The threat to free expression goes well beyond high-profile cancellations.
Thank you so much for this incisive article. Before I quit the board and left my local Unitarian church, I tried to explain to the minister that her extreme emphasis on the DEI that only considers people oppressors and oppressed would tear the fabric of the church apart. She told me that I was being racist.
From what I’ve read, the Unitarian church is now losing members across the country for its Kendiesque adherence to an ideology of original sin, which is ironic since the majority of people still there are atheist or agnostic.
Although I canceled myself, I don’t regret leaving. I know who my friends are, how I live my life, and what I believe. Although I may feel politically homeless sometimes, i am free.
To me, cancel culture is not simply about economic sanctions on celebrities. It is a general intolerance - and a rejection of - any social position sharply contrasting with ours, a stance that dismisses the other person or people simply because we disagree with them sharply.
I found this very often in my college during faculty discussions, and student-faculty discussions. I would step in, encouraging participants to clarify their differences with each other - respectfully. I would also create psychodramatic situations by asking the differing members to wilfully take the point of view of the adversary to have an empathic understanding of their positions.
Sometime my approach succeeded. At other times, it didn't. But most of the time there was some empathy among the participants.
I am living “the unseen side of cancel culture.” On October 29th 2020, I was falsely accused of sexual misconduct in a salacious NYT article. The article was incredibly biased, filled with mistakes and painted a false picture of the Court of Master Sommeliers, its membership and history. The drama that ensued force the entire board to resign and a new “woke” board to take over. The year long investigation resulted in six masters being stripped of their title, some for trivial events. As the board put it ““when lack of evidence was present by the Master to prove their innocence, the word of the survivor was taken as truth.”
Although I was completely vindicated, the BOD refuses to publicly acknowledge this fact for “fear of another negative news cycle.” So despite being vindicated, I am still being cancelled and have been accosted by irate women at events. 30 plus years of service to others all wiped out by false accusations. The organization I selflessly gave to for 20 years fears to defend me and stripped a number of my peers of their title to appease the SM mob.
This is “the unseen side of cancel culture.” The destruction of average people that do not have star power, PR agents or the financial resources to fix or fight the injustice. The unfairness is maddening and without a voice to defend ourselves, we are left powerless. The false record stands as truth.
Thanks for this article.
The bit missing though is what to label it if not "cancel culture". We of course know that they are working on banning that term as being racist. Because their goals have absolutely NOTHING to do with social justice and EVERYTHING to do with ideological cultural dominance.
My sense of all of this is that we are missing the boat a bit. And our missing of the boat seems to be to be the big mistake we have made that has led to this mess we are in. The boat is that of unbending demand for absolute free speech, and also absolute demand that no absurdity will be allowed.
This article is an example, it attempts to analyze the situation as if it is an intellectual puzzle to be figured out. I my view this just gives strength to the woke mob in legitimizing their junk. I think instead we need ALL comedians to join in solidarity to lambast these clowns of wokeness... to humiliate them down to nothing so they learn the difficult lesson that their behavior is out of line and will not be accepted.
And any entertainer joining their ranks should be lambasted too.
Now, none of them should have their economic life harmed because of their views, they just need to be the constant butt of jokes for how stupid and silly their woke-ass view are.
This is difficult because they have woven some fake moral high ground on a victim narrative. We care and so we don't want to offend victims. But if we are a truly equal and inclusive system, which we are... we should have the stones to say "F _ _ _ It!" and treat them as if we would expect to be treated in this life. And that means to be called on our crap.
We should have no problem telling the trans lesbian that her ideas and politics suck... and more importantly, poke fun of her for those ideas and politics that suck.