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'Cancel Culture' Is a Dangerous, Totalitarian Trend


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https://reason.com/2020/08/07/cancel-culture-is-a-dangerous-totalitarian-trend/

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During the apex of Soviet totalitarianism, when Joseph Stalin was hosting show trials and overseeing a vast network of gulags (labor camps for political prisoners), Russian citizens were encouraged to denounce their fellow workers, party colleagues and family members who had committed some anti-revolutionary offense.

In one instance, a student at a Leningrad university sent a letter to Pravda, which captured the essence of these denunciations: "How can a parasite who always sobs when he hears Lenin's name and groans when he hears Stalin's…how can such a person be allowed to remain in the walls of the institute?" It's unclear what happened to the perpetrator, but he probably wasn't long for this world.

Fortunately, the United States has a First Amendment that forbids the government from punishing people for "offensive" writing and thought crimes. Our nation has a free-wheeling environment, where everyone can spout off about anything. Yet, even in this brave new social media world, the totalitarian mindset runs deep. Many Americans are eager to "cancel" people who utter verboten thoughts.

There's no agreed-upon definition of "cancel culture," but an open letter published in July in Harper's Magazine, signed by 153 writers and intellectuals, defined it as "an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty."

Cancel cultists call "for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought," they wrote. The signers also found it roubling that "institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments." That the letter appeared in a left-of-center publication was noteworthy given that most—but not all—of these attacks come from the left.

Shortly before the letter's publication, Boeing's head of communications, Niel Golightly, announced his resignation after a fellow employee dredged up a 33-year-old article he published as a young Navy pilot. He argued that allowing women in combat "would destroy the exclusively male intangibles of war fighting and the feminine images of what men fight for—peace, home, family."

Most Americans probably no longer agree with his argument, but it was well within the mainstream of the debate at the time. Golightly told The New York Times those views no longer represent ones he holds today, noting that, "As youngsters, we've tried out ideas; we've done things that we look back on and say, 'That was kind of silly, but boy did I learn from that.'"

Frankly, I don't think anyone should have to apologize for expressing an earnest opinion, let alone one made decades earlier. But his mea culpa didn't earn him a reprieve for his counterrevolutionary thoughts. This might explain, in part, why so few people apologize for anything these days, but double down—even in cases where an apology is in order.

Private companies obviously have the right to part ways with employees who express views that cause them embarrassment, but too often companies behave the way that letter detailed—by pursuing damage control and dishing out disproportionate punishments.

There's a huge difference between someone who once expressed a view that no longer is in vogue—and ones who, say, post decidedly racist messages on online forums. Unfortunately, the totalitarian cancel culture allows no distinctions. It's a game of gotcha, played by people who want to destroy their political opponents—and drive them into the outer darkness.

The result is self-censorship, a narrowing of the public discussion and, as counterintuitive as it seems, the proliferation of crazy ideas on the Internet. The first two points are obvious. How many of us think twice before posting a legitimate message—not because the post is offensive per se, but because of the possible repercussions if some numbskull interprets it the wrong way?

We're allowing negation by society's dullest and most easily offended members. Regarding my third point, I suspect that as the boundaries of "appropriate" discourse recede, more people take refuge in their own social-media bubbles, where they can post crazy conspiracy theories and other nonsense without pushback. There's nothing wrong with calling BS on people's writing. It is wrong, however, to incite mobs to destroy their livelihoods.

Most culture-canceling comes from progressives, but conservatives engage in this behavior, as well. I can't tell you how many writers have demanded – to me, my editor and the publisher—that I apologize for my column last week objecting to the use of federal thuggery to quell the Portland riots and protests. I remember the angry "shut up, you traitor" demands when this editorial page opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Sure, these examples are a long way from the Soviet denunciations, but we need to realize that if we stay on our current trajectory it will, as the Harper's letter noted, "weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity."

Spot on commentary by Mr. Greenhut.   Cancel culture groupthink is spreading, and even rears it's ugly head here on the GID.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

John Muir Is Canceled. Who’s Next?

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/08/john-muir-is-canceled-whos-next/

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The cancel culture has now reached into every nook and cranny of life. Eskimo Pie, the chocolate-covered ice-cream treat that has been around for a century, will be renamed after critics said the name was insensitive. What’s next?

We have a partial answer. Last week, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

The Sierra Club is “celebrating” the event in an unusual way. It is dumping any association with John Muir, the “father of the national parks” who founded the Sierra Club back in 1892.

 

Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director, tells members that “it’s time to take down some of our own monuments.” Brune says members must now “reexamine our past and our substantial role in perpetuating white supremacy.”

It turns out that, as a young immigrant from Scotland, John Muir made “derogatory comments about Black people and Indigenous peoples that drew on deeply harmful racist stereotypes, though his views evolved later in his life,” Brune wrote in a statement on the Sierra Club’s website. “As the most iconic figure in Sierra Club history, Muir’s words and actions carry an especially heavy weight. They continue to hurt and alienate Indigenous people and people of color who come into contact with the Sierra Club.”

But in a form of guilt by association that would make a McCarthyite blush, Brune goes on to rebuke Muir’s for his friendship in the early 1900s with zoologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, who, twelve years after Muir’s death in 1914, helped establish the American Eugenics Society, which labeled nonwhite people as inferior. Notice that the founding of the society followed Muir’s death, but he still must be held accountable for it.

Many Sierra Club members with whom I spoke are privately appalled at the group’s attempt to erase its history. A few years ago, the club itself published a study that noted Muir was considered a progressive for his era and never advocated any discriminatory policies.

Indeed, Muir later lived among various Native American tribes. “He grew to respect and honor their beliefs, actions, and lifestyles,” wrote scholar Richard Fleck, in the journal American Indian Quarterly. “He, too, would evolve and change from his somewhat ambivalent stance toward various Indian cultures to a positive admiration.”

In an interview with the California Sun, Donald Worster, a professor and noted biographer of Muir, says the attack on Muir is completely devoid of context:

He saw the effects of white immigration and the diseases that came along, wiping out whole populations; the presence of alcohol and its effect; trade relations that were not good for the Indians. He wrote a diatribe against the white invasion. He said this is something the government should be up here doing: taking care of and protecting these people from being exploited, from being hurt and dying from all this. . . . It wasn’t just the Indians who got him saying unflattering things. The white population, the people who were invading — the frontier types, the miners — he thought they were uncouth, savage, brutal, dirty, given over to alcohol. His writings are full of those descriptions. Nobody gets upset about that.

The debate over John Muir is only the beginning of a purge sweeping the environmental community. In Crosscut magazine, Glenn Nelson wrote a piece last month headlined “Toppling John Muir from Sierra Club Is Not Enough.”

Nelson called for dramatic efforts to “overcome a violent history of exclusion” by environmental groups. He said the next focus should be on the National Audubon Society, whose namesake, artist John James Audubon, “was an enslaver who opposed the intermingling of races.” The fact that Audubon may have himself been born to a black Creole woman in Haiti is less important than the fact the Audubon Society “has not reconciled its association with a man who, like Muir, embraced racist ideas and activities.”

If we are to expunge from their place of honor all the historical figures who changed their views later in life or who held views that were common in their time, where will it stop?

Larry Elder, an African-American radio-talk-show host, recently noted that for years Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an advice column for Ebony, a monthly magazine for black Americans. A closeted gay teenager once asked him:

My problem is different from the ones most people have. I am a boy, but I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls. I don’t want my parents to know about me. What can I do? Is there any place where I can go for help?

King answered:

Your problem is not at all an uncommon one. However, it does require careful attention. The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired. Your reasons for adopting this habit have now been consciously suppressed or unconsciously repressed. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with this problem by getting back to some of the experiences and circumstances that lead to the habit. In order to do this I would suggest that you see a good psychiatrist who can assist you in bringing to the forefront of conscience all of those experiences and circumstances that lead to the habit. You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.

Today, such views would get King flat-out fired in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and many other places of employment.

Or how about John F. Kennedy? Former New York Times investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported in his book The Dark Side of Camelot that Kennedy once said of a donor who hadn’t backed his campaign but still wanted to be an ambassador: “I’m going to f*** him. I’m going to send him to one of those boogie republics in Central Africa.”

But, when it came to others, Kennedy sometimes punished even those who supported him to the hilt. Singer Sammy Davis Jr. strongly backed JFK in the 1960 campaign, even agreeing to postpone his wedding to a white actress to avoid alienating white voters. Burt Boyar, Davis’s biographer, notes that when Davis finally got married, after Kennedy’s election, Kennedy rewarded him by disinviting him from attending the inaugural.

And let’s not forget Robert Kennedy. He was appointed as attorney general by his brother and authorized many wiretaps on Martin Luther King. The tapes they produced represent an outrageous invasion of King’s privacy, and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover tried to use them to blackmail King.

Cancel culture is a tricky thing. It hasn’t reached the point where books or DVDs are being burned in squares, but it is providing many ominous parallels to authoritarian cultures. If it’s John Muir today, which soon-to-be-tarnished icon will it be next?

Good question.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/7/2020 at 8:28 AM, Muda69 said:

https://reason.com/2020/08/07/cancel-culture-is-a-dangerous-totalitarian-trend/

Spot on commentary by Mr. Greenhut.   Cancel culture groupthink is spreading, and even rears it's ugly head here on the GID.

 

The cancel culture is common on this forum. Threads are locked for supposed "political" purposes yet not a single word was posted in the entire thread about politics. 

#CNN #MSNBC #Redditt

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14 hours ago, Howe said:

The cancel culture is common on this forum. Threads are locked for supposed "political" purposes yet not a single word was posted in the entire thread about politics. 

#CNN #MSNBC #Redditt

Proof? And if you are going to point to topics on the main football forum, then you really have no proof. People go there to see updates about schedule changes and new match ups as well as other specific things directly related to the game of high school football. Political rants are for this forum, not that one. 

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A "moderator" could simply state a thread was locked because they do not like or agree with some comments. There is no need at attempting to b.s. grown adults by claiming a thread was locked due to political rants. Anyone can read every comment posted on a locked thread and verify no political statements were posted.

And these are some of the guys asking for donations. 

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21 minutes ago, Howe said:

A "moderator" could simply state a thread was locked because they do not like or agree with some comments. There is no need at attempting to b.s. grown adults by claiming a thread was locked due to political rants. Anyone can read every comment posted on a locked thread and verify no political statements were posted.

And these are some of the guys asking for donations. 

The moderators on this site do not operate that way. The consistent message to you has been you are welcome to spew your political point of view all over the place ... so long as you do it on the OOB Forum. That’s what it’s for. Stop cluttering football threads with your right wing proselytizing. It’s rude to inflict that on people who just want to discuss football.  Or do manners have no place in your version of conservatism? 

I assume by your comment about donations that you’re a freeloader. Figures.

Edited by Bobref
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2 hours ago, Howe said:

A "moderator" could simply state a thread was locked because they do not like or agree with some comments. There is no need at attempting to b.s. grown adults by claiming a thread was locked due to political rants. Anyone can read every comment posted on a locked thread and verify no political statements were posted.

And these are some of the guys asking for donations. 

What a complete load of bull shit. There is plenty you post in here that moderators do not agree with, and yet it all stays. Go back and look at the topics. There is far more support for them not having political posts attached and dragging them down than is for keeping them there. Love the part about verifying that no political statements were were posted. Need to have waders on with the amount of shit piled into this post. ....such a snowflake. 
 

And based on the number and amount of donations received....go ahead and keep freeloading snowflake. 

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2 hours ago, Bobref said:

The moderators on this site do not operate that way.

Yet a little more transparency regarding moderator decisions would be a welcome way to operate. 

 

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1 hour ago, Irishman said:

What a complete load of bull shit. There is plenty you post in here that moderators do not agree with, and yet it all stays. Go back and look at the topics. There is far more support for them not having political posts attached and dragging them down than is for keeping them there. Love the part about verifying that no political statements were were posted. Need to have waders on with the amount of shit piled into this post. ....such a snowflake. 
 

And based on the number and amount of donations received....go ahead and keep freeloading snowflake. 

 

57 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Yet a little more transparency regarding moderator decisions would be a welcome way to operate. 

 

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2 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Yet a little more transparency regarding moderator decisions would be a welcome way to operate. 

 

How much more transparent do moderators need to be when saying multiple times on locked topics, stay on the topic and do not make political posts on the main forum? 

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1 minute ago, Irishman said:

How much more transparent do moderators need to be when saying multiple times on locked topics, stay on the topic and do not make political posts on the main forum? 

Multiple times my posts have been hidden/deleted with no simple PM sent by a GID moderator as to why.  Same with entire threads being deleted/hidden or moved with zero explanation, aka transparency, given.      And I understand that as private enterprise the GID is under no legal obligation to provide such transparency but such simple actions would go a long to way to maintain good faith between the GID overlords and regular members.

 

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I absolutely guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one is capable of linking a political statement posted by me on any locked thread on the main football forum.

People who were against schools opening and football are responsible for starting new threads when games are cancelled despite a pinned thread at the top of page one for such information. Within the first paragraph, COVID-19 will be referenced. The purpose of the thread is a celebration that games have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. The ensuing discussion is focused on the two primary reasons for the thread, the cancellation and the coronavirus. Some people don't like any challenge to the libtard hivemind mentality.

There is a high school teacher and licensed IHSAA football official who left this forum after years of membership and requested his account to be deleted due to the cancel culture mentality of some "moderators". People called him every derogatory name in the book.

I have donated to this website for years. DK Barons has sent more than one thank you e-mail. The cancel culture mentality of some "moderators" has caused me to reconsider. I doubt if current cancel culture mentality is increasing membership or revenue. 

 

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7 hours ago, Irishman said:

What a complete load of bull shit. . Love the part about verifying that no political statements were were posted. Need to have waders on with the amount of shit piled into this post. ....such a snowflake. 
 

This is an empty statement without linking political comments posted by me on locked threads from the main football forum. You are either capable of linking the political comments or incapable. I already know the answer.

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1 hour ago, Howe said:

This is an empty statement without linking political comments posted by me on locked threads from the main football forum. You are either capable of linking the political comments or incapable. I already know the answer.

Dude, it’s not a difficult concept. If you’re going to post something about ridiculous mask mandates, the fallacy behind the Covid-19 statistics, the use of the pandemic by liberals to snuff out constitutional rights, or the best type of foil to use as a hat liner so the Trilateral Commission can’t steal your thoughts, just do it in the Out of Bounds Forum. That takes care of everything. When the mods lock a thread because you’ve spewed your vitriol all over it, that inconveniences everyone else who was actually enjoying a football discussion on that thread. Just stop!

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2 hours ago, Howe said:

This is an empty statement without linking political comments posted by me on locked threads from the main football forum. You are either capable of linking the political comments or incapable. I already know the answer.

I never said they were made by you specifically in my reply...I was speaking in general terms, but you were the one here whining about topics being locked, and I simply gave an explanation why the ones you referred to were locked. .......don't be such a snowflake. 

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23 hours ago, Bobref said:

The moderators on this site do not operate that way. The consistent message to you has been you are welcome to spew your political point of view all over the place ... so long as you do it on the OOB Forum. That’s what it’s for. Stop cluttering football threads with your right wing proselytizing.

You still have not presented any evidence of "spewing of my political point of view" on the football forum. Posting comments about the amount of people who refuse to wear masks or social distance yet no further spread of the coronavirus has occurred and a couple of memes about masks are not political statements. 

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11 hours ago, Bobref said:

Dude, it’s not a difficult concept. If you’re going to post something about ridiculous mask mandates, the fallacy behind the Covid-19 statistics, the use of the pandemic by liberals to snuff out constitutional rights, or the best type of foil to use as a hat liner so the Trilateral Commission can’t steal your thoughts, just do it in the Out of Bounds Forum. That takes care of everything. When the mods lock a thread because you’ve spewed your vitriol all over it, that inconveniences everyone else who was actually enjoying a football discussion on that thread. Just stop!

Vitriol? Interesting.

I do not get that fired up about anything posted on this forum. I do not submit down votes.

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On 9/9/2020 at 9:48 PM, Irishman said:

Proof? And if you are going to point to topics on the main football forum, then you really have no proof. People go there to see updates about schedule changes and new match ups as well as other specific things directly related to the game of high school football. Political rants are for this forum, not that one. 

11 hours ago, Irishman said:

I never said they were made by you specifically in my reply...I was speaking in general terms, but you were the one here whining about topics being locked, and I simply gave an explanation why the ones you referred to were locked. .......don't be such a snowflake. 

Stating a fact is not whining. I do not whine or submit down votes. The locked thread did not contain a single word about politics posted by me or anyone else. It is simply an excuse.

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7 minutes ago, Howe said:

Vitriol? Interesting.

I do not get that fired up about anything posted on this forum. I do not submit down votes.

And I suppose words like “libtard,” sprinkled liberally (ironic, eh?) through your rants, are terms of endearment?

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1 minute ago, Howe said:

Stating a fact is not whining. I do not whine or submit down votes. The locked thread did not contain a single word about politics posted by me or anyone else. It is simply an excuse.

Stop making everything about you. You whined about locked threads on the main forum. It has been stated VERY clearly when the conversation gets political and not about football, it gets locked. It does not matter who takes the conversation there. 

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4 minutes ago, Bobref said:

And I suppose words like “libtard,” sprinkled liberally (ironic, eh?) through your rants, are terms of endearment?

I have never posted that word on the football forum.

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5 minutes ago, Irishman said:

Stop making everything about you. You whined about locked threads on the main forum. It has been stated VERY clearly when the conversation gets political and not about football, it gets locked. It does not matter who takes the conversation there. 

No evidence of political statements in the entire thread yet the spin and accusations continue. This is like reading/watching CNN, MSNBC and the mainstream media fake news.

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1 minute ago, Howe said:

No evidence of political statements in the entire thread yet the spin and accusations continue. This is like reading/watching CNN, MSNBC and the mainstream media fake news.

Complete bull shit, but keep telling yourself that. Every single topic that was locked ventured off the topic of high school football...plain and simple. It’s really not a difficult concept to understand. 
Call it fake news all you want,but here yoU are posting it yourself.......and remaining here. No one is forcing you to stay. 

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Sooooo, Howie.....just went and looked at the last thread. Go ahead and explain how this post from you is specifically about high school football, or the specific topic of Michigan City Football. While you are at it, please tell us how it is not a political post.

Still fake news???? Liar

 

75A3C15C-3EA5-488D-AF78-F1CA9AE4B975.jpeg

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And I suppose this was a sign outside the Michigan City Football locker room???? Noooo? 

And your post about where you work had exactly what to do with high school football? Or even more specifically, the topic of Michigan City Football? 

The non fake news answer would be absolutely nothing; but I am sure you have some kind of spin. 

On 9/8/2020 at 3:09 PM, Howe said:

image.thumb.png.cfe05b72db0e18329ee6368be0d74b4e.png

Ohhhh look; more about Michigan City football......hmmmm

On 9/8/2020 at 8:42 PM, Howe said:

Interesting. United Auto Workers are guaranteed a 40 hour paycheck regardless of whether they show up for work or not. August and September are extremely hot and very busy months in automotive plants. It will be interesting to see if the Japanese, Korean and German owned auto manufacturing plants in America  are experiencing the same issues.

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