Cancel Culture

terp said:

College Student may lose acceptance to university due to pro Trump tik tok video

Editor’s note: After publication Tuesday, Pfefferle reached out to The College Fix and said that the school on Monday finally told her it would not revoke her admissions. 

did you read the entire article before you posted it?


Can you imagine any scenario where an incoming student would be questioned for a tik tok video in support of Biden?


terp said:

Can you imagine any scenario where an incoming student would be questioned for a tik tok video in support of Biden?

 we only know from this young woman's claim that she was questioned simply for a pro-Trump video.  Sounds like the school had some questions about whether she could get along with Dreamer classmates.  Which seems like a legit question to ask an incoming student.

But whatever happened, the school seemed satisfied with their discussion. 

So many of these claims of persecution are one person's own interpretation of why they were treated in a particular manner.  And many of them don't stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.  


I'll be interested to see what happens with Goya in the long term. Right now Trump supporters are indeed racing out to buy Goya products. Will that be sustainable? Or will alienating a large segment of their customer base prove to be of long term detriment to the company?

I suppose it depends on the collective memory of the Trumpists vs that of the people who find Robert Unanue's statement to be offensive.  Will a MAGA hat-wearing gun-loving angry old white man really use and replenish the yellow rice and red beans they bought? Or will they end up behind the bottle of Heinz ketchup in the cupboard? Time will tell.

I think there is a slight danger of cancel culture going off the rails in specific circumstances. But a public boycott of a company's products because of the remarks of its CEO is hardly suppression of free speech. Speech is free but has consequences. If I were to walk around SOMA with a t-shirt that says "All Lives Matter" on the front and "Trump 2020" on the back I would be within my rights. But I'd be stupid to wonder why nobody wanted to hang out with me. If someone knocked me over and tore the shirt off my rights would be violated. If I was a business owner and my picture was posted on social media and people decided to stop patronizing my business,  no rights were violated.


Good overview of the situation.  Perhaps you should set her straight ml1.


mrincredible said:

I'll be interested to see what happens with Goya in the long term. Right now Trump supporters are indeed racing out to buy Goya products. Will that be sustainable? Or will alienating a large segment of their customer base prove to be of long term detriment to the company?

I suppose it depends on the collective memory of the Trumpists vs that of the people who find Robert Unanue's statement to be offensive.  Will a MAGA hat-wearing gun-loving angry old white man really use and replenish the yellow rice and red beans they bought? Or will they end up behind the bottle of Heinz ketchup in the cupboard? Time will tell.

I think there is a slight danger of cancel culture going off the rails in specific circumstances. But a public boycott of a company's products because of the remarks of its CEO is hardly suppression of free speech. Speech is free but has consequences. If I were to walk around SOMA with a t-shirt that says "All Lives Matter" on the front and "Trump 2020" on the back I would be within my rights. But I'd be stupid to wonder why nobody wanted to hang out with me. If someone knocked me over and tore the shirt off my rights would be violated. If I was a business owner and my picture was posted on social media and people decided to stop patronizing my business,  no rights were violated.

 I doubt there will be enough of a boycott to hurt Goya's business.  


Good twitter thread from a parody account that illustrates the hysteria's mentality.


ml1 said:

 I doubt there will be enough of a boycott to hurt Goya's business.  

 You're saying it won't amount to a hill of beans?


terp said:

Good twitter thread from a parody account that illustrates the hysteria's mentality.

I’d call the mentality more sobering than hysterical, but I learn so much from it that I’m OK with not laughing all the time.


terp said:

Good twitter thread from a parody account that illustrates the hysteria's mentality.

 really?  

seems more like a parody account that mocks the idea that racism exists.


terp said:

Good overview of the situation.  Perhaps you should set her straight ml1.

Thoughtful, as far as it goes. Mind tagging Titanium McGrath?


terp said:

Good overview of the situation.  Perhaps you should set her straight ml1.

 why is it a good overview?  Because you agree with it?

Seems more like an unsubstantiated opinion. She's entitled to her opinion, but that doesn't make it objectively true.


ml1 said:

terp said:

Good twitter thread from a parody account that illustrates the hysteria's mentality.

 really?  

seems more like a parody account that mocks the idea that racism exists.

Those are actual articles that TM captured in that thread.  There are about 80 of them. 

But your reply is perfect.  "She is a racism denier!" 


terp said:

Those are actual articles that TM captured in that thread.  There are about 80 of them. 

But your reply is perfect.  "She is a racism denier!" 

 that wasn't my response.

She is taking headlines and reducing whatever is being discussed in the articles to single words to make the ideas seem absurd.  So yes, she's mocking the notion that there might be racism inherent in places where it may not have occurred to people.


 One of the points I make when someone says "politically correct" is that, in fact, the point is usually correct.

The term also reminds me of Mao's "correct thinking." 

Let's substitute "boycott" for "cancel culture" and move on. Boycott whatever TF you feel strongly about. This is America. We buy siht. We don't buy other siht. 

Best Sunday talk show line from Smerconish: "Hasn't been this big a stink about beans since Blazing Saddles."

Which brings me to the people who object to BLM with their All LM rejoinder. I wish it'd been BLMA (black lives matter also). That would've precluded the "clever" response.

And "defund the police?" Jesus, are we trying to sink a movement? Howzabout  "defang the police?"

Or maybe "demilitarize the police." But "defund?" Leads to the current Trump TV ad about calling 911 and getting a menu.

Words Matter!

OK, there. I've fixed everything.


terp said:

 What would you have changed?

 The first thing I would have flagged is the word "but" after BLACK LIVES MATTER. Even with inclusion of "also" that "but" contrasts the use of BLACK LIVES MATTER with EVERYONE'S LIFE MATTERS. It's exclusive. I also would have red flagged telling her family history in this email. Tone is all wrong, too. It reads more like, sure Black people needlessly suffer, but then again all minorities needlessly suffer. Why should Black folk single themselves out?

Personally, I would have scrapped the whole thing and drafted something totally different. The perspective on this email is completely out of touch, and while I personally wouldn't have fired her for this one email, we have no idea how many other comms she has sent out like this without consultation. 


terp said:

Can you imagine any scenario where an incoming student would be questioned for a tik tok video in support of Biden?

 Well I can't, but that's just me.  I also can't imagine any scenario where a video in support of Biden contained hatred, misogyny, or racism.  I can imagine plenty of such videos in support of Trump.  


terp said:

Basil would be surprised to know that his icon is a symbol of racism.

 Who, Major Gowen?


ml1 said:

terp said:

Those are actual articles that TM captured in that thread.  There are about 80 of them. 

But your reply is perfect.  "She is a racism denier!" 

 that wasn't my response.

She is taking headlines and reducing whatever is being discussed in the articles to single words to make the ideas seem absurd.  So yes, she's mocking the notion that there might be racism inherent in places where it may not have occurred to people.

The whole twitter thread (and for all I know the "parody" account) is based on the thesis that claims of racism are exaggerated - therefore ignore them.

I put "parody" in quotes, because good parody and satire doesn't "punch down" the way that account does.


nohero said:

The whole twitter thread (and for all I know the "parody" account) is based on the thesis that claims of racism are exaggerated - therefore ignore them.

I put "parody" in quotes, because good parody and satire doesn't "punch down" the way that account does.

 it's not really a parody at all.  The person writing it appears to be in earnest about what she thinks is exaggerated or made up claims of racism. To me, it's intellectually dishonest to summarize an entire issue in one word so you can ridicule it.  Just a quick perusal of the thread showed a few examples that seemed worthy of real discussion.  Like should Land O' Lakes have removed the Native American depiction on their packages, or kept it out of "tradition"?  Would seem to be more honest than just going "Butter is racist -- ha, ha, ha! Amirite?"

Or the choice by the Simpsons' producers to stop using an all white voice cast, even for non-white characters.  Seems like it's worth looking into their explanation instead of dismissing it as "Racist:  Cartoon characters."

And I'm not sure why this seems to trigger so many white people.  It's not as if language and customs aren't always evolving to avoid casual bigotry.  We didn't think it was absurd for Italian American people to ask if people stop referring to that shirt as a "guinea t" or for Jewish people to be offended when arson was called "Jewish lightning."  So why do people get all defensive, or decide to ridicule efforts to inform people about things that may have racist origins or etymologies?


Red_Barchetta said:

 Well I can't, but that's just me.  I also can't imagine any scenario where a video in support of Biden contained hatred, misogyny, or racism.  I can imagine plenty of such videos in support of Trump.  

 I think people's BS meters should be going off the charts regarding the young woman's retelling of that story.  The notion that a Catholic university would be thinking of rescinding her acceptance simply because she is saying she's a Trump 2020 supporter seems really dubious.  Given what's in her telling of the story, it wouldn't be surprising that she's made an awful lot of bigoted statements about immigrants.  But who knows?  All we know is her side of the story, which is almost certainly being related in a self-serving light.


and not for nothing, but if "offensive" speech is being quashed, why is there so much of it out there?


At the most general level, I find most debates around free speech to be pretty naive, as they confuse the idea of "I have a right to say what I want" with "I have a right to be free of the consequences for saying what I want." All actions have consequences, and to truly claim a right also means to take accountability. I believe voting is a right (philosophically anyway -- leaving aside the legal arguments over whether it's a right truly recognized in our constitution), but in exercising that right I cannot then as a citizen disclaim any responsibility for how I exercise that -- if I choose to participate or abstain, who I vote for, these are actions and I can, and should, be held to account for them.

With speech, we've made it a legally-enshrined agreement that the government should not be able to retaliate against you because of how you exercise that right. It's not absolute -- there's a lot of worthwhile debate when, for instance, claims to security clash with this -- but complaints about "cancel culture" aren't generally talking about these kinds of situations. Generally it's complaints about negative interactions online, or moderation by private communications platforms, or claims about employment being terminated or career rise adversely affected, or even just complaints about tone.

With regards to employment, I would have thought it obvious that making speech that makes it harder for your employer to do business is risky. If you try to organize a union, generally I personally am supportive of such speech, but can't empathize if you then claim shock and surprise that your employer reacts negatively. I'd advise anyone contemplating such speech to get on good terms with a labor lawyer and be prepared for a fight.

Similarly, if you start bad-mouthing your colleagues, you should expect a risk that this will cause issues. If you're a man and work at a place that employs or might in the future employ women, and you publicly make derogatory comments about women... well, what exactly did you think was going to happen? And extending this, it's generally not a great idea to, say, go on a rant about how everyone of such and such political persuasion is stupid and evil. How's that going to affect your ability to work with a coworker of that political persuasion?

Now on the flip side, I think workplaces are full of terrible managers. A good manager works with all of their employees to get them to effectively work as a team. If one of your reports makes an ill-advised public comment, jumping straight to "you're fired" is a pretty lazy reaction. And ignoring or downplaying the hurt and harm that ill-advised comment may have caused to other members of your team is also a lazy and cowardly reaction. And, depending on the context, both reactions are also possibly running legal risk. Of course, with all these stories we get in these debates, we're not privy to what the internal processes were, so we can't say for sure if a firing or disciplinary action has been a sign of bad management or gross naivete by the person disciplined.

More generally than just workplace, though, what strikes me about complaints around "cancel culture" is that they're often fairly one-sided. They're generally not complaining that people are being fired for talking up unions or for pushing for more diversity. Instead, most examples I've seen seem upset that racist and misogynist words are carrying negative social and professional consequences. The implied argument is that such talk should not carry such consequences, but rarely do the complainers come out and try to make an actual defense of racism o r misogyny; rather, they claim concern over free speech. But as I've noted above, I don't really think it's a free speech question at all. It's true that in the not so distant past, there were milder or no consequences for such talk. That's no longer as true. I personally am happy at this change.

Having said that, one place I do agree with critics of cancel culture is that I do think it can go too far. Specifically, I take issue with active attempts to uncover non-public speech and then use that against people. The internet has collapsed a lot of our ideas of public and private, and so in one sense almost nothing is "private" anymore. But I think this is a problem. It's one thing to call someone out for something they wrote on the company slack. It's another to out someone posting under an anonymous handle in a non-company platform. The latter I feel is invasive and malicious.


terp said:

Can you imagine any scenario where an incoming student would be questioned for a tik tok video in support of Biden?

 Yes. 

An incoming student at Liberty University would be more than just questioned. I am sure there are a number of Colleges and Universities who would not welcome a Biden supporter with open arms.


STANV said:

terp said:

Can you imagine any scenario where an incoming student would be questioned for a tik tok video in support of Biden?

 Yes. 

An incoming student at Liberty University would be more than just questioned.

Can you imagine a scenario where a Biden-supporting student would apply to Liberty?


PVW said:

At the most general level, I find most debates around free speech to be pretty naive, as they confuse the idea of "I have a right to say what I want" with "I have a right to be free of the consequences for saying what I want." All actions have consequences, and to truly claim a right also means to take accountability. I believe voting is a right (philosophically anyway -- leaving aside the legal arguments over whether it's a right truly recognized in our constitution), but in exercising that right I cannot then as a citizen disclaim any responsibility for how I exercise that -- if I choose to participate or abstain, who I vote for, these are actions and I can, and should, be held to account for them.

With speech, we've made it a legally-enshrined agreement that the government should not be able to retaliate against you because of how you exercise that right. It's not absolute -- there's a lot of worthwhile debate when, for instance, claims to security clash with this -- but complaints about "cancel culture" aren't generally talking about these kinds of situations. Generally it's complaints about negative interactions online, or moderation by private communications platforms, or claims about employment being terminated or career rise adversely affected, or even just complaints about tone.

With regards to employment, I would have thought it obvious that making speech that makes it harder for your employer to do business is risky. If you try to organize a union, generally I personally am supportive of such speech, but can't empathize if you then claim shock and surprise that your employer reacts negatively. I'd advise anyone contemplating such speech to get on good terms with a labor lawyer and be prepared for a fight.

Similarly, if you start bad-mouthing your colleagues, you should expect a risk that this will cause issues. If you're a man and work at a place that employs or might in the future employ women, and you publicly make derogatory comments about women... well, what exactly did you think was going to happen? And extending this, it's generally not a great idea to, say, go on a rant about how everyone of such and such political persuasion is stupid and evil. How's that going to affect your ability to work with a coworker of that political persuasion?

Now on the flip side, I think workplaces are full of terrible managers. A good manager works with all of their employees to get them to effectively work as a team. If one of your reports makes an ill-advised public comment, jumping straight to "you're fired" is a pretty lazy reaction. And ignoring or downplaying the hurt and harm that ill-advised comment may have caused to other members of your team is also a lazy and cowardly reaction. And, depending on the context, both reactions are also possibly running legal risk. Of course, with all these stories we get in these debates, we're not privy to what the internal processes were, so we can't say for sure if a firing or disciplinary action has been a sign of bad management or gross naivete by the person disciplined.

More generally than just workplace, though, what strikes me about complaints around "cancel culture" is that they're often fairly one-sided. They're generally not complaining that people are being fired for talking up unions or for pushing for more diversity. Instead, most examples I've seen seem upset that racist and misogynist words are carrying negative social and professional consequences. The implied argument is that such talk should not carry such consequences, but rarely do the complainers come out and try to make an actual defense of racism o r misogyny; rather, they claim concern over free speech. But as I've noted above, I don't really think it's a free speech question at all. It's true that in the not so distant past, there were milder or no consequences for such talk. That's no longer as true. I personally am happy at this change.

Having said that, one place I do agree with critics of cancel culture is that I do think it can go too far. Specifically, I take issue with active attempts to uncover non-public speech and then use that against people. The internet has collapsed a lot of our ideas of public and private, and so in one sense almost nothing is "private" anymore. But I think this is a problem. It's one thing to call someone out for something they wrote on the company slack. It's another to out someone posting under an anonymous handle in a non-company platform. The latter I feel is invasive and malicious.

 I don't know anyone who's in favor of that sort of bullying or doxxing that goes on online.  And fwiw, that isn't strictly the work of leftist "SJWs" either.  There are a lot of right wing online bullies who do that sort of thing.  It's one of the really terrible aspects of online culture, and it's not isolated to one side of the political spectrum.


STANV said:

 Yes. 

An incoming student at Liberty University would be more than just questioned. I am sure there are a number of Colleges and Universities who would not welcome a Biden supporter with open arms.

 as I stated above, we only have this student's word that the university objected solely to her Trump support.  I for one don't believe that's the beginning and the end of the story.

And I don't think Liberty would rescind an offer to someone they found out is voting for Biden either.  It's really preposterous that either would happen, and a person has to be pretty credulous to swallow that story without question.


DaveSchmidt said:

STANV said:

terp said:

Can you imagine any scenario where an incoming student would be questioned for a tik tok video in support of Biden?

 Yes. 

An incoming student at Liberty University would be more than just questioned.

Can you imagine a scenario where a Biden-supporting student would apply to Liberty?

 Sure. I don't think it's fair to assume that someone can't be both an Evangelical Christian and a Biden supporter. Rarer these days than in the past, what with partisanship increasingly shaping identity, but not beyond imagining.


PVW said:

 Sure. I don't think it's fair to assume that someone can't be both an Evangelical Christian and a Biden supporter. Rarer these days than in the past, what with partisanship increasingly shaping identity, but not beyond imagining.

I had in mind the administration and culture of that particular Evangelical Christian university, but my imagination does have its flaws.


ml1 said:

terp said:

Those are actual articles that TM captured in that thread.  There are about 80 of them. 

But your reply is perfect.  "She is a racism denier!" 

 that wasn't my response.

She is taking headlines and reducing whatever is being discussed in the articles to single words to make the ideas seem absurd.  So yes, she's mocking the notion that there might be racism inherent in places where it may not have occurred to people.

 Care to explain how PB&J is racist?


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