Is it cancel culture or accountability?

Is it cancel culture or accountability?

By Araceli Galarza Posted June 10, 2021

Great, you said apple sauce is gross. Now, we can’t ever be friends. You’re the worst person in the world, and there’s nothing that you can do to fix it. That’s cancel culture.

Oh, goodie, you said the N-word when you have a giant platform that’s already openly known for racism, and your fans stopped streaming your music? That’s being held accountable.

We live in an age of social media and the internet. If you don’t understand the harmful effects of using an outdated and racist term, then you’re not sorry; you’re ignorant. There are millions of ways to become informed, it’s accessible, and it’s easy to read an article.

Knowing how to read and process information comes in handy more often than not. An example of this would be the uproar that has recently surrounded Dr. Seuss. The publisher of Dr. Seuss’s books has stopped publishing six books for fear of harmful descriptions and racist tones. This was a personal decision of the publishers to stop producing these books, not cancelation.

There was no one breathing down their necks, forcing them to stop. The radical right has gone crazy trying to blame this on the extreme left’s sensitivity, and many people are upset. The big idea here, however, is that they will stop publishing the books. They aren’t going to round up all the books and burn them. This isn’t Fahrenheit 451. Dr.Seuss has not become a victim of cancel culture.

Cancel culture is defined as a modern form of rejection. Someone is thrown out of social or professional circles – whether online, on social media, or in person. Those who fall under this have been “canceled.” Recently, many “canceling” famous people and creators for silly things like not liking a renowned band or food item. That is dumb.
The difference is accountability means being answerable for your actions and decisions. If you were made responsible for something or you promised to achieve specific outcomes, you can be held accountable for them. This is what some people would consider canceling. However, when someone is held liable, it isn’t simply over choosing one makeup brand over another. It’s when sexual assault allegations come out when your “funny” videos are just you being ableist. It’s when you say racial slurs as a joke but forget the meaning behind them.

Recently Mumford & Son banjoist has come under fire for a tweet. Winston Marshall came under fire for an endorsement of an anti-Antifa book by conservative author Andy Ngo. Marshall Since then deleted the tweet that read, “finally had the time to read your important book. You are a brave man.”

His praise of the book has caused an uproar with his fans. Later on, after facing the backlash, he chose to write a statement. The statement read, “Over the past few days, I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates, and for that I am truly sorry. As a result of my actions, I am taking time away from the band to examine my Blindspot. For now, please know that I realize how many endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, decisive behavior. I apologize, as this was not at all my intention.”

Everyone has opinions. Everyone should be allowed to express themselves in respectful ways; sometimes, social justice warriors take things too far. He was not praising the ideology nor the negative connotations that the book or author might share.

Next time your favorite rapper comes under fire for choosing Lucky Charms over Honey Nut Cheerios, take a step back. Take a look at the real issue, and if there is one before you delete all their songs from your library. Or when a famous musician says a racist and outdated term, don’t just blindly stand behind them, simply calling a harmful word a word, hold them accountable and hold them to a specific set of standards.

Goodbye sign./ Courtesy • Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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