Off the Beat w/ Marc Lacy: ‘Cancel Culture’ Isn’t New…


I must admit, the phraseology may be new, but the act itself is not. Mind you, when it comes to social media dominance, terms take on a whole new meaning and represent an entirely different echelon of power. Why? Because it’s twice as easy to catch on to trends and fads in this hashtag era. People tend to live by the hashtag and die by the hashtag. But when you look at the current age of “reaction,” people are very quick to cancel someone if they do not possess the same exact ideology, or if they happen to make a misstatement that could “potentially” hurt the feelings of another. And yes, some people mistaken this type of reaction as “activism.” Just completely cutting someone off for saying something out of line is not necessarily activism. And to think

there are some people out there who swear up and down that folks “just started” cutting others off for no apparent reason…is amazing within itself. I’ve been cancelled by many folks in my life in the past, and still getting cancelled in the same manner to this very day. Nowadays people can do it so passively to the point where they do not even know that you know you’ve been cancelled by them.

Canceling others has always been a weapon of choice for those who want nothing

to do with the next person for whatever reason. It’s just now, people are applying

a coined phrase to it and calling it an era. With that said, I do want to get back to so-called activism. When you think about the divided times in which we live, you have to understand that the current climate has spawned more activist organizations, projects, and movements etc. It’s really impacting the African-American Community. And with the population like it is in markets such as Atlanta, Georgia, you know there is some serious activism going on (based on demographics, social issues, and the mover/shaker population). Young people who were raised during this so-called internet age, really understand the power of the internet. They also realize the magnitude of social media influence and how posts, likes, shares, and status updates can inspire a population of people to come to their own conclusion before anything transpires in a court of law. They also realize that if enough people can get together and form a negative opinion on a certain person, place, or thing, they can potentially control a certain percentage of the subject’s future.

Why do people participate in cancel culture activities? Because it’s easy to do. It takes just about no effort at all to block someone on social media and ignore them in real life. However, at some point when it becomes habitual, they’re going to have to realize that when all you do is cancel someone or something, it’s just a reaction to an effect; but not necessarily a remedy to the cause. Of course to truly address the cause, one will have to do research (regardless of how long it takes), make phone calls, travel to different places, and perhaps spend some money. In essence, getting to the root of the problem takes work and is a huge sacrifice. Subsequently, they’re going to have to perform an evaluation to see if it was even worth the sacrifice in the first place. But at the end of the day, activism is not meant to be comfortable and/or convenient. Comfort and convenience are byproducts of someone else’s work. However, if all one does is cancel, then they will feel the comfort and convenience (to a certain degree). But, actual growth will not manifest itself during that time window. Any potential growth will be stunted.

There is no magic solution or conclusion for this #cancelcuture era. However, it is incumbent upon every knowledgeable adult to illustrate to the youth, the proper ways in which to analyze situations, and patiently think twice before reducing themselves to the after-effects of a knee-jerk decision. In many scenarios, someone around them has made a quick decision to cancel someone else, and they’re just doing what they see others doing simply because, “it seems like the thing to do.” If they engage in this behavior, they very well could be cutting off a future opportunity or benefit. People owe it to themselves to do their homework before shooting themselves in the foot. But more importantly, people need to not fold to peer pressure when it comes to making decisions for “their own” life. As bad as it is for this culture to be practiced at epic proportions, it’s even more mind-boggling for people to think that activities entailed within the #cancelculture are brand spanking new. There’s nothing new about cutting someone completely off. There’s also nothing new in encouraging others to do the same. However, nowadays with the help of hashtags and trolling, canceling can be done at a much more rapid pace and is powerful enough to adversely impact a future in almost no time flat.



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