Campus Column: Have we canceled forgiveness?


Nicolette Noce, Campus Editor

With Holy Week upon us and cancel culture all over the internet, I think an important connection must be drawn.

 Cancel culture is the practice of ostracizing those who have fallen out of accordance with societal standards whether that be online, in the workplace or socially. One major issue I have with cancel culture is that it eliminates forgiveness and understanding. It ignores the reality that all people make mistakes and say the wrong thing occasionally. But cancel culture has taken on a vicious role in our society, mainly through media outlets.

 People who were formerly loved and served as role models have recently faced scrutiny without the opportunity to defend themselves or a chance to change, reevaluate or simply apologize for their behavior.

 Cancel culture presents a mob mentality, in which we never know who might get canceled or scrutinized next. Even some of America’s favorite people are not safe from cancelation. Once the process of cancelation begins, it is almost impossible to reenter society in the same way.

 Sure, sometimes it is seen as necessary or even comical to watch people get canceled. For example, who doesn’t find the whole concept of canceling Karens hilarious? But this practice is actually extremely hurtful and unkind. When people do not approve of something, they take to social media, causing more and more people to come together in hatred toward certain people, books, movies, and so on.

 Palm Sunday reminds us that even Jesus was a victim of an ancient cancel culture. When he arrived in Jerusalem at the start of Holy Week, he was welcomed by crowds of people waving palm leaves, a symbol of peace and eternal life. By the end of the week, he found himself brutally beaten and nailed to a cross — all because he made some comments that a few powerful people found unjust.

 When we participate in the hurtful canceling of each other, even when some cancelations seem justified, we each play a role in a sort of cyber crucifixion. All people make mistakes, but does that mean we should cast them out and scrutinize them?

 Let us remember our humanity, our miscommunications, differences of experience and our mistakes this Holy Week. Let us rise above the practice of canceling those we disagree with. Let us remember how hurtful and brutal our comments, opinions and reactions can be.

 When we consider how aggressively cancel culture has infiltrated our social lives, hearts and minds, we can consider how damaging the effects of being canceled can be.

 Who are we to judge those that we do not entirely understand? Consider Jesus the next time you want to post, comment or imply judgement. Do not crucify each other in the name of misunderstanding or disagreement. Do not condemn those you do not know or those you once loved deeply.

 Above all, try to love each other as Jesus loved all people. In the age of cancelation, try to love those who you deem cancelable in the same way Jesus expressed love for those who canceled him.