Author Topic: The Cancel Culture  (Read 1636 times)

D. Engebretson

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The Cancel Culture
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:15:00 PM »
I will admit that I had never heard of the "cancel culture" until recently.  And even now I struggle to completely understand it.  Recently Flannery O'Connor's name was removed from one of the buildings at Loyola University Maryland.  Again, the charge is racism.  But this need to 'cancel' people from monuments and buildings erected in their honor has spilled over into a closed mindedness that disturbs me.  In "The ‘Cancelling’ of Flannery O’Connor? It Never Should Have Happened" by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Commonweal, Aug. 3, 2020), the author notes a June 22 article in the New Yorker by Paul Elie that mines a book by O'Donnell to find incriminating evidence that O'Connor was a card-carrying racist and therefore needs to be shunned. 

O'Donnell writes:
Elie’s essay has caused a great deal of damage. As soon as it was released online, Twitter lit up with public denunciations of O’Connor and avowals from former admirers that they would never read—or teach—her books again. More than one declared dramatically, “Flannery O’Connor is dead to me.” Conversely, admirers of O’Connor, who know something about the reality of her life and the pernicious presence of racism in the mid-twentieth-century South, lamented Elie’s careless and cavalier treatment of this complex subject. But the most concrete expression of that damage arrived in my inbox the day after the article appeared. A student from Loyola University Maryland was moved to enlist my help with a movement she was organizing to have Flannery O’Connor’s name removed from one of the buildings on campus. She was horrified to read that O’Connor was a racist and lamented the “hate” she had expressed toward African Americans. (It is important to note that this is a word O’Connor never uses to describe her attitude toward African Americans, either in the passages quoted in the New Yorker or otherwise.) In our emails back and forth, I tried to explain to her that she was mistaken in her understanding of O’Connor’s writing and the reasons why I would not support such a campaign. I tried to explain that O’Connor was valuable to us precisely because of her experiential knowledge of racism. I tried to explain the ways in which her stories reveal and repudiate racism. I tried to explain to her that in her ambivalence about race, O’Connor’s inner war between her best (anti-racist) self and her worst (racist) self is the same war that all white people who are born into and (mal)formed by a racist culture fight, if they are honest enough to admit it. I tried to explain to her that O’Connor is the perfect writer for our moment. But she did not believe me.

The Loyola student initiated an inaccurately worded petition at change.org and garnered more than 1,000 signatures. Many of the signers admitted to not knowing who O’Connor was, but they heartily affirmed her erasure. The university president convened a small committee. No students were present. Only two faculty members participated, one from the theology department and one from the English department. They were the only two people familiar with O’Connor’s work. The committee arrived at a decision in what seems to be record time. And so little more than a month after the New Yorker essay appeared, the cherry-pickers showed up on campus.


What disturbs me is now quick some are to denounce those from the past, especially when they lack knowledge of the person, the complexities of their life, and the context in which they lived.  And the idea of "avowals from former admirers that they would never read—or teach—her books again" further disturbs me.  There is afoot, I fear, another form of censorship.  In another time books might have been removed from libraries out of righteous indignation over unacceptable content regarding sex and other such taboo topics.  But the idea then often involved children.  Now adults are asserting that they will refuse to read or teach books simply because the author is deemed to have expressed herself in a way unacceptable in today's charged climate. 

Is this the way forward for the "Cancel Culture"?  How sad for the education of many who will be encouraged to only read what is politically and culturally approved. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

James J Eivan

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2020, 03:11:27 PM »
The cancel culture is what cost the first President of United Lutheran Seminary her position.

If equally applied, it should also disqualify Mr Biden from seeking office ... but the cancel culture is selectively applied depending on whether its application supports the goal and agenda of the biased progressive group.

James J Eivan

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2020, 05:02:35 PM »
Intentionally hidden ?? ... has she explicitly admitted to that or is that the biased progressive left spin to justify an blaintly intolerant act. 


Was there a question that specifically addressed the "hidden" information ... or was it simply a decades abandoned belief that the cancel culture chose to seize to further their agenda?

If you were a younger pastor in search for a call, should you be blackballed because at one time in your younger days did not believe in the ordaination of women? That's in essence what you are defending.

B Hughes

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 05:19:30 PM »


Intentionally hidden ?? ... has she explicitly admitted to that or is that the biased progressive left spin to justify an blaintly intolerant act. 


IMHO, a different lesson was learned: students discovered they could ruin the career of a woman president because she was insufficiently woke to meet their criteria. The disclosure story was merely convenient.

  Having learned that lesson they will take their woke sense of empowerment on to their first calls where they will either have a rude personal awakening and have an early flameout of their careers or the struggling congregations that called them will close their doors as a result of the conflicts their leadership will ignite.

The seminary's customers are their students, not the congregations later to be served. What happens after they leave has no serious impact on the institution's functioning.


James J Eivan

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2020, 01:03:53 PM »
Apparently today's cancel culture is changing the rules ... in the past is was illegal for a baker to refuse place a gay message on a cake ... but now a bicycle shop is permitted to break a contract and refuse to do business with the police department.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.fox7austin.com/news/austin-bicycle-shop-cancels-contract-with-police-department%23:~:text%3DAUSTIN%252C%2520Texas%2520%252D%2520A%2520local%2520bicycle,decided%2520to%2520terminate%2520the%2520contract.&ved=2ahUKEwin_fP2_YbrAhVQ4qwKHUWjDokQFjACegQICxAL&usg=AOvVaw29Qa7qP7_ulwoOzNs7bRwb


A bike company refuses to sell bikes to the police

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.cyclingnews.com/amp/news/fuji-suspends-bike-sales-to-us-police-after-violence-against-protestors/&ved=2ahUKEwicjv3ChYfrAhUBM6wKHbbxAa0QFjABegQIDRAH&usg=AOvVaw2z1c0LBi1AsxT5P3xiYF35&ampcf=1

Why don't the same laws apply to the bike shop and bike company that were used against the cake baker?

Double Standards or just plain legalized discrimination?

Dan Fienen

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2020, 01:35:48 PM »
I found this from the statement from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Austin (the bike shop that canceled their contract with the Austin Police department) interesting: "We are not anti-police. We do believe our local police force will protect us from the very threats we are receiving right now." 
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2020, 01:59:10 PM »
Weddings are not a race or an ethnic group, either, nor part of some protected class of events. If someone decides to make homecoming decorations for one high school but not another, or cakes for one wedding and not another, that is their own business.

If i were the police, I wouldn't worry about it. I would simply put out a statement that they tried to give a lucrative contract to a locally owned business, but instead were forced to order bikes from Walmart or Amazon, but rest assured the community will still be served with police protection.

James J Eivan

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2020, 02:28:12 PM »
Quote from: WSJ
What concerns me about the boycott is that the left is adept at expanding the boundaries of unacceptable content to include anything from calls to “build the wall” to skepticism about climate change.

When Your Favorite Companies Go Woke

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2020, 04:10:49 PM »
A petition calling for removal of busts from Chapman University includes Albert Schweitzer as a problematic historical figure, whose bust should be replaced by the likes of James Baldwin. Any guesses as to Schweitzer did that was so embarrassing to the ideals of the university?

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2020, 04:25:01 PM »
Peter writes:
Weddings are not a race or an ethnic group, either, nor part of some protected class of event.
I comment:
But gay people are. Once again, your comparisons are wrong. There are no protected classes or events.  And I will not dive down the rabbit hole of this old worn out discussion yet again.
And he was perfectly willing to serve gay people any product he offered.

pastorg1@aol.com

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2020, 07:16:51 PM »
Yellow Johnny’s is Lance Armstrong’s creation.
Flake.

Peter (Cheater of Le Tour de France broke my heart) Garrison
Pete Garrison, STS

mj4

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2020, 09:35:13 PM »
Not quite true. The candidate for the seminary presidency would probably have survived if her past had not been intentionally hidden from the people involved in the seminary today. The issue was not her past, but transparency in the presentation of her candidacy.

"For five years starting in 1996, Latini was executive director of OneByOne, a New York-based group that called homosexuality a form of "brokenness" that could be healed. She had disclosed that affiliation to a member of the selection committee, the Rev. J. Elise Brown, during the hiring process in early 2017.  Consequently, the outrage that finally erupted on the campuses centered not only on Latini but also on school officials who did not publicly address the matter until it had become a full-blown storm."

https://www.inquirer.com/philly/news/united-luther-seminary-president-fired-theresa-latini-philadelphia-gettysburg-gay-lgbtq-onebyone-20180317.html

mj4

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2020, 10:08:13 PM »
Just what I said. School officialS did not fully disclose the details of her life to everyone at the proper time.

That's not just what you said, but never mind. I'm sure Latini is happy to be done with us. We've all moved on.

James J Eivan

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Re: The Cancel Culture
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2020, 10:48:31 AM »

I found this from the statement from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Austin (the bike shop that canceled their contract with the Austin Police department) interesting: "We are not anti-police. We do believe our local police force will protect us from the very threats we are receiving right now." 
Mellow Johnny's in Fort Worth felt it necessary to issue the following statement ...

Quote
Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop Fort Worth said on social media Wednesday it was not in agreement with the Austin location’s decision. Each location operates under separate management and ownership.“Mellow Johnny’s Fort Worth is not connected in any way to the decisions made by the Austin location’s management,” according to the post on Facebook. “Mellow Johnny’s Fort Worth supports our community as well as responsible and ethical law enforcement.”[/size][/font]


https://www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2020/08/06/mellow-johnnys-ends-sales-police-bikes#.Xy1oNEBOk0M