Thomas has travelled the world and seen and met with many people of various backgrounds. His motto is, "Travel is the best teacher".
This article is written not to target anyone or call any one person out, it is written because over the last few years I have noticed the movement to ban what a handful of people think is offensive speech, written materials and even pictures and memes gaining momentum. However, within this movement, this cancel culture movement I have witnessed some of the same people who speak out against racism, sexism, phobia and offensive things be very one sided, they say they want to cancel hate but yet they don't fight for rights of all who experience hate, and they also have become very hateful, offensive themselves. So I wrote this to hopefully open a civilized dialogue, to talk it out. This is what I've witnessed and experienced. It may be different for you, the reader, so let's talk about it.
What is "cancel culture"?
Wikipedia says cancel culture is this: Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be "cancelled"
The problem is not calling people or ideas out when they are offensive. The problem is that we now have a small group of people dictating to the masses as to what is offensive and they are shaming and pressuring (bullying) others into changing and getting rid of things they claim are offensive. They have become the offenders and the bullies.
The cancel culture bullies have destroyed parts of our history by tearing down statues, removing plaques, had books removed, forced companies and sports teams into removing images and names of their products and teams.
Granted, some of our past is today considered offensive, but removing statues and plaques of some people just because a small group of people don't like what they did in the past is terrible. Instead of removing such items we should keep them up and learn from that past.
George Santayana perhaps said it best when he said, "Those who cannot rememberthe past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana, 16 December 1863)
I know some folks will say that it is foolish to say that, that we won't ever forget our past. However, when everything is removed or anceled then what is left to remind us or future generations?
Cancel culture, if not kept in its proper context, when left unbridled will be more of a cancer than a movement for equality and fairness. It will no longer be a fight to rid offensive things but instead will be the offensive offender as we can already see today, and if not kept in check will get worse.
Racism is most often thought to be brought on by caucasian and directed at non caucasian. This kind of thinking is flawed.
In North America we have seen this to be true to some degree. But that does not mean that there has never been and is not now racism directed at caucasians.
Throughout time, going back thousands of years there has been acts of racism from one group of people or "race" to another.
There was a time when the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians. That is racism. The Egyptians thought themselves to be above the Israelites.
There was also the Barbary slave trade. This occurred on the Barbary Coast of North Africa from the16th century to the middle of the 18th century. European men, women and children were kidnapped by Barbary Pirates in slave raids on ships and by raids on coastal towns from Italy to the Netherlands, Ireland and the South-West of Britain, as far north as Iceland and into the Eastern Mediteranean.This too is an act of racism, no different than when Africans were kidnapped and brought to North America, however this is something that is not spoken about or taught in schools.
I have traveled all around this planet and from my personal experience most people are very nice and accepting of all people. But that does not mean that I as a white man have not experienced racism. I have.
I have had racist slurs hurrled at me. Racism is terrible and must stop. It can come from any "race" directed at any "race". White skinned people can experience it like any non white can. Racism is not limited to one group of people and we must talk about it and educate people of all races early on and not only focus on one people.
I was recently told of an incident that a Metis nurse witnessed in one of our Northern communities.
The nurse was in a room with a patient when the patient spoke Cree. The nurse did not understand what the man said so she asked another nurse who spoke Cree. The nurse said, "Don't mind him, he is as dumb as a white man, that one". That comment is racist, what if a white person made that comment about a non white person?
What about this? This is usually in the form of a meme that goes around every year when we move our clocks ahead one hour..
‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.’ this is also racist.
I can give more examples of racism directed at Africans, Asians or people from any country on any continent, but more than likely, you the reader have heard of them.
Now the problem when we refuse to listen to people and accept that racism is directed at all races is that we are allowing people to allow racism to flourish.
People will march for anti racism for one group of people but not others. Is it not offensive to speak out against racism and not include all races? Isn't it racist to not include all people?
When we "cancel" one type of racist material or speech, ought we not do it to all forms of offensive speech? Or do we ignore racism when it is directed at certain other groups or people? I believe all racism directed at all people must end.
Sexism is usually thought to be against women. Here too we have offensive acts or words thought to only come from one side directed at only one side.
This may shock some, but men can and have endured sexism.
There have been tv shows and even movies where men were put down, labeled as dumb or stupid.
I remember watching TV and hearing women on a particular sitcom make fun of their husband's, mocking them and putting them down. What if men said the same things about women? Would that be considered sexist? It should be.
There have been many occurrences on the screen where this happens, but it happens in real life also. Women believing and saying that men can't raise children or cook or clean. This is a very sexist attitude. Why is it offensive when making jokes or saying things when speaking about women but when similar things are said about men it is just brushed off as a joke?
Sexism is sexism, no matter if it is targeted at women or at men.
Where is cancel culture when sexism is directed at men? It is nowhere, it is blind.
Phobic beliefs and attitudes
Phobia or phobic belief and attitudes come in many different types, not just homophobia.
There is also heterophibia which is perhaps not too common but it does occur. Someone in the US once said that not being permitted to have a straight pride parade is heterophobic. Well, it might be, I don't know, let's talk about it. Would it be considered homophobic to not allow gay pride parades? I think it would be. So by that definition is it not heterophobic not allowing straight pride parades? Are Heterosexual being denied a right to have a parade? Why or why not? Some people have said they are targeted.
There is also Christianphobia. That is saying or doing offensive things targeting Christians. Not allowing Christians to wear a cross, read their bible or pray in some public places is Christianphobic.
There are Christians killed in some countries, where is the outrage over the killings? There is none, just silence from politicians and human rights groups...it is Christianphobia.
I have read many hateful and offensive comments online targeting Christians.
In Canada the Prime Minister implemented anti Islamophobia laws but not Christianphobia laws. That also is Christianphobic, he brought in laws protecting Muslims--which is good--from hate but he did not do the same for Christians or other faiths.
Christians endure hate often and it has increased over the last few years.
Again, where is cancel culture when heterosexual, Christians or other faiths are targeted with hate?
What can we do?
If politicians, media (news, social media etc) and everyday average people truly want racism, sexism, all forms of offenses stopped then we must aknowlege that they occur. Let's end the hate, but be careful not to cancel freedom and rights
Hate does target everyone. Some are targeted more than others, but even one time is one time too many.
Let's come together and work together to end or at least minimize hate, but let's not do it by canceling our history and let's not take rights and freedoms from others.
Just because you don't agree with someones ideas, beliefs or opinions, that does not mean their ideas, belief or opinions don't matter or are offensive. We must allow opposing ideas, beliefs and opinions, even when we disagree. If you don't then you are the offender. Think about it
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 thomasczech