Last week at the Obama Foundation Summit, former President Barack Obama took a shot at cancel culture. He explained that cancel culture isn’t effective and nobody is going to get it right all of the time. He said, “this idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff...you should get over that quickly.”
“Canceled” is currently an ambiguous term. There is no consistent definition of what it is or what it implies. However, a general description of it could be when a collective group of people speaks out against someone's offensive or repeatedly offensive behavior.
While ambiguous, it is often used even in cases as simple as, “So-and-so is canceled just because they didn't text me back.”
The word canceled has a strong connotation to it, and honestly sounds really dramatic. We believe cancel culture is just a way for people to unite by condemning someone else's offensive behavior. For example, Gina Rodriguez from the television show “Jane the Virgin” was condemned for saying the N-word on social media. Last year, YouTuber Logan Paul was criticized for filming a body in Japan’s Suicide Forest.
Just because you're canceled once doesn't mean you can’t make a comeback. It isn’t a death sentence. For example, the Twitter famous Internet personality Brother Nature was canceled after some old tweets resurfaced from his childhood. He took full responsibility for them, changed his behavior and was overall forgiven by internet users.
Throughout his speech, Obama explained that “the world is messy; there are ambiguities.” He continued, “People who do really good stuff have flaws.”
As Hannah Montana once said, nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes. No one comes fresh out of the womb knowing everything, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't put an effort into correcting yourself and learning from your mistakes.
And we’re not the only ones talking about cancel culture. If you want to join a conversation about cancel culture, hop on the internet, talk with your friends, engage with the community such as the upcoming DaChats talk on cancel culture Thursday, November 7th in the CDI.