Jon Gabriel wrote an excellent column last Saturday in Arizona Central.
One normally only quotes some key bits with the intention of persuading readers to click on the link and read the whole thing at the original published location, but, Good God! the AzCentral page is so loaded with pop-up ads redirecting you elsewhither and, unaccountably, tosses you off the relevant page and on to later stuff with the touch sensitivity of (dry) Nitrogen Triiodide that I reluctantly came to the conclusion that this fine editorial has a very poor life expectancy and will very soon be completely inaccessible, so I’ve quoted the whole bloody thing.
Welcome to America, the land of the perpetually whiny and offended
Opinion: Instead of debating ideas, the left and right are demanding that anyone who annoys them be cast out of polite society.
Sarah Silverman has been canceled. A Hollywood director fired the progressive comedian because of a sketch she performed a dozen years ago.
â€œI recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part,â€ Silverman said on a recent podcast. â€œThen, at 11 p.m. the night before, they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode.â€
The Comedy Central sketch lampooned a well-intentioned liberal who stupidly wore blackface to better empathize with African Americans.
â€œI was doing an episode about race,â€ she explained. â€œIt was like, Iâ€™m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. Iâ€™m clearly liberal. That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism.â€
Silverman may have lost a movie role, but at least she still has a career. Not everyone targeted by the â€œcancel cultureâ€ has been so lucky. Just look at Roseanne Barr, who was fired from her TV show for a bad tweet.
No one is immune from the Cancel Culture
All comedians are watching their backs these days. Kevin Hart was fired as an Oscars host because of decade-old jokes, and Aziz Ansari spent a year in professional hiding after a date gone wrong got him lumped in with the #MeToo backlash.
Silverman now regrets the blackface skit but fears more fallout. â€œI think itâ€™s really scary and itâ€™s a very odd thing that itâ€™s invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it.â€
She didnâ€™t have to wait long for conservatives to join cancel culture.
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A trailer for upcoming film â€œThe Huntâ€ was released online and controversy followed. The horror film shows wealthy liberal elites hunting a ragtag group of red-state â€œdeplorablesâ€ before the backwoods heroes start fighting back.
Despite its portrayal of rural conservatives taking down villainous progressives, several right-wing media stars were outraged.
Even the president joined the backlash. â€œLiberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!â€ Trump said on Twitter. â€œThey like to call themselves â€˜Elite,â€™ but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite. The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.â€
The movie didnâ€™t seem to deal with race one way or the other, but the studio took the hint. Within a day, they pulled the film.
Cancel culture is spreading for one simple reason: it works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.
Way back in the mists of time, say five years ago, if you didnâ€™t like a TV show or movie, you wouldnâ€™t watch it. Now you can ensure that no one watches it, just by slinging some outrage on social media.
Our woke mentality is Americaâ€™s new Puritanism. Instead of a handy list of sins written thousands of years ago, modern sins are ever-changing. A joke that was deemed progressive a decade ago is retroactively condemned as hate speech.
â€œIf you say the wrong thing,â€ Silverman said, â€œeveryone is, like, throwing the first stone. Itâ€™s a perversion. Itâ€™s really, â€˜Look how righteous I am and now Iâ€™m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness.â€™ â€
When the mob has burned one witch, they tighten the buckles on their hats and pore through old YouTube videos for their next victim.
Itâ€™s time for the perpetually offended on the left and right to bring back two concepts the Puritans were at least familiar with: grace and forgiveness.