Ken White: ‘Our Fundamental Right to Shame and Shun The New York Times’

Ken White, writing for The Popehat Report:

I’m going to offer a working definition for the purposes of this essay: “cancel culture” is when speech is met with a response that, in my opinion, is very disproportionate. Perhaps that sounds cynical, and I could certainly give you a Justice-Breyer-seven-factor balancing test, but that’s what this discussion boils down to: just as we constantly debate norms of what speech is socially acceptable, we debate norms about what responses to speech are socially acceptable. […]

Why should we care about having a serious discussion about defining cancel culture? We should because simply complaining about it in the abstract, without attempts to define it, without actionable responses, and without taking the rights of “cancellers” doesn’t ease the culture war. It inflames it.

I loved this entire piece, but the above encapsulates my thinking on the term “cancel culture” perfectly.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022