If you look at it honestly, cancel culture equals censorship. By canceling someone or something, the people are trying the censor it. Ray Bradbury said, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” He was not wrong. Today people call censorship canceling. Today I would change one word of that quote to say: There is more than one way to burn freedom. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.
Take for example one of the most recent cancellations of Dr. Seuss. Some of his books show a stereotypical depiction of another race from when he lived. Now we may know the depictions are wrong. Still, we should not censor his books for a few. Rather if brought up by children, we could discuss it with them. We can point out the errors of the depiction and explain them. Besides, most children probably only notice the silliness of the drawings. If taught right, by their parents, there is no need to cancel or censor books.
Golda Meir, an Israeli stateswoman, said “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.” The past created today and will create the future. By trying to erase the past for not fitting the present we create a worse future. No good has ever come from mass censorship. Without the past, we would not have the freedoms we have and our children need to learn about it. They should learn the good and the bad and follow the advice of Voltaire. “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”
Thomas Jefferson said, “Information is the currency of democracy.” If we want to have a true democracy we need to allow people to receive information, even if that information reflects badly on someone. For example, In October of 2020, a news station told the story that the son of Joe Biden may have used his father to get kickbacks while his father had served as vice president to Barack Obama. Immediately this story was kicked off social media sites, and other news stations tried to ignore it. Essentially, the news and social media tried to hide information, destroying true democracy.
Harry Truman said, “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” Increasingly our society moves down this path, by accepting cancel culture. They say it is to help and stop people from racism or bigotry. More it seems like a way to censor books, people, movies, and companies that disagree with them. That is not democracy.
We need to step up and stop the censorship. Cancel culture equals censorship, so stop the cancel culture. We have the right to speak, think and feel how we want. We do not have the right to force others to speak, think, and feel how we want them to. By censoring we take away our rights and the rights of others. Demand for the stop of censorship and cancel culture.