Justin Trudeau in Cancel Culture Drama, the Right Responded Poorly
Today, I want to talk about the recent drama surrounding Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several blackface and brownface photos of him from many years ago that have recently emerged. I think there are several dimensions to this drama.
Firstly, like all instances of Cancel Culture, I think what we should do is to encourage forgiveness. Like I said regarding Andrew Yang’s recent decision to publicly forgive a comedian who made a racial slur towards him, only to receive backlash himself, we may not be able to change culture all that much each time, but with each decision to forgive, we move the culture bit by bit towards a Forgiveness Culture and away from a Cancel Culture. The effects may not be apparent this month or this year, but if we make a concerted effort to bring back forgiveness, there will certainly be a noticeable effect several years down the track.
Secondly, I think the response from certain political observers is disappointing. I understand that a Canadian election is coming up, and supporters of each political party would naturally welcome news that puts their own party in some advantage. Therefore, it is unsurprising that conservative and hard-left people have been enjoying this drama quite a bit. However, if we are to move Western society away from Cancel Culture, which I think we definitely have to do, then we need to do it consistently. Otherwise, Cancel Culture will become normalized as a political tool against those on the opposite, and it will become a permanently entrenched part of the political culture. Therefore, people from across the political spectrum should refrain from using Cancel Culture to score political points. I know that the temptation is big, especially during election time, but please refrain for the sake of the future of Western civilization.
Finally, I believe the only way we can have a fighting chance to end Cancel Culture in the next few years would be to unite to push for forgiveness every time. Which is why I want to look at Dave Rubin’s response to this latest drama. Rubin correctly stated that what Trudeau did wasn’t that much of a big deal, because it was at a themed party, and there was clearly no racist intention. However, rather than to focus on calling for forgiveness, Rubin went on to discuss the issue of a double standard in Cancel Culture, where conservatives and Republicans have, in his view, been targeted more severely than Democrats. This is a view I don’t share: from my objective observations, people across the political spectrum are targeted just as harshly in Cancel Culture, and those on the left are particularly vulnerable because their own fanbase are more likely to participate in it, as seen in the recent drama surrounding LeftTuber ContraPoints. In this incident, the left-leaning media around the English speaking world have also been quite harsh on Trudeau in general. There may be some partisan left-wing individuals who apply Cancel Culture only to the right because they want to score political points, but by and large, Cancel Culture is generally applied indiscriminately to everyone. Furthermore, it is unhelpful to bring up partisan divides when talking about Cancel Culture, especially when we are in the middle of Cancel Culture drama, when the constructive response should be to unite to call for forgiveness.
Another thing is, if some on the left are unfair in their application of Cancel Culture, some on the right are also unfair in their response to it. For example, some conservative commentators would be the first to defend someone like President Trump or Judge Kavanaugh against the Cancel Culture mob, but they would remain silent if someone like Joe Biden were to receive the same treatment for a similar thing, as if Biden deserved it because he’s a Democrat. In this context, I worry that Rubin’s divisive comments would be used as a justification for this kind of differential treatment, almost as if in the name of a perverse form of affirmative action. As I said, if Cancel Culture becomes normalized as a political tool against those on the opposite, it will become a permanently entrenched part of the political culture, and the future of political discourse in the Western world will suffer for it. As such, I vow to equally call for forgiveness when Cancel Culture is being applied, regardless of the political affiliations of the people involved.
Originally published at taraellastylia.blogspot.com on September 20, 2019.
TaraElla is a singer-songwriter, independent journalist and author, who is passionate about free speech, liberty and equality. She is the author of the Moral Libertarian Horizon books, which focus on developing a moral case for freedom-based politics in the 21st century.