WHO TO LISTEN TO? The Case for #CancelCulture
Updated: Sep 4
Cancel Culture: A form of political activism in which people choose to boycott an individual, usually a public figure, who consistently seeks to inflame tension and division through their words, actions or behavior.
In the age of information overload, fake news, corruption and impunity, one phenomenon seems to cause significant disquiet among the "voiced class,” that is #CancelCulture.
Cancel culture emerged primarily in college campuses across the US where a new generation of students demanded that guest speakers be disinvited from speaking on campus due to their unwelcome views on controversial topics.
While some argue that college campuses should be the bastions of free speech, others feel that giving platform to controversial speakers only serves to stoke prejudice, polarization, and even hate speech.
As cancel culture spread from college campuses to mainstream politics primarily through heated debates on the role of the media, DjT leveraged the power of cancel culture to win against a battery of democratic contenders including the formidable HRC.
In hindsight, DjT used cancel culture techniques to win on the debate stage and the campaign trail. He used his powerful connections to silence women that claimed he had sexually assaulted them. He used name-calling to cancel the voice of his opponents.
Once in office he used cancel tactics to silence Congress, the FBI and even the Supreme Court on the issue of his personal taxes. Only recently did young people manage to deal a decisive blow on DnT’s ego by using cancel culture techniques to sabotage his campaign rally in Tuscon, Oklahoma.
This particular incident cemented cancel culture as perhaps the most lethal political weapon wielded by a generation of digital natives who are also more likely to be severely disenfranchised in the current political climate.
Cancel culture may have emerged as a distinctively American phenomenon, shaped in part by the American values of freedom of speech, however, as a digital phenomenon, Cancel culture is definitively an indispensable part of global politics.
While it may appear as a modern phenomenon, Cancel Culture stems from a historical precedent set by the French Libelles – posters which played a critical role in the French revolution by effectively canceling public figures particularly the Royal family.
Must be listened to at all times:
Maybe listened to when there’s time:
Might be listened to unintentionally
Not to be listened to at all cost
Challenging to listen to
Boring to listen to
Toxic to listen to
Informative to listen to
Wise to listen to
Foolish not to listen to
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If you please, inspire someone by sharing your responses on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #CancelMovementKE