No, there is no such thing as cancel culture

Stephanie J. Jones

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

Question: What do "Widespread Voter Fraud," "Reverse Discrimination," and the "War on Christmas" have in common?

Answer: None of them actually exist. They are just a few examples of a growing list of mythical constructs intended to shift attention and accountability away from the very real problems of institutional racism, sexism, homophobia and religious bigotry.

Recently, another bogus term has been added to this lexical hall of shame: “cancel culture."

The term is relatively new, but it shares the same concept and purpose as the previously-coined terms. It’s another tool used to shut down honest discussion and reflection of societal problems, avoid accountability and project fault onto others rather than address real and systemic issues that our country can and must deal with.

Counterpoint:Opinion: No limit to how far cancel culture will go

The "cancel culture" trope has gotten a lot of mileage recently after it became publicly known that the publisher and family of the late children’s author Dr. Seuss quietly decided last year to stop publishing a few of his more obscure books that contained racist images.

Books by Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, including "On Beyond Zebra!" and "And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street," on March 2, 2021, in Chicago.

And as sure as day follows night – or as sure as backlash follows any attempt to confront the nation’s sordid history of racism – came the hysterical and generally foolish reactions, accompanied by cries of "CANCEL CULTURE!"

Right-wing politicians and commentators who never seem bothered by racism, only by reactions to it, practically knocked each other over scrambling to the nearest camera and grabbing their mobile phones to tell their audiences and supporters that THEY are being victimized because Dr. Seuss’ family decided not to publish a handful of books many of them had probably never heard of until last week. And, for good measure, they blamed it on President Biden, although he had absolutely nothing to do with the business decision made by a private company in collaboration with a late author’s heirs – aka the free market in action.

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