Column: Americans Race To Proactively Shield Themselves From Cancel Culture

In case you didn't know, there is still a TV series on CBS called Survivor. At the start of its 41st season, the show's host, Jeff Probst, asked the contestants if his signature phrase, "Come on in, guys," is offensive or outdated. Later in the season, a random male said the term isn't inclusive enough, thus leading Probst to proudly omit "guys" from his vocabulary forever.

What is that? Why are two guys more offended by the word "guys" than women are? Does the term actually offend anyone? These are questions you are probably asking. In reality, the word doesn't offend anyone. Instead, Probst is proactively shielding himself from the lurking vultures. At least he thinks he is as the trend goes.

The words cancel and culture are together a growing cliche. However, they are easier said together than repeating the movement's mission: a quest to ruin people who oppose a radical societal takeover. Try saying that every time they destroy another person. Unfortunately, the cancel culture participants are thriving and have terrified Americans.

A Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey this summer found that 64% of Americans are afraid of the movement. Moreover, they view it as a threat to our country. What other threats are that many Americans fearful of at once? Death, sure. Grave illness, probably. Not a divorce, married couples now project such an outcome. Meaning, few fears are as concerning to us as someone on the outside successfully wrecking our careers.

Fear is inherently a proactive feeling, leading us to overthink solutions and avoid a frightening outcome. And therein lies the birth of the reworked meaning of "Woke."

Most Americans are not concerned with gender pronouns, though many think placing them in their bios protects them. It's hard to call for someone's job with he/she/him/her attached to their timeline. Individuals also don't wake up worried there are too many white people on a single program. Still, posting the count on Facebook signals that the user is anti-racist, whatever that means.

Similarly, major corporations like Coca-Cola and Under Armour do not believe their white employees need anti-white training to survive. Though completion records are a presumed weapon against a disgruntled employee leaking to the New York Times that the company's executives are responsible for a systemically racist work culture.

So why do individuals and executives channel the most cowardly forms of themselves so often? Because they think they are next. Those who are most ashamed of their pasts are degenerates of this mindset. If you buy completely into ruining a stranger's life, you almost always have a past you fear will destroy yours. Misery comes from self-pity, while hate comes from regret. And anyone who participates in cancel culture is overtly hateful. For that reason, they will do whatever they can to safeguard themselves, no matter how undesirable it makes them.

Megyn Kelly told OutKick in September the idea is if one "deposits enough chips in the Woke Bank" their investments will protect them against a future cancelation. Yet canceling someone as a shield hardly lasts. Power fuels cancel culture. Blue checks and online newspaper journalists cannot rest on their laurels to complete this mission -- it's everlasting. They must continually find someone new. It didn't matter how much Rachel Nichols contributed to the cause. The Left came for her and broke her too. 

To remain feared, a group must routinely flex its influence. This group understands that requirement.

The truth is, you can't convince an unreasonable group of cowards you aren't what their leaders trained them to believe. If you sign up to work with any company that social media influences, you just signed up for outraged online users to control your fate. And sadly, most Americans don't have a choice. Therefore, they buy in or withhold their views entirely. Get this: 54% of the country say they are "concerned" their boss would fire them if they expressed their opinions on the country's state. The other 46% are not fearful, and they share their beliefs often. I wonder what the dividing line is?

What's defeating is that those who can afford not to play by these rules are the most prominent advocates for them. Elite status is so rewarding that few with the means and options to fight back do. Wealth and success make them more reluctant to push back. So while public figures say they are making changes for the less fortunate, they are doing the opposite. They are not giving back but merely trying to maintain status.

Ultimately, Jeff Probst sent a message to Americans beneath him. Not that they shouldn't use "guys," but that he is afraid. It's the same message CEOs, politicians, athletes, TV hosts, and leaders send weekly: if they are scared then you -- someone without reach or resources -- don't have a chance. And they are scared.

That describes a country in which over half of its people are walking around petrified that someone with a level of influence will actively try and ruin them. It's no wonder that Americans have fewer friends than at any time before. Americans are not themselves anymore. Instead, they are incapacitated subordinates racing to shield themselves from the cancel culture movement.

Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.