It’s Not Cancel Culture, It’s Responsibility Culture

I’ve always found it interesting that people get all in a tizzy when companies, corporations, or individuals take a stand and say they no longer support something because it goes against what they believe in. 

Of course, because of our combative nature lately, especially on social media, we all have come up with this phrasing that makes it bad to stand for something – “cancel culture”.  The implication is that canceling someone or a company for bad behavior is part of some dubious scheme to destroy someone instead of holding someone accountable. 

If you stand for something, the other side – doesn’t matter what the sides are – the OTHER side will scream something about cancel culture and make you feel bad for doing what you can to make a difference. Holding people and corporations responsible for their actions is our right, our duty as human beings who actually care about each other. 

Mandela’s Prison Number

My first protest action was in college. I didn’t understand much about Apartheid but I knew that Nelson Mandela had been released from prison and I began learning the history of South Africa then. If you have any compassion at all, any empathy, any decent human being would have felt pain and helplessness – and then anger.  What could I possibly do as a freshman in college in the United States to help? Not much at all, but collectively as a group, as a nation, maybe all our baby steps could make a difference. I wanted to at least feel like I was doing something…

I remember being on campus and sitting with a group of other students learning about what was happening in South Africa and being told different ways in which we could help.

Feeling it was my duty, as a human being do something, I adjusted and did little things to help. I remember I stopped purchasing and using Johnson & Johnson products at the time.  Johnson and Johnson, like some other companies, had not divested from South Africa and so people with no power like me, a college kid with little influence and means, decided to do their part – not buying and using products that supported a horrible situation for people around the world, was any easy inconvenience to try and make a difference…  It also felt good. Like I was connected to other people… I was doing something.

But here is the gist of this post today – do I honestly think that my small choices to not buy a product will make a big difference in the world? No. Of course not. I’m not a celebrity or anyone of any stature. But, yes if a lot of us do the same thing, then collectively that might send a message. But that’s not the only reason I make choices not to support something. No one cares that I will never buy a Tesla or that I’ve never purchased music by Kanye West. I have never been to a Chick-Fil-A and I’ve never walked into a Hobby Lobby and I never will.  My list is long. I decided long ago that there are just some things I can’t compromise on and it doesn’t matter if everyone else does it – I need to know that in my personal life, I’ve not supported anything that I know can hurt or is hurting other people.

Now, I say that, knowing that most everything in our lives that we purchase, eat or consume can be linked to something nefarious. When we know better, we do better. That’s all I can say about that.  

Holding people and companies accountable by using our purchasing power collectively is our responsibility as human beings. More importantly, though, it’s my responsibility personally to make sure I do my best to hold people responsible for their actions. Whether it be in my personal life, or with my purchasing power – I do not want to support organizations and individuals who are doing harm. I will always pick a side. And I will always, even in my small way, fight for what is right. Period.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  ~Elie Wiesel

It’s not “cancel culture”. It’s “responsibility” culture. I will hold people and corporations responsible as best I can, I will always choose a side and do my best to never help the oppressor by doing nothing. I said what I said.

Till we meet again,


7 thoughts on “It’s Not Cancel Culture, It’s Responsibility Culture

  1. I so agree with you, Carmen. Like you, I ‘cancel’ every organization that offends me with their ethics or actions. I don’t know when we thought that everything is forgivable – there are consequences to actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right on girl. I mean, “left on” or whatever symbolism there might be for liberal-leaning protest advocacy.

    When I got home in 1971, I opposed the Vietnam War but only contributed money to the cause and never marched. I did criticize President Richard Nixon when I was one of the community college’s graduation speakers in 1973 only to be chastised by the school board members who were predominantly Republican.

    My most previous protest was of the postmaster general who had tried to scuttle the mail-in voting about two years ago. Protesting is as American as apple pie.

    That is why it is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution under something called “freedom of assembly.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Protesting is as American as apple pie!” – I love that!

      Whenever I read or hear anything at all about the Vietnam War, I cringe. I’m positive I would have protested that too — I think it’s so hard nowadays, even with all this technology available, to feel like you’re doing something to make a difference — and yet, we trudge on. We have no choice! ✌🏽💕


Comments are closed.