“Canceled” or Held Accountable?
Once I became editor of this very fine publication about five years ago, I started receiving the previous editor’s emails or maybe just emails from different political organizations that had obtained my work address one way or another. (Et tu, Pornhub?) I skipped nearly all of them. This was during the end of the Obamas’ reign, when I thought for sure Hillary was going to assume the throne and continue on with her predecessor’s noble work. I also thought I was going to cut back on the secret shots of tequila during my waking hours. Based on my ramblings in print and the political situation circa 2016-2020, we all know how that turned out.
Now I read all of them, these wild and unruly emails, and they are all as untethered to reality as you can imagine. According to this feed of falsehoods, liberals are trying to turn the country into a socialist hellscape, an unforsaken, godless, postapocalyptic terrain where same-sex couples can do the same normal, everyday things that other, hetero couples can and where women are paid the same amount as men for doing the same work and where people who hurt others based on gender, race, or sexual orientation are actually held accountable for their words and/or actions. Like I said, godless.
“Is America canceled?”
That’s how one recent email from this outfit called Prager U started. Because that’s what right-wingers are calling being held accountable: “canceled.” I’m sure you’ve heard it. Even Dear Leader is saying it in his *chuckles* blog posts. (That guy got booted from flippin’ Twitter for lying faster than the fact checkers could check facts. Now he’s Blogspottin’ it up. Too soon won’t be soon enough for that clown to go away.) I admit, there are aspects of “cancel culture” that don’t make sense. All of us should be forgiven for minor transgressions if we are contrite. We’re all fallible. No one is perfect. Still, there’s a lot about the movement that we should be able to agree on. You can only wonder why it’s taken us this long to get around to it.
Statues of racists? Take ’em down. “But back then everybody was racist!” is no excuse. Take ’em down and replace them with any one of the thousands of abolitionists and Union soldiers who helped pave the way to freedom for millions of Black slaves, upon whose scarred backs our entire early economy was erected. Schools named after racists? Rename ’em. Again, lots of local-to-you abolitionists and bluecoats worthy of the distinction. The Confeddie flag? Burn that trash.
You have to remember that all of these gray vestiges of the Civil War were erected around the same time (circa the turn of the 20th century) by powerful white people and Klansmen as a way to remind their new Black neighbors of their lowly place. We are not beholden to these relics. Most of us don’t want these relics. Take ’em down and put ’em in the museums. Or, better yet, put ’em in the museums’ basements.
“Cancel culture,” contrary to what Prayer? Pater? Pringle? U and their ilk say, is not about unpopular viewpoints. Enjoying pineapple on pizza is an unpopular viewpoint. Preferring flip-flops with jeans is an unpopular/hilarious/sad viewpoint. Actively trying to undermine democracy is not just an unpopular viewpoint. It’s an offensive stance. And you should be held accountable. Gina Carano, no work for you! Kirstie Alley, no work for you! Isaiah Washington, no work for you! Good riddance.
Some say I’m biased. They’re right. I am. I’m biased against a political party devoted to destroying the very fundaments of our democratic project and to ushering in an authoritarian regime, and I’m going to use my tequila-addled noggin to convince the authoritarianistas that they’re wrong and are only hurting themselves. If this sounds like I’m canceling you, snowflake, it’s because I probably am, which is funny-odd, not funny-haha, because in reality the only thing genuinely being canceled these days is the average Black or brown voter (pg. 8). — Anthony Mariani
This editorial reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the Fort Worth Weekly. The Weekly welcomes all manner of political submissions. They will be edited for clarity and factuality. Please email Editor Anthony Mariani at email@example.com.