Although the concept of holding influential individuals accountable is not a novel phenomenon, the recent popularity and birth of #CancelCulture has brought significant attention to the concept. During the recent Book Club meeting, Dyson addressed the topic of cancel culture and critiqued it substantially. He likened social media’s use of cancel culture to lynch mobs, which was striking to me. As we know, lynch mobs existed solely to perpetuate violence, promote white supremacy, and dehumanize Black bodies.
Dyson’s analogy is the opposite of how I perceive cancel culture. Admittedly, cancel culture has evolved into a completely different beast than what Black Twitter envisioned but its importance is unquestionable. I disagree with Dyson’s disdain and critique of cancel culture. The concept of “canceling” is merely holding people accountable for their misconduct. Marginalized communities continuously use the idea of canceling to highlight, specifically, public figures who retained their status and authority even after committing wrongdoings. Cancel culture is a tool that is used to fight against systems, corporations, and people that exploit and prey on individuals that look like me. I reckon that Dyson’s misplaced disdain of cancel culture is possibly due to his own alleged misconduct, which warrants cancelation.