Further Discussion, Let's get into It

Cancel Culture is Cancelled

Here’s how the story usually goes. Someone (usually a celebrity) says something racist, bigoted, sexist, or problematic and ends up offending a certain demographic or group of people. Cancel culture takes place and a bloodthirsty mob descends like a plague of locusts to drag, humiliate, and disown the person. Sure, some folks got us fucked up (Roseanne, any one who works for Trump, and our one time hero Kanye West). But are we really jettisoning these people into the sun without further analysis and introspection? Exile them forever for a shortsighted statement?

The problem with cancel culture

Cancel culture perpetuates the idea that one uneducated or wrong opinion invalidates ones entire existence. It assumes that any other contributions you may have are now negated forever.

But there is a huge problem with that method of thinking. If someone does something wrong, and we don’t have a conversation about what they said or why they did something, we are losing an opportunity to educate and potentially improve that person’s viewpoint. And even improve our own. If a racist or sexist person says some outlandish shit and we just cancel them without trying to engage with them, they aren’t learning anything and we’ve likely lost an opportunity to change their minds. Don’t believe us?

Basketball player Kyle Korver is a brilliant example of this. The Utah Jazz guard recently wrote an article for The Player’s Tribune called “Privileged”. Korver’s article has gone viral for stating that white members of society need to have more empathy and should better better allies for people of color. He did a wonderful job of unpacking his white privilege and coming to grips with the fact that his black friends and co-workers are treated differently and thus differently in the same society.

One of the main examples that he exhibited was an interaction that he had with  teammate Thabo Sefolosha after he was arrested and beaten by the police at a club outing:

Anyway — on the morning I found out that Thabo had been arrested, want to know what my first thought was? About my friend and teammate? My first thought was: What was Thabo doing out at a club on a back-to-back??

Yeah. Not, How’s he doing? Not, What happened during the arrest?? Not, Something seems off with this story. Nothing like that. Before I knew the full story, and before I’d even had the chance to talk to Thabo….. I sort of blamed Thabo.

I thought, Well, if I’d been in Thabo’s shoes, out at a club late at night, the police wouldn’t have arrested me. Not unless I was doing something wrong.”

Kyle korver
Kyle Korver and teammate Donovan Mitchell

CANCELLED.

By all internet standards, Kyle Korver should have been cancelled by his teammates right then. But if we cancelled his for his ignorant and unwoke words, he probably would not have learned, and would not have reached greater consciousness by diving into these attitudes with his friends and teammates.

How can I — as a white man, part of this systemic problem — become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country?

kyle korver

Cancel Culture and the Criminal Justice System

For us cancel culture is too similar to the criminal justice system. When we throw men and women in jail (often for minor infractions) aren’t we essentially cancelling them?

Often, there is no rehabilitation. When people come out, more often than not, they are worse off then when they went in.

We are giving up on these people and essentially saying, “Hey, you fucked up and we just aren’t going to deal with you any longer. We aren’t going to devote time or energy to you“. Now, prison is prison, but out here we should be trying to educate each other and live together, right? In a nutshell, you’ve given up on that person and you aren’t even going to try to help or rehabilitate them.

We’re all for boycotting for the right causes and not supporting people that are a blight on our society…But to cancel someone completely, to say that they no longer matter as a human being? We don’t know if we’re with that. Let’s draw a line between folks who have committed actual crimes and atrocities, and peers or celebrities who may commit what we deem as problematic infractions. It just devolves turns into bullying and shaming people.

Let he who is without sin, bust the first shots”.

Jesus

Remember Civility? People treat each other like trash for having differences of opinion instead of engaging in discussion and trying to find common ground or educate each other. If anything, we should be cancelling social media.

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Further Discussion, Let's get into It

Cancel Everything

    Recently, celebrities like R. Kelly and Michael Jackson (RIP) have come into the spotlight because of allegations of child molestation. These conversations have prompted people to stop playing their music. Some companies and media outlets have taken themselves out of the conversation by removing their content altogether. With all the recent conversations about not supporting problematic figures, we want to see what people think. Our question is:

Is it ok appreciate the art or contributions of allegedly or convicted ‘problematic’ artists?

The list of pop-culture icons who have been accused is becoming endless. These people were basically considered gods in their respective fields:

Bill Cosby (Convicted of rape)

Woody Allen (Alleged pedophelia and staurtory rape of his daughter)

Michael Jackson (Alleged molestation of children)

Harvey Weinstein (On trial for sexual assault)

For the sake of argument, considering those that have been accused and are alleged troublemakers, if we assume all of the allegations are true, (we have our doubts about MJ specifically) do we stop consuming the contributions these people have made to art and popular culture? Considering the issues with mass-shootings and white nationalism, the timing of these topics and coverage by the media seems odd at best.

Your President denies collusion with a foreign power and also denies the rise of white nationalism despite all evidence to the contrary. Black people are shot down like animals in the streets on what seems like a regular basis. The media barely shines a light on the subject and then the next week it’s on to the new Kardashian love triangle. It all seems like a distraction, but we digress.

So, if we are cancelling the contribution for one artist in a medium, why aren’t we doing this for every problematic contributor across the spectrum? These are the questions that we want people to discuss.

Also, as black men, we want to let you know that we see things differently. Listen, we aren’t defending the acts of any criminals but one of the main questions that we have about people ‘cancelling’ these men is, why is the media taking the microscope to black artists and not anyone who has ever committed an alleged atrocity?

Where are the crusades against the catalog’s of Elvis Presley, Woody Allen, and David Bowie for their supposed actions? It’s seems to us that acts by white artists or counterparts are not held to the same standards or scrutiny.  If you do that for one you have to do that for everybody, right? Our point is if you want to get self-righteous and indigent for one artists issues, keep that same energy when they come for your Elvis collection.

Additionally, is this how we want to live? The sad thing is, if you look closely enough at anyone they probably have some dark secrets. That goes double for artists and politicians now in today’s digital age.

Again, our point is this, let’s not be hypocrites. Let’s dive in a little bit more to give you a few examples of problematic shit that has gone untouched by the media for years:

Our “Founding Fathers” — On our legal U.S. Tender we celebrate the pictures of U.S. heroes who were also oppressors. Think about that. We have Slave owners on our currency.

Catholic Church — These sickos are caught in controversy after controversy, year after year involving abuse against underaged boys. But sure, your scheduled vacation to Rome to see the Vatican ain’t sus. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

National Anthem The anthem that we are told to stand for and support was written for Americans before slavery ended and even had a verse at the time that referenced slavery directly.

Don’t let us get started on tech companies like Apple and Facebook selling your data. And apparel companies like Nike that employ problematic labor practices.

To get you thinking about how life is affected when we start removing art from our lives, we’ve created a playlist of artists who people say you shouldn’t listen to because of the alleged crimes they have committed.

Problematic Playlist

Join us in a couple weeks when we dive into this a bit more and tackle a related topic… Cancel Culture.

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