A recent opinion column argued that “cancel culture doesn’t exist.” In the article, the author cites convenient examples such as congresswoman Marjorie Tayler Greene and actress Gina Carano.
What was left out was examples like Grant Napear, an announcer for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings who was fired for saying “all lives matter.” Editor and writer Bari Weiss was harassed and forced out of the New York Times for encouraging diversity of opinion on their editorial page. Harald Uhlig, a professor at the University of Chicago and the head of the Journal of Political Economy, was placed on leave from the journal after suggesting that better police training would be more effective than defunding the police in achieving reform.
Does the theory that “I’ve never seen someone ‘canceled’ that didn’t do or say something horrible” still hold true? While there are indeed instances of people exhibiting egregious conduct and facing appropriate consequences, there are countless victims of disproportionate punishments for mainstream beliefs.
More importantly, cancel culture has never been about societal views surrounding a person. Of course we as individuals are allowed to like or dislike a person based on the views they express. The question should be: “Should someone lose their job and their livelihood because they expressed an opinion I disagree with?” In a free society, the answer should be an unequivocal no.
Of course, as the article claims, “actions have consequences.” But should those consequences be reasoned disagreement and dislike or stripping someone of their ability to feed their family?
—The Executive Board of the College Republicans at IU