Like the words “feminist” or “woke” or “liberal,” the use of “cancel culture” by people who oppose it is largely about broadening the definition to mean anything that annoys or angers the person making the claim, in the hopes of turning the phrase as toxic as possible to as many people as possible. It’s deliberate and it’s working, of course. The current outcry against rampant cancel culture is an exact replica of the outcry regarding political correctness in the 1990s – and is often being voiced by the same people, using the exact same rhetoric. Nothing gets Americans more riled up than the idea of someone telling them what they’re allowed to say or think. People in politics and the media (and not always on the conservative side) know that if you create the proper sort of bogeyman, it will never matter if he’s real or not. Push the correct buttons on the collective emotional control panel of the American public and soon enough, they will become very angry at the mere mention of something that barely exists and has almost no direct influence on their lives. But at the risk of both-sidesing the topic, the rebuttal to the popular “Cancel culture is out of control” perspective is doing itself no favors.
[Photo credit: Lachlan Donald]