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Cancel culture is a myth and it’s only a matter of time until I’m forced to listen to another one of Maher’s offensive and terrible bits. 

CW: Mentions of racism, sexual assault, fatphobia, and Islamophobia

I am relieved that I live in a world where powerful people face consequences commensurate with the harm they cause, often after being called out on social media. 

Scarlett Johansson, famous tree, has been canceled after whitewashing characters, defending Woody Allen, and trying to play a trans man in a movie. Her punishment: a standalone film in the MCU. How will she recover? Thank God we’re through with Lena Dunham and her white feminism. I couldn’t bear it if she was adapting the story of a Syrian refugee woman for film. After admitting to being guilty of sexual misconduct, Louis C.K. is playing several sold-out shows. I am simply giddy that justice has finally been served. Stanford’s star rapist, Brock Turner, is free after only three months in jail. Cancel culture wins again!

That amount of sarcasm frankly exhausted me more than the people on Twitter constantly decrying cancel culture and mourning its many, many victims.

The fact of the matter is that cancel culture doesn’t exist. The same people who lamented the surge of political correctness have moved their target to so-called cancel culture. This group wants free reign to mock or harm LGBTQ+ people, Muslims, indigenous folks, sexual assault survivors, and everyone else without consequence. That’s why they take aim at any perceived loss of freedom of expression, no matter how evident it is that that freedom was never lost in the first place. Marginalized people on Twitter expressing pain caused by powerful—often famous— folks are not depriving problematic people of opportunities, fame, or money. Social media has just given historically silenced people a platform on which to discuss the abuse we’ve suffered at the hands of powerful people.

Even with the ability to rapidly and widely share a person’s wrongdoing, it is immensely rare for anyone with real power or resources to face consequences more damaging than embarrassment. Often, they don’t even have to acknowledge causing harm. 

Bill Maher is a frequent “victim” of cancel culture. It seems as though every time I open Twitter I am inundated with yet another instance of him being offensive, rude, disparaging, or vicious toward entire communities. If canceling people was so effective, why is Bill Maher still being paid for his bad opinions and tired jokes? 

Related: NO, YOU CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH A WHITE SUPREMACIST AND NOT BE ONE YOURSELF

White supremacist patriarchy is deceptive and manipulative, not only making things disappear but making other things appear in its place.

White supremacy is a fatally insidious system. And when it intersects with the devastation of other systems of oppression, like cisheteropatriarchy, the results are catastrophic. This manifests clearly in privileging of white people over Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), often especially Black and Indigenous folks, across several social institutions like housing, education, wealth, employment, and healthcare. These are most prominent for white men as the same social institutions also disadvantage women and people of other marginalized genders. White people, men especially, are also uniquely positioned by these systems and structures, providing an unfettered kind of access, not only in social institutions but also to material forms of power. This leads to the disproportionate concentration of wealth in White men and nearly the majority possessing firearms in the US, powers which have been shown to manifest in violence. In particular, the majority of mass violence in the US has been committed by white men. Yet despite the clear evidence that implicates white supremacist patriarchal structures in positioning white folks, especially white men, to violent expressions of power, white supremacy, the patriarchy, and white men are scarcely discussed in the context of violence. White supremacy and those who perpetuate it are quick to absolve those perpetrating crime by virtue of their white maleness.
Related: WHITE SUPREMACISTS, WHITE NATIONALISTS, AND NEO-NAZIS 101

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