Canceling Cancel Culture?


Brinley Erbsland, Staff Writer

Mr/Mrs Potatohead?

No more Dr. Seuss?

In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve seen the “cancelling” of many public figures and tv shows for being controversial, racist or sexist. It has become common to see hashtags trending on twitter calling for the “cancelling” of companies, public figures or even toys, for example #JkRowlingisoverparty or #CancelCocaCola for their opinions or political affiliations.

So, why is cancel culture a thing and has it truly accomplished anything? Or is it time we #cancelcancelculture ?

Cancel culture arguably came about as the political world has became more polarized and social media has allowed everyones best and worst moments to be cemented to them forever.

While cancel culture can affect just about anyone, it is primarily a heavy left leaning ideology, seeking to hold those with racist actions or “problematic” beliefs accountable.

While everyone can agree that those with racist beliefs ought to be held accountable, is cancel culture the right way to enact change?

Recently, cancel culture has forced everyone’s worst mistakes to be pushed into the limelight, for example Forbes talks about two men who made “mistakes” in their past that led them to be canceled today. There were calls for the “cancelling” of an Alabama governor to resign because she wore blackface in college 52 years ago.

There was also calls for the firing of a trustee at Gettysburg College for wearing a fake Nazi uniform to a Heroes themed costume party in 1980 while being a college student. So therein lies the question, should we cancel someone for their transgressions from over 50 years ago? When many argue that they were “just kids”, others argue that a college student should know a nazi uniform is offensive.

Now, has it accomplished anything?

To hold people to their biggest mistake, believing one is no better than their worst moment, is not really enacting any change.

Most notably, technology and apps such as Snapchat have been used to bring up old videos of teens or even adults using racial slurs. This has caused many people to lose jobs or even college acceptances, for example, a high school student holding onto a video of another student saying a slur until she got accepted to colleges so that he could inflict the most damage possible.

So, is this proper punishment? Or does it simply create a cycle of mistake, punishment and resentment?

So, do we use cancel culture to punish those who some argue deserve it? Or is time to cancel cancel culture?