Why Cancel Culture Doesn't Work, And What To Do Instead
Politics and Activism

Cancel Culture Doesn't Work, But A 'Let Me Educate You' Culture Just Might

Chose to educate instead of cancel. You'll be surprised by how many people are willing to listen.

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I've been hearing a lot about “cancel culture" lately. If someone says something rude or offensive or ignorant, people are quick to make a feisty reply and promptly “cancel" the person. I can understand distancing yourself from toxic energy to better yourself, but I cannot for the life of me understand why people choose to cancel instead of educate.

I'm not ashamed to say I am ignorant of many topics. Everyone is ignorant on something because no one has time to research everything and no one has experienced everything. Knowing this, some people are going to say ignorant things. In my experience, these things usually come from a place of pure ignorance or fear.

My mom is one to ask questions out of pure ignorance and, most importantly, she is open to being educated. This opened up so many opportunities for my sister and me during the period of time we were homeschooled. Once, we were studying religion and had questions about Hinduism, so we went to a Hindu Temple. A tour guide showed us around and patiently answered our well-intentioned but likely very ignorant questions.

What would have happened if the tour guide took our questions personally and snapped at us? We would definitely not have learned as much and would probably hold a negative bias towards the religion.

Yes, some people speak ignorance out of fear and are rude so it's difficult to be patient and give them the knowledge they need. And yes, it's difficult to just give knowledge and not get upset when people don't change their minds and agree with us immediately. Not everyone wants to hear it and not everyone will listen. That will happen and that's when distance is the best bet.

However, canceling someone shouldn't be the first option.

Our first option should always be kind, caring and patient education. Is this easy, especially for topics we're passionate about? Of course not! But you're never going to give people the knowledge they need by being unkind to them. No one wants to listen to someone who isn't listening to them and taking them seriously. We don't know people's past and experiences. We don't know why they have these ideals and they probably won't change their minds overnight (or even at all). But canceling them is a sure way to ensure they'll never listen to what you have to say.

So the next time people say something ignorant or rude, take a deep breath, listen to what they're saying, and develop your argument in a patient and educational way. You'll be surprised how many people are willing to listen.

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