Ignorant Woke Culture vs Intelligent Woke Culture

How to handle bigotry?

That is a question that has led and still leads to a lot of debate within progressive circles everywhere. Some defend that the correct thing to do is to prevent bigots from having an audience – and with that prevent them from harming people and spreading their bigotry. Others defend a more peaceful approach – namely talking with them and trying to show them that they are being harmful.

Being such a controversial matter, with such polar opposite views, many people pick a side without knowing much about the other one. So, let’s talk a bit about that.

Canceling and deplatforming

The name “Cancel Culture” arose as a way to describe this strategy of pushing away bigots of any kind, from the radical conservatives with ties to the Ku Klux Klan to the average Joe with a bad taste for jokes. And it has its degree of effectiveness: this kind of boycott led to demonetization, brands pulling out their investments, and even successful lawsuits. To handle the big guys of conservative circles, however, it is a tad less effective – for them, being canceled is a sign of success.

Still, does this actually solve anything? Doing this, they aren’t actually solving the problem of bigotry. People aren’t becoming less bigots – it’s just that people become more afraid of publicly displaying their bigotry because of it. This kind of suppression tends to create a “time bomb”, meaning that sooner or later this matter is going to explode. Some even say that it already did – that QAnon and the rise of neo-Nazi groups in the US are a consequence of that.

Talking and convincing

In order to really solve the problem of bigotry, we need to make people become less bigot. We need to reach out to them and understand why they think the way they do and try to show them how that is harmful to them and to others. We need to show them the humanity within the people they hate, and how their hate is actually turning them into worse people, even though they consider their opinions to be justified.

While this clearly would be much more effective – as it goes into the root of the problem – it is easier said than done. Even though, thanks to the internet and mobile applications, we can talk with pretty much anyone we want, some people don’t really want to be talked to. Many people just aren’t willing to listen to the people telling them that they are wrong, no matter how nice they are. Some may even become hostile if you try. Not to mention that currently there is an entire culture and industry surrounding bigotry – radical conservative influencers, neo-Nazi groups, and close-knit Confederacy-sympathizing groups, families and even small towns. The resistance to change is enormous.

Which side is the correct one?

The debate is still open. As you can see, both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages.

Both sides of the matter tend to advocate for a single approach: either going full Cancel Culture on everyone, or trying to reach out to everyone. This seems to be counter-productive: some people are more prone to be convinced than others, and some are more prone to harming people than others. Both groups try to apply the methods they deem correct to the people who are within their reach, which can sometimes lead to weird situations, such as a mob going after someone who made an awful racist joke twenty years ago while progressive Democrat congressman tries to negotiate with radical fundamentalist Republicans. You May Also Like: Historical Spy Cameras

Maybe a wiser approach would be to realize that some people are more approachable than others and there is no such thing as a best solution for any single problem, especially one involving humans. You can’t convince everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t convince anyone. Maybe this way it will be easier to defuse that time bomb.

Deplatforming Cancel Culture’s Effect on Human Rights

Cancel Culture is Everywhere.

Don’t kid yourself, there are “cancelers” all across the political spectrum.

Cancel Culture is the negation of debate. Its objective is to prevent debates by preventing other opinions from being spoken or taken seriously. Conservatives do this when they claim their adversaries are “communists”, liberals do this when they claim their adversaries are “fascists”, and even centrists do this by claiming the others are “extremists”.

Still, dealing with Cancel Culture is much more difficult than it looks like. Let’s think about it for a bit.

How Cancel Culture works

Cancel Culture is different from full blown censorship in that it is not run by the government. The main force behind it are groups of people acting in such a way as to prevent other people from being heard in some way. They normally act this way when someone makes something they consider outrageous, such as making a racist or homophobic remark, taking a pro-transgender stance, or refusing to take a stance in a controversial matter.

This commonly takes the form of “deplatforming”, that is, depriving someone of the means to be heard by large groups of people, such as by preventing speeches and lectures and banning them from social media. This is something that arises from societal pressure, in the form of physical and digital protests, calls for boycott, and maybe even lawsuit threats. It is something very spontaneous and very explosive.

Enforcing Free Speech?

So, how do we deal with that? Can we enforce free speech?

Say, if a university bans someone from giving talks within its campus, should the government intervene to lift the ban?

You see, universities need to have autonomy. This autonomy is what makes them scientifically trustworthy: it means that what they do isn’t influenced by financial or political interests. Political interventions could damage that. Also, should a university really be prevented from banning any speaker? Should they allow notorious scientific fraudsters to give lectures, for example? That is something that could also damage their reputation.

What about private companies? If they choose to endorse Pride Month, should they be forced to endorse “Straight Month” or something? If they make a conference, should they be forced to invite speakers from the entire political spectrum? A private company, being the property of an individual or group of people, should have the right to do what it wants, as it is part of their right for economic freedom. Trying to enforce free speech this way would get in the way of their freedom of action.

What about the “cancelers”? If someone is involved in a canceling campaign, should they be prevented from having a platform? Should the cancelers be canceled? While that seems justified, it is also a tad hypocritical, as it means suppressing freedom of speech. Canceling isn’t even considered a crime to warrant a punishment. As weird it may sound, advocating for deplatforming someone is exercising one’s right to free speech. While people shouldn’t be prevented from speaking, is it right to prevent those who want others to be prevented from speaking?

Is there a way to enforce free speech without damaging other freedoms? Or even without damaging freedom of speech itself?

The Need For a Debate Culture

As always, in order to solve a problem, you’ve got to go for its root. Cancel Culture is basically a consequence of another problem: that people don’t want to hear each other. People everywhere have been isolating more and more in their groupthink bubbles, creating hostile views of other groups. To get rid of Cancel Culture altogether, it needs to be replaced with a Debate Culture. You May Also Like: Jailbreaking VS Rooting

Still, it’s easier said than done. It means taking the effort to understand all sides and make them understand each other. It means challenging your own views about everything and opening yourself up to new ideas. It is something that can be very uncomfortable, and not everyone may be up to it. The internet is a great place to do that, considering you may find many platforms and even create your own if you so need. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

This is the kind of matter in which we need to change ourselves and then change others. There doesn’t really seem to be an easy solution. However, things need to change soon, as all of this polarization can easily spiral out of control and have devastating consequences.