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.
Eusebius McKaiser has an excellent piece in the Business Day this morning in which he argues that we need to talk about race, rather than avoid talking about it. Money Quote:
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[We] have an irrational fear of race discourse that must be abandoned. White South Africans, in particular, fear that mere talk about “black” and “white” implies that we cannot relate to each other as individuals. This fear is understandable. But it is also hasty.
What is beautiful about human relations is the natural curiosity we have to explore the shades of differences between ourselves — appearances, personalities, intelligence, ideologies, etc. The value pluralism on which our liberal democracy is based stems explicitly from an acceptance that differences need not be divisive.
The eruption of violence in Skielik speaks to the fact that when we let differences fester like a wound we would rather not attend to, we could lose part of our national body — like the four innocent citizens of Skielik.