Cancel culture is something of controversy on social media. There are people who say it is bad and others who firmly stand by the power behind cancelling people or organisations. For context, cancel culture simply means to not engage with a person/organisation because of their thoughts on certain topics or their actions. For example, after many watched the “surviving R.Kelly” documentary, the singer was cancelled. Personally, I blocked him on my Spotify. It can be a matter of personal ethics and not standing for anything that goes against what you believe in. Of course, there are people who just do it because everyone on Twitter is doing it. I’m not really speaking of this second set of people.
On social media it is easy to cancel people, after all, these are not people we know, have daily face to face interactions with or even share blood. They are often not our brothers and sisters or cousins. Immediately we see allegations or proof that a person is toxic or hold toxic views that hurt other people, we move to cancel them. But can we cancel our own family members? What happens when your siblings, parents and relatives hold toxic views? What happens when they are abusive, xenophobic, or rape apologists? #Sigh.
I started thinking about this when one of my friends told me her brother was a rape apologist. She said that anytime there is a rape allegation on twitter, he immediately pivots to “Rape is bad but why was she there, and what was she wearing… etc.” Because of this, she said her relationship with her brother has deteriorated rapidly and that although he has been a good brother to her, these days she is unable to see past the rape apologist side of him, so what can she do? Between us we agreed that she should avoid heated arguments with him and instead look for other ways to educate him on why his views are hurtful and perpetuate rape culture. And what if after all the educative conversations he doesn’t learn or change? What do you do with your family member who holds toxic views? How do you cancel them?
The experience also made me see how because it was a friend’s brother, we were quick to be more merciful about cancelling him, we wanted to talk and educate him. So, why don’t we do this for the strangers we cancel daily on social media? Why don’t we give people a chance to change? Should we also be merciful to the toxic people we encounter on social media? Give time for conversations/education before cancelling them? And how effective is cancel culture anyway?
Tell us what you think in the comment section.