The Fallacy of 'Cancel Culture' and How It's Used To Evade Consequence

The invoking of free speech and cancel culture is often used to combat consequences of those whose beliefs come at the expense of others.

The Fallacy of 'Cancel Culture' and How It's Used To Evade Consequence
Photo Credit: Disney

One of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood things about America is what makes up free speech. Or what the first amendment grants you to do as a citizen of this country. The first amendment of the constitution that was ratified on December 15th, 1791 establishes the principles of Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition. Thus, one of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights.

It explicitly states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That provision protects your speech from the government. However, it has limitations. The amendment does not protect you from things such as incitement to riot, perjury, fighting words and threats, speech integral to criminal conduct, false advertising, or what you say within private company policy. It certainly does not protect you from how people react to what you say or consequences. If I walked into my job tomorrow and started spouting off racial slurs, I probably would immediately get fired. I can be free to think in any way I please, but I can’t hide behind the first amendment when there are consequences for what I said.

Actress and former MMA fighter Gina Carano who played Cara Dune on The Mandalorian was let go from her role by Disney on Wednesday night. Carano was not dismissed because she was tweeting or posting that the budget deficit was out of control, wanted to cut spending, or that she wanted limited government. Disney severed ties with her because of a history of social posts that were deemed transphobic, anti-mask, spreading election fraud theories, and contributing being conservative to being Jewish in Nazi Germany. There have been some that have applauded her for ‘sticking to her guns’ concerning her beliefs. To them, I would pose this question. If your beliefs contain being anti-science, anti-fact, mocking the use of pronouns, and anti-Semitic language, is that something to applaud? Are those things really something to champion?

No, there’s no leftist woke mob that is seeking to cancel people who don’t agree with them. Twitter is not actively shadow-banning or throttling your accounts because you believe that the $1.9 trillion proposed COVID-19 bill is too high or that you claim movies like Birds of Prey cater to the SJW crowd. If anything, platforms like Facebook and Twitter acted way too late to combat the racist harassment and disinformation farms that thrived in their systems for four years. It wasn’t because of some virtuous epiphany; it was because they didn’t want to be liable. They saw what an event like the one on January 6th can manifest into.

Over a month ago, an angry mob believing a lie that the election was stolen stormed the nation’s Capitol. “Stop The Steal!,'“ they said. An event that left five people dead and many injured. An amalgamation of this lie that was built up for months were chants of “Hang Mike Pence” on the U.S. Capitol lawn. Even as we go through an impeachment process where new evidence has been provided, 15 Republican senators decided not to show up. That’s even when people in their own party were put in danger.

So, let’s call it for what it is. It’s not that first amendment rights are getting attacked and people are getting silenced. It’s that there is a group of people who want to be free of decorum and fact. Who wants to join the wild west of disinformation and incendiary language because saying whatever is on your mind is met with some type of bravery mark. Spare us of this persecution complex because people have called you out justly on the hurtful and untrue beliefs that you choose to hold. For the sake of being edgy or a ‘free thinker.’

You use phrases as cancel culture to surmise that a crusade of people is coming to deplatform you because of your good ole’ Republican beliefs. When in reality, it’s accountability you fear. It’s the accountability that eliminates locker room talk, racist stereotypes in boardroom meetings, and stops a total assault on what people choose to identify themselves as. Ironically enough, it was Republican President Abraham Lincoln who once said; “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”.

Here’s a brief history lesson on where the lack of accountability can take a nation of people. In November 1923, the Munich Putsch happened in Germany. That was when the Nazi Party attempted to overthrow the German government. It was unsuccessful and a part of that failed coup was Adolf Hitler. He was arrested for treason and in prison, he wrote Mein Kampf which was full of lies and anti-Semitism blaming Germany’s problems on Jewish people and Social Democrats. When he got out of jail, he kept pushing those lies until the Nazi Party came into prominence. The Reichstag fire happened in 1933, and unfortunately, the rest is history. Six million Jewish people were systematically exterminated during the Holocaust. How you could fathom holding a belief to equate yourself to those atrocities when the ‘plight’ that you are going through is not being able to post on a social media network?

People have said things in their past that may have been hurtful or foolish in the past and have apologized for them. That’s not what I’m talking about here. When your beliefs and words come at the expense of people, that’s a problem. It’s not a discussion or a common ground you want. We can have that. You want to go back to a time when you didn’t notice the weight of the vile beliefs that you carry inside you. Speech is free, but things like hate come with a cost, and you don’t like that you now have to pay your share.