Cancel ‘cancel culture’

Jackson Morgan, Editorial Chief

Cancel culture has gained popularity in recent years, especially in the year leading up to the 2020 presidential election. Cancel culture is when people on the internet find an opinion they are upset with and they use their large following to deplatform an individual or group. It’s status in society can be highlighted by looking at social media and the hate celebrities get for being on one side politically. This has been a recurring trend on both sides of the political spectrum for years and can be described as toxic and simply ignorant.

When someone is canceled it’s usually as a result of them sharing their support towards a certain side on the political spectrum. When canceled supporters will withdraw support for them, often leading to hate mail, threats of violence, and in extreme circumstances, death threats. Cancel culture supports the idea of mob rule and intimidation rather than open conversation and dialogue; this results in people thinking as a group rather than as an individual.

People get canceled for anything and everything. J.K. Rowling has been canceled for a tweet defending Maya Forstater, a researcher who was fired from her job for a tweet stating that people cannot change their biological sex. J.K. received hate tweets and mail because she defended someone who stated a biological fact. She even said in the same tweet, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like… But force women out of their jobs for stating sex is real?” She didn’t follow the mindset of the crowd and thought for herself which was unacceptable for people that thought differently. J.K. Rowling made two mistakes to become canceled, she thought for herself and she shared her opinion. This upset people so they had no other choice than to cancel her. Even former President Donald Trump is a victim of cancel culture as many are attempting to remove him from home alone 2, a movie that was released almost 30 years ago. Cancel culture knows no limits and people will do anything to take away someone else’s voice and popularity.

Cancel culture does not only affect celebrities it affects everyone even teenagers and kids. Many kids have been canceled for thinking a certain way. For example, there have been instagram accounts made anonymously from OHS students which are designed as an account to share secrets. Some of these accounts have taken it a step farther and used their free instagram following to try and “expose” students for supporting president Trump. No matter your political affiliation, there should be no reason to attempt to alienate someone for holding a separate opinion from you even if you disagree. If not even the youth of this country can coexist, then how can this country stand? 

There are many solutions that could be done to end cancel culture.  The way we can stop cancel culture is by realizing that we all are going to have different viewpoints and we should accept that; we accept diversity and we need to turn that diversity into unity. When we have unity that is when we can achieve great feats and when there is such an obvious barricade that is obstructing that path to unity, we ultimately regress rather than progress as a society and as a country. The only way we can end cancel culture is by realizing that everyone thinks differently, and that is part of why we have the First Amendment. Diversity is part of what makes America unique and we need to embrace it with no ifs, ands, or, buts.

Many people take part in cancel culture and actively support it because it allows them to feel good by saving minorities from controversial opinions. They do this by shutting down communication before it even begins. Unfortunately for them, social change is not brought about because people have hurt feelings and decide to ruin someone’s life. Social change is brought about by open lines of dialogue and communication between both sides. This is evident from when women advocated for the right to vote in the late 1910s, to the 1950s and 1960s, when the civil rights movement was fighting for equal rights treatment no matter your race. Each one of these large movements had something in common; they used dialogue to state what they wanted and used their voice rather than take away the voices of their opposition.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided cannot stand.” America or any country cannot survive for long when divided. If we want this country to stand together, cancel culture must go. There is no reason that people should be afraid of sharing their opinion by threat of the mob. When people do not feel free to share their thoughts, that is when America and the world will regress tremendously quickly. If we want change we cannot do it by canceling people out, but by giving them and everyone a voice even when you don’t share the same opinion.