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PaulS

Cancel Culture?

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I know political/societal opinions can be just as divisive as religious ones, but let's see if we can discuss this one fairly amicably.

The term 'cancel culture' is getting thrown around fairly freely in a disparaging way by those opposed to people protesting about the existence of memorials to those who may be considered "yesterday's heroes" to those who were either racist or at least indifferent to racism, but there is an element of it I thought we could discuss.

Is the removal of statues, memorials and other uses such as "naming rights", commemorating people who have played a major part in the historical  repression, segregation and overall discrimination of black people (and by that term I mean African Americans in the US as well as indigenous Australians here in Oz) something whose time has come and should be considered for removal?  

Whilst some of these historical figures mean something to many white people, they also mean something very dark and bad to black people.  In the interests of healing and bringing our people together more, is it time to shine a light on this issue and maybe rectify it?

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No.  “Cancel Culture” is a modern euphemism for bigotry.  It is an intolerance of those with different political, ideological or religious beliefs.

We should love each other and avoid flawed or emotionally leveraged actions which break us up into sub groups and pit us against each other.

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12 hours ago, PaulS said:

Whilst some of these historical figures mean something to many white people, they also mean something very dark and bad to black people.  In the interests of healing and bringing our people together more, is it time to shine a light on this issue and maybe rectify it?

"Cancel Culture" = people with too much time on ones hand. 🙂

History is history whether good or bad in peoples mind.  People are defacing and pulling down not only confederate statues but statues of Lincoln and Jefferson and Andrew Jackson and more. If we just take them all down , do you think the people will be happy? You can't please everybody. Some are offended by nativity scenes , some by politically incorrect words, some by personal prejudices. Seems to me it time we get over such mental constructs and allowing ourselves to be 'harmed' over such trivial matters and learn to love and get along with our differences and preserve history as history.

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11 hours ago, Burl said:

We should love each other and avoid flawed or emotionally leveraged actions which break us up into sub groups and pit us against each other.

Agreed, so should we try and discuss, like mature adults, what it may mean to people who wish certain elements of culture to be 'cancelled' or be addressed in a more balanced fashion e.g. memorials in the names of people who have typically caused harm to blacks in history?  If for instance the South had won the American civil war, then blacks may still be in slavery to this day.  So what does a statue commemorating General Lee for instance say to black Americans?  And what does it say to black Americans when white Americans argue that such monuments are essential?  

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7 hours ago, JosephM said:

"Cancel Culture" = people with too much time on ones hand. 🙂

History is history whether good or bad in peoples mind.  People are defacing and pulling down not only confederate statues but statues of Lincoln and Jefferson and Andrew Jackson and more. If we just take them all down , do you think the people will be happy? You can't please everybody. Some are offended by nativity scenes , some by politically incorrect words, some by personal prejudices. Seems to me it time we get over such mental constructs and allowing ourselves to be 'harmed' over such trivial matters and learn to love and get along with our differences and preserve history as history.

Putting aside the distraction of people who are just being vandals or who maybe are anarchists, and considering those who are trying to raise a legitimate grievance for discussion (I know that is happening in Australia presently without the violence and rioting/damage that the US seems to be suffering), I don't know if it is about simply taking 'them' all down but rather maturely addressing both sides of the story.  Here we have plaques, memorials and regions named after white colonialists who caused much harm to indigenous Australians, including murder and genocide.  I can see similarities when it comes to the historical oppression of black Americans, particularly  around slavery.  I think it is time that we, at the very least, accompany such monuments with the other side of the story too - the atrocities and cruelties that these 'heroes' inflicted on black people.  I think it is certainly worth the discussion.

 

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55 minutes ago, PaulS said:

Agreed, so should we try and discuss, like mature adults, what it may mean to people who wish certain elements of culture to be 'cancelled' or be addressed in a more balanced fashion e.g. memorials in the names of people who have typically caused harm to blacks in history?  If for instance the South had won the American civil war, then blacks may still be in slavery to this day.  So what does a statue commemorating General Lee for instance say to black Americans?  And what does it say to black Americans when white Americans argue that such monuments are essential?  

Black Americans do not have a homogenous opinion about anything.  Including monuments. 

 

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3 hours ago, Burl said:

Black Americans do not have a homogenous opinion about anything.  Including monuments. 

 

Nobody is saying that all black Americans hold such a view (hence why I questioned what it may mean to certain people).  I think even you would have to concede that many, i.e. a lot of black Americans, do hold this view, as has been made evident over the last several weeks of protests, interviews, and news articles.  So do you just ignore the issue because it's not a homogeneous opinion held by all black Americans, or do you discuss it because it is an issue for many?  I don't think ignoring it will make it go away.

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Posted (edited)

I understand the term cancel culture but actually don't use it. 

 

I think there is a difference between 'yesterday's heroes' and statues, memorials and the naming of places of importance for those who committed treason against the USA. 

Washington and Roosevelt were both great and flawed men but they both supported, promoted, fought for and were always for 'these United States' and the Constitution.

 

Not so Confederate generals and their President: by definition, they were against the union, these United States - fought against it and sought to destroy that union. 

They deserve no memorials in the union that they fought against and that defeated them (the were the losers). Many/most (the vast majority, SPLC)of those memorials were themselves 'cancel culture' built during Jim Crow segregation 1890-1950s. It is informative to read what Robert E Lee wrote about states. 

 

These statues do not reflect 'our heritage' - the heritage that is the USA................... the confederate 'heritage is gone and defeated. 

 

All such statues should be taken down (and placed in museums) from places of public honor, all forts should be renamed for heroes who fought for the United States and its Constitution in the Civil War or other wars for the union, for the United States of America.

 

History is written by the winners............and the Confederate states lost; they were the losers.

 

 

Edited by thormas

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6 hours ago, PaulS said:

Nobody is saying that all black Americans hold such a view (hence why I questioned what it may mean to certain people).  I think even you would have to concede that many, i.e. a lot of black Americans, do hold this view, as has been made evident over the last several weeks of protests, interviews, and news articles.  So do you just ignore the issue because it's not a homogeneous opinion held by all black Americans, or do you discuss it because it is an issue for many?  I don't think ignoring it will make it go away.

What do you think, Paul?  It’s your thread.

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Lucid comparison of the religious aspect of Cancel Culture.

 

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I do like fantasy.

 

The protestors and those who support them aren't deatroying 'their own culture' - they are removing statues and wanting to rename the remnants of a 'lost and defeated culture that committed treason in the name of slavery' that was imposed on the USA during the Jim Crow era - when the 'losers' yet again sought to ignore and do harm the the country, its citizens and the Constitution. 

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2 hours ago, thormas said:

I do like fantasy.

 

The protestors and those who support them aren't deatroying 'their own culture' - they are removing statues and wanting to rename the remnants of a 'lost and defeated culture that committed treason in the name of slavery' that was imposed on the USA during the Jim Crow era - when the 'losers' yet again sought to ignore and do harm the the country, its citizens and the Constitution. 

BS.  It’s vandalism and reveling in the joy of destruction.  Targets included statues of Lincoln, two abolitionists and “Lady Progress”, a tribute to women.

This is a mob, not protestors.  

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8 hours ago, Burl said:

What do you think, Paul?  It’s your thread.

I think it is a worthy discussion.  I certainly don't instantly dispel it because it's not a homogeneous view of all black Americans (not even sure where one draws the statistics to determine how many black people feel this way or not - I just see that a lot do). If there is significant concern being raised by black people that such monuments are a kick in the guts to them then I think as compassionate individuals, we should consider removing these tributes to white supremacy or providing the other view simultaneously.  If we need a monument to General Lee for instance, then alongside we should note that he was also fighting hard to cruelly keep black people oppressed as slaves.  Again, if the South had won, Lee would be directly responsible for the continuation of slavery - and that's a memorial some would say blacks should just deal with?

In my own corner of the world there is discussion amount renaming the area.  I live it what is called the Peel Region, named after a white colonialist, Sire Thomas Peel, who apart from pushing the indigenous people out of the land he was claiming for whites, he also committed acts of mass murder of the indigenous.  Today indigenous Australians say it is offensive to live in an area named after a perpetrator of mass murder against their people.  They have proposed renaming the area 'Bindjareb',which is what the original owners called the area.  I fully support such a change.  I think to do so shows compassion and recognition that the way their ancestors were treated was wrong.  It's just a respect thing really.

Don't get distracted by the anarchists and miscreants who do want to cause harm just for harm's sake - these people should be prosecuted for wanton vandalism of course, but I also see it as part of a greater problem that your President has contributed to .  There is more to this story and they (and your President) are detracting from the real message that people are crying out to have redressed.

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7 hours ago, Burl said:

Lucid comparison of the religious aspect of Cancel Culture.

This is not a lucid comparison at all.  This video is about the destruction of religious icons and religions by other cultures.  These acts are intended as harm and aggression toward those religions.

What I am talking about is the real life hero worship of actual people who for a large part of your society, were effectively evil.  Again, because it is the most succinct example, towns demonstrating the heroic General Lee are saying to black people - we don't care that he wanted to keep you enslaved!  For what reason other than white supremacy is their value in displaying memorials of General Lee?

It's wrong and society should be mature enough to consider redressing such in this modern and progressive age.  In my opinion.

Maybe this might help you understand a little better:

https://time.com/5849184/confederate-statues-removed/

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47 minutes ago, PaulS said:

This is not a lucid comparison at all.  This video is about the destruction of religious icons and religions by other cultures.  These acts are intended as harm and aggression toward those religions.

What I am talking about is the real life hero worship of actual people who for a large part of your society, were effectively evil.  Again, because it is the most succinct example, towns demonstrating the heroic General Lee are saying to black people - we don't care that he wanted to keep you enslaved!  For what reason other than white supremacy is their value in displaying memorials of General Lee?

It's wrong and society should be mature enough to consider redressing such in this modern and progressive age.  In my opinion.

Maybe this might help you understand a little better:

https://time.com/5849184/confederate-statues-removed/

The 1816 conflict was not about slavery at all.  It was about the perfectly legal secession of Southern states of the Republic who were being pressed to pay the banking debts of the Northern industrialists.  Slavery was practiced in Northern states.  New York had more slaves than the entirety of the South, and Lincoln was careful to keep Northern slavery legal in the Emancipation Proclamation.

There have been public announcements by the current mob that they intend to start vandalizing Christian churches.  They have proudly admitted being trained Marxists, and they are clearly Maoist and not Leninist.

Lee is considered a hero because he turned down Lincoln’s offer to lead the Union army as it would cause Him to war against his State of Virginia.

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2 hours ago, PaulS said:

This is not a lucid comparison at all.  This video is about the destruction of religious icons and religions by other cultures.  These acts are intended as harm and aggression toward those religions.

I think if you watch the entire video you will see it is applicable to what is happening today

 

2 hours ago, PaulS said:

What I am talking about is the real life hero worship of actual people who for a large part of your society, were effectively evil.  Again, because it is the most succinct example, towns demonstrating the heroic General Lee are saying to black people - we don't care that he wanted to keep you enslaved!  For what reason other than white supremacy is their value in displaying memorials of General Lee?

General Lee's statue is a part of history. Part of the evolution of our country and collective consciousness. There were no winners and losers of the Civil war in my view as Thomas seems to portray. There were differences and division in peoples thinking . Both sides lost and healing has been taking place ever since then. Of course some will today take offense at the statues but the majority of people have no problem with it and haven't for for over a hundred years. Statues, Nativity scenes, politically incorrect words, and other things seem to be bothering a minority of vocal people and they are demanding the majority comply. I think the video Burl presented says a lot about what is happening today and its not just about Christianity. The author may call it a new religion but it has no specific name and points to what seems applicable today with the riots, looting and statue destruction.

Some people may  just need to get over taking offence where none was intended.

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 There is mercy and there is justice and there is poetic justice. Here is an example of poetic justice  for a couple of inexperienced potential property destroyers and looters.

 

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By the Way,

According to a sociologist ..... (This could include pulling down statues and defacing them)

For one thing, looters and peaceful protesters aren’t typically the same people. Dana Fisher, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, has studied protests for 20 years, and she says it’s rare for peaceful protesters to start stealing and setting fires at random. People flock to the sites of protests with different motivations, and those who want peace tend to stay peaceful. “I’ve never seen somebody come in who’s peaceful and then it’s like, Hey, they just broke that window over there. I’m going to now start looting,” she told me.

.... from the Atlantic news

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

The 1816 conflict was not about slavery at all.  It was about the perfectly legal secession of Southern states of the Republic who were being pressed to pay the banking debts of the Northern industrialists.  Slavery was practiced in Northern states.  New York had more slaves than the entirety of the South, and Lincoln was careful to keep Northern slavery legal in the Emancipation Proclamation.

There have been public announcements by the current mob that they intend to start vandalizing Christian churches.  They have proudly admitted being trained Marxists, and they are clearly Maoist and not Leninist.

Lee is considered a hero because he turned down Lincoln’s offer to lead the Union army as it would cause Him to war against his State of Virginia.

So if the South had won, slavery would have ceased?  Of course not.

Who exactly is the 'current mob'?  Which state are you referring to?  Are you referring to every single individual that is protesting?

Putting people in boxes and groups like that serves no purpose in understanding the issues.  It is way too simple to lump violent anarchists in with peaceful protesters and lose understanding of the underlying issues in your society.

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1 hour ago, JosephM said:

I think if you watch the entire video you will see it is applicable to what is happening today

 

General Lee's statue is a part of history. Part of the evolution of our country and collective consciousness. There were no winners and losers of the Civil war in my view as Thomas seems to portray. There were differences and division in peoples thinking . Both sides lost and healing has been taking place ever since then. Of course some will today take offense at the statues but the majority of people have no problem with it and haven't for for over a hundred years. Statues, Nativity scenes, politically incorrect words, and other things seem to be bothering a minority of vocal people and they are demanding the majority comply. I think the video Burl presented says a lot about what is happening today and its not just about Christianity. The author may call it a new religion but it has no specific name and points to what seems applicable today with the riots, looting and statue destruction.

Some people may  just need to get over taking offence where none was intended.

No winners and losers?  I dare say black people were certainly the winners when the South was defeated, otherwise they most definitely would have remained in slavery for decades, if not centuries to come.

Yep, telling black people to get over any offence they may be caused by white supremacist memorials, seems like a productive solution to such concerns.  

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Can we just make it clear that I am not referring to looters and anarchists and those that just want to cause trouble.  It seems clear to me, a mere onlooker, that there is a legitimate movement within the African American community to put some balance into the equation concerning what American society idolizes and recognition of the much pain such has brought the black community.  There is a legitimate discussion to be had here but it seems the looters and violent protesters have distracted from genuine discussion.  I think the US will be poorer for it if it misses this opportunity to come together with a large element of the community.

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8 minutes ago, PaulS said:

So if the South had won, slavery would have ceased?  Of course not.

Who exactly is the 'current mob'?  Which state are you referring to?  Are you referring to every single individual that is protesting?

Putting people in boxes and groups like that serves no purpose in understanding the issues.  It is way too simple to lump violent anarchists in with peaceful protesters and lose understanding of the underlying issues in your society.

Slavery was universal in 1861.  It stopped only in the west; mostly because of Protestant Christian abolitionists.  Christianity and Western civilization uniquely stopped slavery, but some people think we started it.  

BLM is a registered corporation.   It is a Democratic party PAC.  They made their own box.

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

Slavery was universal in 1861.  It stopped only in the west; mostly because of Protestant Christian abolitionists.  Christianity and Western civilization uniquely stopped slavery, but some people think we started it.  

Actually, slavery was nowhere near universal in 1861:

1315 - Slavery was initially abolished in France but later found a resurgence (probably because so many other countries were taking advantage of it)

1803 -Denmark/Norway becomes the first country in Europe to ban the African slave trade.

1804 - Northern US states abolished slavery (your south hung on until it lost the civil war)

1807 - The British Parliament makes it illegal for British ships to transport slaves and for British colonies to import them.

1813 - Sweden, a nation that never authorized slave traffic, consents to ban the African slave trade.

and on and on we go until 1865 with numerous countries abolishing slavery until the whole of the US finally got around to it (no thanks to the South of course who were fighting to keep it in place - many of those southern slave owners were Christians too).

Christianity along with non-Christians in western civilization did indeed put an end to legal slavery.  Slavery clearly existed long before Christianity (e.g. the Israelites took and used slaves) - Christianity just continued with the practice for some time until eventually it became unacceptable to various societies.

Quote

BLM is a registered corporation.   It is a Democratic party PAC.  They made their own box.

Yes, but putting all protesters into the single BLM box is what I consider your error. It's like saying all Christians are identical, when clearly they're not (thankfully).

But in trying to keep the thread on track,  know that I'm not suggesting that the US or Australia currently support the historical poor treatment they have respectively metered out to black Americans and indigenous Australians, but rather that there are a significant number of these people that say today, that it is time to recognize that the historical significance of many of these historical figures, is actually antithetical to the human dignity of blacks and indigenous Australians.  I think myself that we can finally understand and recognize that to hold these people up in memorials/statues/naming rights etc is to continue to say to blacks and indigenous Australians - "we don't care that they were historically bad for you - just get over it".  

You are welcome to deny that such arguments exists, but I think you are missing out if you actually do think that is the case.  I think it is a valid point many black Americans and indigenous Australian's are making and I think it deserves discussion, not outright dismissal.  But each to their own.

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5 hours ago, JosephM said:

By the Way,

According to a sociologist ..... (This could include pulling down statues and defacing them)

For one thing, looters and peaceful protesters aren’t typically the same people. Dana Fisher, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, has studied protests for 20 years, and she says it’s rare for peaceful protesters to start stealing and setting fires at random. People flock to the sites of protests with different motivations, and those who want peace tend to stay peaceful. “I’ve never seen somebody come in who’s peaceful and then it’s like, Hey, they just broke that window over there. I’m going to now start looting,” she told me.

.... from the Atlantic news

I'm not sure one needs to study for 20 years to determine that peaceful protesters aren't the same as those who steal and set fires.  I kinda think those actions speak for themselves as not peaceful.

Unfortunately these people are taking away the from the discussion of what could be a great step forward for race relations in the US and the broader general healing of a nation.  Perhaps greater minds, like the military hierarchy who are recognizing it is time to change names of certain military bases, may be able to bring the discussion sensibly to the table for those who are prepared to participate.

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17 hours ago, Burl said:

BS.  It’s vandalism and reveling in the joy of destruction.  Targets included statues of Lincoln, two abolitionists and “Lady Progress”, a tribute to women.

This is a mob, not protestors.  

There are efforts to remove statues beyond the direct intervention of protestors but what is a statue compared to the the defeated heritage and support for slavery that has continued to give space to violence against black men and women (again when were this 'heritage' constructed?). Sometimes protestors, of necessity, go the extra mile. I'm sure the British didn't like our tea party but did it make the protestors a mob? was it a necessary step in their process? was it merely reveling in destruction or did the  destruction have a larger purpose? 

Are some over zealous? Are they human beings who are flawed and make mistakes? Yet, their instinct to remove the staues of a treasonous heritage that fought to continue to enslave human beings, statues that were put up in a Jim Crow era (unless you support that stuff) is on the mark. And it is inevitable: the day will come when all such statues are removed, when forts are named for those who fought for the union/the constitution and when the entire confederate movement will be looked on as a low point in US history and the history of the world.  

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