Has cancel culture gone too far?
May 13, 2021
During the beginning of quarantine, people flocked online even more than usual. As the year continued, racial tensions increased after the wrongful death of George Floyd. Many people on apps like Twitter and Facebook began trying to root out perceived racist or anti LGBTQ+ actions of celebrities, athletes and musicians. Such groups believe that the guilty should be held accountable for their actions and the influence they spread with these racist or sexist statements.
But have these groups taken it too far?
I can agree with the roots of cancel culture, but now, it just feels like all these people are trying to take advantage and weaponize it. Cancel culture shouldn’t be used for personal matters unless you are a victim of racist actions, sexual assault and so on. The main purpose seems to have been lost and the voices that came with it. Now people see cancel culture as more of a joke–a harmful joke that could ruin someone’s life. People have been relentlessly harassed because of these allegations.
So why are we still letting this happen?
Reputation plays a key role in how people see this topic. People are afraid of what will happen to them if they speak out and say what’s actually wrong with cancel culture. I have found some of the recent “cancellations” to be completely unnecessary.
One example started with the children’s show Paw Patrol, a cartoon where a boy has several dogs that take up the professions of rescue workers and law enforcement. One character is a German Shepherd named Chase, who takes the role of a police officer. He shows that police officers can do more than just arrest people; they can help save lives.
Even so, activists on Twitter took to the idea of removing Chase from the show just because he is a police officer. I see this as excessive and completely unprofessional. Children should be taught that racism is wrong and unacceptable, but to go so far as to “cancel” a character on a harmless children’s TV show because he represents law enforcement is unnecessary.
Something the LGBTQ+ community may not understand is that some religions don’t and haven’t agreed with changing your body, as they see the body as a gift from God as is. It’s just a part of many religious beliefs, so that doesn’t give the LGBTQ+ members a pass to shut down and harass religious organizations who disagree with their choices.
Yet as a result of cancel culture, religious colleges are now at more risk of encountering lawsuits over their long-held beliefs. I just don’t believe these colleges should have to change. There are plenty of other colleges students can attend if they don’t like their views, so there are plenty of other options for schooling. I say if you don’t like their rules, go away and move on with your life rather than trying to shut them down or force them to do something against their beliefs.
Cancel cultures extends to people like us. Social studies teacher and varsity baseball coach Justin Kucera in a Michigan school district was recently fired over a tweet. His tweet stated “I’m done being silent. @realdonaldtrump is our president??? Don’t @ me.’’ Afterwards, he was brought to a closed door meeting in front of the district superintendent and they gave him an ultimatum: be fired or resign. He responded that he would pick neither of the choices.
He stated that multiple teachers in that district had publicly denounced Trump on Facebook and that former teacher Paulette Leo had encouraged students anti-Trump rhetoric by havingstudents read an article called “How to beat Trump.” From multiple sources, it’s been said that Kucera is a very friendly and likeable person, stating that he never brought politics into the classroom nor onto the field.
So why is Kucera being punished because of something he said? What happened to freedom of speech? Why can’t we go back to doing what’s right instead of doing what you want? At this point, it’s a game of pointing fingers, and it needs to change.
Freedom of speech is something that we are given at birth as Americans and it goes both ways between the cancellers and the people being cancelled. I don’t believe someone’s life should be ruined by one mistake they have made in the past. All that should matter is whether they have changed or not and if the people they hurt can recognize that. Once that has been clarified, action can be taken if necessary.
Sadly, that’s not how it goes, and it appears it’s going to stay that way. People are going to do whatever benefits them. There needs to be a more defined line of what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to cancel culture.