes these people's opinions and amplifies them.

I was a Twitter user for nearly a decade, and most people on the platform loved responding to everything, regardless of whether or not they had any understanding of that thing.

Basically, it's an internet / social media thing.
It's definitely mostly a youth movement. I read the statistics on which group approves of this and it was mostly those who were between the ages of 18-34. I think you may be right in that social media is how this started.
 

southernhybrid

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So, we have people on the left banning books that contain hurtful words that were commonly used in earlier times and we have people on the right who are banning history books about the history of racism, anti semitism etc. I think both sides are wrong.

And, I thing it's wrong for someone to lose their job over something so trivial as a stupid tweet, especially after they've apologized, and hopefully have learned something from the experience.
 

southernhybrid

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Are we talking “cancel culture” or “cancel culture” or “cancel culture”? That is important. The term has multiple meanings, it is worse than culture warrior.

There is “cancel culture” which is the recognition that certain things need to go after someone does something wrong. Oddly letting Jussie Smollet get cancelled is okay, but Keven Spacey... let’s not get rash here. This is complicated and based on the issue. Spacey assaulted younger males, Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child, Michelle Obama suggested having fruit for dessert. It is complicated. How do we deal with that. Some of these people did great things before doing something wicked (or while we didn’t know). I know I’m not seeking to ban Mel Gibson, but learning how he is an anti-Semite really makes watching him on screen very hard. Cosby is the same way. It makes it much harder to enough watching a predator. But this probably is best left to the viewer.

Then there is “cancel culture”. Old racist shit we might not want to see. This applies generally to media. Think black face Fred Astaire. The initial thought is we don’t need to see this stuff. But some argue we do need to see it. And not in the Song of the South bitchery when Disney+ came out and racist fucks wanted to whine. But stuff like Gone with the Wind (or most cinema with African Americans in it until the late 60s). Generally this is an opportunity to discuss it, why it existed, why it matters, why it is wrong.

Then there is “cancel culture” which means whatever the hell alt-right assholes wants to say it means. This includes old racist statues erected in the 1950s to glorify treasonous assholes in the south in the rise of the Civil Rights movement. Do we keep these statues up? Fuck no! These people were anti-America... literally. But we could put them up for view in a museum dedicated to enemies of the Constitution and decency.
I agree it's complicated. I also agree that it's better to read or watch some of this stuff and then discuss why it's no longer appropriate. Off topic, I saw "Gone with the Wind" for the first time when I was about 18 and I never could understand why that movie was ever popular. But, I can understand why it's now very controversial in how slaves were portrayed.

On there other hand, my favorite comedy is "Blazing Saddles". It's pure satire, but I'm sure some super sensitive people these days would criticize or "cancel" it because it does contain the N word. At the same time, it makes the white people look really stupid and the Black sheriff is the hero and the smartest person in the movie. Yet, I fear that this hilarious comedy would never be acceptable in today's culture.
 

Angry Floof

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I respectfully disagree that cancel culture is always about white people.

No one said always. It's a privilege to blurt out whatever opinions you've been conditioned to hold and have never been arsed to challenge within yourself. It's about the privilege of speaking without consequence, with most people not bothering or not daring to challenge someone who can make life hard for them in some way. In the US, it's white people who have this privilege, and it's white people who don't have to care about people who are not like them. There's been little or no consequences for white people prejudice for generations upon generations. Now, there's a means for virtually anyone to challenge that leeway that comes with privilege.

As a woman, I say things to men on the internet that I would not in person. There are very real dangers in challenging men in person on infantile, callous views of women. And even in cases where there may not actually be a physical danger, there is intimidation and aggressive posturing that so many men engage in when a woman says something they don't like, and depending on the experiences of the woman in question, the potential for abuse may force her to silence.

Men, especially white men, defend this and believe they have every right to engage in baboon chest puffing and aggressive behavior when women speak up and challenge them. They can get away with it easily, and therefore no self reflection or maturity or frontal lobe activity of any kind on their part is required.

There are people who are the targets of abuse who find the internet and social media a means of gaining support and of speaking out against their abusers. There are countries, as you know, that punish homosexuality with torture and death. Those people now have a voice and a way to network with others to work to change the powers and policies that abuse them.

People with power and privilege don't really have so much power and privilege when everyone has a means to criticize them. Sometimes that inspires them to step up, humble themselves, and try to be a better human who is aware of the world around them. Sometimes they just whine about some made up "movement" that is being mean to them.

It's definitely mostly a youth movement. I read the statistics on which group approves of this and it was mostly those who were between the ages of 18-34. I think you may be right in that social media is how this started.

Well, duh. As someone else has already explained, you could put this power of technology into any generation at any point in human history and you will find the same results: the powerless giving the powerful the what for to whatever extent they feel ignored or abused, which is a good thing, and pretty much everyone being dicks in some way, and some of them eventually learn to be better humans through peer pressure.

As for ordinary citizens losing jobs and reputation due to one slip or joke, that is a definite downside of social media. But there are two things you should understand before your wedge yourself more tightly in your attitudes. One, some of those people crying and giving people like you food for your prejudices, such as Joe Rogan, are people of privilege and power, and they're not losing that power. At worst, they'll receive a few less millions. But if that's what it takes for influential voices to take responsibility for what they spew out to a hundred million listeners, then so be it. They enjoy the power and influence, but when held accountable, suddenly they're just regular folks minding their own business and only bad people would make them cry.

As for the regular folks who do end up destroyed for making comments, this kind of behavior is increasingly condemned. If you agree that extreme dog piling ruining lives of ordinary citizens is wrong and needs to stop, feel free to defend those who do NOT have power and influence to defend themselves against millions of social media users lashing out at them. Going forward, let's hope that parents in our society choose to teach their children to not join in or cheer on such behavior. I've seen videos of women being chased home by men because she cut him off in traffic and he for some reason with a straight face that chasing her home and terrorizing her, video recording her as she clearly states he does not have her permission, and she's crying and he continues to taunt and terrorize her, all on video from his own camera.

The reason he thinks that's acceptable behavior is because a million social media users validate him and vilify her. THAT is what needs to stop, not people of privilege who get butthurt that a lot of people in the world find their comments repugnant with very little else lost. There are numerous videos like this on the internet of privileged, dumb as rocks white boys harassing and stalking women for doing things that do not harm anyone and often are none of those boys' fucking business to begin with.

Promote teaching our kids, especially boys, to humble themselves and respect others, that other people are not theirs to control or judge or punish. Condemn this behavior loudly and clearly, without giving the privileged an inch of excuses. Condemn knee jerk reactions of cruelty. That would not only help protect the innocent, but also those who you think have been "canceled." Have the humanity to do that instead of whining about something that doesn't even exist except as a straw man to make right wing authoritarian white people feel better about never having had to think before opening their mouths.
 

Angry Floof

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I fear that this hilarious comedy would never be acceptable in today's culture.

We are capable of finding ways to tell a story with the same satire without needing any white characters saying the word. You can trust in the creative power of human minds, especially those that are further opened by humor and respect for their fellow human beings and more informed understanding of their own blind spots and the experiences of others.

Nothing to fear. :)
 

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The Y.A, book cancellings seem to be some of the only true overreaches of the left.

But there are issues with how these books may be sold en masse via schools and libraries. So that is who needs to be placated, the organizations who order these books.

Screenshot from 2022-03-04 07-32-28.png
 

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The only new thing about "cancel culture" is the name - people have been retributively boycotting celebrities, scholars, and media for as long as mass systems of media distribution have existed. This is unlikely to change.
 

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I agree it's complicated. I also agree that it's better to read or watch some of this stuff and then discuss why it's no longer appropriate. Off topic, I saw "Gone with the Wind" for the first time when I was about 18 and I never could understand why that movie was ever popular. But, I can understand why it's now very controversial in how slaves were portrayed.
What I find most peculiar about the film is how the main character is a heel, when in fact, if she were a dude, she'd be a hero.
On there other hand, my favorite comedy is "Blazing Saddles". It's pure satire, but I'm sure some super sensitive people these days would criticize or "cancel" it because it does contain the N word. At the same time, it makes the white people look really stupid and the Black sheriff is the hero and the smartest person in the movie. Yet, I fear that this hilarious comedy would never be acceptable in today's culture.
Lets make something clear, Blazing Saddles was written by comic geniuses and it wasn't making light of racism, it was making fun of it. Much like how Life is Beautiful wasn't making fun of the Holocaust, but managed to bring comedy even into the death camps itself, because of ingenious craft. Get Dave Chappelle and Eddie Izzard in a room and you could make a Blazing Saddles like film, but you need that level of genius. Seth Rogan ain't writing Blazing Saddles.

We shouldn't shy from words, but instead from malice. We shouldn't try to ignore something happened, but we shouldn't pretend some people aren't proud of it.
 

southernhybrid

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The only new thing about "cancel culture" is the name - people have been retributively boycotting celebrities, scholars, and media for as long as mass systems of media distribution have existed. This is unlikely to change.
Sure, the name is fairly new, but I've never known of people who were highly respected in their communities, suddenly losing their jobs and having their reputations damaged due to one ignorant remark they made or tweeted. Of course boycotts of famous people have always happened, but in the past it was due to things like discovering that a famous celebrity was a serial rapist, or was laundering money etc. That's reasonable. But, what I'm objecting to are things like the the example in the OP. A highly respected man, lost his career and reputation over one tweet that was meant to be a compliment. Even after he apologized and said he was beginning to realize that he needs to be more thoughtful in how he expresses himself, he was still fired. Now, he is no longer able to serve his community, all due to the reaction to one dumb tweet. This may have happened in the past, but I have not seen any evidence that it was as common as it is today.

I'm not talking about people who are obviously racist or sexist, like Joe Rogan. People like him don't do anything constructive. They just create a lot of hate and noise. People like that are certainly a problem, but that's not what I was referring to when I said I objected to "cancel culture".

Times change and what was once considered acceptable is suddenly considered to be so bad, that a person's reputation is destroyed over a minor offense. I don't see how this helps bring people together. I don't see how this helps teach people anything. If anything, destroying and bullying a person over a minor offense has the potential to have a very damaging impact on society, regardless of which side it comes from. It causes more hate and divisiveness, not more unity and understanding.

Wouldn't it be better to discuss the offense, accept the apology and move on? Or if a book written 100 years ago, contains offensive words or ideas, is it acceptable to ban that book, or is it better to be able to read the book without over reacting to what may have been acceptable in that era? When did we become so easily offended? Sometimes it appears that young progressive white people are being very patronizing, by telling minorities what should offend them.
 

southernhybrid

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I agree it's complicated. I also agree that it's better to read or watch some of this stuff and then discuss why it's no longer appropriate. Off topic, I saw "Gone with the Wind" for the first time when I was about 18 and I never could understand why that movie was ever popular. But, I can understand why it's now very controversial in how slaves were portrayed.
What I find most peculiar about the film is how the main character is a heel, when in fact, if she were a dude, she'd be a hero.
On there other hand, my favorite comedy is "Blazing Saddles". It's pure satire, but I'm sure some super sensitive people these days would criticize or "cancel" it because it does contain the N word. At the same time, it makes the white people look really stupid and the Black sheriff is the hero and the smartest person in the movie. Yet, I fear that this hilarious comedy would never be acceptable in today's culture.
Lets make something clear, Blazing Saddles was written by comic geniuses and it wasn't making light of racism, it was making fun of it. Much like how Life is Beautiful wasn't making fun of the Holocaust, but managed to bring comedy even into the death camps itself, because of ingenious craft. Get Dave Chappelle and Eddie Izzard in a room and you could make a Blazing Saddles like film, but you need that level of genius. Seth Rogan ain't writing Blazing Saddles.

We shouldn't shy from words, but instead from malice. We shouldn't try to ignore something happened, but we shouldn't pretend some people aren't proud of it.
I agree with you about "Blazing Saddles", but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if some young idiots got their panties in a bunch because of the use of the N word in that movie, despite the fact that the movie was brilliant satire. That's how crazy some of this has gotten. Mel Brooks, who is Jewish himself, even used comedic satire regarding Hitler. I'm not sure this would be acceptable in the current social era.
 

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I agree it's complicated. I also agree that it's better to read or watch some of this stuff and then discuss why it's no longer appropriate. Off topic, I saw "Gone with the Wind" for the first time when I was about 18 and I never could understand why that movie was ever popular. But, I can understand why it's now very controversial in how slaves were portrayed.
What I find most peculiar about the film is how the main character is a heel, when in fact, if she were a dude, she'd be a hero.
On there other hand, my favorite comedy is "Blazing Saddles". It's pure satire, but I'm sure some super sensitive people these days would criticize or "cancel" it because it does contain the N word. At the same time, it makes the white people look really stupid and the Black sheriff is the hero and the smartest person in the movie. Yet, I fear that this hilarious comedy would never be acceptable in today's culture.
Lets make something clear, Blazing Saddles was written by comic geniuses and it wasn't making light of racism, it was making fun of it. Much like how Life is Beautiful wasn't making fun of the Holocaust, but managed to bring comedy even into the death camps itself, because of ingenious craft. Get Dave Chappelle and Eddie Izzard in a room and you could make a Blazing Saddles like film, but you need that level of genius. Seth Rogan ain't writing Blazing Saddles.

We shouldn't shy from words, but instead from malice. We shouldn't try to ignore something happened, but we shouldn't pretend some people aren't proud of it.
I agree with you about "Blazing Saddles", but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if some young idiots got their panties in a bunch because of the use of the N word in that movie, despite the fact that the movie was brilliant satire. That's how crazy some of this has gotten. Mel Brooks, who is Jewish himself, even used comedic satire regarding Hitler. I'm not sure this would be acceptable in the current social era.
Life is Beautiful happened, so I don't see why not... (especially after The Producers was remade as well, but the musical version overstayed its welcome) but only a handful of comics have the skill to pull it off. Jerry Lewis tried in the 70s to create a holocaust film of sorts and I believe that film was buried in a vault and encased in concrete. What madman thought Lewis had the skill?!
 

Ruth Harris

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I despise the term “cancel culture”. It has no real meaning, as pointed out by Jimmy Higgins.

I also do not understand why people want to claim they are being “canceled” for certain things. For a very large part of my life, I have been in a non traditional field of work. I also have interests that are considered outside the norm for females and Christians. I have never felt like I was being "canceled" even though I have certainly encountered people who thought I should be :rolleyes:

You can only be “canceled” if you allow yourself to be put in that position. Everyone should have enough self worth to stand their ground when facing any form of discrimination; no one is going to tell me I am not allowed to do/think something simply because they don’t think someone like me should be doing/thinking that. And you can only “cancel” other people if you have an exaggerated opinion of your own worth. I guarantee that your personal egotism will get you in the end; I don’t have to “cancel” your stance to make you look bad as your own actions are going to lead to that without any intervention on my part.

I freely admit I have made mistakes in how I discuss/treat other people. So what? I am human. Everyone makes mistakes. I don’t understand what the big deal is if the mistake is followed up with an apology and an attempt to do better in the future.

I find it foolish that as a society, we are trending toward removing everything that might possibly offend a particular group of people. Now, understand that I am not saying that things such as racism or unwarranted venom against another group like gays shouldn’t be eliminated. I am saying that trying to remove all historical references which might contain some offensive ideas in literature or the arts is a step too far. Like it or not, this is our history and should not be hidden. No one is guaranteed a life free of encountering ideas that might be personally offensive. Learn from the experience and go on with your life. No one can force you to suffer emotionally without your permission.

:rant: over.

Ruth
 

Elixir

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No one is guaranteed a life free of encountering ideas that might be personally offensive. Learn from the experience and go on with your life. No one can force you to suffer emotionally without your permission.

Funny how some things resonate throughout life. Reading your post above, one memory kept recurring. In a public bathroom stall on the UC Berkeley campus ca 1968, I came across a bit of graffiti that struck me funny. It just said:

FUCK YOU HOLDEN CAULFIELD
 

blastula

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I read about the history of cancel culture. Apparently, it started around 2014

Who says 2014? It's been going on forever. Heard this fascinating interview on the history of stand-up comedy, it discusses people getting cancelled since its beginning, going back to the 1800s.


Historically, cancelling has been a largely right wing endeavor, but in the media it's been largely labelled as a left wing malady. Every group does it, but only think it's a thing when it happens to their group. And some cancellings are good, others bad, depends on the case and perspective.

Agree with Ruth that the worst kind of cancelling is of artistic works, and especially the long prized ones, whether it's because the artist has become "problematic" or because of something in the work maybe hasn't aged well, sometimes by people who can't discern between including a bad guy in a story and endorsing the bad guy.

The American Library Association comes out with their Top 10 Most Challenged Books List every year and if you look at the older ones the challenges are almost all for religious fundie reasons, but lately there's been a shift. The right and fundies still dominate as challengers, and the anti-crt freaks are there now too, but there is a left wing segment showing up as well, for what I would call "I am too stupid to even read" and plain misanthropic reasons. To Kill a Mockingbird has been making the list for about the last 10 years, and is being challenged because of "racism" and for "featuring a 'white savior' character." Of Mice and Men has been on there, also for "racism." The left can be so clueless.

Another horrible type of cancelling by the left is of writers for not being the right identity to write about certain characters, which cancelling is rampant in YA lit. The YA community are viciously woke, they'll get your book unpublished before it's even in print.

Cancelling attempts are not death sentences though, they can be resisted and even overcome at times by simply not caving in, by showing some spine by the cancellees and their employers or publishers. Notwithstanding that some cancellings are good, some I want to see work.
 

Angry Floof

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I find it foolish that as a society, we are trending toward removing everything that might possibly offend a particular group of people. Now, understand that I am not saying that things such as racism or unwarranted venom against another group like gays shouldn’t be eliminated. I am saying that trying to remove all historical references which might contain some offensive ideas in literature or the arts is a step too far. Like it or not, this is our history and should not be hidden. No one is guaranteed a life free of encountering ideas that might be personally offensive. Learn from the experience and go on with your life. No one can force you to suffer emotionally without your permission.

:rant: over.

Ruth

I think the appearance of moving toward removing everything that might offend particular groups of people is just that, an appearance. What I fear we are heading toward is a society that allows for the already privileged to use technological advances to further ignore, abuse, and demonize people who are not like them or just people they don't like.

What gives me hope is that the younger the generation, the more an inclusive and broad their world view. Older generations have to work our brains to embrace all of humanity as human, as "us," and find the younger generations' refusal to believe 1950s American attitudes are not the ideal. Younger generations don't have to work their brains to have a broader world view. They're born into it. Born into a widely connected world where they can't hide from certain realities that previous generations could.

Those who are not so generous in their regard for humanity, whether by personality or by ideology, will actually have to work their brains to not notice a world that is wildly diverse yet all the same in our humanness. I think the screaming and violence from the right is exactly that, a visceral struggle to fight against the world around them and fight against people they see not being like them and not doing what they think they should be doing.

Hopefully the reality that no one is in charge will sink into younger generations before they kill us all off. Hopefully, they'll recognize that it's only cooperation and compassion that can ensure the peace and well being of a tribe of seven billion.
 

southernhybrid

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All of your responses are interesting, although many of them aren't really about what I was referring to in the OP. I got the year 2014 from several things I read that used that date as the beginning of the term, "cancel culture". I realize that people, art, books etc. have been banned throughout history. I was primarily speaking about contemporary people who were fired, banned, bullied or harshly criticized for one mistaken remark or one unpopular opinion etc. Of course, these threads take on a life of their own, as we all have our own perspectives and understandings of various terms.
 

southernhybrid

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I find it foolish that as a society, we are trending toward removing everything that might possibly offend a particular group of people. Now, understand that I am not saying that things such as racism or unwarranted venom against another group like gays shouldn’t be eliminated. I am saying that trying to remove all historical references which might contain some offensive ideas in literature or the arts is a step too far. Like it or not, this is our history and should not be hidden. No one is guaranteed a life free of encountering ideas that might be personally offensive. Learn from the experience and go on with your life. No one can force you to suffer emotionally without your permission.

:rant: over.

Ruth

I think the appearance of moving toward removing everything that might offend particular groups of people is just that, an appearance. What I fear we are heading toward is a society that allows for the already privileged to use technological advances to further ignore, abuse, and demonize people who are not like them or just people they don't like.

What gives me hope is that the younger the generation, the more an inclusive and broad their world view. Older generations have to work our brains to embrace all of humanity as human, as "us," and find the younger generations' refusal to believe 1950s American attitudes are not the ideal. Younger generations don't have to work their brains to have a broader world view. They're born into it. Born into a widely connected world where they can't hide from certain realities that previous generations could.

Those who are not so generous in their regard for humanity, whether by personality or by ideology, will actually have to work their brains to not notice a world that is wildly diverse yet all the same in our humanness. I think the screaming and violence from the right is exactly that, a visceral struggle to fight against the world around them and fight against people they see not being like them and not doing what they think they should be doing.

Hopefully the reality that no one is in charge will sink into younger generations before they kill us all off. Hopefully, they'll recognize that it's only cooperation and compassion that can ensure the peace and well being of a tribe of seven billion.
Yeah. I get all that, but there are plenty of haters in the younger generation, so I'm not optimistic that they will save us.

I'm off topic, but I was so upset over what's going on in the world these days, that I had to sit and listen to one of my favorite CD mixes that contains a number of soul songs from the 60s and 70s. Sadly, all of the optimism in those songs, sometimes known as music with a message, hasn't come to fruition. I was listening to songs like, Ray Charles performing "One drop of Love", or The Isley Brothers, "Caravan of Love", or Curtis Mayfield, "Just a Little Bit of Love". These were all optimistic songs about bringing people together. Oh, I forgot, "Love Train". :) Where is the love in the world? It seems to me that we've gone in the wrong direction and there's more hate than I've seen in my lifetime, despite the optimism that some of us had back in the day when we were idealistic youths. But, I digress. Bringing it back.....Cancelling someone for a dumb tweet or an unpopular opinion is anything but love. It's certainly not going to unite us. I think that may have been what motivated me to start this discussion, regardless of what directions it takes.
 

Angry Floof

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I don't think you understand how any of this works. No one is canceling anyone. A lot of people now have access to microphones as well as exposure to messages about people who make stupid statements. One person might make the choice to no longer follow that celebrity or buy somebody's stuff. When you have thousands or millions of people also reacting that way, yes, it can often be wildly unfair in how it affects that person. That is a problem of all of culture. Why are we so reactive and callous? But the important thing is that overwhelmingly, there is no one choosing to destroy someone. Social media amplifies stuff, and the more toxic side effects of that have not yet been resolved by society.

Whining and blaming does nothing but further entrench people in their opinions based in a less than accurate understanding the world around them. At best, you're no help. At worst, you help contribute more garbage to society that delays the kind of changes that can minimize the risks and toxicity.

You and Steve Bank should hook up.
 

rousseau

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Where is the love in the world? It seems to me that we've gone in the wrong direction and there's more hate than I've seen in my lifetime, despite the optimism that some of us had back in the day when we were idealistic youths. But, I digress.

It takes a bit of imagination to recognize that there's less hate and violence in the world now than there's ever been. But since about.. 1995.. we've had the ability to see it, everywhere.

I'm pointing out the obvious, but it's a critical point. Not only does the internet make everything visible, it self-selects all of the worst things that happen. Our perception isn't reality - people are more conscious, peaceful, and informed now, moreso than they've ever been. But our brains weren't built with the internet in mind.
 

Angry Floof

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Every generation in human history has thought the world was going to pot and kids today are disrespectful, blah blah blah.

Every generation thinks they are seeing the worst times in history.

Knowing this, you'd think people would challenge their own version of it instead of just repeating it over and over.
 

Politesse

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The only new thing about "cancel culture" is the name - people have been retributively boycotting celebrities, scholars, and media for as long as mass systems of media distribution have existed. This is unlikely to change.
Sure, the name is fairly new, but I've never known of people who were highly respected in their communities, suddenly losing their jobs and having their reputations damaged due to one ignorant remark they made or tweeted. Of course boycotts of famous people have always happened, but in the past it was due to things like discovering that a famous celebrity was a serial rapist, or was laundering money etc. That's reasonable. But, what I'm objecting to are things like the the example in the OP. A highly respected man, lost his career and reputation over one tweet that was meant to be a compliment. Even after he apologized and said he was beginning to realize that he needs to be more thoughtful in how he expresses himself, he was still fired. Now, he is no longer able to serve his community, all due to the reaction to one dumb tweet. This may have happened in the past, but I have not seen any evidence that it was as common as it is today.

I'm not talking about people who are obviously racist or sexist, like Joe Rogan. People like him don't do anything constructive. They just create a lot of hate and noise. People like that are certainly a problem, but that's not what I was referring to when I said I objected to "cancel culture".

Times change and what was once considered acceptable is suddenly considered to be so bad, that a person's reputation is destroyed over a minor offense. I don't see how this helps bring people together. I don't see how this helps teach people anything. If anything, destroying and bullying a person over a minor offense has the potential to have a very damaging impact on society, regardless of which side it comes from. It causes more hate and divisiveness, not more unity and understanding.

Wouldn't it be better to discuss the offense, accept the apology and move on? Or if a book written 100 years ago, contains offensive words or ideas, is it acceptable to ban that book, or is it better to be able to read the book without over reacting to what may have been acceptable in that era? When did we become so easily offended? Sometimes it appears that young progressive white people are being very patronizing, by telling minorities what should offend them.
It might, but it seems quite unlikely to me that this will change in any meaningful respect. It think the only thing that has really changed here is that social media has increased access to each others' gaffes and made it possible to symbolically punish common individuals the way only public figures formerly had to fear. The social dynamics at play are not novel in a fundamental way.

I think it's leading to exaggerated accounts of the problem, also. I teach college freshman and sophomores for a living; if their generation were truly nothing but a "brood of vipers" out to take down anyone that offends them, I'd have been fired years ago. Rather, I think these internet mobs occassionally form, and are amplified by the media to make them seem much more commonplace than they actually are. This is not a defense of mob mentality, only an observation that it is not our normative social orientation, nor are occasional bursts of mass outrage a new phenomenon.
 

southernhybrid

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I don't think you understand how any of this works. No one is canceling anyone. A lot of people now have access to microphones as well as exposure to messages about people who make stupid statements. One person might make the choice to no longer follow that celebrity or buy somebody's stuff. When you have thousands or millions of people also reacting that way, yes, it can often be wildly unfair in how it affects that person. That is a problem of all of culture. Why are we so reactive and callous? But the important thing is that overwhelmingly, there is no one choosing to destroy someone. Social media amplifies stuff, and the more toxic side effects of that have not yet been resolved by society.

Whining and blaming does nothing but further entrench people in their opinions based in a less than accurate understanding the world around them. At best, you're no help. At worst, you help contribute more garbage to society that delays the kind of changes that can minimize the risks and toxicity.

You and Steve Bank should hook up.

And, to me it appears as if you are missing the point. Thanks for the snark. It adds so much to the discussion. /s. Did you bother to read the link in the OP? If so, explain to me why you think it's okay to fire and destroy the reputation of a person who has served his community as both an academic and a physician for many years, due to one stupid tweet, even after the man apologized and admitted he was wrong for saying what he did? That's really the type of cancelling that I was interested in exploring when I started this thread.

It's not like the man in the article is the only one who has suffered from this type of bullying. What's going on? Why are we becoming so judgmental, based on one opinion or one poorly worded comment or tweet?

I am fully aware that people, including minorities and women have suffered from prejudice, hate etc. for hundreds of years. I get it, but since when do two wrongs make a right? I'm not a vengeful person. That may be why I have difficulty understanding this crazy condemning of anyone who says something that is't politically correct, which is often done out of simple ignorance, not out of hate or prejudice. And guess what? A lot of minorities don't like being told by white people what they should be insulted by. It's one thing to defend and be supportive of others when asked or when needed. It's another thing to patronize them by telling them they are victims. When did it become unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized for making a dumb mistake?
 

southernhybrid

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The only new thing about "cancel culture" is the name - people have been retributively boycotting celebrities, scholars, and media for as long as mass systems of media distribution have existed. This is unlikely to change.
Sure, the name is fairly new, but I've never known of people who were highly respected in their communities, suddenly losing their jobs and having their reputations damaged due to one ignorant remark they made or tweeted. Of course boycotts of famous people have always happened, but in the past it was due to things like discovering that a famous celebrity was a serial rapist, or was laundering money etc. That's reasonable. But, what I'm objecting to are things like the the example in the OP. A highly respected man, lost his career and reputation over one tweet that was meant to be a compliment. Even after he apologized and said he was beginning to realize that he needs to be more thoughtful in how he expresses himself, he was still fired. Now, he is no longer able to serve his community, all due to the reaction to one dumb tweet. This may have happened in the past, but I have not seen any evidence that it was as common as it is today.

I'm not talking about people who are obviously racist or sexist, like Joe Rogan. People like him don't do anything constructive. They just create a lot of hate and noise. People like that are certainly a problem, but that's not what I was referring to when I said I objected to "cancel culture".

Times change and what was once considered acceptable is suddenly considered to be so bad, that a person's reputation is destroyed over a minor offense. I don't see how this helps bring people together. I don't see how this helps teach people anything. If anything, destroying and bullying a person over a minor offense has the potential to have a very damaging impact on society, regardless of which side it comes from. It causes more hate and divisiveness, not more unity and understanding.

Wouldn't it be better to discuss the offense, accept the apology and move on? Or if a book written 100 years ago, contains offensive words or ideas, is it acceptable to ban that book, or is it better to be able to read the book without over reacting to what may have been acceptable in that era? When did we become so easily offended? Sometimes it appears that young progressive white people are being very patronizing, by telling minorities what should offend them.
It might, but it seems quite unlikely to me that this will change in any meaningful respect. It think the only thing that has really changed here is that social media has increased access to each others' gaffes and made it possible to symbolically punish common individuals the way only public figures formerly had to fear. The social dynamics at play are not novel in a fundamental way.

I think it's leading to exaggerated accounts of the problem, also. I teach college freshman and sophomores for a living; if their generation were truly nothing but a "brood of vipers" out to take down anyone that offends them, I'd have been fired years ago. Rather, I think these internet mobs occassionally form, and are amplified by the media to make them seem much more commonplace than they actually are. This is not a defense of mob mentality, only an observation that it is not our normative social orientation, nor are occasional bursts of mass outrage a new phenomenon.
Of course, no one group is the same. As a boomer, I am well aware of how my generation has been stereotyped. The younger generation is like all generations, a mix of various points of views and moral values. I agree with you that social media has added to this issue. The guy in the OP would never have been bullied if he hadn't bothered to tweet his stupid remark, but instead simply looked at the photo of the model and silently admired her beauty. Social media has brought out the worst in us. It's often caused more hate and division, as too many people judge others based on minor things. Even here, we sometimes say things to each other that we would never say in person.

I've served all kinds of people In my 42 years as a nurse. I've been in the homes of the rich and the extremely poor, including people who held views that were very different from my own. But, as a nurse, my primary goal was not to judge and always to advocate for those who I was there to serve. Perhaps that's why it's so difficult for me to understand this relatively new obsession with pointing out each others errors and faults. All humans have faults and weaknesses. "Canceling" someone due to a minor fault is cruel and unnecessary. It doesn't help move us forward.
 

Politesse

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. And guess what? A lot of minorities don't like being told by white people what they should be insulted by. It's one thing to defend and be supportive of others when asked or when needed. It's another thing to patronize them by telling them they are victims. When did it become unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized for making a dumb mistake?
I don't understand this part of your argument at all. Your feeling is that a Black can criticize a White for saying something racist, but Whites should never attack their own? Because that's "patronizing"? I don't criticize racist speech because it should offend Blacks, I criticize it because it does offend me.
 

southernhybrid

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Where is the love in the world? It seems to me that we've gone in the wrong direction and there's more hate than I've seen in my lifetime, despite the optimism that some of us had back in the day when we were idealistic youths. But, I digress.

It takes a bit of imagination to recognize that there's less hate and violence in the world now than there's ever been. But since about.. 1995.. we've had the ability to see it, everywhere.

I'm pointing out the obvious, but it's a critical point. Not only does the internet make everything visible, it self-selects all of the worst things that happen. Our perception isn't reality - people are more conscious, peaceful, and informed now, moreso than they've ever been. But our brains weren't built with the internet in mind.
A few years ago, I would have agreed with you about the world becoming less hateful. Considering what has happened in my country over the last five years or so and considering the war in Ukraine, what's happening in many small counties in the Middle East, the spike in crime in the. US, as well as some other Western countries, the rise of white supremacy, and in some cases, even some of this absurd cancelling of people who have different views or say something ignorant, the stereotyping of different generations, and the rise in gun ownership, etc. I just don't see that people are getting more peaceful. Not that it's on topic, but my state is in the midst of allowing anyone to carry a concealed gun without a permit or a background check. How's that gonna help this dire situation?

I love the that we have access to information due to the Internet, but at the same time, we have access to lots of misinformation, conspiracy theories and hate groups. I wish I were as optimistic as you seem to be, but I just don't see that we humans are making progress that will lead to more peace and love. To be honest, I live in a community that is very racially integrated and where most people seem to at least tolerate each other, often living side by side peacefully. But, even in my little city, there has been a dramatic rise in violent crime over the last two years, and it's far worse in Atlanta. Maybe the pandemic has made people nuts.

On top of all that, there's the issue of climate change, which some people continue to deny. As we see more damaging weather, often leaving more people displaced, I fear that things will get even worse. I have a wonderful life, but I'm also living in the final years of my life, but I do have concerns about the world that my grandchildren will be facing as adults, and to me, this new version of cancel culture is just one more thing that causes hate, division and misunderstanding.
 

southernhybrid

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. And guess what? A lot of minorities don't like being told by white people what they should be insulted by. It's one thing to defend and be supportive of others when asked or when needed. It's another thing to patronize them by telling them they are victims. When did it become unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized for making a dumb mistake?
I don't understand this part of your argument at all. Your feeling is that a Black can criticize a White for saying something racist, but Whites should never attack their own? Because that's "patronizing"? I don't criticize racist speech because it should offend Blacks, I criticize it because it does offend me.
That's not what I'm saying at all. It's a little bit difficult to explain here. Of course, white people should criticize racist speech and behavior. That's not the same as telling a Black person that they are a victim because of some thing said or done that causes the white person to feel uncomfortable and feel it's their duty to act like the white savior. I'll see if I can find an example.

The only thing that comes to mind right now is something I discussed with a close Black friend earlier this week. She and I like to discuss politics and race relations. I had read about a book that was highly criticized for using the term "colored people". The book was written during the era when this was an acceptable term to use. I lived through the 60s, when Black people asked to be called black, and not to be referred to as colored people any longer. I guess you could call it a movement or something like that. They didn't need any white people to tell them how they wanted to be labeled. They chose the term black, as in the James Brown lyric, "Say it loud. I'm Black and I'm proud."
After that point in time, it became an insult to refer to a black person as colored.

My friend agreed that it was foolish to ban a book that used language that is no longer considered acceptable, but was during the time it was written. Black people don't need a white savior to determine what is and isn't insulting. I'm not talking about obvious racism, like when some asshole Republican said he wanted to see Judge Jackson's SAT scores. That was racist. That was worthy of being criticized by all of us. Damn. I'm having a hard time explaining this in writing, but you obviously misunderstood what I'm trying to say and I apologize for that. I guess I'm trying to find a way to say that minorities don't need white people to tell them they are victims. Sure, we can stand up with them when appropriate, but let them be the ones who lead their movements and determine what is insulting. They don't need us for that.

Btw, my friend hates the term "people of color" as well as "African American". I can understand that. I'm not sure why the term African American became a thing. I'm happy to refer to any group by their preferred term, even if the term doesn't really make sense to me. I hate the term white person too. I'm beige. :) So, it is difficult to know what terms to use when identifying any group of people these days. I wish we could simply call each other humans but we are obviously not heading in that direction at this point in time.
 

rousseau

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Where is the love in the world? It seems to me that we've gone in the wrong direction and there's more hate than I've seen in my lifetime, despite the optimism that some of us had back in the day when we were idealistic youths. But, I digress.

It takes a bit of imagination to recognize that there's less hate and violence in the world now than there's ever been. But since about.. 1995.. we've had the ability to see it, everywhere.

I'm pointing out the obvious, but it's a critical point. Not only does the internet make everything visible, it self-selects all of the worst things that happen. Our perception isn't reality - people are more conscious, peaceful, and informed now, moreso than they've ever been. But our brains weren't built with the internet in mind.
A few years ago, I would have agreed with you about the world becoming less hateful. Considering what has happened in my country over the last five years or so and considering the war in Ukraine, what's happening in many small counties in the Middle East, the spike in crime in the. US, as well as some other Western countries, the rise of white supremacy, and in some cases, even some of this absurd cancelling of people who have different views or say something ignorant, the stereotyping of different generations, and the rise in gun ownership, etc. I just don't see that people are getting more peaceful. Not that it's on topic, but my state is in the midst of allowing anyone to carry a concealed gun without a permit or a background check. How's that gonna help this dire situation?

I love the that we have access to information due to the Internet, but at the same time, we have access to lots of misinformation, conspiracy theories and hate groups. I wish I were as optimistic as you seem to be, but I just don't see that we humans are making progress that will lead to more peace and love. To be honest, I live in a community that is very racially integrated and where most people seem to at least tolerate each other, often living side by side peacefully. But, even in my little city, there has been a dramatic rise in violent crime over the last two years, and it's far worse in Atlanta. Maybe the pandemic has made people nuts.

On top of all that, there's the issue of climate change, which some people continue to deny. As we see more damaging weather, often leaving more people displaced, I fear that things will get even worse. I have a wonderful life, but I'm also living in the final years of my life, but I do have concerns about the world that my grandchildren will be facing as adults, and to me, this new version of cancel culture is just one more thing that causes hate, division and misunderstanding.

I don't know that it's optimism, but I think you'll find if you look into research and statistics the world (and this is important) - as a whole - is getting more peaceful. Steven Pinker even wrote a book about it.

That doesn't mean every region is moving in this direction, possibly including the U.S., but if you look at the whole globe things have never been better.
 

southernhybrid

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The only book I've read by Pinker is "The Blank Slate". But, I'm glad you mentioned him because there was an attempt to cancel him and this was the type of thing I have been trying to discuss in this thread. Apparently, I haven't done a very good job of getting the message across. :)

https://reason.com/2020/07/10/steven-pinker-beats-cancel-culture-attack/

A gang of anti-liberal cancel culturalists came for Harvard linguist Steven Pinker in the form of an open letter to the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) calling for his removal as one of the LSA's distinguished fellows and as a listed linguistics media expert. Why should Pinker be "canceled" by the group? Because, the writers allege, Pinker "has a history of speaking over genuine grievances and downplaying injustices, frequently by misrepresenting facts, and at the exact moments when Black and Brown people are mobilizing against systemic racism and for crucial changes." Interestingly, while the letter claims that Pinker's nefarious behavior is taking place at the "exact moments" of anti-racist mobilization, most of the allegedly egregious instances it cites occurred years earlier.

The letter, which lists nearly 600 signatories, cites six instances of when Pinker purportedly engaged in "a pattern of drowning out the voices of people suffering from racist and sexist violence." Let's take a brief look at each assertion.
 

rousseau

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The only book I've read by Pinker is "The Blank Slate". But, I'm glad you mentioned him because there was an attempt to cancel him and this was the type of thing I have been trying to discuss in this thread. Apparently, I haven't done a very good job of getting the message across. :)

https://reason.com/2020/07/10/steven-pinker-beats-cancel-culture-attack/

A gang of anti-liberal cancel culturalists came for Harvard linguist Steven Pinker in the form of an open letter to the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) calling for his removal as one of the LSA's distinguished fellows and as a listed linguistics media expert. Why should Pinker be "canceled" by the group? Because, the writers allege, Pinker "has a history of speaking over genuine grievances and downplaying injustices, frequently by misrepresenting facts, and at the exact moments when Black and Brown people are mobilizing against systemic racism and for crucial changes." Interestingly, while the letter claims that Pinker's nefarious behavior is taking place at the "exact moments" of anti-racist mobilization, most of the allegedly egregious instances it cites occurred years earlier.

The letter, which lists nearly 600 signatories, cites six instances of when Pinker purportedly engaged in "a pattern of drowning out the voices of people suffering from racist and sexist violence." Let's take a brief look at each assertion.

I know, I'm just killing time mostly.

I'd be interested in the perspective of Politesse about attacks on Academia. The more I read into it, the more it seems that what's kosher to study and publish is very political for this very reason. I bought a book recently called 'The Sociobiological Imagination' which discussed this - how other fields have reacted to the issue of biological determinism. This strain of thought in academia is unpopular, despite maybe being more accurate than some past theories disciplines have held.

Any academic that tries to make certain biological arguments gets put under the microscope, which seems to hinder our collective, scientific understanding.
 

Angry Floof

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Pinker is controversial and divisive for a great many reasons, and he has not been fucking cancelled! For fuck's sake he has not lost anything except a level of respectability that he assumed was unimpeachable.

Most affluent, intellectual, white men think this way. It's a deep assumption that they've never (until now) had to question or acknowledge. It's a blind spot. That's why so many NOT cancelled, perfectly fine, unharmed in any way, still affluent and elite white males who still have big audiences and lots of supporters are crying left and right.

Pinker, Sam Harris, Stephen Fry, etc., all know damn well what blind spots are and why it's important to examine them. They all know that just because an assumption has been embedded in your psyche for your whole life, it doesn't make it true.

They're just not used to being questioned or not being able to easily dismiss and talk over criticism.

The playing field of vocal power is a bit more level than it was before social media. Whatever problems may be caused by or occur within social media, people with social power actually having to hear voices of criticism isn't one of them.
 

Angry Floof

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Thanks for the snark. It adds so much to the discussion. /s.

You're welcome. :)

Did you bother to read the link in the OP? If so, explain to me why you think it's okay to fire and destroy the reputation of a person who has served his community as both an academic and a physician for many years, due to one stupid tweet, even after the man apologized and admitted he was wrong for saying what he did?

Did you bother to read any of my comments? Please show me where I said any variation of, "it's okay to fire and destroy the reputation of a person who has served his community as both an academic and a physician for many years, due to one stupid tweet, even after the man apologized and admitted he was wrong for saying what he did."

Yes, I read the link. I agree that it was probably wrong for the hospital to fire Dr. Liberman. (The university lifted his suspension.) Very unfair, probably. But he's still ok. He's not on the streets or bereft, and he's still working as a professor.

It would be great if you could be at least as concerned about a real aspect of culture that is ok with brutalizing women and children and the thousands of women who are harassed, stalked, terrorized, abused, and murdered as you are about affluent white doctors getting fired from their hospital job but not their professor job and who are still generally fine. Social media is also used by men who use technology and social media to access their targets and do things like post photos of women naked to shame them for having bodies. But I don't think that's the kind of cruelty that really grabs your outrage.

Society at large, at least the status quo, mainstream society that holds the bulk of power in our institutions, finds shaming and punishing women acceptable and going easy on men who abuse women. No one has to claim some ideological boogieman. We know who overwhelmingly does these things.

What part of culture would support these things going on and on with seemingly no end in sight?

What part of our culture favors and protects men, even violent predators?

What part of our culture demeans women and is slow to respond to violence against them?

No need for social media, either. This was happening long before the internet existed.

That's really the type of cancelling that I was interested in exploring when I started this thread.

There's gonna be reactive stuff arising, right or wrong. One reactive act was the hospital that fired Dr. Lieberman. Maybe they shouldn't have. But either way, he's fine. He's not ruined. He didn't seem to mind what people said about him when he supported Trump and tried to cancel doctors of actual relevant disciplines who warned about Trump's mental issues and fascist tendencies.


I am fully aware that people, including minorities and women have suffered from prejudice, hate etc. for hundreds of years. I get it,

No, you don't.

but since when do two wrongs make a right?

That's not what's happening.

I'm not a vengeful person. That may be why I have difficulty understanding this crazy condemning of anyone who says something that is't politically correct,

If you think racist comments are simply "not politically correct," then, no, you don't get it.

And vengeance is white supremacists digging up and revitalizing a racist, hate based movement reflecting an old, losing war to protect one of the most vile and depraved of institutions.

You are part of a society and your every choice and attitude toward others reverberates. If I had to choose a group to be unfairly affected by choices and attitudes reverberating through society, amplified by social media, I'd pick affluent white people. Not because they deserve it, but because by and large they can withstand it. Nobody's literally chasing them down and murdering them in the street for their comments, much less for the color of their skin.

which is often done out of simple ignorance, not out of hate or prejudice.

I agree. It's when they're brought to task on it and instead of apologizing and humbling themselves they dig in with defensiveness and excuses and NO intention of learning anything.

And guess what? A lot of minorities don't like being told by white people what they should be insulted by.

Can you show me a white person telling minorities what they should be insulted by? I can show you people who understand the power of words and attitudes reverberating through society and having by orders of magnitude much worse consequences on your fellow human beings than being insulted.

And that is not so much insulting as it is abhorrent and wrong. Do you understand the difference?

Do you understand that not saying certain things is far easier than saying them and potentially contributing to harm done to human beings? Even if I shared your contempt for people who are not like you or not mainstream or do not fit the status quo, I'd still always have that question in my mind of just how certain am I that my words won't contribute to harm done to others? Is the urge to assert my opinion really so important that I would choose to potentially contribute to a culture of racism? No. No, it fucking isn't.

If you're busy whitewashing bigotry and believing racism doesn't exist except in the most extreme and obvious cases, then maybe you deserve to be ruined when you test out that belief.

Nobody, even Black people, needs to tell me that words and attitudes reverberate and potentially contribute to harming others. No one needs to tell me that even just the potential of contributing to those well known streams of bigotry and violence is enough for me to easily choose to simply not say things even if they were my own views. It's a no-brainer.

When I talk about racism, I only talk to white people. White people are the ones who need to be told some things. Black people don't need my words at all, of any kind, opinion, advice, anything, and I don't give them to them. The only thing they need from me is to not contribute to the racist society that punishes them by every means possible, at minimum. At most, they need for me to turn my voice toward other white people, which I do. Black people who speak on racism often ask white people to talk to other white people about how our society and its institutions are fundamentally racist, and to hold other white people accountable, which I do.

It's one thing to defend and be supportive of others when asked or when needed. It's another thing to patronize them by telling them they are victims.

Is that what you do? Because it's not what I do. What I do is challenge other white people to humble themselves and listen to people of color. They have so much that they can teach us. You don't even have to pester any Black person to teach you. You have at your fingertips a whole universe of Black people talking. On Youtube alone, there are bajillions of Black people with channels dedicated to racism and other social issues, some of them specializing in talking to white people.

White people have a hard time humbling themselves. Other human beings are just not worth the effort, I guess. I don't even know how most of the white people I know could even recognize what humility is. Most of us have been raised to believe that humbling yourself equates to humiliation, which is a word we define a little differently, to mean something cruel that someone does to another person or that society does to a person and is not desirable, not something a person does to themselves as an act of self reflection and desire to be more than just an obedient animal walking upright and emitting human words out of their face.

When did it become unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized for making a dumb mistake?

Meaningless question. It's not unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized. No one thinks that. It's also not a given that every apology should be met with forgiveness.
 

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@southernhybrid, I do agree with you. The example of cancel culture cited in the OP is an absurd, unjustified reaction to what at worst can be described a result of tone deafness.

This, however, is just silly.
...the spike in crime in the. US...
Crime rates in the US have almost halved in the past 30 years. If there has been an increase in the most recent two and a bit years not shown on the graph, my guess is it can at most be described as a spikelet.

Violent-crimes-per-100-000-population-in-the-USA-1960-2019.png
 

Hermit

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He didn't seem to mind what people said about him when he supported Trump
Did he? All I know is that he was opposed to the publication of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) because, as he put it
Psychiatry’s history is marked by too many missteps in the past to allow itself to be drawn into an exercise of political partisanship, disguised as patriotism, that risks eroding the credibility of our profession. We have infamously been involved, unwittingly or knowingly, in human rights abuses in countries across the world when the definitions of mental disease were manipulated to include political dissidents and civil disobedience. Such instances are too numerous to summarize in this article, but among the most egregious were the collusion of psychiatry in the crimes of eugenics in Nazi Germany and political repression of the Soviet Union. We must be aware that psychiatry possesses a greater capacity for abuse than other medical specialties because it can be exploited to bypass standard legal and governmental procedures for establishing guilt, innocence, or competence and ostensibly legitimizes political action, even incarceration, without the odium ordinarily attached to such political conflicts.
Does that constitute support for Trump?

and tried to cancel doctors of actual relevant disciplines who warned about Trump's mental issues and fascist tendencies.
In the same article Lieberman described the contributors to the book as "unprofessional, unethical, and irresponsible". He went on to say
...their (our) role is not to initiate—that is done through the Constitutional mechanisms—it is to assist in the process as needed. To take clinical potshots and lob diagnostic grenades at the POTUS through the media is not the optimal course of action. To do so is to engage in partisan tabloid psychiatry, which harms our profession. Sadly, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump is not a serious, scholarly, civic-minded work, but simply tawdry, indulgent, fatuous, tabloid psychiatry.

As citizens and psychiatrists, we are entitled to express our opinions of the POTUS as a First Amendment right. However, when we draw on our credentials as physicians to render a clinical diagnosis with insufficient information and under unconducive circumstances as grounds for removal from office, we cross a boundary into an unprofessional, unethical, and perilous realm.
Does that constitute an attempt to cancel doctors of actual relevant disciplines who warned about Trump's mental issues and fascist tendencies?

Admittedly, I have not read much about him, so if you have more information, I'd like to hear it, preferably with links to sources.
 

Politesse

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I'd be interested in the perspective of Politesse about attacks on Academia. The more I read into it, the more it seems that what's kosher to study and publish is very political for this very reason. I bought a book recently called 'The Sociobiological Imagination' which discussed this - how other fields have reacted to the issue of biological determinism. This strain of thought in academia is unpopular, despite maybe being more accurate than some past theories disciplines have held.
It likewise seems largely overblown, at least to me. I've heard the same horror stories of professors being fired over "misunderstandings" as anyone else, but even these often seem a lot less extreme if you do the work of figuring out exactly what happened and on what timeline. I see no substantive evidence that research on any meaningful topic is being hindered by "Woke" criticism. Popularity is another matter, but I don't consider simple unpopularity to be a form of censorship.

Whether it's easy or fair trying to get anything worthwhile published these days is another matter entirely, but political correctness is the last reason why.
 
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Bronzeage

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I've never understood why people think cancel culture is a new thing. It's at least as old as the Roman Republic and the Greek City States.

Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were identified as Communist Party USA members by FBI informant Harvey Matusow (who later recanted) and were called to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1955. Hays took the Fifth Amendment,[6] which allows people not to give evidence against themselves, so they could not be prosecuted without other witnesses.[7] Seeger refused to answer, however, claiming First Amendment grounds, the first to do so after the conviction of the Hollywood Ten in 1950. Seeger was found guilty of contempt and placed under restrictions by the court pending appeal, but in 1961 his conviction was overturned on technical grounds.[8] Because Seeger was among those listed in the entertainment industry blacklist publication, Red Channels, all of the Weavers were placed under FBI surveillance and not allowed to perform on television or radio during the McCarthy era. Decca Records terminated their recording contract and deleted their records from its catalog in 1953.[9] Their recordings were denied airplay, which curtailed their income from royalties. Right-wing and anti-Communist groups protested at their performances and harassed promoters. As a result, the group's economic viability diminished rapidly and in 1952 it disbanded.[5] After this, Pete Seeger continued his solo career, although as with all of them, he continued to suffer from the effects of blacklisting.
 

Hermit

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I've never understood why people think cancel culture is a new thing. It's at least as old as the Roman Republic and the Greek City States.

Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were identified as Communist Party USA members by FBI informant Harvey Matusow (who later recanted) and were called to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1955. Hays took the Fifth Amendment,[6] which allows people not to give evidence against themselves, so they could not be prosecuted without other witnesses.[7] Seeger refused to answer, however, claiming First Amendment grounds, the first to do so after the conviction of the Hollywood Ten in 1950. Seeger was found guilty of contempt and placed under restrictions by the court pending appeal, but in 1961 his conviction was overturned on technical grounds.[8] Because Seeger was among those listed in the entertainment industry blacklist publication, Red Channels, all of the Weavers were placed under FBI surveillance and not allowed to perform on television or radio during the McCarthy era. Decca Records terminated their recording contract and deleted their records from its catalog in 1953.[9] Their recordings were denied airplay, which curtailed their income from royalties. Right-wing and anti-Communist groups protested at their performances and harassed promoters. As a result, the group's economic viability diminished rapidly and in 1952 it disbanded.[5] After this, Pete Seeger continued his solo career, although as with all of them, he continued to suffer from the effects of blacklisting.
Yes, in the years McCarthy controlled the House Un-American Activities Committee was cancel culture on steroids. The damage it did to the hundreds of blacklisted people puts the fate of doctor Jeffrey Lieberman, unjustified as it is, in the shade.
 

southernhybrid

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I know that people have been shut out, cancelled or whatever you want to call it prior to now. I was only interested in discussing this newest version of cancel culture, not what happened 70 or 700 years ago. I guess I had foolishly hoped we had learned from the past so this new era of diminishing the worth of respectable people was very disappointing to me. Plus, it's been getting a lot of attention lately. To me, it's sad that we can't learn from each other and forgive each other when there is a misunderstanding or in some cases, simply ignorance.

@southernhybrid, I do agree with you. The example of cancel culture cited in the OP is an absurd, unjustified reaction to what at worst can be described a result of tone deafness.

This, however, is just silly.
...the spike in crime in the. US...
Crime rates in the US have almost halved in the past 30 years. If there has been an increase in the most recent two and a bit years not shown on the graph, my guess is it can at most be described as a spikelet.

Violent-crimes-per-100-000-population-in-the-USA-1960-2019.png
Your graph ends in 2019. The big surge in violent crime began around 2020. I wake up each day to read of the most violent, insane things happening in Atlanta almost everyday. For example, this morning a customer shot a clerk in a store over a disagreement, and someone on a major interstate in ATL pulled up next to a car full of strangers and began randomly shooting, injuring 3 occupants. This is worrisome. Yes! We have too many guns in the US, but why are so many people so attached to their guns and so ready to use them over minor incidents! And, maybe you are correct and this is only a temporary spike. I've just never known of so many crazy acts of violence happening so frequently. Maybe the pandemic has made people nuts! Who knows?

On top of that we have the war in Ukraine, instituted by an obvious sociopath. Will the world remain in strong opposition to Putin or is this the beginning of something worse? Maybe Orwell was right and he just had the wrong year. I hope your are correct, but I'm not feeling very upbeat about the future of the world lately.

But back to the purpose of this thread. I would just like to see people be more understanding and forgiving when someone says something that they don't like or perhaps they don't understand. I think you get that.
Thanks for the snark. It adds so much to the discussion. /s.

You're welcome. :)

Did you bother to read the link in the OP? If so, explain to me why you think it's okay to fire and destroy the reputation of a person who has served his community as both an academic and a physician for many years, due to one stupid tweet, even after the man apologized and admitted he was wrong for saying what he did?

Did you bother to read any of my comments? Please show me where I said any variation of, "it's okay to fire and destroy the reputation of a person who has served his community as both an academic and a physician for many years, due to one stupid tweet, even after the man apologized and admitted he was wrong for saying what he did."

Yes, I read the link. I agree that it was probably wrong for the hospital to fire Dr. Liberman. (The university lifted his suspension.) Very unfair, probably. But he's still ok. He's not on the streets or bereft, and he's still working as a professor.

It would be great if you could be at least as concerned about a real aspect of culture that is ok with brutalizing women and children and the thousands of women who are harassed, stalked, terrorized, abused, and murdered as you are about affluent white doctors getting fired from their hospital job but not their professor job and who are still generally fine. Social media is also used by men who use technology and social media to access their targets and do things like post photos of women naked to shame them for having bodies. But I don't think that's the kind of cruelty that really grabs your outrage.

Society at large, at least the status quo, mainstream society that holds the bulk of power in our institutions, finds shaming and punishing women acceptable and going easy on men who abuse women. No one has to claim some ideological boogieman. We know who overwhelmingly does these things.

What part of culture would support these things going on and on with seemingly no end in sight?

What part of our culture favors and protects men, even violent predators?

What part of our culture demeans women and is slow to respond to violence against them?

No need for social media, either. This was happening long before the internet existed.

That's really the type of cancelling that I was interested in exploring when I started this thread.

There's gonna be reactive stuff arising, right or wrong. One reactive act was the hospital that fired Dr. Lieberman. Maybe they shouldn't have. But either way, he's fine. He's not ruined. He didn't seem to mind what people said about him when he supported Trump and tried to cancel doctors of actual relevant disciplines who warned about Trump's mental issues and fascist tendencies.


I am fully aware that people, including minorities and women have suffered from prejudice, hate etc. for hundreds of years. I get it,

No, you don't.

but since when do two wrongs make a right?

That's not what's happening.

I'm not a vengeful person. That may be why I have difficulty understanding this crazy condemning of anyone who says something that is't politically correct,

If you think racist comments are simply "not politically correct," then, no, you don't get it.

And vengeance is white supremacists digging up and revitalizing a racist, hate based movement reflecting an old, losing war to protect one of the most vile and depraved of institutions.

You are part of a society and your every choice and attitude toward others reverberates. If I had to choose a group to be unfairly affected by choices and attitudes reverberating through society, amplified by social media, I'd pick affluent white people. Not because they deserve it, but because by and large they can withstand it. Nobody's literally chasing them down and murdering them in the street for their comments, much less for the color of their skin.

which is often done out of simple ignorance, not out of hate or prejudice.

I agree. It's when they're brought to task on it and instead of apologizing and humbling themselves they dig in with defensiveness and excuses and NO intention of learning anything.

And guess what? A lot of minorities don't like being told by white people what they should be insulted by.

Can you show me a white person telling minorities what they should be insulted by? I can show you people who understand the power of words and attitudes reverberating through society and having by orders of magnitude much worse consequences on your fellow human beings than being insulted.

And that is not so much insulting as it is abhorrent and wrong. Do you understand the difference?

Do you understand that not saying certain things is far easier than saying them and potentially contributing to harm done to human beings? Even if I shared your contempt for people who are not like you or not mainstream or do not fit the status quo, I'd still always have that question in my mind of just how certain am I that my words won't contribute to harm done to others? Is the urge to assert my opinion really so important that I would choose to potentially contribute to a culture of racism? No. No, it fucking isn't.

If you're busy whitewashing bigotry and believing racism doesn't exist except in the most extreme and obvious cases, then maybe you deserve to be ruined when you test out that belief.

Nobody, even Black people, needs to tell me that words and attitudes reverberate and potentially contribute to harming others. No one needs to tell me that even just the potential of contributing to those well known streams of bigotry and violence is enough for me to easily choose to simply not say things even if they were my own views. It's a no-brainer.

When I talk about racism, I only talk to white people. White people are the ones who need to be told some things. Black people don't need my words at all, of any kind, opinion, advice, anything, and I don't give them to them. The only thing they need from me is to not contribute to the racist society that punishes them by every means possible, at minimum. At most, they need for me to turn my voice toward other white people, which I do. Black people who speak on racism often ask white people to talk to other white people about how our society and its institutions are fundamentally racist, and to hold other white people accountable, which I do.

It's one thing to defend and be supportive of others when asked or when needed. It's another thing to patronize them by telling them they are victims.

Is that what you do? Because it's not what I do. What I do is challenge other white people to humble themselves and listen to people of color. They have so much that they can teach us. You don't even have to pester any Black person to teach you. You have at your fingertips a whole universe of Black people talking. On Youtube alone, there are bajillions of Black people with channels dedicated to racism and other social issues, some of them specializing in talking to white people.

White people have a hard time humbling themselves. Other human beings are just not worth the effort, I guess. I don't even know how most of the white people I know could even recognize what humility is. Most of us have been raised to believe that humbling yourself equates to humiliation, which is a word we define a little differently, to mean something cruel that someone does to another person or that society does to a person and is not desirable, not something a person does to themselves as an act of self reflection and desire to be more than just an obedient animal walking upright and emitting human words out of their face.

When did it become unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized for making a dumb mistake?

Meaningless question. It's not unacceptable to forgive someone after they apologized. No one thinks that. It's also not a given that every apology should be met with forgiveness.


I don't know why you seem to refuse to understand the points I'm trying to make, but based on some of the above comments, it's obvious that you don't, as you've taken many things out of context. No! I'm not equating racist comments with being politically incorrect. Sorry if I didn't do a good job of expressing myself.

I've stood up to white people who made racist remarks since I was a teenager, including a former supervisor when I worked in public health in the late 70s. But you know what? That supervisor was a good person who treated her Black employees and patients with the utmost care and respect. She simply used a racist term, mostly out of ignorance and I told her she was wrong for doing it. She grew up in a small rural southern town. I made her think and she never took it out on me. My point is that sometimes people don't realize the impact of their words. It's fine to correct them, to discuss what was wrong with what they said. But, don't judge one's total character based on one stupid remark. Educate them. Enlighten them. If they realized they were wrong, then forgive them. You have no idea what I've done over the course of my life, just as I don't know what you do in your personal life. You've misinterpreted a few things I've said and I've apologized for not expressing myself clearly. I know you've been through a terrible time lately and I can only wish you the best and hope that in the future we can discuss something without misunderstanding each other. Now I know why so few people are willing to start threads.

Again, all I was asking when I started this thread, is it okay to remove someone from their job, and damage their reputation based on one dumb comment that they made? You agreed that it's wrong. Thanks for answering. I'm well aware that women and minorities are often brutally attacked, murdered etc. but what does that have to do with this subject? We can discuss those problems if you'd like, but that was never the purpose of this thread.
 

southernhybrid

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I've never understood why people think cancel culture is a new thing. It's at least as old as the Roman Republic and the Greek City States.

Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were identified as Communist Party USA members by FBI informant Harvey Matusow (who later recanted) and were called to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1955. Hays took the Fifth Amendment,[6] which allows people not to give evidence against themselves, so they could not be prosecuted without other witnesses.[7] Seeger refused to answer, however, claiming First Amendment grounds, the first to do so after the conviction of the Hollywood Ten in 1950. Seeger was found guilty of contempt and placed under restrictions by the court pending appeal, but in 1961 his conviction was overturned on technical grounds.[8] Because Seeger was among those listed in the entertainment industry blacklist publication, Red Channels, all of the Weavers were placed under FBI surveillance and not allowed to perform on television or radio during the McCarthy era. Decca Records terminated their recording contract and deleted their records from its catalog in 1953.[9] Their recordings were denied airplay, which curtailed their income from royalties. Right-wing and anti-Communist groups protested at their performances and harassed promoters. As a result, the group's economic viability diminished rapidly and in 1952 it disbanded.[5] After this, Pete Seeger continued his solo career, although as with all of them, he continued to suffer from the effects of blacklisting.
We know it's not a new thing, but it's certainly been revived. I was born during the McCarthy era. It's been a long time since I've seen book banning and people being ostracized based on some remarks they made, even when those remarks or opinions were never meant to be insulting, racist or sexist. Someone else suggested I start a thread on this topic. I guess I shouldn't have honored that request. :)
 

rousseau

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I've never understood why people think cancel culture is a new thing. It's at least as old as the Roman Republic and the Greek City States.

Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were identified as Communist Party USA members by FBI informant Harvey Matusow (who later recanted) and were called to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1955. Hays took the Fifth Amendment,[6] which allows people not to give evidence against themselves, so they could not be prosecuted without other witnesses.[7] Seeger refused to answer, however, claiming First Amendment grounds, the first to do so after the conviction of the Hollywood Ten in 1950. Seeger was found guilty of contempt and placed under restrictions by the court pending appeal, but in 1961 his conviction was overturned on technical grounds.[8] Because Seeger was among those listed in the entertainment industry blacklist publication, Red Channels, all of the Weavers were placed under FBI surveillance and not allowed to perform on television or radio during the McCarthy era. Decca Records terminated their recording contract and deleted their records from its catalog in 1953.[9] Their recordings were denied airplay, which curtailed their income from royalties. Right-wing and anti-Communist groups protested at their performances and harassed promoters. As a result, the group's economic viability diminished rapidly and in 1952 it disbanded.[5] After this, Pete Seeger continued his solo career, although as with all of them, he continued to suffer from the effects of blacklisting.
We know it's not a new thing, but it's certainly been revived. I was born during the McCarthy era. It's been a long time since I've seen book banning and people being ostracized based on some remarks they made, even when those remarks or opinions were never meant to be insulting, racist or sexist. Someone else suggested I start a thread on this topic. I guess I shouldn't have honored that request. :)

It's an interesting thread, with some good points raised, but the social science forum here seems to struggle with the social science part.

From what I can tell we have a lot of posters at IIDB who are versed in politics, but social science.. not so much.
 

Politesse

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The social sciences are an increasingly obscure body of knowledge (themselves frequently subject to "cancellation" if by cancellation one means as above unpopularity in the public sphere, attacks from political media outlets, social media, etc).
 

rousseau

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The social sciences are an increasingly obscure body of knowledge.

The only reason I've had a whiff of it is via my access to a university library. Not many people can afford to buy these titles (or would buy them) without trialing them, and many public libraries may not even have them.
 

Swammerdami

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A lot of Black people have been critical of cancel culture, including one of my friends. We discussed one of McWhorter's recent articles the other day. McWhorter was saying that old books that used the words, "colored people" should not be cancelled as some have been. That usage was acceptable back in the day, despite it no longer being acceptable. His points are often about how words and actions that in their time were considered normal or acceptable are not any longer. We should take that into consideration before we cancel something.

In the 19th century, Mark Twain used the word "nigger" deliberately, intending its connotations. Yet he and his books were the opposite of racist.

Is Huckleberry Finn still taught in high schools? It is a real shame to cancel this book, one of the greatest novels ever.
Ernest Hemingway said:
All modern literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn… It's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
 
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