The Issue with Cancel Culture
It seems like every day I wake up to a new person trending on Twitter because of a new unforgivable crime they've committed. Granted, most of the time these crimes are based on a select group of people being offended by a choice this person made 10 years ago, and one hashtag from a person with 100k followers sends the world ablaze. But don't get me wrong, I do believe that there is a list of unforgivable offenses that people can commit at any given time in their lives that will come back to bite them in the butt and there's nothing that can save them. However, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the little things that can easily be explained or forgiven. Now I understand everyone has their limits and it's not my place to say what people should be offended or upset by. But I do know this: there never seems to be any room for a person to grow and change.
When we ask someone to apologize for something inappropriate that he or she said or did, I've noticed it's never enough. So what is it that we're looking for? Once an apology is said, it's considered disingenuous; if actions are taken, it's only for publicity; if nothing is said, the person is a coward. When we call people out on their missteps and wrongdoings there is never a resolution in sight... there is only the immediate reaction of anger. There is also never an opportunity to educate and correct, there's only condemnation and ridicule.
You all know me at this point and know that I integrate my faith into a majority of the things I say and do. I'm not perfect and God clearly is not done with me yet, but one word I've learned in my life is: grace. We show grace to people because it's the right thing to do. We show grace because when someone is given a second chance they are able to make a change for the better. We show grace because, well, we would want someone to show it to us.
Now I'm not saying that canceling someone isn't justified, but I'm always alarmed at how quickly we aren't willing to give people a chance to right their wrongs. It almost feels as though people choose to cancel for the act alone without considering the context of the situations. It's one thing to deduce that someone who has been deemed a sexual predator shouldn't be allowed to work in Hollywood again, but does someone's tweets from 10 years ago deserve the same punishment? Does their career and reputation truly deserve to be over based on some past ignorant mistakes?
Another question I must ask is: is cancel culture really effective? If there's no opportunity for the perpetrator to fix his or her behavior, then what's the point? If they've acknowledged their actions, shown remorse and apologized, then what is the goal behind canceling them? We also seem to never look at a person's history to see if it's a pattern or just a really bad mishap. I'm not defending anyone but I'm simply saying, they who are not without sin should cast the first stone. But until then, maybe we should figure out how to cast a little grace instead.
Malynda Hale is a recording artist, actress, business owner and activist. With her roots in music and theatre, Malynda has always been connected to the arts. The singer/songwriter uses both her music and involvement in social justice issues to start important conversations. Her passion for using her voice to effect change on multiple platforms social justice, female empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, veganism, and the Black Lives Matter movement is how #WeNeedToTalk came to be.