Cancel Culture and Thought Policing

A couple of months back I blogged about cancel culture, the right-wing attempt to recycle political correctness cliches about how liberals and feminazis won’t allow you to say the N-word/grab a coworker’s boobs/declare a women who got raped was asking for it. Liberal thought policiing is driving people who say those edgy things to the intellectual dark web! They’re oppressing conservatives by criticizing them!

Well, things haven’t improved so here’s a few examples. First, Jim Bakker who went to jail for fraud regarding donations to his ministry, but now claims he was set up, the first victim of cancel culture. As Fred Clark points out, this ignores that after his fall from grace, Bakker admitted he’d sinned. “He wasn’t cancelled, he was just exposed for being Jim Bakker. And you can’t be Jim Bakker without people treating you like that’s what you are.”

Andrew Sullivan is horrified that most of NPR’s new interns are not white men — isn’t this proof of discrimination? Well, no. And if most of them were white men, he’d be muttering “identity politics” if anyone suggested bias.

Or how about Florida Republican Anthony Sabatini complaining the left would cancel Socrates if he were still around. As if Socrates hadn’t been canceled in his own time by the Athenians making him drink hemlock.

Or here’s a prime example: The Jane Austen’s House Museum will add to its exhibit to place the life of Austen and her characters in the context of slavery (all the tea and sugar they drunk tied them to the slave trade). This was presented by first one UK paper and then the US Federalist website as canceling Jane Austen.

Or Joe Rogan whining about how straight white men won’t be allowed to talk.

Unfortunately, this whining often works on the refs, or gives conservatives in power a chance to act. A bullshit story about how a white student at Boise State was forced to apologize for being white led to courses being suspended and the state legislature slashing $1.5 million from the school’s budget.

For all their talk about cancel culture Republicans love canceling anything that acknowledges America’s racism — hence efforts by one right-wing PAC to get conservative candidates running for school boards. As far as Republicans are concerned, admitting the racist aspect of American history is teaching kids to hate their country. Or consider this freakout. Or this case. Conversely, I don’t see them decrying this as cancel culture (it would appear AP is within its rights, but so are most supposed “cancel culture” firings).

 

 

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