Scott Tibbs

Cancel culture should be SuperRare

By Scott Tibbs, February 16, 2022

It is easy for conservatives to be satisfied when someone from the "cancel culture" mob is themselves tangled up by their past words or actions. It is one thing to hold news media personalities, celebrities and politicians to their own standard, but do we really want to spread the net so wide that we cheer when every Leftist who expresses support for "cancel culture" suffers professional consequences? Do we want to expand that to the population at large?

I understand the arguments for supporting "cancellation" of even private citizens: By making "cancel culture" apply to everyone, we will be able to defeat it though "mutually assured destruction." But apart from the schadenfreude of watching someone be condemned by their own "standard," it has not worked. If anything, support for "cancel culture" on the Left is now stronger than it has ever been, and the examples of Leftists getting "canceled" - whether celebrities or private citizens - has not served as a deterrent. The cancelers never think that they will be the next one canceled.

This does not mean we cannot point out hypocrisy, but "mutual assured destruction" is not the best way forward. It has only made our politics more bitter and divisive. It encourages retaliatory strikes, and we are in a downward spiral. What we need to do is re-establish the principles of classical liberalism and a culture of free speech, seeking to convert as many people as possible to the correct way of thinking about free speech.

With this in mind, Here is my open letter to SuperRare.

You recently terminated an employee who you claimed used "offensive and racist language" back in 2012. In case you did not know (though I am sure that someone has informed you of the facts) this employee was quoting rap lyrics. Now, I do not approve of using racial slurs. But as you know, there is a big difference between someone berating a Black person by hurling racial slurs at him and someone quoting a Black musician's lyrics. You show extreme disrespect for Blacks who have been targets of racial harassment by lumping both things together, and you owe those people an apology.

What exactly is the standard for offensive language? Will only quoting lyrics on social media be grounds for termination of employment, or will you terminate employees who listen to music with offensive lyrics in their own automobile and not on company property? After all, some people could find this language just as "hurtful" when coming from someone's car speakers as from that person's Twitter account. One could even argue that playing the music in public is much worse than quoting it on social media. Someone can avoid reading your employees' social media accounts, but if they are within earshot of that person's automobile they could be subjected to that same offensive language without their consent.

How can any of your employees trust you now? Because let's be brutally honest: Every single person on Planet Earth has used offensive language at some point in the past, including people in your Human Resources department. Will all of your employees now be looking over their shoulder in case something they said a decade ago is going to come back and haunt them?

The proper thing to do would have been to speak to the employee privately, tell her that language is not appropriate, and then publicly tell the jackals demanding her termination that you will not be punishing employees for stupid things they said ten years ago. You could have stood up for your employees, but you instead cowered before the mob demanding her termination. Your behavior is shameful and you owe all of your employees an apology and a promise to develop courage and integrity.

Opinion Archives

E-mail Scott

Scott's Links

About the Author