The problem with this perspective is cancel culture isn’t real, at least not in the way people believe it is. Instead, it’s turned into a catch-all for when people in power face consequences for their actions or receive any type of criticism, something that they’re not used to. I’m a black, Muslim woman, and because of social media, marginalized people like myself can express ourselves in a way that was not possible before. That means racist, sexist, and bigoted behavior or remarks don’t fly like they used to. This applies to not only wealthy people or industry leaders but anyone whose privilege has historically shielded them from public scrutiny. Because they can’t handle this cultural shift, they rely on phrases like “cancel culture” to delegitimize the criticism.
Nigel C. Gibson is the Director of the Honors Program at Emerson College. He is one of the leading scholars of the work of Frantz Fanon, and the author of Rethinking Fanon: The Continuing Dialogue (1999) Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination (2003), and Biko Lives!: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko (Palgrave, 2003).