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Food for Thought: Cancel Culture

From a person who spends much of their time trying to understand the world in as many directions as possible.

Over the last few years, we've seen a rising trend in cancel culture, but it's not new to our society. Being shamed and persecuted for having unpopular opinions has always been around. The difference now is with the internet and just how connected we all are. What would have been a few hundred locals disagreeing with you has turned into millions globally.


But first, what is cancel culture? Generally, when a person or organization acts controversially or expresses unpopular, and often politically incorrect opinions. The negative feedback it generates will drive some to feel that they should not continue to operate or exist as they currently are. Thus, they want them to be shut down, canceled, or changed however they see fit.

Out of Context

From what we have seen so far with cancel culture, it doesn't always appear to be legitimate. There have been times where people found offense in something unrelated to the content or message. Where the offended assume that the creators or contributors implied something they did not. They will take it out of context, chop it up and use it to push their agenda.


How often do we hear people saying, "So what you're saying is?" While it can help break down what someone is saying, making it more digestible and easier to understand, it can also break down the context of their message. It's generally best to be mindful of the original context and avoid assuming what people mean.

Emotionally-Driven

Most of the time, cancel culture is extremely emotion-driven. It's not about whether it is proven correct but whether it feels like it. It's not about the bigger picture but the right here and now. People want change, and they want to see it happen quickly.


Often, they don't consider their opinions to have flaws of any kind. They believe their view of a perfect world would serve everyone well and solve all of our problems if everyone listened. But, without the uncomfortable challenging of those thoughts, better solutions would never arise.


It's hard to keep emotion out of it when you feel offended. But realizing that people's livelihoods are on the line and that they are flawed just as you are could help you from going out of your way to destroy them. Cancel culture is a dangerous weapon that can ruin more than just a single person you disagree with.

Sensitive Topics

There are times where people need to discuss sensitive topics that will be hard to digest for some. This type of content isn't always to offend but to discuss, make aware and solve issues we face. Sometimes the best way to get to the root of the problem is by facing it head-on. And usually, this approach brings up a lot of unsavory truths that are hard to believe or confront.


Covering up the truth, unsavory as it may be, isn't going to solve the problem. Until we can find better solutions by accounting for both sides of the story, the problem will continue to persist. Silencing those we disagree with isn't going to make them have a change of heart, nor will it help us understand their reasoning. If we are all to be on the same page, we need to have our opinions understood and discussed.

The Good

Cancel culture isn't entirely bad, however. There have been times where people have abused their power and privilege with no regard to morality along the way. Cancel culture has brought some of them to justice, making a spectacle of them in the process, but this is a double-edged sword. Bringing people down with this moblike-justice means that anyone can suffer the same fate for anything deemed disagreeable.


Still, having these things brought to light for all to see helps us deal with them in a better manner. It could dissuade those who would consider taking similar paths from doing so. But you have to wonder if fear and suppressing people of this sort is the best way to deal with them?

My Thoughts

The cancel culture phenomenon has some merit and has been around under other names for a very long time, but it often seems to be abused. The reason could be that it's generally people with little-to-no knowledge of the situation, grouping to take something down. Where emotions are running high and shooting first and asking questions later is the usual approach.


My view on it would be that there is never going to be something that doesn't offend at least one person. It could be for various reasons, such as upbringing or what is considered politically correct at that time. But it's not about removing these things from the world that will make it a better place. It's about overcoming it and showing the world that there are better ways of doing whatever it is.

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