Opinion: Cancel Culture Promotes Toxicity, Hinders Societal Progress

Yeary writes about the growing concerns of cancel culture in modern day society.

Photo by Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Yeary writes about the growing concerns of cancel culture in modern day society.

Sembree Yeary, Personality Editor

Aunt Jemima. Mike Lindell. Dr. Seuss. All indiscriminate people and companies that were grouped together by a common culprit: cancel culture.  In a world of petty politics and flamboyant boycotts, cancel culture torments the lives of what seemed to be innocent bystanders. As onlookers examine every word they say and every tweet they like in fear of their potential downfall, supporters of cancel culture scour the internet for their next casualty. The toxicity of today’s society hinders the freedoms of Americans from the expression of their opinions on grounds of moral superiority.

Today’s society lost focus of individualism and the opportunity to determine the rightful termination of harmful ideologies. The idea that someone needs guidance on what is considered wrongful behavior takes away the potential for true social progress. Without people’s ability to determine their own thoughts and opinions, true change will never occur. Until society cancels cancel culture, we will continue to live in a toxic environment and encourage fear-mongering until the targeted victims give up any freedom of expression and comply with society’s standards of moralism. 

The participants of cancel culture propel an idea of moral superiority through continued efforts to challenge the choices of others based on their personal opinions of right and wrong. The assembly of cancel culture upholds the idea of groupthink, which discourages our individual responsibility as members of society. One person’s initiative in the cancel movement pushes that idea onto others as fast as something can trend on Twitter. This leaves no room for individual opinions to form before the proclaimed offender is forced to back down to the group of skeptics

Cancel culture resulted in the downfall of numerous companies, people and products. For instance, Mike Lindell, founder of My Pillow, was “cancelled” after using his first amendment right to speak out about election fraud theories, his products were pulled off of shelves, he was banned from Twitter and went into hiding after his last video production interview from an “undisclosed location.” 

Another unwitting victim of cancellation was Dr. Seuss. His estate pulled some of his books from production for their ability to “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The beloved children’s author had his entire collection of works reevaluated through the lens of cancel culture. However, within days, Seuss’s work occupied 9 of the 10 spots on Amazon’s bestseller list

The movement has gone full circle from its original intent, and instead of any potential change to society, the movement angered enough people to cause the promotion of these products and people. As sales rise and people’s popularity grows to new heights, cancel culture further pushes the rejection of what they deem reprehensible. 

As more movements cancel items for their use of various races, companies resort back to white figures, further whitewashing the landscape of characters. What was once seen as a push for further inclusion, since turned into a backslide in society’s progression.

People should come together to put an end to the toxic cancel culture and promote the progress of social change instead of turning a bystander into a victim of this backlash. True progress can only come about if we lift each other up and not bring each other down. We should promote conversations and solidarity instead of tormentation.