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Cancel culture is a sword, a weapon not to make the country more inclusive but to scare, punish, and damage those who oppose an ideology deemed acceptable. The strategy is the antithesis of what makes our country great. It denigrates those who think independently and rewards those who follow out of fear.
Cancel culture is a threat to our country, and according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, 64 percent of Americans agree.
The findings grow more troubling, showing that 54 percent of respondents say they are “concerned” that if they expressed their opinions online that they would be banned or even fired.
The cancel culture movement is a product of online pressure, whether from verified accounts with millions of followers or a few egg accounts. Decision-makers then quickly cave whenever the word “racist” is directed their way. They could ignore most of the baseless claims and defend their employees, but they fear that if they do so, more progressive employees will take their role. As much as high-ranking execs might like an employee, they like their power more and will protect it at all costs.
What’s concerning is that Americans fear that their views could cost them their careers, and in far too many industries, they do. The number of companies with enough backbone to stand up to the mob is minimal and declining.
Opinions on the vast majority of hot-button issues in the United States are split 50-50 among voters. Yet, in most cases, only one side is viewed as acceptable. The other side is considered fireable. This double standard creates an echo chamber that then spreads across social media and in public positions and implicitly encourages the promotion of the most offended.
Tuesday morning, Maria Taylor, one of the most promoted talents on ESPN, falsely accused her employer’s flagship Twitter account of demeaning women. One could claim it took guts for Taylor to go after her employer publicly, however, in our current climate, it was the easiest road she could have taken. Taylor knew that ESPN would be afraid to even address her tweet because it expresses far-left — though incorrect — views. I’d ask what’d happen if a white ESPN employee went after the network for offending his conservative views, but he’s hidden from the public.
It’s not just that most media members, athletes, celebrities, and tech leaders lean left — it is that only a rare few are brave enough to express any alternative opinion publicly.
The results of cancel culture are chilling. Public platforms are now divisive and inauthentic, with half the users unable to speak honestly about any given topic. There’s also constant pressure to conform and accept the views the mob considers correct. Joining the movement and bringing others who don’t conform down is the only way a user can protect him or herself from cancellation.
Cancel culture is a grave threat. Most Americans silently agree.