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Some Thoughts on Cancel Culture

Why does our current cancel culture bother me so much? It’s not just the fact that ordinary people, trying to peacefully live their lives, lose their very livelihood, although I feel badly for them. It’s not just the left/right divide. It’s not just the venomous hatred I sense, although all of this bothers me. It’s not even the hypocrisy of expecting a higher standard of someone else that does not match the lives of those who are tearing others down.

I get the sense, correct me if I’m wrong, that the “cancel culture” team actually wants others to join their team and they’re going about it in completely the wrong way. Instead of drawing people to their team, and their cause, they are alienating them.

And surprisingly I’ve found these people in the last place I would expect to find them. In our education system. Why would I not expect to find them here? Because the education system is the place where I would mostly likely expect to find people with understanding and superior communication skills. In other words, this is where I expect to find people who get other people, and know how to talk to them.

One of the biggest barriers to communication is fear. Fear is often covered up by projecting an inauthentic persona.

We all have fear, but fear doesn’t have to get ugly and attack others.

I’m going to share a pet peeve I have, that is shared by most common citizens I’ve met. It concerns our electoral system and our political candidates. Long ago I learned a lesson that I still believe to be true and that is you don’t step on the other guy to get to the top.

In the comments section of an article people were discussing the importance of character and integrity when suddenly there was a comment that looked very out of place because it contradicted everything that had been said. The commenter said he preferred “results” over character.

What comes to my mind is the difference between character and a result-focused parenting method. We can get quick results by threatening and punishing our children and making them fear us. Punishment does have its place, but only after much time is spent on correction and training. The rationale of punishment itself must be explained, so that if things ever escalate to the point where punishment is needed, the child understands that he or she has ignored the alternatives presented and chosen this action which will be accompanied by this outcome.

In the Bible we read that if a member of a church sins, we ought to go and confront him or her privately first, and try to bring about the necessary change. You see, I’ve figured out that this is what bothers me about cancel culture. They want to make an immediate example of someone and put fear in the general populace. It is of course a control tactic. Control tactics generally don’t go over very well. So, they are not choosing the best means to the end I presume they seek, which I imagine is to get people to agree with how they see things.

Of course, I’m not blind to the fact that certain entities of our society consider their way to be the only way and even slight deviation has to be publicly denounced. But this brings me back to the fear factor. They don’t have faith in good to prevail. Or, put it this way, the good they are trying to promote has to be forced on society because society will not accept it voluntarily. That of course puts their whole agenda in question. What makes it so unappealing to people?

There is a strong effort to re-condition society these days because, evidently, we’ve got it wrong all these years. Mom and Dad, for instance, who are raising their kids to be Moms and Dads one day, are suddenly no longer respected as capable of properly socially training their children. There is clearly a divide in society. Moms and Dads have tried to be tolerant of alternative lifestyles, but that is not enough. They are supposed to be allies.

So we have a basic difference in society and suddenly I see the rationale behind the fear and the irrational behavior. “Racism” has less to do with skin color or background. It has more to do with sexual orientation. And face it, every person ever born is the result of the union between a man and a woman, and to deny that there is male and female and that they are different and not interchangeable is indeed an indefensible position. It is an ideology you have to force on society, because common sense does not accept it. So there is, understandably, fear. Our heteronormative society is here to stay. Hence the extreme tactics that result from holding an untenable position.

This is no longer about negotiation or finding common ground, or even peace, as I naively imagined.


I am a writer, artist, and musician. I create in the hope of making the world a more peaceful and safe place.