The "cancel" crew will come for you someday soon
A moral panic is sweeping the nation. How we react to the pitchfork hordes will determine the fate of our country for a generation or longer.
We call what the hordes do to our fellow citizens “cancel culture,” but the term is far too cute to capture the cruel, mindless and life-destroying process taking place all around us in the name of “fighting racism.”
The tendency has been with us for some time, but the current, extra-crazed moment has accelerated its malignant energies: Locked in for months due to COVID-19, we re-emerged into a society more enraged and at war with itself than ever before.
Then the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis took the ideological madness to the next level. The great majority of Americans agreed that Floyd’s death was horrific and that the police officers responsible for it must be held to account. But that sane consensus wasn’t enough, as far as the cancel left was concerned: Enemies had to be found and eradicated.
And if there weren’t enough racist enemies, then more of them had to be invented.
Prominent conservatives, as I have pointed out in these pages, can rarely be canceled. A Sen. Tom Cotton might express an opinion deemed utterly verboten, but the left can’t drum him out of public life or destroy him.
But all other Americans — including those with small or nonexistent public profiles — are vulnerable. It’s a chilling development: We can’t cancel a Cotton or a Ben Shapiro, so let’s cancel citizens who might dare to share similar opinions.
That’s what was attempted with Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy. Gundy wore a T-shirt featuring the logo of a TV station called One America News. OAN has a variety of personalities presenting a variety of opinions, generally right of center.
When the swarm came after Gundy, he folded, saying he was sorry for the “pain and discomfort” he had caused.