Either everyone has freedom of speech, or no one does. That is what I believe, and considering that there is such a thing as cancel culture in this day and age, I am of the belief that it should be used against the very people that created it. I wish to eradicate cancel culture by using it against the Left, the biggest users of it. However, there are plenty of people who simply wish to advocate for free speech (I do too, don’t misunderstand) and have signed a letter denouncing cancel culture altogether.
Harper’s Magazine issued a letter about justice and open debate. While they do not exactly hold a conservative view (they outright call Trump a “real threat to democracy” and believe censorship is a right-wing invention “spreading more widely in [Left-wing] culture”), they do hold what can be considered a truly liberal view: we have the liberty to disagree with one another.
Now, I, for one, believe that liberals have always been communists in disguise, but there are people out there who hold the CONSERVATIVE view that we should be able to disagree with one another and believe it to be a more liberal view because “liberty” is the root word for the term.
Regardless of the history of the term, how it is used, or what people believe it really means, the point remains that there are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle who will disagree in terms of politics but agree that we should have the freedom to disagree with one another without our entire livelihoods being upended as a result of holding a dissenting opinion (and usually, such opinions dissent from the Leftist, communist opinion).
Over 150 people signed the letter, all agreeing that we have the right to free speech and we should not be canceled for disagreement, including people like Anne Applebaum, Noam Chomsky, David Frum, Katie Herzog, J. K. Rowling, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Jesse Singal and Matthew Yglesias, to name a few.
Plenty of people with differing views on differing things, all coming to agreement that cancel culture is dangerous and that we should have the ability to speak our minds without being threatened with losing our jobs or actually losing our jobs.
Unsurprisingly, cancel culture went after these people, and it has already claimed three victims: Kerri K. Greenidge, who had originally signed the letter but eventually tweeted “I do not endorse this Harper's letter” (an absolute lie, seeing as she had signed it), an anonymous person who claimed that “she did not know who all the other signatories were” and Jennifer Finney Boylan, who also said she did not know who the other signatories were and apologized for having signed the letter.
This action, inadvertently, proves the letter’s precise point. These people, for holding a dissenting thought that we should be ALLOWED to hold a dissenting thought, were punished and threatened with their livelihoods.
And we all know that if any of them crumble, as some have, many more will follow because that is how the cancel culture works: they get one, they know what works and will use it against more and more people. And the more and more people who succumb to it, the more influential this cancel culture is. That is the ONLY reason we are in the situation we are in. Cancel culture is this prevalent because people have ALLOWED IT to be.
Whenever someone is even remotely accused of racism or holding “wrong-think”, that person is forced to apologize like they just killed the Pope. Tweets from a decade ago, comments from long ago, are resurfaced and the targets are forced to apologize. It’s so bad, people have tried to get John Wayne canceled even though he’s been dead for ages.
The minute someone expresses even a semblance of dissenting thought, they are forced to kneel before General Mob (pun intended). Even if they try to adhere to the radical Left’s “correct” and “allowed” speech codes, they can be forced to apologize for “excluding” a group of people or another. Even if you are the most hardcore Leftist today, in the span of just a few years, the things you said, even if they were “progressive” today, could be considered “dangerous” and “ignorant” and you could be forced to apologize.
No one at all is safe from cancel culture. Just this week, I saw people trying to cancel communist FRIDA KHALO for “appropriating” indigenous culture in Mexico. Even the communists of the past aren’t safe from the cancel culture. Of course, I doubt the communists who were in power, such as Lenin, Stalin or Mao Zedong, would be canceled because they brought forth the same communism that these people clamor for, but if done right, cancel culture can be used against them too.
At any rate, while I obviously do not agree with everything the letter itself said, or with everyone who signed the letter, I do agree that people should be free to speak their mind without fear of cancelation by an outraged mob that seeks the blood of the innocent.
I want cancel culture to be destroyed altogether and for liberty to prevail, but while it exists as a weapon against conservatives (the primary targets), I will use it every bit the same way the Left uses it.
As I once told someone on Twitter on this subject, no duel was ever won by the guy who refused to shoot out of “principle”. Cancel culture is an abomination and should cease to exist, but while it does exist and is used against us, I say we use these weapons against the Left.
It ain’t pretty, that’s for sure, but then again, no war is, and there is no doubt in my mind that we are in the midst of a cultural war.
“If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the Lord.”
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