Written by: Nyla Nasir
Date: February 2021
Cancel culture has arisen in recent years as a response to the general public using social media activism to hold public figures accountable and change the implicit biases inherent in society. Some say that this canceling of people is a step too far, that we scrutinize these public figures to a higher standard than we do ordinary people. However, regardless of social status, everyone faces the same accountability. Cancel culture has gained a negative connotation, however, it should not. People assume that by canceling an individual over something they said, their life is ruined, however, it very rarely goes to that extreme. Many would argue that cancel culture doesn’t actually hold people accountable. Regardless of what side of the debate you’re on, everyone can agree on one thing; cancel culture is a powerful tool when utilized correctly.
Donald Trump has been a person of controversy since he took office in 2016. For a man who’s tried to cancel numerous businesses and people over the years due to disagreements with his comments or business; then contradicting himself in a 2020 address at Mount Rushmore condemning cancel culture; Donald Trump is now the subject of a cancel movement.
Over his recent instigation of the Capitol Hill Riots, Trump’s cancellation runs deeper than a Facebook group boycotting his hotels and more than just his impeachment trials. The former billionaire President has been banned from Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook, banks have stated they will no longer loan money to him, and the PGA has canceled their 2022 tournament which was to take place at Trump’s New Jersey golf course. This cancel movement is bigger than we normally see for not only is Trump the target, but his devotees as well. The social media app, Parler, on where many Trump followers communicate, has been banned by all major app stores. Numerous companies have declared they will no longer give campaign donations to politicians who questioned the legitimacy of the vote.
However, his son, Eric Trump isn’t worried,
“You have a man who would get followed to the ends of the Earth by a hundred million Americans,"
The fact of the matter is, he’s completely right. This is a prime example of how cancel culture doesn't deserve all the stigmatization it has; it doesn’t often actually take away the power of immoral individuals. Yes, Trump may have faced backlash, but with a net worth in the billions, it’s all child’s play to him. After all, he has been acquitted in two impeachment trials.
The utilization of cancel culture after Trump’s part in the recent riots was necessary and should have been pursued further in order to prevent similar situations in the future. A prominent argument opposing cancel culture is the fact that comments were not considered hateful at the time they were spoken. However, regardless of if a person made a statement when it was deemed socially acceptable, as our society progresses towards equality and peace, people who still harbor the ideals of time past must be removed from their position of power, otherwise, it will take that much longer to reach a global Garden of Eden.